Saturday, December 29, 2012

There Is Never Enough Time When You Are Home

We spend Christmas Eve driving around in a
Motorhome looking at Christmas Lights. If you
haven't tried it, you should. It was a great
It was just a week ago that I finally crossed the state line and headed into Wisconsin. It was a day that I had been waiting for since we found out when the kids went on Christmas Vacation. I was going home.

We have now been here for a week. The kids have terrorized my parent's house, we drove around in a motorhome looking at Christmas lights, we have played in the snow, we have visited with a few people, and we played countless board games. Yet, I keep having this dreadful thought... in just about a week, I will be back in the car heading back to California.

Vacation always seems to go fast, regardless of what you are doing or where you are going. However, this one seems to be going insanely fast and the only thing I know is I want time to slow down. I don't want to head back to California. I want to stay here.

Why is it that coming home is enough to make a person even more homesick than they were before they even came back home?

Yet sadly, I know the end of this vacation will come to an end and we will be in the car soon. So, if you are wondering why it has been quiet around here, it is because I am taking a breather and spending quality time with my family. We have a short amount of time to shove as many memories as we can in... and I am going to make the most of it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Me to You

Christmas is finally here! 
From the Mad Woman to everybody else around - Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Hope you holidays are full of family, friends and fun. Remember to create some crazy memories that will last a lifetime!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Music Monday: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

I love Christmas music! All the way from the classics to the ones that come out new each year. However, one of my favorite ones is I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.

Now one of the reasons this one came to mind is because of my adventures finding the crazy sarcastic Christmas shirts. While I spent hours searching for perfect ones for the kids, I easily picked one out for myself and my husband.

My husband got the one that made him look like Santa... without the big belly... and I got one that said, "I Kissed Santa!"

Ok - so maybe it is weird but I like coordinating our outfits. These shirts were the perfect match.

They were also the perfect match for the song featured for Music Monday: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.

Hope everybody is enjoying there Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Flashback Friday: Making a Packing List

We are headed out for the holidays. Getting ready to go on a long car trip takes lots of prepping and prepare. The reality is, it is a headache.

Since we have always had to travel, whether it is flying or driving, I have come up with a system that seems to work well for us. Naturally, there is still the waiting until the very last minute, but it has gotten a little more smooth over the years.

It doesn't matter if we are gone for a week or if we are gone for a day. You can bet that I am making a packing list. So, since we are actively using this list right now, I thought it would be perfect feature for Flashback Friday...

Making a Packing List.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Text Message Confusion

It is Thursday. My husband is at work. The two older kids are at school. And that leaves me at home with the little boy packing up everything that didn't get done last night so we can leave for our trip back to Wisconsin as soon as my husband gets off of work.

We are driving. It will take us roughly 40 hours. Many people call us insane. This time around though we are well prepared. I baked some mini muffins and bagged them. Got some gold fish and bagged them. Threw in a few granola bars and some fruit snacks, a small container of peanut butter and some jam.

That's when I realized we had a problem. I am not about to lose my silverware on the road. I need a plastic knife to spread the peanut butter. Knowing that my husband has mentioned before that he has used the plastic silverware at his work, I wondered if they would have some knives available for us to borrow. (Ok - I am not giving them back. But are they really going to miss a couple?)

So naturally, because he is working, I text him to ask. This is the result of that one very simple question.

Me: Does your work have plastic silverware?

Husband: Yes. Want me to grab some?

(Impressed - conversation is going well so far...)

Me: We just need knives... Thought we had some but apparently I don't buy variety packs anymore... will make peanut butter spreading difficult without a knife.

(Is it the dot dot dot that starts the confusion?)

Husband: Hahaha, I'll grab some on the way out.

Me: Cool grab a few so we don't have to clean them off and reuse

Husband: Eating

Me: Huh

Husband: And reading

(Did I ask you what you were doing?)

Me: Huh... What you said makes no sense in reference to our conversation...

Husband: Only part of it went through. It was supposed to say knifes for eating pb&j and reading. Yep, eating and reading.

(Am I the only one confused?)

Me: Huh... Don't get reading part

Husband: Our Kindles

Me: What does that have to do with knives...

Husband: Making the PB & Js

(Like the capitalization makes it MAKE sense!)

Me: No shit what does pb&j have to do with kindles?

Husband: Hahaha, making the sandwiches with the knife, eating them while we are driving and reading our kindles while doing it.

(He will SO not be driving and reading his Kindle at the same time!)

Me: Your dumb!

Husband: I know.

Note: This was indeed an actual text message conversation between my husband and I. No punctuation or spelling has been changed for the most dramatic effect. 

Driving toward the Apocalypse

Tomorrow is the end of the world. 

At least that is what we have all been told. But when is it supposed to start? They predict December 21st 2012. But does that mean at midnight on the 21st or just some time in the middle of the 21st.

The reason I wonder this is because I want to be prepared. Thanks to the Time Zones, it is possible to change times throughout the day. Thanks to International Date Line, the imaginary line that separates two calendar days, it is actually possible to jump from December 21st (if you are on Tonga) and then travel back in time to American Samoa on Dec. 20th.

According to World Atlas, Tonga and American Samoa have the same time but are one day apart, since American Samoa is in the Western Hemisphere, on the opposite side of the International Dateline.

So if the world ends at midnight, Tonga will be one of the first places to know. And if you can make the trek to America Samoan it is possible to head back to were the Apocalypse hasn't even started yet. And vice versa. So once the Apocalypse starts in American Samoa, head back to Tonga. That way you can say you indeed survived December 21st. (I hesitate to say you survived the apocalypse since there is no guarantee how long the apocalypse will last!)

Such a mind boggling thought to wrap your mind around?

As for me, my apocalypse will probably be far from as exciting as traveling through time jumping the International Date Line. However, as my husband did point out, we will be driving toward the Apocalypse. You see we are headed home for the holidays, but to get there, we will have to go from the Pacific Time Zone, through the Mountain Time Zone, until we end up in the Central Time Zone. That means we are losing time and indeed driving straight for Dec. 21st.

Hope everybody else has a happy and safe End of the World!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog of the Year 2012 - Perfect Way To End The Year

In the blogging world we get awards. But it isn't like these awards are just handed out randomly. The are recognition for doing something good. They are because someone out there thought you were memorable.

Well obviously I did something right. This year I got nominated for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award twice.

The first nomination was from Kelly at The Real Housewife. Kelly is my bud. We have known each other for almost a couple of years already, which is funny because it seems like we have known each other our entire life. While we originally met online, she is the first writer I have met in the real world. And I am also excited because I will be seeing her and her family again in a short couple of weeks. Thank you Kelly so much - you can throw awards at me anytime!

The second nomination was from Melanie over at Scribbles and Smiles. This girl is pure awesomeness! She is so dedicated with everything she does and she has a heart that is filled with kindness. She is a go-getter and she is filled with determination. She was one of my biggest pushes during NaNoWriMo because we both set a very similar goal. I can say that I am so excited that we both made it and I look forward to the day we both publish our manuscripts.

So here's the deal...

