Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...

  • Watching our AAA Reds play their first t-ball game of the year.  Jillian had a certain skipping prance to the bases that I have never seen before.  That girl has a way to make things her own.  I was just happy she was "running" the bases on her own.  Her first at bat...I had to run them with her.  Anything for my girl...but it was a bit embarrassing.  I'm much more comfortable getting the players ready in the dugout than prancing from base to base out on the field.  Myles was so  proud to have fielded three balls during the game.  It is so fun to see improvement year to year.
  • Retail therapy tonight after the kiddies went to bed.  Somehow a trip to Target can always make things better.
  • Sunshine.  I love warm days.  The hotter the better.  Tonight as soon as I got home from work the kids and I went outside.  We came in long enough to eat dinner and went right back cream cones in hand.
  • This weekend, Ben started construction on our new deck.  Every night there is huge progress and we are fast approaching relaxing evenings on the deck, dinner with friends outside, and comfortably watching the kids play.   Can't wait!
  • Myles is thriving in school and loves every minute of every day.  I can see his little mind working, processing, learning, and absorbing everything that he experiences.  It is awesome to me and I love to look at the world through his eyes...and hear adventures from a book from his reading words.
  • Peppermint tea.  I've been chugging it lately.  My voice still sounds like a man (I'm sick), but it still seems to help.
  • A magic eraser will remove spray paint from recently shellacked nails.  Proven this weekend by yours truly.
  • Last night I came home from work with a dinner plan in mind.  Burgers, hot dogs, corn, and fruit.  Nothing real special...but we had three last minute "guests" that made the meal very special.  It was an awesome, impromptu dinner with family.
  • Our pediatrician.  She is amazing.  I called with a crying little girl at 6:02 p.m. assuming they wouldn't even answer the phone.  We were three minutes away.  By 6:06 we were in an exam room.  Remarkable. 

I'm Better Off Without List...

  • Three ear infections in our house.  Jillian Kate, Wilson, and I.  Not exactly ideal.  Oh - and running with an ear infection?  Impossible.

Oh - don't forget to enter the giveaway for the free video!  It ends soon!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Year in Review...For Jillian Kate and {{Giveaway!!}}

Have you noticed that my kids somehow seem to get a birthday week, rather than just a birthday?  Why the heck not.  Not only are we celebrating four wonderful years with my favorite little girl of all time, but we are celebrating the fact that I lived through the delivery of this 9lb 15.5oz baby girl without an epidural.  Let's just call her 10 pounds.  She really was.  That half-ounce that she was shy?  Yeah, well,  she poo'd in utero, so I think we'll give it to her.

Today I spent such an amazing day with my new four-year-old.  After dropping her big brother off at school, we headed straight to Target to buy a toy.  We had some birthday money burning a hole in her pocket.  Some to spend and some to save.  Anyway, a trip to Target with new shoes and toys in our cart...heavenly.  Add in popcorn to the mix...divine.   After much internal debate, I decided to let her have her nails done.  Pink glitter sparkle and big smiles all around.  A stop at her favorite lunch spot...Fazoli's, and you have a perfect day.  The little birthday girl is napping off her excitement as I type.

My favorite conversation of the day with her occurred in the car...

"Mommy, I'm a little sad not to be three anymore.  I liked being three.  I still want you to rock me, even when I'm four.  Will you rock my when I five and six?"
"If you want me to, Jillian, I'll rock you when you are five and six."  I reassured her.  I was hoping not to have tears over growing another year older.  That is definitely not necessary until you are at least my age.
"Well, I bet my feet will be hanging off the rocking chair, but I want you to rock me even when I'm 100 years old."

All week I have been dropping hints that I was going to show this awesome video from Jillian's past year.  I love it.  She receives one each year on her birthday from her Aunt Brooke and it is always my most favorite gift.  Let's be honest, it is not just a gift for's a gift for me.  It always helps ease that panic feeling I get when I think about the fact that I need to add another year in her photo book and I am already behind.  "At least she has her video..."

Without further adieu...  (YaY!  I said adieu in a post - how fun!!)

Awesome, right?  I am so lucky to receive one for each of my kiddies every birthday.  Honestly, we watch the videos at various times throughout the year and as we approach one of their birthdays, we will sit down with popcorn and M&Ms and pour through all of the videos from birth to current.  Always brings tears to my eyes...happy tears.

I was so thrilled when I found out that Brooke had started her own Etsy shop, Memories on Movies, to help preserve memories for other families.  I was even more excited when she told me last night that she wanted to make a video for one of my lucky readers for free!!

