January 27, 2011

Happy Friday!

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, "Heard" items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post.

Friday Fragments are the brainchild of Mrs.4444 and you can find more at Half Past Kissin' Time.


Things that are awesome about having a 4 year old in the "why" phase: Why do we have bones? What is the difference between a car and a magnet? What is a deep breath?

Things that are not awesome about having a 4 year old in the "why" phase: When you go outside to drive your kid to the bottom of the hilly 1/4 mile long driveway and the broken car is REALLY broken now and so you put on the Baby Bjorn and start walking in the pouring rain with an umbrella and then halfway down you roll your ankle and fall on your knee and throw the umbrella and the baby's face comes an inch from his first case of road rash and you have to get up and comfort him fast so he doesn't freak even though you want to cry yourself and you can tell already there is a huge scrape and bruise forming under your pants and then, accusingly... "Mommy, WHY did you do that?!"


I played Just Dance 2 on my little sister's Wii on our trip (which I STILL haven't managed to post pictures from) and it was awesome, so I bought Just Dance for our Wii and have used it a couple of times. It's really good exercise and I find it much easier to do for an hour than a workout tape or something. Yay! I fund out while shopping that there's Zumba for the Wii too, which I have now on my wish list!


This week I rearranged my folders in Google Reader and did a little housekeeping and it seems much more manageable the last few days, so that's a win! Now if I could just get back to blogging, I have stuff to say!


I just heard from the woman I've ghostwritten some articles for and she had a new order come in. I am so excited to get back to writing again!


This week we had the first of 3 little orientation classes at the elementary school Sam will go to for kindergarten next year. KINDERGARTEN?! AGH! All right, I know it's 8 months off, but still. How is he almost in kindergarten?


Justin and I had a great date night this week. We went to one of our very favorite restaurants in town, Bayou on Bay, then went and saw True Grit. I thought it was good, Jeff Bridges is pretty great and I thought the girl in it was good too. We are so lucky to be able to have regular date nights courtesy of my awesome Mom who babysits.


Sam has been talking about how he really wants to have a sleepover with his friend from school. It's kind of hard to explain to him that they're sort of young for sleepovers, and that I don't know how it would go. He's so funny though because he has sleepovers with my Mom, my Sister, Justin's Mom... so I think there's a natural jump for him because he likes playing with his friend. In any case, it seems that I need to get on scheduling another playdate for them!


My Mom's husband is totally addicted to Angry Birds and now Justin is too. I thought I'd download it but I have somehow DELETED the market application from my Android phone. How the hell did I even manage that? And how do I get it back if I can't go to the place where you download stuff?


My knee still hurts.


Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! Maybe I'll get some time to process photos this weekend so I can post my favorites from the last few weeks.

January 26, 2011

Superiority Rating of Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Wendy's is the best, because they have the most juicy chicken and best breading. It is the spiciest, and sometimes you get to the edge of the sandwich and there's extra breading. It's crunchy, peppery and delicious. It is also the biggest piece of meat.

Jack in the Box is second. It's not as spicy and the chicken is not quite as nice a texture. It's not as big, but it will do.

Chick-fil-a is third. Quite spicy, but a little dry. Also, who puts pickles on a chicken sandwich.

Burger King will always come in last. Why? Because the chicken isn't spicy. The only thing that makes it a spicy chicken sandwich is the sauce. And I DON'T like sauce. So, they lose.

McDonald's has a new spicy chicken sandwich, which I have not tried. It will soon be seen where it falls on the continuum of superiority for spicy chicken sandwiches.

January 13, 2011

Vacation & 1000 posts

Wow. I have been online less in the past week than... well, before I can remember really. I have been seeing my emails through my phone but have only sat in front of the laptop three times. My feedreader currently has 527 unread items. Oh well!

I'm having a great time on my vacation. I feel so lucky to have more than one place in this world that's home to me. Right now it's only 10:30 and somehow both of my children are asleep on the couch. I'm planning on heading to bed soon, but I have been missing blogland, so I though I'd come for a visit.

Danny has been in a MAJOR mommy phase since we got here. He pretty much wants me to hold him every. single. second. It's exhausting. At least here I don't feel as bad about how it affects Sam since he has other people to play with and talk to. He has been having a wonderful time with his grandparents and his aunt. He's even warming up to the dogs.

I've been enjoying myself, and it's been awesome to actually be able to read some while Danny's napping on me since Sam has been otherwise occupied some of the time. Now if only I could turn my back on the baby or go to the bathroom without him crying as if someone is swinging him by his feet.

