Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Alexis & Isabel

The girls both had check ups today with Dr. Rao. Here are the stats:

Alexis
38¼ inches
33 lbs. 8 oz.

Isabel
28¼ inches
19 lbs. 4.6 oz.

They grow and change so fast on me, I don't know where the time goes. It's going even quicker now that I'm back to work and I miss a part of their day. =(

I've been totally slacking on taking pictures here lately, otherwise I would have had some with this post. I'll make sure I get some new ones posted soon. They have cute outfits for the 4th, so I'll have some then for sure.

I know I haven't had much to say lately, but I'm pretty tired from being back to work, so I'm hopping off to hit the sack for now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Blogiversary To Me/Happy Birthday To Ross

In all the busyness that is my life lately, I completely missed my first blogiversary. So here's a belated blogiversary wish to myself!
It was a year ago yesterday that I started blogging. It's been such a great experience and something I don't think I'll ever stop doing. I just wish I could figure out how to fit it into my daily schedule now that I'm back to work. (Still trying to work out all the kinks and adjust to being back to my 40 hour a week job, plus keep up at home too.)

Today is Ross' birthday! Happy Birthday honey!!! I love you!


We're not really doing anything for our birthdays this year. =( Maybe next year we'll get to do something special.

I am going to bake his favorite cake, german chocolate, and take it to him tonight while he is working.

I would like to post more, but I'm out of time for today, I still haven't unpacked from our weekend trip yet and it's almost time to go have lunch with Ross' parents for his birthday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oops

Not going to have time for 5QF...bummer.

We're packing up and heading out for the weekend. See you on Sunday or Monday!

The Juggling Act

Whew....where to begin???

I know that I've been MIA from the blog front, so I'm not sure where to start to get caught back up again.

First off, I am still reading blogs, just don't always have time to comment and haven't had time at all to sit down and post.

Second, kudos to the moms who work outside the home, take care of the house and family, and then still have time to blog about it! I haven't figured out how to juggle all this just yet now that I'm back to work.

I haven't had a moment to breathe since we got back from vacation, it's been non-stop ever since then.

My first day back was okay, the next three, not so much. Alexis cried, screamed and chased me to the car the rest of my first week back. It made it really tough to leave. I was glad to hear that as soon as I was gone she calmed down. She had a few meltdowns that first week and cried for me, but for the most part, her and Isabel did really great.

After that first day back, Alexis would constantly tell me, "Mommy, I want you to stay home with me, I don't want you to go to work." I would tell her, "Baby, Mommy has to go to work, but I'll be home again soon." So, she started switching it up, "Mommy, take me to work with you, I want to go with you." It's nice to be missed, but I feel really bad for her in this adjustment period. Isabel seems to be doing just fine with it all. She isn't taking breast milk really well while I'm gone, but I'm not too worried since she's almost 10 months old and she's eating tons of baby food.

I'm doing really well with the whole work thing. I've known that I was going to have to go back, so I've been prepared for it and I know that there isn't any other option for now. So, I try and make the most of it so I'm not miserable all day long. I miss them every day, but I'm confident they are being taken care of and it's a huge relief to know that they are here in our own home and not some place unfamiliar to them. I'm still hoping that Ross and I can get on opposite shifts and one of us will be able to be with them for the most part.

This is all I'm going to post for now, I've got to get busy and get things going for the day and start packing for Chicago this weekend! Not really Chicago itself, but near Chicago. We have a lot of family there and my Great Uncle Rich and Great Aunt Jan are celebrating 60 years of marriage and they are having a big bash at Mom's cousin Sheila's house this weekend. So excited to see all of them, I haven't seen them in 2 years.

Here's a picture of them dancing at our wedding 5 years ago:


I'm not going to make any promises about when my next post will be because I did that last week and didn't manage to get anything posted. I am going to do 5QF at some point today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

5QF...Late

We all managed to survive my first week back to work. It was a little rough at times, trying to adapt to our new schedule and getting all the things accomplished that have to be done on a daily basis. I'll have a post about it sometime this weekend, but for now, I have to do Five Question Friday with Mama M.





1. What is your favorite thing about summertime?
 
Swimming, and BBQing, and picnics, and parties, and fireworks on the 4th! I love a lot about summertime, but I guess my favorite thing is getting to spend lots of time outside playing with my kids!

2. What is your ideal retirement location (if money didn't matter)?
 
A beautiful white sand beach, with crystal clear water on a remote island somewhere with a beautiful beach home and someone to clean and cook for me!

3. Do you live in the same town you grew up in?
 
No, but I do miss that area a lot and wouldn't mind living there again someday.

