Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Since I've been obscenely busy - chasing after two kids and starting a new job - I decided to do a paperless Christmas Greeting this year!
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Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

So Put Together

I may look like I am put together... I have on clean clothes, my hair is done, I'm even wearing make up! But below the surface I'm hiding a deep, dark, prickly secret.... I'm talking about my legs, people!

If you told me 5 years ago that I would barely have time to shave my legs, I would be one of those snotty girls that exclaimed, "children and work will never hinder me from maintaining myself! You have to make it a priority!" HA!! I laugh at that girl and implore her to relish her well manintained, silky, smooth stems for the next 4 years. I maintain myself alright, about once a week when I am able to get out of bed the first time the alarm goes off..

Priorities? Let me tell you about my priorities - in no particular order...

  • Raising happy, clean, fed, and healthy kids
  • Getting enough sleep to make sure I'm only on the brink of insanity at all times
  • Being a maverick at work
  • Being a healthy momma
  • Beng a good wife - shockingly, without shaving my legs!

The clean clothes, make up, and hair are just icing on the cake and part of an illusion to fool you into thinking that I am sooo put together! The biggest thing I have going for me right now is that it is chilly out and therefore, I am able to keep my deep, dark, prickly secret hidden under a pair of wool trousers...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesay - A Few of My Favorite Things... from the past week..

The Christmas bow I made for Audrey's Christmas outfit - who knew I could be so crafty!

Date night on Friday, which included a designated driver - Thanks, Samantha! - and an overnight stay for the kids - Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Vincent playing at his friend's 4th Birthday party

Finally finishing my Christmas decorations and cleaning my floors!

 The view from my window in my new office!

I think I'm going to Like it Here...

Sorry it's been a little quiet on the blog recently....

I still have kids and they're still doing funny stuff... Vincent thinks the song "Santa, Baby" is hilarious because "Santa's not a baby!!!" Duh! And just this morning he told me "Mommy, I going to help you out, you wore that yesterday!" Um, I guess I need to expand my wardrobe past black on black...

Audrey is getting soooo big. She's trying to crawl and pull herself up. It's amazing to watch her! She's also developed the most precious laugh I have ever heard. When she starts laughing, it cracks me up which then, cracks her up. Last night, she figured out that if she pulled my hair, I would groan and that was hysterical to her! We laughed at each other for about 20 minutes and then she passed out!

In other news, I've started my new job! My office has a window and I'm interviewing potential Grad Assistants on Friday! While it definetly seems like it is going to be challenging, I am ready and excited to be heading down this new path in my ever-developing career!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Last week, Audrey got her ears pierced!

Waiting to Exhale

I am a somewhat superstitous person. I believe that I can jinx myself out of an awesome opportunity by just becoming too excited and overly optimistic about said opportunity - it's happened before!

Well, for the past month I have been sitting on a giant opportunity! An opportunity for a much higher salary in a different division of the same University. An opportunity to finally use the Master's Degree I worked so hard for and finally earned in December of 2010, yes, a whole year ago! After the first interview, I was cautiously optimistic. I sat on pins and needles for a week and a half waiting for a phone call which finally came at 4pm on a Friday. I hadn't really breathed a word about the job and I felt as though I had been holding my breath. When I saw the phone number come up on my caller ID, I just knew it would be good news - I was a little off. During that phone call I was told that the search committee had selected me, but HR wouldn't allow me to acquire the advertised salary unless the department canceled the original posting and posted the job in a higher pay band. As a fun twist, I would have to apply and interview all over again.

Again, I felt as though I was holding my breath, waiting for the job to be reposted, waiting to be selected for an interview. Last Friday, I went in for my second interview and it went just as well, if not better than the first! I took a deep breath and geared up for another round of the waiting game. Luckily, my references had already been checked and the department was able to offer me the position on Monday morning!

I finally feel like I can breath again. I have been waiting to exhale and I was finally able to do that yesterday. I hadn't jinxed myself! I start my new job on Monday and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me through this job search process over the past year! It has been one of the biggest struggles I have gone through to date. Being rejected over and over again and jobs not panning out... it all has been really tough for me, internally. I usually consider myself pretty resilient, but this had me questioning everything. While it was a great internal struggle some great things did come out of it, I took charge of my fitness and began jogging and I started this blog as an outlet and free therapy! I plan to continue with these two tools and am thankful for some new coping mechanism to help me get through rough times.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Holiday Highlights

Thanksgiving Hangover

I've got what I can only describe as a Thanksgiving Hangover....

My kids have it too....

