The MOTHER of To-Do Lists!

The last 48 hours of my life has been crazy - and totally consumed with Preschool work. The craft I chose for our Easter party took a little longer than I anticipated to prep, so I was up til 4am cutting out paper and putting things together! Not to mention I am getting sick, so NOT a good combination! 

Well, my mind has been mush and even though our party today was awesome, and I know tomorrow's will be too, I'm SOOOO looking forward to Spring Break!!!

I can't believe I'm even thinking about taking so much on right now, but I have a lot of projects I'd like to complete while on break. Likely enough to keep me busy EVERY DAY, but it would be so worth it to get it all accomplished! Even just getting a few things done would be great. I sat down to write out some things I wanted to do, and couldn't believe what came out. In no particular order:

1. Lock myself in my room and plan the rest of my preschool year
2. Clean out the laundry room
3. Clean/organize Scrapbook room
4. Put up shelves in back room
5. Re-organize basement shelves
6. Sort baby clothes & toys for Mom2Mom Sale
7. Schedule a Mom2Mom Sale
8. Clean room. Really clean.
9. Catch up on laundry
10. Build Caleb's bed
11. Re-finish table and chairs
12. Clean up stuff for Craig's List
13. Clean up front and back yard
14. Get some sleep

My list keeps getting bigger and bigger each day....and this is on top of a girl's night, and lunch with old friends, Saturday @ my parents for Easter, spending time doing the stage for Easter Sunday, and traveling next weekend to Indiana!!!

Okay, someone tell me - I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!


One Big Dude

My daughter's first day of preschool back in September was tough enough. Watching you first baby go to school, solidifying the fact that they're not your baby anymore, is heart breaking. (Even if I was her preschool teacher.)

Well, my son has been so envious that he doesn't get to go to school. We kept telling him that he had to be potty trained before he could go to school. Then, he potty trained a few months ago, and I didn't know what to tell him anymore. Then it dawned on me that I could actually put him in the other class than his sister and it would save me money paying a sitter those days if someone could watch Faith for the next two months. Well, the day I had the epiphany it all fell into place: someone volunteered to watch Faith for me, and Caleb was able to start preschool on Tuesday!

I may have been more excited than him. He's been wanting to go to school for so long. He was so giddy the entire morning getting ready. And because my camera crapped out on me last week, I thought I missed the kodak moment from it, but it's usable:

My little dude is becoming one big dude! Now it's official: My babies are growing too fast!!! I'm not ready for it, but I'm so glad Caleb is finally able to join in preschool like his sissy. Now, I've got both my kids in class with me!

Excuse me while I grab a tissue and sob my eyes out now...


Dining room makeover: PART 1

Y'all remember a few weeks ago I was dreaming about dining rooms
Well, I knew it would be awhile before I had the time/budget/weather to work on it, so daydreaming was all I could do. 
However, yesterday I got quite bored and stir crazy (the day before I was super sick and didn't leave the couch ALL DAY - ick.) so I decided to paint the dining room wall. I know, weird thing to do when bored, but I had the itch.

I've been wanting to do it - I used the left over paint from my bedroom mini makeover.
I was worried the dark color would make my already tiny dining room space look even smaller, but actually....quite the opposite happened!!!

The dark wall gave the space some depth and really made the black and white photo pop! My camera got screwed up (even worse than normal) so the camera and lighting are terrible, but here's the picture for Step 1 of my dining room makeover:

(an old picture from when my kids were in highchairs)

Ugh - I'm so mad at my camera....but I promise it looks GREAT!


Top 10 Reasons I love being a GIRL

You probably don't want to know where the inspiration for this post came from. But, I will tell you anyway (it's MY blog, remember?) - My period this month was horrendous. I always think it's lame when women call into work because of cramps, but I seriously considered it this time. They've gotten progressively worse over the last few months (I'm blaming it on stress). You may be thinking, TMI, but stay with me....I promise I'm going somewhere.

