Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The healthy way

We've been trying to eat healthy since the holidays and it seems to be working.  It's easier to eat healthier when your hubby eats that way too.  In fact, it's easy and it makes you want to strangle your hubby. 

On a lark, Hubby decided to eat like I was and see if he lost any weight.  Well, as of two days ago, Mr. H has lost twenty pounds.....TWENTY!  I'm stuck at 16 pounds lost.  It's an achievement but not as good as the ol' hubster.  Why is it so easy for guys to lose weight???!!! He said all he's been doing is cutting down on his amount of food.  He still eats a hamburger every couple of days for lunch, but with a small order of fries.  UGH! I haven't had a hamburger in 3 months!  Actually, I'd rather have enchiladas than a hamburger. Mexican food is the devil to me.  It calls me from a far!

One of the dishes the Hubs and I have fixed for a side dish at dinner is roasted vegetables.  The kids love them! Even when I sneak asparagus in with the potatoes and carrots.

It's super simple and so tasty.  The key ingredient is Cavender's Greek seasoning. This stuff is magical. It makes everything taste good.  We put it on all vegetables, hamburgers, pork roast, really any type of meat.

All you need to do is cut your favorite vegetables into medium size chunks, like potatoes, carrots, turnips, brussel sprouts and asparagus.  Coat the diced veggies in olive oil and liberally sprinkle the Cavender's all over the pan. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Roast veggies for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.  It's really up to you how long.  Some people prefer the veggies a little more browned than others.  I just test the carrots and when they are fork tender, your veggies are done.

Speaking of healthy, we are going to be super tempted to cheat on our diets in the next couple of weeks because I'm going to put out a candy dish full of M & M's for the boys.  

Don't you just love the new St. Patrick's Day dish I found at Hobby Lobby?! 

I also bought the cutest little signs to put out throughout the house.
Kiss me...I'm Irish!
We all need a little of this.....

And, I always want our friends and family to feel welcome at our home!
Do you see the difference in the wood color on my dining room table in the pic above?  That wonderful water mark is actually a steam mark from a pizza box. The pizza box that my hubby put on the dining room table and left there for 3 hours while I was gone one night.  You can imagine the reaction I had when I lifted up the box and there was a huge white mark on my table. My prized french country dining room table. 
All I can say is......
Thank you Lord for Sharpie wood stain markers.  It isn't a great fix but it makes the mark in the wood look less noticeable.  That was one night I wasn't thinking too healthy....I was thinking very unhealthy thoughts in my mind....like how to maim a pizza eating husband...HA!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for Small Fry and Tater Tot - they are the best 2 things
that have ever happened to this Hautemama

I have a lot to be thankful for on this Thursday.  I recently read about a wonderful blogger that just found out some heartwrenching news about her baby that she's expecting in a couple of months.  Please pray for Megan and keep her in your prayers as she carries her baby that may have many medical problems when born.

I feel especially sad for her because I too went through a heartbreaking situation with my first born.  My son got stuck in the birth canal while being born.  His hand was cupping his face and his arm and nerves from his spinal cord were damaged during the birthing process.  He suffered a brachial plexus injury, also known as Erb's Palsy or Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy.  His right arm and even the right side of his face were completely paralyzed until he was five months old.  He started physical therapy when he was four days old.  The sheer sadness and absolute heartbreak of having a child with a life-long injury is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  It destroyed me for quite a while; insomnia, depression and just utter confusion as to what went wrong. 

This was in 1999, when the internet had only been around for what seemed like a couple of years.  I remember bringing him home and sitting up every night, all night long researching on the internet anything I could find that would help him.  There wasn't very much information, and blogs definitely weren't an option.  What a wonderful tool that would have been to reach family and friends about news on my little Tater Tot.

I consider him an absolute miracle.  His great-grandma put him on a prayer chain at her church one Sunday and called to tell me about it.  I politely thanked her and told her I really appreciated it, hung up the phone and thought that it was sweet, but I wasn't getting my hopes up.  That's the point I was at...I was beaten and spent every moment questioning myself.  Did I do something to cause it? Did I do something wrong while pushing?  Was it something I didn't do while I was pregnant???

