Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Funnies

It's been a here you go!  Enjoy and happy weekend!
(I'm currently enjoying a three day weekend that started today! - I'm determined to finish the dining room, we have our annual Easter egg dying this weekend (and the first annual glow in the dark Easter egg hunt) and the circus on Sunday!)


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Kind Of Sacrifice Is OK

I've made mention of all the projects we are doing and looking forward to in 2012.  I've talked about the fact that we bought a short sale home that had been vacant for over a year and was clearly occupied by several animals prior to our arrival.  May I also point out, we moved in 5 days before we had our baby. I've said that detail once or 203 times, but it was such a crazy experience.  Our home and our life was completely thrown upside down, sideways and every direction in between.  We were happy to have a home after 7 months, but um....


It's been a work in progress from the beginning.  The entire house had to be painted and re-carpeted, one month of work, before we could even move in.  We knew it would be that way and we were ok with that.  Better deal, we got to pick the finishes, etc.

This year we have decided that we would go full steam ahead on the bottom of our list (i.e. the most costly projects - our deck and our kitchen), but we would have to sacrifice one very BIG thing.

You guys.  I have sacrificed my vacation.  So instead of going here

or putting our toes here

or here

or taking naps here

I will be using my vacation days to paint, decorate, pick out tile, granite, and so much more.

I'm excited (like, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay excited) because as I may have mentioned once or twice, Momma loves a good decorating/renovation project.

But let's be real.  This girl is spoiled rotten when it comes to vacays.  Always have been.  I'll admit it and say what you must.  I'm lucky, blessed and extremely fortunate, but no vacay may cause me to lose my mind.

I can't chill and relax at home.  It just doesn't work.  I try.  But there is always something to be done.  I can say what I want about taking a long weekend here or there, but if I'm at home I will be doing something.  Most of the time I am completely ok with "keeping busy."

We have a lake trip planned with friends over Memorial Day weekend and possible a weekend away, a staycation of sorts, with the Hubs for our 5 year anni coming up this summer.  So I am guaranteed a few days away.  But staycation or whatever you want to call it is not the same.

Honestly - I need a break from life once a year.  Just once.  And preferably somewhere warm with a beach, water, cocktails and food.  I need to rejuvenate my soul.  I need alone time with my family, outside of our "normal" day to day routine.  I need to watch Mia explore in a new environment, I need to just sit by my husband and talk and hold his hand and I just need to take a breath.  We all do.

But, I shall sacrifice so that we can finally feel like we are "done" with our house (for 2012 anyway).  Who am I kidding, done....that's funny.

I'm not going to feel guilty for feeling like I am sacrificing my vacation, as I'm sure some of you will think I'm crazy for considering that a sacrifice, but my Hubs and I work very hard for the things that we have and the vacations we take.  There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears into how we financially provide for each other and our girl.  Nothing is handed to us.  We make every penny and we both work out asses off doing so.

Not asking for pity or sympathy, just using my voice and realizing that I won't get a break this year.

I'm ok with that.  All the work we have put into this house and all the work we continue to put into it continues to make it feel more and more like home.

Making our house our home is worth any sacrifice it takes to get there.

Even if it means I go one year without sand between my toes.  I just have to remember I should be thankful that we are able to do a lot of the things that we want to do.  We're definitely some of the lucky ones.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teenage Mia

Anyone else think a lot about what their children will be like when they are teenagers?

I do.

I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm a girl mom and I know how teenage girls can be, ahem, during those "interesting" and awkward years.

I was reminded of this yet again this morning on my way into work.  Behind me was a mother and her 12ish year old daughter.  The mother, very stoic, not happy, not sad, just pretty complacent however possibly annoyed.  The daughter, on the edge of the side of her seat, as closest to the window and as far away from her mother as possible.  Head down, resting on her fist, looking all sorts of cranky, likely texting or tweeting or facebooking about all things important to a teenager at 7:00 in the morning.

It got me thinking....once again....

Those years.  What will they be like for me as a mother?  Will I drink more wine than I already do just to survive (kinding....kind of)?  Should it even be approached with the notion that it will be difficult and trying?  Isn't parenthood always difficult and trying?

We see kids grow and develop into young adults and that cycle of development and growing into a "real" human intrigues me.  The trials and tribulations and life experiences and support systems and families that create who these kids become is amazing.  For those of us who had a strong foundation and support system growing up worked out well (for most of us), but for those that struggled with family connection and that support in their day to day lives can still struggle, even as adults in finding who they are and more importantly, accepting who they are.  Seeing this first hand through some of my own personal relationships always makes me conscious of doing my best to ensure we create that support and love for Mia.  Always.

