Saturday, December 29, 2012


I will start by saying that I am incredibly lucky. I have great family that is close, I have a great home, am healthy, and am employed. This holiday seemed to be overshadowed by the national issues but I tried to stay positive and focus on what I do have.

Our Christmas weekend started at my sister's house for my extended family's celebration. It was short but good. P was into opening her gift and playing with the other kids.

We then spent Christmas Eve with my in laws. I am so happy to truthfully say that I love my MIL and FIL. We did presents with them, SIL and her family, and us. Payton's big present of her kitchen was back home so it was low key but fun. SIL gave her really adorable outfits.
Cheesy smile!

Although very cute, the hat is not part of the outfit!

We stayed that night and enjoyed breakfast with MIL and FIL before heading home. Our hope was to get home before P's's nap but no such luck. She slept in the car and no more. This was my only fear for the whole day. Spoiler Alert: she did amazing!

After a valiant attempt at a nap, we headed to my parents for my mom's shinning moment. She lives for this day. I know that the money shot of presents is a little presumptuous but my mom works so hard for this. What you see is the total gifts for 12 people. It is a fun, furious opening. P gave up around gift 13. She was hungry and tired but didn't cry, she just played with the toys my mom always keeps out. 

We got home, put her down, and unloaded. I sorted the toys. Opened what we were getting out since the garbage men came the next day. Then we went to bed. It was a great weekend!

Monday, December 24, 2012

21 month update

I said that I was going to keep up with these updates and I'm late again!  Well, here goes!

I cannot believe my little girl is so close to 2!  Here goes the update!

Age: 21 months

Sizes: Still size 4 diapers.  We have made our next order for size 5 diapers though. They won't be here for a while but they are the next step. She is now into 24 month clothes solidly. The pants are a little long but there is room for her to move.

Sleeping: Still good. Napping is back on track and she is sleeping til at least 7:30 most mornings.

Eating: Going well. She definitely likes some things, like oranges, blueberries, and corn, that really bother her bottom. She has also discovered cookies and LOVES them. She is her mother's daughter. :)

Favorites:  She is still loving Minnie and baby. She also loves books, games on my iPad, and her bins of toys. She likes me to sing to her and walk outside. She got more coloring material from a buddy at the sitters too.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

The year is winding down - ow did we get here so fast?  First and most importantly, I hope that everyone has a great Christmas and takes a moment to think of those less fortunate, fighting abroad for our country, or just down.

Here is my plan for the week:
- I am going to write about Christmas and how much fun we will have
- I am going t wrap up my year, the good, bad, and ugly

I think that's it for the week since we will be out for the next 48 hours. Enjoy the holiday!!

Very Jane giveaway!

Enter today for your chance to win 1 of 3 amazing prizes!

1st Place Winner will receive:

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit

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2nd Place Winner will receive:

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3rd Place Winner will receive:

iPad mini

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Annual Cookie Exchange

Every year for the past 9 years, my sisters, mom and I host a cookie exchange.  The first year it was small but fun.  We were hooked.  Here is how we put together our great party!

First the date!  We have settled on the first Friday in December.  It is early enough that people don't have too much going on but late enough to be "during the holidays."

Next, invitations.  The first few years we were really into getting together a great handmade invitation.  The first year even included its own handmade envelope.  Now we all have kids and can't get it together.  Luckily, I have photo shop so they are still not store bought!

The guest list.  It grows every year.  This year I ordered 75 invitations.  I still have about 18 at home but that a lot of people.  We actually had 30 people, 28 with cookies there this year.

We have all guest bring 12 dozen - yes, one dozen dozen - cookies.  We first mingle, eat snacks, drink wine, and socialize.  Then my dad, FIL, BILs, and a close family friend stop in for the judging.  We offer prizes for the best looking, most creative, and best tasting cookie.  My sisters, mom, and I cannot win - even though I think we should be able to win.

Once the judging is over and the winners are announced, we start dividing up the cookies.  We all went home with at least 5 of each cookie this year.  It was a ton of fun! 

Here is a peek:
 Gathering cookies!

We had three full tables of cookies this year!

 J came with the testers and brought P so she could see everyone.  She was more interested in the stairs!

This is one of my favorite parts of the holiday!  What is yours?


I am going under the knife this week.  It's not that big of a deal but I am definitely ready.

If you are not up for knowing more about me than you ever wanted to know, please come back another day.  If you are a mom, like knowing TMI, or are curious now, read on.

