Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011


I'd hoped to share an adorable pic of my kids in their costumes with you today.  But when we got all dressed up for a local trunk or treat event yesterday, it was right after Zach's short nap and he wasn't too thrilled yet.


"Not too thrilled" soon became an understatement.


Thankfully, Daddy can always be our hero and save the day!


From our front door to yours... Happy Halloween!




What I'd really love is if you would pop over to Fit City and check out the radical move I've made this year that might result in my house getting TP'ed or might make our house the Coolest House Evah!

*****



*gulp*

I’m doing something different this year for Halloween. 

A lot of things are the same.  The kids will dress up and go door to door.  My daughter is going to be Daphne from Scooby Doo and my son is repeating last year’s costume- Captain America.  As we go door to door, my daughter will ask if the home owner would like to donate a canned good or non-perishable item for our local food pantry.  When we get home, candy will be divided and many pieces will be eaten.  Then it will be bagged up and I become the Controller of Candy Consumption. 

But we’re doing something different this year and I have to admit to being kind of nervous about it.

We aren’t handing out candy.  None.

Last year, we had a basket of candy and pretzels and a big bowl of non-candy and gave out some of each.  This year, I have the leftovers from last year and supplemented with a few things I picked up and we have an overflowing giant bowl of goodies to hand out that have nothing to do with sweets or snacks.


Puzzles, bracelets, play doh, card games, pencils, temporary tattoos, and I also have little bottles of bubbles to add to the bowl.  The best part is that whatever doesn’t get passed out will easily keep until next year.  I can also trade any leftover items with my kids for chunks of their candy. 

Older kids won’t be thrilled with our offerings.  Sorry.  But the elementary and preschool set should be pretty pleased.  I figure we might get toilet-papered for our efforts or we might end up being “the cool house.”  My kids were clamoring for the items in the bowl- they wanted the play doh and tattoos and wanted to touch each pencil and try on the bracelets. 

Why did I choose to go candy free this year?   Partially because I know the kids are going to have tons of candy that they bring into the house.  Partially because I know that we will have leftovers and I don’t need the extra candy in the house.  Partially because I like the idea that whatever is leftover can be saved for next year.  Partially because, to be totally honest, there’s just too much sugary junk out there all the time anyway.

Report back!!  Were there any houses on your trick or treating route that went candy-less or offered healthier treats?  Have you considered a less sugar laden option for the treats you hand out?


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Afternoon At The Park


Things at home on Saturday had gotten kind of cranky.  We had some good down time, the kids had some fun creating a play space in their room, we went separate ways for a brief part of the day, had some TV tme instead of nap time... just a low key kind of day.  Which often means we all end up a little cranky with each other.  Don't know why it happens but it's pretty typical.  Jeff was heading out for the evening for some gaming at a neighbor's house with a friend of his and I took the opportunity to create a special evening with my kids.

Park, dinner, errand.  Dinner at our favorite local Mexican place.  Errand was to Goodwill and the grocery store for something quick (and the kids got a cookie at the bakery there).  But the best part was our trip to the park.  This park doesn't have a playground.  Fishers Heritage Park.  It's beautiful and has a nice little nature trail as well as a paved path that runs along water and through trees.  Lots of wide open green grassy areas and a giant hill where we've enjoyed rolling and cloud watching before.  I can't believe it had been 2 years since we were last there!


















Unknown Mami

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Face of a Bully

My daughter is a bully.

I have to stop being so scared and embarassed about that sentence.

My daughter is a bully.

Yesterday, I wanted to run and hide from life.  Which is impossible.  To those who reached out to me, those who sent me loving messages, those who left understanding comments... thank you. 

Unfortunately, the school principal doesn't read my blog and didn't get that message.  Unfortunately, my daughter didn't get that message, either.