I'm an observer of people and behavior and I like to analyze.  I always have been and it has a lot to do with why I chose to work towards a undergrad and Masters degree in Education in my first life career.

I never had much of an issue with either my Mom or Dad growing up, especially in my teenie bopper years.  I'm sure I had my not so shining moments, but I've seen it in other families, I saw it with my sisters.

What will Mia be like?  What will be the name of the boy band?  What will the must have clothes be?  Will she still want to hang out with Mom?  Will she be begging for all things - cell phone, Facebook page, etc.?  Will social media still be what it is today? Will she still be attached to my leg from the moment I get home from work until the moment I tuck her into bed (likely no, but I love her "attachy" self).  How will she feel about her Daddy?

We are just about a month away from Mia officially becoming 2 and a 1/2.  How did this happen?  That was the fastest 2 and a 1/2 years of my life.  It goes so fast just like everyone says, especially once you have kids.

Maybe I think a lot about it because some days I feel like I will blink and she'll be 13.

It's just another reminder to embrace all the moments that we can because the reality is she won't be my shadow forever.

My Dad posted this on his Facebook page a few weeks ago and I loved it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

We Shall Dine In Yellow and Green and Black and White...An Update

I blinked and the weekend was over.  No plans, no where to be, just a weekend home with my family and working on my "new" dining room.

The room is certainly getting there, but the most time consuming piece thus far has been painting our table and chairs and constructing (and installing) the custom window treatment.

It's certainly not for everyone (Hubs is even still on the fence and he trusts my decorating, this isn't the first time I've done this ya know), but I am loving it.  I love bright and bold colors.  But this is by far the boldest I have been in my 33 years.  Hubs called it bold when he saw it for the first time and so I will continue to refer to it as such in honor of him. :)

I was so, so, so very tempted to take a vacation day today so that I could keep going, but I didn't.

The goal for this week is to get the second coat of poly on the top of the table, poly the rest of the table and paint and poly the chairs.  Between working, momming, wifing, working out, I think that is enough for 5 days.

I'm having the fam over for Good Friday, so the goal is to have it done by then.  Two weeks is plenty of time right?

Here's a sneaky peek:

And because, well why not.  She'll brighten anyone's Monday.

Hope you all had a nice weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And So It Begins

I wrote about this a few weeks ago and this weekend it is officially starting.

I love (big puffy pink hearts, unicorns and rainbows kind of love) to decorate!

Love, love, love, love, love...

We have one of those awesome, rare weekends where we have absolutely NOTHING planned.  Nada.

My Dining Room.  The room we never use.  The room that I dislike most.  It doesn't do anything for me.  No theme or pops of color.  Just a whole lotta nothin!'  As I've mentioned 804 times, I love color.  It makes me happy.  I love it in my home.

All this fun (and yes I think this is fun) begins Friday.  It will take me most of this weekend and likely another day or two to finish, but I would like to get mostly complete by the end of the weekend (or so I think).

When it comes to me and projects, once I start I work until I finish.  I try to never have more than one project going at a time.  I just don't have a whole lot of extra time to design and decorate, so I try to plan accordingly (i.e. no plan weekend).  Having multiple projects going only adds to my already lengthy to-do list in my everyday life and in our house project life.  I try to eliminate any additional pressures, whether self-induced or not.

Here's an idea of what I'm including:
black, white, pops of yellow and green
casual, comfortable and airy, less of a formal feel - we aren't the formal type

There is a decent amount of painting involved.  I'm painting our existing (and currently super ugly and dated) dining room table AND chairs.

I'll do a before and after post once I'm finished, but if you want to see more on my inspiration for this room, check out my board on Pinterest.

Oh and this has now officially been added to the house project list too.  We're thinking a good fall/winter project for this year!

In other news...The Hubs started ripping up our deck last night.  When we bought our house 2 and (almost) 1/2 years ago, it was only 8 years old.  The deck, well the floor boards of our deck, already rotted.  Nice, huh?  The positive, we weren't in love with it anyway, so we are going to be making it bigger.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love that fact that my Hubs is so handy?  Seriously I have yet to see him fail at fixing one thing.  Not to mention the amount of money it has saved us!