The lucky winner will receive a video with...
~100 pictures
~2 video clips (optional with no maximum length)
~3 songs of your choice
~Basic editing and cropping
~Transitions between photos
~Opening Title and Ending Credits
~DVD Title Screen with music (many options available)
~1 DVD with custom printed label
~1 DVD case with custom printed DVD case
~The option to upgrade to add more photos, videos, etc. for a nominal fee.

To enter...use Rafflecopter below.  Be sure to maximize your entries and earn all of the points you can!!  Good luck!!

You can visit Brooke's shop by clicking on the Memories on Movies button in the side bar or by clicking here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
  • Watching my almost four year old celebrate her birthday at school today.  She was so excited...and so very proud.  It is dinosaur week, but she will dress up as a dinosaur on Thursday because today she wanted to wear her special princess birthday dress. It is great for twirling, you know.
  • This morning before I walked out the door Myles said, "Mom, you look like Indiana Jones!"  I looked down at my earth tone floral dress, 3/4 length tan belted jacket, and five inch patent camel peep toes shoes and thought...oh great.  He went on to explain that it was a good thing because Indiana Jones is so cool.  "But Myles, I'm not a boy!"  He replied, "Oh Mom!  I meant like a girl version of Indiana Jones!"
  • This weekend tee-ball games start.  We are quite excited to watch the AAA Reds take the field.  I think it will be so fun to see both Myles and Jillian playing together (with Daddy on the field as a coach as well).  A memory for sure.  I'm sure it will be the only year they play I'll need to record it in the memory books.
  • I actually thought about the rain today and chose not to do my hair.  Brilliant.  Rain on curly hair = no big deal.  Rain on straightened hair = big frizzy mess.
  • Tomorrow...vacation day.  I get to spend all day with my favorite little girl.  I can't wait.  We are going to do everything and anything she wants to do!
  • Jillian opened her presents tonight.  We always do it on their birthday morning, but Ben has an early morning meeting, so tonight was the best option.  After playing with her new things for a little while, she went to bed with her new prized possessions.  I had to remind her a few times to lay down and close her eyes.  "I know, Mom.  I really want to...but it is just so hard not to play with my new toys!"  Love her.  Who knew that a Doodle Bear could bring so much joy (well, Ben and I did...that's why we got it, actually :).
  • This weekend we are starting construction on a new deck!  It was fun helping to design it and I can't wait to see our new outdoor living space come to life!

I'm Better Off Without List...
  •  The icky cough that everyone seems to have right now.  My poor kiddos both have it.  Can't wait for warmer weather and more outside time!
  • I am registered for a race next weekend.  Typically this is not something that I would EVER put on this list.  The reason it is on this list tonight?  I have not run since before spring break.  Oops.

Oh - and be sure to stop back by tomorrow to see Jillian's amazing birthday video.  I can't wait to share it with you.  Even better?  There might just be a giveaway for a custom video of your own!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jillian Kate's Party Day!

Today was a special day for my baby girl.  Thing is...she is going to four this week.  Four.  I can't even believe it.  So, we had a small family party to celebrate her fourth year bringing joy to our lives.

If you are looking for a Pinterest-worthy party...find another post.  We just had a fun birthday party over the ones in the 80s, when I grew up.

She announced at Disney World earlier this month that she would like an Ariel party.  And so it was.  Here are a few moments captured.

For the first time ever, Ben wrote on my chalkboard.  He did Ariel much better justice that I ever could have.
There were Ariels everywhere.  She had...a her "princess bin" to choose from.  From the bathroom to the fish tank, Ariel was everywhere.  P.S.  The fish's name...Ariel.
The tulips...they had nothing to do with an Ariel party, but I loved you see them.
 Here's her cake.  No, I didn't pull off some amazing cake.  She still loved it.  In fact, she was geeked to be able to keep the toys off of it.  Winning.  I also made her favorite foods...including a huge crockpot full of homemade mac and cheese. 
 My kids always want to be in costume for their parties.  Today was no different.  Here is my Ariel...with brown hair (she kept reminding me).
 She was so proud of her tail.  She didn't want anyone to see her feet, unless she thought that you thought she didn't have feet...then she would show you.  "Don't worry, I still have feet."
 The obligatory cake pose.
 And the present pose.
 Myles was lucky enough to rake in a few as well.  
 Jillian and her new room decor, made special for her by her aunt.
 Just a wee bit excited.
 Who wouldn't be...a barbie head to do her hair and paint her nails?!?  Jillian heaven.
 This card from her Nana and Papa was a big hit for the party.  A dancing and singing Ariel on the front.
 Jillian assigned the card reading duty around the room.  Do you think she might have enjoyed the spotlight a little bit?
 Special chat with her Great Grandpa.  We were lucky enough to have three great grandparents here tonight.
 Time to blow out her candle. 
The party was great.  It was super simple, but it was exactly what I knew would bring smiles to my tiny girl's face.