I was curled up in a ball, whining and asking the hubs if he would kindly shoot me in the ovaries, when I realized that even through all that, I would never trade being a girl for anything. Ever.

I love being a girl. Here are a few reasons why being a girl rocks:

10. Periods - Okay, this might seem counterproductive after when I just wrote above, but think about it. We have the ability to use this sacred time of the month to our advantage (doesn't mean we should, just that we can). I get more massages from the hubs, he's more sensitive, and I have a perfectly valid excuse to be a b*#$% and consume as much chocolate as I see fit. Plus, we get out of doing a lot because of cramps.

9. Make-Up - If you're a guy, and you're ugly - sorry about your luck. You're screwed. But us girls have the ability to mask our flaws with make-up. I refuse to leave the house without putting my face on first (you can all thank me later for that), and I feel very blessed to be able to do so. Plus, I loooove lip gloss!

8. High Heels - I wouldn't classify myself as a 'shoe girl' - I don't own a lot of shoes, and most days my shoes are pretty run-of-the-mill practical. But I LOVE a great high heel. They have the ability to make me feel sexier, skinnier, taller, and more confident. That's a pretty talented shoe right there!

7. Purses - I also wouldn't say I'm a 'bag girl' either. I've had the same purse for years. But, we have an excuse to carry all our crap with us wherever we go, and always be prepared. If guys did this, well....they wouldn't get away with it.

6. Dresses - No better way to instantly and easily feel feminine than to slip on a dress. I love flowing summer dresses. My favorite.

5. Emotions - We women can wear our emotions on our sleeves and not get made fun of. We can cry through a sappy movie without turning in our 'man card' and no man could cry his way out of a speeding ticket!

4. Girl Talk - You know, that blubbering jibberish that takes places, saying nothing at all, but knowing exactly what we mean. It's essential to every woman.

3. Wearing men's clothes - We can wear our guys' stuff and be called sexy (and it's so comfy!). It doesn't go the other way around.

2. Double Standards - Okay, I might agree that it's not fair, but since it goes in my favor, I won't put up a fight! Many more women have gotten promotions, free stuff, sugar daddy's, compliments, and hand-outs simply for being women. I'm not ashamed to admit I've used this card in my favor a time or two. Or three. =]
(I know this is an opposing double standard, but I thought it was too funny!)

1. Life span - Face the facts: Us fabulous women live longer. Perhaps because we are so fabulous:

There are other reasons I love being a girl, but I'll stop there. I wanna hear what you come up with!


Catch Up

After my princess turned 4 last week, we had a CRAZY week!!! It's still going crazy, but I just wanted to take a quick second to update you on what's been going on:

1. This week the weather has been beautiful here in Michigan! Faith got a lot of use out of her new bike, because we went to the park a few times after school to enjoy the sunshine....she went from hesitant rider to pro in no time!

2. This weekend was the annual youth rally our church puts on called Illuminate. I had the privilege of helping set up the stage and leading worship on Friday night. Had a great time, but it consumed A LOT of my time this week!

3. For those of you that remember my ranting post about my brother from awhile back, it's time for an update. Shortly after that post, my brother went to jail for breaking probation and was there until Friday (roughly 5 months). The good news is, I think prayers have been answered and my brother, the one I remember and love, is home. It's the longest he's been sober since high school, and he looks great! He came to see me sing on Friday night, and it was really really good to see him. I pray this is the time away he needed to get back on the right track and use that as an opportunity for a second chance!

4. I'm juggling a lot right now: financially, emotionally, and schedule-wise, which is why I haven't been able to keep up with the blogging. But hopefully I will get a breather sometime soon! Thanks for stickin' with me anyway, you guys rock!


Happy Birthday to my princess!

Yesterday, the princess turned Four. Every year, I am stunned at how old she is getting....she really looks so grown up to me anymore. This year, she was in school so she was able to celebrate with friends and bring in a birthday treat! She was excited to dress up for her birthday:

Some of her sweet classmates even brought some gifts to class for her. After school, she had a play date with some twin girls that she adores from school. Then we rushed home in time to see Nana and Auntie, we were coming in from Canada for the weekend to help us celebrate! She got to open her 'big' gift from us - her very own bike (which she's been wanting and needing forever). She loved it. We practiced outside for awhile, then headed to the bowling alley to meet up with Grandma & Grandpa and a few friends for a game/cupcakes/gifts. What a great day!