It's really cold here, and dry. I've noticed that Sam's been drinking tons of milk, and I've been soooo thirsty the last few days. I've been drinking tons of water. We fly home on Monday evening, but before then I still have a visit with my favorite cousin, a dinner at my favorite pizza place, and a couple more days of hanging out to look forward to.

By the way, this is my 1010th post. I was totally trying to keep track and was going to post something cool for my 1000th post, but I totally blew it. Yay me!

I hope everyone's new year is going well so far. Once I get home, back to the real world, I'll be around more often.

January 4, 2011

New Years Resolutions

There's something about making New Years resolutions that I've always thought was a little silly. At the same time, I feel so blessed right after Christmas and spending a lot of time with family. So it seems like a really good time to think about my goals. I've thought of several things that I want to change in my life, and this year just feels like it's going to be the start.

I have high hopes for 2011, and I hope they're not unfounded. There have been a lot of dismal things in the last few years, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to look back on 2011 as the year we got back on track and worked to make our lives better.

So, here are my goals for the next 12 months - and beyond.

Lose 70 pounds and run a 5K

Before I got pregnant with Danny, I lost 30 pounds using Weight Watchers and exercising. I ended my pregnancy down almost 50 lbs from my starting weight. I've been hovering there ever since. This year, I am going to finish this. I need to take off 70 more pounds to be in my healthy range. I CAN do it. I need to stick to the point counting and exercise regularly, so there are concrete goals here:
  • Exercise at least 4 times a week. I have a gym membership. They have a day care. I have a Wii fit, and a Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. I am getting an elliptical machine from a friend who doesn't use it anymore. This should be PERFECTLY doable.
  • Eat right. This means menu planning and counting points every. single. day.
  • Do couch to 5K. This I probably won't start until spring when the weather starts to clear up a bit. By the end of 2011 I want to be able to run 3 miles.
Learn how to take great photos on purpose

I have captured some great images already with my new Canon Rebel XS, but I want to take a class, read some books, and learn how to get great photos on purpose and not just by chance. I want to learn to use the manual modes, about f-stops and apertures. I'd love to start selling some of my work within the year.

Improve my marriage

As far as things go and the big picture, I think that we have a fairly good relationship. BUT. Having 2 kids has definitely affected things, and there has definitely been neglect of our relationship. I know that it is both of our responsibility to work on it and keep our marriage strong so that we always feel connected to each other as a couple, regardless of kids in the house. There will be concrete goals in this area, but I probably won't talk about them here.

Write more

After trying to complete Nablopomo by posting every day in December, I realize that I miss just writing. There is definitely something to be said for memes, schedules, and themes, but sometimes the writing I love best just... happens. This year I'm going to write more of things that just come to me. I love writing, and sometimes I lose focus on it, but I love it when it's more a part of my life.

Read 50 books

I have an ongoing goal of reading 50 books a year. The last 2 years? FAIL! So, this year I'm going to try and read more. I don't know when I'll fit it in, but maybe I'll just watch less TV and give up some of the blogs I keep up with peripherally even though they're not really my cup of tea. I forget until I'm engrossed how much I love being swept away by a good story, and I want to feel it more often.

Write letters to everyone I love

I recently decided that one thing I want to complete this year is writing letters to the most important people in my life - friends and family both - telling them how much they mean to me and why I love them. I really believe that this is something that is not done enough - letting people know how important they are and why. Anything can happen at any moment, and I want the people who make my life joyful to know about it. I've made a preliminary tally and I'm looking at at least 30 letters, some of which will be long. Yet, I can't wait to start.

Learn to use a budget - seriously, for real.

I am the first to admit that Justin and I are terrible at managing our money. We know how to budget, but sticking to it has not been easy. I think we're both tired of struggling and of not having any savings for ourselves or for the boys. When something comes up like a huge energy bill or his car in it's last days, we don't have anything put away for those times. We're going to sit down this month and figure out a new budget using the envelope system. That means that every time Justin gets paid, we'll take out cash for categories like groceries, gas, dining out, household items etc. When the cash is gone, it's gone. Until the next check. This should allow us to get back on track and hopefully start saving up SOMETHING for those times when we really need it.

I think that's probably enough lofty goals for the year. What are you planning for 2011?

January 2, 2011

Weekly Winners: A New Year Dawns

Weekly Winners is the creation of the beautiful Lotus from i am lotus (aka Sarcastic Mom). It gives us a chance to share our favorite shots of the week every Sunday.

All shots this week taken with my new Canon RebelXS.

Shadows of Christmas


Keeping up with the big kids


In glass




A New Year Dawns


His Happy is My Happy


Looking to his brother




New Years Day Joy!




Little friend