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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A {Sunshiny Day} Virtual Coffee

It’s coffee talk time.

If we were really meeting for coffee I’d pop into my local coffee shop and order an iced mocha, because it is hot up in here.

It’s a veritable heat wave here in Hawkeye country. The weather man said it was 60 degrees…oh no that was NOT a typo…60 degrees! Can you believe it? It is January right? I even ventured outside and took a little jog over my lunch hour sans coat. Unbelievable. Also unbelievable, the fact that in two days it’s supposed to snow. CRAZY!!! You gotta love Iowa. If you don’t like the weather, just wait a day. So how’s the weather in your part of the country? Heat wave or snow?

Isn’t funny how coffee talk and weather always coincide. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate or apple pie and ice cream or me and Target or …

On Saturday, I spent the day with my mom and stepdad in the QC attending a memorial service for my step-uncle who passed away after battling cancer for over 10 years. It was a nice tribute and it was good to see family that I haven’t seen since my wedding. Ironic isn’t it, the only time all the family coincides in one place is either a funeral or a wedding, the saddest moments and the happiest. Hmmm…food for thought.

Other than that, I made my weekly pilgrimage to Target to buy some groceries and to pick up these …

My first REAL pair of sunglasses. Unfortunately, I didn't wear my contacts that day so I had to get REALLY close to the mirror to see how they looked, and my only opinion was E's so I took a chance. Not sure if the Mary Kate Olsen look is for me. I kind of feel like I’m wearing a pair of blue blockers or the glasses you get when your eyes are dilated. What do you think?

And because he didn't want to be left out. E got a new pair too. Batman ones of course.

That’s all from me. It’s been quiet at our house. Ok. Maybe not quiet just less crazy.

One thing I DO know is that I’m off to an afternoon playdate at the playground with the boys, and we are gonna soak up this sun before it vanishes.

Have a great rest of the week, and don’t forget to head over to Amy’s where the coffee is always hot and the conversation keeps flowing.




Monday, January 30, 2012

Creative Inspiration: Remembering the Circus

Monday’s on the Bigger Picture Blogs Facebook page we’re going to introduce
some Creative Inspiration. We will post 1-3 words and encourage you to roll those words around in your head and be inspired. Use them to propel you out of the Monday funk and into a creative mood.

Use them as you will.

Take a Photo
Write a Poem
Write a post
Write two sentences
Paint a picture

The point is to use them to infuse your Monday with 5 minutes of creativity.
There is no link up, no need to post by a certain day. Just inspiration and creativity on what could be an uninspiring day.

We encourage you to write on our Facebook wall or leave a link with what you were inspired to do.

Today's Inspiration
Hold Hands


It’s hot. Unbearably hot.

But here we are at the circus. Ready to be WOWED.

I remember going to the circus as a little kid, and wanting to share this moment with my boys was very important to me.

This circus was very different. There was no big top, no bright lights or side shows, it was dusty, hot and smelly. Nothing like I remembered.

But he didn’t care. Not one little bit.

He ran ahead to see the elephant, so big in stature so small in movements.

“Can we ride him mom, please can we?” he said.

And we did.

As we are riding he tells me everything he knows about elephants.

“They can squirt water out of their trunks you know.”

I nod. Trying to make sure we stay on the large animal.

“They eat peanuts too.”

I nod again. Smiling.

He feels so smart.

It’s late afternoon and he needs a snack and I need some water. He begs for a burger, but a burger at the circus makes me cringe so he settles for popcorn instead. It’s his favorite.

Once we are done we make our way over to see the large white tigers. Sweltering in the Iowa heat they pant and growl. Immediately he reaches for my hand seeking the safety of his mom, and we stand there holding hands watching the large cats make their way into the ring.

We walk hand in hand to our seats. We giggle as clowns run around the ring doing tricks, and we are amazed by the acrobats flying like monkeys through the air.

Then it’s over and we make our way back to car. I turn the AC on full blast to cool off my sweaty body.

“Did you have a good time?” I ask.

“Oh, yeah mom. For sure. Can we go again sometime?” he asks.

“Of course” I say smiling.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Five Minute Friday {On Saturday}: Tender

On Fridays around these parts we stop, drop, and write.

For fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication. 

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. Won’t you join us? 

Today's topic. Tender


He's not THAT type of husband.

He doesn't believe in PDA.

You will never find him in the kitchen wearing an apron or cooking a gourmet dinner.

He doesn't own a suit.

He doesn't sing love songs or play the guitar.

He always leaves the cereal box on the counter.

But it doesn't matter because he displays his tender love to me everyday.

By being a fabulous father to our two boys.

By giving me back rubs after a hard day.

By doinking my nose and throwing a smooch at me over the dinner table.

By just being there and understanding.

By putting up with my crap.

His tender love is my beacon of light after a long day at work, and I know it will be there no matter what happens.

He may not be THAT type of husband, and that's fine because he's MY husband and I wouldn't change  a thing.


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Friday, January 27, 2012

A {Final Bow} Sound Bytes of the Week

It's the final day of the week...FRIDAY!

Thank goodness. I'm so tired.

E kept up his early bird streak, and made us take him to school at 6:30 a.m. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. G wasn't too happy about this schedule change. He would just lay on his changing table with his hands over his eyes shielding the light and moaning pathetically. I felt so bad for him. We'll see what happens next week.

I'd like to thank you all for the sweet comments at Virtual Coffee this week. As some of you may know my review went swimmingly. I needn't have worried, but when your previous boss was a certified sociopath it makes you a little paranoid during times like this.

Oh, and before we get this week's Sound Bytes I have to show you something. Notice anything different in this photo?

I have contacts!!! Yep, after 15 years the eye doctor finally found some that will work with my prescription. It was weird getting used to them, but overall they are working great. I can't wait to wear them for kickboxing. No more sweaty glasses....EWWWW.

Well, on to this week's Sound Bytes.

3. "You have only one speed - Go."
Yes I do that's why I have such a hard time doing things like Yoga, or sitting still.

2. "When all hope is's time to ask for directions."
I made this one up this week. It seemed fitting considering the stressful week I've had.

1. "Look out peanut butter I'm coming to get you."
In this family peanut butter is food group and chocolate is a nice garnish.

What did you hear this week?

Well, there are the this week's Sound Bytes the final one for January. Time to take a bow and welcome February.

Make it an AWESOME weekend.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bigger Picture Moment: Are you there God it's me Brook?

I have been avoiding this topic for a while now. Mostly because it's been drilled into me to never talk about politics or religion in mixed company. You don't want to unintentionally offend someone. be honest I don't know enough about either topic to have a highly educated debate. Especially when it comes to religion.

I was raised old school Lutheran. The fire and brimstone type. Always preaching that I'm a sinner and doing things wrong. At the age of five I didn't understand. I was good all week according my standards, no lying, no hitting, doing my chores, etc. So why is this guy at church telling me I'm bad? I just didn't get it.

Years later I attended a nondenominational church with music and fan fair. I remember liking it as a kid, but early morning Sundays were not my thing.

Eventually, dad found a Methodist church he liked. It was ok, but it was still church. Early Sundays, long sermons, sitting and being still. Not much fun for a kid.

By the time I was in High School, dad let me decide whether I wanted to go. I chose to stay home and he chose to go.

That Methodist church was his beacon till he died.

I on the other hand never became a churchy sort of person. I was married in a church, but neither of my kids are baptised and we don't do anything on Sundays but watch football and hang out in our PJs.

Recently, though I've been asking questions about Faith.

That it means to believe in something.

As I ask these questions and throw them out to the heavens, I sometimes receive an answer.

Like on Monday.

I've been having a hard time at work. So much so that I wasn't sure it was a place where I should stay. All signs were saying "give up". Finally, I just raised my hands to they sky and said "Please, please just let me know that everything will be ok. That I can stay in this job and be happy."

I wasn't making bargains. I wasn't wishing for something. I was just asking for guidance.

And immediately it appeared.

I ended up giving two tours of our retirement community and signing a lease that day.

The mood shifted, and my load was lightened.

I'll admit I'm not ready to give up my lazy Sunday mornings, and you probably won't see me breaking out a Bible anytime soon, but my faith is growing a little bit each day.

