A Blurry Life.


I am so amazed at how J#3 and J#4 are forming a relationship.  Playing together.  Fighting over toys.  Fighting for attention.  

But the most fascinating part of watching them develop is watching their individual personalities develop. 

First, there is J#3.  
He is a lounger.  He could sit around watching movies or t.v. all day if I let him.  Which I don't. 

{Of course.}  

He is quite a bit like me, to be honest.  

Then, there is J#4. 
This one.  She can watch cartoons for a bit, but then she needs to play.  Needs to be doing something else.  And the amazing thing?  She actually uses toys for the proper use, like trying to put the pieces in this toy.  And if that doesn't work, just opening the top to get them in.  {Why am I so surprised?  Because J#3 didn't do that at her age...maybe that's a boy thing?}

So J#3 reminds me of her dad.  Dude can't sit still much.  And can find a solution for just about any problem.

I want both the kiddos to be like my husband, J#1, when it comes to their level of activity.  Well, I want them to be like him in general, but I have some not-so-bad traits myself.  

So anyways...I find myself allowing J#3 to be a lazy two year old.  And that is not a good thing.  Why? 

Well, because I am being lazy.  

Source: pinterest.com via Jenny on Pinterest

I'll admit, January was a tough month for me. There isn't a lot of sunlight {or sun for that matter} in Scotland in January.  That makes me grumpy.  And unmotivated.  

But January is over. 

Source: imgfave.com via Jenny on Pinterest

Live in the present, I will. 

And I will make sure my kiddos do too. 
Even if it is a little blurry.  

Well, it should be blurry.  

Because we won't just be sitting around.  


Day 9.

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who provided encouragement last week.  It means SO much to me, and I am so glad that you are all with me on this journey.

Accountability is a HUGE thing for me, and the fact that I know that people are watching and reading here will keep me going.

Source: flickr.com via Jenny on Pinterest

Oh...and that prize at the end of this four week Game On game.

But, mostly it's you.

So I am sure you are wondering how the week went, right?

Pretty darn good, if I may say so myself.  First off, I had nearly a perfect score for our game.  I only lost one point.  How did I do that?  Well, I weighed myself on Thursday morning (you are allowed to weigh yourself ONLY once per day), and I was up from the day before.

TIME OUT.  This is why a person should ONLY weigh themselves once a week...or not weigh yourself at all and go by your clothes {but that wouldn't work for this game}.

Anyhow, I was up.  After eating within my points and exercising for four days straight.  Grrr, right?  So, I weighed myself again, thinking the scale must have been wrong.  What happened?  The weight went UP again!  Clearly, my punishment for losing that one darn point and thinking there was something wrong with the scale.

Weight check-in:
Starting weight: 214.8
Goal weight for week (1%): 212.6
End weight:  211. 2

No pictures, peeps.

Which means you can expect pics in about three months.

So, this week my goal will be 209.1.  My other goal?  To ENJOY my meal off and day off, but not INDULGE too much.

Game ON!

Linking up this week:


200 posts?!

This, my friends, is my 200th post.

One of the items on my bucket list is to have a blog for one year.  That would have actually been back on January 4. But, I felt like I wasn't really IN this until at least April (probably later).  But with 200 posts?

I'm crossing the "year of an active blog" off my list.

And I'll continue to tell my story.  And be happy.


Blogs...the new book?

I have this list of 100 books that I want to finish reading.  See it up there?  Up along the top of the page?  I'll read them too.  But...I am often pulled away.

By blogs.

I am on a never ending cycle.

I find blogs I like, and a few that I love.  And I keep finding more and more to read. And then my google reader list of blogs becomes overwhelming, so I unsubscribe to a bunch.  But then I find NEW (to me) blogs to follow.  And so on and so on.

There are a few that remain constant.  A few that I have read since I discovered this blog world, about a year ago.

And then there are a few that I find (the ones that I mentioned loving above?), that I read from the beginning.  And they read like a book.

In the last few weeks I have found two that I wake up each morning hoping they have posted something...

Hollywood Housewife

Laura is quite literally a hollywood housewife.  Her husband is the mind behind the Jacka*s series (and more), and she started her time in California as a production assistant on movies and television.  Which would lead me to believe that I wouldn't be able to identify with her.  at. all.   But, quite the contrary.  I am amazed at how down-to-earth she is.  

And get this.  I linked up to her blog with my post about my "one word" for the year.  And she came to my blog and commented.  For realz.   The times where the link-up hosts actually visit my blog?  Few and far between.  And then actually comment?  Slim to none.   

