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Friday, September 30, 2011

An (Adventurous} Sound Bytes of the Week

Happy Friday!

Are you ready for the weekend?

I'd have to say at this point I am ready for it start, but I'm not ready in terms of packing. Yep we are headed on a big adventure in the RV. Ok...maybe not a BIG adventure, but we are staying overnight at a campground. Which means smores and a campfire. ROCK ON!

We are also making the annual pilgrimage to Bloomsbury farms on Sunday. E loved it last year, so I'm anxious to see how much more trouble we can get into this year. Thank goodness for the GPS in my phone or we might be stuck in the corn maze forever.

Anyhoo...let's get the show on the road and this week's Sound Bytes.

3. "You would think that if my car could fit three ginormous hamsters it would at least fit my bike."
My dear friend Ashli has a Soul and if you've seen this commercial you know what she's talking about.

2. "Dad I have an announcement. I'm going to eat cake everyday." 

Dad's response, "Do you really think I would allow that?"

E's response, "No but I had to try." can't blame the kid for trying. 

1. "My happy place is punching you in the face."
This was said with love and affection to my friend Casey from Daily Dose of Fit. She teaches Boot Camp Madness classes and her students just love her...can't you tell.

So there you have it this week's Sound Bytes.

Have a wonderful weekend. And whatever you do make sure you take the time to enjoy the great outdoors.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slow Down {Hint, Hint}: Bigger Picture Moment

I talk fast. I walk fast. I eat fast. I drive fast. Heck I even blog fast.

I'm just constantly in a hurry. Where am I going in such a rush? 

Sometimes it's a legitimate reason. Like rushing out the door to work, rushing to pick up or drop off the boys. 

At other times...well...I just rush for the sake of rushing. Time is VERY important to me and I don't want to waste a single moment getting from point A to point B. 

Which can be a problem. 

Because sometimes I don't stop to smell the roses, I don't stop to listen to the laughter and I don't stop for red lights...oops...

And because I'm in such a hurry and I never stop moving subtly is kinda lost in the midst of that chaos. 

Which means I need to be hit over the head in order to get the hint. 

If you can't tell. This is a letter from the DOT telling me that if I don't stop speeding around, and I get another ticket I'll lose my license for 90 days. 


Now if that isn't incentive to slow down I don't know what is. 

Slowing down has been a challenge for sure. Expecially when there are so many people hurrying around you, pushing you, trying to make you hurry along with them.

It's been a couple of weeks now, and each time we get in the car E yells "Slow down mom. You can't speed." Which in all honesty has been VERY helpful.

So, as I cruise to work at the appropriate speed, I say to the powers that be, "I get the hint. Point made."
SLOW DOWN and soak in the beauty of the day.
Every Thursday we share the harvest of intentional living by capturing
a glimpse of the Bigger Picture through a Simple Moment.
Share your Simple Moments HERE today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Simple Swaps September: Creative Oasis

Hyacynth at Undercover Mother has a new monthly link-up called Simple Swaps, simple things to make your life more creative, green, or intentional. This month we were to make a creative space.

I took a some liberties with my "creative space" as my spaces need to be mobile. Whether it's the bed, chair in the family room or kitchen table. My creative space moves daily. However, on Saturdays in the fall I can pretty much guarantee that I will be in one place consistently and that's here.

Right now you are probably thinking I'm crazy for picking our tailgate as the perfect creative oasis, but let me clue you in on's a secret...we aren't CRAZY tailgaters. We sit and visit enjoy some breakfast and the boys toss a football around. So...while they toss the football I get some much needed "me" time sans kids and other distractions {like a dirty kitchen}.

So this Saturday I grabbed my coffee.

Tucked it snuggly in the cup holder.

Grabbed a cozy blanket.

My smart phone and blog journal {never leave home without it}.

And began writing. And writing. And writing.

I was so productive that I can't wait till next Saturday!

With these three elements:
1. Comfy space
2. Nice beverage or snack
3. Tools for the job {ie: notebook, laptop, knitting needles...etc.}

You can take your creativity on the road.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A {Fall} Virtual Coffee

It's Tuesday, Fall is here people and I'm ready for coffee. {I'll save the Bailey's for game day}

The weather is crisp, sweaters and tights are making regular appearances and the leaves are turning...and we can't forget it is football season.

I know, I know. By now you are so sick of football talk you are tuning me out. So instead of boring you with game day details I'll just share some pics of E's first game of the season.

Striking a pose.

Ticket into the game.

