Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

I just looked back at my posts from December of last year to see if I made any resolutions "official" by blogging about them, but no such luck. Honestly, I was probably just trying to keep my head above water with Maddy and Libby that I didn't have time to write them down. I can guess what they were - start running again, be a better wife/mother/friend, healthier eating/exercise habits, etc.

Well, I did start running again in January 2009 and have logged a little over 500 miles this year. When I think about it, that doesn't seem like a lot, but I pretty much ran consistently with the exception of the month of November. Not too shabby. I feel good with my running too. I can't say that I'm any faster, but it doesn't scare me like it used to to go run 5 miles. I also made some great friends along the way.

As far as the others are concerned, I'm sure I could put them back on the list.

I also think a lot about what I want this blog to "be." When I first started, I said "So, I hope that this blog can be a journal of some sorts so I can look back at what my life was like in my mid 30's and hopefully, I will learn something along the way." I guess that is still the true essence, but now loaded with diaper stories, and photos of my daughters.

I really do feel blessed this year. I have two happy and healthy children that I really cannot imagine this world without. They have brought more to my life than I would have ever imagined. I'm lucky to have a wonderful Hubby who loves me, has helped me immensely and in so many ways, and takes a lot of crap from me and ignores a lot of it. He truly is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. I am lucky to have friends that I can count on ~ new and old.

I've seen many friends go through a lot of pain this year and I wish for them happier days ahead. I'm sad that I'm losing my very flexible and very great part-time job. I think I'm still in shock that it's ending (today is my last day), but I guess there is also some excitement about what's to come. I am lucky to be taking on a big role with my local Junior League in the coming years. While there's excitement, I'm also a little nervous, honored, and humbled at the same time.

It wouldn't be the same if I didn't include a photo of the kids for your viewing pleasure. My best (and oldest as in length of years - not in age) friend and her family came to visit us for a few days earlier this week. It was great to catch up, but we did admit that our house felt like Romper Room on more than one occasion. I also think we've both decided that four kids is too many.

It's hard to beat a friend since the 2nd Grade. I won't say how many years that's been!

No idea what was wrong with my children. Everyone else was happy.
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2010 brings you health, happiness, and laughter!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A look back

I know you are always supposed to keep looking ahead, but I can't help it ... I'm a sentimental ol' sap and I love the memories that photographs bring.

I kept seeing this on Facebook, and I couldn't help but to play along.

Of course, there are a lot of memories that this didn't capture, but it gave a good overview.
For the most part in looking back at 2009, I ran a lot (or at least had photos made at the races), watched my babies grow from itty bitty babies into walking & talking toddlers, enjoyed time with the Junior League, and spent some time with Hubby and great friends.
I'll keep looking ahead, but I think it's nice to take a look back every now and then.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The big red box

On Christmas Eve, we attended our church's candlelight service, took a drive to see Christmas lights and then headed home since it was nearing 7:15 and Maddy and Libby's bedtime.

When we got home, the girls were wandering around downstairs and Hubby and I were grabbing a few items that we needed to take upstairs.

Maddy walked back to one of the guest bedrooms and I found her patting a BIG gift wrapped box. Hmmmmm .... I know I didn't put that there, but I was trying to figure out when it arrived.

I told Hubby that Maddy had sold him out and led me to a surprise that I could only assume was for me. He just stood there and laughed. After moving it from the front porch to our mud room, then wrapping it, he showed it to Maddy.

This sucker would have been hard enough to wrap, but also to hide? Nearly impossible! I had to also laugh that he did this while I was out running a couple of short errands and was probably only gone about 30-40 minutes.

Oh, and what was inside? Not a refrigerator, but a new cubby/shelf with hooks to hang in our mudroom so there is a place to hang my purse, their backpacks, diaper bag, dog leashes, etc.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Susan D., Hubby, Maddy, Libby, Zeus, and Zoe too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Children's Museum visit

Guess where the cameras were? Yep, right on the kitchen counter. I could have tried taking photos with my BlackBerry, but Maddy and Libby are just too darn fast.

We bought a family membership to our local children's museum as M&L's Christmas gift. Since they still don't really know what's going on with the gift situation, we decided that this would be a good gift to enjoy all year long.

We walked in and headed to the Tot Area for kids under 2. It had a big tunnel, cars to ride, rocking chairs/animals, soft play areas, balls, books, blocks, etc. Lots of mirrors, textures, etc. It took them a few minutes to warm up and then they were off ... hopping in the car, zooming through the tunnel, picking up balls, etc. It was really fun to watch them play and also to notice how differently they play.