Love her.  She is funny, a mom of two, and has interesting and varied posts.  Right now she is in the middle of a story about her faith.  If you have a minute or two, check her out.   

The other awesome blog I am addicted to right now?  

Momastery.    You know that "Don't Carpe Diem" post that has been very quickly been finding its way around Facebook, Twitter and the like?  First published on Momastery.  I went to check it out, and then stayed.  

Glennon has one of the most intriguing and inspiring (to me) stories that I have heard in a LONG time.  Seriously, read her story on her "about me" page.   What she created with her blog is a community, a network of friends...and I hope with the new found fame that her "Don't Carpe Diem" post garnered, that doesn't change for them.  

Alright...so there you go.  A few new blogs to add to your reader.   

You're welcome.  


Challenge Wednesday #18: Whatcha Readin'?

So, last week Tracey asked me the following question: What are you reading right now, how do you like it, and do you have any reading recommendations for us?

And, this week, on Tracey's blog, Control the Chaos, I am telling you all what I am reading right now, and what a few of my favorite books {that I got back to read more than once} are.    Oh, and Tracey offers a great book recommendation too! 

You better click on over and check it out! 


Day 2.

Happy Monday!   {should those two words EVERY go together?}

"Day 2 of what", you ask?  Well, Game On!, of course.

I know that this isn't a diet/fitness blog.  I am FAR from an expert {well maybe I sort of could be with as many times as I have been on a "weight loss" journey}, so I won't be getting preachy.

But I do want to take you all on the journey with me.  For accountability.  And, because my hope is that once I drop this weight, it won't be so hard for me to get motivated to check things off my bucket list.

I know my weight shouldn't be tied to my confidence and motivation.  But, it is.

So here is the history... August 2009 & July 2010, respectively.


July 2010, I WAS pregnant, but VERY early in the pregnancy.  That is a good representation of me at my heaviest.  GULP.  Here I go.  That highest weight?  About 240.  Eek! Its out there.  Whew.  I never thought I would say write that out loud for everyone to see.

Alright, so over the next year, I was pregnant...which oddly enough, has helped me to lose weight (both times!), especially while I am nursing.  So, from July 2010 to July 2011 I went from about 240 to 188 (at my lowest).   Don't worry, the majority of it came off AFTER J#4 was born.
Here I am in June {isn't J#4 so tiny?} and then July, during our visit to Minnesota.  Thanks to that visit, and several more reasons excuses, my weight has gone back up.  First, it was almost 10 pounds by telling myself I had to have all of the foods that I had missed from the U.S.,  and then it was moving, living in hotels for a bit, getting settled, and indulging in all of the convenience foods that I once again had access to in Scotland...and that has been another 16 pounds. 

Do you want to do the math?  

Yay, me neither.

Okay...so, that brings the number to 214.  Sigh.  At least not as high as it once was.  But TOO high. 

Thank God for Game On!   So here is my life for the next four weeks (except my days off): 
  • Up at 6 AM on the weekdays to either run/walk or do the Jillian Michaels Shred It program
  • Drinking 100 oz of water per day
  • My good habit?  Eating AT LEAST five servings of fruits or veggies a day
  • Only checking Facebook ONCE per day (that's my bad habit) 
  • Weight Watchers.  'Nuff said, right? 
  • Cheering on my teammate daily, 
  • and trash talking our opponents (clearly, that is going to be tough for me)
I am hoping to lose AT LEAST 10 pounds over the next four weeks.  And then I will be doing this over and over and over and over and over... well, you get the point.  As many times as it takes me to get to 140.  WW says the ideal weight for my height & age is 132.  I would LOVE that, but we'll see. 

With a plan of losing an average of two pounds per week, that puts me at November.  

So there you have it.  I think I'll be updating you here weekly.  Monday seems like as good a day as any.

Let's hope I lose at least 1% of my body weight; because then I get some bonus points!  Wish me luck, would ya?  


Challenge Wednesday #17

As usual, it's Wednesday {seems to happen every week doesn't it?}, and here is Tracey!  

#  #  #

Hello, again.  You might remember me as the girl who barges in to Jen's blog every other Wednesday.  I am Tracey, from Control the Chaos.  Jenny is my IRL and bloggy friend, and we take turns challenging each other to be better at what we do.  And maybe learn a few things along the way.

