Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reflections of 2010

I still can't believe that we are in the final week of 2010. The years just seem to be going by faster and faster, but I guess that's what happens as you get old :) This feels like a big year for me as a mom though. Beginning next year (in Aug. of course), I will have a child in school. I just can't believe it. I think I am more nervous than he is about it though. Luckily, I have 8 months to prepare-- WHEW!
Anyway, onto reflections from this year:
Can anyone say snow? I feel like we were under a constant winter weather watch and we had to deal with horrible but fun snow forever! There was a point in February when I thought that we would be sledding come June.
This picture was the snow in January. We got even more in February and this is VA??? It was a total shock and when Troy says he wants even more this Winter.....AAUUGGHHH

And after the snow melts, what do you get?

Yes, that's right, MUD! I also dealt with this scene an awful lot and will admit, thought it was funny that first few times, then I got a tad tired of this, but boys will be boys and my boys sure love the mud.
2010 also brought me into the world of SOCCER MOM and not just soccer mom, but soccer mom COACH. I have promised Troy that as long as he wants me to, I will coach his soccer team so I have done 2 stints now and I adore it. U6 soccer is so much fun and those kids are sooooo cute. It's a promise I am more than willing to keep.
The summer brought highs and lows. There was lots of fun with friends and family, plenty of pool time, and vacation in the 1000 Islands, but the summer is also when we said goodbye to my brother in law who was deployed for a 2nd time to Iraq. It has been very difficult on my sister and niece and nephew, but luckily, Skype has been a tremendous help. (The pic below is us on vacation.)
And Fall. Oh how I love Fall! Troy became a totally different child--more outgoing, friendlier and his anxiety eased (minor flair ups here and there, but better). Will turned 2 so that always brings fun and excitement. Fall also brought a beach trip, a trip to Wintergreen with friends, more soccer, beautiful weather... I truly do love Fall. If you have ever read anything before of mine, you'll know that my dad passed away in September a few years ago so it is a hard time, but the beach is our new way to get passed the moping. Below is a pic of Sandbridge Beach and Wintergreen

And that brings us to now. There is so much more I could share, but there's just not enough time in the day. As always, looking back, I realize how truly blessed I am. I have the most wonderful family there is and my friends are amazing. Although I may be getting older and you young uns think that things get harder and the fun stops. I can honestly say, that is as far from the truth as you can get. I am having the time of my life with my family and friends and although there are people missing from the picture, I know they are watching over us and enjoying it as much as I am. So I leave you with this picture. My favorite from the year because it has most of my favorite people in it in my favorite place (thank you Jennifer Price with Focus Photographers!) ;)

Monday, December 27, 2010

We didn't get much....

Snow that is. The huge blizzard missed us and we only got a dusting, but I think my kids still enjoyed it, don't you :) Also, I don't know who had more fun, the kids or the husband!

Will was in some kind of zone driving this tractor. Yes, he was still driving, kinda--it was just going round and round
Snow fight!!!
Got the 4Wheeler stuck

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Baking

I use this phrase a lot, so why stop now...Back in the day....yes, back in the day, I used to do tons and tons of baking. I was a teacher/athletic trainer at a high school and gave all the coaches a tin of holiday goodies. Here's what I made:
Then I would do the basic Sugar Cookies (slice and bake), Angel Food Cake, and throw in peppermints and Hershey Kisses for color. It could get tedious, but I enjoyed it. Since having children, this has gone WAYYYYYY down, but I usually can whip together something even if it was just the sugar cookies. I even did some Gifts in a Jar or Gifts in a Mug (tons of ideas found here). This year, I don't even know what happened. I had some time but chose to use it doing things that weren't so productive. I baked cookies only when I had to and tonight, I am going to a friend's house. I had many intentions of baking or putting together a mug/jar gift, but nope, I chose to do anything and everything else. So here's what I have thrown together. Yummy? Sure. Lazy? ABSOLUTELY. I feel horrible, but I just didn't make it a priority this year and now that the holidays are here, I totally regret it. Next year, let the holiday baking commence!
And the bad part of it is, I even used this:
Baker's Dipping Chocolate--you just microwave and dip. I feel like I cheated

