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?

Virtual Mirror