When you receive this award this is what you need to do.
1. Humbly accept it - throw a party - and then revel in your awesomeness! (Yes - it is ok to be proud of yourself!)
2. Tell those people who gave you the award how much you appreciate them thinking of you by thanking them. Thank you both Kelly and Melanie! You two both totally made my day!
3. Tell the world 7 of your deepest darkest secrets. (Come on people - we want the juicy details here!)
4. Pass the award on to another deserving blogger!

Well, since I have already received a few other awards (and people are probably sick of hearing about my little secrets) (and I have run out of secrets), I am going to take a different approach. I am going to tell you the 7 things that I can't live without. This is a little different and something I thought would be a little fun. Now you will notice I will not be mentioning family, friends or blogging buddies. These are a given. These people I can't live without.

  1. My laptop. It is my connection to the world and seriously, I would be lost without it. In fact, there was times when I have contemplated whether or not I should bring it with me when I go visit people for a short visit. You just never know when the urge to write might take over you.
  2. Internet Connection. It is an odd thing to think about not being able to live without Internet. When I was younger, we barely had a computer, much less an internet connection. And it was dial-up. Now-a-days, if it takes longer than a couple seconds to load a page, I am about to call customer service. And if there is a disconnection in my services (even if it is natural disaster related), I can barely get through the rest of the day. It is sick and sad - isn't it?
  3. My combat boots. Ok - so they really aren't combat boots anymore, I am out of the military. But, my go to shoe for just about every occasion is my black boots. Believe me when I tell you the world does stop if these boots suddenly meet their maker and need to be thrown out. I will go out that day and buy a new pair.
  4. As Seen On TV crap. It is a sad reality when I can justify the need for every "As Seen on TV" product out there. I need them all and I have about half of them. I am just fortunate that I don't live next to the physical store that sells these products otherwise I would probably go broke. But honestly, more often than not, I use these products and will tell you that I can't live without them.
  5. My snuggie blanket. I know what you are all thinking... Isn't she an adult? Damn straight, but if you ask my husband, my snuggie goes every place I do. I absolutely love it. In fact, I have used it so much it is almost time to retire it and get a new one. Who knows... maybe my next one will be the Wonder Woman variety. It really does not matter the temperature, I am always cuddled up with my blankie. I know - I am so mature!
  6. My sweater. This sucker goes with me wherever I go. It could be 100 degrees or it could be negative 20. I am bringing my sweater with me. My husband says it is my crutch. Whatever - but at least I know I am prepared if I get cold! It was a sad day when my first sweater... a long black one... had to be retired to the trash. It was so worn, I could no longer be seen in public for fear of having someone taking a picture of me and posting it on "People of Walmart" dot com.
  7. My workout DVDs. Yes... everybody knows that I am an exercisaholic. I probably should go to support groups or something.  But truth be told, I have a harder time passing by a workout DVD when I go the store than any other item I find in there. My biggest obsession is the Beachbody workouts like P90X, TurboFire and 10 Minute Trainer. However, I won't pass up Taebo or Jillian Michael's 30 Day shred. My husband thinks it's funny because I actually do collect workout gear. And no - I don't do it because I am trying to lose weight. I do it because I love the feeling I get after a good sweat!
Now for the hard part....

This is the part where I get to nominate others. Now, since I have already nominated some great people for The Versatile BloggerThe Beautiful Blogger Award, and The Sisterhood of Bloggers Award, I am going to say that these recipients are very well deserved for the Blog of the Year 2012 as well, but I am going to try and pass the love on to someone I haven't already given a Bloggy Award to...

So here are my choices for Blog of the Year 2012:

Amy from Adorable Chaos: Right now she is my main choice for this award because she has been so close in my thoughts after all the tragedy happening in her area. That being said, I don't want to dwell on that. I want to raise her up and give her something that will hopefully give her something to smile about. Amy is a wonderful mother and a wonderful writer. I look forward to reading her blog posts whether they are about projects she is doing with her children or just life in general. She is kind at heart and a great supporter and friend. Check her out, I am sure once you get there you will see why I choose her for the Blog of the Year 2012.

Cari from I Have a Full-Time Job... Meet My Husband: I absolutely love this blog. It kind of brings me back down memory lane when my husband and I were first newlyweds. Cari is a newlywed and most of her posts revolve around the life of a newlywed. Her writing is easy to read and will have you laughing and shaking your head. Don't forget to check her out and see why she deserves this award!

Stephanie from Mommy, for Real: She is another mom and I can totally relate to just about everything she puts into words. One of my favorites was when she wrote out, "When Will I Be a Real Grownup?" The funny thing about that was I was wondering the same thing a few weeks earlier. Her writing is refreshing and touches on a little of everything. She is a well deserving recipient of this award as well.

Katherine from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine: First off, I just have to say how much I enjoy the title of her blog, as any parent can probably relate to it. Katherine is another great member of the blogging community I belong to and I enjoy her writings as well. Her caption contests are fun to participate in and she makes you feel good about your overdue library books. She touches a little bit on every subject and has posted so many topics that I can relate to. Check her out - I am sure you will love what she has to offer.

Chris from I Work Off The Clock: He is my final nomination. I just recently got to know him when I caught his blog post on bringing "Playtime" back into the marriage. Not only do I enjoy his writing, but he also has some clear cut goals for his future in blogging. He too touches on a variety of different topics whether it is about money or clearing clutter or setting goals. I can already tell he is going to go far in the blogging world and I wish him the best of luck.

To all those that got the award, I can't wait to see how you nominate. But overall, this is just a fun way to spread some blogging love. It truly is what makes blogging so much fun and worthwhile. There is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes in blogging, and only those that do it truly can relate!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Star For Benjamin - Thanks for All Your Help

The donations have come to a close. It has amazed me how much people have come forward in the time of tragedy. Our group, Bloppy Bloggers, showed that when people put there mind to something, anything can happen. Together, we are powerful!

More than 100 people participated, more than 24 states spread along the route, 3 different countries and more than $3,000 dollars raised. There is also a star in the sky and a star on the tree so this little boy will always be remembered.

If you want to see the progress, check out the updates on Life According to Julie. 
Otherwise, thank you to all those who participated.

Music Monday: I'll be Home For Christmas

If you haven't already heard by now... I am leaving!

Yep, that is right. In just a few short days we are heading back home to Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.

Holidays have always been difficult since I have met my husband. They have become even more difficult since we have had kids. At the beginning, we always flew on the holiday so we could see both families for the holidays. The more kids we had, the more expensive and stressful it became to see both families. Now we have to choose sides.

It has been two years since I have been home for Christmas. If we wouldn't have been able to go home this year, that would have made three years missing from the Christmas festivities.

I miss them terribly. I miss the memories that everybody takes for granted because they get to see their family all the time. For us, we need to shove a year's worth of memories in one or two visits. It just isn't nearly enough.

So I couldn't think of a song that was better fitting for Musical Monday: I'll Be Home For Christmas by Kelly Clarkson.

Hope everybody gets a chance to spend some time with their families for the holiday season. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Star For Benjamin

It is only a couple days after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. The tragedy that took 20 young children's lives. A tragedy that has torn many families apart right before Christmas.

Yet, in light of a tragedy, it is amazing how the power of people shines through. Our group, Bloppy Bloggers, decided we would take action to raise money and buy a star for the family of Benjamin Wheeler. The parents of this child is friends with one of our very own members, Amy from Adorable Chaos. So even though some of us may not have known the family personally, we have decided to reach out and show the power of human kindness and the power of the written word.