He's pretty awesome.

Plus I find a hard working, sweaty man super sexy :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Crockpot Monday - Homemade Applesauce

We all know anything from our own (or our moms, grandmas, etc) kitchen tastes better.  It's better for us (most of the time) and we know exactly what ingredients go into it.  There is a lot of relieve in that.  Especially these days.  Some of these ingredient lists and nutrition facts have just gotten down right scary.

Where this is not a meal as I traditionally have shared, when I came across this I had to put it out there for all of you to see.  I'm so excited to try it and very easy peasy!

My child LOVES applesauce, so it would be great to be able to make it from scratch and I know she would love to "help."


Crockpot Applesauce

I Can Run Like The Wind Blows (Well Not Really)

I did it.  I made it.  I finished.

And it was hard.  The hills. The pavement.  All hard.

I even sprinted to the end when my legs were surely turning to jello just to say I could.

4.35 miles is a long way for this girl.  The non-runner who is trying to pretend to be one.


I'm proud.  Very proud of myself for sticking to and accomplishing my goal.  I've set myself up for a lot of goals in 2012 and I've stuck pretty hard to two of them - running and becoming a gym rat.  There is a lot of year left.  So....yay me!

The people.  The signs.  The extra "umph" they provided, especially that last mile (all up hill).

The Hubs ran too.  He pushed Mia in the jogging stroller.  And...

He beat me.

I knew he would.  He's one of those abnormal types that doesn't have to train to run.  He hadn't run in two months.  Me...since January.

I do have to train to run.  It's the only way I can do it.

Saturday, I was the strongest I've been in a really long time.  The muscles I have strengthened over the past three and a half months made a huge difference in how my body felt during and after.  BIG.  HUGE!

So proud.  Pat on the back.

And why do I always shed a few tears at the end.  I mean seriously Melissa.  Get it together.

Afterwards, I was rewarded with a few beers, a lovely day with my Hubs and my girl, some parade action and then a torrential downpour.  But it was a perfect day!

Now, which one is next?  I have three more to complete this year to meet my goal.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Luck O' The Irish

As we approach one of my most favorite holidays tomorrow, as an Irish girl, I wanted to share one of my favorites with you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day friends!

An Irish Prayer

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Have a great weekend!

Tomorrow's the BIG run.  Wish me luck!

Prayer via
Image via Google Images

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Get Skinny With Bikini

As I approach my first run of the year this Saturday, I've needed a little something extra to get me really going for the rapidly approaching Memorial Day holiday weekend, but even more importantly...


I did it. I bought a bikini and not a tankini, an actual baaaaaaakini.

I never thought in a million years I wouldn't just buy a bikini as the summer months approached, but then I had a child and then came life and then came "letting myself go" or "drinking too much wine and not working some of it off" a little more than I am comfortable with.

This is a new year.  I'm not shooting for Gisele or Gwyneth or Jennifer or Elle's bods (although Elle is amazing), even though it would be nice, but I just want to feel comfortable in a bikini again.  I'm not wearing one if I'm going to be rolling around in it, if you know what I mean.

Tankinis and one pieces are effing hot in the heat of the St. Louis summers and I don't want to be hot at the pool.  That's dumb.

I'm well into my third month of Operation Badass, so in another 11 or so weeks when I hit the lake for Memorial Day I should be ready.  Right?

We're not doing the vacay thing this summer (more on that later) so Mia and I will be spending a LOT of time at the pool.  A LOT!

Here they are and by they, I couldn't help but pick up one for Mia too.

Hers, Old Navy, $10.  Mine, Tarjay, $28

And you though we wouldn't match?  Shame on you.

PS - I'm kind of becoming obsessed with neon again.  Brings me right back to my childhood.

Riiiiiiiiight back.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crockpot Monday - Chicken Enchilada Soup

Today is going to be a windy, 70 degree day so who isn't thinking soup?


This week we will be trying the Chicken Enchilada soup via my fav place to recipe "shop,"

Seriously, if you haven't visited, you should.  Some amazing stuff on there and EVERYTHING I've tried has been amazing.

Noticed some adult St. Patty's treats that may have to make a presence this weekend.  Just maybe.  You had me at Bailey's and Double Chocolate Stout.

Enjoy and have a great St. Patrick's Day week!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Only 5 days til my big run Saturday - 4.35 miles!  Bring it on baby!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weeks Eight Thru Ten

So I've been thinking...this Saturday is exactly one week until my 7K.  ONE!  I feel pretty ready, but not like amazing, I'm going to rock your socks off with my speed ready.