Last week, Jen left this for me:

"Alrighty...so now it's Tracey's turn again.  Hmm...I am going to go back in time a bit to the 31 days of October, when I did some writing about being a better mama.  Tracey is an awesome mama already, but I am going to challenge you, friend, to "leave each of your children a surprise sweet note this week."  "

This was a fitting challenge for me.  Maybe some of you can identify with the way minutes sometimes slip away from you.  I have three kids:  two Bigs are in school, and the little goes to a babysitter a few hours a week and spends the rest of the time with me.

The know I love them, because I squeeze them and kiss them and tell them every day.

But, between part time work and blogging and cooking and cleaning and homework checks and schedule keeper...well, maybe you see what I mean about the minutes slipping away.  Even with our intentional simple lives.  

Seriously, we allow one extracurricular per week, we cook nearly all of our meals, and we spend every Friday night doing something together as a family (and most Saturdays as well).  We eat dinner at the table together every evening, we own one car, and we pursue uncomplicated hobbies as a family.

And still, the minutes slip away.  How Do Other People Do It?

All that rambling is to say this:  No matter how many times you tell your kids you love them, they will always always always appreciate feeling special.

And so, one night after the kids were in bed, I set to work.  I made these cute hands signs for the Bigs and put them in their lunch boxes.  The Little doesn't yet read, so I put on her favorite music and we danced our crazies out.

The reaction?  pure joy.

Big #1 lovingly brought it home and put it in his special things place in his room.  

 Big #2 asked me to do it every day.

The Little said "I love you so much."

*SIGH*...I'm smitten.

Another challenge in the books.  

And now, Jen, for next week, here's an easy one for you: book report time! What are you reading right now, how do you like it, and do you have any reading recommendations for us?

# # #
Geesh. Tracey can read my mind.  I haven't been reading a ton lately...so this inspires me to crack a book open.  I've got many books left to read!


Writer's Block.

I never thought I would run into writer's block with this here blog.  But, alas, looks like I have.

But photos?  Those are still happening.  And a few random thoughts to accompany them...read on.

 J#3 turns 3 in March. It seems like time for him to phase out sippy cups.  He wouldn't have anything to do with drinking straight out of the glass though.  Lucky I had a supply of straws {that I have literally moved about six times.}

Oh, and J#3 sort of has split personalities when it comes to photo taking.  Exhibit A is above.

Exhibit B.
Ham.  He is a ham.  Sometimes.

And, just so we make sure that she isn't missed...
J#4, post chocolate chip cookie.  And...my sudden realization last night.

Her GOLDEN birthday is going to be THIS year.  February 1.  Just doesn't seem right.  We don't have plans to do anything big or exciting. And now don't have time to get it arranged either!

Or am I the only one that things golden birthdays are a big deal?

So tell me:  
Sippy cups?  When should they be done?  
Golden Birthdays?  Big deal or no? 

Linking up this week with:

Sweet Shot Day


the return of Five Minute Friday: Awake

Ooh, wow.  It has been a LONG time since I've done a Five Minute Friday. Along with a bunch of other bloggers at The Gypsy Mama, we all write for five minutes.  No interruptions, no editing, just writing.

Although I did add in a few photos.  Because I wanted to.

#  #  #

Being in this situation is interesting.  What situation, you ask?

I have the brilliant opportunity to spend a few years in Europe, as a stay at home mom.  Awesome, right?

When I was on the "other side" {i.e. a working mom} I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I wanted to live without the stress of balancing, being stressed out and worried {because that is what I do, especially when I work} and wanted to be with my kids all the time.
Now, I am here.  I am stay at home mom, wondering what I am going to do with this time.  What am I going to have to show for the three years that I essentially had to be a stay at home mom. Because, right now, that is sort of the way I see it.  This in between time.

Please don't misunderstand.

I love my children and this opportunity, but I think I am meant to be a working woman.
But lately, I find myself awake.  Awake, because I have realized what I think I am supposed to do with these three years (that I am more than a year into already).  I am supposed to find my confidence, my balance, and be ready for what life brings us when we return to the U.S.

So, now I find myself with a plan.  To spend the extra time I have, since I am not working, to become the Mom and Wife that I have always wanted to be.  And most essentially, to be the Woman, and person, that I have always aspired to.
The question is if I can do it.

At least I have figured out the first thing.  I'm awake.


#  #  #
{Eeek!}  I am always so afraid to write {and publish} posts like this.  Because I worry so much about offending someone {anyone}, but its my truth, and that is what this blog is for, right?

