The Life & Times of Mommiehood

Here I am finding my way through uncharted waters.


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Happiest Place on Earth.

What a crazy week. We had a lot of fun. Walked 50 miles. Spent loads of time together. Saw lots of characters. Rode many rides. All in all we had a blast.

A couple highlights …

The girl getting all decked out as Elsa at the Bippity Boppity Boutique. She remembered doing this last time and was excited to become Queen Elsa for the day. To top it all off we went and met Queen Elsa and Princess Anna at the end of the day.

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I will try and post more pictures later, our Internets don’t seem to want to cooperate right now.

A highlight from Tuesday was the Princess lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. This time we were able to meet Tiana and Tangled and Princess Minnie in addition to Ariel and Belle. We’ve seen Rapunzle from a distance but not up close and have only seen Tiana singing in California Adventure.

Wednesday we spent a few hours in the park before nap time and then met some friends for dinner and Big Hero 6. Fun to see friends from college and the movie was really great.

The highlight from Thursday was meeting Baymax and Hiro. Not to be outdone by AMAZING seats for Worlds of Color after a tasty dinner. We also ate corn and turkey legs as a homage to Thanksgiving and saw a bunch of characters in both parks, including a special run-in with the Fairy Godmother.

By Friday we were all WIPED and the girl was not wanting to walk around anymore (in hindsight we should have rented a stroller for her, but it’s so much easier without one!) … but we had a good day, got some last minute souvenirs, and watched the Disneyland fireworks from our hotel pool deck before being totally ready to head home the next day.

Saturday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel with Mickey and his pals, packed, wandered around Downtown Disney one last time and headed to the airport.

Long week and we were all ready to be home.

Thankful for our adventures and ready to see where next Thanksgiving takes us!

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Fell off the wagon already.

So much for blogging every day this month.

There have been things I thought to write about and then seem to forget and not find the time.

Today I was gifted with the day off. It did not go as I had planned. I did not accomplish all I wanted to. But I did not have to go to work. That was wonderful.

The hubs and I went on a movie date. We so rarely get to do that and pretty much never make a matinee anymore. Definitely an older crowd this morning, but nice to be able to go and watch a movie and just spend some time together.

Life has been  in wack-a-mole mode and I feel like I’m the mole. No fun. With all the car issues we’ve been having (yesterday the truck started acting funny and today the check engine light came on) and the weather change today I felt like Eeyore most of the day.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow can be relatively uneventful.

Finished Home Alone with the kids. They really enjoyed it. It has been fun to watch movies I liked when I was younger with them and have them like them too. Also interesting to talk to them about how things are different now with technology having changed so much in the last 20 years.

Started the last week in my 21 Day Fix today as well. So far so good. Here’s to finishing strong and then getting started with P90. Happy the hubs is joining me (he started P90 today) and we can cheer each other on and encourage each other.

How’s that for random.


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Books.

My future SIL (six more weeks till the big day!) tagged me on Facebook in a post requesting me to list ten books that have stayed with me in some way. This seemed a bit long for a Facebook post and I know my blog will post there anyway so here goes. Ten books in no particular order, that have resonated with me for one reason or another.

1) Philippians, Paul. I first really studied this book the summer I was a camp counselor, during the week I was without my co-counselor BFF. I was horribly bummed to not be with my friend but ended up blessed with a wonderful group of preteens. Whenever I read Philippians I am reminded of these girls and my prayers for them that week and wonder what they are up to now almost 20 years after that week is a distant memory.

2) The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey. I read this one while on a missions trip in Russia. To this day I really think about the things I think I know about Christ. Why do I think that and is there any evidence of that in the Bible? Last summer this book was chosen for the women’s summer study at church and irradiation again. Love how Yancey picks apart things we think we know and presents facts alongside scripture.

3) Unafraid: Mary, Francine Rivers. Another one of those books that challenged my thinking. Sure it’s mostly fiction as there is little in the Bible about Mary, but still interesting to think about what it was like in Mary’s shoes as a pregnant virgin and the mother of Christ.

4) Les Misérables, Victor Hugo. One of the first books I really loved that was required reading in high school. Great story of redemption and not getting stuck in a miserable angry vengeance. Really enjoyed seeing the story brought to life in the theater and on Broadway as well.

5) Crazy Love, Francis Chan. One of the hardest books I have ever read. Very challenging to take a look at myself and my response, or sometimes lack there of, to God’s love for me.

6) Yada, Yada Prayer Group, Neta Jackson. I’ll include the whole series here. Good perspectives on differences among people and how we approach Christianity and relationship. Especially when people are different from me. Understanding someone else’s life and reality and meeting her where she is at and loving her no matter what makes us similar or different.

7) The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve just had a ton of fun reading these. Relationships. Misunderstandings. The importance of listening to people and helping them. Paying attention to details. Lots of good things tucked into these books and the few shows that aired on HBO were also wonderful.

8) The Zion Chronicles and The Zion Covenant, Brock and Bodie Theone. These started my love for historical fiction and helped bring life to what I learned at school about the Nazis.

9) Beverly Cleary. I loved Ramona and Ralph S. Mouse. Who wouldn’t love a motorcycle riding mouse?!?! I devoured her books when I was in 3rd grade. Her books made me want to write my own stories, on stapled together lined paper complete with illustrations. Just like the boy brings home from school for his stories.

10) What a Girl Wants, Kristen Billerbeck. Laugh out loud chic lit. The main character, Ashley Stockindale, is a hoot and there were several moments while reading this series where I got the giggles. I should go read them again.