My pity party came to a head Wednesday afternoon when I got the call that every parent dreads.  Actually, maybe "every parent" never even imagines they will get that call.  Teagan and a friend were in trouble.  They'd lost out on both recesses because they had hit each other- slapped in the face, in fact.  Then lied about it to the principal so lost out on 2nd recess as well.  And I found out later in the day that Teagan had gone back to the principal's office because she had pulled another girl's hair and clothes.

My first reaction was that something must be wrong in the relationship between Teagan and this one little girl.  The relationship is hot and cold.  And I thought this incident indicated that there is something wrong between them.  I even thought that the anxiety Teagan has been expressing might be connected to the stress of this relationship.  I was ready to hang everything on this solution I'd worked out in my head.  I was going to question my daughter and force her to tell me what had happened between them.

We did question her.  And made a discovery.  Teagan is unhappy in the friendship because this little girl stands up to her.  When Teagan is being mean to this girl, this girl will loudly tell Teagan to stop being mean.  This girl does exactly what she should do to a bully. 

When we finally got to the bottom of it- Teagan was embarassed and scared of getting into trouble.  She is totally choosing this behavior of trying to control and manipulate other kids and she knows it isn't right.

Last night, my pity party went full on into the night.  We'd had our parent teacher conference, met with the school guidance counselor, and even met the principal (we stuck our head in and introduced ourselves since he'd spent so much time with our daughter).  Then we had the talk with Teagan and found out that the problem between her and her friend was because of her own choices.  My feelings of wanting to crawl into a hole and disappear were pretty strong.

Here is the self pity part I want you to know...

Bullying is a big and serious issue.  We take it seriously in our family.  There are lots of resources out there for teaching your kids how to deal with a bully, how to stand up to a bully.  There are a lot fewer resources on how to parent a child who is a bully. 

I am the face of a parent of a child who is a bully.

When I hear people talk about their child being bullied, when I watch videos on YouTube about messages to bullies, when I see TV shows that deal with bullies, there is something that almost always comes up, something almost always in common.  The parents get blamed.  The parents are portrayed as lazy, uncaring, abusive, and so on.  The parents deny that their child could be a bully, the parent is proud of the kid for being mean and tough, the parent just doesn't care what the child does or doesn't do. 

I am not that parent.  And I have to admit that the words people use in these situations when they blame the parent... well, it hurts. 

I'm not a lazy parent, I'm not going to answer the door wearing a housecoat with frizzy hair and a cigarette dangling from my mouth and a bottle of tequila in one hand and tell you to F off or I'll just do to you what my kid does to your kid.  When you talk to me, you aren't going to walk away suddenly figuring out where my kid gets it.  I don't have some false idea that my kid is a perfect angel who never messes up.  I'm not an abusive parent- yes, I have a temper and I am prone to yelling but we do our best to use discipline in a way that isn't bullying or all about power.  I am a strict parent and I work hard to be the best parent I can be for the sake of my kids.

My child is a bully.  She uses her smarts and her words to try and put others down so she feels powerful.  Once she has gotten into trouble or gets caught, it's all or nothing for my girl.  If she's going to be mean, she's going to be mean full on.  If she's already gotten into trouble, she's going to go full bore for the rest of the day once she feels like there is no turning back. 

Today is a new day.  Today, the pity party is over.  Today, I have a game plan. 

We are heading to the library later to look for these books:

Growing Up With A Bucket Full of Happiness by Carol McCloud

Have You Filled A Bucket Today? By Carol McCloud

Your Six Year Old: Loving and Defiant by Louis Bates Ames and Frances Ilg

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig

Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig

What All Children Want Their Parents to Know by Carol Diane Loomans

We let chores slide and it's time to get back to requiring that chores be done.  She hasn't been invested in getting her allowance so we let chores slide while we dealt with the transition to first grade.  It's time to get back to that daily chore work.

