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Monday, March 29, 2010

An Amazing Gift

I know it sounds cheesy but I'm a firm believer in homemade gifts are the best kind of gifts. And I don't mean it just as a mother, although I do love to receive pasta necklaces and hand print plaques.

Adults seem to be getting craftier with their gift giving as well. I recently made a photo book of my friends kids and wrote a story to narrate pictures I had collected of them. I received handpainted letters for Camryn's birthday that now hang in her room. These things take more thought and make the gift so much more meaningful.

But today, I received a gift that surpassed being crafty. One of our great friends milled us our first piece of furniture for our new addition. It started as a tree stump and now is an accent table for our living room.

This picture doesn't even do it justice. You have to see it in person to see the detail and feel the textures. I'm so excited to have a new living room to display it in. It is a real work of art and I'm honored to have received it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hold it

Camryn and I were playing outside the other day when she spotted the moon in the sky. She got so excited to see it in the middle of the day.

She kept asking to "hold it" and I just couldn't get her to understand why that wasn't possible. But she never stopped trying. She stood in the yard with her little arms outstretched just trying to grab hold of it. Her determination was just too precious.

Although she wasn't able to achieve her goal, I'm glad to see she's already reaching for the stars!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


After the fancy menu my husband whipped up for my birthday, the pressure was on when it came to his special day. I'm a decent cook but I like to think my forte is baking! My favorite part of birthdays is seriously the cake, let me re-phrase that, the ICE CREAM cake. And usually for the kids I decorate it in a fondant theme that matches that of the party. But now that my husband is in his 30's, I figured he deserved something a little bit more sophisticated. So I retired my Wilton decorating tools for this one and scoured the epicurious website for some scrumptious recipes.

So we invited another couple over for some wine and dessert! I served chocolate mousse with Bailey's Whipped Cream in an edible cookie bowl! It was decadently delicious!

For the family celebration on his actual birthday, I dabbled in a little cheesecake making. I blended two recipes together to create my own Key Lime Cheesecake. I knew it was a hit when I saw people licking the remnants off their utensils!!

My husband enjoyed the indulgence. I thought both desserts were rather tasting myself. But we both decided, no need to upgrade when ice cream cake is just THAT good. My kids agreed!!!

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I hate sheet rock

Sorry sbsquared but I have to disagree with you on this one!

My bedroom

Living Room

Dining Room

I have to remind myself that despite the mess, demolition=progress!
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Move over cars and trucks

it's time for dolls and dress up clothes!!!

When I was pregnant with Camryn, I secretly hoped it was a girl. I was already dreaming about dollhouses, princesses and adorable sundresses. I didn't want to miss out on mommy daughter shopping trips, the hunt for the perfect prom dress or elaborate wedding planning.

And Camryn has risen to the occasion. She already has an opinion about what clothes to wear, wouldn't dare show her feet with unpolished toes and can incorporate accessories into any activity.
I've been racing cars, crashing trucks and building with tools for so long that sitting down for a tea party and playing dollhouse makes me feel like a girl again! It's amazing to me that she'll actually sit and play so delicately with her toys.

I'm definitely enjoying the change of pace and highly encouraging the girlness of our activities. The dynamics in the house are now equal. The boys can do their thing and now I have a daughter who wants to do my thing too!

Now if she would just grow some hair I could introduce her to a whole world of braids, barrettes and headbands.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happiness Project

I read this incredible book: "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. It's about changing things about yourself that could make you happier in your every day life. I love the idea! So I started writing down things I didn't like about the way I felt, acted or reacted. It's taken me over a month to come up with my own 10 commandments to follow and here they are:

1) Talk less
2) Let it roll
3) Be flexible
4) Make time for me
5) Soak it in
6) Find the good
7) Choose my battles
8) Write it down
9) Make it fun
10) Love like crazy

I can elaborate more on what each means but first I'm going to put them into action and see what happens!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cute story

Since we weren't the ones who were paying for it, we registered for a fancy coffee maker when we got married. It grinds the beans, has a built in filter and I'm sure a bunch of other fun functions too. It was the one item my husband really wanted and since he drinks 8 cups a day, it really was an essential.

The reason this tid-bit of info is relevant to my story is...because of this coffee maker my son has never seen a common paper filter. So when he came across one on our ski weekend, he could only guess it was for one thing! Carrying it into our room, he asked me:

"How big do you think this cupcake is?"

Not only was I in love with how adorable he was at that very moment, but coming from a non-coffee drinker, I was so proud that he immediately assumed it was for a dessert.

And in true Camryn form, she turned it into an accessory!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Teaching a toddler to ski

not only requires an enormous amount of patience but also the art of persuasion.

You see, Dylan doesn't think he needs help from anyone. He is one of those kids who knows how to do everything and is already the best at it before he even starts. And since we took him skiing once last year, this year he is obviously an expert.

Since we were going for 2 days, we were encouraging him to take a lesson the first day and ski with us the second day. He would hear nothing of it. So we embarked on the tiresome journey of trying to teach him without it appearing as teaching!

Speed doesn't scare him. So getting him to keep his skis in a pizza was impossible because it slowed him down. Turn, why should you turn? The fastest way to the bottom is straight down and besides, the slushy snow stops you at the bottom. This is the attitude we were up against.

Trying to get him to focus on his form with the alluring hum of the chairlift overhead was nearly impossible. So after a morning of getting nowhere, we ventured inside for a snack. Who would have known that even the lodge would be a distraction. He couldn't get passed the array of condiments that you could pump on your sandwich. Once he created a sandwich concoction and filled his belly, he was eager to learn.

His skis formed the perfect pizza slice, he managed a few turns before falling and he could even stop! He graduated to the chair lift where he impressed us with his ability on a green circle trail.
We ended up spending the rest of the trip going down the big mountain where he was forced to use his skills. He improved immensely and we all enjoyed skiing together. And by the end of the second day he said: "I think I'm ready for lessons now!" Success!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still here....

I know I haven't posted anything in a while but I have a good excuse. I have a job! After much trepidation I finally started my career in the real estate world.

It's exciting to be part of a team environment and as an added bonus they are all adults!!! Although I'm just in training, it's nice to get out of the house in work clothes and have intelligent conversations. I honestly think this is just what I needed!

I already have a new found respect for working moms. I've only gone to the office for 3 hours every day this week and I'm exhausted. I'm going to have to adjust to waking up, actually showering and making myself presentable to the public. The housework doesn't magically get done while I'm gone and now I have even less time to procrastinate. The effect it's had on my parenting as been immediate. I'm not used to being away from my kids and even though it's only a few hours a day, it's made a difference. I maximize my time with them now. When we are playing I'm in the moment, not thinking about other things I should be doing or feeling bored. Dylan seems to be challenging me less and enjoying me more. And Camryn is super excited each time I return and anxious for my attention.

All in all, the changes my new job has brought about so far have been positive ones. And I think it's only going to get better from here!