Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#50 - Teach Kaylin to curl her own hair

We have a little neighbor girl who is going to be a cosmetologist someday, guaranteed. She's constantly doing everyone's hair and make up in the neighborhood and she is GOOD!  

She's gotten her hands on Kaylin a few times and peaked Kaylin's interest in using a curling iron, so I took this opportunity to cross #50 off my list of 101 Goals in 1001 Days.

I forgot to blog about it (you can see the Santa soap dispenser, so it was a while ago) and she's still far from a pro, but for now, she knows how to get by without burning her fingerprints off. 
How adorable is my sweet girl!?!?
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Monday, February 16, 2015

A {Seemingly} Directionless Day

I've mentioned many times that I tend to crave a sense of accomplishment. Today, I've been searching to fulfill that, all day, to no avail.

First thing in the morning, I headed to the gym with Jason while Ryan and Kaylin stayed home. They wanted to hurry through their independent school work, knowing that all of the kids in the neighborhood were home from school today for President's Day.

When I got home, we folded and put away laundry, then the kids scattered in three different directions to play with the neighbors. I threw dinner in the crock pot, baked some muffins, chatted with a girlfriend on the phone, made homemade soup and cleaned the kitchen.

I looked at the clock…it was only noon. All of the laundry and dishes were done, lunch and snacks were ready for hungry children, dinner was cooking, and I was showered and dressed with no where to go. I sat down to check some of the Tastefully Simple items off my to do list. That didn't take as long as I'd thought.

Throughout the afternoon, kids continued to sift in and out of my house. Kaylin and her friends played school, Ryan and his friend tested the frigid pool water (PS it's still too cold to swim), bikes were ridden, pictures were colored, screen time was used up, and all the while…I felt directionless.
Given all that I had accomplished already, that made no sense. I had taken care of myself, my house, my family, my work…so what was the matter?

When I've had this issue in the past, I've created a project. Organized a closet, painted a room, something like that. But because we're moving…what's the point, you know? I could pack some boxes, but in order to keep our house in showing condition, I've decided to leave it as-is until it sells. Our garage is already full of stacks of boxes, some that I've packed, items that I decluttered to make closets look spacious, there's not really room for more until we're ready to leave my van parked outside permanently.

I think the issue is that the kids are all entertained today, but I have to stay around the house (and relatively uninvolved in projects) because so many kids are in and out. And I'm not feeling like I can make too much of a mess (thinking scrapbooking) because WHAT IF someone calls and wants to do a walk through of the house on this random holiday?

I should relish these "boring" days, knowing that our life will soon be turned upside down with the relocation process. This is obviously the calm before the storm!
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

#5 - Get Lasik eye surgery

I finally did it!!! This has been on my 101 list from the beginning. We're talking back in 2008, people. Back then, it was an issue of finances, but since we have substantially more disposable income now (because of my business), I've been putting it off because I was being a huge chicken. 

Then a friend came over to pick up her daughter from a play date. She had a small red splotch on the white part of her eye, so I inquired. It turns out she had Lasik surgery the day before and was UP AND DRIVING that next morning. I was shocked! And intrigued. And suddenly very motivated. 

So I scheduled an appointment, worked it out with my busy weekend schedule (that took a few months) and pulled the trigger. The {stunning} picture below is me after getting my eyes dilated at the pre-op appointment last week. Hot, right? 
Here I am a week later and I still cannot believe I don't have to take out my contacts every night. The morning after the surgery, I actually walked into the bathroom and reached to take off my glasses out of habit. I poked myself in the eye!

I was fitted for glasses at 10 years old and started wearing contacts at 12. The eye chart goes up to 20/400 and I was off the chart. That is 28 years of poor eyesight!!! No more. It's not perfect (yet) but I was driving the next morning. I'm around 20/30 right now, but the doctor says it will get better each week for 2-3 weeks. I'm still very happy. 

#5 is finally, FINALLY crossed off my current 101 in 1001 list! It was #98 on my original list, because it was that much of a pipe-dream, after-thought, but here I am, free of contacts. Hallelujah!!!

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Will There Be a Wii in Heaven?

Poor Jason…the third child. It seems that I hardly record any of his Jasonisms, as I did with the first two kids. He cracks us all up on a daily basis, but I have none of it in writing. 

Until today! We were driving home from the gym and I didn't want to forget this sweet conversation.

"Mom, in heaven, will I be hungry, thirsty or tired?"

"Nope! Everything is perfect in heaven."

"Oh, good. Will I be able to play the Wii without asking God permission?"

(thinking) "Um, if there is a Wii in heaven, it's unlikely you'll have to ask permission to play it." 

"WOO HOO!" (it's the little things to look forward to in heaven, apparently)
Jason's begging face, usually accompanied by a fast, mouse-pitched, "Pweez?" Such a ham, this one.
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Saturday, January 31, 2015

December Photo-a-Day Challenge

In December, I decided to participate in a Photo-a-Day Challenge. I already take at least one picture per day, but the idea was that each picture would be Christmasy and winter themed! I posted these every day on my Facebook page and thought I'd put them together here, too. 
Day 1: Christmas Tree
Day 2: Lights 
Day 3: Baking
Day 4: Today's Weather
Day 5: Learning
Day 6: Sky View
Day 7: Red
Day 8: Serving
Day 9: Tradition (driving around looking at Christmas lights in our PJs drinking cocoa) 
Day 10: Warm
Day 11: Gifts
Day 12: Make a list, check it twice
Day 13: A Parade
Day 14: New
Day 15: Merry and Bright
Day 16: Peace
Day 17: Christmas Cards

Day 18: Cookies
Day 19: A Christmas Party
Day 20: Winter Wonderland
Day 21: Santa's Lap
Day 22: Caroling
Day 23: Gifts
Day 24: Christmas Eve
Day 25: Christmas Morning
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Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Days, 1 Showing

I can hardly believe January is almost over. It's been all about getting the house ready to sell and now that it's on the market…we wait. We've only had one walk-through in the first 10 days our house has been for sale. I'm feeling slightly impatient, yet wondering how this month has already slipped away.

