Sunday, November 22, 2009


I have got to back into the habit of writing on here. I think about it a lot and then something always seems to come up and distract me. So I'm just going to start - - today is the first day.

Random thoughts & goals:

I need to come up with a good daily routine for Casey and myself, so that we don't end up in front of the either the tv or computer.

I want to be more disciplined in my life. Especially in my relationship with Jesus. I know He gets put on the back burner way too often.

I want my husband to feel like this home is his castle and that he is the king. I know that our relationship is very important and I want him to know that I love him without a doubt!

Why do friends make bad choices. Choices that they know are wrong and yet they make them anyway?

I know, this is a very strange post, but I had to start somewhere.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life is like a box of chocolates...

It's true, life is like those crazy chocolates - you bite into one hoping it's a flavor you like. It seems like my life has been that way lately. The chocolates haven't always been good. I find myself stressing about being a good wife and mom, and winding up being neither. At least that's how it feels. But things will get better, they always do. And even though "better" is relative, I know that God will make things better. I'll be able to live with my life and not dread the morning. Enough philosophy for now...

I feel like I'm coming out of my spiritual valley - after at least 2 years of it. Getting involved in a small group has definitely helped, although it seems like we haven't been there much lately. Having that spiritual input and accountability is something that I now realize I need. I tend to flail without it. Last week I was feeling really down and out, and a few different events really brought me to my knees. I was praying and begging God to please let me know that He still cares about me. Well, a couple days later, one of my dear friends let me know that she felt prompted to pray for me and my family. I cried; in fact, I bawled. God does care. I'm so thankful. Even when I felt that He had left me, He was really there the entire time.

So, my days are starting to look brighter. And it cracks me up, because the only thing that has changed is my walk with God. He really does make a difference. Wow.

Now, I think I'll just reach into the chocolate box without looking.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still here

I'm ashamed. I was reminded by a friend of mine today that I need to update my blog. June was a long time ago. Then I went to add a post and realized that I had started one, on August 11, and never finished. Yikes! So now I'm starting again, on September 1. This time, I will finish!

This has been a crazy busy summer! It started at the end of April with with a trip to Ohio for a mother/daughter weekend with my mother-in-law. Then it was a trip to Mississippi in May to visit my sister. Followed by a trip to Michigan to visit the in-laws. In June and July, I went down to my mom's nearly every week, and it seemed like it was always for a couple days. In August, I stayed h.o.m.e. Didn't travel, but I did have Mops Steering meetings, started taking a pilates class and in general - was way too busy - again! Adios, my summer... :( Would I do it all again? Yes.

Now I'm preparing myself for Casey starting preschool. I'm excited and sad at the same time. My baby is growing up, and way too fast if you ask me. I know she'll do well in school. She loves to play with other kids and I know she'll love her teachers. She goes 2 mornings a week from 9-11:30. Needless to say, her play room is going to get cleaned out! **hehehe** (evil laugh...) My little princess does not need this many toys!!

I am also looking forward to organizing the rest of my house. Last week a friend of mine came over and helped me with my dining room. I'll let you be the judge of the results. I'm very pleased, to say the least! :) Now I'm going through my decorating stuff and trying to figure out what I want to put up and what needs to leave the house forever.

Oh yeah, I will also try to do better at updating my Peanut Diary!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 3/20

Day 3/20 The Firm - Cardio
Ok, so I actually made it through the entire workout tonight. I'm sore, yes, but I made it!! Granted I didn't have a ton of other exercise today, but I'm not going to let that fact steal my thunder. :) Btw, it's a 58 minute workout, so it's not just a quick "pop-the-dvd-in-and-roll" kind of thing!

New subject

I love Facebook. Plain and simple, I'm totally addicted. I have found so many old friends that I thought I would never see or hear from again. People I've just lost touch with. One of these is a dear old friend that I used to write to ALL THE TIME when I was a kid - and even through High School. I lost touch with her after Rosedale. But then, because of the beauty that is Facebook, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that Rhoda wanted to be my "friend"!! I can't believe that I've found her (actually, I guess she found me!) after all these years - I think it's been about 17 years. I'm so looking forward to catching up with her again, and STAYING in touch this time. She was such an encouragement to me when I was a kid and such a good friend. She used to always encourage me to keep up and build up my relationship with God, and I find it so timely that now - when that part of my life has become such a struggle - God has helped us to find each other again. Thank you, God. You're timing is so impeccable. Why do I ever question it?

