Thursday, March 31, 2011

jackson's toy story cake...

For those of you that didn't see this on facebook or in other pictures.  Here is Jackson's birthday cake.  Angie helped with the blocks (she did a great job and she now thinks I'm even crazier for thinking it is fun to decorate cakes) and I sculpted the figurines (except for Buzz and Woody)  My sculpting still needs some work but I really like the way Hamm turned out!

thankful day(s) 17 &18 and other randomness...

It really shouldn't be that hard to post everyday should it?  Lots of people do it...but for some reason I have a really hard time...guess it is my lack of discipline!  (or really by the time I sit down to write I am tired and/or hurried.)  ANYWAY, enough about all of that.  I don't have much new or exciting going on.  Our house has been on the market for a month now, we've had around 8 showings and our realtor tells us there are a couple of parties interested but no one is ready to "pull the trigger" yet.  This house selling stuff is definitely a huge test of patience on my part, but I know it will happen when the time is right.  Thanks to all of you who are thinking good thoughts for us...we appreciate it more than you know! 
(switching subjects entirely now)
Last week Bob gave me my birthday present (a little early so I could take it with me last weekend).  I am the proud owner of a nookcolor!  All of the begging, annoying, talking incessantly about it, subtle hints paid off!  I will never stop reading books, because I love the feel of a book in my hand and I love going to the library, BUT it is SOOO nice to have 20+ books at my fingertips while traveling.  I can just stick the nook in my purse and I have books!  No more packing 2, 3, even 4 books when I go somewhere (yes, I read that much, what can I say I love books!  I am reading my 26th book of this year right is a sickness).  Anyway, this is definitely one of the best birthday presents ever and I can honestly say I have used it every day since I got it.  (I can also check email and facebook and even blog from it (although I haven't tried that yet).  Alright I need to wrap this up for tonight I have been waiting to watch Grey's so I didn't have to watch commercials, but now that the house is quiet it is time to watch!
  1. illness that passed quickly with Brianna
  2. that the illness only really affected her (and me a little)
  3. a husband that keeps me on track of keeping this house picked up
  4. a husband that definitely does more than his share of the housework
  5. snuggling with Brianna today while Bryce napped (even though it only lasted a few minutes)
  6. kids riding bikes
  7. a weekend with only 1 planned activity
  8. a new greys and private practice
  9. thoughtful neighbors to seem genuinely sad that we are moving (at some point)(it really is a super neighborhood)
  10. that the ones I loved are tucked into bed fast asleep

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

weekend with friends...

This past weekend I had the opportunity to get together with some great friends from high school.  We try to get together once a year for a girl's day at the spa.  This year it came at the perfect time.  Mom agreed to watch the kids while I went so we drove to Iowa on Thursday and Friday we spent the day with my friend, Jill and her kiddos (who are about the same age as Brianna & Bryce).  The kids had a great time together.  By Saturday morning, however, I was so ready to be off mommy duty for the day.  The spa was fantastic (as always) I just had a pedicure, but the first one of the year is always so great.  I'm definitely ready for spring now!!  After the spa we decided we were going to head out for the night, we went to a bar for a bit and had a great time laughing and catching up.  I really do have some amazing friends, life is just so much more happy and colorful with them in it.

With is my thankful day 16...
  1. a productive day at work
  2. a short nap after dinner
  3. Bob taking over bath duties
  4. a dinner I didn't have to cook
  5. the sun shining brightly today

Monday, March 28, 2011

thankful day 15...

Whew...I think I'm all caught up with this list.  I will try to post about my amazingly fun weekend with some great friends but for tonight this is all I can manage. :)
  1. for the 2 hours of sleep I did get last night amongst the puking of one kid
  2. a mostly uneventful drive home today
  3. Bob making dinner
  4. Bob taking the kids when he got home so I could lay down (see the 2 hrs of sleep above)
  5. an easy night putting the kids to bed.

thankful day 14...

  1. kids genuinely excited to see me
  2. snuggling up with Bryce for a Sunday afternoon nap
  3. a mom-made meal (seriously is there anything better?)
  4. my kids had fun being babysat by my little cousin (who I used to babysit...I am old!)
  5. that my parents let us invade their house for the weekend

thankful day 13...

I'm a few days behind what with traveling and sicklings...but there are still many things to be thankful for, so here we go!
  1. the first pedicure of the year
  2. old friends
  3. laughing so hard you can't breathe
  4. feeling right at home with friends you haven't seen in a year (or so)
  5. some time to be just "Amber" and not mommy (for a little bit)

Friday, March 25, 2011

thankful day 12...