And if God knows me as well as I think he does, He knows how much I appreciated His help this week even if I don't go to church on Sundays.

We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us here today! 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A {Weird} Virtual Coffee

It’s Tuesday, which means ….


If we were really meeting for coffee today, I’d ask you if anything weird happened to you today. Because today has been a little freaky and it’s only noon … so I’m waiting anxiously to see what’s next.

To start it off I was late to my usual workout, so I had to do spinning class in a T-shirt and pants…UGH…HOT!!!! And my butt hurts. However, it was a good workout to start the day.

When I get home, E is there waiting for me. “Mom you said you would take me to school on the way to the gym.” Yes, I did say that. Well, he wanted me to take him right then and there, so I hurried and got him and G dressed and out the door again. Take into account that it’s 6:45 a.m. at this point. School as only been open for 15 minutes, but he wanted to be the first one there. And thanks to this mama he was.

To be honest it was kind of nice. No morning temper tantrums, no hectic driving through traffic and the BEST part, I had time to sit and read him stories for a while before I had to leave. AWESOME!!! Hopefully the early morning doesn’t catch up with him this afternoon and turn him into a cranky pants.

The next weird thing on the schedule…my review at work.

UGH!!! Totally hate it. It’s not that I do a bad job, but EVERY time I’ve had a work review they ALWAYS have to find something for you to “work on”.  And I’ll be honest I don’t handle criticism well, even if it’s considered constructive. Are you the same way? Or do you let it just roll off your back? I WISH I could be one of those people…oh, to dream.

On a side note I had a lovely pampering day on Saturday, and revived the red and even treated myself to a pedi. {It’s my one way of reminding myself that sandal season is almost here}

Well, that’s all I have from my little place in corn country. We are all bundled up here trying to stay warm and cozy.

And now I’m going to head to Amy’s and warm up my cup and enjoy some conversation. Feel free to join me.


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Friday, January 20, 2012

A {Freaky Friday} Sound Bytes of the Week

First it was five inches, then ten inches and now three inches. All I know is it's gonna snow.

I guess it's bound to happen. Especially since it's almost the end of January.

The boys are excited about the white stuff, since we have THE BEST sledding hill right in our backyard. We enjoyed it last Sunday as we sledded down the hill like mad men. It sucks to mow, but it's awesome in the snow. We might even invite some friends over for chili, cocoa and sledding...sounds like an awesome Sunday to me.

Ok...before we get to this week's Sound Bytes I have to ask is anyone else wiped out today? The week has literally killed me. I'm not sure if it was E being sick, me being sick, work being nuts, not working out this week, or just the totally weird stuff that has been happening. At a certain point I have to laugh or I might just cry.

On that note let's get on with the laughs.

3. "That's four inches of craziness."
Well, according to the weather man it's somewhere between one and ten.

2. "Major hurlage."
That's what we saw this week. Disgusting.

1. "I had my first normal poop today."
After experiencing number two for a couple days we are VERY happy to experience number three.

Hopefully those gave you a giggle. Because as we all know a good day starts with breakfast and a giggle.

Now it's your turn to share. What did you hear this week that made you giggle?

Have a great weekend and enjoy the snow. I know we will.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In this Family We...

In December over at Bigger Picture Blogs we were given our second challenge in our Writing Me series.

Our first challenge was to write where we are from and you can read mine here {under the ABOUT section of my blog}. And I'll admit it was tough. I had to dig deep, because I kept dwelling on the negative and not on the positive. One of my many faults. But I think I found a happy medium between sickening sweet, and doom and gloom.

This second challenge was even harder {I guess that's why they call it a challenge right?} I had to finish this sentence "In this family we..."

We what?

I was stumped and yet again all the ugly came out first. We fight, we annoy one another..etc. It was my own fault for trying to write about my family when we were on our way to Chicago for Thanksgiving, running late and just stressed out.

So, I let the ugly have its voice ... then threw it all away and started over again, and again...

Finally finding the right mix of what our little family is all about.

And here's what I came up with, and my semi-creative way of showing our intentions everyday...

In this family lurks a tickle monster and if you aren’t careful he will tickle you till you pee your pants.

In this family nose doinks, tackle hugs and smoochies are how we show we love you.