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Traditions

When you think about Christmas, I am sure you think of many traditions that you have been apart of over the years--decorating your tree with special ornaments, going to see the lights, programs, pajama nights with the family, special movies you watch with your children or loved ones....I am sure there are many. My all time favorite tradition is a tad odd, but it's one I have been talking about a lot lately. I can't even say I remember when it first started, but I have to say that it's one we no longer do and it crushes me, yet no one can do it the same way. First let me explain-- Dad loved to play tricks on us. For example, he would say he didn't get Mom anything and it drove me and my sister nuts. Every year he would go through this and my sister would by something extra for my Mom--just in case and, yet he would always hide a gift somewhere that was hers. For some reason, my sister always thought "This is the year he won't get her anything". He always loved keeping us on our toes so one year he decided he would be funny. He always gave us something that would fit in a small box--money, lottery tickets, jewelry... so he decided to hide the gifts in the tree. He stood back a ways from the tree and just threw them in there. The next morning, we went through our stockings, opened all the gifts and then Dad said "You haven't opened everything girls" and hinted to where they were. This became a yearly thing and we LOVED it. He loved doing it probably as much as we loved him doing it. When we got married, he did this for us and our husbands and then when Anaka and Troy came along, same thing. It was so fun to look through the tree and see where they ended up that year--some years were very challenging. Silly tradition? Sure. But I miss it and after telling Troy about it, he wants us to start doing it or rather, he wants to do it for Jay and I. I don't know if it can ever be the same, but I am willing to give it a try.

And on a slightly different note, my dad's birthday would have been Dec. 26. We always celebrated Christmas Eve because he was so sick of family gatherings by Christmas night and just wanted to be left in peace. So here are a few pics of my dad I would like to share. They are very random and none are Christmas??? Why do I not have any of Dad at Christmas??? Oh well:
Walking me down the aisle
Dad and my niece Anaka
Dad and Troy
He came to the playground with us ♥
Holding Troy in the hospital
Happy Birthday Dad! Love you and miss you bunches

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the Day....

I don't know if I can blame this on age, becoming a mom or something else, but when did I forget how to relax? I remember back in the day, coming home from teaching or whatever job I was holding at the time and being able to just plop in front of the tv and veg. I would enjoy mindless tv, read a magazine or book and just sit. No guilt, no "I should be doing something else", no nothing....just sitting and relaxing. Now when I have a moment, I feel guilt over relaxing so therefore, I don't relax. I don't enjoy sitting in front of the tv. I HAVE to be doing something else--working on the computer, writing a thank you note, organizing the shelves or my purse, wrapping gifts......I must admit that I never can just sit still. WAYYYYY to ADHD for that, but I could scan through a magazine or newspaper, do the crossword or Sudoku and watch TV and I enjoyed it, I was happy, I was relaxed. Now, I can't stop thinking about all the things I have or need to do. Is this part of motherhood, part of age or is it just me? Someone teach me how to relax again--that doesn't involve alcohol or eating. If you want to know why....see previous posts.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Doing "homework"

Cheesin' on Troy's 5th birthday
He can't do anything without making it fun for him

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Will Earn Coolest Aunt Status!!

Yes indeed. I will be winning Coolest Aunt Status this holiday season. I am giving my 5 year old niece a gift that no one else would even think about! No toys, cute clothes, extremely over the top expensive gifts here. I am giving my niece something she will enjoy and remember for years. She's an animal nut, particularly crazy about seals (why? Not really sure, but whatever) and this is what she is getting from me this holiday season:

Seal Splash

Get Up Close and in the Water with our Harbor Seals

The Virginia Aquarium is the only place in the United States where you can get in the water to interact with harbor seals!

This 90-minute program takes you behind the scenes in the Harbor Seal area where you’ll learn about marine mammals, animal adaptations, training techniques, and efforts to conserve these unique animals and the environment we share with them. You’ll also meet a friendly seal or two in their private quarters, and observe a brief animal training session just prior to the in-water experience. During the 15-20 minute in-water interactive portion of this program, you’ll put on neoprene or rubber chest waders and a life vest (over your casual clothes), and enter the water with a trained animal professional (the water is about waist-high for most adults). Aquarium staff will walk you to a specially designed submerged platform to reach out and touch, communicate, and learn about the beauty and grace of our Harbor Seals. The seal will follow the target you’re holding, say “hello” (in seal, of course), and even wave to you. It’s the experience of a lifetime for the whole family!


