Thursday, December 12, 2013

Festive Favorites Link-up

I'm back in the blogging game. I love a good linkup. and I love both the bloggers that are involved in this one.

  • Favorite Christmas song.All I Want for Christmas Is You. I can't lie. I love it. It is the ONLY thing keeping Mariah Carey from being assassinated
  • Christmas song you can’t stand. This one is hard for me, because I have three. I'm going to go in order of how bad they make me want to punch the song in the throat, number one being the worst.
  1. Santa Baby-what? We're hitting on Santa now? What about Mrs. Claus and all their elf children?
  2. Last Christmas-This song is like Hotel California and American Pie except not good. IT. Never. Ends.
  3. Baby Its Cold Outside-total date rape song
  • Favorite holiday movie. Elf. Hands down. I like smiling. Smilings my favorite.
  • Real or artificial tree? Artificial. I can barely keep tiny humans and needy cockers alive!
  • White or colored lights? I don't really have a favorite, I like white on a tree, colored on a house, if multicolored. I hate, double hate, triple hate, LOATHE icicle lights. I also DESPISE if you mix lights on the outdoor part of your house. Pick a light and go with it!!!!!!!!
  • All matching ornaments or more random personal ornaments? Random personal. Someday I'll have a bigger house and have my shit together (read: someday I'll be a whole different person) and I will have multiple trees and do themes, like Razorback, kid ornaments, and pretty/fancy.
  • Favorite ornament.- Its at my mom's house, I made it for her in preschool, its a framed pic of my face and I look like I'm trying to poop.
  • Angel or star tree-topper? Currently we have a bow, but what I really really really want? A giant snowman hat!!! I saw it at a tour of homes and cannot stop thinking about it but I'm too lazy to do it!
  • Does Santa wrap presents or leave them unwrapped? Santa's a wrapper. He's wiggity wiggity wiggity whack!
  • Favorite childhood memory. I think getting the original Nintendo was my favorite gift ever. I think the year my dad fell out of the attic and nearly killed himself was the year I realized how thankful I am. That was our first year with Rylan and I was tired and frantic but I loved Christmas that year. Everybody was so very happy with dad being ok and the new baby.
  • Coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog? Yes please? Daily I like coffee, with mint chocolate creamer, so coffee and hot chocolate?
  • Christmas morning at home or do you travel? Depends on the year, this year is actually our first year at home with no family here, just Rob and Sara Plus One plus One More!
  • Traditional holiday meal or something unconventional? At my mom and dads we usually all bring a few appetizers and do an appetizer buffet. That got harder because it was A LOT of cream cheese overload and our kids got older and didn't want what we made and my kids can't have dairy. Last year we had prime rib and if was fan-freakin-tastic. It actually gave us a new quote from Rylan "I want to eat what smells". Yes, son, so do we.
  • Personalized photo Christmas cards, store bought cards, e-cards, or “ain’t nobody got time for that”? Personalized photo Christmas cards and they make me crazy errrr damn year. One year caused a fight between Rob and I like nobodies bidness, one year they didn't get mailed to me until Christmas Eve, this year I don't even know if we've got it in us......

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rylan's birthday photo dump

I'm so OCD with blogging that I couldn't blog until I blogged about my son's birthday party which was November 16. Only problem was I got so crazy with the party that I took zilcho pics and needed to ask my mom. And I knew she was busy. And then I forgot. A lot. 

I remembered this week, so that counts.

I cannot believe Rylan is five. Every mom on God's green earth doesn't know where the time went. Count me in. His birth started this blog. He was the ORIGINAL plus one to the Rob and Sara pack. He is so loved for so many things. I look forward to the boy he is to become and am trying to savor the little boy that is still in there. He comes out for lap sits and hand holds and bedtime story times every now and then.

