Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Meeting with Santa

Gabriel: Mommy, that wasn't the real Santa. That was a man in a Santa costume.

Me: Why would you say that?

Gabriel flashes knowing smile, turns and walks away.

I'm pretty sure he was trying to protect me from the truth!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

Gabriel needed a vacation after his week off school. We:

went to the movies ... twice
went to the zoo
had a playdate
had a movie night at home
had a Thanksgiving "party"
had Ethan's birthday party

It was busy and it was fun!

at the movies:

at the zoo:

i heart this atn

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Check list

(not in order)

- shop for out-of-town family
  • wrap
  • ship (this entails a trip to the post office)

- shop for in-town family
  • wrap
  • hide
  • consider forgotten mcdonald's toys for stocking stuffers

- make cookies
  • gather icing and sprinkles
  • drop it off (and the kids) with Nana

- take a picture for family christmas card
  • realize you've waited too long to order them online; have them printed in-store in one hour
  • pick up pictures; curse thyself for procrastinating so you must face traffic to pick up pictures instead of having them shipped to your house
  • assemble cards
  • sign cards
  • address cards
  • call people looking for addresses
  • leave messages and hope they call back soon
  • begin to feel irritated that husband does not help with the christmas card chore
  • obtain postage (this entails going to the post office)
  • blow it all off and design a holiday e-card - send within 15 minutes of shirked christmas card responsibilities
  • think of creative way to use 65 of the same print of your kids

- lug boxes of christmas crap in from garage
  • brush off spider eggs in laundry room
  • place in the middle of the once tidy living room and get to hanging up tacky christmas crap
  • put up the tree
  • fluff the branches
  • string lights on the branches
  • restring lights after husband comes home and reminds you that uneven and halfway burned out lights look tacky
  • take to drinking
  • assemble children for norman rockwell-esque decorating of the tree
  • after 10 minutes, yell at them to go to bed because you are "sick and tired" of them fighting

-lug box of christmas lights out of the garage
  • place it in the driveway
  • assume spider eggs are now in natural habitat and ignore their presence
  • string lights on outside of house and sad little tree
  • restring lights after husband comes home and reminds you that uneven and halfway burned out lights look tacky

-place all of the christmas cd's within 12" of cd player
  • sort through them with nostalgia
  • pick an old favorite and begin playing
  • realize you are still sick of it and put them all back in the box of christmas crap in the garage
  • place discarded spider eggs on top in hopes of creating an eco-system for spiders that will remind you of your christmas music fatigue next year when you reach for your christmas cd's

-consider planning a christmas party
  • realize that is crazy talk and go to bed

(don't even get me started on dealing with customer service about cyber monday deals)

That's my Christmas this year, how is yours?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


yesterday i tried kettlenetics for the first time. in case my husband is taking a rare visit to my blog, no - i didn't spend that much! i bought the truncated version from target!

ANYHOO - i was a little skeptical. mostly i wanted it bc it looked like fun. how could a wimpy 4lb kbell really provide any resistance? surely, i will need to buy a heavier one. yes, so i'll just buy this today, try it out and get a heavier kbell next payday. ummmm...... yeah.

so today, i am SORE. i mean sore like P90X sore! i tried to go easy on myself and do pilates this morning but only got in 20 min before i decided that, contrary to popular opinion, i am NOT that masochistic.

it was an amazing workout - and that wimpy 4lb kbell? is now my everest. oh i will upgrade to more weight - but not next payday. maybe the one after that. or the one after that one. i feel like michelle khai today, i think i can feel ALL of my muscles. and they all hurt! sadly, i do not yet look like her. but in time, my friends...

i tried cardio balance. it was half cardio, half mat work. i am not sure i did the turkish situps right bc they seemed awfully easy in contrast to the other exercises. russian twist is an exercise i did a lot of with P90X - but add that wimpy 4lb weight and oh boy! it suddenly became MUCH harder! my favorite exercise was like doing triangle pose from yoga with the bell. it felt sooooo good to stretch out a little.

final words about kettlenetics? its my next best thing! ever since i got bored of P90X (which i did for over 18 months!) (and i totally recommend) i haven't been jazzed about anything. i ran. i got a gym membership. i lifted. but it was a chore. i tried the shredder, but didn't really like it.

all this to say, thanks michelle khai - you made my week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

hangin out

a rare moment; not fighting

Monday, November 16, 2009


i want a macro lens.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

respect for the man

I usually leave my husband out of my blog because .... well, frankly, he asked me to. But today? Today, I'm getting mushy.

