i love these pics of my boys

in the midst of some karate/ninja/star wars battle

he could be the sloppiest eater i know - and while its disgusting to watch its also quite awesome


spin your wheel of fortune

“Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day,

than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”

  - Benjamin Franklin

~ my business is doing well...and i have a lot to do with that

~ lately hormonally i'm a mess - some days really angry...other days really weepy.  today is neither of those days

~ my husband made it home safe again from a business trip.  he is traveling a lot for this job. he doesn't like to travel and hates being away from home so much. he makes this sacrifice for us.

~ i had a spur of the moment coffee date with a very close friend of mine this morning.  she gave me a 5 year journal.  each day of the year asks a simple question. underneath the question are 5 blanks to fill in with your answer...one for each year.  its such a cool book i can hardly stand it

~ my oldest son gave me a hug and told me he loved me simply because i found the earbuds i bought for him yet didn't find in time to put in his stocking

~ i made a simple soup of broth and mini pasta for dinner and ate it along with cocoa truffles


tis the season

::  made 20 costumes for our Christmas pageant this year. can you guess who they are for?

roman soldiers of course! it was such a lovely pageant too.  the kids always do a great job and the music gets better each year.

::  christmas eve brunch was not my shining moment this year.  i woke up at 5:15 in the morning to go grocery shopping to buy food for the brunch.  the eggs turned out rubbery and cold, the pancakes were overdone, the biscuits were from a tube and burnt and the potatoes were bought frozen from a bag!  coffee carafe broke as i was filling it with water. no mimosas even though i had both the juice and the champagne (oh wait - we ended up just drinking champagne so i guess that worked out ok!)  everyone was polite and ate and said it was good - b/c that is what family does and that is all good.

::  while i didn't get to make christmas crackers this year as i had planned - i was able to hide the pickle for the kids....well that is my 18 year old nephew in the front of the tree still searching...so maybe its not only for kids afterall. 

::  after breaking 2 glass pickle ornaments my youngest son decided to sew one that was sure not to break in the future.  my niece found it and is proudly showing off the new unbreakable pickle.

::  christmas eve is huge at my mom's house.  all us "kids" gather in the living room.  here everyone is answering the questions my husband and i have written for our family feud game to be held at our new year's eve party this weekend

:: one of our 2 trees.  this one is fake and is downstairs.  i keep it b/c i bought it off my friend's grandmother.  she was getting old and didn't want to deal with it anymore so i gave her $35 for it.  every year i think of her and the years of happiness she had around this tree. funny thing is - i've never even met her.

::  this one is real and is upstairs.  it stopped drinking water for some reason and didn't get decorated until christmas eve morning.  i think its so pretty though - whatever type of tree it is...... 

:: magically on christmas morning mushrooms appeared on the branches. if i knew how to use my camera i could have taken a nicer picture of them.

::  and finally tea.  my oldest has to have a cup of tea every night.  see that water kettle in the back? someone was cleaning out her cabinets and found it shoved in there - and she gave it to me.  it has become one of my favorite things.  while boiling water on the stove is not hard - i often turn it on and forget about it...and since it doesn't have a whistle i have gotten dangerously close to causing a fire.  this kettle shuts off automatically.  its awesome. 

::  oh and see that bottle of wine in the very back? chocovine.  chocolate wine.  yummy and dangerous


dec 23. right now


::  sitting at a cluttered kitchen table planning the next 24 hours. gift wrap reminds me of the presents i still need to buy

::  deciding what to prepare for tomorrow's brunch - do i cook the same things i've been making every year? the food i can prepare while on autopilot? or try something new? something i'll have to think about, slow down for

::  drinking coffee that lately has been upsetting my stomach - and knowing its time to switch to tea for awhile

soft and fuzzy

::  remembering that the reason the table is cluttered is because i spent the night gift wrapping with my son - who declared many times how much fun he was having

::  admitting that a stress-less morning with time to enjoy and focus on family is much better than trying to figure out how to make stratta for the first time

::   anticipating the excitement the next 24 hours will bring


a poem.

i cannot take credit for this poem. but if i did write a poem - i would want it to be this one. 