We had his party at the gym at our church. Not the fanciest of places, but it served as a perfect spot for running around and playing dressup. All Rylan wanted was to play dress up with his friends. So we took two boxes of dress up clothes (and borrowed some from sweet Michelle in the event that girls other than Lily showed up) and threw a bunch of balloons around, blew up the church's tiny bounce house, threw out a bunch of bikes and trikes and the like and let the kids do whatever they wanted. It was great. 

His sweet loot. 

These little gems get Rylan happy errrrr time

He wears this watch every day. Keeps it on his door knob at night. It is the one item he takes good care of. 

That little Spidey-lovin kiddo had the best day. Blue frosted cupcakes with superhero logos were there. Spiderman toys galore. He changed into 3-27 costumes. His besties from school came, his best girl, Lily, came, all his mature girlfriends (Rylan's crushes are all 30s-40s and married) all came, and all four grandparents and one aunt came. He is super loved. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Learning to love me

Its about to get deep up in here ya'll.

So, one day I tried on an outfit and came out and said "how do I look?" Before Rob could get a word out, our 4.5 year old says "you have a fat belly" and smiles, rubbing my stomach.

Terrible story.

Before you start hating on my 4.5 year old, and advising me about therapy and military academies, let me just tell you who you can blame for him saying that.

Muah. Me. Sara Self Hater. Batman and Spiderman and Super Why and Team Umi Zoomi don't tell each other they have fat bellies. Kids at school talk about farts and poop and nose picking to get in trouble, they don't randomly come up with "fat belly." Words like skinny and fat, ugly and such are taught by haters. Ry-bear is so young and unknowing that he thought he was saying something nice to me. He was smiling and happy with his "compliment." He got those very words out of my mouth. Because I've said them. A lot. I was the hater.

We are living in a world full of bullying and name calling and prejudice and my biggest bully is myself. Children learn hate from the house. Max, at 3, still hasn't noticed the color of another kid's skin. Rylan once ran at the owner of our favorite sushi place and hugged him so hard that he almost knocked him over.   That business is taught at home.  I'm not going to get into political business, but I seriously want the world to love each other no matter what race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation one might have. Sooooooo.....why don't I love myself like that?

I'm trying. I really am.  Self doubt is a naughty thing. It happens as a mother, as a nurse, as a homemaker, as a human living in the very short, voluptous body with giant feet. (seriously, I'm 5'1, wear a DDD bra and size 9.5 shoe! That ain't right! Maybe my large feet are the only thing keeping my boobs from completely knocking me over).

For some reason, my first step to trying was buy myself some clothes. Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear always told people in my position to not wait to buy clothes for your future skinnier self. They wanted the women to "dress the body you have now and if you do it correctly, you'll lose weight without even shedding a pound." So, I've done that. I saw a girl around my size wearing skinny jeans and boots, something that I once thought impossible for a gal like me. I bought some and I likey. I'm still working on the "look" but I'm working on it.

Another thing I've done is SHUT UP about needing to eat right and work out and I've simply DONE IT! I worked out four days last week and cleaned my house for several hours one day of the weekend and did a three hour case when I got called in to work on Saturday that required standing and moving that whole time, followed by a trip to the museum with my boys. Working out and simply MOVING were a high priority. And may I say we had such a better week?

I've dropped the negative self talk. When I went to MOPS conference last month, I went to a session where they challenged us to name 5 things we liked about ourselves. Things like that are hard for me, but in several aspects of my life, I do this: embrace the positive not the negative. Its time to do that for myself. And really for my kids. I have never dogged my kids, especially their appearance, but you'd be surprised what a random "you are such a funny kid, thank you for making me laugh" will do for your child. Or "I love you green eyes, they make you so handsome." Boys need positive affirmation too. These things are forgotten. And I need to find positives about myself that involve my physical and also my non-physical.

Okay, I'm done with the deep. I'll be posting pics of my kids acting like looney bins and me on my way to reduce this muffin top soon.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Warning: blurry i-phone pics---->straight ahead!