Last night there was a crisis. I can't tell you what it was about (because of other people involved) but I can tell you (if you are concerned) my family is fine. So anyway, there was a crisis involving events and people (try to crack THAT code!). His phone blew up at 2 am. He sprang out of bed and hopped into the driver's seat of this ride we call life. I listened to him on the phone and all I heard out of his mouth were words of integrity. He possesses such an ability to take control of a situation, such an eloquence to influence people and such confidence to pull it all together. Obviously, I've known this about him, but for me sitting up at two in the morning while the rest of the house is sound asleep, it was one of those moments where I sat back, looked at my spouse and thought, "wow, I'm lucky to have you."

I stayed awake with him as long as I could (you know, for moral support) before sleep came back over me and he stayed up, serving others. When his alarm rang to get up for work, his fanatical commitment to his job yanked him out of bed and sent him on his way. This man is strong. This man is committed. This man is amazing. A lot of people rely on him in many different capacities -sometimes, it seems like he does bear the weight of the world, but he does it so well.

As for me, I have it easy. If I have a sleepless night, I can take a nap during the day. If I feel like I have too much on my shoulders, I can hire a babysitter and catch up. If I want to do something nice for my hubs, all I have to do is be there. That's all he asks from me. He just wants me around. Isn't that simple? Because if he asks me what I want from him I get all girly and make a number of requests. But all he wants from me is me. This great man wants me. It's a sweet life.

Friday, October 30, 2009

while you were at school...

you are a naughty dinosaur. go to timeout! ... hello dinosaur, you are a cute monkey... come on, dinosaur, let's go home

Sunday, October 25, 2009

pics and a prize

today i shot my first sitting for the new business! it was a great experience. i did one of my best friends and her family. wow, do i have a lot of room to grow! in some ways, its like riding a bike and in other ways .... its so not. practice makes perfect, so i'm booking more friends before i delve into shooting strangers (with my camera).

so i'm cleaning out my 'edit' folder on my desktop to make room for their pictures and ran across these fun pics from way back...

family fun at walmart.
even ethan thinks this a lame "treat"

one of my favorite things to do is cook for people - especially other foodies. you know, people who know it's Gruyere before you tell them. on such an occasion, the boys helped uncle simon bring down their little table and chairs while i was cooking.

AND despite neglecting my blog for a good portion of the summer, i somehow earned an award! woo! thanks so much to just breathe for this fab and super cute award!

One word answers only, then pass it on to 6 friends. Here we go:
1. Where is your cell phone? bedside-table
2. Your hair? outgrown
3. Your mother? rocks!
4. Your father? cute
5. Your favorite food? chocolate
6. Your dream last night? weird
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? balanced
9. What room are you in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? cooking
11. Your fear? fear
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? anywhere
13. Where were you last night? party
14. Something that you aren’t? boring
15. Muffins? cupcakes?
16. Wish list item? balloon-whisk
17. Where did you grow up? b-ville
18. Last thing you did? edit
19. What are you wearing? t-shirt
20. Your TV? over-used
21. Your pets? kasha
22. Friends? blessed
23. Your life? busy
24. Your mood? lethargic
25. Missing someone? mom
26. Vehicle? SUV
27. Something you’re not wearing? earrings
28. Your favorite store? target
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? earlier
31. Last time you cried? -?
32. Your best friend? far
33. One place that I go to over and over? target
34. One person who emails me regularly? suzanna
35. Favorite place to eat? home

i realize i totally cheated by hyphenating words. what can i say? i'm a rebel.

now to pass it on:


lisa in the boondocks

kyooty -not coyote




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

it's funny you should mention that...

