Friday, June 29, 2012

Preppy Iron-on Curtain Rompers

I bet that title caught your eye, huh?

Haha!  It's that time of the month again, and I'm giving a big fat THANK YOU to my wonderful June sponsors.  (Can you believe it's the end of June? Wow.)

I'm honored to have three awesome companies supporting my blog this month.  All three are genuinely tested and approved by yours truly.  I can't recommend each of them highly enough... But, of course I'll try!
Here goes nothin'...

 Boy Oh Boy Boutique sells the cutest little iron-on appliques especially for mamas that want to "snazz up" their little boys' boring old onesies.  I especially love this concept for summer when it is WAY too hot to dress your little one in shorts, t-shirts, etc.  Why not just throw him in a light cotton onesie with a bowtie and call it a day?  He'll look dinner-party OR pool ready, and (even better) you will look like a crafty mom.  It's win-win really.  Seriously, the prices and variety can't be beat, and the shop is FULL of new fabrics, party-packages, and brand new printable wall art.

Room to Romp has quickly become one of my favorite shopping spots for Sam. I love how Sandy has created clothes that really look like they are made for LITTLE boys (not teenagers), but still, somehow, made them age appropriate.  Case in point: I'm coming to the realization that Sam can't wear footsie pjs all day every day anymore if for no other reason than the fact that they get filthy from my floors when .  Enter adorable short and appliqued shirt set.  My boy still looks sweet and innocent BUT like the "growing boy" he is.  Love.

And, Windows by Melissa.  I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times... If I could, I'd have Melissa make beautiful custom window treatments for every room of my house.  She made the yellow chevron drapes in Sam's room, and I am hooked. I especially love her Roman shades (she's actually working on a project with burlap for my mom right now).  To add to all that, she also just started designing her own fabric too.  The first go - horizontal stripes (available in lots of great colors)!  Man, she really knows the way to my heart!!  If you are in the market for new window "clothes," (who isn't?) make Melissa your first stop!

So... go get your visit on, won't you?  It's going to be over 100 degrees outside this weekend... There is no better time for a little online shopping! :)

Love and Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm Obsessed

I'm going to be honest... I'm hesistant to even broadcast this because it hurts my own odds, but I love you guys too much to let this one slide by... My friend Sara over at SaigeWisdom is running an INCREDIBLE giveaway this week.  Basically, she is just doing her regular weekly Obsessions linky party but with the added incentive of a $50.00 Etsy shopping spree.  Yes, you read that correctly.  She is amazing. Obviously, I've got to get in on this action... (You can join the contest too by linking up here).  Here's my current list:

I am obsessed with...

1. Chickfila
Seriously, I've always loved them because they have the best chicken around and are a wholesome family company; but recently, my love has gone to a whole new level. They have just released new Kids Meals complete with grilled chicken nuggets (that still taste delish), squeezable applesauce, and a board book "prize" just perfect for my little tot.  As if that wasn't enough, they also provide these great little sticky mats to put on the table so that he can eat there with us, and free cheerios.  Could you be any more mom-friendly?  Not that I'm an advocate for fastfood for kids, but this hardly counts as fastfood.  I probably will never go anywhere else when I need a quick lunch out with Sam - unless it is Sunday of course. :)

2. Magic Erasers
Source (because this is so much cuter than just a white foam rectangle)
These things are, truly, magic.  I mean, what in the world is in them that makes them so incredibly effective and why in the world doesn't every sponge company in the world use it? These have singlehandedly (well, with the exception of Addy) helped me reclaim my once clean kitchen from the above mentioned solid-food-eating tot.

3. Hydrangeas
There is nothing I like more when it comes to decorating than fresh flowers.  And, it seems like every yard but my own is just busting at the seams with these beauties.  (We planted a bush in our yard this year but, wouldn't you know, they take time to develop. Ugg. Who has the patience for gardening?) My second favorite flower, for sure.  (Bonus points if you remember my first favorite flower.)