So far our efforts have been nothing short of amazing. As of writing this, we have raised about $2,300 for the family to assist in the funeral costs. We have over a dozen bloggers who have been spreading the word since we have started. And most importantly, we have had more than 100 people that have opened their hearts and have given to the Wheeler family. These people have been scattered, not just through the United States, but in other parts of the world as well.

This is the power of people. 

While money will never substitute for the loss of a child, it definitely can take away some of the stresses. If you would like to donate to the cause, there is a Donation button located at the top of this blog. Feel free to add a note as well. The notes that are being sent along to the family are a true show of human kindness.

And then there is the star. A star purchased in the sky and one to go on the tree. The star that will forever be a reminder and a memory of a child that was taken to soon.

Our thoughts go out to all the families that have been affected by this tragedy.

Note: If you want to check out all the updates on what has been happening, please click here to be directed to an article on Life According to Julie. It has been updated regularly. The picture on top is also courtesy of Cyndi from Pictimilitude

Friday, December 14, 2012

Another Star in The Sky - Random Act of Kindness to the Victims of the Connecticut Shooting

On this day, December 14th, 2012, we have once again endured a tragedy. In a small town of Newtown, Connectictut, 20 children were brutally murdered while attending school.

No parent ever thinks of the day when they will drop their kid off to school and not see them return home at night. The magnitude of this tragedy is hard to comprehend. Yet, this tragedy hits closer to home for some of us.

I belong to a group of bloggers, called Bloppy Bloggers. One of our dear friends and fellow blogger, Amy from Adorable Chaos, knows a family who lost a child in this incident. As a group, we decided to pull together and see what we can do for this family. Together, we can be heard and we can help.

As a group, we are collecting donations for a family who is in need and dealing with a horrific loss 11 days before Christmas. (The family will be kept anonymous for publicity sake.) We will be purchasing a star and naming it after the child, so the family can look up in the sky and remember him. Any additional money will also be delivered to the family to relieve some of the burden of funeral costs.

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family and all the families that have been affected by this tragedy in Newtown, CT.

If you too would like to donate to our cause, feel free to use the Donate button on the top left hand corner of the blog. We thank you for help in this tragic time.

Flashback Friday: Shopping Addiction - What Makes Us Want To Waste Money?

I guess if you are going to shop, you might
as well make it fun!
I am not a big shopper. In fact, I down right hate it. Yet, this time of year means I have no choice, I need to get out and do some shopping.

Now, the fact that I despise shopping is kind of weird. I don't like shopping but I love gift giving.

I know! I know! It is almost the same thing... or at least it is in the same ballpark! Ok - maybe they aren't even close. You can go shopping without giving and you can give without shopping!

Needless to say, since we are heading out of town for the holidays, we are celebrating Christmas early. What does that mean, I have an earlier deadline than most do when it comes to holiday shopping.


So I got a couple days left before the first Christmas celebration. And the other gifts I can't even get until I get back home. After all, we don't want to have to carry them with us. (And if we buy the gifts there we pay less in taxes. That is what I call smart shopping!)

Well, I guess I better get my shopping done.

So for today's Flashback Friday post...

Shopping Addiction - What Makes Us Want To Waste Money?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012: The End of The World Is Near

We have all been hearing about how the world is going to end on Dec. 21, 2012. And why shouldn't we believe what the Mayans have predicted? Sure, there have been other predictions that have been debuffed, but this one is sure to be the truth. I mean seriously, did they just end the calendar in hopes of freaking us all out one day?

And the signs... look at all the signs. 

  • The weird weather patterns
  • people randomly turning into zombies (and they are blaming bath salts) 
  • natural disasters 
  • touchdowns being called because a player caught the opposing team member who was holding the ball in the endzone (Yes, I am talking about the Packer/Seahawk game!) 

How could we not assume this is true?

Ok - so maybe it will be the end of the world... maybe it won't? Or maybe it will just be the end of the world as we know it, meaning that we will live to play another day on Dec. 21, it just might be a little different than how business ran the days and weeks and months beforehand.

But, today as I looked at the calendar, I realized that in one week, it is the mark of the last completely normal day before the end of the world. And if the world ends on the 21st, we don't know when it is going to happen? Will it blow up at midnight on the dot... or will we have the entire day on Friday before we are slammed into the apocalypse?

It really got me thinking.

What are you going to be doing on what might be the last day of the world as we know it?

For me, I have watched the movie 2012 and I know what happens in California. I can promise you that I won't be in California. I will be on my way back home to Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.

Then I realized how everybody else has a much better opportunity. They can plan for an epic night with family and friends. I, on the other hand, will be driving (or sleeping in the passenger seat as my husband drives!) But maybe to add a little excitement, I will put the song, "The Air That I Breath!" on my Ipod and we can play it at midnight on the dot.

Or maybe we will do something special, like stop for ice cream! 

So what are your plans for your last night before the world ends?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Make That Call - And Why I Just Can't Seem To Do It

I am suffering from anxiety today. Why? Because I need to make a phone call that for some reason I keep putting off.

Seriously, I would rather clean the baseboards and wash down the walls. I would rather scrub toilets after my 3 year old has sprayed all over the place. I would even rather iron my husband's work clothes!

I have been putting this phone call on my "To Do" list for the last week. Each day, at the end of the day, this phone call has yet to be crossed off the list. The reality is, I haven't just been putting off this phone call for the last week, I have been putting it off since June.

By now you are probably wondering who this phone call is to. You are probably thinking it is some long lost relative... or maybe it is to someone I have some bad news to tell. Either way, you know it has to be important if I have been procrastinating this much.

Well, the call is important, but there really isn't any "good" reasons I have been putting it off.

Yet, the anxiety levels are skyrocketing as I realize I need to just do it. I need to pick up the phone and dial the number and set up my appointment with VA.

VA - in case you didn't know - is Veteran's Affairs. That's right! I am a disabled Veteran. The reason I need to make this call is because I need to get my information in the system in the closest facility. Why? Because I am supposed to have a yearly physical to keep my benefits, but the other reason is because I need to go back an open up my claim. And frankly, I have been slacking on this paperwork since we moved from Wisconsin.

Yikes - this is why I am having anxiety attacks about this whole phone call. I realize it is healthy to get stuff out, but frankly a part of me would rather have the issues buried. Yet, I can't get treated for it, if VA doesn't recognize the issue either.

So excuse me while I have a complete and full breakdown... maybe soon I will be a diagnosed mad woman after all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why You Should Like The Mad Woman On Facebook

I took the plunge... I created my very own Facebook page for Ramblings of an Undiagnosed Mad Woman.

While I am excited because this is the next step in my blogging adventure, I am also a little nervous. Why? Because then I get to see who really supports me and who doesn't! (So quick - get over there and like my page before I call you out!)

I really am just kidding. I won't call you out if you don't like my page, but what I will tell you is you are missing out. If you are friends with me on my personal Facebook page you will notice that I only post the occasional blog or article from Hubpages. The reason is because I don't want to spam all my family and friends. If you are not interested in my writing, I don't want to force it on you. (Although I am not promising you that I will never ever post another blog post or other writing on my personal page again either!)