4. What nervous habit did you have as a child that you kicked to the curb before becoming an adult?
 
I was never a nail biter, but I did pick at them a lot. Ever since getting pregnant and having the awesome nail strength and growth that comes from taking prenatal vitamins, I've pretty much left them alone. They look so much prettier than they used to!

5. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened to you while on the job?
 
I fell asleep.....Yep, I sure did. Right at the drive thru window at the bank. I was a teller and my station was the main drive up window. It was a nice, warm, sunny afternoon and at that time of the day the sun shone in through our window nice and bright. I was all warm and toasty with my chin in my hands and my elbows propped up on the desk. Next thing I know, my boss is hollering my name. I look up and there is a customer at my window just staring at me. Yes, I had dozed off! When the incident happened, Ross and I had just started dating and were having those marathon 3, 4 or 5 hour conversations every night on the phone and I wasn't getting much sleep. My boss gave me a phone curfew after that and told me I better not let it happen again.
 
Or.....the time when we were oooooing and gooooing over this really cute guy that had just come into the store and we look up and he's standing right there!
Or......there was this one time we had a little fire at the drive thru too! But, I'll save that story for another day!


Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. I've got tons to do today and we are celebrating Father's Day tomorrow. Enjoy your Dad's this weekend and I'm going to try and get some updates posted and maybe try and get some stuff together for next week since I don't have a lot of time during the week to blog anymore. I am still reading your blogs, just takes me awhile to get all caught up and comment. Take care!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Day Back

I survived my first night back to work. Of course we were scheduled the full 10 hour shift, so no easing back into it, just thrown right on in. We did get out about 30 minutes early, so I was home at 2:30am.

The girls seemed to do just fine with the babysitter. Isabel was asleep by 9:30, she didn't take any breast milk while I was gone, but she did eat her baby food well. Alexis was asleep by 10 and from the report I got she only had 2 crying meltdowns for me.

Alexis has been very clingy this morning and keeps asking me if she can go to work with me. I keep telling her no, that she needs to stay home and play with Isabel. She said, "Mommy, I need to go to work and make money because I don't have very much." It's about to break my heart, but I know she'll adjust.

Isabel seems to be doing okay. She's definitely more interested in nursing this morning than she has been before. I think she realizes she need to stock up for later in the day.

They were both happy to see me and that made me feel good. We're still trying to figure out what the best schedule is going to be. It would be nice if I could sleep until 10 every morning, but I don't think that's going to give Ross enough time to get his mowing done on some of his bigger jobs. I'll have to get up a bit earlier on a few days and maybe make up for it by sleeping later on other days.

Here are a few more pictures from vacation. There was a church with a really cool playground that was right now the street from the house we stayed in. We took the kids there a couple times and they had a blast! The big kids too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Papa, Grandma & the Kids

We had so much fun doing pictures on the beach our last night in Florida. I just have to share all of the ones of the kids with Mom and Dad. Their expressions are so funny!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Home Again

After 14½ hours in my Dad's suburban Saturday, we made it back to their house at 12:25am Sunday morning. We were too tired to unpack and then repack and drive home, so we spent the night at their house. The girls did remarkably well for being cooped up in a vehicle that long.

Ross has already started talking about booking a condo for a week for the 4 of us next year on the same beach! That's how much we loved it!

It feels good to be home, but I miss the beach. I'm glad to have my own bed back, but I miss the sound of the waves on the shore. I love my family, but I'm glad I don't have to share a house with them for anymore time than I did.

I'm dreading going to bed tonight, because when I get up in the morning, it will be my last day at home with the girls before I go back to work. Tuesday is going to be rough.

We had struggled to find babysitters and thought we had it all worked out with 2 different girls, but both ended up not working out. Thankfully, we found a girl that is available and looking forward to babysitting full time now, and after she goes back to school too. Unfortunately, in the morning will be the first time we've ever actually met her. We know her mother well, but haven't ever met her. Really praying she works out and the girls like her. I'm entrusting my whole world to her, so I'm kind of starting to freak out a little on the inside.

I feel calm on the exterior about everything, but inside, I'm screaming and crying. I'm going to miss my girls so much, every day. I'm really worried about them too. I'm worried about how hard it's going to be on them to adjust to me not being here every night with them. Will they feel like I've abandoned them when they realize I'm not here to tuck them in Tuesday night? Will they be confused as to why Mommy isn't the one making them supper and giving them a bath and reading bedtime stories?

Why? Why, when I want so badly to be at home with them, do I have to leave them? I know the answer to the question, but it's hard to handle at the same point. Obviously this is what God has in store for us for this portion of our lives. I know that He will make a way for my prayers to be answered in one form or another. I know that Ross and I have to pay for not being more financially aware in the early years of our marriage. I'm hoping that someday soon, we'll have enough debt paid off that it will be possible for me to stop working.

