Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Beginning

January 1.

It's the best time of the year to make a change, right? Truth is, I've been craving change on this blog for quite some time. I don't like that my last name is in the url. I don't like that my kid's real names are used on here. These are 2 of many things I would change if I knew 4 years ago what I know now about blogging.

So I thought, let's make a change in 2012. A fresh start with a new blog. I hope you will move with me. I know it's a pain to change out a url in blog readers and so forth, but I won't be posting here any more.

My new blog, Journey to Joy, will be a much simpler, quicker blog about the things that bring me joy every day this year. Some days it will be my kids, somedays it may be a piece of chocolate or a pretty cake. There have been too many families I know touched by tragedy recently and I want to be very intentional in 2012 to find joy every day.

So jump on over to I'll be there every day (hopefully) learning to live life more abundantly. Just like my Jesus told me to.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am so blessed to be a mom to two beautiful daughters. Yes, at times they are trying and we have many years of tumultuous emotions ahead, but I love having 2 girls! While my son is the apple of my eye (he loves his mama the best and he tells me so!), I love having two very distinct personalities of the same sex. My girls couldn't be more different. One is vocal, articulate, studious, a night person, sloppy, technical, fun loving, and my partner in all things geeky. (Harry Potter, puzzles, Star Wars, Disney World, etc.) My younger daughter is domestic, has an intense love of fashion and decorating, an organizer, dramatic, crafty (both physically and intellectually, a morning person, and very emotional. If you pick a stereotypical trait of a girl, between the two of them, I've got it covered.

Loves rainbows, baby dolls and glitter everything? Avery
Talks non-stop? Mackenzie
Loves cupcakes, baking and crafts? Avery
Loves shopping and shoes? Mackenzie

I recently took several pictures of them on the way to the Taylor Swift concert. See if you can determine which one is the "poser" and which one was saying, "hurry up and put away your camera, mom". Hint - it won't be difficult.
God has really blessed us with these two blue eyed beauties. I love all of the spunk and chaos they add to our days!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The first step

Admitting you have a problem is the first step....right?

Well, I'm going to be the first one to admit that I may have a slight addiction. 2 weeks ago, I stepped away from my Google Reader. I didn't set out to take a break from blog reading, but for 1 week, that is what happened. I was reading a great book too busy and it actually felt good to let the blogs go for a couple of days. However, there is always a price to pay...

This is what my account looked like when I signed back in.

Yikes! 479 blogs?? I had only taken 5 or so days "off", which means I must read close to 100 blogs a day! No wonder I have no time for my own blog. ;) To my benefit, I subscribe to many blogs that I don't actually read, but just scan for info. Or some of them are just funny stuff like Cake Wrecks and Awkward Family Photos that literally take me 30 seconds to read.

Of course I still read the one blogger that started me down this treacherous path, everybody's favorite: the Pioneer Woman. I've been reading her blog for over 3 years now, and this November, I'm getting the chance to meet her! She is coming to our city for a benefit luncheon and I have tickets! I'm excited to see her new cookbook and even more excited to meet her in person and hear her speak. She has such an fun life story!

I know I'm not alone in this addiction. Anyone else have a blog reader on overdrive? And don't get me started on Pinterest. I do not have a problem wasting time on Pinterest. Repeat. I do not have a problem wasting time on Pinterest. Repeat...I do not have a problem....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A little kitchen work

Today is an exciting day! We are finally having our granite countertops installed! YEA!! It's been on our "list" for 3 1/2 years, since we moved into our house. We put it off for so long because it never seemed the right time to deal with all the mess.

Here's a before shot of my kitchen:
I love so much about it. The layout, the island, my kitchen sink window, the desk.
What I don't love about it is this tile. It really dates my kitchen, but more importantly because the grout is so wide and the tile is very grooved, it just never feels clean. I've had it sealed and steamed, and everything else you can imagine, but it just can't stand up to the mess of our family.
So, today it looks like this:
But tonight it should look like this:
Earth & Wood traditional kitchen

Well, not quite just like that. ;) Our new tile backsplash won't be in for another week or so. Stay tuned for the final reveal!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Summer bucket list revisited

After patting myself on the back for a fairly consistent blogging month in August, I decided to go AWOL in September. The short version recap looks like this:

1) lots of schoolwork
2) tons of work for PTA treasurer mom ( don't ever get me started on what a thankless job that position is!)
3) 11 year old birthday parties
4) regression of a certain 3 year old to pooping in his pants again
5) made plans to tear up my kitchen and put in granite countertops (yea!!), which has involved many hours of deliberating over color choice, sink options, kitchen faucet possibilities and a little study of travertine backsplashes. I can.not.wait. to kiss my ugly tile goodbye!
6) many soccer games and practices
7) a night of chaperoning a preteen lock in (oh. my.)
8) waiting on my nephew Cash to make his arrival to the world. Any day now....