4. Teal and Red


These might be the colors of Sam's birthday party, which I might be just a little bit obsessed with planning (despite your words of wisdom).  I LOVE them together.  I usually hate red, and I literally have nothing red in my house, but I'm thinking that could change soon... Expect to see a lot more of this color combo around these parts. 

5. And, my Etsy find...
Seriously, I spent waaaaay to much time scouring Etsy for the perfect item.  In the end, I went with this custom wood family rules sign from KnotForgottenOnline because "write family rules" and "decorate sunroom walls" are both on my list of summer projects.  And, I'm all about killing two birds with one (super adorable and FREE) stone!  Here's hoping I win...

There you have it folks: my obsessions.
{ SaigeWisdom }
Ok, ok... Go add your name to the pot. And hurry, because you only have until tomorrow! 
May the best "man" win. ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Midweek Confessions

- On our weekly run to Target yesterday, Sam pooped.  That in and of itself wasn't that big of a deal; but, it was not just an ordinary poop.  It took approximately five aisles to get it "all out," and he was quite vocal about it... Lots of grunting and tooting.  You get my gist?  And, it stunk.  A lot... Like, people could probably smell him when they walked by me (and - no doubt - judged me).  Of course, I left my diaper bag in the car.  So... how did I handle this stinky emergency?  I leisurely finished my shopping trip, obviously.  And, would you believe it, the poop was still there when we got to the car about 40 minutes later. ;)  (Too much? Sorry!)

- Day One of my Couch-to-5K running plan looked a little like this: 5 minute warm up walk, 1 minute jog, 90 second walk, repeat a bunch of times, stop and buy a sugary coffee treat at the shop down the street, 5 minute "cool down" walk back home while sipping said drink.  I'm not sure whether to call this a victory or a failure.

- The main reason I don't like cooking dinner is because of the horrible mess I make.  By the time I cook, eat, feed Sam, wrangle him into a bath and pjs, and put him to bed, the LAST thing I want to do is clean up the kitchen (and Jeff is right there with me... We are exhausted and ready to just relax)!  The result? I wake up every morning to a disgusting kitchen and start the whole process over again... It would be so much easier to just go out to eat - every night.  Plus, the food is way better.  #whatkindofstayathomemomami?

- Since I've been at home all day, I've been drinking WAY too much coffee.  Probably four cups a day.  I just love it so much.  Some people have wine in the afternoons to relax, I have iced coffee.  Is that so bad?

- I just finished Fifty Shades of Grey.  This is the primary confession.  (I've been debating and debating whether or not to share this... Seriously, I'm kind-of mortified that I even read it, but everyone was talking about it and I just couldn't resist.)  I did NOT love it (or even like it that much).  For those of you that are Fifty Shades lovers, consider that my confession.  I am a prude through and through. :)

That's all for today... What do you need to get off your chest?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Next Little Chapter

Thanks for all your kind words about my blog purpose statement and this little spot on the web... You guys make writing this blog SO much more enjoyable and worthwhile.  If I could, I'd have a big blog birthday party and invite you all... Man, that would be so much fun... Jeff would never go for it. ;)

Anyway, since I shared a little bit about where we've been over the last three years, I thought it was high time I fill you in on the next little chapter in my life.  (And, no, I'm not pregnant again.  Although several of my blog friends that had babies around the same time as me have announced pregnancies recently.  Whoa. That's all I can say.  I mean, I am happy for them... I just... I'm just only now starting to figure out my one kid.... Anyway, that's another post for another time.  I'm chatty today.)

Truth be told, part of the reason I've been a little quiet around here is because I have SO much to write that I've had trouble knowing where to begin.  I wanted to write a post about my year as a working mom, a post about our babysitter, Sam's 11 month update for crying out loud, before I wrote this.  But, honestly, the "secrecy" is silencing me... So we'll move on.  Those things will come... Sometime.

So... For starters, here's my new office (at least for the time being).  Check out my hott (and lazy) co-worker. ;)

That's right... I'm changing jobs again, and this job allows me to be at home A LOT more!!  It also means that I will be working more "year around," but my summer work is all from home, and my school-year work is about half and half.