So, last week, whilst Rob and I were in Austin, Halloween was a-brewin'. We have a new church that sponsors a Hallelujah night, and the kids have their school party. They've never been in school for Halloween before. I felt I NEEDED to come home in time to get them, so I left Rob in Austin a day before his conference was over and headed home.

I literally, landed, got the car out of the parking garage and drove to Bald Knob to meet my wonderful parents, who traveled farther than our usual halfway mark. As soon as I got there my beautiful children pulled in and I started waving like a crazy mom.......and locked my keys in my car. We looked up several locksmiths, the only one local was not working that day. The McDonalds youth tried to break in to no avail, but one of the managers told us that a man named Brooks across the street had a kid and would open my door. We look across the street and see Napa Auto Parts. Sure. Sounds good. Nope, not Brooks. Brooks has the lean-to looking shack next door.

Brooks is amazing and I love him. $20 later, we were on our way to Hallelujah night

On our way to Hallelujah night

Max's class

On a horsey at Fall Fest. Best moment of his 3 years 30 days ever

This is what I had waiting for me when I picked them up from my parents. He was very proud of his teeth.

Max and Jax. Jax is my friend Jackie's son. We were preggo at the same time and ended up with Jax and Max 6 weeks apart. Without even talking to each other, they both ended up being cowboys for Halloween. Wonder what other weird things Jackie and I will do just alike without discussing it????? Save the world? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I ditched the family again.....

This time I took Rob. Well, Rob took me. I had to cancel a trip to Atlanta last February to see friends, and I still had the airline credit, so when Rob asked if I wanted to accompany him to Austin for a conference I said "yes please." At the time, 2 trips, 2 weeks in a row seemed like a good idea. And, in the end it was. But it was all kinds of stressful getting ready for both!!! And seeing as to how, if I don't work, I don't get paid, we're kinda poor, but oh well. Poor and happy. And rested. We're totally rested.

This time, the kids went to stay with my mom and dad. They only asked if it was time to go to Grammy's house about 37,003 times in the week prior. To say they were excited would be the biggest understatement of the year. I met my parents at a park halfway between my house and theirs. You know, so the kids could run and play before having to get back in the car. Aaaannnnnnnddd my kids basically told me to leave so they could hightail it to Grammy and Papa's house. I am pretty sure I remember Max saying "go get on your airplane mama."

We had a great time. I don't have a ton of pics, because A.)I suck and B.) Rob's convention supplied us with so many free drinks that I couldn't operate a camera most the time. I love Austin though. I don't want to drive in Austin as its full of interstates and roundabouts and such, but being picked up at the airport by a friend from high school (shout out: Corey!) and driven, first to the Hula Hut (fish tacos and skinny margarity: YUM) and then to our hotel and then picked back up (another shoutout COREY!!!!) and driven to Salt Lick rocked my face off. . Everything else we did we could either get on a bus or walk to. And, besides the "skinny" margaritas, everything else I shoved in my piehole (crepes, 2 days in a row) needed to be walked off! There is such good food and atmosphere, very friendly people and the most HUGE Whole Foods in the whole world

Airport at 5am. Would have been awesome if we were on the same flight (more on that later) and the coffee didn't taste like a$$.

This is the kind of good friend I am. This is Rob and I's friend, Corey. He's been my friend since we were in Catholic Youth together in the 9th grade. He and his wife met at Rob and I's wedding. He is holding his brand spanking new baby. Do I get an actual shot of my friend, baby, their other child or his wife, who I met at UCA when she roomed with one of my best friends? No, I take a picture of Corey's GIGANTIC ribeye and by chance get Corey and his newborn's arm. 

This is Salt Lick's fire pit. I had never heard of this place until that day, apparently Rob had as he called it a "Bucket List Item." It was really fun, while you wait, they have live music and you can bring your own beer and sit outside and chill. 

