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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blogger Interrupted...

So I interrupted this unintentional blogging hiatus to tell you that, guess what? I'm leaving again!

In just an hour or so, we are flying out to Hawaii! Woo Hoo!

It's been a busy, crazy month leading up to this trip, but we are excited to be going! Luckily, sweet Aunt Mandy is staying with the kiddos all week, and so it'll be seven days of "grown up" activities.

But before we go, here are a few things to catch up. First... the picture is from today. Our sweet Gracie turned 7 earlier this month, and today we celebrated with friends by going to see the Princess and the Frog. It was good.... but there was some dark "voo doo" stuff in there that sort of freaked me out.

Next, The Biggest Loser ended - and I was SO HAPPY that Danny won. I just loved that guy. And following along with them, I managed to get to my "pre-trip" goal and hit 165 this week - FINALLY! So, now if I can just "stay" until after the holidays, I'll be thrilled.

And with that - we're off. I promise to get back to blogging this month. I wouldn't want my two loyal readers to be worried! HA!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

So it's been one of those weeks.... Halloween came and went with lots of fun and WAY too much candy!

After discussing what their costume would be since June, deciding, changing their mind, and then changing it back... and weeks of wanting to wear the costumes, but having to save them for Halloween.... finally, we set out Halloween night as a "glamour" Witch (complete with broom), Batgirl (who had fabulous accessories), and Spiderman (who loved his hat)!

We trick or treated with the usual gang who heads to the Greers on Halloween. And it was great fun. Gracie has the trick or treat thing down pat, was running with the big kids, and probably could have taken on another couple of streets. Tessa and Tanner kept up okay, but were both exhausted by the time we finished with the loop...

It has been one of those weeks of struggling trying to get it all in... and luckily I pilfered threw the Halloween pumpkins right away and made sure all the Reese cups were gone (and by gone, I mean I ate them). HA! And once those were out of the way, I could refocus on the fact that I seriously want to lose at least 15 pounds in six weeks before I go on vacation!!

I've kicked the workouts up a notch... and am eating by the book, but have been struggling with wanting to "snack" at night some. It's hard... I like a little "treat" while I watch my shows. HA! But this week, I am officially 4 pounds away from a new "milestone" which would be getting below the "170" mark. So... fingers crossed.

And so I'll end this and get a head start on my first "grateful" post for November by saying I'm incredibly GRATEFUL that October is OVER! October is always a crappy month for us (for some reason), and 2009 was no exception! So... here's to November bringing good things... and hopefully one of them being the loss of that 15 pounds. I know it's a stretch... I'd settle for 10. HA!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Lucky Ones!

Adding to my “funk” recently, I mentioned, was the rain… and the rain… and the rain! And what do you think it did all day today too - RAIN!

And in between the rain, there was lots of mud! That being the case, we had not had the chance to go to the pumpkin patch this year.

And of course, this past weekend was beautiful, perfect fall weather – and I had to work! BOO! However, fortunately for me, and my kiddos, Nana and Papa, along with Aunt Mandy (of course) came to our rescue and loaded them up for a trip to the pumpkin patch. I was so sad to miss all the fun, but it looks like they had a great time.

And new this year... after picking out your pumpkin you could ride a horse! It looks like no one was afraid to give it a try!

And then after the horse ride, there were apparently even more animals to see. I understand Tessa became quite fond of this particular donkey.

And of course, last but not least, there was lots of room to run around and stuff to jump on!

So they had a blast... clearly, Tanner played hard!

The next day Gracie was telling me about some of the stuff they did at the pumpkin patch, and that it was too bad I had to miss it... sniff, sniff. I told her yes, it was... but reminded her how great is it to have such a sweet Nana and Papa and Aunt Mandy to take you places when Mommy has to work. "I know," she said, "And Papa got a funnel cake too." HA!!

I make a big effort to focus my kids on, as Madame Blueberry would say, having a "a grateful heart." I said, "You know, Gracie, not all kids are lucky enough to have extra people around who love them and want to look after them, AND who want to go out and have fun with them too." She said, "Yeah, Momma, I guess we really are the lucky ones." No doubt about that.