  1. the smell of cookies baking
  2. the kids playing nicely together (for now!)
  3. a playdate with great friends
  4. my parents (for so many, many reasons)
  5. Brianna picking out clothes for herself and Bryce (so helpful)

thankful day 11...

(a little late...again!)
  1. a fairly uneventful trip to Iowa with the kiddos by myself
  2. a funny, sweet conversation with Brianna while Bryce was sleeping in the car
  3. whenever Bryce sees someone has a "boo-boo" he runs over to kiss it
  4. actually getting packed and out of the house yesterday (it wasn't looking too good for a while)
  5. watching Brianna kiss her hand and then touch a picture of her daddy before going to bed last night and whispering "goodnight, I love you and miss you already".  (yes, I almost cried)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

thankful day 10...

  1. the way the kids hug each other in the morning, genuinely happy to see each other
  2. kids sleeping until 8:30/9:00am
  3. an early birthday present
  4. a dinner filled with smiles and laughter
  5. listening to Brianna read a book with her daddy.
After doing this for 10 days it is amazing how easily it is to find things I am thankful for.  Sometimes they are silly and sometimes they make my heart happy and make me tear up...but everyday I am reminded that for the 5 things I write here there are many many more that I don't.  I am a lucky, lucky girl!

zero waste success (sort of)...

Yesterday was Greening Sam and Avery's Zero Waste Day.  I personally took the challenge (because I wasn't with the rest of my family yesterday) and I am happy to say that I did not throw a single thing away yesterday.  We try to recycle as much as we can in this house, but i will admit we are paper product addicts.  Paper plates, napkins and paper towels are staples around here.  I've been trying hard to limit the paper plate use around here and have been mildly successful.  Yesterday I took my pop to work in my reusable cup and even though Bob and the kids weren't going to be home for dinner and I was very tempted to grab something on my way home I thought about how I would have to admit that I threw something away completely out of convenience and laziness, so I decided to have leftovers at home instead.  Thanks Abbie for this great challenge I know I will think more about what we throw away in this house and find ways we can reduce our waste!

thankful day 9...
  1. a few hours of quiet before Bob and the kids got home
  2. Bob bringing home Julie Ann's frozen yogurt as a surprise (YUM)
  3. Mockingjay being available at the library
  4. making it through zero waste day with zero waste
  5. a very productive day at work

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

thankful day 8...

Always a day late and a dollar short! :)
  1. crawling into bed at 7pm with a book
  2. some of my favorite shows on the dvr
  3. girl scout cookies (YUM!)
  4. watching Bryce shoot baskets and when he almost makes it hearing him say "almost...I try again"
  5. seeing Brianna's handwriting on a note that says I love you

Monday, March 21, 2011

thankful day 6 & 7...

Sorry I'm a bit late on these.  It was a crazy weekend on the road.  We traveled to my sister's house for my nephew's 3rd birthday.  We arrived on Friday night about 10:30.  Bryce decided it was good to play until 2am and then I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep at 5:30am.  We spent the morning making his cake and then had a great party (with really yummy food).  It was a whirlwind weekend, but so much fun.  Last night when we got home I was too tired to do much of anything, so I put my computer away, went to bed and read for a little bit and then went to sleep early.  So, after all of that is my thankful list for the last couple of days.
  1. spending time with family
  2. safe travels for my family
  3. a good book
  4. that my nephews cake turned out pretty good
  5. my kids playing with their cousins
  6. the kids seeing their great-grandmas
  7. lots of laughter
  8. my sister
  9. beautiful weather
  10. a clean house to come home to

Friday, March 18, 2011

thankful day 5...

  1. A long car ride to be able to have a real conversation with Bob
  2. 2 hours of blissful quiet to end the drive
  3. Bryce going pee in the potty today
  4. A clean house for a unexpected house showing
  5. Cakes that are baked and ready for me to decorate in the morning (thanks sis!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

thursday thanks...

I've been battling a massive headache all day so I don't have anything for you today except this.
  1. Bryce giving my head a kiss when I said mommy's head hurt
  2. Brianna dancing and singing around the living room
  3. Hot showers
  4. A dinner without fighting to get the kids to eat (who knew they'd love corned beef?)
  5. Watching American Idol as a family and eating ice cream
What are you thankful for today?

wednesday thanks...a little late...