But this page really is your chance to see what I have been up to! For anybody who knows me, writing is my passion. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Opening up a blog is just one of the ways that I have been able to pursue my passion.

However, I do realize that even if you like my page, you might not always see the notifications. So here is a little tip. Go to the page and click on the little wheel. Then make sure you "Add to Interest Lists." This way you will never miss out on all the crazy and fun stuff I write about.

The Facebook Page is still in the very beginnings of being constructed, so please have patience as I work through all the bugs an annoyances of getting this page up and running.

As always, I would love your feedback. So if there is something you particularly enjoy about my blog or even my Facebook Page, let me know so I can do more of it.

Otherwise, I hope to see you there!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music Monday: Don't Be A Jerk - It's Christmas!

Last night we were watching Spongebob. Now I will admit, Spongebob isn't the greatest role model for any child or adult. But he makes me laugh and my kids enjoy him, even if his lessons aren't always the best. Ok - what am I talking about. Spongebob doesn't teach lessons. The humor is sometimes even crude.

Yet, when the Christmas special came on, I was pretty impressed. The lesson, while sarcastic in nature (and everybody knows how much I enjoy sarcasm!), was pretty spot on.

It is the holiday season, and even this year I have been a little bit on the grumpy side. I will admit, part of that is due to being homesick. Which in effect is actually compounded by the stress of going home. I know - ironic isn't it?

I miss my family but with the stress of the holidays, I have just gotten downright grumpy. Just imagine the normal cost of Christmas. Now compound that with trying to find the perfect gift, but it has to be small enough to travel with you. On top of that, add an additional couple thousand dollars to what is already an expensive holiday, and that is what we are expected to deal with.

Now, we also have to worry about the weather. After all, it is Winter and the likelihood of getting snow is pretty good once we get past the snowbelt, and maybe even the small portion of the drive through the mountains. I just hope and cross my fingers that the snow holds off until we are off the road and safe and sound at my parents house.

But, as I watched Spongebob yesterday, something hit me. Why am I stressing? Adding stress doesn't help matters. Besides, we always figure it out. We have done this countless number of times and usually everything goes smoothly. So, what I have found, is I have been a cranky jerk for nothing.

Christmas isn't about the money you spend, it is about the people you spend your holiday with. Remember that this year... and if you have been a little on the cranky side like I have been, hopefully this song will help put you in the right mood.

Today's feature for Music Monday is none other than:
Spongebob with "Don't Be a Jerk - It's Christmas!"

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry Sarcastic Christmas!

I have been all sorts of Scrooge this year... Probably because there is no snow on the ground and we don't plan on decorating for Christmas. Why would we? We won't be around. It would be more of a hassle to put it up to just take it down. And believe me, I got a lot of dollar store decorations. I am the queen of tacky Christmas decor and it barfs all over my house.

That being said, we can't do the traditional picture of the family in front of the Christmas tree to send out on our family Christmas cards.

I know... everybody all at once... awe.... how precious. Your family looks amazing.

This year, I don't want to do traditional. This year I want to be sarcastic and funny. So yesterday I went on a mission for sarcastic Christmas shirts. I scored one for my husband and me right away. I was excited. The kids - couldn't find anything. We went from store to store.

I was getting frustrated. All the Christmas shirts for kids were centered around Hello Kitty. Now I get it. Kids aren't necessarily the target for sarcastic Christmas shirts. But still, this was frustrating. However, we did finally find something suitable.

Cost of outfits = $66
Cost of cards = $25
Look on people's face when they get our card in the mail = PRICELESS

So here is a preview of one of the pictures we took for our sarcastic family photos....

What kind of Christmas cards do you send out?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flashback Friday: Status Update Overload

Today as I was browsing... I mean... wasting time... constantly refreshing my browser on Facebook and Twitter, I came across a tweet from a fellow writer/blogger Julie from Life According to Julie, stating that she was having twitter block.

Then I realized, I have never said anything quick, cute, cool, or funny on Twitter. I must always have twitter block. Oh my, my life is doomed.

Ok - I am going to tell you a little secret. I don't know how to be a tweep. 

I have tried to share stuff and then I realize that I look like a spammer. Then I try to stay stuff that would make moms proud - including mine... and realize that it just isn't my style. I tried to be sarcastic and witty, but usually I lack in that department as well. I mean I can do it, but usually not in 180 characters or less!

Geesh... what do people expect. Comedy without a commentary!

And then there is Facebook. I realize that bouncing between Twitter and Facebook is a problem. I don't have the etiquette for it. If I find something entertaining to say on Twitter... like...

"I am going to go play the piano like a #madWoman - which means I am going to bang on the keys like my 3 year old. Having a piano is fun!"

... a big part of me... and I do mean a REALLY BIG PART OF ME... wants to put the same status update on Facebook. Is that against the rules? I don't know. But what if someone that doesn't follow me on both platforms would miss what I find is the most humorous thing I have said all day. It might even start the apocalypse! Just saying!

I haven't figured all these social networking sites out. I mean - have you seen my hashtags? They are random and make no sense! But they are #awesomesauce. And Facebook - well, you just don't know what I will end up saying. And I will admit lately my status update creativity has been a little zapped.

Jumping back and forth between these social networking sites is exhausting. Which is what brings us to my perfect choice for Flashback Friday...

Status Update Overload

I am pretty sure there are a lot of you that can relate. So tell me, have you felt the effects of Status Update Overload?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

And Out of Nowhere It Happened....

I just finished writing a book.

The best way I can describe the feeling is waiting in line for 3 hours for this epic roller coaster that lasts a total of 30 seconds and when it is done you ask yourself, "was that it?"

I know - it sounds depressing! Really makes you want to jump in there and write that book that you have been trying to get out, doesn't it?

Needless to say, I have been a little on the "I just finished what was supposed to be a mind-blowing roller coaster that really left me wondering if that is all" kind of mode lately. It's not a fun place to be. I am hoping there are others out there that can relate to this deflated effect of finishing a book.

Sure, it is like there is a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. This book has been on my mind, stirring up scenarios for the last 5 years. It is finally out and it is finally done. But, now that the weight is gone, I am left wondering what is next?

Then it hit me. I am going to write another book.

Easier said than done. I struggled with this thought because I really didn't have another "book idea" floating around my head. With no idea in my head, how was I supposed to actually write another book.

And then out of nowhere, it happened. This idea just floated in and grabbed a hold of me. So, since last Saturday I have been preoccupied. I now have another book working it's way through my mind. I haven't even got the first one published yet, but I think I am going to get started.

After all - why wait?

So starts the second adventure of writing a book. The deadline - January 31, 2013 (unless the world ends. If that happens I will cut myself some slack!)

So now if you see me acting a little crazy - you know why!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm a Beautiful Blogger -- And So Are You!

Sunday was a rough day. 

My kids were so nervous!
The night before we drove an hour, through switchbacks, to get to the Pala Casino in Pala, California. My two oldest girls were doing a karate demonstration before a boxing event. It was awesome. But anybody that knows me, knows I hate driving through switchbacks or any kind of curvy roads with a steep drop off. The anxiety is enough to knock me out for days. However, because this was in a casino and only 2 out of my 3 kids were partaking, I had to get rid of the youngest. So he went to stay with grandma and grandpa for the night.