There will be consequences for any trouble at school.  This is a hard one for me.  I believe in discussing what happened at school but that the consequences have already been given for the little things like talking or not following directions.  Obviously we hand out consequences for bullying and being sent to the principal's office.  But we've never had an official consequence for everyday infractions.  At the suggestion of the guidance counselor and principal, we will implement a consequence for rule breaking at school.  The guidance counselor suggested 15 minutes earlier to bed or that sort of thing.  I know TV is something important to her so that's something we can take away.

The guidance counselor also suggested having her do something physical when she first gets home.  I'm not totally sold on this one for a couple of reasons but I'm willing to try it out.  My hesitations are that she seems to need decompression / down time when she gets home and not something that wears her out even further, we have very limted time for dinner and homework until bedtime so spending 15-20 minutes on walking or running or dancing feels like time we don't have to spare, and she is worn out when she gets home after a long day of playing hard and working hard.  I'm going to play this one by ear.

The other suggestion is one that I know we already do.  For every time she gets in trouble, we have to compliment her 4 times.  I'm not going to start keeping track of trouble vs compliment.  Our home is a loving, supportive and positive place most of the time.  My kids are complimented and supported and hear positive things from us all day long.  So this is something I know we already do with both kids.  However, Jeff and I both know that we've let our frustration with her mood swings and her meltdowns and her bad choices get to us and that we canboth get into a sarcastic mode or wear our frustration too visibly on our proverbial sleeves.  We're working to help each other reign in our negativity when it comes to the kids and when it comes to the everyday example we live for them.

Yesterday, I wanted to escape.  Today, I'm feeling renewed and ready to tackle the issue head on.  Again.  And this time with a modified plan, an expanded plan. 

But if your child encounters a bully, please remember that it might be a perfectly normal kid with perfectly normal parents who are trying their best to instill values of kindness and compassion.  That it might be a kid who is also smart and funny and, believe it or not, has the ability to be remarkably compassionate and thoughtful. 

Because this is the face of a bully.



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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leave Me Alone

My kid started bullying again and I'm feeling like a failure. 

Leave me alone.

My period started 4 days early and the PMS is really bad. 

Leave me alone.

My kid had a terrible morning full of screaming and crying and moodiness. 

Leave me alone.

I have too much work to do and can't possibly make enough progress on it. 

Leave me alone.

Because one kid is having so many problems, I feel like I'm really ignoring the other kid and that leaves me continuing to tread water in the pool of Mommy Guilt. 

Leave me alone.

Jeff and I got snippy with each other this morning. 

Leave me alone.

Because I'm feeling so overwhelmed and unprepared and unsure about parenting my daughter through whatever has been going on with her since starting first grade, I am no longer excited about Fall Break and having a 4 day weekend with my family and 2 of those days being fun Mommy-and-kid days.  I actually think I'd rather just go to work. And then I feel guilty about that. 

So just leave me alone.

I want to crawl under my desk and hide. 

Leave me alone.

I want to go home and crawl back under my fuzzy blanket. 

Leave me alone.

I'm tired of trying to be strong and tired of trying to know what I'm doing. 

Leave me alone.

Leave me alone.  Because signs of graciousness and friendship and caring and compassion... things like hugs and kind words and attempts at reaching out... because someone trying to show me kindness, someone trying to take care of me, someone letting me be the not-so-strong one right now... will just bring me to tears and I'm afraid that if I really let go, I won't ever be able to hold on again.

It's just a bad day which is part of a bad week and a rough couple of months.  I'll get through this.  Teagan will be fine.  Zach is doing great.  Work is getting done and my hard work is noted and appreciated.  My husband and I love each other and are working through this stress in our home.  Life really is good, just a little scratchy right now.

Really.

Just leave.

I'm fine.

But don't go too far.



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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Giving Stuff Away!

Because I need something to lift my spirits while I wait for someone from the school to call me back or while I wait to hear how Teagan's day went today... I want to give stuff away!

Last week, I posted about a book I'm reading called "The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken."  I asked readers to share some comments and that I'd do a random select to choose someone to pass the book along to next and that person is....

Katherine from The Katherine Wheel!