Case in point, Maddy walked over to the swinging doors, pushed it open and walked out into the huge hallway like she knew where she was going. I followed along and after a visit to the lobby, we found the Market area with baskets of fruits, veggies, cheeses, breads, shopping carts, cash registers, etc. I think she did more shopping out of the other kids carts instead of from the shelves, but it was all good. At one point, I think she was just happy holding onto to 3 lemons and walking around.

We caught back up with Libby and Daddy, checked out the hospital area, the campground, and the theatre/stage area, had a little snack and called it a day.

All in all, I'm so happy with our gift decision. They had a blast, expended lots of energy, and we all enjoyed it. Next time ... camera will be in the bag. We also heard about a cute New Years Eve Eve concert with a countdown to 12 noon. How fun is that?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thinking about ...

  • Those Hallmark cards that start with the line, "To our wonderful son & daughter" with "daughter" in quotes. It aggravates me every holiday that we receive one. Do they bother anyone else?
  • The Popcorn Factory tin that I noticed at Target yesterday. It contained some kind of savory mix that included jalapeno, cheddar, and another flavor. I didn't want to pause too long or I knew that sucker would end up in my cart and I would eat the whole damn thing. I'm still thinking about it. And Mexican food. And good, warm bread. And Pioneer Woman's crash potatoes. No, I'm not pregnant, just trying to stick to Weight Watchers.
  • Who else but me would run out of tape in the middle of the last present I was wrapping? Luckily, I found some double stick tape and finished it like the pros.
  • Does anyone else keep a copy of Martha's "three perfect bows" how-to guide with your gift wrap supplies? I do, but I can never get my bows as pretty as hers. Maybe it's because my ribbon was 1/2 off at Michaels' or Target, and I'm sure Martha's is not.
  • For obvious reasons, we put our packages on the mantle instead of under the tree this year, but I like it so much that it may become an annual tradition. Plus, it keeps me from trying to figure out how to decorate my mantle.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One day,

I'll have something witty to write about, but until now ... more photos of my children.

This was their first experience with chocolate chip cookies. They actually seemed to take their time and nibble them, just like my Meme would have done. Only, they also drank sippy cups of milk and Meme would have been drinking black coffee.

They are 18 months old today. Where does the time go?
The cookies never left their hot little hands the entire time.
Don't even think about it.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Now it definitely feels (and looks) a lot like Christmas ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa! I know him!

One of our neighbors had a little gathering last weekend for about 10 families ... and Santa made an appearance. It was great watching all of the other kids (who were about 4-5 years old) when he showed up at the door.

Our two weren't so sure about sitting on his lap by themselves, but they were fine once we hung out on the sofa with the big guy.

We had to laugh how they are totally checking him out. I also laughed at how Libby is holding a measuring cup that she must have "borrowed" from the kitchen and Maddy was wearing the jewels that she "borrowed" as well.

It's so hard for me to believe that Christmas is next week. I definitely feel in the spirit this year, but it just really feels like this month is flying by. I think I now understand what my Mom always said ... that she wanted everything to slow down this time of year so we could truly take time to enjoy it.

Question ...

If you hire a cleaning person on a regular basis, do you give them a holiday "tip" or gift? If so, how much?

What other service providers do you give a holiday tip or gift? Hairstylist, babysitter, teachers, etc?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baby Dyson

I know most of you know how much we love our Dyson. I am certain I've blogged about her on several occasions.

We received our beloved Animal Dyson as a wedding gift. It was the only one that I knew exactly what it was. Kind of hard to disguise a vacuum cleaner at a wedding reception.

The Animal came with a coupon for a free Baby Dyson. Not a real-deal vacuum, but a toy designed to look just like the real thing. So, I sent off for it in the hopes of having a child someday to enjoy it.

So it arrived and has stayed stored for the past 4 years ... until now. We got it out of the basement yesterday to put it together so we can give to Maddy and Libby as one of their Christmas gifts.

Is it not the cutest thing you've ever seen? It takes batteries, so it actually makes sound, things whirl around, and the package says that it will pick up tiny pieces of debris. Maybe we can try tandem vacuuming!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My little fashionista

Maddy, who won't leave a bow in her hair, happily found necklaces and a purse to carry around at the Santa party we attended tonight. So maybe she's destined to love accessories?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


That I have two legs that can carry me over a 3 mile run on a random and cold Thursday night.

That I can somehow find a tiny ounce of determination to make me run when I really don't want to go.

That when I show up and the rest of the girls were already stretched and ready, that they patiently waited on me (even when my clumsy self dropped a battery out of my headlamp, and seemed to take forever to get situated and ready).

That the neighborhood has fun and bright Christmas lights Clark Griswold style to make the run more entertaining.

That I can really only smell the scent of Krispy Kreme doughnuts once during the run.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Calling it done.