That leads into the next topic - my spiritual life/struggle. Why can't being a Christ-follower be easy?! I mean, seriously, why not? I go through my daily life, doing all the things that I do every day, and suddenly I'm tired and realize that I've done nothing for God. Why is He the last person on my mind, when obviously my life would be so much better if He were the first person there! I'm trying. I really am. I keep thinking that maybe if we could just get involved in a small group and be more accountable that things would change. But so far we've been unable to find a church that will actually put us in one. Who knew that it would be so hard to find a small group? I guess that needs to be my prayer - that we find a church/small group to be accountable to.

I don't mean to sound so depressing. I am enjoying life, after all. It would just be that much better if I could find my way back to a deep relationship with my God.

Day 2/20

I'm going to post my exercise progress - this should help to keep me accountable, plus it'll give me something to look back on when I need encouragement!

Day 2/20 The Firm - Cardio (Tuesday)
Holy Cow! It truly kicked me this time! I only made it through half the video (30 min). I just couldn't move anymore! I don't feel too bad though, because I mowed lawn at noon (20 min) in the scorching heat and humidity, went swimming at 2, then came home and did the workout. I slept like a log last night!

I've told Chris to hide the scale because otherwise I'll be totally tempted to stand on the stupid thing every day. That's what I've done in the past when trying to lose weight, and let me tell you - it does not help the motivation!

My schedule for exercise: (5 days a week)
2 weeks - The Firm Cardio
2 weeks - The Firm Body Sculpt
repeat above then start alternating with The Firm Abs for 4 weeks

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Ahhh...where does the time go? Wherever - it's gone. And so quickly. Anyway...

Day 1/20:
I've made a commitment to do serious exercise for the next 4 weeks. I purchased The Firm videos a couple years ago and have I done anything with them? Nope. That is changing as of today. For the next 4 weeks, I will be doing the videos 5 days a week. Chris informed me that I need to quit complaining that I'm not losing weight - since I haven't been doing any kind of regular exercise... and he's right. So, that is changing. (As I've mentioned several times already.) I did the first video this afternoon - HOLY COW! It totally kicked my butt!

To be continued at a more reasonable hour of the day...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Fog

Getting ready for a trip is always a "trip" at our house. I seem to always wait until the last minute to try and get everything done. I like to clean up the house a bit, so that we don't come home to a pig-sty, but I usually end up running around like a chicken without a head for the last couple of hours. It's sad, really. I keep hoping that someday I will be a better housekeeper, organizer, etc...

Today I got a package I've been looking forward to, it's my "Spring Clean, Year 'Round" kit! I was reading about it and decided that I needed to try something to get me going in the right direction. I'll let you know how this works out. Check out the site, it's really an interesting product!

The fog that is my life continues. I've realized that though I easily opened up and shared with my friends back home, I don't do the same here. I've become very good at surfacy stuff. I've got a mask on that could fool just about anyone, and it has. I remember the first year we were here, I tried, somewhat, to share me - especially at mops. But it didn't work. I don't know what I was expecting, but people really don't care when they don't know you. I don't blame them. I had never been in the situation where I was the new person - it was always someone else - or I had someone in the group that I already knew. Not so here. I really didn't hold much back that first 6 months to a year, but after that I started closing up shop. And that's where I find myself today - superficial, fake, pretender - everything I despise in others. Ironic.

One exception to this is Julie. I'm slowly learning to just be me with her and to be real. And honestly, I have not a clue where I would be without her! And I wish we'd have started hanging out that first year. Oh well, God totally knew that I wasn't picking a chiropractor by chance. I believe that He guides us when we let Him - all He asks is that we follow. So I will continue my search for that closeness with Him, and I will try to be more open and honest about me. Here's to being vulnerable...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Where's God?

