Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving week

As Thanksgiving draws near, I am not thinking so much about the turkey or stuffing. I am thinking about my game plan for BLACK FRIDAY!

I know that some of you are terrified of Black Friday and the images that fill the news stories of one crazed shopper knocking out another for the hot toy of the year or some woman getting trampled because she was just too slow. Running sneakers people - running sneakers! Ohhh, that's so funny. I am (of course) just kidding.

While we have witness the humor of a few redneck events, we have not seen anything that would scare us from going back. Year after year, we set the alarm for the 3:00 range and head out.

I must admit that pulling yourself out of bed and getting into the cold car at that hour are typically not too fun, that all changes when you meet up with the crowds that have gathered all in the hope of snagging the great deals. It's so much fun.

The first year that my husband was able to go with me, I thought that I was going to have to take him right back home before we even parked the car at the first store. He was already facing the escalation of blood pressure when I had to tell him that he needed to get control and just have fun with it. If you take it too seriously, you will, without a doubt, feel the stress. Ever since, he has gone with me year after year and it's always been a blast.

Getting deals is not the only fun of Black Friday. We are born "People Watchers" and I can tell you that if you are a people watcher too, there is no better day to get your fill! There are some of the most interesting people ever out on this day. I don't know where they come from, but it makes for great entertainment.

This year, we are on the hunt for a great TV sale. If you know of a super bargain on a 32" tv, I am ready to hear about it. We are looking for the best bang for your buck kind. While we don't want to spend a ton, we don't want to skimp on quality either.

I am off now to scan the ads and see what awaits my shopping adventure.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Good-bye October, Welcome November

Our Halloween weekend was a great one! We started out on Friday as St. Louis (the city, not the saint)(I MEANT TO SAY...the Saint, not the city) and ended as Captain Rex from the Clone Wars.

The little guy attends preschool and their costumes has to consist of either a saint or an angel, so St. Louis it was - King of France. After school, we stayed for the party and costume contest and then it was on to another party hosted by two wonderful families of children in his class.

Carson and his little friends found adventure in the small pile of gravel outside of the stables. There were crafts, food and even a pinata, but it was the gravel (for these boys) that made the night. The only thing better? A cool hay ride through the pastures and around the estate.

This evening as we prepared to head out, Carson asked me if we were going to be joined by daddy. I told him that one of us would have to stay back and hand out candy while the other walked with him. I asked him which he would prefer. His answer stopped me dead in my tracks when he selected NEITHER of us! He asked to have the parents of his friend Jonah take him. SAY WHAT? Hey kid, where's the love? LOL Although, I could understand why. She is very fun mom.

We had very few "customers" this evening but did find humor in a few that did make their rounds in our subdivision. We had one girl that was maybe 13 or 14. Her costume was just too much for any of us. She was a pregnant girl. SERIOUSLY - She could not have been over 14 and this was her costume. Just a pregnant girl. WTH? Did her parents see her leave the house? To think that it was even a thought - much less an executed plan is just beyond me.

When we came in for the night, we were greeted by more candy than any red blooded American family would ever want or need. It's out of control. I think that we are going to have some very happy co-workers this week. It's NOT staying here. (I wonder why I am never going to lose any weight).

It's now almost 3, (oops!) almost 2 and here I sit typing because I am just not tired. Indulging in soda late at night is not really recommended if needing sleep. I did work on (and complete) a facelift for my Twitter page (GO HERE), cleaned up my inbox a bit, deleted over 2500 emailed from just the past two months and now sit here writing this post. I am ready to take on the new month and I am already looking forward to my favorite holiday - Christmas!

I hope your Halloween was fun! Happy November 1st (All Saint's Day!).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Moments like this...

Lord, grant me the serenity....
oh yeah,
and send me some patience and a cook!

There are just days that the little guy (as any parent knows) will do anything but cooperate. He is typically a well behaved and sweet child, but there are those days that test your every ounce of patience to the max.

On the way home today, he was just a mess. First it was because we were not going to the gym, then it was because we hadn't arrived home yet and he was so hungry. Next thing I know, he was on the verge of vomiting all over the back seat. (Motion sickness is a pleasantry we have found with him).

We arrived home to have the meltdowns over the dog, his blanket, dinner and everything else just spiral out of control. I continued with my anything but successful task of Halloween cookies, only to finally throw in the towel. Literally.

I decided to grab my computer and head upstairs. Upon my arrival at the top, the dear Lord reminded me that in the end, he is my sweet, sweet little guy.