But today is not September. It is October and boy do we have big plans for October. Tonight we are in Little Rock where my husband has a 2 day conference for work. We left our little guy at home because our true purpose for the trip is a surprise for our girls. You see, back in May, after we completed our little summer bucket list, Avery insisted that we had left something important off the list. The next day in ugly black permanent marker, she wrote across the bottom, "see TS in RL", which translates into " see Taylor Swift in real life.". Avery just adores Taylor Swift. She knows every word of her songs and will spend hours in her room singing and dancing to her music. At some point almost every week she tells me that she is going to be famous and play the guitar and live in L.A. like Taylor. She is passionate about her Taylor Swift. So when the opportunity came up for us to purchase tickets to the Little Rock show, we didn't hesitate. We have sat on this secret for 4 and 1/2 months and tomorrow night at dinner we can finally let the cat out of the bag. Although we have had fun keeping the secret, I can't wait to see Avery's face when her little bucketlist request comes true. We even passed all of Taylor's equipment trailers in the car on our way here and they never even noticed. This time tomorrow the girls will be within squealing distance from Taylor, Marty will be sporting hot pink ear plugs, and I will be crossing our final item off the bucket list. Woohoo!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

PowerPoint Proposition

Mackenzie has a birthday in a few weeks and there is only 1 item on her list. She doesn't care much about a party or a cake this year. Only this:

She wants an iTouch in the worst way possible. Of course, she really wants a phone, but we have informed her there is no way she is getting a phone. I'm putting that purchase off for as long as I can! In the discussions about an iTouch, we have put forth many rules and stipulations. Since she will have internet access and the ability to text, it makes me kinda nervous. Here's a few of our rules:

It must be placed in the kitchen at 9:00 every night and left there until morning.
She may not bring it to school.
We are allowed to check texts and browsing history at any time.
It must be put away at the dinner table.

I'm sure we'll develop more over time. If any of you have any suggestions to add to this list, I would love to hear them. Mackenzie has spent her time assuring us that she is responsible and able to handle the restrictions. To emphasize this point, one day she created this Power Point project. She created the entire thing by herself with pictures included. Marty was so impressed that he said he would have bought her an iTouch that night if we didn't already have one sitting in my closet waiting for her birthday.

My personal favorites are #6 with the inclusion of a picture of Miley Cyrus as a reasonable teen, and #7 with the reason illustrated by the girl sitting by herself and the word "lonely". I love the implications that if she doesn't get an iTouch, she will equate herself with the girl under that tree. She makes me laugh. And she's brilliant, because this totally won us over. Which number is your favorite?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

School Session

Well, now that school has been in session for a week and a half, I guess it's time to put up my official "1st Day of School" pics. I'm nothing if not punctual and relevant.

I always like to look at these kind of annual pics alongside the previous year's pics, so you are subjected to a double whammy today. Just be glad this computer is only 1 year old, which means I can't go back to my last 5-6 years of pics and bore you to tears without great effort on my part to locate my external hard drive and spend my Saturday sifting through old pics.

Mackenzie 2010 - 4th grade
and this year, 2011 - 5th grade
Avery 2010 - 1st grade
Avery 2011 - 2nd grade

Group shot 2010
Group shot 2011
Nathan 2010 - ALC - 2 year old class

Nathan 2011 - ALC - 3 year old class

They have all done well, although we have already been hit with a sick day due to a stomach bug (vomiting in the car, yeah!) and a yucky cold for Nathan. Just working out the onslaught on germs, I guess. They have all grown so much and I am getting used to having Nathan gone 3 days a week this year. I miss my little shadow and my days are much quieter. In the meantime, it's taxi/chauffeur mode for me and the miles on my car are going up, up, up. One of my best friends is in the process of teaching her son to drive and discussing things like insurance and hardship licenses. I think I'm going to be content with the high mileage and taxi status for a while! Happy school days everyone!