Congrats! I'd love to hear what you think of it when you're done- just to see if our opinions are the same about the story and the characters.

*****

I am all about things that are positive and warm & fuzzy and have happy endings- especially when I'm in the midst of needing my own happy ending.  And there is something about a positive and uplifting sports movie that I really enjoy- I have a soft spot for films (especially those based on true stories) like Rudy and Remember the Titans and Miracle and more.  But most of those feel good sports movies are still kind of geared towards guys with guy sports like football and baseball and hockey.  This movie is different because it focuses on a women's basketball team in the 70's.

Which is why I am so excited about this movie!!  It opened this past weekend, it stars Carla Gugino (Spy Kids, Night at the Museum), David Boreanaz (Bones, Angel), Marley Shelton, and Academy Award and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn.

Best of all, the movie israted G so it's a family friendly film that we can watch together.

And here is something fun for you! The company promoting this film, Ocean Ave Entertainment and StoryCrawler, wants to provide one of my readers with a signed movie poster! If you'd like to enter to win, leave a comment for each of these ways of entering:

1. Leave a comment telling me why you love happy, positive movies.

2. Like the film on Facebook.

3. See the film and write a review here or on your own blog and link to it. (that's going to get you a bunch of extra entries)

I'm going to choose the winner on Oct 31!

*****
The next book on my reading list that I will be passing along to a lucky reader is a book on living a life of gratitude. More details coming soon!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Happening Again

We found out today that Teagan is bullying kids at school.  Same kind of thing as what was going on almost a year ago.  She's very purposefully verbally cruel to other kids, she sets them up to knock them down, and she has added disrespect and attitude towards adult caregivers to the mix.

And now that she's been "outed" to us (the aftercare program has been dealing with this for "a while," they said), she spent the evening being very verbally cruel to herself.

I don't have a lot to say that I didn't already say a year ago

I'm sending a message to the guidance counselor and after talking wth her, I might be calling our family doctor.

And I'm already praying- a lot.  And asking for prayers.  Because I don't have the answers.  I'm confused and frustrated and scared and angry and embarassed and tired. 

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Zachary!

My little buddy turns 4 today!

We started celebrating yesterday with a special playdate with a favorite friend from school.  We spent a couple of hours bouncing and running and jumping and climbing and sliding at Monkey Joe's, ate lunch there (pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, etc).  Then it was off to the comic shop to let each kid pick out a comic book. 



Then we came home for a little down time before our birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It isn't my favorite place to celebrate. I like the food but it's loud and they aren't able to really handle groups larger than 6 or 7. So our group of 9 had to sit at 2 booths across from each other. But we all went to Target for Icees afterwards and that was much more accomodating. Zach chose Texas Roadhouse because he wanted to sit in the saddle and have everyone say "Yeehaw!" for him.

He chose Icees for his dessert and his playdate that morning had given him a birthday card with a Target gift card in it. After our dessert, we let him pick out his present from his friend. We also let him pick out his present from us (yeah- not my proudest Mommy moment). From his friend, he got a Captain America off road vehicle sort of thing. Zach was very excited to go through a separate check out lane and hand the cashier his gift card to pay for it. We got him a Spiderman sleeping bag. It was a good day.

And today is his birthday. We have church this morning, he will choose our lunch spot (my guess is Steak N Shake), and then my mom is coming to spend the afternoon (and my dad might be coming, too). It's going to be a good day.

I keep remembering his birth. The Colts were playing Monday Night Football. I had been busy doing chores and stuff with Teagan right up until kick off. I went to sit down right at kick off and.... my water broke! That hadn't happened with Teagan (they broke it in the labor process in the hospital) so it kinda freaked me out. No, it wasn't like a jar pf pickles kind of spill. It was like a little leak of pee. Spent the night in labor, rarely resting. Spent the next morning in labor, rarely resting. The epidural was a nightmare that resulted in me cussing like a sailor, I was stuck about 7 times, had a bad reaction that was very scary to one of the sticks... it was awful and it really exhausted me. As I recall it, Zach was born in the early afternoon. He came out and screamed and I was so exhausted that the first visual I had of him with his huge screaming mouth almost made me cry right along with him. But he nursed like a champ from the word go. And after that big scream at birth- which I think was really his anger at being evicted from my womb- he didn't cry again for 10 weeks. I'm not making that up.