Last night I went to bed with my mind full. For some reason my spiritual well-being was at the forefront. Honestly, I haven't thought about it much lately, and as I started contemplating it, I realized that something needs to change. And how. Before we moved I took a lot of things for granted - my family, my friends, my church, my small group. Since the move, I miss all of those things and how, ultimately, they all helped keep me accountable for my spiritual health. In 2 years, I don't know that a single person has asked me how my relationship with God is. Ultimately, it's on me. And I know that. Have you ever tried to tell complete strangers that you need spiritual accountability?

One of the churches we attended for a bit offered small groups, so we got involved in one. I don't know if I was spoiled with what we had back home, but this didn't even fall in the same category or even the same universe. We were in it for about 4 months, and they never asked about more than our names. It was so spiritually superficial, and ultimately they disbanded - probably a good thing. We've tried to get involved in one at our current church, but I'm convinced that unless you work a normal 8-5 job and have your evenings free, there's nothing out there for you. Nobody wants to have their small group meet on the weekends. And if they do, they aren't looking for more people. So much for the second shifters...

Am I bitter? Maybe a little. But I think it's more about being sad, missing the friends that I could be so honest with about my spiritual walk and who knew me well enough to know when things were "off". I don't blame anyone here. It's very hard to break into a new group of friends. Plus, I don't feel like a very spiritual person anymore, and so I tend to not put myself out there. I've tried to "find" God again and again, but for some reason He eludes me - at least the closeness I once felt to Him. I probably shouldn't admit all of this, but I'm so tired of feeling this way. And a part of me is just hoping that by putting it down in writing, that I can find that part of me that just seems to be gone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Done With One

So tonight I went out with my BFF, Julie, to get groceries. I know, what a fun ladies night out. But it really was! It's been over 3 weeks since we've done anything and it was high time. Anyway, on the way home we were talking about kids and family and it got me thinking. I'm always amazed at how people look at me when I say we're done with one child. It's almost like they think I'm a little crazy. Maybe I am, but I also know that I truly am done with one. Before Casey came along, I wanted a child of my own so badly, and when I finally gave that dream up to God, He blessed us with our true-love-child. I love being her mother and I can honestly say that I've never felt that urge to have another. Even when I found out I was pregnant 2 years ago, I was like, "ok, whatever, God doesn't give us more than we can handle, I can do this". Then I miscarried, and honestly, since then I have not had the desire for another child. I didn't really have the desire before it either.

A friend asked me what it feels like, to know that I don't want more children. I just said that it's the opposite of feeling like you want more. I can't explain it any better than that. Since Casey, I've never felt that ache for another. I've never looked at a tiny newborn and wished it was mine. I even have a hard time holding new babies - like I'm unsure of what to do - which is nuts because I've had one of my own! When people think I'm crazy for only having one, I wish they knew how crazy I think they are for having more than one! For some reason, the difference seems to be that I don't tell them I think they're nuts. There's nothing wrong with me. It's how God wired me.

I feel so blessed to be a mother. I wouldn't want it any other way. I thank God every day for the miracle that is Casey!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I love warm weather and I wish all my work could be outside; however, there are those mundane tasks that just can't be done outside - - laundry, dishes, baking... Oh well.

Today was so nice. Casey and I went for a walk - Day 2 of my 2nd 30 days of exercise - We took Chris his lunch and then walked for another 20 minutes. I figure we went about 2 miles. Not bad! This is the 2nd week that Chris has been working 1st shift - temporarily - although I wish it were permanent. Hopefully it will be eventually. At least he still has a job. They cut back to 4-day weeks a couple months ago. And I'm praying things start picking up so they can go back to 5-day weeks!

Anyway, it's been an interesting change having him home in the evening. I didn't realize how much of a routine Casey and I had gotten into, until it was disrupted - in a good way, of course!

*yawn* I think I need to go to bed! Lovely sounds of rain outside...

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm Back!

I'm back in the groove! After a trip to Ohio and one to Mississippi, I'm ready to stay home for a while!! I finally made a dent in the huge pile of laundry and the stack of dishes, now it's time to tackle true spring cleaning...blah... Not my favorite thing to do, but I know I'll feel much better about my house and my life when I get it done. At least I think I will...