Since I didn't want to

A. not put up a tree
B. put the tree up in a different room
C. put a gate up around the tree
D. keep the naked chic tree

We opted to go with the 3/4 decorated tree.

Don't look too closely ... just keep your eyes at the top half and don't let them wander too far down. Oops. You did, didn't you?

Can you tell how high Maddy and Libby can reach? Yep, you guessed it. Right about there.

Now if they figure out that they can drag their rocking chair over to the tree and stand on it, then we're all in big trouble.

And, just for you AL, the Pottery Barn wanna be slipcovered sofa ala Jacque Penne. So far, so good. We feel like it needs to be "broken in" a little ... you don't sink right in like I think you will after another month or so. All in all, I've been pleased. I did have to return the slipcover to the chair because the zipper broke when we were putting it on. Those suckers are tight. Let me know if you want to come test it out. Just wish it came in the color of Black Lab.

Monday, December 07, 2009

My helpful Heloise moment

I've been baking today. I know ... it's often scary, but usually I do OK as long as I have recipes.

I made cheese straws and lemon snap cookies, along with a meatloaf for dinner. Actually, only the cheese straws are out of the oven. The dough for the lemon cookies is in the fridge, and the meatloaf will go in the oven to bake. I'll bake the cookies tonight and cross my fingers. Waiting on the cheese straws to cool, but they smell yummy. They don't look store bought, but I guess they really shouldn't.

Anyway, I was trying to scrape the dough off my mixer blade and I never have a small rubber spatula. Guess what came in handy? Those little rubber tipped baby spoons. Perfect. Even if you don't have kids, buy a pack and keep them in your drawer.

So, there you go my friends. Aren't you glad you stopped by for that piece of entertainment today?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Deep Thoughts: sad, sentimental, and just my crazy mind

I can't help thinking about ...

A friend who lost her Mom yesterday. It just doesn't seem right that someone would have to lose her Mom so soon. We're both in our mid-30's and it just seems too early. From what I know about her, this woman was full of life, a two-time breast cancer survivor, and an all around wonderful person.

Libby, who loved reading her Kitty Cat book so much last night, that after reading it two times, decided she wanted to take it to bed. I guess there are worse things to put in a toddler's crib. I enjoyed peeking in on her this morning to see her sitting there, flipping the pages, and quietly playing with her blankie.

Is it bad that I have placed our Christmas Nativity scene on the same piece of furniture where we keep our wine rack? Something just doesn't feel right about that, but I guess you do drink wine at Communion. Or the representative Grape Juice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

O' Christmas Tree

Maybe we'll just leave it like this.

A few strands of lights at the top and undecorated.

Kind of nature-chic, don't you think? Please excuse the assorted chairs and ladder ... they aren't part of the decor this year. Or maybe we'll keep them up to deter two toddlers from playing in the tree.

We are lucky that we have a good friend, Ben whose family has a Christmas tree farm in the NC mountains. Ben is OCD about picking out trees, so we let him pick out our tree and he hand delivers it over Thanksgiving weekend. "This was alive at 11am", he always tells us.

This has to be the densest tree that we've ever had, because Hubby started putting up lights on Sunday and you can't even tell that they are on there. So, our plan is to start over and make sure we have more on the outer branches. It just hasn't happened yet this week.

Hopefully tonight and I can post a photo of a lit tree. Now, decorating may be another story. I like to pull out all of the ornaments so I can see what I have and decide what to put where. I know that ain't happening during awake toddler hours.

** Edited at 11:00 PM. We had 4 bad strands of lights. No idea what happened since last year & these are supposed to be the kind that if one light goes out, the rest will stay. So, tomorrow, I'm planning to buy about 5 more strands so we can hopefully finish the lights tomorrow. Whoopee!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hello, old friend

Well, I said I was going to do it & I did it.

I ran today. A total of 3.63 miles. In 30-something degree weather. At 6AM. I was proud of myself for a) getting out there period, and b) getting out there in the cold, and c) running the entire time. But, I was so slooooow. An average of a 12 minute mile and I started out with the "fast girls." Hmmph.

Oh well. And I even wore a fancy dancy head lamp that Hubby bought me so I could see in the dark. And some tights which are a new thing for me. I actually got capri tights which were fine even though I thought I might be cold. Apparently, if you're 5'3", a lot of running tights are really long.

I also started weight watchers online yesterday and was so hungry that I contemplated licking the leftover ketchup off my plate. Sigh. I think the first day is always the hardest. Hubby actually found a great recipe for honey mustard pork chops that we had for dinner. Unfortunately, the roasted garlic mashed potatoes recipe went awry. We laughed that they were a little like school glue, but I ate 'em anyway.

I just felt like I had to do something ... I was still eating like I'm still nursing two babies and unfortunately, the calories just don't disappear like they used to.