Grrrr...I'm a Hawkeye
Oh, and I can't forget to share the recipe for the yummy Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins I made for the tailgate courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats. If you haven't visited her blog, you should. Awesome recipes, and workouts and best of all she's from I-O-W-A.

Have you done any fall baking projects? Do you have any recipes to share?

This week I vowed to plan my menu for the week on Sunday, and prep what I can ahead of time. Here's this week's line up...

Last Night - Clean Eating Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken from Gracious Pantry
{G LOVED it, B2 said the salsa needed more zing and E ate his minimal four bites}

Tonight - Baked Ravioli, Salad and Garlic Cheese Bread

Wednesday - Kid's Choice

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Grillin' at the campground

So there's my week of meals. One down and four more to go, but at least it's a good start. What's on your menu this week?

If we are really meeting for coffee I'd show you the super cool Halloween goodies the boys and I picked up at Target. A glittery skull, a glow in the dark bat and a couple window decals mean it's TIME TO DECORATE! What's your favorite part of Halloween?


I'm getting excited for the holidays. Even more so since my mom and stepdad might FINALLY be moving to Iowa. If their appraisal goes through the deal is done, so please, please, please send some good luck mojo their way, because my kids want to see their grandparents more than once a year.

Well, that's all for me. Must. Get. To. Work.

Save me some coffee and I'll meet you at Amy's after work.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Week Wrap Up

Our Week in Pictures


1. Checkin' out the Pregame newspaper before the game.
2. Please tell me why my four year old only rides a trike and my one year felt the need to carry a rake on our walk?
3. Hawkeye through and through.
4. Little slugger.
5. Bowl head.
6. I-O-W-A
7. Cruisin' the stairs.
8. Cozy at the tailgate.
9. Ready for Halloween?
10. No photos please. {Just like E}
11. Big boy buying his own popcorn at Target.
12. Ready. Set. Go.
13. Swingin'.
14. Tailgating laughs.
15. Scene from a picnic.
16. Daddy's boy.

What did you do last week and this weekend?

Friday, September 23, 2011

A {Blurry} Sound Bytes of the Week

I can't believe it's Friday.

Like seriously this week has been a blur. Monday a cookout for work, Tuesday prepare for event, Wednesday host said event, Thursday preschool family picnic and now it's tailgating Friday...the fun never ends.

Anyway, not much to say other than I'm TOTALLY looking forward to spending Sunday with the kids, cleaning out the garden, buying some mums, creating the menu for next week and decorating for Halloween. So you think I can get all that done on Sunday without my head exploding? I think the jury is out on that one.

Even with the blurriness of the week, I'm still able to produce some Sound Bytes for your enjoyment.

3. "I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit."
Said after Pitt made another touchdown in last week's Hawkeye game. Although we had the last laugh...bwahhhhahha

2. "There's a pea on my PJ pants. Not a pee that comes from your pee pee, but like a pea you eat."
E you were right and I have no idea how a pea got there, just don't eat it.

1. "Pull the Trigger Papa."
HE DID IT! Yippee for papa.

What do you have going on this weekend?

What ever it is make sure it's full of giggles.

Photo by Mebraldy Photography

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A {Comeback} Virtual Coffee

Happy Tuesday.

I FINALLY have a small break to enjoy coffee with you. If we were really meeting for coffee today (and it was the morning) I’d treat myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, but…since I’m stuck at work slaving away I’ll have to settle for water. YUM?

So first things first I have to bore you with football talk for just smidge, because Saturday’s game was off the hook…seriously…like edge of your seat type of stuff. Here’s the low down, at the half the Hawks were down 21 points and it looked bleak. But at the beginning of the fourth quarter we found our momentum and won! A 31-27 victory the biggest comeback in Iowa Football history! I almost bawled I was so excited.

Ok, enough football…oh, well one last thing. Football games are making me fat again. Like for real people. I can’t workout on Saturday mornings because the game is so early we start tailgating at 8 am, and I’ve been eating crap. Can you say four pieces of French toast on Saturday, three sausage links and a couple of doughnuts. Nice…I don’t think any of that is on the Farrell’s approved nutrition plan. YIKES! Not only that, but this week I haven’t been able to hit the gym once! UGH…

Next week. I keep telling myself … next week.

How about you, are you sticking with your fitness and nutrition goals? It’s so FREAKING hard sometimes, but the reward is worth it.

Oh, and I’m on the lookout for easy, healthy recipes. If you have any you’d like to share, or a website you find recipes let me know I need to break out of my dinnertime rut.