Let me break this down since it is confusing enough even for me:

Back in May, I officially "resigned" from my position as School Testing Coordinator for next year. I will probably write more about this later, but being in charge of standardized testing was NOT for me.  I do not regret taking the position - I think it was the right decision for our family at the time, and I learned a lot. But, I missed having daily interaction with students and the chance to be creative A LOT. I feel called to be a teacher, in much the same way I feel called to be a wife and mom, and so a part of me felt missing in that job.

At the same time, while I felt confident that I wanted to get back in the classroom, I still had a lot of anxiety about my ability to juggle this passion with my desire to spend the most possibly time and be the best possible mom to Sam and wife to Jeff.  Enter dream opportunity...

Thanks to a great principal, school system, and a really good God, things lined up just right and in early June I was offered a position teaching just THREE English classes at our county's Governor's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics) Academy.  I accepted. :) Beginning in mid-August, my new work schedule will be from 7:30AM - 11:00AM every day.  On top of that, this school has an excellent reputation and, because students have to apply and be accepted to attend, I'll be working with a STELLAR group of kids.  In fact, if all goes according to plan, I will get to teach this year's freshmen for ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade - talk about building relationships!!

You are probably wondering what kind of English classes are offered at a school for math and science.  Good question.  Specifically, I will be teaching English 9, English 10, and AP English 11 through a program called the Center for Mass Communication (remember, T = Technology).  This means that, in addition to studying English, my students will be learning (from another teacher, thank goodness) the ins and outs of mass communication like video broadcasting, editing, etc.  Don't you wish your high school had had something like this?  They will be at my school for the mornings and then return to their home schools in the afternoon for the rest of their classes.

The from home part?  In addition to these three "live" classes, I'll also be teaching two online classes from home.  That part of the job started last week for the summer semester. (Not that it matters to the vast majority of you, but that job is contracted separately.  So, even though I'm technically teaching five classes, I'm still considered a part-time employee.  Make sense?)

I feel INCREDIBLY blessed to have this opportunity.  Truly, it is BETTER than I even could have hoped for, and it just fell in my lap.  I am already LOVING being back to teaching, and I am SO excited for the next school year.  It feels really good to enjoy my job that much again; and, honestly, I think it makes me an even better mom. :)

Of course, the change is bittersweet too. I am leaving the school where I started my career five years ago and my alma mater.  It feels kind-of like the end of an era in that sense.  We are also in the process of figuring out a new (more part-time) childcare situation for Sam in the fall.  Yesterday was his last day with his current babysitter and we both (the babysitter and I) cried. Plus, in an effort for full disclosure, I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the rigor of the courses I'm teaching next year and still trying to learn how to balance my time and "work from home." Don't worry, I'll still have plenty to confess on Wednesdays. ;)Change is hard, even good change.

So... there you have it - the next little chapter.

Out of respect for my students and my employers, I probably won't talk this specifically about my job much more... But, since you've followed me this far, I thought you at least deserved to know where we are going. To my fellow teachers out there, I'm BACK!!! :)

P.S. For whatever reason, I've gotten a lot of emails recently about my yellow sheet idea and other classroom organizational things.  I'm in the process of updating my computer files, so I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond.  In the meantime, remember that you can find printable versions of the "yellow sheet" here. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Three Years: A Blog Purpose Statement

Three years ago today, I sat down in this very same spot to start this thing... Three years ago today, I was 25 years old and living your typical DINK (dual-income-no-kids) life. I had been married for almost two years, just finished my second year of teaching high school, and was spending my summer organizing and decorating my house.  I was obsessed with my dog, I had lofty plans of losing twenty plus pounds, and I had dreams of becoming a mom in the near future.  I started this blog because, as much as I preached the importance of writing to my students, it had been a long time since I'd written anything for fun... for myself...

October 2009
Although outwardly not that much has changed since then (with the exception of a baby, obviously), I feel very different.  I know myself so much better today than I did three years ago; and, as dorky as this sounds, I really do credit this creative outlet and community for much of that.

