Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Thanksgiving 2011

The thing about my family knowing that cooking isn't my strong suit is that they come to my rescue (or theirs). After all, Thanksgiving can be a big undertaking for a non-cook. My sister and mother in law did most of the cooking. Let me rephrase, they DID the cooking. Actually, everyone in the family gave a helping hand.

Even though I cut up a couple of potatoes, my main jobs were to keep the sink clean, to make sure the football game stayed on, to keep the wine flowing, and to keep hoodlums off the turkey.

I think the perfect recipe for our laid-back Thanksgiving day was keeping everything simple. We didn't have a big crowd but everyone had a task, we didn't go crazy making tons of side dishes, and I kept the wine flowing.

Up next, Christmas! I'm so ahead of the game this year. Most of our decorations are already up!!

How are your coming along getting ready for the upcoming holidays?
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Smells Like Thanksgiving

Normally for Thanksgiving we head over to my sister-in-law's, Melissa, for a lavish spread. Melissa is an unbelievable cook and out does herself year after year. This year, however, she's passing the torch to me. Oh, the pressure!!

Since I was absent the day they were giving out cooking talents, I am thankful that my mother-in-law is standing by to guide me through the cooking mayhem.

I am looking forward to the smells that waft through the house from all of the delicious food.  I am looking forward to the smells that conjure up images of warm laughter and togetherness.

Here's to hoping that those smells won't be of burnt turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everybody!
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If You Give a Girl a New Floor...

When our terrazzo floors were shinned up (I'll do a post on that soon), it really made our walls and base boards look dirty and dingy. In came a visit from Aunt Jane and Uncle Dave. They are my husband's relatives who, lucky for me, love to paint.

They worked hard on painting the common areas like the living room, dining room, etc.

Now that the walls are freshly painted, I'm itching for new furniture. Well, new-to-me furniture anyway. Not for the entire house, just the living room. I'm scouring craigslist for a slip-covered sofa and chair. the slip-covered loveseat that I purchased through craigslist in February is now in our master bedroom. Because I am on a tight budget, it's taking some time to find what I am looking for. Here are some of the pieces that have caught my eye.
All images used are from craigslist ads

As always with craigslist, timing is everything. I want to find an amazing deal and that takes patience and time. Until then, I'll keep on searching. After all, the hunt is part of the fun! 
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Monday, November 21, 2011

A Non-Kids Weekend

Being a stay-at-home mommy is hard work. For some reason, a lot of people assume that the tittle of "stay-at-home mommy" means tons of time for yourself and lots of time to do nothing. There are images of long naps in between the bon-bon eating. If you're a stay-at-home mom you know exactly what I am talking about and you also know how untrue that portrayal is. The reality is that, even though it is rewarding in many ways, it is also a non-stop job with no days off and no monetary compensation.

When my neighbors asked me to come along with them on a road-trip to Gainesville, Florida, I was all over it! Would I miss the boys? Yes. Would they miss me? Sure. Would everybody get over it? Absolutely!

We went to see the Gators play. Even though football games are not my thing, I do enjoy the energy and the atmosphere. I also had a lot of fun being the official picture taker of the trip. All the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone using Instagram and the Rise filter.

University of Florida has a beautiful campus. We went to the Baughman Center for some pictures and it turned out we picked the perfect time of the day for it. 

I have to admit, even though part of me wanted to have a little get-a-way, I was a little reluctant to leave. (Thank you honey for encouraging me to go.) Even mommies need a little break once in a while. 
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Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Like an Episode of 'Hoarders'

If you were to come over to my house for a visit today there would be areas that look like this.
Empty rooms ready for the floors to be brought to life.

But other areas look like you just walked into an episode of Hoarders
It's been a trying week to live without furniture in the main living areas of our home. But since I am always teaching my boys to find the positive in all situations, the good side of this is indoor picnics almost every day!
Anything that involves eating on a blanket (in this case a towel) in my house is considered a picnic. 

Maybe I exaggerate a bit by using the word hoarder. The house doesn't normally look that way but I have decided that I have too much "stuff". When the furniture goes back, I am not putting all of the pieces back. The plan is to sell some on craigslist. I definitely like buying more than selling though. Hence all the "stuff". Wish me luck.

Happy Monday, everybody!
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Conversation Between Me & a Girl with a 'Tude

[Telephone rings]

Me: Hello?