The next morning after the prayer chain went out, I got up to feed my little sweetie, while his Daddy was getting dressed for work.  I finished nursing him and I laid him down on the bed and turned to tell my husband something.  When I turned back around, our baby had his paralyzed arm straight up in the air.  I remember blinking and turning to my husband but I couldn't say a word.  My jaw dropped.  I looked back at his arm and it was still in the air. 

I turned to his Daddy and said, "Do you see that?"

He replied, "I do, but I don't believe it!"

I think we must have stood there for what seemed like 30 minutes. 

My little baby was lowering and raising his arm up in the sky.

It was more than I could have ever asked for.  He was moving his arm.

I immediately called my Mom, my mother-in-law and the great-grandma that had put him on the prayer list.  They were so happy and grateful!  His great-grandma told me, "See honey, prayer does work!"  I told her it definitely did and I would always tell anyone that asked about my little miracle that he was healed by a prayer chain, so don't ever doubt that they work. 

God has a plan and he listens to everything we ask of him. Sometimes, the plan may not be clear, but eventually it will become clear.

I have to say that I am most thankful for that one moment in my life.  Granted, Tater Tot had to continue therapy and he will never have 100% movement in that arm, but he is considered by many of the Brachial Plexus doctors to be an extremely blessed child to even be able to move his arm at all.  His only challenge now at 11 years old is that he can't straighten his arm or lift it up in the air correctly, but people hardly even notice his "lucky fin", as we call it. (If you have a child, you will know about the lucky fin that Nemo had in Finding Nemo).

What I didn't realize then is that by having Tater Tot in therapy all these years with kids who have cerebral palsy, down's syndrome and a host of other challenges, he has learned the great gift of sensitivity and humility.  He never stares or comments when he sees anyone with a disability or a challenge.  That's a wonderful gift to learn at such a young age.

Tater Tot at the Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia with his wonderful Doctors and Therapist

When I was a single mom, we had a new neighbor move in one day and he stopped in the backyard and talked to us across the fence.  About 30 minutes after we introduced ourselves and started talking, Steve, our new neighbor said to both of my sons, "Why haven't you guys asked about my leg that's missing?" He was walking on his crutches and didn't have his prothesis on that day.

Tater Tot piped up, "We didn't ask about it because just 'cause you're missing a leg doesn't mean you aren't a good person." 

Our neighbor smiled really big and said, "That's a good little guy you've got there!" 

At that moment, it all became clear in my mind.  I had a little boy (who was 5 at the time), that never saw disabilities.  He understood that people are the same, no matter what they look like or what they may be facing.  He has compassion and that's one of the greatest gifts he could've ever learned.  For that, I am very forever thankful.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Green Enchiladas (From Aunt Novella)

2 lbs. ground chuck
2 tbsp. dried oregano
2 small cans diced green chilis
3 cans cream of celery soup
1 package burrito sized flour tortillas
tomato - chopped
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream (optional)

Brown ground chuck in a skillet. When meat is almost browned completely, sprinkle in dried oregano. In a separate saucepan, combine cream of celery soup, green chilis and 1/4 cup water. Heat just until warm and combined well. Spray casserole dish (large size) with cooking spray. Fill each flour tortilla with meat mixture and roll into an enchilada. Fill casserole dish with rolled tortillas, then spread soup mixture on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle top of enchiladas with desired amount of cheese. The more cheese, the merrier. Bake until sauce is bubbly, approx. 30 minutes at 350 degrees. We serve one or two enchiladas, topped with the desired veggies and salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Yum!

Wordy Wednesday

It's been an interesting week so far.  We've had one kid, Small Fry, home sick on Monday with a stomach virus.  I had to stay home from work for that one, but actually got a lot of work done around the house during the quiet time when Small Fry was just laying around.