And since we are having coffee I’d show you this month’s copy of Real Simple magazine which features yours truly.

This photo is so totally us.

I’ll be blogging about my dinnertime makeover with them soon. For now I’ll tell you that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it inspired me. Hurrah!

What inspires you to cook? Are cooking challenged like myself?

Anyway, I think I’ve extended my break time.

So, I’ll meet you at Amy’s after work, keep the coffee warm for me.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Week Wrap Up

Our Week Wrap Up in Pictures

1. Smiling after a history-making Hawkeye victory.
2. I seriously think our toys come to life while we are gone...SERIOUSLY!
3. Did you get your copy? You might recognize a certain family in there...I'm just sayin'.
4. A visit to the doctor.
5. Baby blogger.
6. "Run or we will be covered in cement."
7. "I want to go outside!"
8. Auto assembly at Steak 'n Shake.
9. Tailgate breakfast of champions courtesy of my sweet hubby.
10. Our little chef.
11. Early morning workout in Williamsburg.
12. Star sighting at the game. No Demi this time.
13. Our little Superman.
14. Hawkeye spirit.
15. Diggin' up some fun at Move it, Do it, Dig it.
16. A pair of crazy cooks.

That was our week.

What was your favorite part of last week or the weekend?

Friday, September 16, 2011

A {Cold} Sound Bytes of the Week


Whew! We made it through another week (thanks to chocolate and wine).

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but it is downright chilly here. Fall is here and it is 30's at night with frost warnings. Brrrrr....Not only that but I'm getting a cold, so that MUST mean it's Fall.

There are a couple things I need to share with you today.

The first is that I met my first bloggy friend in person! Yep, I finally met Iowa Sunshine from In Bloom. Of course we've been having virtual coffee for MONTHS, and I feel like I already know her, her kids and her Hawkeye loving hubby. But...meeting in real life is SO MUCH better. It was like talking with an old friend. And we've agreed to do it again...possibly for a Hawkeye game. I'd like to meet more bloggers, so if you are up for it and live in the vacinity, email me. Seriously, any excuse to get out of the house kid free is GREAT.

The second item on my list is for you to head out and buy this.

That's all I can say for now, but trust me you will like it.

Now on with today's Sound Bytes.

3. "Tonight I'm cooking up a tasty savor dish of eat it or starve."
Wash it down with a nice glass of shut the hell up and end the night with go the fuck to sleep. Dang...we are so hardcore... :-)

2. "I think I'll marry Batman."
Oh, E I think Robin has dibs on Batman...sorry big guy.

1. "I love you smooshy pants."
I love you too sweetie pie face.

Don't forget to link up your Sound Bytes. Even if you don't have a blog you can always comment...

Well, that's all folks. Have a GREAT weekend. Ours will hopefully be a little less stressful than last weekend and include a Hawkeye victory.

What's in store for your weekend?

What ever it is, make it silly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Wake Up Call: Bigger Picture Moment

Where were you on September 12? Do you remember? Most of us remember where we were on September 11, but what were you doing the next day and the day after that and later the next week.

I don't remember.

And it's not a bad just is.

Why must it take tragedy to pull us all together? To make us more attentive to each other. To make us hug our kids tighter and laugh with them more.

Sometimes I wonder if tragedies are a higher powers swift kick in the ass. A wake up call for us to all take time to look at the bigger picture moments in life.

So, I don't know about you, but I'm off to hug my kids, because I'm not going to wait until the next tragedy to experience everyday joys.

Are you with me?

Welcome to Bigger Picture Blogs.
Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Found yours? 
Simple BPM

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

{Late} Virtual Coffee

Jeez, can I be any later for our coffee date? Seriously...

If we were really meeting for coffee today, I'd switch mine to a nice glass of wine and call our coffee date happy hour.

I'd let you sit in the smooshy chair with a blankie and we could curl up in our "fat" pants with a glass of wine and chat. 

So, how was your weekend? Hopefully it wasn't as nutty as mine. 

I hinted in Friday's Sound Byte post that I some surprises up my sleeve for the weekend. The surprise was a HUGE birthday bash for my hubby at the Iowa Hawkeye football stadium press box. Let's just say my hubby doesn't surprise easily. He didn't have a clue until I made a lame excuse to head to the stadium on an away game weekend. But even though he may have been on to the surprise he was so happy to see his friends there. 

The other surprise was this...


Yep, I'm the wife that contributes to my hubby's midlife crisis by buying him a Porsche. Crazy I know, but here's the deal. My dad always wanted a sailboat, and he had to wait until he was dying before his wish came true. B2's dream was to own a Porsche and you know what? I'm not going to wait till it's too late to make that dream come there you go. 