Christmas 2009
Three years ago today, I could never have guessed that this blog would see me through so many different seasons of "growing up."  On these pages (I guess you can call them that), I have chronicled a cross country road trip, months of trying to sell our house and finally deciding to stay put, the loss of my sweet Granny, a pregnancy, a colicky newborn, a new job, adjusting to being a working mom, several seasons of The Bachelor, and more than a dozen plans to "lose twenty plus pounds." ;) I also could never have guessed how much I would come to love this place and the people who meet me here.  How much I would learn from and value this community.  How much blogging would become a part of my life and my identity.  Heck, three years ago, I would have made fun of someone who said things like "how much blogging would become a part of my life and my identity."

July 2010
Anyway, so here we are today... Ironically, I'm in a bit of a "blogging dry spell" right now.  And so, I thought it was the perfect time to remind myself why I do this and what it is all about.  Here's a little Purpose Statement for E, Myself, and I... It's about time, don't you think?

Christmas 2010
1. This blog is for me.

I started this blog to restore my love for writing and help me to carve out time for writing regularly.  For three years now, it has done that.  It has also served as a place to connect with other women, find encouragement, get advice, and (perhaps most importantly) document my life.  This is the closest thing I have to a journal or a baby book for Sam.  It is one of the most selfish things I do every day, but I consider it selfish in the same way I'd consider exercise or an occassional Girls' Night selfish.  It is good for my soul. 

This blog is NOT for making money, becoming famous, getting a book deal, or making new friends (although all of those things are/would be wonderful bonuses).  Would I still write if no one read?  I don't know.  BUT, I do know that if this blog ever becomes about those things, it won't be read anyway...  It will have lost its purpose.  It won't be worth my time and energy.  It will be over.

June 2011
2. This blog is for real life.

If you are looking for a blog full of crafty DIY projects or photos of a perfectly kept house and six-pack abs, you may as well keep looking...

I'm not quite sure how I fell into this "niche" of being a REAL mom, but I LOVE it.  I love that this is a place where I can admit that I do not have it all together, ask questions, be vulnerable, and not take myself (or life in general) too seriously. 

I NEVER want this to be a place where we fall into the trap of comparison or discontentment; but instead, I want it to be a place full of encouragement, community, and laughter.  I want to be able to admit when I feel the need to throw an impressive birthday party, show you what a disaster my guest room is, and confess that I eat too much fast food and consider breastfeeding exercise.

July 2011
3. This blog is for good.

If you've been reading E, Myself, and I for any time, my hope is that you recognize it as a place that builds up instead of tearing down. 

I'm not afraid of a little self-deprecating humor; but, you won't find me bashing other people, speaking disrespectfully about the people I love, using bad language, or writing about crude topics.  Likewise, although I try not to be a Bible-beater about it, I pray that my faith would be evident in my life and in my writing, and that Jesus would be glorified through this place. 

I am not ashamed of anything I write here, and - while I try to show both the ups and downs of life - I am proud to say that it is an accurate reflection of who I am and what I believe. 

October 2011
So, that's it... My Blog Purpose Statement.  THANK YOU for keeping this thing alive, for following me through so many different seasons, and for seeing my heart on the pages of E, Myself, and I.

April 2012
Here's to another three years!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

From the Archives... Drug Dogs

This is another post in my From the Archives series leading up to my third blog birthday - which is officially tomorrow. Tune in then for a little "State of the Blog" if you will.  In the meantime, enjoy a little humor circa summer 2009...

Drug Dogs (orginally published on July 27, 2009)

You know your day is going to be off to a good start when it begins with a police officer interrupting class to ask everyone to leave their belongings and evacuate the room...

In come the drug dogs... And, as we stand out in the hall - my little 14 year old students panicked at what might be found - I actually began to notice MY heart beating faster and my palms sweating just a bit! WHAT? I obviously do not do drugs. In fact, even as an adult I'm scared to death of even being around drugs. But yet, in this moment, thoughts were actually running through my head like "What if someone has slipped drugs into my purse?" "What if I AM actually doing drugs and I don't know it?"