After P was born, I endured a LONG lochia.  Like, at my 8 week appointment, it was still going.  Lochia is the nice for word for your period after not have one for 9 months.  After starting and stopping the mini pill to "help," (which it didn't) luck was on my side.  I was AF-less for about 6 months.  Yeah!

Then she returned.  And apparently, she did not like it either.  My periods were heavy and long (read 10ish days).  I talked to my OBGYN and they suggested regular BCP once I finished BF.  So I did and 6 months later at my annual, the only improvement was they were down to 7 days but still heavy.  I luckily wasn't anemic, didn't have fibroids, or any other issues.  My options were trying an IUD or ablation.  Ablation is only an option if you are finished with kids.  We are.

Not that I haven't already over shared but I will save you the details of ablation.  You can read more here.  I opted for this because we are done and I don't want to have to revisit this issue in 5 years.

My ablation is this Thursday.  It is under general anesthesia, but is quick.  I am ready.  I may be sore for a few days but FX it will be worth it.  If you can think of me on Thursday, I would appreciate it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

So last week was a total bust in terms of getting blogging done for me.  So sorry.  I will be posting what I intended to post last week this week and then getting ready for break.  The week got away from me and then Friday.

That was a hard day.  I am glad that I didn't really read anything until my school day was over.  I am a teacher so this kind of thing hits home.  I hope I am ready if challenged by some "bad guy."  I hope I never have to find out.

Bless the families who were effected by Friday - in Connecticut and everywhere.  I will be quiet tomorrow in respect.  Pray for our schools.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly wrap-up

Holidays are in full swing here!  Good news is the I survived my super busy week!  Bad news is we are still busy through about March!  Oh well...

Here's the plan for this week:
- more about this year's cookie party
- TAT for sure (sorry for being late last week)
- a little info about me

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Every year for the past 9 years, my sisters and I have hosted a cookie exchange.  We invite our friends and family to bring 12 dozen (yes there are that many people) and share.  Everyone leaves with about 12 dozen different cookies.  I'll be writing a little next week about how this year's party went.

It is really fun to hang out and chat. It is really yummy to have all kinds of cookies. We also have a competition for the best tasting, best looking, and most creative cookies. We give small prizes to the winners.

This year Pinterest inspired my "cookie."  It is sea salt Nutella fudge.
I gathered my ingredients.

I doubled the ingredients because I used a 9 by 13 instead of an 8 by 8.

In the double boiler, the mixture smoothed very quickly.

Into the pans.  This was almost too easy!

Then into the fridge.

I'm very excited to see how it turns out but that's for another post about the party!

MRO giveaway!

MRO is sponsoring a giveaway for $100 on Amazon.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

TAT: What you don't know..." target="_blank">

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These aren't the deepest, darkest secrets I have (we'll save those for another day :)), but these are a few good ones that you probably don't know from reading my blog.

1. I sneak Starbucks whenever I can.
I'm not a coffee snob but any accounts but lattes are my weakness.  I love the smell, taste, and warm feeling they give me.  I tend to buy them at the grocery store so J can't tell.  We are locking down on the budget so this won't be happening as often anymore.  I'm sad but whatever!

2. I hate working out.
I wish I didn't.  It is just a necessary evil to me.  I can't change it.

3. I am not creative.
I make cards, wreaths, sew, and some other random crafts.  I am crafty but I have never once come up with a neat original idea on my own.  I either blatantly steal or closely follow an idea from someone else.  Just check out my crafty posts on this blog.  No original ideas!

4. I love to work.
It's a sickness really, but I just don't like not working.  I love P and have a ton of fun with her.  I appreciate the summer time that I do have (even though I still teach then too).  And I live for breaks and snow days, but I don't think that I could stay at home all the time.  To each their own - this is not a judgement on anyone.  It's just me!

5. I am adding this because I need a nicely numbered list.
No surprise that I need order and symmetry.  I am a type A, math teacher.  This is not a secret but I couldn't just have a list of 4!

Link up with Melissa to see what her dirty little secrets are!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review: Xlear SparX

I am so excited to share with you my first review as a Moms Meet Ambassador!  I have been lucky enough to be choosen to be an Ambassador and have shared some great products with my group, but now I get to share my experience with you!
Moms Meet
I received two containers of SparkX candy in the mail.  I have never tried Xlear products before.  I admit, the idea of good for you candy was a little odd to me, but I have to say.. I have tried both the citrus and fruit and am IN LOVE.  These are candy that are actually good for you and yummy!  I keep one in my car and the other in my purse when I have a sweet craving.  They are little enough to have a few and not be bad, but enough flavor to tide me over.