The holidays are so busy for our family since both sides live in town and we feel obligated to give equal time to each side. We have an awesome time catching up and giving thanks, but it is busy! On Thursday, Alex went and played football with his buddies at a local school while I stayed home and cooked and watched the parade and tended to the kids (poor Audrey had a slight fever). Once he got home we all got ready to head over to my parents' house for Thanksgiving Mid-Afternoon Lunch. Although stuffed, we had another Thanksgiving to eat at Alex's Parents' house. We got home around 11pm and the kids were SPENT!

On Friday, we headed to Busch Garden's Christmas Town. It was amazing, but yet another late evening and exhaustingly fun day for the kiddos.

On Saturday, Alex went fishing and me, my Mom, and the kids went shopping and then met back up with Alex and my Dad for the UVA v. VA Tech football game. We got home by about 7pm but the kids' schedules were now out of whack from the previous days.

On Sunday, I vowed to do nothing except get the Christmas decorations up.

I somewhat succeeded... I still have garland to put on the mantle. I also contracted a lovely cold complete with nasty mucus and  bark-like cough!

Monday was hard! The whole family was suffering from a Thanksgiving Hangover - a sign that we did it up right this year! No one wanted to get out of bed, no one wanted to go to work or school, and it took several doses of ibprofen to get me through the day!

Anyone else got a hangover or have a cure?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Turkey Prep

A delicious brine bath for Mr. Turkey:

  • 1-1/4 cups salt
  • 1 quart hot water
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a cleaver
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 strips lemon zest
  • 2 cloves


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten things about Turkey Day

Turkey day is upon us and I'm soooo excited! Here's why:

Top Ten {Tuesday}
1. 5 whole days off of work!

2.  Alex's parents are watching the kids on Wednesday night so we can have a date night :)

3. Delicious food, of course! Not only do I get the traditional Thanksgiving dinner from my parents, but then we go for round deux at the in-laws house which consists of tasty Filipino foods. Double YUM!

4. Thanksgiving Day Parade - I love it. We sit in our pajamas drinking coffee (or milk) and watch the parade. It's our own little family time before the dinner hop starts!

5. Catching up with the fam and giving thanks for all of our blessings! Vincent and Audrey LOVE their Aunts and Uncle so it's fun to see them catch up and play!

6. Beaujoulais Nouveau - This wine is only sold this time of year and we always have it with our Thanksgiving dinner - C'est tres bien!

7. UVA vs. VATech Game - this year's game should be really good!

8. Midnight shopping at the Outlets.... maybe....

9. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Alex and I usually make our own little thanksgiving meal, it's become a little tradition.
10. Pulling out the Christmas decorations and putting up the Christmas Tree!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Three Year Old Throwdowns

My 3 year old is testing me! A test of physical, emotional, and psychological endurance and strength. This week, we've had night after night of temper tantrums...

Temper tantrum setoffs include:
  • Being told "No"
  • Saying the word "No"
  • Indicating in some way "No"
Terrible twos? Psssh... twos were a piece of cake! When Vincent was two, he was an angel child. Now, at 3, he thinks he runs this house! He thinks he gets to dictate what's on the television, what we eat for dinner, or whether or not we pick up his sister from daycare. Yes, I got to hear the wonderful wailing and howling stylings of Vincent all the way home as he exclaimed "I don't want to pick up Audrey!" Yelling back that he was going directly into time out when we got home made it even louder!

At home, time out consisted of more loud screaming, throwing himself on the ground, throwing books from his bookshelf which guaranteed my little monster a trip to his bedroom. In his bedroom, he finally managed to calm himself down and we had a little chat in which I explained that his behavior was completely unacceptable, we hugged and then we went downstairs and Vincent cleaned up the items he had thrown.

After tonight's showdown, I felt confident in how I handled the situation. Vincent seemed happy and cooperative for the rest of the evening. I'd like to think Supernanny would give me a gold star, but I can tell the battle isn't over!

The throwdowns of the threes are no joke!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Bed Time!

Because every bed time routine includes a bath, cuddles, and a rousing game of Superhero Chutes and Ladders....right?!?

Don't forget the kiss goodnight!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Y3W: Thank you, Veterans!

Today is Veteran's Day, a day to reflect and appreciate those who have served our country.

I can honestly say that I never fully appreciated this day until I worked at a church. Veterans suffering from PTSD and physical injuries would find their way over to the church from the Veteran's Hospital looking for help paying bills, jobs, and food. These brave people served our country and sacrificed everything and  were reduced to knocking on church doors. I am not trying to get political and I surely don't know what the answer is, but THANK YOU, Veterans!