Honestly... what is wrong with me?

This reminded me of a time back in high school when I got a phone call from the "girl doctor" asking me to call her back after my annual check-up. I was more pure than soap, but my immediate concern was: "Is there ANY human way I am pregnant?" I worried about this ALL weekend - even after my sister Kathryn's assurance that I COULD NOT be pregnant unless I was the second Virgin Mary - until the doctor finally told me on Monday that everything looked normal.

I absolutely LOVE rules. I don't even drive down lanes with an arrow pointing the wrong way at Walmart. In fact, one of our favorite family stories involves a preschool me refusing to talk to Poppy on a walk downtown because my teacher had told me "not to talk to strangers." (I'm sure he was less than amused when my betrayal forced him to look like a creeper following little kids walking on a rope.)

I'm as straight-laced as they come (incredible boring, but true), so why do I still worry so much about getting in trouble? Is this some kind of disorder?

Anyways, no drugs found in my classroom today. As it turns out, I am NOT actually doing drugs against my will and bringing them to school. Go figure!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From the Archives... The Poppy That Cried Wolf

This post is part of my From the Archives series leading up to my third blog-iversary next week... I'll be back "live" tomorrow with more Midweek Confessions, of course. :)

The Poppy That Cried Wolf (originally posted July 7, 2009)

If you know me at all, you know that I am absolutely crazy about my 91 year old grandfather, Poppy. And, if you know him at all, you know that he is a little bit cranky and can't wait to die. I realize that this sounds terrible, but it is really true.

Exhibit A: In elementary school, Poppy promised me a trip to Disney World when I turned thirteen if he was "still alive." Well, folks... He is STILL kicking to this day & I've STILL never been to the most magical place on earth. :)

Exhibit B: One of Poppy's favorite Sunday afternoon activities is to have someone drive him out to his burial plot so that he can daydream about going there. This is not a lie.

All joking aside, I've kind-of grown up talking about when Poppy dies. At least once every visit, he makes some comment about his latest ailment that is - this time - sure to kill him. So... it was no surprise that on Thursday when he started complaining of chest pains, we didn't take it too seriously.

Last Thursday morning, I took Granny to a doctor's appointment with her oncologist. (Side Note: Poppy is as healthy as an ox; Granny really is a sick and wouldn't complain if her life depended on it.) Right in the middle of discussing the doctor's information, Poppy starts grabbing his chest and complaining of heartburn. At this point, Granny said "Oh, give me a break Kent" and left the room.

A few minutes passed, and Poppy sat in his recliner moaning a little while Granny worked the crossword puzzle and asked Poppy for help spelling the word "cherub." Ironic, considering his hope for an early encounter with one of these heavenly creatures.

Long story short, while we sat there going on with our business, Poppy actually had a heart attack. Who would've guessed it?! Eventually we decided to take him to the ER, where he made all sorts of demands about a CD that would mature on Monday, something that needed to be mailed if he died, and that under absolutely NO circumstances would he have any form of surgery or life support. Later, however, when the doctor said "Mr. Martin, we are going to have to operate to place a stint in your heart, is that ok?" Poppy's IMMEDIATE response was, "Of course, whatever it takes." Hmmm...

Poppy spent three nights in the hospital where he flirted with all the nurses, peed in a jug (that he brought home to water the plants with, I might add), and soaked up everyone's comments about how good he looks for his age. It has been a whirlwind last few days, but today, Poppy is home and healthy. That is one strong old man!
Love you Pop!

Monday, June 18, 2012

From the Archives... Reason #1

E, Myself, & I is going to be celebrating its THIRD birthday next week.  Honestly, this kind-of blows me away.  This is (by far) the longest I've ever stuck with a hobby in my adult life.  It is also the most selfish thing I do.  The vainest thing I do.  And, one of the most enjoyable, rewarding, and healthy things I do. 