"What Do Women Want?"
by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.


dec 18 - anniversary

recently i went out with some high school friends.  our last stop of the evening was to a local brew pub.  there we met a very high energy waitress. in between yawns and droopy eyes we asked our waitress how she had so much energy at that hour of the night.  she told us that she usually gets her second wind around this time.  at 2am she goes home and meets up with her boyfriend - who bar tends - and because they are so wound up they stay up until 4am just eating and laughing and playing until they finally crash.  then around noon they wake up and start their day.

when she finished telling us her story i sat there quietly
i found myself envious of her youth
longing for her freedom

do i want to be 21 again?
not really

i like where i am right now.....married 18 years today - two kids - in my 40s

but doesn't it sound like fun to come home at 2am?
full of energy?
not planning further than eating the bag of Cheetos in front of you?


dec 9 - this date...2 years ago!!

i had planned to compare what i did last year on this date to what i am doing today.  turns out I didn't have a blog post for this date.   i was doing...nothing.  well, actually i was doing a lot but i can bet you anything it had nothing to do with Christmas......or preparing for Christmas. 

i had started working full time last fall and i was overwhelmed....very overwhelmed.  decorating for Christmas was the furthest from my mind.  blogging even further.
so i had to go back 2 years to see how exactly i was preparing for the holidays.  i was making christmas crackers.  not crackers the food - but the kind you pull apart - and if you are lucky enough - hard enough to hear the "POP" that occurs right before the litte treats that are inside come flying out.  come to think of it - i'm not even sure we made them at all last year b/c i had simply run out of time - or energy - but most likely both. 

but that was then - and this now.  i plan to make them this year.  i do hope to make them this year.  only time will tell.


Dec 8 - moving too fast

just about two weeks left

i catch myself in moments of panic
afraid i'm going to run out of time to make Christmas simple

doesn't that sound odd - not having the time to create a simple celebration?

as i look around myself at this moment i notice its too bright
too many lights are on in the house
too many tvs are blaring
video games are too loud

step one could be simply turning off some lights
and turning down the noise

light a candle and play some soft music

it doesn't take a lot.........to keep it simple


dec 5 - weekend shots

i am trying to be slow down and be present this season - really i am.......the slowing down seems to be the hardest right now...but every day is a new day and a new chance to try.

a new tradition has become this year's favorite one

stopped to see the phoenix before it went up in flames

in awe of all those geese 

so proud of the gnome he sewed himself


Nov 30 - the day before

in an effort to simplify the holiday
i chose to capture the spirit of the season
through pictures and a few words

join me tomorrow as i begin again. this time around it will be much more of a challenge to blog every day. my life if more hectic than it was 2 years ago.  last year i feel like i missed the entire season.  i blinked - and it was gone. 

i don't want to miss it this year.  my hope is that by slowing down enough to take a picture - i will slow down enough to enjoy the moment. 


geocaching your way through life.......

the anticipation is what gets you out there
picking your path based on how much time you have to spend.  some days your time is short - you can't go very far. other days you can take your time - you allow yourself the luxury of getting lost in the journey.

 you find you don't even think what obstacles you will encounter along the way. the excitement of what you might find overshadows your fears of possibly not finding anything. 

but you do reach your destination.  you've made a new discovery - about your surroundings perhaps, or about the journey you took to get there. it was thrilling!...this path. you want to leave your mark behind - yet the fear of being forgotten grips you.

you begin to wonder if what you left behind is worth anything.
will anyone want what you offered? 
is it good enough?
was it worth you being here in the first place?

you may never know in this lifetime.  many are never told. 
the lucky ones - they know. 
they were told.
doesn't everyone want to feel like they matter? 

but i'm here to tell you that your treasure will mean something one day. even if you didn't think what you left behind was any good - just know that what you left behind
as insignificant as you think it is
as unimportant as you think you were

you were worth it to someone.


do over

instead of feeling like you've failed once again
be thankful for the chance to do it over
and over
and over again

until finally it feels right 



that is how many pictures i am uploading right now.


i am quite curious to see them - i'm hoping they will remind me of everything i did this past year
quite frankly

..................i forget.

that being said - i look forward to the remembering and the writing and the pictures!! i actually sat down one night and googled how to use some of the features my camera has - like fuzzy backgrounds

like that one!! i remember being thrilled that i figured out how to change the shutter speed (or was it apature....or are they the same?) regardless i learned how to do it

then promptly forgot

or this one - fuzzy up front and clear in back.
but it doesn't really matter - i'll just google it again
and this time write it down.

and of course pics of the boys.....

so much to remember...........


coming back..............

getting myself ready to return to this space.
i've missed it and i'm eager to come back.
see ya soon!


what i'm planning.......

we are home this weekend because my husband has a grueling work schedule at the hospital.  i don't mind though - i have a lot planned for this weekend.