That's enough of my depressing drama in my head for now. Here are some pictures from our last night on the beach. It was a gorgeous sunset that night!

Friday, June 11, 2010

5QF - 6/11/10



It's Friday again, which means I have to leave the beautiful beach tomorrow......=(. But we aren't talking about it.

I hope you have enjoyed all my guest bloggers this week, I know I did! Thanks again ladies!

Five Question Friday time! Click up there on that cute picture to get back to Mama M. and see all the other participants in 5QF!

1. What do you think makes a good friend, or friendship?
 
Someone who will be there for you no matter what, and will be honest enough to tell you something that a stranger wouldn't. Especially if it involves character flaws, or ways you could do things better. I also think a good friend is someone that you can go for a long time without seeing and pick up right where you left off, like not time had passed at all.

2. What is the last thing you bought & later regretted?

I just bought this fabulous Coach purse today:
 
And I don't regret it one bit!

3. Have you ever had a prank played on you?
 
Yes, and I don't want to talk about it either...

4. What is your favorite theme park?
 
The only one I've been to is Six Flags.

5. Have you ever seen someone else give birth?
 
No, I haven't, but I would love to some day. I love all things labor and delivery related. I totally don't mind the pain at all and I'd love to watch another woman give birth naturally like I have done with my 2 daughters.




That's it for this week. I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep up my blog when I go back to work, but I won't have a whole lot of free time anymore. Tuesday is the big day, please pray for me, I really don't want to have a nervous break down, but I can feel the stress and worry building inside me the closer I get to that day...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guest Post - Moms Who Are Less Trashy

Today's blogger in Mrs. Haid from The Fabulous Adventures Of Mrs. Haid. She's got some great stuff over on her site, make sure you check it out!


Hello to those who are also NOT at the beach right now!  Isn't Jessica fortunate to have such a great time with her family?  I feel (understandably) jealous because I love Destin.  And even though some of the beach go-ers are spotting oil in the water, I would totally be out there exploring and looking for tar balls. I told husband about this and he thought it was really weird of me to want to see what some of our favorite beaches look like now.  I think I am just really curious about it though.  We've spent our best vacations on the Gulf since our honeymoon on the peninsula of Fort Morgan and the Emerald Coast of Florida.  I think it would be painful to see the gunk there, but I'd like to shovel the beaches or do water tests or something while I am down there gawking at the big mess.

Oh, at this point, I should probably mention that I am a science teacher.  Maybe that factoid will make my desire to observe and test in the Gulf make more sense!  It also might give me some street cred when you read the topic of this post: Moms Who Are Less Trashy!

I have been writing The Fabulous Adventures of Mrs. Haid since 2008 and am in my third summer of journaling my thoughts and adventures on the site.  Since that time I've written about my experiences as a teacher, a wife, a mother who has experienced miscarriage, a survivor and fighter of an eating disorder, and cheerleader to my 10 month old son

I write about a few things that haven't been on Jessica's blog much - because they are my passion, not necessarily hers - and I'd like to share some of these things with you, a new audience.

 I'd like this post to come off as a list of suggestions of things any mom could do to waste less and be more mindful of the impact her family is having on the environment. 

I am pretty passionate about reducing my impact on the Earth.  I think it has to do with being a good steward of the resources I've been given.  Here are some of the things I do because I care about the sort of environment my son will live in one day.

I don't use plastic water bottles, throw away paper products, or plastic grocery bags. 
It means that I DO recycle all paper products - JUNK MAIL! -  and try to buy only the plastics (#1 and #2) that my city recycles. 

It means that I feel sort of proud when our trash pick up is insignificant as compared to the recycle pick up items.

It means that I think to keep a To Go cup in the car so I can have my not-so-guilty pleasure of Quik Trip fountain soda without wasting a new cup.

It means that I have to tote around a little larger diaper stash since my son wears cloth.  I need to carry around a wet bag for the used diapers rather than tossing them in a bin (or out the window like the driver of a minivan did yesterday in our neighborhood... gross!)

It means we use a rain barrel to irrigate the gardens and that we grow some vegetables in our garden instead of buying ones shipped in from Central America.

 Here are some guidelines or ways to think about living in a more sustainable manner.

Reduce the amount of trash you makeBy recycling it.  Re-purposing it.  Composting table scraps (non-meats and dairy). And... the real challenge... not buying so much of it in the first place.  Oh, what a struggle for me to  do this at Target when I feel compelled to just buy, buy, buy!

