Thursday, December 26, 2013

In a flash...

It was gone! 

I love the preparations and all the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring, but I always suffer a Christmas hangover, not the kind you're thinking. 

The day after Christmas I always miss that great feeling of anticipation.  You know the feeling of something big and wonderful on the way.  I'm sure that's how Mary felt before she gave birth to Jesus.

The day after there's nothing but leftover food, crumpled wrapping paper, and empty boxes waiting to be trashed.  The big events are over.  Family has returned home and the decorations need to come down. 

I've never been one to immediately take down the Christmas d├ęcor.  I love the lights, wreaths and tiny singing snowmen.  I enjoy drinking my coffee out of my red and green snowflake mug.  It always so bittersweet taking it all down, so I wait as long as Bill can stand it before it all must go.

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  There's something so special about it.  People seem to be a little more jolly, a little more giving and a little more forgiving.  It's a magical time.

Students at school get so excited as they anticipate Santa, and their two week break.

So, I'm a little bummed that it went by so fast.  It always seems to go by too fast. 

This year Bill and I hosted our families for Christmas Eve snacks and games along with Christmas day present exchanges and Christmas dinner.  The preparation took weeks, and it was all over too soon.

I've never been a whiz in the kitchen, ask anyone that knows me.  So I have no idea why I agreed to make dinner for 12 people!  My mom of course agreed to help so I thought it would be a breeze.

Before I get into my meltdown over squash casserole, let's do a little update on the days leading up to Christmas.

                                  
 
A week ago I got a wild hair and decided to add a little red.  Call it Christmas spirit, boredom, whatever, the red was added and I love it!

                 
For our Christmas party at school we decided to jump on the "ugly" Christmas sweater train.  I was particularly stoked about it so I got crafty.  Here is my creation.  It was very well received!

                  
This party was by far the most fun I've had at a work party.  My coworkers are hilarious!!!  This is a picture of my boss and one of our first grade teachers.  My boss walked away with the grand prize for her ugly sweater creation, and I tied for second with the Jesus sweater.  I'll take that!
 
                  
This past weekend some of my book club ladies and their kids met up with me to go see The Nutcracker ballet.  It was amazing!  I love the live orchestra, the wonderful dancers, good times with friends, and of course a chance to dress up a little.

                 
Billy had a party at school on Monday.  I swear he had a good time, although it's hard to tell by this picture!

                   
Monday my friends and I did our own "Jingle Jog Virtual 5K"  it was almost like we were running a fun Christmas themed race together.  Almost.
                                      
Most of my family holiday gatherings involve a game or two of some sort.  This year we played dominos.  So. Much. Fun.
 
                                     
We must have had a VERY good boy this year.  Santa really overdid himself!  I wasn't sure there would be room for all of our guests.

                                    
If you are friends of mine on Facebook you've already seen this picture and my declaration that this year was the Christmas of the batteries.  For real!  I'd also like to declare it the Christmas of Thomas the train.  Choo! Choo!
 
 
Ok, back to my meltdown.  About halfway through our gift exchange, my oldest niece started complaining of an earache.  It was hurting her so badly she stopped opening gifts and laid down on my mom.  Yikes!  So, my sister and my mom left to take her to urgent care to get her checked out.  I'm so glad they took her.  That poor baby had a pretty bad ear infection. 
 
They were gone for a while, and during this time the natives were starting to get a little restless.  The boys/men were in all parts of the house chatting it up and playing with their new gadgets.  I started cooking and about halfway through the green bean casserole prep it hit me that I had never cooked for this many people before, I was totally on my own to pull this off, and I had NO IDEA how to put the squash casserole together.   It is my mom's recipe and that little baby is locked tight in her head. 
 
Crazy thoughts started taking over and the tears began to flow.  I didn't have the potatoes peeled yet or put on to boil for the mashed potatoes.  I didn't have the ham out of the fridge yet, the water wasn't boiling for the macaroni, and I couldn't find enough bake ware for it all.  MELTDOWN!
 