So thanks to Nana, Papa, and Aunt Mandy for giving the kids a great time at the patch. Such a blessing you are to all of us! Our hearts are most definitely grateful!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So I had not intended to be away so long. I wish I could be one of those people who “blogged for a living”. That’d be a fun job… HA!

Here are my sweeties putting on a parade in the living room… that coffee table is so versatile. I’ve seen it go from being a stage, to a baby bed, to a school table, dinner table, shop counter, row boat, and here a parade float (notice the inflatable cats decorating the edge) all in one day… who knew??

But anyway… so that gigantic and resounding THUD you probably heard a week or so ago was the sound of my fat ass falling off the wagon… several factors were involved (aside from generalized laziness). I mean, I think it rained here for like a week and a half straight, which sucks the “get up and go” right out of me, and between that and a few personal pity parties I was throwing – let’s just say… I ate too much.

So, “weigh-in Wednesday” didn’t happen… I didn’t wanna know. I’ve been so frustrated with myself these days. I’ve wondered sometimes if I ever will really “conquer” my habits so that they are no longer my “habits”, and permanently reel in my “addiction”. I want to be one of those people who craves dry lettuce and more miles on the treadmill. HA! Sometimes it seems just as I begin to think I’ve got this down, my wagon easily topples. The *distractions* have gotten the best of me lately. But... I intend to drag myself back atop the wagon this week and try again… and I will.

Of course, this week the “season of candy” begins, and after one event we already have an insane amount floating about! I will have to muster up some serious will power to focus while there are Reese cups everywhere! They are Tessa’s favorite… along with the Skittles, of course. Gracie seems most interested in the tootsie suckers and starbursts this round. And Tanner… well, he likes it all!

I don’t remember how much Halloween candy I collected as a kid… but last year my three brought in enough to celebrate on into New Year’s with. And that’s not counting all the jaw breaks, sour balls, blow pops, and questionable “gummy” stuff I threw out! Yikes!

I have like three blog posts I've already written... and so I'll have to catch up this week... I just read a blog from one of the ladies doing the EMME, where she referred to how long it's been since her "last confession". HA! I'm hoping next week I'll have a good report... and not a sad confession!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Back!

Okay - so I am waayyy behind on all I've been needing to do - blogging is just one of them. And alas... here it is already - the LAST day of September. What??

So, I have not abandoned my EMME extravaganza. The hostess did get pregnant (and congrats to you, Amber), but I believe she is still hosting. However, I've been so busy keeping all the plates spinning this month, I haven't had a chance to actually check. But, I will...

In the meantime, THE BIGGEST LOSER is back! And I love that show! Last season was my first season to watch it - and originally, I didn't love it. I thought they were mean (and sometimes I think they still are), but I have developed an appreciation for it. Taking the whole "game" aspect out of it, it's a very motivational show and the constestants accomplish some great things. Thus far, this season I'm pulling for Abby. And of course, Shay...

So, on the Biggest Loser schedule, since the show comes on Tuesday nights, and I will not have a chance to watch it ever until Wednesday night - I'm having my own "Weigh In Wednesday". I started two weeks ago at 179 (still), and this week was 176. Woo Hoo!! Maybe I'll accomplish something by the end of the year and the Biggest Loser finale.

Random Updates:
I have been doing the Jazzercise (although, not as much as I would like). And it's not easy. It has been a good eye-opening experience into how much I still need to accomplish - for sure!

We're doing well... I think we're finally in the swing of the "school schedule". Gracie and Tanner are doing great - loving it. And Tessa is much better. She still complains daily about her uniform, but I did come across some Strawberry Shortcake headbands at Target last week, which matched the shoes she picked out. And she loves them! Having some accessories she is pleased with has helped ease the pain of having to put on the dreaded uniform each morning... at least a little. HA!

And we have officially committed to a new church - and are actually attending it as well. HA!

We're praying the fall is off to many great beginnings.... we'll see. And hopefully next month I can be more organized and back to more blogging. Thanks, friends, for all your sweet comments!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Boy!