We have giggle fests and laugh till it hurts.

We are loud {even when we should be quiet}.

We talk a lot and have a hard time listening, but when we do we hear you.

We are messy and have been known to ignore a dirty house in favor of playing together.

We fly by the seat of our pants and very rarely are we prepared.

In this family we play hard and work hard everyday.
Everyone does their part.
There are no free rides.

Sometimes in this family the
and Angrys can get in the way.
And we work together and tell them to “take a hike”.

In this family we know we will make mistakes and be forgiven.

We wear black and gold every weekend from September till November.

We build traditions to pass down to generations after us.

We believe in finding joy even amidst chaos and craziness.

In this family there are tears
of joy
of sadness.

In this family we know there is no perfect,
but we are perfect in each other’s eyes.

So there you have it. My family in a nutshell.

What about you?

In YOUR family you _________ ....

I made my calender using Shutterfly.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A {Snow and Sick Day} Virtual Coffee

{Imagine all dialogue being said through a stuffed nose}


Ok...stop the press where did the day go? Jeez. One minute it's 8 a.m. the next it's noon. The next it's time to head home.

Well, good thing it's virtual coffee and not real coffee because first of all you would get blown away by the mini blizzard swirling outside my window and...second because I'm sick {just a cold} and E is VERY sick {hurlage, as B2 would say ... among other things} Gross right?

I have to say that this snow/sick day was probably my fault. See, last Thursday when we had the "blizzard" I was wishing for a snow day. One where E and G's school would close we could all hunker down, sit by the fire drinking hot cocoa and watch obscene amounts of Pixar movies. But alas that didn't happen and it didn't happen today either.

Then in my blundering mind I thought well a sick day wouldn't be bad either. Then we could all stay home too. Ummm, yeah...that didn't happen either. Well, not for me anyway.

The big boy and B2 are home, watching movies and holding puke buckets {sorry mom I know you hate that word}. And me and G, well ... he's at school and I'm at work. Trying like the dickens NOT to get the plague that is running rampant in our house.

I don't know about you, but it really sucks not to be able to hold you kid when they are sick or be with them. But I couldn't do it. I knew that if I went in there and contaminated myself too, then we might have two parents out with the flu and no reinforcements. So, B2 and E are quarantined until further notice.

Prior to the plague invasion we did have an AWESOME weekend.

E and I made the three hour road trip to have Christmas with my dad's side of the family. It was fun, but still not the same without dad there. I couldn't resist driving by the old house. I'm glad a family is living there, it will give it some life again.

Speaking of dad I'm taking the final steps to close the estate and we've encountered a hiccup, so that's not helping with the whole closure aspect. Hopefully, it resolves itself.

Of course E was excited because our trip meant presents.

On Sunday, we took a train ride through Iowa City. Our local libraries had an event called READ the rails and you ride the train from one library to another. E and G loved it ... although the train needed to go faster according to E.

Well, that's our life up in here. I'm just praying for a low-key weekend and that no one else gets sick.

Do you think Lysol makes the equivalent of a bug bomb, because that's what our house will need when all is said and done?

Anyway, sorry I monopolized the conversation. How was your weekend? Are you and your family staying healthy?

I'm going to virtually head over to Amy's {so I don't spread my germs} and see what's up. Why don't you join me.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Photo Project: Project GROW

Right about now I'd be sharing my first batch of photos from my 365 Project. However, it didn't quite work out like I had anticipated.

I really did try to do it, but my photos all looked the same. 

Boys at breakfast 




And then on Thursday I TOTALLY forgot, and quickly took this photo to fill my quota for the day. 

The alarm clock...REALLY?


So after perusing many blogs, Pinterest and Facebook I found some great ideas. 

Like Instagram.

But I don't have an iPhone and I don't like the photo quality of my iPod Touch, so nix that idea. Plus, it still wouldn't solve the problem of every photo looking the same.

Back to the drawing board. 

Then I liked Melissa's idea over at Peanut Butter in My Hair. Basically, you take a photo on the date of how many kids you have. I have two kids, so I would take my photo on the second of each month. Well, so much for that I already missed the January photo.