It is crazy to think how much about my life has changed since June 2009 when I first started this blog.  (Read my very first post here.) In many ways, I feel like a completely different person since then; and, I am SO grateful for this documentation of that journey.  I'm also thankful for YOU - some of you have been with me from the very beginning - for joining me on this "road to adulthood" and sticking around through quite a few different seasons...

For the next two weeks or so, in honor of my blog-iversary, I'm going to be re-posting some of my earliest blog posts from the archives.  I've simply copy & pasted the entire html from these old posts, so you'll get to see them just the way they appeared originally.  Mostly, I'll be posting some of my own favorites, but if you remember an oldie you think I should share again, please feel free to suggest it!  I hope you'll enjoy this little trip down memory lane...

*I'll also be posting some new content too, so if you aren't interested in my life pre-pregnancy, baby, etc. be sure to still check-in a few times this week!

Reason #1 (originally posted on 6/25/09)

... Why living in your hometown can be difficult:

Let's just get right to the point... I have gained a lot of weight since graduating from high school. There, now it is out in the open.

So this summer, I have committed to eating healthier and working out more often. (Lucky you, getting to follow this wild adventure too!) And so far, I've done pretty well... (2 days and counting!) Well, yesterday I went to a kickboxing class with my mom at our gym. I had brand new tennis shoes to sport and, since it was stifling hot here yesterday, I decided to wear a pair of shorts to the class. Problem is: my shorts were a little too short and tight around the thighs. (Is this awkward? I'm sorry for the mental image.)

So... I walk into the class a few minutes late and who is right beside my mom -- but a friend from high school who also happens to be the posterchild for exercise. Now, as if being in a hot room surrounded by mirrors was not enough, I have to stand next to this beautiful girl (who literally did not drop a bead of sweat) with my shorty-shorts riding up on me, literally drenched in sweat. Awesome!

In conclusion:

Dear friend at the gym,
Please know that I was well aware of the way my legs looked in those shorts - and I'm not proud of it. I did fail to consider the number of kicks and leg raises presented in a kickboxing class when selecting an outfit to wear. I was thoroughly embarrassed and apologize for what you may have seen. Believe it or not, being at the class was really an attempt to correct the problem! Thank you for not judging in your heart.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

To My Baby Daddy

Dear Jeff,

I know you won't like the title of this post.  I also know that you probably won't read this today, because you are hard at work at a big tradeshow out of town.  BUT, I couldn't let your first Father's Day pass by without a few words...

First though, I need to confess that I'm feeling a bit like a bad wife, because I didn't take cute photos of Sam, help him make you a craft, cook you a special meal, OR even get you a card.  But, in my defense, I'm considering it your "gift" that I'm sticking to the budget and not buying more unncessary "stuff." I love that you are the type of guy that will really think that is a good gift.  ;)

Let's celebrate next Sunday, ok?  Maybe with an extra week I'll actually be able to plan something.

In the meantime, I hope you know how proud I am of you and the way you love and protect and provide for Sam & me.  This year has been pretty wild, but there is no one in the world I'd rather parent with.  Sam is a lucky boy, and I hope he grows up to be JUST like his daddy.

I'm SO glad you're my baby-daddy (and husband)! I love you more than a silly blog post can ever express.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my dad and my father-in-law too!  You both are INCREDIBLE examples of sacrifice, generosity, and love!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Birthday Party Anxiety

Wednesday was Sam's 11 month birthday (post coming soon).  And with that all important date came a bad case of... Birthday Party Anxiety for me.  That's medical, right?

I have spent the entire morning scouring Etsy and Pinterest to make myself feel totally inadequate plan for the big day. And, I have to admit, I feel a tremendous pressure to have a blog-worthy party.  I mean, seriously, did you see Erika's amazing party for her little gal last week?  That's what I'm talking about.  (And I think of her as a regular mom... That's a compliment Erika.)
I know I said I wasn't going to stress about a party for someone who will probably need to go to bed an hour into it; but, I chose to start a blog; and therefore, I signed up to make everything in my life a big deal.(What, you didn't sign that contract on Blogger?)