My garden is planted, except for the peppers, and it looks so nice! Casey had a lot of fun helping plant the seeds. She kept saying, "I'm such a good helper!" Cute. Now I can't wait to have fresh salsa - - maybe I'm a little impatient? I also got some hostas planted around the tree in the front yard. The previous owner decided to fertilize the tree as it was growing, so now I've got roots sticking up everywhere. To prevent mowing into them all the time, I've decided to mulch it and plant shade loving hostas. It's almost done...

I love this time of year, although I could definitely live with temps in the 80's...70's are still just a little too cool for me... I'm hoping to get Casey into swim lessons this year. I want her to learn how when she's really young. I think the younger, the better. So I see a lot of pool time this summer. Not that I'm complaining. *grin*

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lessons Learned

I was reminded yesterday of the immense responsibility involved with raising a child. As a parent, I have the express job of teaching my daughter the difference between right and wrong, and why it is best to do what is right. I also have the great opportunity to teach her about Jesus. In my opinion, these absolutely go hand in hand. Now to my story...

Casey and I went shopping last evening and after we had checked out and left a store, I was putting her into her carseat when she piped up, out of the blue: "I don't have anything in my pocket!" My translation: "There is something in my pocket that shouldn't be there and I don't want you to know about it." My first response was to ask, "What do you have in your pocket?" And after a quick search, I came up with a very small tin of altoids. "Casey! It is very wrong to steal! We never ever take anything out of a store without paying for it! That is very wrong and people get into a lot of trouble for doing that!" I took her back out of her seat and told her that we needed to go back into the store and give the candy to the clerk and apologize. So, we headed back in. When we reached the clerk, I told Casey to give her the candy and tell her "I'm sorry". It took a bit of coaxing and a couple of attempts to get it right, but we finally did. The clerk was very nice about it and thanked Casey for being honest. She then told me that she has had many small children learn this lesson in her store - whether that was to make me feel better, I don't know, but she was very nice and I have to appreciate that!

When we got back out to the car, I got down on Casey's level, looked her in the eyes and once again tried to get the point across that what she had done was very wrong. I told her that it made mommy and Jesus very sad, and that this is the kind of thing that policemen take people to jail for. She started to cry, and told me she was very sorry. Of course, I hugged her and told her that it should never happen again. Then I asked her, "What do we do when we want something in a store?" Her reply, "We pay for it." I think she got it.

To top it off, when we pulled out of the parking lot, a police car - with lights flashing - pulled a car over right across the street. Without even thinking about it, I said, "Look, Casey! There's a policeman!" Casey, "What's he doing, mama?" My reply, "Somebody did something bad." (Once again, I didn't even think about what I'd said...) Casey, a bit fearfully, "Was it me?"

I think the lesson was well-learned.

I did reassure her - the mom in me was a bit sad that I had scared my child so much without even thinking about it. I thank God for helping me teach Casey this little lesson, and for also teaching me this mommy lesson. I'm sure there will be many more...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Enchiladas - yum!

I love Mexican cuisine - it's no secret and I'm not ashamed to admit it - it's absolutely my favorite kind of food! Seriously. Who could possibly turn down chips and fresh salsa & guacamole - delicious grilled fish - refried beans - chile relleno - fresh homemade tortillas - all so very yummy! It just so happens that I'm married to a wonderful man who would prefer to not partake of this delish cuisine.... Isn't that how it works? I mean, if I get hungry for Mexican, I have to either cook it for myself or go out to eat with my daughter (she loves it!). All that brings me to a fun and yummo recipe I came up with. I like to call it Baked Enchilada, for lack of a better name... (And no, my hubby doesn't really like it...)

Faith's Baked Enchilada

1 pkg small corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
1 can diced tomatoes, mexican style (with green chilies)
1 large can enchilada sauce
2 lbs ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream

Brown hamburger, drain and add onion and taco seasoning.
Add refried beans and tomatoes and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into bottom of 9x13 pan.
Layer as follows:
corn tortillas, beef mixture, cheese, enchilada sauce - add sour cream to the second layer only. Finish with cheese over the final layer of enchilada sauce.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.

I like to serve this with chips & fresh salsa and guacamole - yummo!

A couple variations:
Add a Spanish rice layer
Add salsa or green chilies to the beef mixture

I don't have a picture, but I've discovered how to make a fabulous fresh guacamole! It's much cheaper than buying it ready-made - and I think it tastes better, too! This is how they made it for us in Mexico.