I could always do just a month in photos like over at the Simple Things and while I LOVE Rebecca's templates {which I will probably use} a month in random photos is very reminiscent of what I'm already doing on the blog. I was looking for something with more meaning behind it more of a "challenge". 

A challenge you say...well how about a Scavenger Hunt {it didn't go well} or I do have ALOT of friends/bloggers who are doing the Project 52 Challenge. While I totally dig the Project 52 concept, I could tell right away that I'd have issues and get all panicky about trying to find the "money shot", and a photo project should be fun, not add more pressure to my life {because I TOTALLY have enough of that already}

I almost gave up. Perhaps a photo project isn't my forte.

But then it hit me. What if I incorporate my One Word into photos each month for a year?

I could use Rebecca's monthly templates and use photos that represent my word.


Just focus on that one word and what I have done to work toward it each month. What a great way to be held accountable and to document my accomplishments each month. 

Here's a taste of what you will see for the month of January. 

And while I realize this isn't the most original idea, I think it is one that I can stick with and has meaning for me. Which is what it's really all about, right?

Are you participating in a photo project / challenge? 
Tell me about it and why you like it?

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Friday, January 13, 2012

A {White} Sound Bytes of the Week

It's heeeere!

That would be Friday and SNOW. Yep the "s" word finally made an appearance and it looks like it's going to stick around for a bit.

I'm torn between being happy about it to being slightly miffed. See, I'm supposed to drive three hours to Humboldt on Saturday for the last Christmas celebration and it might snow. And while this may not seem like that big of deal, we are perpetually cursed on our yearly Christmas trip to Humboldt. EVERY year there's some weird weather phenomenon that either prevents us from going or makes the trip miserable. Even on the way to my dad's funeral in April it was gale force winds that day. CRAZY!!!

However, we should {ideally} be fine unless we get like twelve inches or something.

So how are you faring with the white stuff? Love it or hate it?

Well, now it's time for some Sound Bytes of the Week.

3. "The weathermen are like my exes. There are full of themselves and WAY over exaggerating their inches."
This didn't come from me {although do have some exes like that}. My friend wrote that today in response to all the hype surrounding the "blizzard". I found it hilarious and VERY true.

2. "Mit Romney is trying to be in charge. But he's really not. Obama is."
Ok, we are NOT a huge political family, but with the Caucus' in Iowa and all the TV coverage I think E must have picked up thing a two.

1. "We have a dinosaur vacuuming the kitchen."
Why yes we do...hmmm...I wonder if he charges for that.

And now it's your turn to share. Remember it only needs to be one.

Well, I'm off to go Christmas shopping {weird right}.

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm this weekend. A little hot cocoa always helps.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: Hopefully

He did it again this morning.

He wouldn’t listen.

He wouldn’t get dressed after asking FIVE times.

He whined, and he cried that he had nothing to wear.

Then it was time…

Time to “lay the smack down.” {not literally}

Time to set some limits and create some consequences.

“If you can’t do it yourself then I’ll pick,” said B2.

Tears. Lots. of. Tears.

Mumbling through tears about looking silly in that shirt and he wants his red one.

“Too late,” we say.

I rush to work leaving B2 with a car full of unhappy boys. Himself included.

And it breaks my heart.

I know there need to be consequences. I know we need to set limits, but all I want is to make him happy.

B2 says he will learn and then it will be on to something else.

But are we ruining him? That’s my question.

Does he feel loved enough even when he’s being punished?

I don’t know, but I remind him {or try to}.

I know it’s for the greater good that I’m raising a boy who will eventually {probably at the age of 26} be self-sufficient.

And he will say “Remember all those days I couldn’t figure out what to wear and you picked for me…that was turning point…that’s when I knew I needed to make my own choices or someone would make them for me.”

Hopefully, he will look at it like that. Hopefully…

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A {Slacker} Virtual Coffee

OK….OK…it’s Tuesday. Time to settle in for some virtual coffee.

If we were really meeting for coffee today, I’d have you be my partner in crime and we’d hijack this truck…Ok, never mind it’s not REALLY filled with coffee.