We got home late after I suffered through another hour drive. Ok - so the switchbacks really were only 5 or 6 miles long. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. But I knew that since we weren't picking up my son, I was going to get a chance to sleep in.

Ahhhh... the joy. 

Parenthood is ironic. Just as we have trained the oldest to be able to wake up and turn cartoons on to let us sleep in a little longer, I end up pregnant and the cycle starts all over again. But this time, I was going to get to sleep in. The two oldest could get up, make their own bowls of cereal, and watch TV or play. We could get up when we wanted because our little boy wasn't home.

Dreams are easily shattered... especially at 6 a.m. with the phone ringing. 

It was the dreaded call. My son had been awake all night and throwing up. Sunday was going to be a rough day.

So needless to say, when I found out I had won another award, I was ecstatic. It truly made my day since I was woken up early after getting to bed late, was dealing with a sick kid, and I am not going to lie, but I have been in a bit of a funk since I finished my book for NaNoWriMo.

I have been awarded The Beautiful Blogger Award! YEAH!

Now I can't thank Janine, from Janine's Confession's of a Mommyaholic, enough for spotlighting me in this prestigious award. Janine is a fellow blogger/writer and mommy, who I have come to know through the most awesome Facebook Group Bloppy Bloggers. She was one of the first bloggers I came to know when I started on my blogging journey and immediately there was a connection. We seemed so similar, in the stuff we propose on our blog and even the way we write. Who knows... maybe when we both become millionaire bloggers, we will get a chance to meet, since she lives all the way on the other side of the country! So don't hesitate.. go check her out!

So without further hesitation... if you get this award... this is what you got to do!

1. Post The Beautiful Blogger logo in your post and on your blog. Your beautiful so go ahead and show it off!

2. Thank the person who nominated you. (Janine - you are amazing! I am truly honored that out of all the bloggers you picked me! And you would have been one of my choices as well!)

3. Tell 7 facts about yourself that others may not know. (Oh no - is there anything left to tell! I will try though but excuse me if you already knew the stuff!)

4. Nominate other bloggers for the award and let them know!

Seven things About Me that you might not have known.

1. I am a bad story teller. When it comes to my writing strengths, I do the best when writing feature articles. Basically, something you would see in a magazine. This is why I was so surprised to be able to finish a book for NaNoWriMo. My story telling skills are horrible. This is usually very apparent when sitting around a campfire.

2. I have a sick obsession with "end of world" disaster type movies. I will watch them all regardless of how bad they might be. The movie 2012 is one of my favorites... and since I know what is supposed to happen on that day, I will be glad that I am not going to be in California Dec. 21st since I am heading home for the holidays.

3. I took a lot of joy in people complimenting me on how much weight I lost in the past year. But now that I have kind of kept it off, I am kind of sick of hearing about it. No - I haven't lost any more weight since last February. I have been plateaued (or maybe I have been drinking too much wine!) That also means that every  single time the same person asks me again about weight loss, it reminds me that I haven't gotten to goal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the compliments. But I don't enjoy the fact that everybody thinks I am obsessive about working out because I am trying to lose more weight. Currently, while I would love to actually get to goal, I actually work out more for the mood enhancing effects. You should see me when I don't work out... I turn into a bitch!

4. I can't write erotica. It makes me giggle too much. I am so immature. Well, since I just wrote a book, and part of it does deal with a few minor (but needed) sex scenes, I had to enlist my husband's help. Personally, I think it is corny. Personally, I am hoping one day my mom will read this book. And personally, I really don't want my mom to read a sex scene that her innocent daughter wrote.

5. I am currently sick. It scares me to death. Not that this is anything more than a very short stomach bug, but because earlier this year I got sick and was sick for 6 months. In fact, I was so sick that I don't remember a good portion of this year. That being said, it scares me that I was out of it so much yesterday, that I can't recall anything. I don't ever want to be that sick again.

6. I love musicals. I think every single show should have at least one musical episode. I love watching musicals, whether it is on DVD or in a live theater performance. For awhile, every DVD we bought was a musical. Yet, there is still so many I haven't seen.

7. Speaking of musicals, it has taken me awhile to realize this, but there is a few traits that make a man more attractive to me regardless of how he actually looks. If a man can sing or dance, his hotness level is automatically given a few extra notches. Double that if he can do both. This is one of the reason's why my favorite actor is Ewan McGregor. Have you seen him in Moulin Rouge?

Now time to pass the award off to other Bloggers....

For me, coming up with 7 things was way easier than attempting to pick out just one person for this Beautiful Blogger Award. (Ok - so I am actually supposed to pick 7!) The reason being, I have met so many wonderful bloggers in the Bloppy Bloggers group that I think they all deserve this award. That being said, I am only going to give it to a couple. Why - so those who are still new to the blogging world will have a chance to also give the award to others in the group, or even others outside of the group.

Here we are... having a blast in Vegas!
1. The first person I am giving this award to is The Realhousewife. I feel like I am playing favoritism here because it doesn't matter the award, Kelly is going to get it from me every single time. Out of all the writer's I have met online, she is the first one I have actually met in person. The opportunity was priceless. She was headed to Vegas for a getaway and I am not too far from Vegas. So my husband and I took the drive to met up with Kelly and her husband Dave. We have actually got a chance to hang out a few other times... all times went too fast as I swear we could talk for hours (you should time us on the phone sometime!) So, she is my first selection for The Beautiful Blogger. She is beautiful not only on the outside, but the inside as well. She is beautiful through words and through voice. I just love this girl. She has picked me up when I was down and she has given me some great inspiration for stuff to write about. After all, if it wasn't for her, I probably never would have known about the Booty Pop! Kelly is just plain awesome. Don't take my word for it... check her out for yourself!

2. The second person I am giving this award to is Julie from Life According to Julie and Fabulous Blogging. Now I actually met her online through a different group on Facebook, however, I was instantly drawn into her blog. In fact, she was probably the main person who got me started with blogging (even though she probably didn't realize it). This woman amazes me. Not only because her blogs are entertaining and helpful, but because of her courage to stand up, whether it is a topic she believes in - like Enough - or it is sharing her memoir Wanted so others will be able to learn from her experiences. You can check out her book by clicking here... I highly recommend it. It is an incredible read! I couldn't put it down. But the best part about Julie is that she is down to earth and someone I can relate to. There have been so many times when she has said something and I have to tell my husband about it because it just seems similar. She is an amazing person to follow and always there to lend a helping hand. Honestly, I don't know how she seems to do it all, but just sit back and watch her and you will be amazed as well.

There are so many great bloggers out there, I find it difficult to narrow the choices down. Every single blogger I interact with qualifies for The Beautiful Blogger Award! You guys are all amazing! You have made this journey an incredible one and I am truly humbled by those who stop by and offer your support.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All I Want For Christmas is...

A can of Lysol!

Yep! That is it. Our house has been filled with the sickness bug for the last couple of weeks and frankly I am sick of it. I want this bug out of here now!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Music Monday: White Christmas

Watch out... my throwing arm is ready!
I grew up in Wisconsin.

I live in California.

One of the biggest things I miss about Wisconsin is the seasons. We have seasons there. You know the kind. Winter with snow... Spring with flowers and everything blooming... Summer with heat waves and swimming and camping... Fall with the changing of the colors... and then back to the Winter with the snow.