On Tuesday, he went back to school and felt much better.  So good in fact that we decided to stick with our menu plan and make chicken enchiladas.  I had grabbed a large can of Las Palmas red enchilada sauce at Wal-mart on a whim. I'd never used it but decided it looked good enough to try.  I looked up a recipe for chicken enchiladas on the Las Palmas website.  The only addition I made was to mix a can of cream of chicken soup with the enchilada sauce.  I thought it would stretch the sauce and make it just a little thicker. I actually had about a 1/4 of the can left that I didn't use.  The recipe turned out so good!  We will definitely be eating this recipe again.  It's going in the rotation of our favorite meals.  I think next time, I'll serve Rice-a-Roni Spanish rice on the side and maybe some homemade guacamole. 
Laspalmassauce.com - great site for enchiladas

Yummy chicken enchiladas- some without cheese for low-fat version

This morning when the boys got up, guess who thought he should stay home because his brother was sick and got to stay home??? Yes, that would be older brother, AKA, Tater Tot.  You have to love brothers...what do women with 5 or 6 kids do? I have no idea because it's hard enough getting two boys to feel good everyday and go to school.  I always worry when one of them is sick because the other thinks he's sick too.  And usually, on the day they get to stay home, the 3:00 o'clock elixer hits and when all of their buddies are getting off the bus and going out to play after school, they forget they're sick at all.  Of course, I never acted sick to stay home and watch TV all day. Never, not me.

On the diet front, that's the perma-diet that I always seem to be on, we are doing really well.  Mr. Hautemama and I have been trying to watch everything we eat.  We've cut back on portions and stopped all of the mindless snacking.  It seems to be working, Mr. H has lost twenty pounds since Christmas (don't you just hate guys) - HA!  I've lost 16 pounds since the first of December.  For a couple of weeks, I'd been losing and gaining the same 3 pounds but Monday night, I lost 4 pounds overnight.  I have no idea what I did except try to drink a ton of water. 

I did find a great yogurt that I hadn't tried before - Yoplait Lite and Fit.  It's so good and only 60 calories. I had been buying Wal-mart's generic yogurt but it's 120 calories.  The Lite and Fit is half that!

Tonight was leftover night so Mr. H decided we needed to go out to eat.  We went to Mazzio's to have their salad bar.  It's the pizza place in town and it's the best salad bar in town.  That's really not saying much since we live in such a small town, but it's all we've got here.  The boys get tired of Mazzio's but it's cheap and yummy!
(Photos courtesy of google images)
We're spending the rest of the night watching the Olympics.  The boys are excited to see Shaun White snowboard.  I think Tater Tot loves him because he's a red head just like him.  The Flying Tomato - what a cute nickname!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Valentine's Tale

When I married in 1995, I never expected to have to explore the world of dating again. I was so thrilled and anxious to set up house and live the all-american life. I was a sorority girl and I married the fraternity boy. Isn't that the way the yuppie fairy tale begins? It's the way I thought my fairy tale was going to begin, at least. Granted, I did live the fairy tale life for 3 or 4 years after I got married. It was the stress-free life of newly married twenty-somethings. It was so exciting to buy our first new house and decorate it with treasures found in local antique stores and the mall. I was so proud to have a husband.

Sadly, after my first son was born, I started noticing my husband wasn't so thrilled to stay home and act like a husband. Thinking I could solve the problem and knowing that we both loved and adored our baby so much, we became pregnant again 18 months later. Our first born was so perfect and thrilling, we wanted to experience that again and also give him a sibling. During that second pregnancy and the ensuing newborn months, our marriage crumbled into pieces. In January 2002, the stranger who called himself my husband came home to let me know about a certain 19 year old blonde bimbo secretary named Stephanie. She worked at the "office". The "office" meaning the family business where my Daddy so graciously let my husband work as his business partner. Wow....talk about a destroyer of a marriage and bomb dropped on not only me, but my wonderful Mom and Dad.

Cue the image of me sitting in a big 3,000 square foot house with an 8 month old son in my arms and a 36 month old son on my lap. Just the three of us, all alone in an empty, dark and quiet house. I was a stay-at-home mom with no income of my own and a marriage that had fallen apart. The house was the dream house that my husnand and I had just built five months before the big blow-up. The house he thought would keep me in the marriage even after he confessed to "a little fling" while I was pregnant.

I wouldn't want to leave my "perfect all-american life", would I?

Well, the answer is, yes I would.