One of the biggest changes in the year behind us is that he has moved out of Teagan's shadow at school. Last year, it was Teagan's school and Zach started going there. Now Teagan has moved on and it is Zach's school and he has really blossomed in that regard. He is creative and silly and wild at times. He is smart and funny and adorable.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

6 Words: Cleaning Fairy!

The cleaning fairy visited my house!


Jeff has this friend... he dogsits for us when we take a night or two away.  They've been friends since 3rd grade.  Our schedules haven't been meshing well lately so we don't see him as often as we'd like, unfortunately.

But he's a special friend.  Whenever he housesits, he tends to want something to do while he spends time catching up on classic horror films and random sci-fi shows so he spends time doing laundry and cleaning our kitchen and doing our dishes and even cleaning up our living room.  I love it!  I've even offered to work out a deal where I would pay him to come and work his magic once a month.

I've shared on the blog and on Facebook pretty openly about my stress level these days.  Work is insane, family life is packed, commitments are full.  I've been incredibly stressed and housework has been last on the list of priorities. 

Yesterday, I came home from a crazy, stressful Friday... the kind of day where I wanted to practice some primal scream therapy in the car on the drive home... and I walked in the door to this:




I know it isn't the "ideal clean" to come people.  I almost wish I had a before picture to share so you could understand just how bad it was.  Just how piled up and crazy it was. 

The stress relief was immediate and amazing.  I can't even tell you.  Jeff wasn't home with the kids yet and since I had the place to myself... I literally jumped up and down and might have even cried a little. 

Good friends can be hard to find and I am so blessed to have some truly wonderful friends in my life!  THANK YOU BRIAN!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Fragments: Pinterest, Birthdays, My Bag!

Mommy's Idea

It's Friday. These are Fragments. Go visit Mrs4444!

It's been yet another crazy week.  I'm trying to find ways to prune.  Back when I went to the Women of Faith conference, one of the speakers talked about pruning.  Sometimes, you have too many good things going on and if you don't prune some of the good, you will never be able to be great.  So I am cutting back where I can so I can focus on the things that need to be great.
You know you're a mom when you find all kinds of random things in your bag or purse.  I was trying to find something in my bag at work yesterday and ended up pulling out piles of stuff.  The randomness of it totally cracked me up.  Fitness mag, Bible, notebook, allergy meds, random paper craft, band aids, coupons, dinosaur, hair things, kids' magazine subscription pull out cards, letters Teagan has written, eyeglass cleaning cloth.  Yep- total mom bag.
Zach's birthday is this weekend. I can't believe he's about to be 4 years old! We have a fun weekend planned and I'm looking forward to celebrating my little boy!
Pinterest.com - Do you pin?   I have looked at it before.  I have many friends who pin and post their pins on Facebook.  But then my mom got hooked and has sent me a few ideas that could really be great for my family.  So a friend sent me an invite and I've been perusing and pinning all kinds of great ideas!  I'm finding recipes and crafts and even just easy organizing tips (like using one of those magazine holders for a bookshelf as a place to store aluminum foil, saran wrap, etc in the kitchen).
Follow Me on Pinterest   
I just had to come add another fragment because I just discovered today's YouTube Spotlight and I'm hooked!  Check out Minute Physics and you will come to understand Schrodinger's Cat, why pink doesn't exist, and all about dimensions.  I'm hoping there's one on the theory of time travel.


I hope you have a great weekend!  I am looking forward to some time with friends tonight and all the celebrations planned for Zach's birthday.
 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Be Scared of the Gym!