January, week 1: 

Project "Put Christmas Behind Us and Fix Everything Possible with our House" was in full swing. Paint was touched up, the pool pump was fixed, the sprinkler leak was fixed, the leaky kitchen faucet was replaced, I continued decluttering and selling everything that's not nailed down. 

We got rid of so much of the kids' stuff, their friends started asking what to do when they came over. The answer was quickly discovered: girls play school and color, boys play football. Who needs toys?

Week 2:

I headed to Charlotte, NC for a Tastefully Simple Leadership Conference. My first time speaking in front of the whole group from the big stage! 
Southwest lost my luggage for two days, but I managed to have the foresight to bring my speaking dress and some toiletries in my carry on bag. 

It was so cold. So. Cold. 12 degrees cold. Five days of cold.

Week 3: 

Once I returned home, we had the house cleaned, had pictures professionally taken and it officially went onto the MLS and a million other websites. Every day since, we've been keeping the inside model-home ready, which is absolutely exhausting when there are 4-5 people spending this much time in a space. We do a lot of life between these walls from 6am-10pm each day. 
I crammed in 4 Tastefully Simple parties in 3 days, then 4 parties in another 4 days. My available "work" weekends in January were slim.

I tried to start packing boxes, but every time I'd go to pack something we "won't need for a few months" I decided to either sell it or throw it away. Including all but a short stack of pictures out of more than 25 photo albums that I've been carrying around my entire life. I kept every picture I ever took from 1987-2002, until I went digital. That's a lotta pictures. And a lotta boxes. And I don't even know most of those people anymore.

Week 4: 

I'm heading out of town once again. This time, Mike's taking a couple days off work and taking the kids to the Arizona Science Center and to the "NFL Experience", since the Super Bowl is in town this weekend. 

I was scheduled to have Lasik on my eyes (FINALLY!!!) but had to postpone when I was asked to fly to Tastefully Simple HQ to work on a training project. I've never been to our HQ and I'm SO EXCITED to go! Too bad it's cold there, too. Very cold. My Phoenix blood can't handle a "real" winter  anymore. I'm used to sunshine and short sleeves and mountains and hiking in January. But all that will change soon!
I'm prepared for February and March to start getting a little nuts. We dropped the price of the house today and we're hoping for more activity. Praying that the house sells soon so I can stop being neurotic about keeping it perfect. Then we'll start the task of finding a new house in Dallas and packing up everything here. 

In the meantime…we wait. We can't do much until the house sells, so we're enjoying the last days, weeks, and months that we have here in Phoenix. Squeezing every little bit out of this great city.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Perfect Vegetable Soup

Are you hoping to get a little healthier in 2015? I have a great tip…when you're hungry between meals, eat homemade vegetable soup!  

I got this tip from a friend a few months ago and it's saved me over and over again. I try to make it every weekend and snack on it throughout the week when I just can't seem to feel satisfied. It's great for a meal, but it's an even better NO GUILT snack between meals.

This is a very loose recipe, and all quantities can be adjusted up or down, depending on your preference. DO NOT be intimidated by the long list of ingredient…this is super easy!

Perfect Vegetable Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
1 onion, diced
5-6 stalked celery, diced
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 bag baby carrots, cut in half or quartered
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice (15 oz)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth*
2 cups water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf (if you have one)
3-4 zucchinis or yellow squash (or combo), cut into coins and again in 1/2
16 oz bag frozen green beans (large handful)
** leftover meat or veggies

Add the oil, onion and celery to a large pot and cook until the vegetables are translucent. (about 5-7 minutes) 

Stir in the tomato paste (will be very thick), then add carrots, diced tomatoes, broth, garlic, oregano and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. 

Add zucchini, squash, and green beans. Simmer another 30 minutes, then taste the broth to see if it needs salt. If so, add 1-2 tsp salt to taste. (salt content will depend on the broth you use) Remove the bay leaf, when you find it!

* If there's not enough broth, add more. If there's too much, add more vegetables.

** You can change the flavor of this soup, week after week, by throwing in last night's leftover meat, diced, or any vegetables you have in your fridge. 
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's Official: Big Christmas Announcement

After days and weeks of weighing the pros and cons, praying, talking, talking some more, praying some more…we've finally made the decision to move to Dallas. I'm still having trouble believing it. I was convinced Mike would get cold feet and want to stay in our nice, cozy, predictable, Phoenix life.

On our trip out there, I had gotten to a place where I was honestly fine staying or going, but I still felt more led to give it a try. I left the final decision up to Mike. I've told him for a couple of weeks that he could make the decision, but within the last week, I was truly fine either staying or going, whatever he thought was best for our family. 

As of a conversation with his V.P. on Tuesday night, he decided we should relocate. Then he proceeded to toss and turn all night, wondering if he made the right choice. 

Here we are, two days later, and he's already feeling better about it. Nervous about all that we have to do, skeptical about how his job will change in the upcoming weeks, uneasy about leaving our comfortable life and the only city he's ever lived in, but we're going. I still seems a little surreal that we've made the final decision. 

We'll put the house on the market, hopefully sell it in a couple of months and probably move in March or April. That's our timeline, anyway. We'll see if God has different plans. 

Merry Christmas to all! 
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