Okay, so there is one small problem. She's not old enough for this, however they have something similar but the children don't get in the water--they still get up close and personal. Good enough I think. My sister is also an animal nut, so she gets to do it too. I hate that they can't do it right now, but at least they have something to look forward to!

Now, how the heck do I wrap this?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Embracing imperfections

** Before I even start, this is NOT a post to get compliments and be told that I am thin or look great--that is NEVER why I write these**

How do you do this? If anyone has the secret, please let me in on it. I had a friend once tell me to just look in the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful/beautiful you are. I had to laugh because all I could think about was the SNL skit with Michael Jordan doing that and him cracking up. That would be my reaction too. I wish it were easier to be happy with how I look, but no matter what I do, I am not. I may never be since I don't recall ever being thrilled with my appearance, so how do you just embrace yourself and the imperfections?
I started my journey to better health over 2 months ago and I said it wasn't truly about weight loss, but I lied. I tried to convince myself that I would be happy just taking better care of myself and feeling stronger, but I am not. I really thought that along with changing my diet and beginning an exercise program, the weight would drop off. I wasn't expecting much, but I was expecting some loss. It's been over 2 months and I have had only 2 days I cheated a tad (and I mean a very tad) and 1 day I went nuts, but that's it. I still have lost only a couple pounds total. I know my metabolism is very slow and weight training *should* (key word there) help, but it's not. Yes, I have built a lot of muscle, but it's still under all the fat. Here's the problem (and this is where I really need to come to terms)--there are 3 main body types (check here for full info: http://health.learninginfo.org/body-types.htm)
1) Ectomorph--naturally thin/lean, not muscular and have a harder time building strength
2) Endomorph--naturally carries more body fat and a low metabolish--think soft and round
3) Mesomorph--naturally able to build muscle easily, athletic, defined

and I am a endomorph mixed with a mesomorph and I need to realize that I will NEVER be long and lean. I will never be skinny. I wasn't even as a youngster--I was smaller, but never skinny. I have always held fat--especially in my abdomen and I build muscle VERY easily, yet I don't lose the fat so you don't see definition. I remember back in high school (I think it was freshman year), I had spent the summer babysitting 2 children and they had a pool so I swam a lot and became very muscular. I went to cross country practice that first day and the coach said "Jitterbug (my crazy nickname), you have gained a lot of weight over the summer"! I was devastated. I couldn't believe he said that to me and back then, I never cared about the scale so had no idea if I did. The next day I went to practice and he apologized to me because when he really looked at me running, he could tell that I had built a lot of muscle. This is who I am. I need to embrace the fact that I can become VERY strong and be okay with knowing that underneath the fat, I could kick some serious tail. I need to realize that unless I get a tummy tuck, I will never lose the belly I have from 2 CSections that is just loose skin (YUCK) so I just need to create a very strong core and embrace that the belly gave me two beautiful boys. I know all this. Yet how do I embrace it for real?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

To My Almost 5 year old....

Dear my sweet Troy,

It is almost your 5th birthday and I can't believe it. I really am having a hard time believing that you are 5 and starting Kindergarten next year. Things are going to change so much so I am going to cherish every last minute of having you home more these next 9 months. When I look back over the past 4 years, it's been amazing! I have enjoyed watching you learn and grow. I have loved being able to stay at home with you and do all sorts of fun things. I have loved everything--even the struggles (not that there have been many, but there have been some). This particular year has been the most amazing though. You have changed so much in such a short time that I have been in awe. It's really been all since July so that's what has been even more incredible. In this short time, you have learned to ride your bike completely on your own without training wheels, you learned to swim, became more outgoing, become an acolyte and usher at church, and have begun to read. The one thing that has been the same is that you continue to be such a compassionate child--especially with your brother and those younger than you. I am always so proud when I see you sharing, being kind and thoughtful, and interacting with Will, Antonio and the other young ones that come around. They all love and adore you and it's obvious when they look at you! That is one thing that I hope never changes in you. I am so proud to be your mother and know that over the next many years I will continue to feel like this. I will always be here for you however you need me!


1 Year Old
2 Years Old

3 Years Old
4 Years Old

Almost 5!