~weeding and planting my garden.  i wasn't planning on doing it this year - but then i bought a tomato plant from my son's environmental club at school....and got some squash plants from freecycle...and my mil informed me she has some veggie plants for me.......so really how can i not start my garden this year

~organizing and decluttering.  my house is a mess...and some rooms much more than the others. i'm not going nuts - but i will...no wait i WILL get them done this weekend.  i am picking up a dresser from freecycle (freecycle has been my friend this week) and using it as a school/art supply center in my dining room.  its badly painted in two shades of pink but who cares...its sturdy and should right in with a house full of boys.....

~pond clean up.  i have a tiny whiskey barrel pond that was beautiful the first year...non-existant the second year (i let it run empty during the winter and it lost its water-tightness) but is full of nasty water now and just needs to be cleaned and filled again.

~laundry on the line.  i am actually looking forward to doing laundry and hanging it on the line! i have one of those circular ones and first thing this morning i got it out and set up. 

~hot yoga and spinning.  a yoga/spin studio opened up near me.  while i'm not a stranger to yoga - i have yet to try hot yoga...same with spinning.  so since i'm home - i figure why not! i'm really looking forward to both!

~breaking out the ice cream machine! i am having a picnic on monday and figured homemade ice cream would hit the spot nicely.  trying to choose which flavor to make is the challenge!

what are you planning this weekend?


just some random thoughts

how cute are those two turtles

 recently i discovered candles.  its not like i had never burned a candle before - it appears that i've been burning the wrong KIND of candles....super smelly ones that irritate more than calm me.  beeswax ones are wonderful and got me back on the candle burning bandwagon.  a few weeks ago i bought a candle called beach fire.  it smells exactly like its name. it has become my new favorite.  all i want to do is sit around fires all summer.  i will literally stand over the candle and inhale the smell for what seems like minutes but i am sure are only seconds.

now you see me, now you don't

we have a little creek that runs through our property.  during the really dry periods of the summer it doesnt have a lot of water but there is a pool of water in the middle of it that always holds water.  you would think that this pool of water would attract frogs.  actually - it did...once.  i only remember one time in the 10 years we've lived here that i heard spring peepers.  ONE TIME! i go down often to see signs of frog life...none.  you know where we do find frogs? in our bushes - on our back patio.  last night i spotted 2 of them.  where they go - i don't know because our house isn't that close to the creek.

it ain't easy being green

i'm finding that is hard being environmental when you are really busy.  over the past 18 years we've made some pretty big changes in how we do things - focusing on trying to be more aware of our impact on our earth.  i am really glad we started 18 years ago because many of the things we do are so ingrained in us that we dont have to think twice about doing it  like bags - i have been using my own bags for so long that i just don't forget to bring them into the grocery story or drug store or mall.  i just instinctively grab them when i leave the car. recycling too - i don't even have to think about it - jars get rinsed, boxes broken down, cartons smashed...all without thinking about it.  but lately i find myself - when i am really overwhelmed or busy or in a major rush and i have a nasty jar that needs to be rinsed and recycled - tossing a jar into the trash.  guilt takes over and i end up taking it back out and recycling it - but the fact that i threw it out at all bothers me!  there are quite a few more examples i have.  now, don't get me wrong - i haven't gone back to my old ways - but its just interesting that i found it easier to be green when i was a stay at home mom.  

they call it mellow yellow

i'm really grateful for the relationship i have with my boys.  they don't say they hate me when they are angry at me.  they don't call me names when they get in trouble for something.  now i know that isn't supposed to be the norm - but unfortunately it is very common.  they are  not disrespectful to adults.  they are kind and caring to others.  tonight we decided to get ice cream in lieu of having a proper dinner.  as we sat around the tables at the farm we were laughing and teasing each other. we would sit and soak in the breeze and the smell of cow manure (which i love by the way) and a fire burning somewhere.  it was such a nice time. i told my boys how thankful i am that they never said they hated me or called me names.