Every year my sister-in-law makes an awesome video of the photos and videos that made Jillian's year her own.  I absolutely love it.  They always choke us up and we watch them quite often.  It's one of those wonderful reminders of just what an amazing life we are living with these two little awesome people.  Myles has six of them and Jillian now has four of her own.  I hope to share it with you later this week!

Oh - and I just have to very favorite part of my day today.  Jillian and I sitting in the rocking chair in her room, reading a book.  Rocking.  Then, I sang all of her songs as we rocked and rocked and talked about her day.  Her sweet little curls hanging down as I lifted her into her bed.  The whole thing.  Loved it.

Hope your weekend was fab.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
  • During dinner, Myles was remarking about how great peas and pizza taste together.  He decided to create his own pizza topping.  Absolutely love it.
  • Compromise with Jillian for tee-ball.  She will wear the "Not Fancy" tee-ball uniform (why is it that I almost said outfit?!?), but she can also wear the bright yellow flower with her braided hair.  Perfect balance of fancy and tee-ball.  A little difficult to get the batting helmet on over the flower...but it's all good.
  •  Sliced jalepeno stuffed olives + sliced colby cheese + Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits = Amazing goodness.  Seriously, I don't like any of the ingredients on their own, but stack them together and you get an amazing little appetizer.  Stack recipe credit to my Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Martin. 
  • Myles asked Ben to teach him how to write his name in cursive yesterday morning.  After school, every paper that came out of his folder for the day had his new curvy, loopy, fancy lettered Myles on it.
  • This weekend, Ben and Jillian were waiting in the car for me to return while I dropped Myles off at a birthday party.  She was getting tired and Ben suggested that she close her eyes and rest a while.  "I'm not tired at all, Dad."  I returned to the car and we made the quick trip over to the mall.  She fell asleep on the way.  When Ben unbuckled her carseat and she woke up, he mentioned that he was glad she could get a little nap in.  "I wasn't sleeping Dad.  I was just looking inside of my coat for something."
I'm Better Off Without List...
  • Continued public tragedy in our country.  I'm so sad to think about what kind of world are we raising our children in.
  • My neighbors still have their Christmas tree and lights up...and lit.  It doesn't necessarily bother me...I just don't understand it.  Can I assume it is a fake tree??

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Nights.

I'm not ready for Monday.  Not ready at all.  I would love a Monday (this Monday) to sleep in a little (till like...730).  We would drop Myles off at school and I would spend the day with Jillian, planning her birthday party.  We would greet Myles off the bus as he skips up the driveway, relaying the stories of his day.

No go on those pipe dreams.  Instead, I'll be in the office by seven...working.

It seems like my feelings on this whole full-time gig ebb and flow so drastically.  Some days, I feel like I could conquer the world. Happy kids, great day at work, dinner ready before Ben gets home...all of it.  Then, other days, I feel overwhelmed and left wondering how I am going to get everything done that I need to do in the next 24 hours.  Those are the days that Ben can sense the storm brewing and orders a pizza, while I load the kids' plates with fruits and veggies to try and make up for the fact that the pizza is on it's way...rather than dinner in the oven.

Celebrate the wins.  Enjoy the moment.  Celebrate the wins.  Yada. Yada. Yada.

Sunday nights are different now.  They have five jam-packed days ahead of them.  My weekends have shrunk in the wash - which I now do on the weekends (something I previously had rarely had to "waste" precious weekend time doing).

Tonight this post was intended to be a pep talk (to myself).  For whatever reason, I need it tonight.  I'm feeling quite lazy and haven't quite gotten around to the pep part of the talk, have I?

I guess I'll settle on watching This is 40 for the second time this weekend.  Monday will be here in a few hours, no matter what way I look at it.  Might as well roll with it.  How's that for a pep talk?!?

Bring it on Monday!  I can tackle you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Last Minute Date Night.

Who says you can't be spontaneous with two kids?  Not this girl.

Got home and gave the kids the option...dinner out or call their favorite sitter. 

Called the sitter.  

Completed mandatory date night ingredients...

Lace footies and heels.
Red lipstick. (Something to detract from not drying my hair today...again!)
Photo credit to Miss Jillian Kate.