"Inspiration" from Spearmint Baby Blog

Alas, the gods (no, I don't really believe in little-g gods, it is just a figure of speech) are against me in this endeavor...

Here are just a few of the hurdles standing in my way of Sam's big day:

For starters, it is Friday the 13th.  I considered this as a theme, but I don't think it is age-appropriate.  No?

Second, it is the night before we leave for a wedding out of town and a trip to the beach with my family.  Planning ahead is not exactly my forte, so I expect this to be... complicated.  (And yes, we did consider celebrating another weekend; but the night of his actual birthday is the only night that works for everyone.)

Third, I am not crafty.  Geez, I want to be.  I'd even go so far as to say I try to be; but even my spray painting ends up gloppy and ugly.

And, as if all that wasn't enough... Summer = No Income = Major Budget.  Budgets and I aren't exactly friends.

(Of course, it could be worse... I could have planned a party around a theme that my son is deathly afraid of and put the wrong age on the invitations like Katie did.  Can I just say that I LOVE her?)

...Yet somehow, despite the stacked odds, I really WANT to have a party for Sam, and I really WANT to plan cute decorations etc.  I've basically been thinking about it since we finished the nursery a year ago - kind-of my next big project.

What's a girl to do?!?

Anyone have any tips for first birthday parties given the above "inconveniences"? 

*And, yes, I know that Sam doesn't care about the party, that he will only remember special time with the people that love him, etc. etc. etc.... This is about MY need to take cute pictures and be able to post them on facebook and my blog.  Mmm k? ;)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are You a Social Media Freak?

Last weekend, while my girlfriends and I were sitting around the lake chatting, the topic of social media came up.  Mostly, the girls were talking about how ridiculous some peoples' Facebook status updates are.  How they don't really care to know about every article a person reads online, or what they had for breakfast, or that they have bad cramps.  I believe the term that was used was "Social Media Freaks." 

Definition: People that live in a "virtual world."  People that consider their online friends their "real friends."  People who are obsessed with updating their social media status at all times and believe people actually care.

I was kind-of just taking this conversation in, and the thought came to me: "I should blog about this."

Then, my next thought... "Oh my gosh, I AM one of those people - a Social Media Freak."

I really really like blogging.  (Facebook, Twitter, etc. - not as much, but I consider blogging a big part of my life.)

I think (and often talk) about my online friends as my real friends.  I find myself saying things like "Well, my blog-friend _____ says _____" or asking, "Did you see where _____ from _____ said _____?" MULTIPLE times a day.

I also think about my readers when I go a few days without blogging... Like my absence is actually noticed in their lives.  Like they miss me.  Like I MUST get back to them immediately because they are probably worrying about me. (And sometimes, they actually are... I have the emails to prove it.)

Does this make me a bit vain?  Probably.

Does this make me a "Social Media Freak?"  I'm going with YES.

Am I ok with this?  I think so...

Blogging does add something to my life.  Not just the writing of blogs - although that outlet has been HUGE for me - but in the reading too. In fact, that same afternoon out by the lake, we were talking about our lack of "mom friends" or a "mom community" at home, and I realized that I don't feel lonely in motherhood, even though I have very few mom-friends in my town, largely because of my blog friends. 

I feel like I am a part of a big community - a community that empowers women, that encourages creativity and honesty, that fosters openness and discussion, and I love it.  To be honest,  I'm a little bit embarrassed by how much I love it.

So... Social Media Freak? Count me in.

Who's with me?

- On a slightly different note, but further proof of the above, have you checked out PicMonkey yet?  I was seriously mourning the loss of Picnik, but I think I am going to like this (gasp) even more!!!  I'm super excited to play around with it one of these days...

- And, again because I think you people actually really care about the mundanes of my life ;), I've posted a few more photos from my girl's weekend courtesy of Lindsey and her much better camera/photography skills here.