So, here is a long overdue moment to talk about Tanner!

Tanner will be officially 2 and a HALF later this month. And finally got to start back to his "school" last week. His school started later than the girls, and he was pretty bitter about it... and on top of that, the poor thing was sick the first day and had to miss.

I bought his backpack actually last year on clearance... so I've had it a while. Once I showed it to him... well, he has had it out and ready since late July. He requested it frequently, and would wear it around the house. Here he is ready to load up for school in one of his three favorite "ball shirts", and his new "race car" shoes that he has been patiently waiting to wear.

He loves his school... thank goodness. It's a sweet little preschool, and he is always referred to as a "joy to have in class". I really hope that theme continues... HA! With my job, he is in five days now. Sort of sad... he doesn't bat an eye when I leave. As soon as he's in the door..."Bye, Mamma." I even had to drag him crying from the open house. He wanted to stay and play!

Tanner had a big summer.... and wanted to spend all of it in the pool! "Pool Today?" I heard that every morning. He took right to swimming, and was jumping off the diving board before I could even try to stop him. He puts his face in the water and everything, and was just itching to ditch those floaties. His fearless attitude would either impress the other pool members or make them think I was crazy.

And he is also very into music these days. He loves to drum, and will make a drum out of anything that can bang, or be banged on... which as you can imagine, is a wide variety of things. We also learned what an IPOD is... and that Daddy is not a fan of Hannah Montana, but Tanner kind of liked her - especially the "Hoe Down" song.

In addition to him joining Tessa for the super hero kick this summer... he has really embraced the whole "car" thing. He loves his cars, lines them up on his bed, and likes to sleep with his trucks. He will also call specialty vehicles to your attention... with his favorite thing to point out being a fire truck. Between the fire trucks, school buses, and passing Chick-Fil-A... there is never a dull moment with Tanner in the car. He will also let you know if you should be stopping or going at the light... and he's sort of bossy about it! HA!

And of course, unlike either of his sisters at this age, he loves to have his picture taken... and any time he finds something he deems worthy of snap shot, he will let you know or just bring you the camera.

He felt very strongly that we get a shot of him in this Krispy Kreme hat. A friend had brought us these donuts that day... when we get donuts, we usually do Shipley. And so Tanner wasn't used to the donuts coming with a new hat. Big fun.

And with so much for him to do and be excited about... he does usually sleep pretty good. Although, he has taken a new liking to climbing into our bed around 4:00 AM, and literally shoving me over. "Max Ruby, Mamma," he'll say... requesting I flip the TV on to his favorite show (well, next to "Dora Boots" HA!)

He is, like the other two, growing up too fast... This last week we sold the last of our "baby" stuff at a consignment sale. We parted with several things that made it through almost seven years and three babies... hard to believe. I had a friend post on FB the other day, "Parenting: What else makes you so sad to watch go by, while being so rewarding."

And speaking of rewarding, our next major milestone project on the horizon where The Boy will be concerned is Potty Training - and I'm afraid... very afraid.

"When I grow up I want to be a little boy," Joseph Heller

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Moment To Remember...

Today was my day off. And it was lovely… I’ve had a bit of time to “regroup”, and will get one more day to do so next week as well. I have to work one weekend every five or six weeks, and am granted a day off before and after.

So, this morning after kissing everyone good-bye for the day, I ate my breakfast in peace and flipped on GMA to see what the world was up to via Charlie and Diane… and on this sad anniversary, as many others I’m sure, I could not help but reflect on where I was this day, eight years ago.