Reduce the amount of packaging and shipping associated with products you consume. By patronizing farmers' markets, Goodwill, and yard sales instead of a Big Box store, you are reducing the amount of cardboard, fuel, and production materials associated with buying that product new.  Shopping locally means that you are reducing your dependence on goods that are made or grown else where and shipped to you.  So browsing Craigslist is a good thing!

Consider reusable productsInstead of paper plates, napkins, and cups, perhaps you can wash one set of plastic "summer supper" type dishes, or use your everyday dishes.  Reusing a plastic cup just once means you are using half as many plastic cups as if you threw them away!  Also consider reusable products like dishtowels and wash rags for cleaning instead of paper towels.  We used to do paper towel cleaning... which meant tossing half a roll with each clean up.  Since we are doing laundry anyway, we use cloth towels and toss them in the washer with the rest of the clothes.  Also, you might consider cloth diapers and cloth maxi pads.  Whoa! Did she just type that?  Yes, I SO did.  I use both products (well, my lovely son uses the diapers, and I will use the pads once nursing has ended and I am fertile again). I LOVE using both products.  I wouldn't switch back.  Those tops are worthy of a WHOLE other post, so I won't discuss them now.  But, dude, you can do it and its totally not gross.

Use less energyWash most loads on cold and line dry when possible.  We wash almost all our clothes on cold, but the soiled dish rags, muddy softball clothes, and cloth diapers get washed on hot cycle.  This saves so much energy (and $).  I admit that line drying isn't my favorite house hold chore.  I actually prefer the smell of dryer sheet to fresh air, too.  However, I read that it saves $1.25 each load that is line dried and as much as $250 in energy costs a year.  This is enough incentive for me to use the 10 minute Fluff feature for our towels, sheets, shirts, and prefold diapers to soften them up post-line dry.  Also, try a timer for several lights or for Christmas lights to cut down on unnecessary illumination.
I see this list as a starting point, not a check list.  Being eco-chic or green or whatever the buzz word a la mode is is great, but really, I think its about a mind set.  Its about shifting one's actions from that of total convenience and disposibility to those that are more sustainable.
I know that I live a life that uses much more of the Earth's resources than many on this Earth do.  Statistics like the ones below make it so that I don't feel too preachy harping on others to use less.  I feel more like its okay to share with other moms because EEK.  We make a lot of trash!  That trash is going to be there for our kids! EEK!

Trash Facts In her book Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life Of Garbage, Heather Rogers includes the following facts:
  • The average American discards almost seven pounds of trash per day.
  • With only 5 percent of the global population, the U.S. consumes 30 percent of the planet's resources and churns out 30 percent of its wastes.
  • Garbage production in the United States has doubled in the last 30 years.
  • About 80 percent of U.S. products are used once, then thrown away.
  • 95 percent of all plastic, two-thirds of all glass containers, and 50 percent of all aluminum beverage cans are never recycled; instead they just get burned or buried.
The EPA cites that in just one year, Americans generate 236 million tons of garbage. While about 30 percent of garbage gets recycled or composted, 164 million tons are tossed away, including:

  26,800,000 tons of food
  8,550,000 tons of furniture and furnishings
  6,330,000 tons of clothing and footwear
  5,190,000 tons of glass beer and soda bottles
  4,200,000 tons of plastic wrap and bags
  3,650,000 tons of junk mail
  3,470,000 tons of diapers
  3,160,000 tons of office paper
  3,070,000 tons of tires
  2,820,000 tons of carpets and rugs
  2,230,000 tons of newspapers
  2,060,000 tons of appliances
  1,520,000 tons of magazines
  1,170,000 tons of wine and liquor bottles
     970,000 tons of paper plates and cups
     840,000 tons of books
     830,000 tons of beer and soda cans
     780,000 tons of towels, sheets, pillowcases
     540,000 tons of telephone directories
     450,000 tons of milk cartons
     160,000 tons of lead-acid (car) batteries

 So, dear readers of Jessica's blog, thank you for listening/reading this guest post while she is away in Destin.  Perhaps you've considered a few of my ideas and might incorporate one or two - just one or two changes at a time would be awesome! - and we can all try a little harder to make less garbage and teach our children to do the same.

Beach Bums

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guest Post - Body After Baby

Today's guest blogger is my cousin-in-law Ashley over at The Redburn Journal. Her blog is a wonderful read! I know you'll enjoy it. Make sure you go visit her and leave us a comment if you like it!