We went to Bob's volleyball game last night so it was 9pm when we got home and by the kids were in bed asleep I collapsed into bed.  So here is yesterday's thankful list.
  1. being able to drive with the windows down
  2. that the people that looked at our house yesterday showed up at 2 instead of 1:30 so I had 20 minutes to get the house looking presentable
  3. that I listened to my voicemail when I did to find out there was a showing so I could clean up some
  4. that the kids got to run and play outside yesterday while at grandma and papas
  5. that even though Bryce was a bear last night going to bed as soon as he curled up by me he fell fast asleep

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

garbage and thanks...

Seriously I'm what on my 2nd day of giving thanks and I almost forgot.  Good grief!  My brain is swiss cheese right now so my title is not creative in the least.  But before I get my pjs on and crawl into bed I wanted to update you on my waste for today (it is just mine not everyone in my household since we weren't home together all day) and give you the five things I'm thankful for today.  So here we go...first the garbage...
  1. tissue (crazy I never even think about throwing those away)
  2. diaper (only 1 because Bryce was only home for the morning)
  3. wrapper from the sandwich I had for lunch
  4. 2 paper towels
  5. convenience store coffee cup
  6. candy bar wrapper
Looking at my list almost all of my trash came from using things that are convenient.  Planning ahead on days like these will serve me well in the future.  Normally I don't drink convenience store coffee or eat candy bars, but between jobs today I needed a little jolt.    Like I stated before this is not a typical day (well it is a typical Tuesday, just not a normal day where the kids and I are home all day) for us mostly because none of us were home and I don't know what my kids or husband threw away today, but I guess I have to start somewhere.

Now for my thankful list...
  1. convenience store coffee
  2. that I don't have to have a bedtime battle tonight
  3. that my kids are safe and loved even though they aren't in our house tonight
  4. that my in-laws graciously give up Tuesday afternoons/nights and Wednesdays to help us out with childcare
  5. that I have readers that care what I'm thankful for
  6. and a bonus thing I'm thankful for...spellcheck, because I cannot for the life of me spell convenience!
And with that I am heading to bed!  Until tomorrow friends!

zero waste day...

My friend Abbie over at Greening Sam and Avery is hosting a zero waste day next Tuesday.  Today she is having a "practice" day.  Today write down everything you throw away and then between now and next Tuesday try to figure out how to avoid throwing that same stuff away.  (Go over here to read her idea/details, she is much better at explaining than I am).  I'm going to try to do this.  In the spirit of full disclosure, Tuesdays aren't a typical day around our house because I work and the kids are gone for the afternoon/evening, BUT it is a start.  We will not be able to go completely waste free because Bryce is still in diapers, but maybe it will push me to get him potty trained, lets be honest I'm ready to be done with the diapers.  I encourage you all to try this out, I know I definitely need to be more mindful of what we throw away in this house.  I'll be back later to let you all know what I threw away today! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

monday blessings...

I so badly want to stay positive in this post...I feel like I'm such a whiner sometimes on here, I do realize how lucky I am in my life and everyday I'm thankful for it.  Today was mostly a good day...I would say the good definitely outweighed the bad.  I picked up another night of working for my old boss and potentially a new client to help out with some accounting.  After the repairs we've had to do in the last month the extra income is definitely welcome and appreciated.  I finished up my monthly work that I do for a client in Florida today and it was not as painful as I thought it would be. Then I actually got to do something creative and made some new jewelry for my sister while Bryce was napping and Brianna was supposed to be picking up the downstairs.  I feel good about the things I accomplished today, nothing big, but accomplishments none the less and for that I am grateful. (I guess maybe those positive thinking books I've been reading DO help!)

Writing this made me just have an idea.  Although I am a few days late on starting this I think this year my Lenten promise will be to come here each day and tell you all about the 5 things that I'm thankful for each day.  Maybe it will help me keep things in perspective much more often.  If you want, leave me a comment letting me know what you are thankful for, I would love to hear!  So here it goes for today...

I am thankful for...
  1. employers who think enough of me to recommend me to their friends
  2. the opportunity to help my family financially anyway I can
  3. being able to snuggle with my baby boy and help us both get a few more minutes of sleep
  4. a thank you from my kids and husband for making dinner
  5. the excitement my baby girl has for learning to read

Thursday, March 10, 2011

on the brink...