I've heard it dozens of times and have had dozens of reasons to dismiss it.

But alas, after a ton of prayer and counsel (Proverbs 15:22) and some basic math, I've decided to rejoin the leagues of professional photographers. So there you go, people. Hire me. Do it now.

More info about a future website to follow. But this blog will still be active. Don't you worry. :-)

"Look, I'm not an intellectual - I just take pictures" -Helmut Newton

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chalk Bluff Camping pics

I said I would post the camping pics and I totally meant to - its just that there were so many to choose from! Here is the slide show I sent out to everyone who was there. If you want to see them, here they are...

The borders on my blog template are too narrow so they are all a little off center on this here blog. If you have some sort of interest in seeing them in their full glory, click here:

And you'll see at the bottom where I wrote, "Activities at Chalk Bluff:" that is a spoof on the Chalk Bluff website which is a little corny when it comes to the activities page.

Monday, October 5, 2009

HASAY: I'm fine just the way I am.

Where did I leave off with HASAY? Let's recap my little journey...

Over the course of the last 9 months I gained a whopping 15 lbs on my 5'3" frame. I always had an easy time of losing weight in the past (given I truly applied myself) so I worked out a bit more and ate a bit less. Nothing came off. Then I changed my meds .... still nothing. Then I got tested for thyroid issues .... nope, no weight is coming off of these bones. Then I spent 8 weeks on dieting, obsessing over counting calories, and working out. I consumed slightly less than their plan and worked out slightly more - being an overachiever and all. After 8 weeks, I lost 3 lbs. Really not worth the trade off.

After a couple of weeks of feeling really bad about myself, I made the following decision:

This is what 32 years old looks like.

I think this is just nature calling and what's the use fighting it? I resolve to exercise 3-4 times a week and eat healthy but enjoy the food I eat - even if that means having fondue once a month.

So there you have it, people. I am no longer a twig and nor will I ever be again (short of a terrible illness ... no thank you). But that's ok because if you turn your focus away from television and glossy magazines and towards the really important things in life, towards your real treasure - you will find that it has nothing to do with being thin and more to do with being healthy and enjoying life.

Its just not worth the cost of exercising and dieting to the point that this 32 year old has the body of 22 year old in exchange for the time with my kids or bible studies (which sounds dorky but they are really enriching!) or taking some off of eating healthy so I can go out to eat with friends. You see the trend.... relationships. Are my relationships affected by the fluff around my middle? No. But they were a little strained by my OCD attitude towards dropping it. So if the weight doesn't drop off - at least my poor body image can go suck an egg.


All of this is well and good until the dreaded Party City Halloween Costume catalog was sent to my house. Why is everything slutty? Slutty nurse, slutty cop, slutty Nascar pit crew person, slutty leiderhosen, slutty pirate, slutty bumblebee. It looks like a stripper catalog (right down to the platform stilettos) (and I mean that in the nicest way towards strippers). Unless I want to dress up as a couch potato - or go to good will and be a hobo - my options are limited outside of slutty _______.
If I lose weight in the future, I won't lie, it would be nice - but it is no longer essential to the way I view myself. As long as I get past Halloween.

Here's my latest picture - taken two weeks ago when we went camping:

Note chubby arms and face - and happy smile!

More camping pictures at a later date.

And while you're at it, visit Casey's blog for the like minded fitness and diet aficionado.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sunday in the Park

As I have said before, one of the ideas of the home church is that when it grows to large for one living room to accomodate it, another home church sprouts from it. We decided a few months ago to have a combined service once a month so everyone at all the locations (not that there are so many .... yet) get a chance to meet and hang out and worship together. These photos are from our last combined service.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Bday Parties!

Some people really know how to have a good party. And I should mention that the hostess's BIL made pina coladas - from scratch. Mmmm......