Almost Friday...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Midweek Confessions

Just about every week, when I sit down to write these posts, I feel like I have nothing to write about. For a few minutes, I actually think I haven't done anything embarrassing or confession-worthy lately. Then, I start to type...
Can you relate?
- Sam begins every single meal with raisins and/or cheerios. Why? Because these keep him happy and occupied, so that I can figure out what else to throw together for a more "well-rounded" meal. I'm sure this is developing some awesome eating habits.

- I gave a friend a Wubbanub as a shower gift this weekend and noticed on the package that it says "Ages 0 - 6 months." Sam is eleven months today and still going strong with the Wub. Oops.

- Our pediatrician's office has a hotline you can call 24 hours a day to speak to a nurse with questions etc. I may or may not call so often that they know me. I also may or may not sometimes use a pseudonym when they ask for my child's name.

- At any given moment, you will probably find a dirty diaper on the floor of my house. I'm not even embarrassed about it anymore.

- I don't really care about the Olympics. (Yes, I said it. Don't hate.)

So... You think you don't have anything to confess? Just start typing... Seriously. You'll probably surprise yourself. We're all a little bit of a hot mess when you get down to it. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Best Buds (& Winner)

You know the only thing better than a weekend with your best friends in the world?

A weekend with your best friends and their kids.

I've heard this said before, but this weekend it was made real for me: Nothing makes me feel more loved than seeing someone love my baby.  Wow.

I am home from my long weekend with my college girlfriends.  (We call ourselves 'The 12,' I realized I didn't really explain this in my last post, so feel free to read here for explanation. I love that post... It makes me cry every time.)  Sam got to meet his aunties, and I got to stock up on quality time with the girls that have loved me since LONG before marriage/baby/work/etc.  It was a win-win.  I am feeling known, cared for, and refreshed.

As always, this group knows how to make me laugh like no other.  But, what I probably loved most was just "doing life" with them.  This was the most "babies" we've ever had together.  It definitely changed the dynamic of the weekend - a lot more structure based around meal time, nap time, bath time, etc. and a lot less "out of the house" time.  (Actually, no out of the house time unless you count taking a walk around the neighborhood.  I didn't wear make-up or anything other than t-shirts the whole time I was gone.  Things didn't really quiet down until after eight each night when the kiddos were in the bed, but I loved having a "team" to help me with my boy.  I loved seeing my friends care for him - even in the mundane things like applying sunscreen and feeding breakfast - and sitting beside them as I did my regular routine.  The weekend made me miss living close to them (heck, the last time we lived in the same town; we also lived in the same house... I can just imagine that now), but it also made me treasure the time we do get to spend together.

Anyway, it was good.  Really good.  Here are a few photos for my own documentation and your viewing pleasure.  I dare you not to smile when you look at them!

<<< P.S. The winners of the Boy Oh Boy Giveaway are announced at the bottom of this post. >>>

Sam and Jonathan meeting in the airport.  Lea and Jonathan flew all the way from Colorado for the weekend.
Instant BFFs - of course!
Sam with his Aunt Pryor
The boys with Aunt Liz - Thank goodness cool Jonathan (with a mohawk) still like dorky Sam (with a belly and hat).
Mamas and babies on the boat
Just driving...
Bless his heart... (He fell asleep about five minutes into the ride.)
Little Ruby Joy - this adorable and sweet ALL the time
Lea, Julie, and Pryor - this is so perfectly us.
Little Miss Adelaide
9/12ths of the gang (minus three sleeping babies, plus two on the way)
We missed you Liz, Quinn, Margaret, Jenni, and Steph!!
On a totally different note...

The winner of the patriotic tie & vest set is Callie from Through Clouded Glass, and the winner of three iron-on appliques is Nicol from The Greatest of These Is Love.  Congratulations ladies, hope your little men LOVE their new duds.  (I will email you with details for claiming your prize.)

Thanks Boy Oh Boy Boutique for sponsoring such a fun giveaway to kick-off the summer.  If you haven't already, be sure to check out the adorable shop here.

See you tomorrow!

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