I am on the brink of complete exhaustion.  (Hi by the way...sorry I've neglected you for the last 6 days).  We spent the past weekend in the Peoria area with our friends Dawn, Chris & Hayden.  It was a much needed break from all things related to this house.  We had such a wonderful time, we went swimming (indoor pool...the warmest one I've ever been in!) and the kids loved it and it completely wore Bryce out.  He fell asleep in my arms before 7pm and he slept the whole night.  Both kids loved playing with Hayden and who wouldn't...he is the sweetest boy!  Bryce kept trying to hug him and Brianna loved playing with him and reading books to him.  It was just an amazingly relaxing day...thank you Miles family!!  On the way back home Sunday my old boss called and asked if I could help her out with a project, not being one to turn down some money at this point (we did just have 2 sizable repair bills in the last month) I said yes.  I headed over to the office at 5 and worked until 11.  Bryce was up Sunday night so I ended up having to sleep (or not sleep as the case may be) on the futon with him.  Tuesday and Wednesday I had my regular weekly work and then Wednesday night I helped my old boss out again until 11pm.  Today I am dragging and the kids have so much energy.  All I really want to do is curl up in bed with a book...but I don't think the kids will let me!  Must run...Bryce is trying to scale the wall right now, the energy of a two year old...if I could bottle and sell it I'd be a very rich woman right now!

Friday, March 04, 2011


After yesterday's dramatic post, I feel the need to update you all on the fact that I'm doing much better.  Yesterday afternoon the kids were having hopping races into my arms (I was the finish line) and I felt the pieces go back together.  Let me explain a little about what happened...the injector pump went out in our basement a couple of weeks ago, so that was an unexpected repair (and expense), then this week our microwave died (which again, not a huge deal...just darn inconvenient), then Wednesday our furnace starting acting up.  We slept in a house with no heat that night (thankfully it wasn't too cold, but it was still cold enough).  Yesterday it got fixed, it again was nothing major but another repair/expense we weren't counting on.  Thankfully our furnace is in fine shape and we didn't have to replace it altogether.  Add all of those things onto a very long couple of days of work, putting the house on the market (and considering the market isn't great to begin with), trying to keep the house clean, and only 1 all gets to a girl you know? 
BUT, having a night home curled up on the couch with Bob and the kids has helped me pull it all together.  I know things will get better, things will work out the way they were meant to and I need to have some patience and trust that when the time is right things will go our way, and along the way I know I have the best friends and family to lean on.  I am such a lucky girl, I am surrounded by long as I always remember that I know that I will always be able to put the pieces back together.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


It inevitably happens, you get a rock to your windshield, a tiny chip in the thick glass.  A nuisance, but nothing to really get bent out of shape about.  You'll get it fixed, no problem...but time and life goes on and you forget, until one day you notice that from that chip there is now a tiny crack.  You again say you'll get it fixed while it is still fixable, while it is still no big deal.  But here comes life again and your tiny chip and small crack get pushed to the back burner yet again.  Suddenly you wake up one day, go out to your car and realize that over time that tiny chip has destroyed your windshield.  Little crack by tiny little crack, your windshield is broken.  All those things that were no big deal...suddenly when put together are a damn big deal. 
I feel like a windshield today, one that has been chipped away at, little crack by little crack. Nothing major is wrong, no catastrophic thing happened.  But today, all of the little things have shattered me.  I am not a positive person by nature, I have to consciously decide that I'm going to look at things on the bright side to find the positive where there seemingly isn't.  But I only see darkness, the bad and the struggles.  Today there seems to be no sunshine or light at the end of the tunnel.  I am (mildly-unsuccessfully) willing the tears not to fall because I don't want the kids to see me broken.   Right now I don't know how to put myself back together. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

for sale...

Our house! Our house is for sale! It has been on the market for a few days now and we are slowly getting the hang of keeping the house clean all the time! This is quite an undertaking for a house with two kids...especially our kids! Other than realizing I'm a complete control freak and do not deal so well with things I have no say in, I am getting a big lesson in patience as well. It has been a rough week but I have faith that everything will work out and someone out there will love this house as much as we have. It is just a house, but so much of our story is wrapped up here. The place we came to when our babies came home from the hospital, where they took their first steps, said their first many memories held forever inside these walls. We have loved it here, but it is time to move find a place to better suit the family we have become. I'm so excited for this next chapter of our lives, but I'm also a little sad to be closing this one. Well...I will be once we actually sell! Right now...anyone want to buy our house? :)

(sorry for any spelling/grammatical errors...I'm writing this on Bob's iPod so give me a little leeway! :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

check me out...somewhere else...

Just popping in quick to say that I'm guest posting over at On My Bookshelf.  I reviewed the new Jodi Picoult book Sing You Home (which hits stores TODAY!) for my sweet friend Holly and it is up!  Go check it out!  And while you're at it, add On My Bookshelf to your regular blog hopping, they always have great suggestions of things to read!!