Lots of moms talk about how they wish they could have their pre-baby body back.  I can't say I would agree.  My pre-baby body wasn't all it was cracked up to be!  Now...I might want my high school body back, but let's get real right?!  I listen to moms all around me who complain about their stretch marks.  Talk about how they tried their entire pregnancy to avoid them, and are just devastated when they appear.

I wouldn't want to change my post-baby body.  The stretch marks on my belly, breasts, hips, thighs, and calves are permanent reminders of carrying my babies, the most important thing I've ever done.  

Why are women ashamed to have visible proof of their motherhood?  Isn't that part of what God created us to do?  Become mothers (whether through pregnancy or adoption)?  Why would we be embarrassed of that?  Now, while you won't find me running around town flashing my stretch mark tattooed stomach, I am proud of it.  

I know that my body did an awesome thing...I don't ever want to change that.



Monday, June 7, 2010

Can't Sleep

It's Monday night, our 3rd night in Florida and I am having problems sleeping. I'm exhausted, but have a terrible time falling asleep. The bed is a bit firmer than I'm used to at home, but not that bad.

I do have a lot on my mind and that isn't helping....

Vacation is wonderful. The beach is so beautiful! The house we are staying in is great!

There are 10 adults and 7 kids here together. For the most part we are all playing nice, but you can sense underlying frustrations from time to time. There are 10 different opinions about one thing and sometimes it gets interesting! We are all trying our best to make it pleasant, but..............you can understand how it is. And we have a lot of small children, who are playing hard and get very tired and cranky as well. There are 3 different sets of parents and 3 different styles of child rearing and that makes things interesting to say the least.

When you get right down to it, I think we are all having a wonderful time, but a lot of us are very tired still from the trip down, adjusting to different beds, playing hard, and dealing with tired kids every day too.

It's been busy the first few days here, so tomorrow, I plan on doing nothing but going to the beach, swimming in our pool here at the house, taking naps with my kids and being a complete, lazy bum.

I'm really trying not to spoil my vacation with any negative thoughts, but I have this one lingering thought that keeps pushing it's way front and center.....

I have to go back to work a week from tomorrow....

We do have babysitting lined out, but it's going to be such an adjustment for all of us since I've been off for so long. Technically speaking, I haven't worked in 9 months, minus 3 weeks in December. I have been so blessed to be able to share this time at home with my girls. It's not always been easy and there have been days when I wished that I could have escaped to a job outside the home. However, I still have the desire to be a stay at home mom. Please continue to pray that I will get a day shift position and then we'll barely need anyone else to keep the kids for us. I know it's not feasible for me to stay home and not work, so the most ideal situation would be for Ross and I to work opposite shifts so one of us will always get to be home.

Well, that's enough of that work talk, I just needed to get it out of my system. I'm not dwelling on it, but I do have to be preparing myself for it. I'm not really looking forward to it, not necessarily because of how hard it will be for me, but I'm really concerned about it being difficult for the girls adjusting to me not being at home with them every night.

I really hope you all are enjoying my guest bloggers this week (I know, I know, I've posted every day too!) I certainly have enjoyed reading all their posts.

Here are a few more pictures for you!

Pool Fun

Guest Post - Wife and Mommy

Today's guest blogger is my friend Nel from Wife and Mommy. She's going to tell you a little about herself and her family. Make sure you check out her blog! Her little girls are the cutest ever! Don't forget to leave your comment love!


Hey! I am Nel from Wife and Mommy.

When I was asked to do a guest post I of course felt super special - really?!?!?! Me?!?!?!?!
But then I was like oh man... what on earth could I write that people would actually want to read?!?!?

So I have decided to just write about me and my life :o)

First of all I am married to the man of my dreams! We will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary in August. I still can't believe that 6 years have gone by so far! My husband, Corey, and I get along very well! We just have the perfect personalities to make things work great! There was and never has been a doubt in my mind that Corey is the guy for me. We dated for only 4 months before we got engaged and 4 months after that... we were married! We immediately started trying to have a baby - as we both wanted a family so very badly! It took us a year to get pregnant with 1 miscarriage. But after 9 months of carrying Miss Libby, I became a very proud mommy and wife! Libby was the picture perfect pregnancy as well as baby :o) We had 3 miscarriages before I finally carried Miss Abby. The girls are just 2 months shy of being 3 years apart. I was on bedrest for 5 weeks with Miss Abby, as she tried to make her arrival early... but I carried her to term and she has been a super healthy baby ever since!

So after I had Abby, Corey made it work so that I could stay home with the girls!