See? I'm the worst friend and vacationer ever!!! This is our other friend Cory. Cory's family and my family both migrated to Arkansas from Kansas at the same time. Our dads worked for a company that shipped us all south. I've been friend with this cat since we were busted sipping off our parents keg at a party when we were 5. Band, soccer, church, school. We did that all together. I realized, after meeting him and his girlfriend at Whole Foods that I had failed to get a picture, so I did the dumbest thing and took a pic of him driving us back to our hotel. And then I put it on our blog, Cause I'm classy.

How about some more food pictures? Because nothing says vacation like pictures of what you ate.
Nutella and Banana crepe. Rob and I basically inhale dairy when we are alone together because we can't with our kids around.

This was heaven in the form of ice cream rolled in coconut and pecans and coconut and smother in caramel sauce. Ever go to a restaurant and the waiter/waitress acts proud of you for ordering something?
 This did the trick.

Texas has magical things called Skinny Margaritas. Obviously from the last two pics I was needing to save calories whenever possible. I've had a Skinny Margarita or two, but they didn't hold a candle to this one, or the four others I drank while in Austin.

Kind of funny that I was reading a book about getting rid of excess while eating and drinking a little bit excessively. This wasn't exactly typical "vacation" read, but I heard this lady speak at my MOPS convention and bought her book the minute I got home. I am going to the library to see if they have any of her others because this book was awesome. Really eye opening. After I finished it, I got busy being a regular vacationer and read The Hunger Games. I like to do everything about a year behind everyone else.

After a couple of days of being touristy and seeing friends, it was time for Rob to go to his convention. 
Where he returned with this sort of swag. He had been talking to several people on the company that sponsors this convention's forum for years, so it was exciting for Rob to meet "friends" and be amongst his brethren. He says it was a good conference and he's already registered to go next year which is guy code for "it was awesome!!!" 

I'll leave you with this. Rob's people know how to throw a party and the last night I was there (I came home a day early to deal with Halloween) they had a huge shindig at a haunted pub. There was a live band and about 4 open bars, a magician, poker tables, cigar rollers, and......a caricature artist. The guy studied us intently to get it perfect. And then drew Angelina Jolie and Jesse The Body Ventura. I just can't stop laughing at this. I can't. Its impossible.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The post about how I ditched my family for 3 days

I've posted on and off about a group that the kids and I are in called MOPS. It stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. Its a ministry for moms of young kids. Once a month, MOPS has a meeting at a local church, the moms come and are split into tables for the year and have a nice breakfast and enjoy uninterupted chat or a guest speaker while nice ladies care of our babes and teach them good bible stuff. Another time during the month we have a playdate. Sometimes the huge group of 30-40 moms and kids, sometimes just the table we are at. Win Win. My kids love MOPS. I love MOPS.

Last year I was asked to be a Table Leader. I was in charge of 8 women, leading discussions, asking for prayer requests, putting together playdates, being a listening ear and bringing food to them when they birthed babies. It was hard, in a sense because I got some moms that insisted on getting knocked up and others that I didn't know how to help, but I loved it all the same. This year I am a table leader again, but also took on a role of hospitality. I bring door prizes, thank you gifts for the speakers and birthday goodies for the kids and mommies.

I was asked to go to their yearly convention when I first became a table leader and I wasn't ready. I didn't know what to expect and I was nervous and just......I don't know. They asked me again this year and offered to pay my way and made it sound fun and helpful and I said yes. So I went.

On Wednesday, the kids were so crazy and picking on each other, I made them hug for 20 minutes straight.  It kind of worked. This behavior helped me not feel bad about leaving.
Thursday morning, I got in a church van with 7 other women and hit the road for Kansas City. OMG I was freaking out. I'd left lunches for the kids at school for 2 days, I'd left Rob lists of what goes in their backpacks, what meds to give them and a million other things. I think stay at home moms have a certain amount of 'everything will fall apart if I don't oversee everything' that they don't mean to have. I had it. I did it to myself. This trip was good because it forced me to give up some things and Rob to take them on. 