I had a very different life eight years ago. I was a secretary at a law firm – with no kids. I didn’t watch the news in the morning. Instead I watched Designing Women on Lifetime while I got dressed for work. I headed off - late, as usual - with my typical morning-drive company, Heather and DC. As I pulled on to I-630 and began to try to plug into what they were saying I realized, Heather was crying. This wasn’t funny – something was wrong. I listened all the way work… trying to figure out what had happened. They kept talking about New York, airplanes, Twin Towers… could this be an accident, or not…

When I arrived at work, my coworkers filled in the gaps… Everyone on my floor was gathered around a small T.V. in one of the attorney’s offices. We watched in silence, listening for some sort of explanation that wasn’t coming. We heard all air traffic had been grounded and a panicked mood took over. The managing partner closed the office for the day – sent everyone home. So within an hour of leaving home, I was back… glued to the TV, watching in disbelief…

Of course, we were never the same… and along with the fear and outrage that came post 9/11 – I also remember that sweet spirit of “humanity” our country seemed to suddenly have for one another. Compassion, kindness, understanding – all in abundance. We saw the world differently now … and had hearts more likely to serve and love than to judge and hate. We looked out for one another… we cared!

Of course, I'm not saying that spirit is not there now... but today, as we partake in political drama that gets downright hateful, navigate heated debates and difficult decisions about healthcare and the economy, and any of the other umpteen hundred items we could disagree on…. here is to hoping that this date serves not only as a reminder of our sorrows and suffering, but of our ability to recover and to move forward.

“Let us remember how we came together as one nation, as one people, as Americans, united not only in our grief, but in our resolve to stand with one another, to stand up for the country we all love". President Obama, from the Pentagon 09/11/2009.

And on a random side note, but along the lines of that serving spirit – you must watch this Oprah Video where she spotlights Dr. Dan and Suzie Bell, from Eureka Springs, AR. Heroes in Hard Times. This couple has started a free medical clinical in their town… Dr. Oz pays them a visit. It’s great.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back In The Swing...

Well, I didn't mean to be away so long... but it's been crazy. There has been a lot to get in order the last couple of weeks, plus the "keeping up" that has gone on all summer finally caught up with me... but I'm pleased to announce - TODAY WAS THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! We made it!

I feel overall we did okay this summer. I managed to keep my head above water with the job (and didn't miss my quota once) and the kids still got in plenty of swim and play time, etc (which was a group effort a lot of the time - THANK YOU, Aunt Mandy).

Of course, some days were better than others, and at times (probably too many) we did, indeed, take in way too much Disney Channel, Red Box movies, and pizza for dinner... but oh well. Some days we needed it! HA!

Gracie is in 1st grade today. Sniff... Sniff... She was bright eyed this AM, ready to hit the door in her new hot pink patton leather shoes, and the outfit she has had picked out for two weeks.

The first of August, we ordered new backpacks and lunch boxes... while Tessa wanted Ariel (all about the mermaids), Gracie said, "princesses are more for kindergartners," and she opted for a "Wizards of Waverly Place" backpack/lunch box. (Again, too much Disney Channel, and this is now her favorite show...).

And while Gracie was anxious to head out this morning... Tessa woke up twice last night, and did not take too kindly to her 6:30 AM wake up call this morning. Luckily, we managed a few smiles for pictures this morning...

Tessa is in Pre-K this year - full time. She's at this sweet little school where Gracie went too. We love it. However, they require the kids to a wear a uniform. You know navy/khaki skirt or pants, blue, yellow, or red shirt. This really cramps Tessa's style - she prefers a little more "flair" to her wardrobe.

So after lengthy negotiations, she agreed she would wear a blue skirt and yellow (which is her favorite color) shirt. I bought five... and if she wears only blue and yellow the rest of the year, I don't care! HA!

And while we discussed the uniform at length, and I even got it back out and showed it to her before bed, Tessa started crying as soon as we put it on her. And she cried all the way to school.... all the way down the hall.... and had to be carried into the classroom. She finally stopped when she was presented with a fabulous new name badge to wear. Bless her!

But they had a good first day. Gracie said her teacher was "the coolest", and she seemed nice (which thankfully, she did). And Tessa said "playing outside was fun," and she would go back tomorrow... So, first day - done! Success!

Gracie and Tessa started school today. However, Tanner's preschool doesn't start until after Labor Day... although, as you can see - he is ready!!

And the next two weeks will probably be the REAL challenge. That little boy of mine is SO BUSY! And bless his heart - he is really going to be missing Tessa, his superhero partner, and Gracie who always finds his trucks for him when he can't remember where he left them, and of course, who is also always on "diaper patrol" and is sure to let me know if anything smells amiss... HA!