Fresh Guacamole

2-3 ripe avocados
1/2 small onion, diced
1 small jalapeno, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 tsp lime juice (also helps to prevent darkening)
dash of salt
splash of olive oil

Slice the avocados, remove the pits and scoop out the flesh. Mash well with a fork, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where Is Spring?

I really do love living in Iowa. But seriously. It's spring. Go away snow!! I have serious spring fever and would love to be outside working in the yard and getting my garden ready to plant, but I guess God is trying to teach me patience? It's ok. I'll try to learn the lesson without much more complaining...

There are some advantages to being stuck inside all day - spring cleaning. I've been going through boxes and drawers and closets, tossing and cleaning and sorting, selling some stuff on Ebay, taking stuff to Goodwill, etc. It feels good. But I still want to be outside!

Last week I went to see my new family doctor. It was really difficult for me to truly say goodbye to Dr Hempy. She's been such a great doctor and I do miss her. But I guess when you move you have to do what you have to do... and Dr Huwe is very nice - and Casey likes her. Now, I have to do the same with the dentist. It stinks, because we had just started going to Dr Gilbaugh, the best dentist I'd ever been to, and then we moved... I guess while I'm on this line of thought - - we also had to find a new church. The whole search process stunk! We visited a LOT of churches, and a lot of different kinds of churches. We finally have ended up at Heartland Vineyard, and love it! God definitely led us there, because we weren't even going to visit - it was all kind of a fluke. But I guess it was a devine fluke. For which I'm grateful!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moments Like These

What do you do when you find yourself in the middle of piles of dirty laundry, stacks of dirty dishes, toys all over the house, clean laundry in the basket waiting to be folded, dust billowing off every piece of furniture, sticky kitchen floors, dirty carpets, piles of this and that everywhere and that's only the beginning?!?!

You sit down with a nice cup of hot tea and read a good book. (While my daughter is napping of course!)

Or at least that's what I did/do. It's all too overwhelming and I need to step back and take a break from it all. When this happens, which it does more than I care to admit, I often wonder if I'm the only mom in the world who struggles with the never-ending chores of being a Domestic Engineer. Then I have the express joy of seeing my daughter smile and laugh and say the funniest things, I get to put her down for a nap (which hopefully she will take...), I get to be with her and see all these things that I would miss if I were working outside my home - and I realize that it's all worth it! In the end, the only things that will truly matter are the times I read her a story, kissed an owie, played games and hugged her close - just to name a few.
Then I can live with the mess that surrounds me, knowing that it's not forever. Someday, I will have all day to clean my house and have it be spic 'n span all the time. For now, God has given me these few precious years to raise my daughter and attempt to teach her to love Him with her whole heart.

And that's what I intend to do. With God's help, of course!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

15 Years!

This week Chris & I celebrated our 15th Wedding anniversary! I can't believe it's been that long already. I used to think that people who had been married for more than 10 years were old folks...but at 15 I still don't think we qualify! A lot has happened in 15 years. I wish I had wedding pictures to post, because they would be a hoot! But for now, I'll post one from our anniversary trip to Mexico in January. Chris and I have experienced God's blessings often during the last 15 years, but I think we would both agree that the best one was when Casey was born. When we finally accepted the fact that God had chosen a different path for us other than parenthood, we found out that I was pregnant. Funny how God works that way... Casey has changed our lives in ways we never expected. She's the joy of our lives and at 3, the comedy entertainment in our house! Truly. I mean, when she asks me, "Are you a strange animal, mama?" Hmmm... where does that come from? She keeps us on our toes and has made the last 3 years of our marriage wonderful and tough at the same time. My prayer is that the next 15 years will be just as full of love and God's blessings as the last 15 - maybe even more!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1 - Really?

Ok, tomorrow - really! - I'm going to start losing weight again. I mean, here we are - 2 months gone from this year and I'm only down 4 pounds! Something is so wrong with that! I'm so disgusted with myself for not trying harder. I need to stop using the cold nasty weather as an excuse, because frankly - it's not a good one.

I'll let you know how things go... 'night!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another week down...