Joining a gym can be an intimidating experience.  Heck, walking into the door of a gym can be overwhelming.  I know that it took me a couple of years to work up the nerve to check out the gym that I am now a member of and it is located directly across the street!  In addition, it's one of the least intimidating gyms I've ever experienced so I kind of laugh at myself for having been so scared to check it out.

Some gyms are big and bright and shiny and have lots of equipment and group fitness classes and oodles of personal trainers at your disposal.  Some have a swimming pool, tanning bed, smoothie bar.  Some are more basic places to gather and just focus on getting a good workout.

I think what I found intimidating is that I had this idea that a gym was for healthy and fit people.  I think I was unsure that my fat and unfit self would be able to workout without being embarassed or something. 

Which is really ridiculous when you stop and think about it.

But the gyms I've been to and the gym I'm a member of aren't places filled with muscle heads and skinny chicks.  The gyms I've been to and the gym I'm a member of are places where people of all fitness levels come to get some exercise, to push a bit further in their fitness goals, to just be able to move and flex and lift and push.




I showed you mine now tell me about yours!  Tell me about your gym- what you like or don't like.  If you've been intimidated to go check out a gym close to you, I'd love it if you set a goal to go visit and just get a tour and then come back and tell me about it.

Don't be intimidated! Go check it out!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Just Felt Myself Up

Last night, I thought it was time to get some things off the DVR.  I scanned through and tried to decide what to watch or delete. 

On the list was FIVE.

The groundbreaking original movie “Five” is an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. “Five” highlights the shared experience each short film’s title character endures from the moment of diagnosis, through an interconnected story arc that uses humor and drama to focus on the effect breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis have on relationships and the way women perceive themselves while searching for strength, comfort, medical breakthroughs and, ultimately, a cure.


It isn't scheduled to be aired again but you can watch it online.  And I hope that you will. 

I cried at so many moments in this movie.  Sad moments, poignant moments, beautiful moments. 

And when the movie was over, I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror and I felt myself up.  I actually followed the directions.  I do a quick feel in the shower once a month or every other month.  But I admit that I don't do a full on self exam every month. 

Any time a life is gone... when it seems there is still so much life to live... is a tragedy that we can't quite put into a box that fits any explanation.  A car accident, a tragedy, sudden illness.  Cancer is one of many things on a list of life takers. 

There are oodles of statistics out there about cancer and breast cancer and survival and death and types of cancers and preventative measures and so on.

But there was a part in that movie that struck me the most deeply.

One of the characters had a friend who had been a close friend for 20 years- they'd been neighbors, had their kids together.  But when the cancer struck, the close friend wouldn't take calls and never offered any help.  But someone who was new in this woman's life stepped up and became the friend she needed- bringing food and movies to get her through the fight for her life.

When I think back to what I was so blessed to be part of in July of 2009.  A mom in an online community for local moms had been diagnosed with cancer.  While her story ended tragically... there were beautiful and powerful moments that I witnessed along the way.

There were people who came together to get her a comfortable chair to rest in at home after her treatments.  There were people who brought meals to her family.  There were people who took her to treatments and appointments.  There were neighbors who watched the kids. 

So when I sat and watched FIVE... I thought about that mom and her family.  I thought about the people who stepped up to support this family, this woman, her husband.  I reflected on the emotional roller coaster that I rode for those weeks- which wasn't even a minor reflection of what that family was living. 

I know that there are others out there right now who are fighting for their lives right now.  There are bloggers I know who are fighting. There are bloggers I know who have a loved one that has lost the battle

We certainly can't control everything in life.  But I'm making a sincere plea that you take your health seriously.  Please take time today- right now if you can- to go and do a thorough self exam.  If you know someone going through treatments, please keep showing up for them.  And if you are currently going through this battle, even if I don't know you, please know that I am praying for you.

Now go feel yourself up.



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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Love You!