I love you princess! Happy Birthday!


The Random Dozen: Plinko

I love Linda's Random Dozen. I don't participate in many cause let's be honest, no one really wants to know that much about me...but this was fun, and I've been on an answer questions roll lately!

So, are you ready to play Plinko?

Definition of plink: "Plinking refers to informal target shooting done at non-traditional targets such as tin cans, glass bottles, and balloons filled with water." Plinko is also a carnival game we play at Oneighty, but pot-luck shots fits this meme better, I think.

So here are your random plinko questions lined up in a row just like tin cans:

1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
My oldest shoes probably date back to high school...so going on 10 years.
2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety?
No, but the other day a woman was walking around with a box of them, and I caught myself salivating
3. Do you know how to ballroom dance? If not, would you like to?
I do not. I would LOVE to.

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager?
As an oldest child, I kinda had to be. It still haunts me to this day.

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see?
Probably none. I rarely watch movies, and I don't know what got nominated cause I don't watch the Oscars either!

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself?
Well, it's easier to watch cause I don't have to feel it. But if someone is drawing my blood, I HAVE to watch. I dunno why. So I can be a witness if something goes wrong, I guess!

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Sunday. Love church and going out to lunch with friends afterward. Oh, and Sunday naps are DA BOMB!

8. Do you miss anyone right now?
Yes. My Hartland girls.

9. Do hospitals make you queasy?
Not really. I don't have a weak stomach though.

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card. Not that you ever would, you responsible person, you.
Of course not. I would probably say Target.

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items?
Only for my laundry detergent, cause I love the smell of Tide's Clean Breeze. Other than that, no. I buy generic whenever possible. I'm broke, remember?

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels?
Oooh, good question. I've never thought about this before. I would have to say looking into someone's eyes when I'm telling them how I feel. I have a hard time being vulnerable to people.

OK ... ready, aim, PLINK! 


Toddler Translator

One of my favorite things about having toddlers & teaching toddlers is listening to them form sentences, ideas, and words. It cracks me up how they pronounce things sometimes. When my kids mispronounce something, I try not to correct it...it usually fixes itself in time anyway and it's just too cute!! Here's are the translations for some of the funny things that my kids say:

“Tit-tar” : Guitar
“Niffles” : Nipples
“Some-be-body” : Somebody
“Honquered” : Conquered
“Fayf” : Faith
“Caybub” : Caleb
“Boodies” : Boobies
“Prylates” : Privates
“Booger” : Burger
“Blight” : The sound a magic wand makes…???

I know there are a ton more, but I can't remember them all...maybe I'll do another installment at a later time.

What are some funny ways your kids or kids you know have pronounced things?


Q&A: Part 2

1. What is your religion and what is it that holds you so strong to your faith?
I've been a member of the Church of Christ since the Joy Bus picked me up when I was 2 years old. Because they did, my parents started attending church, and were baptized. I've been deeply involved with it ever since. I traveled in an Acappella chorus in middle school/high school that was namely Church of Christ founded and funded. I went to a college established by the same denomination. I love that they are strictly bible based, and I feel very blessed to attend a church that challenges scripture on a regular basis to find Truth and relevance.

I'm also very lucky to have a strong faith that has been embedded in me at a young age. By "strong faith", I do not mean that I am overly spiritual or religious, only that I've never doubted God's presence in my life. I battle God on a regular basis and His purpose for me on this earth, but even in my darkest hours, I knew there WAS a God. It has always baffled me that people can live in this world and not believe in God. Even worse, birth a child and not believe in the miracle of Life. I've never been more sure of God's presence as when I had children. But, I guess I'm just wired that way....and eternally grateful for that.