Thank you, Beryl, for reminding me that I started this blog for a reason - to BLOG! :) I shall try harder to keep my posts fiber filled (ie: regular). I know, that was lame, but hey! it's Friday and it's me. Anyone who knows me, knows how random and strange I can be at times, so I won't apologize for saying lame things... :-)

It's been a fun week at our house. I started officially teaching Casey her ABC's. My goal is to spend an hour a day doing "school". It will help add a bit more structure to her day, rather than just letting her run wild and play all day. Plus, it's fun for me to come up with different ideas every day. I love being creative like that, and hopefully she'll learn something in the process. And NO, I am not planning to homeschool! No offense at all to the many wonderful homeschool moms out there. It's just that it is not for me. Preschool is one thing - beyond that, I don't want the responsibility. We have a wonderful school system up here and I intend to take full advantage of it! Of course, I plan to volunteer and help out as much as a mom can, but I'll let the teachers at school do what they do best! :)

Today we went mattress shopping for Casey. She's only 3, but at 39.5 inches, she's basically outgrown her crib... along with many other things, namely clothing and shoes!!! We were trying to decide if we should go with a twin or full size, and finally decided on a full size. It really isn't much bigger than a twin and doesn't cost that much more - only makes sense. Now I need to figure out what to do with the crib, because we aren't going to need it again. :)

I loved the nice weather this week! It really made me ready for spring. But then, I was ready for spring last November... Casey and I went for walks on the really nice days. Casey had a blast splashing in the puddles and sending leaves floating down the street. It was fun watching her - so carefree and happy - I can learn a lot from her.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Random Post Wednesday

I hope the "newness" of FaceBook wears off soon, because I've been spending way too much time there... That's totally the reason this dear blog has gotten neglected. And I do feel bad about it. Really.
This is going to be a random post. In fact, I think I shall officially dub Wednesday as "Random Post Wednesday". Doesn't that sound nice? Eh, whatever... It's nearly midnight and I'm not really responsible for what I write at this point...Since Casey turned 3, a little over a week ago, we have entered what I can only describe as - The Terrible Threes! Where did this child come from? Who knew that things could take a turn so quickly! She's demanding, self-reliant (or so SHE thinks), bossy, naughty, disobedient and many more which my tired brain isn't recalling at the moment. Either way, it's set me back on my haunches just a little. I'll figure it out, I hope. I guess I shouldn't make her sound so terrible, she does have good moments...My upstairs bathroom is nearly done! It's so small, it's hard to get good pictures, but I hope this will give you an idea of what it looks like. I'll post more when it's completely finished. For as small as it is, there is a ton of storage, which I love! The linen cabinet is deep and easily holds my extra bedding and towels and then some. We're going to put some shelves up over the toilet, too. Oh, by the way, when you're sick, you can sit on the toilet and throw up in the sink - don't have to worry at all when it's coming out both ends... Isn't that a lovely thought?That's all for my random thoughts today.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

She's officially 3

We have officially finished celebrating Casey's 3rd birthday. We've had 3 parties over a one week period - do you think that's enough? It's been fun, and not just for her. She loves being 3. And she loves birthday cake - we've had cupcakes, a small birthday cake and a large strawberry cake. I'm afraid she will be disappointed that she has to wait until Chris' birthday for more cake... (I can't have cake around all the time or I'll eat it...) We went to Chuck E Cheeses with Grampa Miller & Gramma Dee; Nana came up on Casey's birthday; Grampa & Ganna came from Michigan - it's been a fun and busy time. I also took her to a new doctor for her 3 year well-child check up. She's in the 95th percentile for height and weight: 39.5 inches tall!! and 38 pounds! My little girl is growing up so fast.

Some of the milestones of the past year:
*Started singing - and carrying a tune!
*Fully potty trained in October - yippee! (after 7 months...don't ask)
*Figured out how to make her tricycle move - and fast!
*Can open most doors by herself
*Speaks in full sentences - lots of full sentences...
*Jumps all over the place
*Likes to give her mommy instructions...