And randomly in other news... on the EM:ME front -I haven't lost a freakin pound! NOTHING! It's my fault, of course. I've been to the gym, but the consistently eating "better/less" has had its hits and misses. Hopefully, the start of school will bring some much needed organization!! I have managed to not gain any weight... but I'm ready to move forward!

And on that note, deciding I needed a new challenge to motivate me - I signed up for... are you ready... wait for it... JAZZERCISE! HA! I was inspired by some Facebook interaction... and well, they were running a special, and the price was a great deal! So I decided to try, and of course, I talked Amanda into doing it too. HA! We've been to two classes this week... and it's fun. Although, I immediately remembered why Amanda was on the drill team... and I was in the choir! HA!

But anyway... Another summer.... gone too fast in some ways - and not fast enough in others! September will bring a whole new phase for me... and on this, the first day of school - as I heard it put today, it's "a bit sad... and a bit liberating." So true.... so true.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So Long Froggy....

Well... we had to say goodbye to Froggy today... and luckily, it was in the front yard instead of over a toilet.

This was him the other morning in his box... see the "stink eye". Do you think he wanted out? HA!

We decided it would be best to let him go because over the last few days I didn't think he was looking very well... I mean, as best as I can assess the overall health of a frog... but more importantly he wasn't eating his "frog bites", and that I deemed legitimately worrisome for the chance of waking up to a dead frog in a box in the near future. So... we "released" him back into the wild - our front yard.

Gracie was SOOO upset! She cried some real tears over Froggy's departure. So we had to break out the camera and document his leaving us appropriately. Tessa wanted Froggy to say bye to her blanket... and Tanner was giddy waiting for Trav to pop the top of that box so he could try to catch him.

In the end... we think he made a nice little frog nest by the tree in our front yard, and we encouraged Gracie that she might, in fact, see him hopping around again sometime soon.... bless.

And so we went inside with Gracie's sad little face, and my continued resolve that we WILL NOT have pets. :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Caped Crusader...

I would say on the "nature vs. nuture" argument I would have probably always said, "it's clearly both" but yes, of course, boys, by nature, are different from girls. And now, well... I know that for a fact, it's true.

Not too long ago, Tessa checked out a Super Friends DVD (the old school Justice League) from the library. Since then, the Super Friends have been a big hit around here. Tessa loves them... and Tanner has become a fan as well.

In fact, here is my little caped crusader... that is Tanner's "blanket" made special for him by Ms. Bridget, the dearest of friends, who also happens to know all about little boys.

He's been sleeping with it since he was probably 6 months old, and now it doubles as his all important Superman cape. He spends at least half the day with it tied around his neck... running about the house, jumping off anything he has manged to climb on without me noticing while hollering "Superman... To The Resue," and then he charges off... of course, saving the day.

I know you may think I'm bias, but I promise it's THE CUTEST thing EVERY time he does it - and it always makes me laugh.

I have been heavily reminded this week of the importance of finding the "joy," on the grand and small scales... taking some when you can get it... and being grateful for it.

I pray I am always able to notice that which God gives us, clearly for no other reason than to bring us "joy".

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Feeling Froggy...

So, let me introduce you to the newest member of our family... Froggy.

Now, if you know me, then you know my very strict NO PETS policy. So how did they slip this one by me?? Well... last weekend we attended Trav's family reunion in Mississippi. The facility was near a wooded area, where there was supposedly a nearby "creek". As the kids ran about, it wasn't long before one of the little girl cousins (who was Gracie's age), who was fearless when it came to bugs or critters (of any sort, from what I heard), had captured herself a small frog.

As she proudly showed it off.. Gracie decided she would like one too. Of course, she is my child, and had NO intention of touching the frog... so she asked her cousin if she would mind catching one for her, who was only too happy to find and fetch another slimy little hopper!

Once caught, the frog was housed in a water bottle that Gracie had carefully prepared for him. When I wasn't looking, Trav punched some air holes in the top of it and told Gracie she could bring it home. I was annoyed... but I figured the life expectancy of some poor frog trapped in a bottle would surely not surpass the two hour car ride home. But I was wrong...