8 years ago, Jeff and I were married in front of a small group of family and close friends in a little log chapel in Gatlinburg, TN. 

I think the best part of our marriage is that we're friends.  We love each other.  And we like each other.

We weren't able to get a baby sitter this past weekend so we turned Saturday into a family celebration day.  Teagan and I spent the morning together doing girly stuff- getting our hair done and going out for sushi.  Then Jeff took Teagan and I took Zach and we set out on a mission.

We've never done the "traditional anniversary gift" thing.  We're not big on gifts around these occassions in general.  But this year was different.  We looked up the traditional gifts for 8 years and found out that it's bronze in the US, salt in the UK, and the modern gift is linens and lace. 

We didn't set any rules- only that the kid with us has to be involved and we use those traditional gift categories as guidance. 

We came home at the end of the afternoon and I pulled out my memory box of things from our wedding and shared that with the kids.  Then we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  Came home and exchanged gifts before having a family movie night (Lion King and we even served refreshments- popcorn and jelly beans).

Our gifts:

He got me a clock with a bronze colored rim that says "live, laugh, love" around it.  He got me bath salts.  He got me chocolate- one of which has sea salt in it.  He got me a cotton cami with lace trim. 

I got him a small candle that smells like clean towels.  I got him a card and gift bag that had bronze colors on them.  And I got him a crock pot cookbook (he's been cooking dinne rmore often lately- this was actually Teagan's idea), a box of kosher salt, a book titled Salt: A World History, and season two of Good Eats (which has Alton Brown on the covering sprinkling salt).

It was a great day.  It was a fun day.  It was a family day.  And I look forward to many more of these days to come! 

Happy Anniversary, honey!  I love you!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

What Are You Reading?

I love to read.  I wish I had more time to read.  It's not uncommon for me to get sucked into a book and sit on the couch for most of an afternoon devouring it.  Well, it was a lot more common before having kids.

I was recently provided with a copy of The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken and it's my current "read at every spare moment book."  It's the first novel by Mari Passananti and I'm finding it to be very entertaining.  I was fully engaged with the main character within the first chapter. 

In Mari Passananti’s debut novel, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken (Rutland Sqaure Press, July 2011), she explores the recognizable and relatable world of heartbreak, dating, and self-discovery that is uniquely characteristic to early adulthood. Zoe Clark thinks her world will implode when her fiancĂ© dumps her on the eve of their wedding. After nearly a decade with her college sweetheart, Zoe is thrust back into the unpredictable New York dating scene. And her problems don’t end there. Zoe works a less-than-ideal job, managing other people’s careers while her own ambitions wither.


Enter Oscar Thornton. He’s handsome, charming, attentive and rich - the perfect boyfriend. But does he harbor a dark secret? Or will Zoe torpedo her newfound happiness by indulging in a far-fetched suspicion?

The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken is a hugely appealing novel that tells the story of a young woman who sets out to find a man to solve her problems. Instead she finds herself facing her own shortcomings, testing her oldest friendships and realizing that true happiness has to come from within. A coming-of-age tale for the modern woman, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken is a charming, funny and poignant novel with a suspenseful twist that will keep readers turning the pages.

Packed with snappy dialogue and playful wit, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken will strike a chord with any woman who’s ever allowed herself to think, “My life would be perfect, if I could just meet the right guy…”
 
I should be about done with the book within the next week or so... I long for the days when I could sit down and read a book in completion on a quiet Sunday afternoon.  These days, reading means finding a few spare minutes in waiting room or before my head crashes into my pillow at night.  But I will say that Hazards has kept me interested and I keep picking it up again and again to read more!
 
I'd like to share the book with you!  Leave a comment telling me what you are currently reading and what you think of the book so far.  You can enter a second time if you tell me about your favorite book of all time.  For all who participate in the commenting, I'll draw a name of someone to send it to once I'm done.  One of my favorite parts of reading is being able to share a good book with a friend!
 
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