We got to KC at 2:30. I was wearing my typical mom outfit of workout pants and a Razorback tshirt. By 3pm I was dressed like a member of society that has a button on her pants and ready to go!
Non Mommy clothes!!!!

I was pleasantly surprised that the convention wasn't all "Shout to the Lord". Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of that.
This one inparticular lasted 3 hours. It involved a Christian comedian so it was all good.

Oh, and this one. This lady has a following like no other. Beth Moore. I was the only one of the girls I went with that had never heard of her. Whoopsie. She was good, had a good message, but she's too grandiose for me.

Instead of all "shout to the Lord" there was a ton of workshops. This one in particular, brought out Sara's inner dork. This woman helped me stay at home with the kids. She taught me about couponing. She taught me about Swagbucks. She taught me about eating from the pantry when money gets tight. I love her. And she was there!!!! My stay at home mom celebrity!!!! Her workshop was about 25 ways to save on groceries without using coupons. SIGN ME UP!

Then, Dr. Keppner from Grey's Anatomy was there! Holy moses. All my worlds were colliding in such a good way. SHOUT TO THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!

Just when I'd had my fill for the day of workshops and shouting to the Lord, the girls and I went out to Kobe for a meal. I must say, MOPS did not feed us great. It was pretty pitiful in all actuality. I was so happy to bury my face in some fried rice.

And Laura drank from the butt of a ceramic lady. It was virgin. We were within a mile of shouting to the Lord, you know!

Our hotel

My girls on our way to a workshop.

Melissa, muah, Laura, Lori.

Amber, Joy, Lynda, Michelle, Amber
A whole lot of women. Not one catfight. Not one, "you have to do what I want to do." Good people. Though we do all have vampire eyes. At least we have matching MOPS chevron shirts.

I rarely talk about my beliefs and such on the blog. This is probably the first time I've said the word God. I've always been religious. I was raised Catholic and this raising made me the person I am today. I wouldn't be who I am without my home church. I've tried my whole adult life to fit in a church like I did in my youth and this happened about 6 months ago when we started going to Sardis UMC. It is a different religion than I'd grown up with, but in my heart, I felt this was best for me and my family and where our beliefs are. We have found a home there, the kids go to school there, and for the first time, in my adult life, I feel very very very close to God. 

This convention would not have been the same for me if I'd gone last year. I wasn't ready mentally or emotionally to learn so much and open my heart so much. I would have rolled my eyes. I would have had stuff go in one ear and out the other. I've done a lot of growing up in the last year. This convention was good for my soul. It raised questions in me that I want to read, listen and learn the answers for. I have a stack of books by the speakers to read and I cannot wait to dive into them. I came home a better mother, wife and child of God. I know I sound like I'm trying to get an endorsement deal, but its the truth.

For any one that cares, I thought I'd list the speakers that I loved and how you can find out more about them.

Kathi Lipp-Organizing
Crystal Pain-decreasing grocery bill
Jen Hatmaker-I loved her so much. She has such a good message
Elisa Morgan-Talked about remaining spiritual in the midst of feeling broken. 
Ken Davis-a Christian comedian. I almost peed myself. I swears. 
Lysa Terkeurst-I want to be her best friend. She talked about being a Mess, like a HOT HOT MESS and still learning life lessons from God.
Jennifer Degle-Identifying things that are draining your energy and what to do about them. this little lady was crazy in a good way.

As for my family back home......

They survived. Rob got them to school and picked them up on time. He took them to a car show AND to the fair. They ate waffles and chicken on a stick and Max saw many many many farm animals. I got home at 3am Sunday morning and at 5:30am Rylan came in to wake Rob up and found me and the "MOMMY!!!!" that came out of his mouth and the hugs and kisses that followed made that 2.5 hours of sleep worth it. Max on the other hand, was like "oh hey" and asked to watch Mickey Mouse. That's my children in a nutshell. Max is easier to please, was an easier baby, and doesn't have the fits, but Rylan has more love in him than I can even describe on 10 blogs. Together they make the perfect pair. I missed them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Max's 3rd birthday

Max turned 3 thirteen days ago. Bad mommy. Even worse? His party was 9 days before that! The blog needed to be ignored and the babies and the job and the schoolwork and the therapy and the mother of everything that is holy asthma that inevitably rares its ugly head in fall needed 100% attention.