Sorry for the super blurry photo...took it while driving. Shhhh don't tell the cops.
Instead, I would make you whatever you wanted with my new Keurig. Yep, the hubs bought it for me for Christmas. I really like it, except for the fact that my travel mug is too tall to fit under the thingy. I know there are bigger ones, but counter space at our house is at a premium, so I’ll just suck it up.

So how was your weekend? How are you settling into the New Year?

My weekend was sublime. We did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I didn’t even go outside on Saturday. Sounds kind of pathetic when I write it out, but it was seriously relaxing. Not to say I was a total slacker as I did do at least ten loads of laundry {that have yet to be folded and put away}. One day at a time people…one day at a time. And I did get dressed unlike my four-year-old who remained in his pajamas all day and then changed into new ones to go to bed, “because they are dirty mom.” Good grief.

As for settling into the New Year…well…

I’m not doing too well. I think I’m suffering from a tiny bit of holiday hangover {still} and nervous apprehension for what’s to come. We have a lot of irons in the fire this year, like are we selling the house and buying a new one? Where will E start kindergarten? Or will we hold him back? And what are we doing with THREE cars?

Just a couple questions that need to be answered sometime within the early days of 2012.

And to top it all off, I’m starting to train for triathlon season {only six months away}.

Am I stretching myself to thin? Of course and this happens every year. Sigh.

Please tell me you do it too, so I don’t feel too bad.

Otherwise, I’m just gearing up for another Christmas on Saturday {dad’s side of the family}. Then I’m finally done with wrapping paper, tags and bows. Hurrah {till next year}.

Oh, and I closed my dad’s bank account today; one step closer to closing the estate and crossing that off my New Year’s To Do list.

Well, I’m about to head to Farrell’s for another sweat busting workout, but I’ll be sure to head over to Amy’s for more caffeinated conversation after I’ve eaten, showered and the kid’s are tucked into bed.

Ciao peeps!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ready for the New Year: A {One Word} Sound Bytes

And now we come to the precipice; the cliff of life that I jump off in order to fully enter this new year of 2012.

I’ll admit…I’m apprehensive, nervous and excited. Last year was so wonderful how on earth could 2012 compare? I begin to worry too, that once you’ve reached the pinnacle the only place left to go is down. Must. Stop. Worrying.

Thanks to a GREAT friend and terrific blogger Hyacynth at Undercover Mother, I’ve found some great resources to help me on my {nerve wracking} journey into the New Year.

The first can be found here. It’s a workbook to help you let go of the past and focus on the future {who DOESN’T need that}. I found it helpful to jot down ideas and things I wanted to accomplish this year.

From the tangible
Compete in three triathlons this summer
Ride a leg of Ragbrai
Do a 365 photo project
Cultivate my writing
Attend a Blog Conference
Meet more bloggers
Be more craftastic {thanks to Pinterest}
FINALLY close my dad’s estate and scatter his ashes
Take the boys outside and PLAY

To the intangible and emotional
FORGIVE others and myself
Listen more
Open my heart to love
Treat those I love with the respect they deserve
Find my definition of faith
Live in the Moment

You know just a few goals.

Then I needed to pick my word for the year. I thought long and I thought hard. Since this past year {without really trying} became a journey of reflection. I wanted to continue it, so my word for 2012 is


At OneWord365 I will share my word with others who have embarked on this journey and hold myself accountable.

I want to grow into a better person, grow my talents and grow to appreciate life in all its messy joy.

So I will hold my breath and JUMP…Time to GROW.

As I follow my own advice listen more, we will conclude our jump into the New Year with this week’s Sound Bytes.

3. “I don’t want to throw up on Christmas.”
Yeah, E none of us wanted you to throw up on Christmas. Good thing it was just a one time occurrence so we didn’t have to drive four hours back to Iowa.

2. “G with hair so bright won’t you guide my jelly donut tonight?”
E’s new version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

1. “All of us miss each other, but when the day is through we will see each other again.”
E you are so right, and when I see you I will give you the biggest hug EVER.

Well, there’s my word for the year and my moments in time. Bring on 2012!

What are your's? Do you have a word for 2012?
Are you excited the New Year is here?

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Ready for the New Year: Living in the Bigger Picture Moment

Imagine that it's already tomorrow.

You roll out of bed with the hope that today will be a super fantastic day.