Ms. Moxie: Why did you not answer after I called you back twice?

Me: Who is this?

Ms. Moxie: The girl you were just talking to! [Pause] Ms. Moxie!! [Exasperated]

Me: This is SKB #1's mother. Are you calling to speak with SKB #1?

Ms. Moxie: [Notices her mistake and answers shyly] Um, yes. May I speak to him please?

Me: No. Call back when you can be sweet to my boy. [Click]

Ok, that's not how I handled it. I know Ms. Moxie personally and she's a very sweet girl. Apparently real sweet unless you don't answer her calls anyway.  

But I was too shocked at my son even getting a call from a girl. Then the attitude oozing from the other side of the line was even more shocking. Good Lord, is this a sign of things to come. Are girls going to treat my boys this way? I am NOT ready for this. 

Have I mentioned that my sweet angel is only 9?!
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Aging Gracefully

In less than a month, I will be celebrating a monumental birthday of sorts. I will be turning 40! If you're in your forties already, you probably feel like it's no big deal. If you're in your twenties, then you might think I'm ancient. At least that's what I thought when I was in my twenties. 

I no longer considerer people in their 40s old. I think you're as old as you feel. A perfect example of this is Ms. Lovely. (That's my made up name for her because she's just that, lovely.) 
Ms. Lovely is 89, turning 90 in February. Doesn't she look fabulous?! She actually looks even more beautiful in real life because, as she puts it, "you're seeing the whole package"! She's mother of 3, grandmother of 4, and great-grandmother of 2.

When we were talking, I asked her why she thinks she's aged so beautifully. I hung on to every word she said like if she was about to tell me the meaning of life or something. Really, I think she just has that kind of appeal. She attributes it to attitude towards life, always dressing nice, staying active, taking vitamins, and keeping up with her health check-ups. 

When she says "staying active", she doesn't just mean working out. Up until about 10 years ago, volunteerism was a big part of Ms. Lovely's life. She worked for veterans hospitals, Red Cross, MS, Civic Music, and HADASSAH, just to name a few.

As I sat and listed to her, my thought was - "I want to be like her when I grow up." But after a bit, it was clear in my mind that I want to be more like her NOW!

I've started doing a lot more volunteer work at the boys' school and swim team. I went to doctors appointments to get check head to toe. I am trying to do better about exercising.... Ok, just a little about the exercise.... Fine, I've worked out maybe a handful of times. Hey, work with me here. Rome was not built in a day.

One thing Ms. Lovely said did stick with me and it's my constant motivator. "I feel very fortunate and I am very happy for my kids that they have a mother." Amen to that!!   
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

For me, guilt is a terrific motivator. Because our floors are not yet polished (that work is schedule to start next week), our house is still in disarray. This meant I couldn't take Halloween decorations out. Halloween also happens to be Sun Kissed Boy #1's favorite holiday. A combination of no witches nor pumpkins lurking about the house and a slacking mom, Halloween had been pretty uneventful in our house. Hence the guilt. I didn't decorate much but I did manage to pack what we normally spread out during the month of October in one weekend. One VERY busy weekend.

Day 1: Fall Festival

Contrary to the believes of my family and friends, I don't photograph EVERY single moment of my life. For the Fall Festival, I didn't feel like lugging around the camera so there are no pictures of that.

Day 2: Pumpkin Picking

We met up with friends at the pumpkin patch for the boys to pick a pumpkin to carve.
Our friends have a little boy and a little girl. This was her reaction to the fact that she was going to spend the afternoon with a bunch of rowdy boys. :)

Getting their faces painted was probably their favorite part of the outing.

Not that horse-playing on a giant adirondack chair wasn't up on the list.

During the horse and carriage hay ride, it was pretty apparent it was time to go.

Day 3: Pumpkin Carving and Trick-or-Treating

On Halloween Day, we carved the pumpkins. The boys drew the faces and daddy carved.

A "bad" picture with the wrong settings turned out to be very suiting for the day. The boys thought it looked ghostly.

Finally, it was time for costumes. We had Luigi, Rocky, and BABY Batman. 

If you would have called Sun Kissed Boy #3 Batman, he would have quickly corrected you and said/yelled, "NO! BABY Batman!" Hence the diaper. His choice, his idea!

The rest of the night followed by the usual candy-eating-overload. The boys ate some candy too.

Guilt, a mom's drive!
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