Talking about sacrifice, I never fully understood what that meant until I had a family of my own. I rely heavily on my husband to co-parent and be a present partner to me. I couldn't imagine having to cope with a partner overseas, risking his life, while also trying to manage a household and raise children. Our veterans are amazing, THANK YOU!

I'm lucky enough to have a dear friend or two in the military, I have seen them sacrifice their personal lives for the personal freedoms of Americans. THANK YOU!

The very least I can do is say THANK YOU!

Happy Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend of FAIL

WOW. I must have really set myself up for failure with this post because I had an epic weekend of FAIL. If you want to read about puppies and rainbows and frolicking in the fresh fallen leaves, go somewhere else!

On Thursday, I woke up and my brand new iPhone 4s, yes, the one I'm OBSESSED with, did not work. I kept my cool as I reset it several times and nothing happened. I dealt with it nicely when I wasn't able to listen to my workout mix when I went jogging (Yes! I broke my jogging dry spell on Thursday evening!) and I only mildly melted down when I learned that my workout wasn't logged on my mapmyrun app. I think I handled it pretty well when I drove over to Verizon after the kids went to bed on Thursday night and they told me I would need a new phone.

So, Friday I tried to embrace my phoneless self with positive self talk (I learned this in graduate school to help counsel people through situations) like, "it'll be waiting on the doorstep when I get home!" When I finally got home, I was greeted with a fedex note saying they tried to deliver my phone, but no one was there to sign for it. No problem.... I'll just drive on over and pick it up! So I did, it was exciting! The new phone was in my hand, I turned it on to activate and nope, sorry - cannot be activated! WTF!! I decided to sleep on it and hope for the best in the morning, besides, my husband had taken our son to the river for a guys fishing weekend and I had hours of TV/ Chick Flicks to watch...in peace... with wine...

On Saturday morning, I woke up and still nothing. It's ok, I'll just take it in to Verizon after Audrey gets up from her morning nap. Maybe they have to activate it for me - no problem. I walk into Verizon and a salesperson holds the door open for me as I push the stroller in. I think positive thoughts as my name is entered and I see I am 8th in line. My mind only wanders to the dark side a couple of times as the minutes tick by, but then there I am, first on the list - I am the next to be helped! It's not even noon yet, I still have the whole day to go about my business! I step up to the counter and am told I cannot be helped, I need to plug my phone into iTunes to activate and that maybe I should wait in line at Apple if I can't figure that out- WTF?!?!?!

Now, my netbook has been dead for about a month because the charger broke and I hadn't had a chance to replace it quite yet. So, in order to get my phone activated via iTunes, I need to purchase a new charger. I go down the street to Target - they don't have it. They send me next door to Office Max, they're sold out! Office Max sends me to Best Buy. Ok, if I have to go to Best Buy, Lord only knows where else I'll have to go, better stop by the house and stock up on formula and diapers. Knowing the diaper bag was waiting on the kitchen table I left Audrey in the running car just outside the door and unhooked my house key, let my self in, grabbed the bag, locked the door behind me and sprinted out to the car.... without my house key... I locked myself out... my husband is out of town...

So long story, the wonderful, friendly Best Buy people magically made my phone work, my parents provided food and shelter, my husband cut his trip short and Vincent came home with a stomach bug.... FML

Let's hope all this bad luck/ FAIL Storm is setting me up for some good luck later in this week.... there's that positive self talk again :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fitness FAIL

This week, I suck! I haven't stuck with the fitness program at all! I haven't even attempted to lace up my jogging shoes!!

Why? Well, sometimes life gets in the way...  all great, productive things, but I feel like a failure!

Monday Night- Halloween
We took the kids to a fun Halloween party at a friend of a friend's house in the city and then went out Trick or Treating... in the rain... no time for jogging!

Tuesday Night - Grocery Shopping and Interview Outfit Shopping
Yes! I finally had an interview!!!! I got invited for an interview in another division at the same University!! It was my first hit in months and it seems almost too good to be true. I think I did well, but I spent the night before at the Mall looking for the perfect interview outfit and then hustled over to the grocery store since we had almost nothing in our cabinets. I got home just in time to put Audrey to bed and.... no time for jogging!

Wednesday - Exhaustion from interview excitement and not being able to sleep the night before! I fell asleep on the couch before 9pm, it was pathetic!

Can I turn it around at the end of the week or should I cut my losses and look forward to next week? My husband thinks I should just start strong again on Monday, but part of me can't help but feel like a failure! Part of me thinks if I just get my butt out there tonight, the week can be salvaged!

Stay tuned...