2. what is your best day ever?
My best day ever is a Sunday. A Sunday where our family gets up, eats breakfast together, gets ready for church together while we listen to worship music (there is nothing sweeter than hearing a toddler sing along to worship music), and go to church to be spiritually fed. After church would involve a gigantic lunch with our friends - my favorite Sunday tradition - followed by a blissful nap. After nap would be some wrestling with the kids, invitations to have friends over in the evening, board games and Rock Band til we can't see straight. I love that day.

But, if I could choose to put together a day just for myself, see Q&A: Part 1

3. Do you like to drive? What was your first vehicle?
Sometimes I like to drive. I tend to fall asleep a lot when I'm driving in the middle of the day, and I hate that. And if we're all together as a family, I hate driving - I prefer the hubs to do it. But driving is when I do my best thinking, and my most personal and vulnerable conversations with God. It's where I sing the loudest, laugh the hardest, and get one-on-one dialog with the hubs and kids. Sometimes it is very therapeutic.

My first vehicle was a 1998 Burgundy Buick Century. Til I ran it into a tree (perhaps a great story for another day)

4. Do you sit down OR stand up while you eat? 
The only time I stand to eat is when there is nowhere to sit. Or during snack time @ Preschool. Otherwise, I always sit when I eat. Are there really people who prefer to eat standing???....I don't know why, but that seems bizarre to me.

5. What person has been or is the greatest influence in your life? 
I have a few. My husband is at the top of the list, without question. That man has challenged my strengths, weaknesses, fears, patience, faith, and personality - and I'm so thankful. I can't not fathom the person I would be right now if he hadn't saved my life.

The other would be my mom. Sure, we disagree and we're not as close as we used to be, but I have learned so much from her. Her zest for life is truly contagious...she never stews over things for long (something I have to work on now and again - and again), and she's quick to love. NEVER shy (to the point of embarrassment), the life of the party, this woman has more energy than I know what to do with. I never got home-sick as a kid. I got mom-sick.

The last person would have to be my chorus director of 5 years, Tim Meixner. What an incredible man of God! He became like a second dad to me, driving me to and from concerts every Sunday for 5 years. He is the reason I am able to stand on stage and sing (I have some nasty stage fright that used to be pretty severe). He's always positive, the most patient man I've ever met, and so loving. I don't know anyone else better qualified to handle 120+ teenagers every week!

6. If you could design a life, what would it be like?
This question makes me think in the direction of career. Right now, I think it would be my dream to travel and lead worship (with the hubs), like my trip to Gulf Coast. I LOVE to sing. Even more, I love singing for God and bringing people closer to Him through worship is so humbling. I've been blessed to have many opportunities to do this, especially in the last year, and many more opportunities in the near future, but I would make a career out of it if I could.

Outside of 'career', I would design of life where we were living in our dream home (but I don't know where it would be - just not here!) surrounded by family and friends, with my kids growing happy and healthy. Can anyone really ask for anything more than that?

Oh - and I would have plenty of time for blogging and scrapbooking!

7. What is your most favorite thing about being a Mom? 
My favorite thing about being a Mom is the little rewarding moments where all your hard work pays off. Or watching your child learn something new or really 'get' something. Like hearing my daughter quote scripture. Or feeling my son snuggle up to me, put his arm around me, and randomly say "I love you Momma." Or listening to my children's prayers at night. Or hearing their uncontrollable laugh. Or hearing my daughter stand up against a child who is misbehaving and saying "My momma said I have to stay here." (This doesn't happen often, BTW)

My other favorite thing about being a mother, is watching my husband be a daddy. =]

8. What is your favorite thing about your husband? 
My favorite thing about my husband is something that I had to learn to love. The best thing about the hubs is that what you see is what you get. I'm a people pleaser, so I get tense when I think someone is mad at me, or I construct my words in a thoughtful manner as not to offend anyone. But my husband? Nope. He tells it like it is. He doesn't sugar coat things. Sometimes he's a little harsh, but always honest. Always real. I appreciate that about him so much now, and I think he compliments me well in that. Now....don't be fooled. Sometimes, he really is sweeter and softer than he'd like people to think, especially when it comes to the women in his life.