I absolutely LOVE staying home with our girls!!!
I also love having dinner on the table when Corey gets home from work.
I love being with the girls with every happy and sad moment.
I love being there for every first.
I love being the one to make their ouch's all better!
I love to know what each fight is about.
I love being the one in control of their every meal.
I love being a mini van mommy :o)
I love the one on one time with each girl (with Libby while Abby naps and with Abby while Libby is still sleeping in the mornings).
I love our garden that we are growing!
I will love our pool that Libby is getting for her birthday from her Mama and Papa :o)

I just love being a wife and mommy! I surely can't wait to continue growing our family!

So if you want to know more about me... hop on over to my blog. I try and be as honest and down to earth about my life there.

~Nel Fuhring

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Here's What I've Been Doing

Guest Post - The Dance


My guest blogger today is Jenna from Jenna's Jargon. She always has great things to write about and has a great blog. Make sure you check her out and leave us both some comment love!

When Jessica asked me to do a guest post I felt honored that someone actually wanted me to guest post!  I wanted to write something exciting that made you guys think I was a literary genus but that would take too much brain thought and to be honest…My brain is pretty fried from the long rodeocation I took this week.  I thought I might write about Sean’s obsession with rodeo, or maybe about my Chocolate Children and my chickens but I thought “nah… I’ll just write about a story that happened to me four years ago this week……”
Four years ago this week I was sitting at work when my older co-worker’s son, who I attended college with, walked into the office to talk to his mom.  He came into my office before he left and invited me to go with him and some friends to attend a Randy Rogers concert at a bar in downtown LittleRock on the RiverMarket.  I immediately jumped at the chance for a free ride and I’d also been 21 for three months and had yet to visit a real bar.  I had just broken up with my long term boyfriend a few months earlier and really wanted to get out and meet some people other than the same old boys I saw at school every day.
Later that night I jumped into an SUV with five other friends and took off on an hour drive to Little Rock.  Another boy in the car with me was a really great friend of mine.  He waited on me to get my ID and money out of my purse and into my pockets when we got to the bar and we walked to the door together trailing all of our other friends.  I was really nervous about going to a bar so he was nice enough to buy my ticket and make sure I made it inside with no problems.  I walked into the bar area… the stage to my left, the restaurant to my right.  I scanned the room to look for any familiar faces since we were supposed to meet my roommates that had left earlier in the day for some shopping before the concert. 
It was a small bar in a old building and was colorfully named Sticky Fingerz.  About 300 people could comfortably fit in this restaurant/bar so it was rather small for a big concert.  Its d├ęcor was very vibrant and the walls were littered with bright colored paintings, which contrasted to the low, dark lighting.  An upside down Christmas tree hung from the ceiling decorated with ornaments that had nothing to do with Christmas.  There were window panes that hung from random places on the ceiling, all painted a different loud color.  The stage was lit up, occupied only by band equipment.  The air was smoky and smelled faintly of pot.  Loud Country Rock music was blaring from speakers above the stage and a few people were already dancing.
While scanning the room I recognized a few familiar faces and then started to turn toward the restaurant when I caught the hottest guy I’d seen in a long time staring at me… It made my heart beat really fast to realize I’d caught the eye of someone that good looking.  He was wearing a red t-shirt and jeans and his hair was messily fixed and was a shiny black that complemented his chiseled face and light eyes.  He was thin, but not skinny and buff but not fat.  I could tell he worked out by the way his shirt hung on his shoulders. My heart fluttered in my chest… Man he was sexy. 
Normally when I’m caught staring at someone I quickly look away but something told me to keep staring at this one.  We kept our gaze locked for what felt like hours but was really only a few seconds.  My friend walked up behind me.  He was finished getting his change from the bouncer and asked me if I wanted to get a drink, which made me unlock eyes with the dark haired hotty. 
I quickly wanted to get away from that area, slightly embarrassed and afraid I was starting to blush.  I turned and walked into the restaurant, the opposite way from the hotty and made a b-line for the ladies room to make sure I still looked good.  After Confirming I still looked as good as I thought I did when I left the house, I confidently left the bathroom and joined my friend at the bar to order my first drink.  Hotty McHotterson was no longer standing near the bar…. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t ready to be embarrassed and for my heart to flutter and my blood pressure to rise again. 
After buying the first drink I’d ever bought at a bar I spotted my roommates sitting near the front of the stage at a table with about five of our other friends.  I started to walk their way through the dense crowd that had tripled in size since I’d walked in.  While pushing though the crowd brushing past shoulders and zigzagging around feet, someone from behind me grabbed the orange designer top I was wearing, which I had borrowed from my roommate.  I was pissed that her expensive top was being grabbed and I turned to start yelling at the grabber and realized that it was the Hot guy from earlier.  I couldn’t make words with my mouth because I was so stunned…  His shirt read “free kissing lessons” and I cracked a smile at how silly that was.  He smiled back with his beautiful lips and teeth and laughed.  His eyes laughed too through thick, long black lashes and I melted into a puddle of awe. ..  “When are you going to dance with me” he said…..