Money does not buy happiness. You can be married and still be the loneliest person in the world. I know that because that's how I felt. Alone and like I was going crazy. After all, that's what my husband had convinced me of....that I was an overweight, low self-esteem having, jealous wife.

I knew something was going on simply because the bimbo wouldn't look at my newborn son. She was so guilt ridden that she couldn't bring herself to even acknowledge my baby. I don't know many people who ignore the newborn brought to the office, especially when it's the boss's daughter and the other boss's wife. The first time I brought my baby to the office, I felt my heart literally drop to my feet. I knew.

My calm world had turned into a Jerry Speringer episode and I hated divorce. The entire process was horrible. When I look back, I feel as if a black cloud or mist is hanging above every memory made at that time. I hated feeling so tired and worn out every night because I wanted people to believe that I was strong and doing great as a single mom. At night, I would let all of the insecurities eat at me. I would wonder how I had failed at keeping my husbands attention. What would happen to my boys if they were raised by a single mom? Would they grow into confident men?

Fast forward two grueling but very character building years and I was living in my own cute little house with my three-year old and five-year old sons. My Dad had fired my ex-husband and given me his job. I felt like I was finally keeping my head above the water and I wasn't paddling as hard underneath trying to keep from drowning. I had dated some pretty miserable men but it was good practice and preparation for the whole dating experience. I figured out that the club and bar scene wasn't my thing. I wanted to hang out with my little boys. I was jaded about relationships and men in general. The thought that taking care of my boys by myself and the fact that we were all thriving was so empowering. I had decided that being alone wasn't that bad and resigned myself to living alone as a single mom. It wasn't my first choice for myself but it was the plan that had been laid out for my life.

I spent the summer of 2004 concentrating on my sweet little boys and spending time with family and friends. It was a great summer and I was content. I even had a nightly routine which consisted of walking at 7pm with my next door neighbor Lisa and letting the boys ride their bikes alongside us. We met diligently every night to get in a little exercise. One night in August, as we walked in our neighborhood, we passed a dark haired guy with the best tan riding bikes with his family, a blonde wife and little boy and girl. They passed and I made a snide remark.

"What a cute little family."

I had taken a good look at the Dad, thinking he was really handsome.

Why couldn't I find a good-looking guy like that?

The next night, as usual, Lisa and I went outside to walk and I noticed the same dark haired guy jogging with one of my neighbors, a big stocky guy that lived two doors down from my house. When they saw us, they both said "Go!" and began jogging even faster than they had been before seeing us. I thought that was a bit funny but didn't give it any more thought. Fifty feet later, they were actually passing us on the street and I happily greeted them with a simple "Hi!" As they walked by, the dark headed guy didn't acknowledge me at all but his buddy looked me up and down while saying, "How are you?"

I answered, "Good, how about yourself?"

He said, "Good!"

It was the complete once over he gave me that made me feel like we were in high school. I giggled about it with Lisa and when we saw them coming towards us on the other side of the neighborhood, they turned around and went the other way. I actually joked to Lisa that I thought they were going to pass us a note. It was that silly. It was an odd but exciting moment that night because I just knew that the dark headed guy was looking at me and actually might be interested. It was the way he ignored me. Completely obvious.

The next night, my boys went to their Dad's house and I went to the next town to do some grocery shopping. As I walked into the frozen foods section, there stood the dark-haired guy. I thought it was my one chance! It was now or never! I walked up to him, feeling pretty confident about myself.

Me: "Hey, you run in my neighborhood."
DHG: "I do?"
Me: "With the big guy."
DHG: "Oh yeah, that's my buddy Big Dave."
Me: "Well, I just wanted to introduce myself, my name is 'Mrs Hautemama'. And...I said my first name and last name very clearly and slowly so he would definitely hear it correctly.

He told me his name and we parted ways. At least I knew his name, I thought as I walked away. When I got home and put the groceries up, I settled down to watch TV and the phone rang. I answered it and a male voice said,
"Hey, it's 'Mr. Hautemama'. I just met you at the grocery store."

For some reason, which I still can't explain, I said the following in reply,
"So....are you going to admit now that you've been running in my neighborhood to see me?"