I hear him in there in the most precious, innocent and captured way singing along with the theme song of one of his favorite cartoons. He sat there, unaware of my presence, captivated by the scenes in front of him.

I found myself standing there, admiring the sweetness of this gift and captivated as well by the very scene in front of me.

I will say it over and over again. The dear Lord gives us moments like this so we remember what's important and not the hour of screaming and tantrums that simply indicate that we need a break - and maybe even a good cartoon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Gluten is GONE!

While in Minneapolis, I was able to try the new Chex - GLUTEN FREE (Honey Nut). It was really good. I never would have known that this was a cereal lacking in anything.

When I got back, I told a friend that suffers from Celiac disease and has to abstain from gluten about this cereal. Immediately he asked just how bad it was. I lit up because it's not.

As of about 2 years ago, I did not know a single person with Celiac and since, I have come across so many people I know dealing with the same issues.

This week, I am going to share with you at least one yummy snack made with Chex that you can make and enjoy over these cold winter months. I know that this is not "technically" a great post for my Cooking - Outside the Box series since cereal comes in a box, but it's fitting for this giveaway (oops! I've gotten a little ahead of myself, haven't I?)!

I will also be giving some tips and facts about Celiac disease and Gluten free products. Come back and participate in this small series!

I want to hear about your experiences. Are you or someone in your family having to alter their diet to say goodbye to the gluten? Tell me and share one tip or story that that may help others.

To thank you, one lucky winner will be selected and I will send that person one box of this great cereal!

This giveaway will end November 5th at 5pm and a winner will be selected via

Friday, October 23, 2009

Countdown Launch Party

We have less than 24 hours until the Windows 7 Launch party and there is so much to do. I have cleaning left to do still, goodies in the works this evening (fun ones taboot) and I need to make sure that I have all of my plans ready for what we are actually going to do.

I have started some of the decorating in the rooms that are ready to go. I have the goodie bags for the adults (compliments of Microsoft) put together and the kids have their own goodie bags as well. I think everyone will leave happy tomorrow night.

We have our puppy's cage set up in our morning room (until she's older) and because of the size of it, moving it is not really something we can easily do. So, I have improvised. I have taken the cage from this......

into this with the addition of a table cloth and decorations....

We also made some spider cookies. This was our first time taking on this adventure (Betty Crocker recipe book) and so they are a bit rough, but I am sure they will be just fine anyway.

Last but not least, we took to carving the pumpkin to let the entire neighborhood know that this house is all about 7 this weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun, personalized ecards!

My cousin Angie is a nut. Something is truly just not right with that girl and when she sends me stuff via email, I am never sure what to expect. 9 times out of 10, you can guarantee that it's going to be followed up with laughter.

Check out the ecard I got today and then head out and make your own fun to send to friends and family!

It appears that it is taking a long time for the video to load. You can GO HERE to see it as well.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Interested in joining the fun? GO HERE to make your own personalized ecard! Thanks again Ang for the fun! You may have to scroll down some on the page to get started!

The Loss of a Baby

Do you know that this past Thursday was the National Day of Miscarriage and Infant Loss? To some, this might just be "a day".

Two years, one month and 3 days ago, it probably would have just been a day to me as well. It was on September 16, 2007 that we headed to our OB/GYN for our 12 week visit and genetic ultrasound only to find that our baby did not have a heartbeat. It's amazing how quickly a smile the size of Texas can wiped from your face and replaced with tears.

To say that this was a rough time for me would be an absolute understatement. To say that the time around the due date was rough - also quite an understatement. To say it's all history and we've moved on - a lie.

The dear Lord has not blessed us with another baby, but I remain steadfast in my faith that He knows what is best for us and has plans for us. There are days though that I just wish I knew what our future held. Do we dismantle the nursery or leave it in place - just in case? Until my heart is at peace, we will just leave well enough alone I guess.

I was thinking about all of this so much this morning because a dear friend came to me last night, heartbroken. She too had a miscarriage just a few short months ago after a long period of trying to conceive. What makes her story so heartbeaking to me is not just the fact that she so despirately wants another child, lost a child, but that she is also faced with the fact that her husband needs special treatment for his own medical issues. His treatments would make it impossible to conceive for at least 1.5 years or the baby will, without doubt have birth defects.

What do you say? Even having lost a precious baby myself, I find that I still don't know what to say. The conversation continues to play through my head and normally, I come up with the right words after the fact, but there are no words. I think that this is a pain and an emptiness that is not easily explained and not fully understood if you have not faced it.

Have you "been there"? Do you want to share you feelings / thoughts / story?