As I put this list together I continue to think of more books. There are so many good ones out there. Too many to list. As I was asked to not think too much, so these are what you get.


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still tired.

We finally made it to our destination after our pit stops in Minneapolis and Wisconsin Dells. Awesome to give my mama a big hug and have two excited grand kids want to tell her everything. At once. They are now in bad and hopefully won’t decide to wake up at 6 am. A girl can dream right?

We had a great, albeit short, time in Minnesota. While there were a few people I would have loved to see and didn’t get to, we got to see all of the hubby’s aunts and uncles and my aunt as well as my gram and three of our cousins. We stayed at “cousins house” where our kids have a blast with second cousins or whatever your cousins kids are in relation to your kids.

The one thing that makes me batty is how bonkers my kids act when we are on a trip. It’s like they completely forget anything they have been taught. We catch them jumping on furniture, yelling or screaming for no apparent reason, taking things apart, tormenting each other and, well, bouncing off the walls. Too much excitement to be contained in their little bodies I guess.

After Minnesota we decided to stop on our way to Illinois in Wisconsin. The Dells. When I was younger we did this once as a family. Had an initial visit, where my parents took us on one of the boat tours and that was it. We never went back. I thought we could do the same thing. While the boy would have probably seriously enjoyed one of the water parks I knew the girl was totally not ready for that kind of excitement so figured we’d find a reasonable hotel with a pool and go on one of the Duck rides. Check out what the Dells had to offer and maybe in a couple years head back for more of the water park fun.

We were disappointed. The Duck ride was fun, but I was not prepared to get soaked. It wasn’t cheap. We decided to go to the “downtown” and look in the shops. Where one goes to pay far too much money for everything. So … yeah. The little scouting trip did not make me want to go back any time soon. I’m sure that as the kids get older we will stop again and maybe stay in one of the resorts with a water park as part of the hotel or go to Noah’s Ark, but really I’m ok if we just keep driving through to Illinois. If I’m going to spend far too much money on stuff I’d rather go to Estes Park or Breck.

Glad to be at my mom’s now.

Maybe I can find some energy.


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Almost Eight. Almost.

Today was the second day to celebrate the boy turning eight. Which doesn’t officially happen till Wednesday but mid-week celebrations aren’t the easiest to orchestrate.

I’m terrible at long term planning but we got the invites out at the end of the school year, earlier in fact than we did last year. I even remembered to get out a reminder email since lots of things get misplaced in the end of the year chaos. We even ended up with a few RSVPs. And I remembered to at least message a few friends about the party since the invites never quite made it to church with us.

Yesterday we celebrated with nana and papa. Took up some ninja turtle plates and napkins and how to train your dragon cupcakes. He came home with some Lego loot. Was great to see nana and papa and spend the day together despite the long drive.

This year we did our best to keep the friend party simple. Made it after lunch, before dinner, outside. Thankfully when I remembered to ask my awesomely creative friend Natalie to come face paint and do a mini magic show she was still available so we had some good entertainment for the kids (which the adults used as chat time!) we had the squirt guns out and some kids brought gifts of more squirt guns and water balloons. So we had lots of water fun, just like last year. Some of the face paint even made it through the festivities unscathed.

LayoutThe magic part of the day was fun.
Kids learned some fun tricks and the parents got to sit and chat uninterrupted for 40 minutes.

I had one kid tell me they had fun and others you could tell were enjoying the afternoon. All in all it was a good way to ring in turning eight.

One more celebration on the horizon. Wednesday on the actual day we are going to a screening of two IMAX movies at the museum with movie snacks included. Pretty neat that the event fell on his birthday.

Cool things about having an eight year old:
No more car seats.
He’s still a little kid but he’s also pretty independent.
Third grade is my favorite.
You can have some pretty neat conversations.
That reasoning piece is starting to help him make better decisions and think about what-might-happen-if.
He can really do a lot to be helpful around the house (and sometimes even wants to).

When it was all over I even had the opportunity to take one of my good friends for a ride in Sapphire. Having a convertible is just so much fun.


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Christmas Break!

I so enjoy having some time off. Especially so this year after the loss of my favorite nurse at our school. Tough that last week of work with her not there and my office right across the hall. Hoping every day that goes by is easier but I’ll not soon forget her smile and readiness to listen about anything and everything.

On to Christmas …

We kicked the season off with a trip to Loveland. So very much enjoyed dinner with all the Stones at PF Changs and then watching the kids open gifts and especially the girl and her dollhouse. She sure does love that. The boy got some pretty sweet loot too … so did the grown ups. After our Sunday night dinner and present extravaganza the kids and I spent Monday with Nana & Papa letting the kids play with there things more while Daddie worked all day. Then took a swim in the hotel pool after dinner and tried getting the kids to bed. The boy was still juiced about everything and man did it take a while for him to fall asleep!

Christmas Eve we drove back home. Nice to get settled and both kids a nap before heading to a lovely service at church and dinner with some good friends. A couple Santa updates from OnStar and we let the kids each open one gift before bed. Books they could read.

Christmas Day was pretty great too. So very wonderful to just be at home and have the time to open gifts and take it easy. We had some friends over for dinner, the same ones who came to help us eat our Christmas a dinner last year. We just might make a tradition of it!

Today has been full of errands and now I really should get things together for our trip to Steamboat tomorrow. Very much looking forward to a few days up in the mountains to relax and since we are bringing someone with to ski by day and watch kids buy night the hubs and I will be able to go on a few dates.

Hard to believe it’ll be time to get ready for the new year when we get back.

Where has 2013 gone?!?!?