As I was trying desperately to hid my tears, my mother-in-law stepped in from watching Billy and started to lend a hand.  She also recruited my brother-in-law and my husband. 
 
Even after all the help I just couldn't stop crying.  I was M O R T I F I E D.  So I snuck off to get myself together.
 
Soon after my mom, sister, and niece arrived and all was well again.  My mom made the squash casserole and we set everything up to eat. 
 
The blessing was said, merry wishes were made, and we dug in. 
 
                                 

I'm sure I freaked everyone out.  Nobody will want me to host ever again.  And now I have a billion Santa plates that will never be used.  Wonderful.

I'm sure that's not true, most of it anyway.  But I'm pretty sure they all think I'm crazy.  Eh, oh well.

What was your Christmas like?

Did any of y'all have a meltdown?

What were your kids favorite gifts?

Merry, Merry Christmas!!!  Please don't ask me to make the squash casserole.

I'm out!
Mrs. T


                                

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Goals



I think it's important to set goals for yourself in all areas of your life.

Goal setting can keep you motivated.

Goal setting can give you a sense of purpose.

Goal setting can give you a road map for achieving your dreams.

Goal setting can help you find yourself again.  At least that's what it has done for me.

Back in the spring when I started this blog I was excited to start something new, not just the blog but going after weigh loss and fitness goals.  I was in a kind of low place and I needed to reevaluate my blessings and go after my dreams.  I needed to spend some of time focusing on myself so that I could be the wife and mother my family needed.  Taking charge of my body through diet and exercise has done just that.  Everyday isn't easy, but it's worth it.


Here are a few of my goals for 2014.  There's a few fitness, a few life, a few mommy related. :)

-Potty Train Billy
-THINK before I react
-Give more
-Choose a new home church
-Get fitted for REAL running shoes
-Run a Half Marathon (I've already signed up for three!)
-Run a Full Marathon (I've already signed up for the Route 66!)
-Revamp the diet (as in lifestyle eating)
-Take a vacation
-Get my phone screen fixed (it's looks like I stomped on it in stilettos)
-Do more things that bring joy to my life.

What are your goals or resolutions for the new year?

I'm out!
Mrs. T

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Shuffle...

On our road trip home today I thought it would be fun to put my songs on shuffle and see what the first five would be. 

I LOVE Christmas music.  A few years ago I sang this song with one if my friends during the Christmas Eve service. It was a magical moment. 


Again with the Christmas music, and it's the Glee version! Lea Michelle sings it and it is so good! She's got a set of pipes.



Great song, great group. 


Ha! This song cracks me up! Reminds me of college.


Oh how this song reminds me of last summer. Friends, fireworks, and fun times.

Play along with me! What will the first 5 on your shuffle be?

I'm out!
Mrs. T

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finish the Sentence...

This looks like fun!  I'm joining Jake and Holly for a Christmas edition of Finish the Sentence.  If you'd like to join in, follow the link below.


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1.  My favorite Christmas...will probably be this year.  Billy is more aware of everything this year so I think this year will be the best so far!


2.  The worst Christmas I had...was in 1996.  The tradition was to go see my dad's parents on Christmas Eve.  We'd eat, open gifts and watch Christmas movies.  They both passed away in 1996.  My nanny in August and my Papa in November.  That was a weird Christmas and was hard for all of us. :(

3.  That one gift that made me scratch my head and say, "Hmmmm" was...the re-gift to me of a Mary Kay hand and foot scrub set I gave to my mom for her birthday.  I guess she didn't like it!

4.  One year I....wanted a puppy.  My dog had died a few months earlier and I was ready for a new one.  Bill said he'd try to find one for me, but he made no promises.  (This was when we were 21 and 23 and it was our FIRST Christmas together.)  I searched and searched for one, but Bill would always say something and I'd leave empty handed.  That Christmas Eve he surprised me with Tucker. :)  That puppy is 8 years old now.