just because

it seems i rarely post pics of my oldest son.  its not because i don't want to take pictures of him.  its mostly because he isn't around much when i have my camera in hand.  so one morning i remembered to grab my camera as we were walking to the bus stop...and i managed to take a picture of him.  honestly its rare to catch him standing so still...and so quiet.  he is usually jumping around, shrieking, talking non-stop - extremely hyper.  so it was nice to capture this moment of him being still.


geese........and a bear!

 i recently went on a field trip with my son's class to a local nature center.  the kids participated in a study of a pond and of marshland.  they really enjoyed themselves and i did too! it made me long for the days i taught nature programs at our local watershed conservancy. 

anyway - at the end of the trip the weather turned hot and humid. the kids were complaining of the heat (but honestly i think they were just DONE with the day) and we were trying to get get them through one last activity before we called it a day.  while they tried hard to concentrate on their leader - off to our left we heard quite a commotion in the creek.  these two geese were really enjoying themselves in the water and we couldn't help but watch them a bit.  they reminded us that soon we too would be cooling off in the water.

as for the bear?  no - there the kids did not see a bear at the nature center.  this bear appeared days later.  there he is - our cub scout graduated from the wolves to the bears.


happy birthday to my young knight!

my son wanted a medieval theme. i was happy to oblige. i made tunics out of old sofa and loveseat slip covers.  the shields were cut out of plywood with a wooden knob on the back.  the sword was made of moulding.  each boy got all three items and they loved them!  i whipped up a bunch of medieval banners from scrap fabric i had.  the one above was my favorite.

it was a beautiful morning and all the boys had a blast!! i was incredibly rushed this year and was afraid i wouldn't get everything completed in time - but i did and it was perfect!!


i don't really like it - but it is what it is

i have to admit - i'm still not liking the whole "working full time" thing.  i knew i wasn't going to love it - i mean i was a SAHM for 11+ years - and i knew the time would eventually come when i would go back to work full time - and i was fine with that too.  i mean honestly - with both my kids in school all day - i felt kinda silly being at home.  don't get me wrong - i was working 2 days a week and i volunteered at school a lot the other days...but i did have plenty of time to do things at home - time that i took for granted...and time that i wish i had now.   

most of the time i don't even think about it.  but every once in a while i remember.  when i walk outside and see the weeds growing between the patio pavers - i remember how i could spend a whole day or two - alone - in the sun - pulling them...then stepping back and admiring my hard work.  when i drive by yards full of blooming daffodils and tulips - i remember that i had really wanted to plant bulbs last fall but i didn't plan my time well enough to fit it in to my days.  and today...when i am certain that it will be consistently warm enough to hang out in our sunroom...and move my laptop into that room...and into my corner...and look out my window - i remember that when i have done this every past springtime i am able to glance out the window and right down into my little newly planted garden.  but not this spring.  my table is in the same corner.  my little lit beeswax candle is on the window to my left.  my pretty little ikea hanging light is over the laptop.......but my garden hasn't even been started.

but as with everything else i've learned since last october - i've learned to accept it...it is what it is.  i'm sure there are people out there like me - the ones who don't always know a good thing until its gone...and now that a lot of my free time is gone it helps me appreciate the time i do make for myself all the more.  i'm gonna be honest - my garden was nothing to crow about.  i'd start off strong and by the end of the summer it was a disaster! but still - i loved getting the soil ready - planting the plants - and watching things START to grow.  the upkeep was a major fail for me.  but now- now i want to try again.  i want to make the time because i know how precious the free time i have is and what better way to spend it then alone - and quiet - and working.

so yes - while i don't really like what i've had to give up to date - i do really like why i've had to give up so much of my time.  i enjoy the work i do and the business we've started.  i like noticing the free time i have and deciding what i want to do with it and OWNING the decision i've made. 

i was in the life is good store this morning buying a present for my son's birthday...and as i read all the shirts  i felt very grateful for that time i had taken.  while its true you don't know what you've got until it's gone....it's never too late to find it again.