They are made with 100% xylitol so they are good for your teeth.  It is a plant based, dentist recommended sweetener that has been proven to improve dental health.  It also doesn't interfere with blood sugar or insulin levels.

Along with the citrus and fruit, there is also berry flavor.  They retail for $1.49 a tube.
You can find them online at: or on Facebook at  Check them out!

Disclaimer:  I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekly wrap up

This. Week. Is. Going. To. Be. Crazy!!!  I have 3 nights with basketball games, one night for my cookie party, a doctor's appointment, and dinner for my BIL's bday. So in the next 7 days, I will have one night at home. Some work, most fun but BUSY!

Don't worry, I have been working ahead. Here is the plan or the week:
- TAT of course
- a review for you!
- cookies of course!

See you soon, I have some grading to do!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My latest creation

I decided that I would make a wreath for my grandma for Christmas this year. I saw this at my local Target and was inspired.

So I went out and bought my supplies.

Then I started wrapping the ring.

And I kept wrapping...

Then I added a bow. Ta da!

I really like it!  I hope you do too.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Black Friday

Black Friday is a tradition in my family. We are not the push and fight for what we want. It's more how much can we get done in the crazy hours that we can shop. It's fun, bizarre, and tiring but I have always been very successful in getting most of my shopping done that day.

This year was proving to be a challenge. I was very nervous about being up late or very early (needless to say very little sleep) and having P all day Friday on my own. I was also irritated that the stores were opening so early on Thursday.

First - to anyone who works retail. I'm sorry that this thing that is Black Friday has encroached so heavily on your holiday. If I am allowed to shop at 9:00, then you have to be there plenty before that. I wish we could go back to the early Friday sales but that's for another post.

My mom and sister decided to conquer Walmart first. They were headed out at 7:00 for the 8:00 opening. There wasn't anything I really wanted there (and we hosted thanksgiving for J's family) so I decided to meet up with them at Target by 9:00.

I was out the door shortly after 8 and got in line, wrapped around the side of the store and waited. Target did a great job organizing the line, having info on where everything would be, and people to answer questions a head of opening.

Sadly I didn't really need anything so I was on the hunt for my family. They were able to get everything they really wanted - no shoving involved. I left without buying anything. Mom and sisters were off to the mall and I went home to bed. A little sad.

In the morning P and I ventured out to meet up with my mom and sister. I got almost all my shopping done (save gift cards) done. Yeah!  Other than shopping during normal hours - another total success!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

TAT: what do I do?

Beyond working, taking care of P, being a wife, and doing regular house stuff (gratefully shred with my DH), I have lots of interests. Here is what I love...

1. Making cards. 
It's been something that I got into post college. It's crafty but I don't have to come up with many ideas on my own. I was never good enough about pictures to scrap and I'd rather share my crafts than keep them. I like using stamps and my Cricut most. P has kept me away from this but I sneak some in every nice in a while. 

2. Knitting
This is relaxing for me. I have not done anything beyond blankets, scarves, and hats. But I like that it is mindless. And fun!

3. Making wreaths
I blame Pinterest for this. I do love having my door adorned and I always think that I can make what  I see for less. I have really enjoyed it. I'm even giving one to my grandma for Christmas this year!

4. Working
It's kind of a sickness. I don't like being off work. I teach but I have never truly taken a summer off. I have either taught summer school or been in grad school (while I worked in the afternoons). I also work several additional jobs during the school year too. I like to be involved and busy. I'd love to say in rakes in the dough but I haven't found that job yet. I am thinking about taking on a tutoring client or too as well. (Don't tell DH yet, it's just the beginning if basketball season!) 

That's my old lady habits in a nutshell. Link up with Melissa to talk about your hobbies at Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekly wrap up

What a great weekend!  I got a lot done and had a lot if fun!  Now the craziness that is basketball-Christmas-new trimester time really begins. I am going to try my bet to stick to my 3 posts a week goal. Fingers crossed that works!

Here's my plan for the week:
- TAT. I know I'll link up, I just need to look up the topic.
- I have my wreath to share.
- I will wrap up my holiday/shopping weekend.

I have some posts coming about cookies, surgery, and other randomness that is my life. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and got some shopping done. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I am so thankful for my life. I am healthy. I have a great supportive husband. We have a beautiful daughter. Both if our families are close and caring. We are both employed and love our jobs. We have a beautiful home and food on our table. I am blessed.