I'm loving every minuted of it! I can't wait to see what happens this year :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter and Loaner Cars

Today was Mops and I had the fortunate experience of driving a "loaner" car there. Now, I hope everyone has had the distinct opportunity to drive the "loaner car" at some point in their lives. It's always an adventure, because you never really know what to expect out of it or from it. I've often wondered how a vehicle from a mechanic shop could have so many "issues"... I really have no complaints about the one I drove today. It got me where I needed to go and back home again. However, it wasn't my own vehicle and that's probably why I never really cherish the "loaner" moments.

Interesting, that makes me think about my life... Do I sometimes treat myself as a "loaner"? Hmm. I like to think that I don't, but as I look at my life...I do. What a great reason to let God be in control. Let Him keep me cleaned up and fix what's broken. Because when I try to do it myself, I'm turning myself into a "loaner" - it's never quite fixed, just patched up so it won't break down right away - it's never quite as clean as it should be, just enough to get by. I don't want that. I want the new car. The clean car. The car I can depend on.

Wow. That was random.

Today was COLD again. I don't like winter and I don't like cold. I'm glad that Casey doesn't mind it. But I hate that I have to go outside with her because it's cold out there! But before you think I'm a terrible mom - I DO go outside and play with her when it's not sub-zero. And I will admit, that it's good for both of us - even if I despise the cold.

I had to throw this picture in because it reminds me that winter only lasts for a season. It may be a long season. But it's only for a season. (I'll keep telling myself that!) This was taken in Mexico in January. What a great group of friends, and what a good time we had! ;)

Summer is coming!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whining. Not a fan.

Well, I've entered the world of FaceBook... And what fun! I've found so many people that I just figured I had lost touch with forever, but no! I found them on FB. So cool. Anyhoo...

I've been feeling like a bad mom. How did I let my daughter become such a whiny child? Now, I have to go to disciplinary lengths to overcome this problem - and I don't like it at all. When she was 1 and 2, I could just distract her, but not so now! And that's what I've been trying to do and it's given me this child... I've been trying so hard the past couple of days to nip it. But I could sure use some suggestions from others who have "been there, done that". Or maybe I'm the only one! Yikes! Then I would feel like a really bad mom! Aside from the whining, I have a sweet and happy child. I just can't believe how quickly she's growing up. I need to post some more pics.

Weight loss musings:
I lost 1 pound last week! I know, it's not much, but the scale went down, and that's what matters most to me. Now I have a reason to try hard this week so I can have the same results next week! I really tried to cut back my portion sizes, and for the most part I did very well. Exercise? Bleck! So not a fan. Give me warm sunny days (75 degrees +) and I'll be outside everyday - playing at the park with Casey, mowing lawn, working in my garden. But keep it cold like this, and you'll find me indoors wishing for Mexico!!

Wow! I really rambled today, didn't I?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekend Babbling

Why is it that even though I know what I need to do to lose weight, I struggle so much? It doesn't matter how many different diets I try, or how many exercise dvds I buy, or how many "magic" pills I pop, it all boils down to this very basic truth: To lose weight, one must eat less and move more. How much more simple can it get!? I mean, seriously!

With that said, this week went fairly well. I've been trying to watch my portion sizes and to drink a lot of water. I figured out a way to make sure that I drink enough water every day - I fill a milk jug every morning and it needs to be empty by the time I go to bed. I've also been trying to "listen" to my stomach, so that when I'm full, I stop eating. Drinking plenty of water each day has really helped me with that! I've also been trying to get some exercise in every day - that's been the hard part. I finally decided that I don't like to deliberately exercise. Even with having Julie to motivate me, it's a struggle. So I've been trying to run around the house with Casey, walk to the library, go up and down the steps as much as I can during the day. Basically, I try to keep moving. With nearly one week under my belt, I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Hopefully the scale will reflect that on Monday... I'm going to try to add a little more fiber into my diet and see if that helps, too. I'm sure I'm not getting enough on a daily basis. That, and sleep. I'm terrible at getting enough sleep. I guess these are my add-on goals for next week: Keep moving, More fiber, Get enough sleep.

On a different note, I've decided to stop selling Creative Memories products. I never thought I would get to this day, but it's funny how changes in our lives effect the things we do... *duh* I'm a little melancholy about it, but I also feel a sense of relief to be out from under the consultant obligations. I've done so very little since we moved, and it just doesn't make sense to continue right now. Plus, I've hardly done any scrapping in the last year and a half. I'm so far behind! I love to scrapbook - I especially love the finished product. I hear my pictures calling my name!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where's the willpower??