5.  I think the worst gift to give is....anything on the prepackaged gift isle at Walmart.  Let's be original folks.

6.  At Christmastime I typically....freak out.  It seems like there is never enough time to get everything done.

7.  Typically, family Christmas...is my favorite.  I love it when we're all together eating, laughing, and playing games.  I love my family.

8.  If I could change one thing about the Holiday season...it wouldn't be about the gifts.

9.  It is so hard to buy for....my husband.  He wants every new gadget, Xbox, tool, and corvette available.  Money doesn't grow on trees dude.  Usually whatever I do get him isn't the "right" one, so he takes it all back anyway.

10.  My favorite Christmas tradition is...opening up new pjs on Christmas Eve.  Everyone has something new to sleep in and we all look snazzy the next morning in our pictures.

11.  Santa, baby, bring me a ...house of our own (not a rental anymore).

Thanks for reading!

I'm out!
Mrs. T

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Baby, It's COLD outside!

As you ALL know by now I'm sure, I have lived to tell the tale of the ICEpocolypse of 2013.

It was cold, it was fun, and it came with a FIVE day weekend!

Last week we all kept hearing about this snowy/icy/winter storm that was headed our way and set to blast over a several day period.  As Wednesday afternoon was approaching, many of my Kingston peeps were taking to the social media proclaiming from the mountain tops that their school had been cancelled for Thursday and Friday.  Of course I immediately felt hopeful that ours would be cancelled too, I mean c'mon, I live two hours NORTH of them, NORTH, it's supposed to be colder here, right?

As Wednesday afternoon turned into evening and then into night, I was slapped with the hard cold reality that I would have to bundle up and head to work Thursday morning.  I'm not going to lie.  I was bitter.


Thursday morning was cold, but it was dry and there really wasn't a reason for school to be cancelled here.  So on my not so merry way I went.

Around one-ish I started to hear a "tink, tink, tink" on my classroom window.  I threw open the curtain, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a minature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer little bit of sleet.  Giddy as I was, the kids were cray-zee.  For real.  In the next hour we had snowflakes and a nice collection starting on the ground.  Kids were being called to the office in droves for early checkout.  It.was.glorious.  Before we left at 3:30 school had been cancelled for Friday.  Yipee!


The next three days were filled with cooking, napping, a little cleaning, and lots of snuggles.  I sure do enjoy time off with my family.





Sunday we ventured out of our home to relieve our cabin fever and so Bill and I would still be happily married.  Billy got to meet up with Mr. Claus at Bass Pro, while we tried to keep any toddler tantrums at bay.  It never fails that we plan trips like these during lunch and/or naptime.  We really should work on that.


Santa was a jolly as ever, Billy didn't cry this year, and the only meltdown he had was when we had to checkout and leave.  Progress, not perfection.


Here is a side-by-side of all his Santa photos. Boy has he grown!



Since we were able to get out on Sunday I was mentally preparing myself for the return to work.  While we were finishing up some shopping I got the call that we would be out Monday.  Happy dance!  Bill was shocked at my change in mood.  I had a sudden burst of energy and felt like I could stay out all night.  We didn't of course, but I felt great.

Monday came and went.  I did some laundry, played with Billy and ate and ate some more.  (If you notice by this time I haven't mentioned running, at all, for three days.)  I'm pretty sure I gained about five pounds.

Monday afternoon I got "the call" again.  No school Tuesday. :)  Holla!  I was glad to have another day home with Billy, but I was really starting to miss my kiddos at school and my routine.

Tuesday was pretty much the same as Monday.  More eating, more cleaning, more playing, but I finally got out to the gym and ran.

Running now feels so much better since I've given myself permission to listen to how my body feels and walk when I need to.  I've tried the 30s walk-30s run, that works.  Last night I tried to stick with the 1-1:30 m run and 30s-60s walk.  This worked well for me.  I ran on the treadmill near the weights so Bill and I could flirt.  Not really, it seemed better than running on the crowded track with all the track stars.  Running is a head game for sure, and those super runners really mess with me.  I know I need to get the heck over that.