So, back yourself up to September 21. Imagine an ALMOST 3 year old. He wanted a bounce party, so instead of going to a bounce place, it was the same price to rent a bounce house for 8 hours. Rob smoked pork and we did hot dogs for the kids and I went nuts with on some Team UmiZoomi decorations. All in all, it was a pretty simple party.

I want a bounce house all day every day at my house. This was so fun. I highly recommend it.

We got the kind with the slide. Of course.

The babes pretended to love each other.

So many friends and fam came. Grandparents, school friends, MOPS friends, church friends. The perfect mix of people that we love.

This year I tried to BACK way off on my gift giving. I tend to want quantity and end up getting a bunch of crap. I had heard rumor of

It made it so much better. Less expensive, better quality, less crap. We got him a horse barn that had 7 horses. He is wild about horses, donkeys, mules, anything with hooves and a mane. His need was underwear and socks and his read was some Tag Junior books. 

Grammy and Papa brought Max a picture book about himself. He loves it. 

Dear Max
 At 3, you love anything horses, you love farm animals, you love the zoo. You sing all the time and know most of the theme songs to all your shows. You are incredibly smart and blow me away with what you know. You currently sleep on the floor a lot and that's a little.....different, but oh well. You would eat cereal, applesauce, oatmeal, granola bars, bananas, and yogurt for every meal if we'd let you. Basically you are a walking, talking continental breakfast. Max, please know: we love you so much. Always have, always will. You were the last piece of the Rob and Sara pie to make us whole. Thanks for being our kid.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Summer is coming to an end

I'm completely crazy right now. "Getting into the swing of things" is just not something I do very naturally. So, here's a picture post of all the goings on in our house.

Razorback football is in full swing. 

Pool stuff is 75% off. Rylan is reeping the benefits.

When Rylan isn't looking, so is Max.

Fall consignment sales have costumes on the cheap

MOPS is back!!!! The kids are so happy. I'm a table leader again this year and I took on an extra role as Hospitality which basically means I get to spend MOPS's money, but really means I get the speakers gifts for giving us their time, prepare door prizes and have a basket of birthday presents ready. Did I mention I'm having trouble getting my stuff together? Yeah, I need to be more organized if I'm going to take on more roles.

We had a garage sale and Rob decided to make the big move to sell his Budweiser lamp. He marked it at $7 (its rusting at the base) and SUPRISE! no one bought it. 

Almost 3 years after we bought it for him, Rylan is enjoying the swingset

Snow boots not required

Really enjoying it

Until your almost 3 year old decides he'd like to finally have the Terrible Two's. Its awful. His fits are long and not fun. I think this one was about his lack of cereal for a snack.

And, like a typical 2 year old, he's back to normal suddenly in true Jekyll/Hyde fashion

And then you take him to Kroger and he crawls out of the cart and then tries to get back in and his mean mom says "no, you crawled out when I told you not to, now you walk" and this happens. Forever. And ever. I needed a drink. 

This is an hour after the previous pic. Helping me make brownies on Mommy and Max day. ERMAHGERD he's insane.

Insane and cute and unable to sleep in a bed.

In the last month, we've traveled to Fayettville, gone to two Razorback tailgates, put a new compressor in our van, started the kids in a new school, joined a new Wednesday night class and dinner at church, started a new year of MOPS, added a work day, went to a birthday party, reupholstered our kitchen chairs, and had a garage sale. Life is full and life is good. One day I'll get my shiz together. No worries, I'm still able to keep up with Project Runway and almost caught up on Grey's Anatomy. I do have priorities after all.