Thanksgiving is a day I think of those in need or missing their loved ones. Being married to an Air Force brat, I am especially heavy hearted for our military families that are broken up by deployments or worse. I appreciate our military more than I will ever be able to show.

I am hoping that as P gets older, along with a great dinner with family and super shopping for Black Friday, I want to give back. We will volunteer somehow. Maybe a soup kitchen or shelter. Maybe a nursing home. Something. I want her to be grateful for what we have, not what we don't.

Enjoy your day, however you spend it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TAT: birth order

Toddle Along Tuesday is back and all about birth order. I am the youngest if three. Like Melissa at Growing Up Geeky, there are only girls in my family. I am not typical of youngest kids but lets start here...

PBS Kids says this about youngest children:

Here are some personality traits that are common in youngest children:
Persistent: When it comes to a goal, many youngests just won't give up!
A Great Storyteller: Whether it's true or not, youngest kids can spin a mighty good yarn.
Affectionate: Youngest children often have plenty of hugs and kisses to give out.
Now, the downside. Although it's fun to be in the spotlight, many youngest children find that their parents don't give them a lot of attention or praise during important first-time events like tying a shoe or riding a bike.

I would say that I am persistent but I cannot lie to save my life. How will I keep Santa from P???  I am affectionate but I think that is my family, not birth order. 

I would say that my attention getting was from being too good. I tried hard in school. Never snuck out. Not to say my sisters were bad (they weren't) but they definitely tried more than I did. 

I am most curious how P will be as an only child. Any advice??

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly wrap up

First trimester at school (not pregnant - promise) is finished!  Whew!  I get a new and much bigger group of students tomorrow and basketball starts in 10 days. My time will be in short supply for a little while but I am going to try to post at least 3 times a week. I'll try ;)

This week my plan is:
- TAT. This will be interesting!
- a thankful post
- I have another wreath to share with you!

Sounds like a plan. I may try to squeeze in a Thanksgiving post but that may be next week. Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

20 months!?!?

I cannot believe my little girl is so close to 2!  Here goes the update!

Age: 20 months

Sizes: Still size 4 diapers.  I wonder if/when this will change. She s still teetering between 18 month and 24 month sized clothes. We are moving to more 24 month items as the cooler weather moves in but she still rocks 18 month pants better. 

Sleeping: Still good. She is having a little harder time napping at the sitters but its okay. She tends to make up for it on Saturdays with a longer nap. Works for us!

Eating: P has gotten a little more picky here but still doing well. I am trying to move to the point where she will eat dinner with us but she hasn't been into all of the main dishes I have made. I am struggling where and when to draw that line. 

Favorites:  She is still loving Minnie and baby. She also loves books, games on my iPad, and her bins of toys. She likes me to sing to her and walk outside. We got her some Colorwonder markers and veggie crayons and coloring has been fun too. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

I love this season!

I <3 and="and" but="but" come="come" cook="cook" eat="eat" exhaustion="exhaustion" family="family" fun="fun" gifts="gifts" give="give" have="have" holidays="holidays" i="i" is="is" it.="it." it="it" lights="lights" love="love" p="p" relax="relax" see="see" share="share" shop="shop" soooo="soooo" that="that" the="the" to="to" with="with" worth="worth">
I have three big favorites of the holidays. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas (eve and day - they count as one for me).

Thanksgiving is fun because Jeff and I started hosting for his family a few years back. I really love to cook and host so this is perfect. He has two sisters and they have kids but the crowd isn't too big. Everyone brings the sides, we do the turkey, stuffing, and dessert. Then we eat, watch football, and enjoy each other.


Meanwhile, I am also planning for the next best day. BLACK FRIDAY!!! I am cheap reasonable when I shop. I buy most things on sale or get a deal of some sort. Black Friday is nothing that we get freaky about. No pushing or shoving here. We do go out either VERY early (i.e. 2:30am) or start late, as Walmart has been pushing.
PS - Walmart - I do not like this AT ALL!!!

This has been a tradition for my sisters, mom, and I for YEARS. We love it. It will be rough this year with a 20 month old to take care of on Friday but I will pull through!  I am also learning to love Cyber Monday too.

Keep in mind that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is for small businesses.  Shop local as you can - support your small businesses.  I have gotten some of the best presents EVER there!

Finally, Christmas is the time that all my shopping is brought to justice. I love to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. I really enjoy giving gifts and seeing the look on the person's face when they see that I have been paying attention. I feel good!
I would love to do more for families in need and we do what we can, but I would love to do more. I plan to take P to soup kitchens and volunteer as much as possible when she is old enough.