9. How long have you been married?
July 19, 2010 will mark 7 years.

[SIDE NOTE - I feel like this portion of the Q&A has been very deep, thoughtful, and spiritually weighted. I'm happy to end on a lighter note]

10. Burger King or McDonalds? McDonalds. I can't say no to their french fries!

11. Timmy's or Dunkin' Donuts? Timmy's. That's my husband's Canadian influence, I fear.

12. Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy? Wheel of Fortune.

13. Heals or flats? There is a time for both, but heals win. I LOVE a great heal!

14. Matt Damon or Zac Efron? hehe, this question makes me laugh because of who wrote it....but I'll be honest (and save myself the embarrassment) and say Matt Damon (Although I still have a totally inappropriate crush on Zac Efron!). First loves always stick, don't they?

15. Night hawk or morning person? Night hawk for sure. But maybe if I wasn't such a night hawk, I wouldn't mind the mornings so much....just a thought.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I had so much fun! I'd be happy to do more if you think of any other questions for me! =]


The healing power of Sunshine

I love the healing power of sunshine.

For me, weather totally effects my mood. I got a little jolt of energy every spring. I feel rejuvenated. 

It's not Spring just yet, but I couldn't be happier about all the sunshine!

Thanks God, for sending me Sunshine just in the nick of time. You Rock!


Q&A: Part 1

Thanks everyone for participating in my Questions and Answers! I had so many great questions! I was gonna be all organized and categorize the questions into themes, but let's be honest - I'm far too lazy for that. To save some time (and my sanity!) I'm just answering them in order. I apologize in advance if some of my answers are long-winded.

1. How did you and hubs meet? 
The hubs and I met @ Rochester College in 2001. We were both there in June for callbacks of our auditions for the Acappella group we had tried out for. My first impression of him is very vivid: They split us all up into groups, gave us a song, and gave us an hour to learn it and perform it. I remember sitting in the music room with some sheet music of some old hymn, and the hubs was the only one in our group who knew the song well....so he had to teach it to us all. I remember thinking he was super cute and thought it was adorable how nervous he was to sing for us all. I totally would have approached him later, but I couldn't remember his name! Someone got to him first (and I dated someone else) and it took us another year before we dated....but we became really good friends during that time.

2.What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant with baby #1
Ecstatic does not even begin to describe it. We were trying, and I was so anxious the DAY my period was supposed to start. We had an absolute crazy day, and I ended up driving home from my mom's around 3am and picked up a pregnancy test, cause I wouldn't have been able to sleep. The hubs read the test for me - positive. I had waited my entire life to be a mom. But my sister-in-law was staying with us at the time and we didn't want to tell her just yet, so I just sat in my room at 3'oclock in the morning, giddy as a school girl, quietly squealing like a pig, and jumping up and down on the bed. It was surreal and one of my favorite moments. Ever.

3. What is your favorite childhood memory? 
The one that comes to mind is when my parents took us to Disney World for the first time. I remember my mom and dad telling us they were taking us somewhere special, but they wouldn't say where. Keep in mind, we drove there - from Michigan - so TWO DAYS later, we were really getting anxious to know what the stinkin' surprise was already! About a mile from the entrance, my mom handed me a piece of paper (maybe a pamphlet or something) that said 'Disney World'....and I was just really learning how to read. Once I figured out what it said, we were all jumping for joy!!! =] Very cool moment.

4. Did you like high school? Why or why not? Would you go back?
I didn't hate high school, but I didn't love it. I made some of the best friends a girl could ask for in high school, and they are all still very dear to my heart. But I really didn't come out of my shell and into my own until college. I had senioritis really bad my last year of high school. I don't think I would ever go back. Plus, I didn't think there were many date-worthy guys at our high school!