California doesn't have seasons. We have hot... hella hot... hotter than hell hot... and rain.

This doesn't make me a happy person when it comes to Christmas. This time of year (even though Wisconsin has even been lacking on the snow for Christmas lately), I associate with snow. What is Christmas without snow?

Well this year I am in luck. We are heading home for the holidays and I am super excited. Sure, I get to see my family and friends. I miss them too. But who would have ever thought I would miss the snow as well.

Now I know what everybody is saying. Well, you could just drive up to the snow where you live. But it isn't the same. There is just something about being able to sit by a window drinking hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, while watching a nice blanket of snow fall. We don't get that here. We get rain.

Rain is just messy, gross and gloomy. There is just something about snow that makes the gloom just disappear. So this year... I am dreaming about a White Christmas! (Preferably not while we are making the drive to or from Wisconsin - but sometime in the middle of the trip!) I want to see the snow and I want to play in the snow. I want my kids to enjoy the snow.

As of right now, we will be heading back to Wisconsin in a few short weeks. Which is why it only makes sense to spotlight this song for Music Monday:

Bing Crosby's White Christmas!

What do you guys all think? Do you find it difficult to be in the holiday spirit without the change of the seasons?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: 200 Things to Make You Happy

It has been raining here for a couple days now. There is just something about the gloomy weather that just puts me in a bad mood.

A lot of people get that way this time of year because of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) so I guess I am not alone. It is common when the days get shorter.

Not to mention depression strikes high during the holiday season anyway, whether it is due to missing family members, or maybe the financial stresses of the season, or maybe even bad memories invoked by the holidays.

Yet, I am not trying to make this a depressing post by mentioning how depressing the gloomy weather is, or the fact that you bank account just bounced because you went overboard with the gifts, or maybe that you are surviving off Ramen noodles until the next paycheck. But look, I did it again.

What I am trying to say, is this is the time to count your blessings and remember all the good things you have in life. We just celebrated Thanksgiving and we spent the whole day (some of us, the whole month) telling others what we are thankful for. Well, why not continue with that mood and spirit throughout the holiday season.

Christmas time is a time to treasure our family; spend time with our loved ones. It doesn't matter how many gifts are under the tree or how much money may or not be in the bank. It is a time to remember the important things in life.

Unfortunately for me, we can't really do much for the weather. But maybe tomorrow the sun will come out for a visit.

And if it doesn't, today for Flashback Friday I want to highlight...
200 Things To Make You Happy

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm a liar...

Yep... I just admitted it... I am a liar.

The worst part is, there is nothing I despise more than a liar.

My daughter Bella - She is indeed 7 and
not 8 like I said on my Vlog!
The lie I told wasn't even like a little white lie. You know the kind... the ones told to protect others feelings. Like when my husband tells me those pants don't show off my muffin top. (I know he means well, but I would rather hear it from him then hear some stranger dining at my expense!)

Nope, mine was a big lie. I feel horrible about it too. Mainly because I didn't even realize I did it!

Yesterday, I did a Vlog... and in there, I caught myself lying. But I only caught it after I had already put hours of work into my Vlog and even had it published for several hours. And frankly, I have no intention of going back and trying to redo it. So that is why I am here today, letting everybody else know that I am a liar!

So this is indeed my correction. My lovely daughter that I mentioned in my Vlog is not actually 8... she is 7.

I can hear the gasps now....

"What kind of parent doesn't know how old there child is!"

Well, I guess that I am that kind of parent. 

And what excuses do I have? I can think of a million.

  • I have been writing a book and my main character's daughter is 8 years old. Maybe that is the reason why I suddenly thought my daughter was 8 even though she was 7.
  • She acts older than 7. Nothing about her screams 7. It screams more like... I am 8.
  • I hit my head a couple weeks ago. Maybe I do have a brain injury.
  • On top of a potential brain injury, I have also been fending off this cold that my son seems insistent on giving to me. Maybe it is the cold.
  • I have exhausted my brain from everything going on lately, that I am in a brain fog.
  • Holidays equal stress and stress can affect your memory.
  • She has been planning her birthday party since her last birthday, so maybe I already mentally turned her 8.
  • The pie that I ate was getting too old so I am actually getting delirious off of food poisoning!
Yep... those are my excuses. But the reality is... I still lied. So I am fessing up. But being that I have 3 kids, I am sure it won't be the first time I mess up. 

Hey, I even occasionally call them the wrong name! I am only human!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Give Me A Gift That Sings!

It is that time of the year... the time where we all head to the stores, pulling out our hair, in hopes that we will find that one gift that is absolutely perfect for each person on our list.

I fell in love with Christmas shopping the first time I went out on my own to do it. Why? Because it was the opportunity for me to pick out something special for all those special people in my life. That first time I realized that there is a gift out there that will sing for each person on my list. I don't necessarily shop off the gift list. I try to find something unique and special. Something that calls out to me. Something that says I took the time out to really know the person I am giving the gift to.

I was overly optimistic.

As the years passed, I realized finding these true gems got harder and harder. Maybe it was because I found all the unique gifts out there.

This year... that changed. I once again found a gift that sang to me. The hardest part for me is trying to not give all the women and girls on my list the same gift!

If you want to check out the official review I did on Keysocks, check out my article on Hubpages by clicking here. Otherwise, I hope this gives you an idea for someone on your gift list. Happy Shopping.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo - I Did It!

This is my cool and collected pose!
I was hoping that someone was going to approach me and ask me this simple question...

"So, what have you been up this month?"

There is a selfish reason for that. Because I already have the answer, but I need someone to ask me that question so I can shout it out:

"Oh, what have I been up to this month. Nothing much. I just wrote a book!"

Of course, you need to imagine me all cool and collected. You know - leaning against a wall, hands in my pockets, nonchalantly staring off into space like I am completely bored. I wrote a book. I got to be all professional now or something like that. Like it was no big deal. Like people do this all the time.

But that is not the case. I am going to be like my child hyped up on Mountain Dew and candy bars. By the time I get to the end I will probably be - correction - will be jumping up and down. And for dramatic effect, I could use a trampoline so I could get some real height and exaggerate my excitement.

Why? Because I wrote a book. How can I not be excited?

As of November 26, 2012, at 8:20 p.m., I had completed 353 pages in Microsoft Works in Courier New 12 Point Font.  That is 81,808 words worth. And just in case you didn't have enough numbers already to look at, in an average printed off paperback book (about 300 words per page), I would have written a book that is about 273 pages. That is a whole lot to absorb. I did it. I am a NaNoWriMo Winner!

I need to take a minute to calm myself down....

So today I woke up and for the first time in a long time, I didn't know what to do with myself. I have wrote and wrote and wrote. And now I am done. It is a weird feeling. I don't even know how to describe it really.

I feel like I should feel different today. But I don't. I feel like I just rode this great roller coaster ride and suddenly it ended. It just stopped. And I feel empty. I feel like I should be writing. I feel like I should still be working on this book. But it is done. It is a washed over feeling of complete satisfaction but complete sadness at the same time.

Now I know the book isn't done yet. It is still in a very rough first copy. I need to read it again and do a first round of edits. These are the edits to catch any grammatical mistakes I might have made, but also to add more color to the story. After all, when you write to get the story down, you might have missed a spot where you could have been more descriptive. This is my job and is a necessary one to make the book complete.
A second pair of eyes is always
a good idea!