Over the top? Maybe. Living the dream? Definitely.

What's your dream? I'd tell you mine, but that's fodder for a different post.

Anyway, if we were really meeting for coffee wine I'd lament to you about how the Hawkeye football team totally blew the game on Saturday. Triple overtime ... TRIPLE! And they still couldn't pull out a win. 

And then I'll shut up because I'm starting to sound like a guy, which is weird. So, let's change the subject and talk about girlie things like shopping...

Now it's time to finish off this glass of wine and go to bed, but not before I head over to Amy's and see what's brewing. 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Week Wrap Up: Surprises

Our Week Wrap Up


1. B2's 40th Birthday of the surprises I mentioned on Friday.
2. Our little Picasso - always coloring.
3. Pondering life.
4. Grouchy about the Hawkeye loss to the!
5. Tony and E playing construction worker.
6. Happy Birthday B2!
7. Waiting for the bus? 
8. Boys and their cars.
9. Checking out the carrot licking kitty.
10. We can use a straw now. Thank goodness.
11. Surprise party at Kinnick for B2. 
12. A hula hooping Batman?
13. Swingin' like a monkey.
14. My boys bonding over an iPhone App (Monkey Preschool Lunchbox).
15. The sunset out our porch door ... Beautiful
16. Chillin' in the pressbox.

That's our week.

How about yours? Did you have any surprises? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Surprise Sound Bytes of the Week

Well, well, well another week gone by.


Thank goodness it's Friday (I know I say that every week) but seriously I'm so READY for the weekend. The big rivalry game between Iowa and Iowa State is this weekend. And...I have some other plans up my sleeve, which will prove to be VERY exciting.

I just love excitement and surprises and all that fun stuff.

So SURPRISE here are this week's Sound Bytes of the Week.

3. "Why are you licking my carrots?"
S and I were on the phone and she said this. I thought she was talking about the kids, but it was actually her cat. What kind of cat likes carrots? And I'm wondering what she did with them after the cat licked them...hmmm....

2. "I have my bum force field on."
For your information, you need to turn on your bum force field when you go over those big bumps that take your tummy away and tickle your bum.

1. "Go"
Another word by G. Yippee! He said it for the first time in Target while looking at the Hawkeye paraphernalia. The next time was while watching the toy cars on the race track, and now he says it ALL the time. I have a feeling mama is's hopin'.

Now it's your turn to surprise me with your Sound Bytes.

I'm off to finish up the day and get the weekend started.

What do you have in store for the weekend?

Hopefully it is full of happy surprises.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Hero: Bigger Picture Moment


Vbbbb, phone tickled my thigh as it vibrated in my pocket.

"Hey what's up," I say to the familiar voice on the phone.

"Is G ok," asks B2

"Yeah, why," I ask tentatively thinking he knows something I don't.

"Well, E was just playing outside and threw up on the sidewalk," he says glumly.

Ugh...I think NOT AGAIN!

"I'll be home as soon as possible," I say hurriedly. I rushed G through the rest of my errands and monitored him every few seconds to make sure he wasn't going to get sick.

When I finally arrived home I was ready nurse my little guy back to health, but B2 had it covered.

Puke Bucket ... check
Apple Juice......check
Favorite Blanket .... check
Movie on TV .... check

Wow! Awesome. I made a speedy exit upstairs to spend some quality time with little G.

Dinner ... check
Bath ... check

Done with my upstairs tasks I decided to check on the big guy ... unfortunately at this point he had an accident, but yet again my services weren't needed. B2 had it covered.

New undies and PJs ... check
Clean Up ... check

I stood there perplexed not knowing what to do. It was weird. I just watched my hubby do my role.

When bedtime came, E wanted Dad to read him a bedtime story and tuck him in.

Ok, am I in an alternate universe or something? What do I do?

Five minutes later I heard crying from E's room. Sick again. I sat on the bed rubbing his back. "Daddy," he wailed. "I want Daddy."

B2 to the rescue. He came in and took over.

Now don't get me wrong I've been wishing for this for quite some time. Like since I birthed E four years ago. But it still made me feel weird - like I wasn't needed anymore, and I was confused. My role in the household had shifted and for a split second I had misplaced my mom identity.

Just as quickly as that uncomfortable feeling came it dissipated and then I smiled. Because I realized something pretty important. Contrary to what I believed the world really doesn't fall apart if I'm not there. Oh...the humanity!