I had no idea where that came from, I mean that wasn't me. I'm usually fairly confident and bold, but that was the boldest I'd ever been with a guy.
He then replied,
"OK, I have been. My buddy told me there was a cute single mom that drives a white Volvo that lives two doors down from him. He wanted me to see you and I liked what I saw."

Oh my gosh! I was dying inside. I instantly liked this conversation and my heart was going crazy. That night we talked for seven, you saw that right, SEVEN hours straight. We talked about everything. It was the easiest time I had ever had talking to another person. I loved his voice, his way of expressing himself, everything I had found out about him.

We went on our first date two nights later and we were hooked. From that moment on, we were joined at the hip. We clicked in every way. We had completely different childhoods, his a very sparse upbringing and mine, a fairly blessed and privileged childhood. He was hard-working and determined, as was I. We both believed in working hard to get the things in life we felt we wanted and needed. He had no children, so when he found out about my two boys, he felt it was a blessing and total fate. He had always wanted boys and he instantly had two of them. He was perfect for the boys and I. He went on walks with us and put my youngest on his shoulders when he got too tired to walk anymore. He pushed the bike of my youngest when he said he was too tired to peddle anymore. He fit so perfectly into the role of Dad.

He has been carrying us along as a family now for six years. We dated for five years because we had both experienced a bad marriage and wanted to make sure this was a relationship that would work. All along, we knew it would be a magical marriage, it's probably why we didn't feel the need to hurry. We felt married already.

We've now been married six months and I'm thankful for Mr. Hautemama. He's the perfect Valentine. I thank God everyday that we found each other. I can't wait to make years of memories with my boys and with him. We are a family...the family I always wanted and dreamed of during many of my single mama days.


Sick Day

Today Small Fry is sick so I've stayed home with him. He has some sort of stomach virus which makes me sad for him. I can't stand when my babies are sick. I'm actually surprised that I didn't have more of a chore getting Tater Tot (the older brother) to go to school.  They are such peas in a pod that if one stays home from school the other begs to stay home with him. I get the whole "It's not Fair" argument.  Tater Tot did say that they have the Little Olympics coming up for the 5th grade and today was tryout time for the relay race.  He had set up a relay team of the fastest boys in his class for tryouts and he didn't want to miss it. So cute that he really takes his athletics endeavors so seriously.  He's even started asking if he can run around the block in the afternoon to stay in shape for soccer. Granted he's 11 but I'm glad he loves to be active. 

It's been hard to be active this winter because it has been the worst winter we have ever seen in Oklahoma, especially northern Oklahoma.  We have had 4 major snowstorms, including a horrible blizzard on Christmas Eve that ruined everyone's Christmas plans.  We even woke up yesterday on Valentine's Day with an inch of snow on the ground.  The weather guys had said something about a dusting of snow but we didn't expect everything to be white when we woke up.......it was really pretty though!

I was working on my household notebook last night and staying home from work has allowed me to work on it some more. I love The Organizing Junkie so I'm listing my menu for
Menu Planning Monday.

Monday - Grilled chicken breasts with white wine mushrooms and onions, roasted vegetables, salad with balsamic dressing
Tuesday - Chicken enchiladas (made with leftover chicken)
Wednesday - Sandwiches and soup
Thursday - German smoked sausage dish (recipe below)
Friday - Homemade cheese pizza
Saturday - Pork chops with mushroom gravy
Sunday - Leftovers

German Smoked Sausage Dish
1 medium onion, chopped
3 turnips, peeled and chopped
3 large carrots, cut into large dice
3 potatoes, peeled and medium dice
1 package turkey smoked sausage, skinless

Brown turkey smoked sausage in small amount of oil, about 2 tbsp.  When sausage is browned, add onions and rest of vegetables.  Let them saute' for 10 minutes and add a small amount of water (1/4 to 1/2 cup of water). Cover with lid and let cook for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. The amount of water is purely up to you. It should be just enough to steam the dish when you cover it.  This dish is so easy and you can turn it into a chunky dish or more of a stew if thats what your family prefers.