I ran until Bill was finished and here are my results.



Not too shabby!

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Random mind dump...
...Bill's 31st Birthday is tomorrow and his gift hasn't arrived via snail mail.
...There are only 9 school days left until Christmas Break...Whoop!
...There are only 9 school days left and I haven't even started benchmark tests...yikes!
...I miss my little man today.
...Shout out to Fat Free French Vanilla creamer today!  Thanks for your support and making my coffee super yummy.
...Students are being taken on limo ride lunch rewards today and I want to go too!
...I must find out about this "Cards Against Humanity Game".
...The Rock 'n Roll 1/2 marathon registration is $20 off tomorrow.  Sweet!
...Nutcracker Ballet is coming up!
...I cut my hand yesterday and don't remember when/where/how.  My hand looks 70 years old today.
...My phone screen is still cracked.  I need to get that fixed.
...The elf on the shelf is just that.  An elf on our shelf.  Billy is like "talk to the hand".  Not interested at all.
...I still have a bajillion gifts to buy, and wrap, and place strategically under our tree so it looks all cute.

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Happy Hump Day!

I'm out!
Mrs.T

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkey Day Triumph and other stuff

We spent our Thanksgiving with both sides of our families.  Thursday, Billy and I went over to my mom and dad's house early so I could help my mom get everything started.  Not surprising, when I arrived she had most of the prep work complete and was ready to play with little man.  I was able to get in a quick mile (quick for me) before getting elbow deep in potato peels.

Around lunch time we headed over to Bill's aunt's house for Thanksgiving lunch.  I love eating at her house.  Everything is so fancy, everyone dresses up, and Bill and I get to visit with all of his cousins, aunts and uncles.  We always have a great time.  

This year I decided to have our picture taken in front of his aunt's Christmas tree.  It seemed like a great idea at the time, but when nobody has eaten and your toddler hasn't taken a nap, it's hard to get a great photo.  I'm not even sure if we have a decent one!  This year our card may just be of Billy crying in Santa's lap. :)

The picture below is what I planned to make and take to the Thanksgiving lunch.  Instead I just brought myself in stretchy leggings.  Maybe next year!


The next picture is Billy playing with his new race track his Gigi gave him.  We helped her move a couch on Wednesday when we got to town.  He LOVES it!


After lunch Thursday, Billy played hard and then passed out on our way back to my mom and dad's house for dinner.  He's so sweet.

When we arrived I was excited to see my sister's car in the driveway.  They were here!  And on time!  :) Just kidding, Anna, you know I'm always tardy for the party.

My brother-in-law and I dressed matchy-matchy.  Great minds must think alike!  Plaid-tastic!


Playing after dinner.

I didn't do much Black Friday shopping.  The crowds freak me out, and so does spending large amounts of money at one time.  Bill would beg to differ on that last part.  

My mom and I went to see Catching Fire Friday afternoon.  Go see it.  It was fabulous.  Even better, read the series.  You won't be disappointed.

Friday night brought along a whole other batch of shenanigans.  My girls and I got together to do a little "wine"ing.  It was a fun time. 


The rest of the weekend was filled with naps and football until we returned home.  We brought back all of our Christmas decorations so we decked the halls.  Billy was really excited about all of the lights and hanging ornaments.




Our adopted elf arrived Sunday night and received a cold reception.  He may have to go back to the North Pole and try again next year.  We watched the video and I tried to read the book to Billy, but all he wanted to do was take the elf out of the box and touch all over him.  It didn't matter how many times I explained that he would lose his magic.  Agh, two year olds.


During the little shopping I did do Friday, I pick up this book.  It was a good quick read and this method seems to be working for me so far.  I'll keep you posted.



If you're looking for a Christmas gift for a coffee loving friend (me), here is a great idea from Walmart!  I spy chevron!

Sorry this post is all over the place.

I hope you all have a Terrific Tuesday!

I'm out!
Mrs. T