Ah, the weight loss battle has begun. And what a battle it will be - with myself! I keep trying to tell myself that it would be so much easier if the weather were warm and sunny - ie: 75+ degrees... yeah, right. If I can't do this when it's cold, then I may as well lasso the moon... Ok, so that didn't make any sense, but it's also 12:30 at night and I should be in bed, but I'm sitting at my computer typing a message that I will probably want to delete after I read it in the morning.

If anyone does read this blog, besides me, let me know if you are trying to lose weight and if success is finding you. Or maybe you've already lost it, weight that is, and you'd like to share how you did it. I'd love to hear some encouraging words and advice. The more the merrier, you know. I've decided to do it without pills and crash diets, I'm trying this the old-fashioned way: portion control, exercise and general lifestyle changes.

I can do it!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thinking about goals

Lunch on the beach in Cozumel. Can you think of anything better?

I know that winter has to stay for a little while, but does it have to stay long? I guess on the bright side, we're about 45 degrees warmer this week than last... The snow is pretty, but this Iowa native is wondering why we moved further north??

Enough complaining. I'm in a "winter" cleaning mode today. It actually started last night, but is thankfully continuing today and will hopefully last all week! After a talk with Julie last night, I've decided that I was not born a "cleanie", I was born a "messy". Unfortunately, that just means I have to work much harder to keep my house in order. blah! I wish HGTV would send someone over here and get me organized...wishes....wishes.... I'm amazed at how much stuff we've accumulated over the past year and a half. I have a huge bag and a box that are being filled for Goodwill. And I just did this last summer - where does it all come from? My goal: get this house in tip-top shape by Casey's birthday! (And keep it that way!)

My other goal: lose 60 pounds this year! That's only 5 pounds a month, and I can do it. Thankfully, I have Julie to go this road with me, which will help a ton! Together, she and I could lose a small person - Yikes!! I've been saying I want to lose weight for years, and this year, is my year. I never had a weight problem when I was growing up, but then I got married and I think I just stopped caring. Unfortunately that has led to a 60 pound weight gain since my wedding day - 15 years ago - that's only 4 pounds a year. I'm trying to put my focus not only on losing the weight, but on a healthy eating lifestyle. I've gotten so careless over the years and I really want to change that. I don't want Casey to struggle with this like I have. I'm also working on being a more positive person, which will help me and my family more than anything!

With God's help, I can do it!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Adios calor y sol!

Ola! I miss Playa del Carmen. It was beautiful, with loads of heat and sun! We came home to below zero temps and 6 inches of snow... Maybe the winter won't seem as long since we had a "break" in the middle of it all? We went with 3 other couples and had a great time! It was sunny and 80+ when we arrived and it stayed that way pretty much the entire time. Every night we would walk from our resort down to Quinta Avenida (5th ave) and browse the shops and eat at one of the many restaurants. During the day, we either stayed at the resort, or took a day trip somewhere. Tuesday we took the ferry over to Cozumel and rented scooters for the day. Oh what fun! We rode all over the island. Stopping frequently for drinks, chips and salsa/guac, of course! I think I've consumed more chips and salsa in the past week then in the previous 10 years!! But it was sooo good... Thursday we spent the day at Xel-Ha, a water park of sorts. They offer snorkeling and swimming, cliff jumping, lazy river among many other things. It was fun, but Cozumel was better. All in all, I'd say it was a fabulous way to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

Casey spent the week with Nana, and did very well. She missed us, but there were no major breakdowns, which was good. When we picked her up, she told me "Thanks for coming to get me!" She was very happy to see us and we were very happy to see her. It was the first time we've left her for that long (9 days), and I hope it's a long time before we do it again. I really missed her! What usually did me in was when I would look up at the moon at night - and think "I see the moon and the moon sees me..." ...her favorite song.

As much as I enjoyed the trip and the sun, it was nice to get back to my own bed and my own house. I'll post pictures soon. Oh, I'm going to learn Spanish this year. I've been saying for years that I would like to learn it and have never done anything about it. That's going to change!