By the time we pulled in the drive way... he had been officially named "Froggy," I know... quite original. And he was still hopping away in that bottle by the next morning.

While I'm patiently waiting on the frog to "croak," so to speak, so that I can give my carefully planned speech about how pets do die... and that is why sometimes it is best to just not have them.... Aunt Mandy pops in and thinks that is a horrible idea, and decides to take all three kids on a field trip to the pet store to find Froggy some more suitable accommodations.

So... I'll be damn, if one hour and $12.50 later... they didn't arrive home with a proper box for our new pet... and some frog food as well. Frog food? Who knew?

So now I have to live with this creepy little frog hopping around his box, giving me the stink eye all day (especially after I accidentally left his box in Tanner's reach, who gave it a good shaking). I tell the kids we have to keep Froggy up and away so Tanner can't get it (which is true), but also because I can just feel those bug eyes staring at me... begging to get out.

When he hopes around his box in a frenzy... Trav tells the kids he's just "happy." I'm like, yeah, that's what he is... happy. But of course, the kids love him... in fact, he is now officially included in Tanner's "nite nite tour" as we call it, where everyone in the house has to get an official "nite nite" hug and kiss (although Froggy gets his kisses blown to him). So, I suppose as pets go, it could be worse. Thank goodness Gracie's little cousin didn't bring her a snake!

I have a friend whose girls got a goldfish as a "take home treat" from a birthday party a while back (which I bet that mom was not very popular afterwards). We were hanging out one night and the fish died... and her girls were so devastated she had to leave and rush home to comfort them.

So... keeping that in mind with no idea how long a well fed frog in a box might actually live, I am trying to lay the ground work now that at some point... it may be time to let Froggy go. You know, giving the spill about how he might not like to be cooped up in the box forever... yada, yada, yada... let's free him. I'm thinking now that we're all attached to Froggy, when he does eventually croak, it'll be bad... very bad. So, at this point, I'm hoping we can have a "going away party" for him versus a funeral.

So, we'll see what happens. But in the meantime... this whole thing just solidifies my NOT PETS rule even more. As much as they LOVE the frog... who do you think has to remember to shake the frog food in box everyday??

Friday, July 17, 2009


So it's been another week.... and I finally decided to face the scale... and of course, it hadn't moved. It hadn't moved in either direction, which considering how disorganized I was this week, I suppose that was a gift.

So... here we go again. Amber's question this week:

What is inspiring you?

Oh... so many things.

Let's see... On TV these days, the show Ruby is quite inspiring... I love that show. I love her! She seems so genuine, and just the fact that she is willing to do so much, in front of so many... God bless her. I'm rooting for her!

And of course, nothing puts a kick in your workouts like a shopping trip to Target where you found something you totally loved... but it looked terrible on you because it was "too small".

And of course, by my husband... he likes to "go and do", and you know, overweight people don't like to "go and do" so much. Plus, just overall, I want to have a marriage that remains happy and "healthy" and I know that part of keeping that intact relies heavily on how I feel about myself.

But most of all... my biggest inspiration to not only lose weight, but be HEALTHY, and just in general "better" is, of course, my kids. They deserve to have the mom who can "go and do". HA!

Nobody wants to have OR to be the "fat mom" who can't climb up and/or fit in the slide at the Jump Zone, or ride the rides at the amusement parks, or fit in the seats at the movies and/or shows... or any of the other, shall we say, more "athletic" things it might be necessary for me to do in the process of keeping up with my kids. HA!

Plus... looking ahead, I hope to set a good example for them and encourage them in what it means to be "healthy" versus just "thin", and hopefully they'll pay attention and in the long run avoid my mistakes. I want them to grow up active and busy... versus addicted to video games or television shows. And that can't happen if I can't do it with them.

But speaking of inspired... I hope this week is more so than the last. I think this past week the overall pace of the last several weeks has finally caught up to me, and I am TIRED! So hopefully the weekend will bring some rest and organization! I'll keep you posted. :-)