I'm excited to get to it, do the best I can and reward myself with beer and a parade afterwards.  After all this is on St. Patty's, so what better way to stay focused than to know you get to toss back a few afterwards.  Yes, I use beer and wine as motivation in my every day life.  Don't judge.

I've told myself that after I reached and accomplished my goal of my first run of the year I was going to change up a few things about my workout routine.

My focus has never been on weight, it's been more just feeling better and stronger, HOW.EV.ER, I've been gaining weight.  Nothing major, but the past two weeks I have gone the opposite direction on the scale and it's kinda pissing me off.  So I guess I do care more than I think.We're talking 2 whole pounds, but still, not the direction I was hoping for.

Memorial Day will be my first visit to a swimsuit since last summer, assuming it's warm enough, so that is motivation there.

One of my favorite bloggy buddies, Kristen, shared a great idea on her blog today.  And I'm going to do it!  I'm going to buy a swimming suit as my motivation to kick my ass just a little bit harder.  I'll hang it on my closet door and I will see it every day.  Motivation = wine and swimsuits.  Yes.

I'm about to round out Week 11 of Operation Badass.  And after next week it will officially have been three (3!!!!) months!

Suggestions for classes you enjoy, especially if you work out at Gold's Gym, would be appreciated.  I will stick with Body Pump for sure and Yoga on occasion, but I'm thinking I'll get back into spinning.  That's a kick ass calorie burner.

At the end of the day, I feel better and I'm definitely stronger (and my butt appears a bit firmer and smaller, so that's a bonus), but I could use a little belly reduction...and a spray tan!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Choo Choos and Sharks

I talk a lot about our daily routine.  Where it is routine, it's often monotonous during the work week.  That's fine.  I think that is important, especially when raising a toddler.  She's getting old enough to know what to expect.  I am a woman of routine and order, so it makes my heart happy most days.

Routine is all fine and dandy, but sometimes I just want to play.  And sometimes, I quite assure you, so does Mia.

Last week brought us some wonderful spring like temps, so I took the afternoon off and me and my monkey went to the zoo and embraced every ray of mid-60's sunshine.

St. Louis has an amazing zoo and the best part - it's totally 100% completely free. There is a Children's Zoo that costs and the train costs, but you don't have to spend a dime if you don't want.

We had a great Mom & Mia day.  I needed it.  A day to spend outside of our routine.  Just the two of us goofing around.  I'm so proud of her.

She picked the it!
For such a long time I would always get nervous when she would want to walk versus be in her stroller or wagon.  The freedom made her like a little crazy person, running around in circles, having a blast, but totally not listening to her parents at all.  So I would avoid it by stuffing her with treats and toys and iPhones in hopes that I could keep her distracted enough that she would stop asking.

Shame on me.

She's a child with so many questions, so much curiousity and so much of the world to see and she just wants to run.  I've been better about this and for most of our time at the zoo, she was walking with me and mostly hand in hand.

Not because I was always asking her to (stay by Mommy, hold Mommy's hand, stay in front of Mommy so I can see you).

She asked.

She wanted to just walk and hold my hand.

There is a big piece of my heart filled up by that little girl.  It's truly amazing how much joy she brings to my (our) life.  I can't even explain it.

It was one of those moments I just want to bottle up and keep in my heart forever.

Somehow she will be 2 1/2 in just 2 months.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Start Over, Rewind, Back Up

As some of you know, last week I voiced my opinion and took a brief (very brief, in fact) hiatus from blog (and Twitter mostly too).

I need to bring myself back to why I am here.

I have a passion for many things: my daughter, my husband, my family, my furbabies, design, renovating, photography (mostly involving family), kids, crafty ideas, good recipes, fashion and of course writing, to name a few (and don't forget wine).

And that is where I need to focus.

I need to give a little and get a little more from blogging and not be so consumed by the other noise that is going on.  I may need to do a Twitter/Blogger cleanse of sorts.  I love what so many bloggers have to offer in there little space of the internet and I need to embrace those people that benefit me and my life and what I love.

You should really do the same.

So, if you know any great blogs out there that don't talk about the debates and comparisons of Moms and who does their job better, can you send them my way?

I respect all Mothers.  We all have a tough job.  I just really don't want to hear or talk about it anymore.

Thanks so much!