…..Two years to the day later I stood at the front of my childhood church before all my friends and family members in a big white dress and stared into those same laughing eyes and beautiful smile, and was really glad I decided to take him up on his offer to dance. We’ve now been married for two years and my heart still flutters when I catch him staring at me from across the room.  I’m glad things haven’t changed.    

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guest Post - Life As A Nanny

My first guest poster is Abby from Murdock's Mama & Nanny2Four. Please make her feel welcome and I hope you enjoy her post, I know I did!

I was so honored to be requested as one of this weeks 'guest bloggers'..it's my first time so be easy on me!  For those of you who don't know me I'm Abby from Murdocks Mama & Nanny2Four I blog over at www.MurdocksMama.com.  

So...first things first..if you're going to leave a comment to 'critique' me --> go to my blog & do it.
If you're going to leave a nice comment about missing Jessica while she's at the beach..you can do it here! :)  [even though we're all secretly jealous that she is at the beach & we're working!! :]

So..I'm sure at this point you're all wondering what the heck I'm actually going to write about..

The Life Of A Nanny

People seem to have lots of questions about nannies so I'm going to format this Q&A style in case you're just looking for a specific topic.  I'll talk about the most commonly asked questions but feel free to ask any that I miss.

How Many Children Do You Nanny?
4
Girl 8 [M]
Boy 5 [C]
Girl 3 [M] & Girl 3 [B] TWINS! :)

How Did You Get Started Nannying?
My mom has had an in-home daycare for 25 years & I have TONS of experience but in the end I always find my jobs by word-of-mouth.  For those of you interested there are several websites you can list profiles with & I believe families call & set up interviews with you.

What Is The Best Part Of Your Job?
Raising little ones!  Seeing children grow up & mature is the best miracle in life!

What Is The Most Challenging Part Of Your Job?
I would have to say discipline.  When it comes down to it these children aren't your own so sometimes you have to handle certain situations differently than you want to/would do for your own children.

What Are Your Normal Nanny Duties?
These vary depending on your contract.  Right now I cook [breakfast & lunch], clean, & do laundry & dishes daily.  I also do things like change bedding each week & give the kids their baths.

Do You Travel With The Children?
Yes!  I would go crazy if I couldn't!  We go to several Parks & Pools, the Zoo, the Museum, the Botanical Center, the Science Center, Garage Sales, Jumpin' Jacks, Pump It Up!, Chuck-e-Cheese, Ice Creams Shops, the Library, Farmer's Markets, Living History Farms, Incredible Pizza, Malls, Garage Sales, Wee Read/Story Times & walk/bike rides!  We LOVE to be busy!
Oh..We also go to dentist & doctor's appointments!


What Is A Normal Day Like For A Nanny?
Ha!  Well any 'parent' knows that there is no normal day!  Here is a general schedule we run by but no day is the same!  With 4 kids you HAVE to be flexible!!
7:45 - arrive
7:45 - 8:15 - Breakfast, dressing, brushing teeth etc.
8:20 - Mack gets on bus
8:30-10:00 - Kids play - I clean up house & start laundry - We read a lots in the mornings too
10:00 - Morning snack [always fruit or yogurt with water]
10:15 - 12:00 - Park or Library time
Noon - 1:00 - Lunch [flip laundry]
1:00 - 1:30 - Bath time & Brush Teeth
1:30 - 3:30 - Girls take a nap - Carter & I play.  I also finish laundry & clean in the afternoons.
3:30 - Girls get up & start to play [lately outside]
4:00 - Mack gets home
4:15 - 4:30 - Snack time 
4:30-5:30 - More play time [outside!]
5:30 - I go home

Do You Live With Your Family?
I do not.  For the most part one parent or the other is home each evening with the children.

Do You Do Anything Differently Than The Parents?
I do not allow the TV to be turned on.  I know it sounds harsh but we have plenty of toys to play with & creative children's imaginations.  
*My only exception to that is if we all sit down to watch a movie together in the afternoon for a 'special treat' [like a storm outside].


How Much Money Do Nannies Make?
This varies heavily depending the the city you live in, number of
children, if they provide housing/car, & the hours per week. I live
in Iowa, nanny 4 children, have my own home & car, & work an average
of 50 hours a week & make more than $30k a year plus benefits, pto, & expense reimbursements.


Well..That's a wrap.  Thanks for reading my fist guest post & please check out my blog if you have any questions!