I've also been looking at blogs on my lazy, sick day.  I've been looking at some of the best blogs.  I've listed a few below for your blog reading pleasure:

Thepioneerwoman.com ( she lives near me and I went to school with 2 of her cousins) One of the cousins talks to the hunky Marlboro Man daily- can you even imagine??!!
Thisisreverb.com  ( Ryan is an awesome cook and just a great all around guy
Ronisweigh.com (great weight loss blog-she went from overweight to a marathon runner! Wow!)

I could literally read blogs all day long.  The blogs above are the more popular blogs that I started reading a couple of years ago. That's when I discovered the whole blog world and couldn't believe how much there was to learn from reading a person's blog.  I've learned about saving money, how to plan my family's menus more efficiently, great photography tips, where to look for the best sales on clothes and household items and how to do my own blog header.  It's so much fun to get all of the greatest decorating tips and DIY instructions.  My next goal is to learn Photoshop and how to make my photos really stand out.  Heck, right now I just need to remember to download my photos to Photobucket or Snapfish and actually order them.  I like to order two copies of each photo because I put one in a photo album sleeve with the date and a tidbit about the photo on the back and the other can be used for framing or scrapbooking.  I still love to actually scrapbook with real stickers and paper, not just a digital copy.  I'm a school and office supply nerd and proud of it!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Today I got a surprise.  Mr. H and I had agreed to not get each other a Valentine's Day gift since we feel that we are blessed enough and don't need to spend money on each other.  After we woke up, Mr. H came into the living room with a card.  He had bought me the sweetest card.  It was so special, I almost started crying.  Of course, I stayed with the plan and didn't get him a card, even though it was our first Valentine's Day as a married couple.  My gift to him was heart shaped pancakes with a heart shaped pad of butter on top.  I'd had that planned all week.  Sometimes, the smallest things make me feel like I'm prfetty cool.  Silly, I know.  But Mr. H is more about the things you do, not the things you can buy him.  He requires very little to make him happy and that's why I love him so much. 

Mr. H went to pick up the buys since they were at their Dad's house.  Tater Tot had called me to tell me that Small Fry was puking and had been since 7am so their Dad wanted to meet early to switch.  I stayed home to finish the laundry and get ready to make lunch for my Mom and my boys.  Small Fry never threw up once he was at our house and started acting pretty good.  I did ask the boys what their Daddy got them for Valentine's and they said nothing.  Tater Tot said he even had to remind his Dad that it was Valentine's.  Things like that break my heart.  But, Mr. H said that was ok- we got them enough fun Valentine's candy and goodies to make up for it. 

My Mom came over to eat lunch with us and to get her Valentine's goodies from us.  We got her a cute card, chocolate covered cherries and yummy Lindors truffles.  For lunch, we fixed a healthy feast of grilled chicken with white wine sauteed mushrooms and onions, roasted carrots, potatoes and asparagus and a salad with a balsamic vinegar dressing.  The meal was perfect and healthy, which makes it even better.  No guilt after eating it. 

This afternoon I'm working on my monthly menu planning for my household notebook and writing the kid's activities down for the next month.  Gotta keep organized or I feel like I'm going nuts!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My early Valentine's Gift

Friday we decided that we really needed to have our carpets cleaned. I mean, after record snowfall this year in Oklahoma, we now have more sand on our streets than the stinkin' beach. We were actually smart this year and bought sand to keep in the garage in case we had another ice and snowstorm. Well, we had two or three snowstorms, resulting in the spreading of no less than 5 million pounds of sand on our driveway and front walkway. OK-5 million might be a slight bit more but not much. The boys have brought sand into every crevice of our house. It doesn't matter how much I sweep and vacuum, I still hear little crunching noises when I walk into our front entryway or laundry room from the garage. It's enough to drive someone crazy!

Since we were having a professional carpet cleaner come out to do the job, I went ahead and told him to steam clean our couch and overstuffed chair in the living room. We have two dogs, a white Boxer and a Beagle and they love to sit on the ottoman and chair. I try to keep them off of the furniture but this winter has been so bad that I felt sorry for them and let it slide. After paying almost 300 dollars for carpet and upholstery cleaning, the dogs will no longer be able to talk me into any kind of couch sleeping or lounging. It's the floor for them or we cover the chair. I don't want to have to spend that much for quite a while. It was worth it though. Our carpet looks so fresh and puffed up. We put the new frieze carpet in when we built this house and I thought it was so beautiful, but now that we've lived with it for a while, I notice that it tends to get flat looking, even when you diligently vacuum. I'm not sure we'll get that kind in our next house. Maybe we'll get smart and actually spring for really good carpet and not just a grade above the cruddy builder grade that they try to put into new houses.