And then I need to pass the book on to a few select people for further editing. These people will hopefully find the grammatical errors I missed and they might be able to point out the storylines that might not have actually made it out of my head. So it might make sense to me, but not to them. It is always good to have a different set of eyes to look at it.

Then finally, I need to decide on the publishing venue. Do I go the traditional route and hope and plead that some publisher will pick up my book so I can see a copy at Barnes and Noble? Or do I just do it "ebook" style and have the satisfaction that it is published? These are important decisions. And today, as I glanced at how to publish, I realize there is so much more I need to learn and a whole lot of work ahead of me.

But for now, it is time to let my brain rest. It has been an incredible journey. I am sad that this step has ended. I have had this book sitting in my head for the last 5 years, give or take, and now it is finally complete. I feel kind of empty. I am hoping other writer's can relate.

Don't get me wrong. I am super excited about finishing my book. But now that I am done, I no longer have an excuse as to why the house hasn't been cleaned, laundry isn't done, and my husband's work clothes haven't been ironed. I have been absorbed into a book but now it is time to head back to reality!

Congratulations to all those who completed NaNoWriMo. You achieved something great. And for those still pushing, you still have time. Get to writing!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Monday: The Air That I Breathe

This weekend was rough. Isn't that the way it is for most holiday weekends?

For me holidays just mean more time with family. It isn't like I get an extra day off. I work from home. Technically since I consider my writing my work, I even worked a little while most people were off from their jobs. And since I am a mother, my job never gets a day off. In fact, holidays are anything but holidays for me. I get to do extra cooking.

However, we did take a break and have some down time where we watched a movie. We sent the kids to bed and it was just my husband and I all cuddled up. I treasure these times because it doesn't happen very often. My son has placed claim on me (I don't know if it is because it is a mommy/son thing, or if it is because he got used to me being a stay at home mom!) But either way, what happens is if my husband gets even within a foot of me, my son comes running to take that foot in between.

We don't get time to ourselves very often.

But Friday night, after the fiasco of Black Friday (which we only participated in for about 20 minutes), we sat down and watched the movie, "Seeking a Friend for the End of The World" staring Steve Carell. It was a great movie and it kind of makes you think.

Ok - so here is a little spoiler - it is about the world coming to an end!

Now I am sure you already got that from the title of the movie, but I won't give you any more than that. I am just going to say give the movie a shot. It is one that will definitely give you something to think about.

For me, it reintroduced a song I have heard before, but I haven't heard in awhile. I absolutely loved the song then and more so now that this movie has given it a little more meaning. It gives me chills. It makes me think about how important it is to keep those you love near you. We don't know when tragedy will strike; we don't know when the world will end. But when it comes to those last final breaths, I would rather die staring into the eyes of the people I love.

So now, for Music Monday I give you: 
The Air That I Breathe from The Hollies

I know this video isn't the original, but I love the pictures that play with it and I think it drives the message even deeper when you are able to read the lyrics. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pillsbury Made a Fool Out Of Me

Today we are heading to a friend's house to do another Thanksgiving. What can I say, I could probably do Thanksgiving meal every single weekend and not get sick of it. I think it is something about the combination of food that makes it taste so good. Or maybe it is just all the happy memories associated with that meal.

Well this weekend is a Friend's Thanksgiving so we are gathering with some of our closest friends and sharing a meal. I offered to bring the pies. There is a reason for that. I am particularly picky about my pie crust. It took me almost 20 years before I would even eat pie crust at all. But finally, I gave it a try using my grandma's recipe, and decided pie crust wasn't so bad after all. But I am still picky.

I like the crust because it is flaky and it melts in your mouth. I dislike the crust because year after year it has become the bain of my existence. Some years it cooperates. Other years I want to fling it across the room in all the tiny bits it falls into.

I have learned pie crust is picky too. 

  • If your shortening is too old - it doesn't cooperate! 
  • If your flour is too old - it doesn't cooperate!
  • If you add too much water - it doesn't cooperate!
  • If you mix it too much - it doesn't cooperate!
  • If you look at it weird - it doesn't cooperate!

Well yesterday I was making pies. I always do the pumpkin pies first that way I get a feel for it again. And frankly, I only make pie crust once a year and it isn't like riding a bike. Pumpkin pies at least hide my frankencrust. Apple Pies showcase it for everybody to see.

I never admitted to making my pies look pretty - 

but at least they taste good!

Yesterday the crust was being evil and uncooperative. (Ok - and I wasn't really in the mood to be making pies either!) I think I was still in a slight turkey coma from the day before. But I really wanted to get the pies made before today. I didn't want to wake up this morning and deal with the uncooperative crust.

By the time I finished my pumpkin pies, I had pretty much had enough. So I decided, against everything I believe it, to send my husband to the store to buy the premade pie crust. I cried a little. This is the first year I broke down and used store-bought crust

It was the easiest thing I have ever done. I unrolled it. I used my rolling pin to make it a little larger to fit in the pie pan. I placed it in pie pan. I filled it with yummy apple pie filling. And then I topped it off and even decorated the edges. It might just be the prettiest damn pie I ever made.

I hope it tastes bad! Because seriously - Pillsbury made a fool out of me!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Ungrateful Thanksgiving Post

Are you feeling overly thankful!
Today is Thanksgiving. It is a day to be thankful and that is just what everybody has done. They have spread their thankfullness all over the place. Their cheery disposition is affecting the moods of everybody around them.

It is downright disgusting... I mean... what do you have to be so thankful for?

So I decided to take a different, nontraditional way of looking at Thanksgiving. I want to focus on all the things I am not thankful for.

1. Last year I decided to subscribe to the newspaper. I only got the Sunday paper because those are the ones with all the coupons, and frankly, I was planning on becoming the next extreme couponer. (Ok - that never happened! I don't get it. I spent more money using coupons than actually saving since half the stuff I didn't even need.) Well, I was a little upset because today's paper was going to have all the Black Friday Ads and I wasn't going to get it.

Guess what was laying on my driveway today? The newspaper. Now, I am so not thankful for getting one extra newspaper, especially the one that I was going to go buy anyway. I mean, these ads have not only given me ideas for what to get others for Christmas, but they also encouraged me to send my husband out for the Black Friday Madness. So if he gets what he is there for... how could I possibly be thankful for that?

2. I need to go clothes shopping. I am not a big shopper but sadly, a good portion of my clothes don't even fit any more. I guess I lost too much weight since last year.

3. Today we went to see family for a Thanksgiving feast. There was turkey and mashed potatoes and cranberries and sweet potatoes and green bean casserole and crescent rolls and pies. Needless to say, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I am so full. I could barely eat that second piece of pie.

3 Kids and they all want my attention!
4. As I sat on the couch moaning in misery (see above) my daughter asked if I would like to play some Bananagrams. This is a complicated game of words. I suffered through that game. I am way to stubborn to quit. Later, my other daughter kept talking and talking and talking. She does that a lot. Luckily, my son was passed out in a turkey coma. Lucky for me, he couldn't irritate me at all.