But then you are running late, the four year old has a meltdown over wearing jeans instead of sweatpants, you spill coffee down your shirt, you forget your gym clothes, you forget to buy milk at the store, you are trying to make dinner with a one year old in arms and four year old yelling at you about yogurt. Sounds like a "normal" day, and one that you would just gladly walk away from and start over again right?

But what if ... what if ... on your way to work you heard your favorite song on the radio and it made you smile, or you received a much needed "what's up" text from a friend or your four year old said the funniest joke at the dinner table...would it make your day better? Would you even notice?

Yeah. That was my problem. I didn't even notice. I let the bad {or what I thought was bad} change my perspective on the rest of the day. If one thing went badly, boom day was done no do overs.

But something has changed over the past year I've REALLY been trying to live in the moment.

If you have noticed the millions of sunrise and sky photos I've posted over the year it's because I'm FINALLY taking the time to see the beauty around me.

If you have read my Sound Bytes each Friday you will notice that I've FINALLY taken the time to listen. And if you've read my Bigger Picture Moments you will notice that I'm FINALLY noticing these everyday moments.

The concept of a Bigger Picture Moment resonated with me. I have a hard {very, super duper hard} time living in the moment. I dwell in the past, I look too far forward. Never once just listening to what life around me is trying to say. Even if it's yelling! Many of my BPM posts include phrases like "wake-up call", "slap in the face", "Blamo" or "I cried".

By living in the moment and living with intention each day, I have begun a journey of self-growth. An examination of who I am, cherishing the pieces that bring me joy, and changing those that don't.

I know I'm a work in progress, but I also know I'm a much happier person when I take the time breathe and soak in the every day moments.


Bigger Picture Blogs is looking for our favorite moment of 2011 {cherish the past} and repost it today. This is one of those "wake up call", "slap in the face", "blamo", "I cried" type of moments. Enjoy... and here's to living in the moment each day!

Moms Need Timeouts Too: Bigger Picture Moment 
{originally posted in August 2011}

If I could change one thing about myself (other than my lack of cleavage) I'd ask for more patience. This past weekend I needed more than ever. Let me lay out the scenario for you...

I'm alone with the boys, and both are clamoring for something to eat. It's already 6 p.m. and I'm trying to fix a damn doorknob, pick up toys and figure out what to have for dinner.

"Mommy what are we having for dinner."

"How about Mac and Cheese?" I ask with trepidation, wondering if today will be the day he actually likes Mac and Cheese.

"Sure, that sounds tasty," he smiles. "But only the kind on the stove." short cut Easy Mac for my connoisseur. Fine, but the baby needs more protein so I decide to make Old School Mac and Cheese (you know with tuna in it). I dish up E's first sans tuna, making sure he has plenty, and get everyone settled down to eat.

In a split second E is finished.

"Can I have more Mac and Cheese?"

"I have some, but it has tuna in it." I say nervously, knowing this will lead to a pouty face.

"I don't like tuna." Enter said pouty face.

"I know. I can make you something else like oatmeal, chicken nuggets, cereal...what do you want?"


"I don't have Mac and Cheese. I have oatmeal, chicken nuggets, cereal. I can make you any of those."

"Just go to the store and get me some MAC AND CHEESE."

"Umm, not happening. I can make you anything else."

"I WANT MAC AND CHEESE." Insert grouchy face and tears.

"I already told you I don't have Mac and Cheese." I say my voice rising. "Why don't you go to your room and settle down. When you can talk normal you can come out."

E stomps out of the room. I take a deep breath and look at G who has a perplexed look on his face, and seems to be saying "WTH, big brother."

In less time that it took to exhale that deep breath E was back.

"Mom, may I please have some Mac and Cheese."

I think at that point my brain separated from my body, and I lost it.


Ugh...was that just me yelling about Mac and Cheese. Shit...


More stomping.

Later while I'm cleaning up the kitchen, G starts fussing a bit (past his bedtime.)

"Just give me a minute G I just need to finish this up."

Then I hear it the words that snapped me out of my stressed, grouchy and frustrated mood.

"It's Ok G, sometimes Mom gets upset. She just needs a timeout."

Ugh...that's right E. Now it's my turn in the timeout chair.


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