Speaking of new houses, while we were out running errands and waiting for our carpets to dry, we drove through a new neighborhood in the next town. It's a master planned community with it's own school, golf course, golf facility, walking trails and fully stocked pond. The houses in this neighborhood are incredible. To die for! I didn't see a house I wouldn't live in - just simply amazing.
This house could be yours for a measly 1.5 million dollars.
Love houses with a drive through driveway/garage area.
This house is just gorgeous! 
Love the banister of this staircase
I want a pool like this someday!  I'd never leave home.
(Photos courtesy of realtor.com)

After driving around dreaming of living in a dream house, we tried to think of somewhere to eat dinner.  I told Mr. H that we didn't have to go out to eat for Valentine's Day, we could just grab something small and go home for a quiet night.  We decided to grab some barbeque and eat it at home.  Barbeque was fancy enough for us since we've both been on a diet and trying to eat right for the past couple of months. I have to admit that it was awesome eating ribs after not eating beef for quite some time. It gave me heartburn though. Ugh.

I spent the rest of the night watching the Olympics and working on my household notebook.  It's a great night to me if I feel like I'm getting organized.  Organized and clean carpet - that's Heaven to me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Growing Up

Last night something happened that really hit me hard.

My 11 year old son asked if he could make a CD for someone.  That someone being his little "girlfriend" Emma.  The girlfriend stuff is starting too early for me.  I know it's completely innocent in the 5th grade but why is he making a gift for another girl and not his Momma!  I actually thought it was cute and sad all at the same time.  There was a time when all he thought about was what he was going to make me for Valentine's Day. I was his best girl.  Guess I have to let him grow up sometime....just not too fast.  He's still so young and sweet.  It was a good idea - I just wish he would make me one too!   He does have more songs on his ITouch than I have on my little Ipod Shuffle. 

Do you see what's wrong with this picture? I have a measly Ipod Shuffle while my 11 year old has an ITouch that he can text message from and load 8 gigs of "stuff" onto.  And... he actually bought the ITouch all by himself.  He saved and saved until he finally had the money to buy it.  It was a good moment of victory for him.

Guess he is growing up.  Buying his own electronic doodads and making CD's for girls.  What's next?!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Poof - Business Version

After seeing the hilarious video on Kellys Korner Blog of Jill creating the "poof", I thought I would post my business version of the "poof".  It's actually my favorite hairstyle ever....and I've been through some hairstyles, beginning with the infamous Jennifer Anniston layered cut and ending with a short inverted bob. The bob did nothing for my naturally curly mess of hair and I'm so glad I grew it out.  I've actually been growing my hair since 2007 - 3 years to get it long.  I'll never cut it again!

This is at 5pm - it looked great at 8am!

Poof is a little flat but still cute
The teased poof actually works well for a business setting.  If you have a straight ponytail in the back, it can look very sleek and modern.  If you curl your hair and pull it into a curly ponytail, I think it looks full and super cute!  This is my hot-rollered version. 

I've actually started using my hot rollers and instead of curler the hot roller under, I curl it out away from my face.  It looks like I've been standing in my bathroom curling loose curls with a curling iron but so much less work.  I was researching how Gretchen Rossi does her hair on the Real Housewives of Orange County and she said Hot Rollers so I must be doing something right!  I'm no Gretchen Rossi but I absolutely love her hair!

Things I Love

I'm following Diedre's lead from the blog For Such A Time As This and posting a list of things I love in honor of the month of "Love".

 - hearing my boys yell "Momma" when I walk in the house
 - laying in the middle of my boys watching TV in bed
 - getting a big hug from my handsome Hubby
 - the sunshine (we haven't seen it much lately and I miss it!)