5. Who was your first boyfriend? 
My first real boyfriend wasn't until my senior of high school. A great guy named Joshua, who was one of my best friends. We didn't go to school together, but we traveled in a chorus together...had a great summer with him and he took me to the prom. We both went our separate ways when we went to college, but I still get updates about his missionary life in Poland from time to time.

6. Have you ever been toilet papering? 
I actually have not. I've never really been a big prank player, but I definitely would have done it if the opportunity presented itself.

7. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
I have two. One was in second grade when some tattled on me for writing 'I love Shawn Hamilton' on the bleachers outside on the playground. I had to go into the school, tell the principal what I did, get soap and water, and clean it up in front of the entire class (and other classes) on the playground. I was mortified.

My second happened last year when I was bartending. I came into work one day with my fly open gaping open. I had a pair of jeans on with a button flap so it snapped in two places, and was completely tucked into itself. My shirt was covering it for awhile, so I didn't notice.....until one of my regulars told me how much he liked my pink underwear! After that, my face and my underwear were the same shade!

8. If you had $50 cash to spend on anything you wanted and an entire day to yourself, where would you go and what would you spend it on?
Let me start by saying if I had an entire day to myself and could do anything I wanted, it would cost WAY more than $50! (It would probably include a shopping spree, spa, mani and pedi, and dinner and a movie with some besties). But right now, $50 would be spent some new clothes, and I haven't been clothes shopping in forever, trying to wait out this weight loss thing!

9. What got you started in blogging? What do you like most about it? 
I actually started blogging when I first got married with a Xanga account. It was just a way to vent, talk about my fears and frustration, and really just cure boredom in married housing at school when the hubs was away and friends didn't want to hang out. Then, my blogging turned into a pregnancy log to help remember those memories and share them with others. Now, it's a way for me to connect with other people, write down my favorite life moments to keep forever, and get some great feedback and advice from other people, which is my favorite thing about it!

10. How much time do you spend blogging? What are your favorite types of blogs?
I don't spend a whole lot of time blogging, but I spend A LOT of time on other people's blogs. I usually wait til I know what I want to talk about before I write a post, then it comes in a few minutes (probably why I don't post every day). I love mommy blogs, decorating blogs, and before and after blogs.

11.What kind of music do you listen to and what is your favorite band/singer? 
I honestly like a little bit of (almost) everything. Top 40, R&B, country, pop, gospel. I'm not really into heavy rock or metal. I also love musicals, so I listen to a lot of soundtracks (I am in LOVE with the Glee soundtracks!) Since I've had kids, I've tried to sensor what I listen to on the radio (I knew I had to make a change when my 3 yr old was singing 'Womanizer') - so in the car, we're usually listening to High School Musical soundtrack or our Praise and Worship CD.

My favorite band is probably Rascal Flatts. I am much more of a single artist lover vs. bands, but I LOVE Rascal Flatts! Some of my favorite singers include: Brian McKnight, Usher, Michael Buble, Carrie Underwood, Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks, Kari Jobe and Christina Aguilera.

That's all for now. Part 2 to follow. If you have any more questions for me, feel free to add them!!! =]


You've got questions. I've got answers.

First of all, just wanted to say that I'm so thankful March is here!!!! Spring is just around the corner, praise God! I'm SO over winter.

So, I've been wanting to do a Question & Answer series for awhile. I love these, and I think it's a great way for people to get to know each other. I've hesitated for fear that no one would actually ask me anything, but I've recently befriended a lot of new amazing bloggers lately, so I figured I'd give it a shot!

This week in particular, I've been able to spend some time with a few different circles of people, and I feel like I've been dishing out a lot of answers to people lately, so I'm on a roll!!!

For all of you that are just starting to follow me and get to know me, what don't you know that you'd like to? For those that have known me for awhile, what don't you know that you'd like to? Silly and serious questions are welcome - what do you want to know about me? About my family? About my past?  I loved the response that came about regarding me being slimed on Nickelodeon! And hopefully, through the process, I'll also get to know a little about you!

This should be fun! Looking forward to the questions to come up with. =]


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