Friday, June 4, 2010

5QF June 4th, 2010



Hi All! This is a great Friday for me. Tonight around 8ish, we are hitting the road and driving our happy selves to Destin, Florida for vacation! I haven't had a vacation like this one since 5 years ago. Actually, it will be 5 years to the day. We arrive at the beach on June 5th, the same day we started our honeymoon 5 years ago. Happy Anniversary to us!

Make sure you check out Mama M. for her answers to this weeks questions, rules and linky things and what not! Have a great weekend, make sure you check back in this week for my guest bloggers. It's going to be fun!

Happy Follow Me Friday, Social Parade Follower Friday Blog Hop and Friendly Friday Follow! Hope you like what you see and decide to follow me!

Now, let's get on with the questions.

1. If you could go back to college would you change your major? Or, if you were to go to college right now...what major would you choose? 
 
Never went to college, but if I were to go right now, I would probably go for something cool like photography or maybe massage therapy.


2. What do you love most about your home?
 
Our newly remodeled upstairs! Everything is fresh and new and so cozy and cute. I just love it!
 

3. What types of books do you like to read (if you like to read at all)?
 
I love to read, if only I had more time! Christian Fiction by authors like Karen Kingsbury, Michael Phillips, and there are many more, but those are the two names that I can think of off the top of my head.
 

4. What is the grossest thing you've ever eaten?
 
 This isn't really gross, but it's the only thing I can think of. I can't stand raw onions or peppers. There is something about the taste and texture I don't like at all.


5. If you HAD to be a character on a TV show, whom would you be?
 
I'd like to be the mom on 7th Heaven! I've always wanted to have a big family and have lots of kids to take care of.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Check It Out

About a week ago, I noticed MckMama was doing a Twitter giveaway for book lovers. I thought, What the hay, I'll put an entry in." And I won!!!

It was a cool book bag of goodies from author Allison Strobel.

This is all the goodies!
 Three of her books
Autographed even!
And a very cool, real china tea cup!


Now, I've got to get back to packing for the beach, I'll have plenty to read that's for sure!
My first guest post will be on Saturday from Murdock's Mama & Nanny2Four. Watch for it! And make sure you leave lots of comments too!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Just In

I'm very pleased to announce that you will get to enjoy posts from some of my favorite bloggers next week while I'm on the beach.

As of tonight, you will get to hear from these talented and special girls:


Chrissy @ Traveling Light

Mrs. Haid @ The Fabulous Adventures of Mrs. Haid

Jenna @ Jenna's Jargon

I'm working on getting a few more bloggers if I can. Make sure you stop by their blogs and give them some comment love when you see their post here on my blog.

I'm off to make my detailed list of things I need for the beach. I'll be here until Friday, I'll try to do something tomorrow and I should have time to do 5QF on Friday. But, come Saturday, I'll be on the beach! Did I mention I'll be on the beach??? I did? I'm sorry, I'm just so darn excited!! Mom is bringing her lap top and the house we're at has free Wifi, so I'll try and do a post or two about our vacation and maybe some pictures too!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just A Quicky

Hey all! Just wanted to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just in case anyone was wondering, haha!

We left at 5:30am Saturday morning and went to Neosho, MO to visit some friends, well actually family. Gary & Fayetta Wynn had a double wedding with my mother-in-law and father-in-law and are just like family. Ross grew up calling them Aunt and Uncle. We spent Saturday and Sunday there and came home late Sunday night. It was a good time!

Saturday, I was very pleased that I found a bathing suit that didn't make me want to hurl when I saw my reflection in the mirror. Only had one minor problem, my boobs were kind of falling out. Thankfully, Aunt Fayetta is a great seamstress and fixed it right up for me. She put 3 buttons on it and made it look like they were supposed to be there and it covers the girls much better now.

She also whipped up this ADORABLE apron for Alexis!

 Ross' Mom and Dad were there also and we all had a great time together. Gary and Fayetta have their 4 year old granddaughter, Destiny, with them, so Alexis had a little girl to play with. And they played hard!

Monday, Ross worked out in the garden a lot. I helped just a teeny, weeny bit. I tied the tomato plants to the stakes. I didn't get a lot accomplished yesterday. Isabel was very demanding. She is still teething pretty hard and she gets very fussy.

I have managed to get a few things done today, which is great because we are prepping to go on vacation!! We leave Friday night for Destin, FL. We will arrive on Saturday afternoon. I can't wait to walk down and see the beach! It's going to be so awesome.

I'll try and sneak in a post or two before we leave, and maybe a few while we're there.

Any of my bloggy friend interested in doing a guest post?? Let me know!