 - snuggling in bed with my white Boxer Allie-her fur feels like a rabbits fur
 - calling my Mom on the phone and she's having a good day
 - seeing pictures of my Daddy (he's been gone 5 years now)
 - working in an office where everyone gets along and has fun
 - the color of my boys beautiful hair
 - flannel pajamas

 - Sonic Diet Coke with strawberries, lime and vanilla

 - White Tea Ginger body lotion from Bath & Body Works

 - my husbands smile (he's on the left-he's with his brother)
 - jersey knit sheets
 - my Chi hair straightener
 - jeans that feel just a little bit loose in the morning when I get dressed
 - Barry Manilow - don't judge - I love, love, love him!
 - the beach at Gulf Shores, Alabama
 - The Real Housewives of any city - but especially New Jersey!!!!!

 - my warm and comfy home
 - finding a perfect decoration for the house

I had to share my favorite decorating find so far.  One Saturday, while shopping, I went into a store called Windsor Market.  It's an adorable collection of designers booths with a ton of decor and handmade items.  The first booth I came to had the picture below.  I looked up and about passed out because the little boys in this painting look exactly like mine.  We even had a cat that looked like the one in the painting.  Luckily, the painting wasn't too terribly expensive because I was taking it home.  The most amazing fact about this little find is that I was looking for a picture that had blue in it to put above our bed.  SCORE!  I love it and smile everytime I see it because it reminds me of my little sweeties!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birthday Party Fun!

One of our neighbor friends, Chase, had a birthday party today at one of the bowling alleys in the Big City! It just happened to be a bowling alley near where I grew up and attended high school.  It was about 45 minutes from where we live now but I felt like I was back in my stomping grounds.  In high school (before everyone had a cell phone attached to their ear), this was the place to find your friends, especially your boyfriend.  The guys all hung out there playing video games.  They've changed it a ton since I was there forever ago.  T and H were thrilled that it had an indoor go-cart place.  All of the birthday kids rode go-carts after bowling and eating pizza.  It turned out to be a great birthday party and all of the kids had a wonderful time.  We gave Chase a nerf gun so he could join in the kids "nerf" wars in the neighborhood.  Everyone in our area of the neighborhood has a nerf gun and about 12 of them get together to have a war near our empty retention pond in our part of the neighborhood.  Oh - the imaginations of little boys.  You gotta love it!!! 

The only strange thing that happened at the party was the Mom of the one of the neighborhood kids and her drama.  Apparently, she has a "beef" with one of my friends and de-friended me on Facebook because of it.  Well, she followed me in to the bathroom to tell me that she didn't want my friend to know her business and that's why she de-friended me. I told her that was fine, no hard feelings. I was just glad I didn't make her mad about something.  The problem was the tone and attitude she had telling me this little tid bit of information.  First of all, it was snotty. She was very defensive and made me feel like I had done something wrong.  It really offended me.  I graduated high school a long time ago and it felt like I was thrust back into time.  I honestly don't like women who think they're still in high school and have to have drama all the time.  After talking with her in the bathroom, I'm actually glad she de-friended me because I don't have time for drama, especially at my age.  Ugh! That's too tiring to me.

Besides the odd neighbor lady-it was a great day!  When we got done at the bowling alley, we went to the grocery store to join the hundreds of other people preparing for our next big snowstorm. The weathermen are calling for 6 to 8 inches of snow on Monday.  And this is while we still have snow on the ground from the 8 inches we got a week and a half ago.  This will be our third snowstorm this year.  We had a major blizzard Christmas Eve that completely messed up traveling for Christmas.  My Mom even stayed at home on Christmas and she lives 3 miles from us!  In Oklahoma, we aren't prepared for this type of weather, so our electricity always goes out when the ice get on the powerlines.  We like to be prepared so we buy extra cereal, milk, bread, sandwich meat and cheese.  We could live on cereal and sandwiches if we had to.....I would prefer we didn't!

Tomorrow our Aunt Julie and Uncle Mack are coming for a visit in the morning, then it's Superbowl time.  Our friends are having us over for chili and hotdogs and some fun commercial watching.  The commercials are my favorite since I'm not a hugh NFL fan.  Then we get to wait for Snow-opocolypse III!