5. My husband kept giving me his bedroom eyes. I told him down boy. He told me I was beautiful and gave me a hug and a kiss. I think he was trying to make me blush. He complimented me on my outfit for Thanksgiving Day and told me I should dress like that more often. I think he liked my boots!

So this is what I have determined:

I obviously have enough money to buy things for not just my self, but for gifts for others.

I am in the best shape of my life. I have never been so healthy.

I have food in my tummy.

I have the best kids in the world.

I am lucky enough to have a husband who loves me unconditionally!

I Guess I Have A Lot To Be Thankful For After All!!!

It is Thanksgiving and it is that time of year where everybody goes around telling each other how thankful they are for everything they have in their life. But why just one day a year? Let's count our blessings every single day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am really good at this procrastination thing...

When I woke up this morning, I had my mental To Do list and it was a mile long.

1. Get up and write for NaNoWriMo.
2. Feed kids and get them dressed so they can be a part of normal society.
3. Take kids to storytime at Library to avoid high late book fees.
4. Grab kid's friend and bring him back to house to give him haircut.
5. Get rid of kid.
6. Do laundry.
7. Make Thanksgiving Grocery List.
8. Go to store.
9. Prep stuff for Thanksgiving.
10. Make dinner.
11. Give kids a bath and get them in bed before losing my sanity.
12. Fold laundry.
13. Write blog.
14. Read blogs.

So, it looks like a pretty doable list. But nothing went right. Nothing went right at all. I had intentions of getting out of bed and writing, but the bed was warm. I slept in.

My son got up before I barely had coffee in my system. He begged for some homemade banana bread and then woke his sister's up to brag. I made them get dressed and feed themselves.

We headed to the library. Storytime was cancelled and I am apparently not on my game. However, we did check out 10 books. Not one of them is for me.

On my way back, I grabbed my friend's kid. Brought him home with me to cut his hair. He was back to his house in less than 30 minutes. By this time, I should have already started laundry (Ok - I should have started laundry this morning first thing!) and I should have already made my grocery list. Instead, I dropped him off at home and came home to finish my tasks.

So I figured, I should write some more for NaNoWriMo. I am about 2 or 3 chapters away from finishing. This way I could go to Thanksgiving dinner and casually through out that "I recently wrote a book." You know - for when they ask me what I have been up to. Instead, I called my friend Kelly and chatted for awhile.

By now, I still have yet to make my list, I haven't thrown any laundry in, and I need to run to the store!

Now I realize I need to get the store done, so I through a hasty list together. I really don't feel like going out and dealing with the rest of the procrastinators who decided the day before Thanksgiving is the best time to get all your stuff for your big meal.

Before I headed into the grocery store, I saw that the new Family Dollar opened. Might as well peak in there and see what they got. An hour later, I am finally in the grocery store. Then I realized I forgot my list. That makes it difficult to shop. Now that I am home, I still haven't checked the list to make sure I forgot anything. I should probably get to it.

I did eventually throw a load of laundry in and I only put half of the groceries away. (Why not? I am going to be pulling them back out to make the stuff any way!) I am currently writing this blog and I am feeling lazy.

Gee, if I am this bad before Thanksgiving... what am I going to do after I eat the Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! 

Have a safe holiday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Sisterhood Award

If there is one thing I can say about blogging, it is that you meet some incredible people out there. They are incredibly supportive and they are always willing to reach out and give you that extra push, especially on those days when you really don't feel like pushing. That is the way I felt the other day when I saw that I had been nominated for The Sisterhood of The World Bloggers Award.

What does that mean?

That means someone noticed me! Yeah! That means I am doing something right because someone out there thought of me when they decided that they need to pass on that award. Now there are millions and millions of bloggers out there so when someone mentions you, that is a big deal!

And now it is my time to say thank you. This person who mentioned me is one of my favorite bloggers, Janine, over at Janine's Confessions of a Mommyaholic.

Janine and I have never met personally and we have only known each other digitally for a couple months (since I started actively blogging), but she seems like someone I have known for ever. We have so much in common - we are both 30 something stay at home mothers who have kids and husbands who spark very interesting blog posts! She has been a big part of my support system not only in the blogosphere, but also during NaNoWriMo, as well. In fact, from the sounds of it, our books sound very similar. But I guess we will have to see. She is a crazy great writer and an awesome person to have on your side. So go check her out and show her some love.

Now for the rules:

If you get this award, not only do you have to say thank you to the person that nominated you, but you also have to nominate another wonderful woman blogger to pass it on to. Then they will be able to also pay it forward and proudly post the button on their blog as well. As if that isn't difficult enough (the choosing just one wonderful blogger!) you also need to give out 7 random creative fun facts about yourself.

About Me:

1. I am kind of a self-portrait addict. I found that since I am always behind the camera I almost never have pictures of me unless I take them myself or ask others to take them for me. I realized this when I was looking for a picture of me for scrapbooking and had really none to choose from. Since then, I obsessively take self-portraits. These also come in very handy since I use a lot of my own photos for graphics. When I was younger, I wanted to be a model. I used to do photo shoots with my friends and dress up. When I was in high school, I got the opportunity to go to a meeting and could have went to New York. I never pursued it because they wanted a high school student to come up with $4,000 so to me it seemed like a scam. When I was in the Army, I also got approached by a company to do modeling. I ignored Army contract and went further than I was allowed to to attend the meeting. I never followed through. Now my modeling is done so I don't have to get other people to always pose for me when I need a picture for my writing. It worked out much better for me that way.

I am so obsessed, I actually made
myself one on a site I found. So
if you see this, run away.
2. I have a slight obsession with zombies. While I know that I would probably be one of the first people to die in a zombie apocalypse (because I pass out at the sight of blood), I love to talk about what it would be like and the different scenarios that could happen if zombies were real and suddenly the whole world was overtaken by them.

3. I get anxious when I don't have access to the outside world. I am literally connected to the hip with my laptop and my cellphone.

4. I am not a phone person. In fact, I don't usually call people because I dread talking on the phone for fear that I can't understand them. (I have trouble hearing if there is a lot of background noise!) That being said, once you get me on the phone it is very difficult to get me off the phone. Apparently I talk a lot once you get me going.

5. I am obsessed with PostSecret. I visit the website every single Sunday and I have collected almost all of the books. One day, I want to send in my secret, but I fear that mine won't look nearly as cool as the ones that get posted.

6. My husband has said some funny things to me. I have actually included some of the stuff he has said to me as dialogue in my book. It was just too perfect to pass up on. But I will make sure to give him some love on the dedication page when I publish.

7. You can always tell when I am starting to get sick because I start sneezing. And I never sneeze.

Now it is time to nominate someone else for this wonderful blogger award.

Choosing another blogger for this award is difficult. There are so many out there that I truly love and I try to catch there posts each and every day. But I guess if having too many to choose from is a problem, than that is a delightful problem to have.

So today, I nominate Wendi's Wild World for the Sisterhood Blogger Award. Wendi is a mom by day and a rocker by night. Wendi is no ordinary person - in fact she is extraordinary. She has 3 kids and is working through this crazy thing called life. I knew I had to nominate her when I saw how much spunk she had. Apparently she tells it like it is and she will occasionally get some hate mail. So while she isn't new to the writing world, she has started a new blog that I look forward to reading more of.

Virtual Mirror

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