Instead B2 rose to the occasion and become the hero I always knew he was.

Welcome to Bigger Picture Blogs.
Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Found yours? 
For the first time ever, Lenae, our newest Bigger Picture Blogs writer/organizer, is hosting Bigger Picture Moments today. Head over and join us as we journey on in living intentionally.
Simple BPM

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Rain Delay Virtual Coffee


If we were really meeting for coffee today. I'd probably order a Caramel Creme Latte from the Java House, just like I did on gameday.

And for your information (and the cops behind me) my coffee wasn't spiked. So there!

I almost forgot about virtual coffee today, with the vacation day yesterday? So how did you spend your extra day?

We of course went to the game, and for those of you who don't live in the midwest and couldn't care a hoot about football, I'll keep it brief. But I do need to mention a couple of things about our first game.

Photo take prior to torential downpour.
One, I was SO glad I brought my raincoat. Especially, since it started raining the moment we left for the stadium. And I mean raining. I could wring out my shorts by the time we got there. Once there, we stood in the rain for the whole first half. 

There's the rainy day I've been wishing for....damn.

It kind of cleared off for a bit, but after half time the sky became dark as night and we heard thunder and then the sky let loose. As we finished watching the last drive before heading the RV, I thought "Are we crazy fans or just plain crazy."

Wading through shin-deep puddles and bracing ourselves against gale-force winds, we finally made it back to the RV. We immediately grabbed towels and blankets and turned on the radio to listen to the remainder of the game. To our surprise, shortly after we left they called a rain delay. The first time in Hawkeye history.

We grilled hot dogs in the rain, and waited for it to let up enough so we could head to the car. The game was over by the time we made it home. Another Hawkeye victory (34-7) in the books.

And two ... At least I didn't get sunburnt.

As for the rest of the weekend...well, we chilled.


We cuddled a sick kid. (E started throwing up Sunday afternoon and lasted through the night).


We organized the house.


Nothing too exciting that's for sure.

And now since I've talked your ear off and tortured you with a football story, I'd love to hear about your weekend and what you have on your schedule for the week.

Don't forget to head over to Amy's and enjoy more conversation (hopefully less football related).


Monday, September 5, 2011

Week Wrap Up

Our Week Wrap Up


1. E and G playing "football".
2. G helping me do his laundry.
3. The giant piece of chocolate cake I had for lunch at my conference in Des Moines.
4. Blueberry pancake face.
5. Bath time!
6. E stuffing his face with blueberry pancakes.
7. Tailgating.
8. First ride in the RV.
9. Breakfast at the Bluebird Diner.
10. Ready to cheer on the Hawks, even in the rain.
11. Our Padawans.
12. Swingin' with giraffe.
13. The sunset on my way home from Des Moines.
14. Big guy and little guy chillin'.
15. The only tree in the neighborhood that thinks it's Fall.
16. Sleepy bear.

What was your favorite part of last week? Or the weekend?

Friday, September 2, 2011

A {Black and Gold} Sound Bytes of the Week

We're gonna fight, fight for Iowa ...

Are you ready for a little black and gold?

Sorry, we are a little excited for the opening game in our house.

The RV is out of storage and ready to roll.

We are sporting our team colors for school.

And...It has only rained one day in the past month, and it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Not like just a 30 percent chance, but an 80 percent chance. So, instead of sporting my cute little tank top I will be wearing a plastic poncho. Classy, for sure. Oh, well just gotta roll with it I guess.

Anyone else out there super psyched for the opening day of college football? There has to be a least a couple fans out there.

I'm also super excited for the LONG weekend. I have absolutely NOTHING scheduled for my free day, which is very unusual. So, I think we will just lay low and soak in those last days of summer. (oh, and recover from gameday)

Before we kick off Hawkeye footballl season, let's hear this week's Sound Bytes of the Week.

3. "I'm not contractually obligated to participate in your freak show."
I might just say this to the kids EVERY day. Because it is a freak show up in this place.

2. "Blimey I don't like that shirt."
Lately, E has been channeling his inner pirate. Every piece of paper becomes an eye patch and every cardboard box is his ship. I'm diggin' it...but where the heck is the buried treasure.


1. "Magic comes through me."
Oh, buddy everyday with you is magic. Hugs to you little man.


Now I'm going to crank the Iowa Fight Song and a little "Back in Black" and cheer on the Hawks. Hand me a beer and let's get this party started...oh wait I should probably wait till after work. I'll see you at the RV around 7 and don't forget to bring more beer.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend and enjoy the extra day.