Push my mom guilt feelings about getting home and leaving again into the background.  I'll just deal with that tomorrow.  (The kids were cheering for a sitter anyway, right?)

Ready to roll.  

My date will be here in 15 minutes to pick me up.

Hope your Friday was amazing.  Mine was pretty darn good...and about to get even better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Day in the Life...


I call it crazy Thursday.  Actually, I love Thursdays.  It's the day before Friday, why wouldn't you love it?!?  Anyway, I call it crazy Thursday because of the sheer craziness in logistics in getting everyone where they need to be on time.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

My day started with a tiny audience perched on the steps to our master bathroom tub watching me put on my makeup (for all of...three minutes?).  They want to be a part of my morning, so if they don't wake up on their own...I'll wake them up for that special time together.  I relished in their cuteness a little too long...and headed into the office...let's be honest...late.  No picture of this special time.  A few reasons for that...
1.  You definitely don't need to see me without makeup.
2.  Jillian's hair in the morning resembles Monica Geller in Barbados.
3.  My bathroom is not exactly in photo ready condition.

I spent the majority of my day right here.  See my kiddos on the beach?  It is the exact vantage point I had last week.  With that view on my screen...I can pretend I'm still there while I sort through a sea of...emails.

With a little break at lunch...I got my nails done.  I went from never having my nails wanting them done once in a while.  A full-timer reward?  I went with a bold decision to try and pull off a chevron pattern like I see all over Pinterest.  Yeah.  Well, the girl that does my nails said she couldn't do it with shellac.  Either that, or she was trying to keep me from looking like a dork?  Well, nails look like a toddler.  Jillian certainly loves the bubble gum pink with glitter sparkles.  I aim to please. No picture again.  It's bad enough I see them every time I look at my hands.

Then it is the mad dash...get gas, pick up Myles, pick up Jillian, run to dance, and wait for Jillian to finish.  Myles loves to play with his friends...and anything in my purse...while we wait.
 Home for dinner...leftovers.  Baths.  Fun.  And of course...tonight...trying on her recital costumes!  So very exciting!

 Hope your day was just perfect.  Tomorrow is if it wasn't...there is a pretty sure bet that tomorrow is going to rock.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...

  • Unlimited time with my family on vacation.  Best.
  • The kids were amazing on the drive.  You might not believe me, but they never asked if we were there yet.  In fact, they never even asked to stop for the bathroom!!
  • Myles conquered his fears going down this water slide.  Honestly, we didn't even think he would make it up the stairs.  He came down without any tears!

  • We managed to visit 13 family members while on vacation!  From North Carolina to Cocoa Beach, to was amazing.

  •  Putt putt golf...three times!  One of which we were lucky enough to buy 1/4 of a hot dog for $5 to feed to alligators!

  • Beach time.  Love it.  You can drive on Daytona Beach...with cars.  Kind of weird, but whatever.  Still an awesome day at the beach!
  • I hardly had to cook all week...and when I was breakfast.  Awesome.


  •  Disney.  I know I had a whole post about it last week...but I still had to have it on this list.  Here are some pictures from Hollywood Studios.

Myles made his own Droids (robots like R2D2).  He named one Myles and the other M6D13 (Myles was 6 at Disney in 2013 when he made it).
Myles and Jillian were the first mates on Ariel's Under the Sea Voyage.  They were announcing the show in this photo.
 Jedi school was rained out, but he still got to meet the real Darth Vader!

At the end of the night he made his own light saber (as if he doesn't have enough of them).

  •  All of the I'm Better Off Withouts could never stack up to my Love List.

I'm Better Of Without Lists...
  • My brilliant Pinterest shower caddies attached to the windows of the car to hold the kiddies' things during the drive.  Actually, these should be on my love list...but the crayons that melted down my entire car door - those should be on THIS list.
  • A sharp curve, sudden stop, and car seat that came unlatched...launching my tiny girl towards the front seat and projecting a cup of orange juice...all over the library books.
  • Rain at Disney...although it cleared the park right out and made for one of our best Disney days ever.  Jillian was in a good mood - but somehow I captured her mad look.  I love it.
  • A speeding ticket in Georgia.
  • Working with lots of photos in Blogger tonight...Grrrrr.

I promise to get back to normal non-vacation mode this week.  Hoping I can tough it out and dry my hair tomorrow for the first time in two weeks.  My curly-hair, no blow dryer vacation started well  before our trip and has lasted at least through today...

Oh - and I'm finally actually using Instagram.  Check me out in the button in the left sidebar above.  While you are at it, please Like Pencil Skirts and Noodle Necklaces on Facebook!