Please stop on over to see what other bloggers are saying about "awake". Can't wait to see how other's used this word as inspiration.


Unsolicited Advice

Here is the unsolicited advice I usually dispense onto young couples:  
Move as a couple on your own, away from  your family. 

It will make you stronger as a team, as a new "family".  I still believe, to this day, it was one of the best decisions J#1 and I have made.  We moved to New Jersey in 2007, with no children and no plan of when we would return to Minnesota.
But having now added not just one, but two children to our family? 

NOW, I make sure to tell people to do it BEFORE they have kids.  

Once you have kids...well, as soon as we knew we were pregnant with J#3 {in 2008}, we were starting to think about how we would move back to Minnesota from New Jersey.  
I wanted him to be by his grandparents.  I wanted him to have memories that I hadn't when I was growing up {seeing as how I just had one living grandparent, my grandma, who passed away when I was seven.}  
Something about having a child made my view on the adventure of living as a couple on our own change.  So, we moved back to Minnesota.  

Fast forward to 2010, and we get the opportunity to move to Europe for a predetermined amount of time. Before our kids would be starting school. Perfect, right?   
Yes, except here we are an ocean away from our family...those exact grandparents that I wanted my kids to have memories with.  
We are away from the rest of our family. 

The people that would watch our kid's at a moment's notice, if needed.
And we are away from our very, very good friends.  

Thank the Lord for Skype, planes and the internet.  
Seriously.  How did people do this before those things were invented?

Don't get me wrong.  I know that I am extremely blessed to be in this situation.  But our trip back to Minnesota in December...where all of these photos are from...was very good for this girl's {that'd be me} soul. 

I know there are other folks who live away from their families who read...what are you thoughts?  What do you think are the good and bad parts of living away from family?


Challenge Wednesday #16

Hey friends!

Wednesday!  Yahoo!  Almost half way thru the week.  What's on tap for the weekend???

I'm going be gearing up for "Game On!" {there is still time to join in!}

But first, Wednesday means that it is time for a challenge, and this time Tracey challenged me.  Go on over to her blog, Control the Chaos, and check it out.

If you are new around here, Tracey is a friend of mine {whom I wouldn't have met if it weren't for living in the Netherlands}, and we have been giving each other challenges.  She does her best to live a pretty natural lifestyle, using homemade products (food and otherwise), so there is less she has to worry about when it comes to...well, life.  And I am hoping to follow in her footsteps.  

Go on now...I'll wait.

Alright, now that you did that...what are some homemade items I should make?

Talk more soon pals.

Ba-bye for now.


Bucket List Update: Learn how to make omelets? Check!

There is SO much I want to tell you all about.

Our trip to Minnesota.

More about my one word for the year {BRAVE}.

And, oh, so much more.

But, the main purpose for this blog is to write about checking items off of my bucket list, each drop in the bucket.  Oh, you get the name of the blog now, huh?  {hehe}

So, first things first.

And, funny enough, this does actually sway into talking about our trip to Minnesota and being brave.
See, I had my brother teach me how to make omelets while we were back in Minnesota.  And it made me nervous...very nervous.

But, I was brave, because my brother worked at Perkins {a breakfast restaurant, for those not from the U.S.} in high school, so I consider him an omelet expert.  And he's a good teacher.  And has the perfect set up for it...its sort of like a cooking show.  Hehe.

But anyhoo... do you want to know the key to a really good omelet?
The spatula  {or turner, as the one I found here was called}.  Make sure it is thin...the thinnest you can find.

The recipe is pretty simple.  Obviously, eggs are involved.  Some milk {if you don't have ready beat eggs...you know, like if you live in Scotland and they don't have Egg Beaters}. Beat that together.  Pour on a pretty hot griddle. And then be ready.

This is the expert showing me how to spread the eggs.  I wasn't quite gentle enough.  I'm still working on that.  {wink}

Then load up all your goodies.  My favorite?
Cheese.  Of course. 

Then you gotta fold up the sides and get ready to flip that baby over onto the plate.  Another VERY key {and nerve-wracking for me} part of the process.  

We spent one morning with my brother D {which happens to be what J#3 calls him...D} teaching me...sort of like that cooking show I mentioned.  Then, when we had another morning where I did it myself.  But with help, of course.  Then we made them for the family.  

That was my real test... 
A happy customer?  Perhaps.  Although on his "comment card" he mentioned I could have included more ingredients.  But overall, I think he rated it a 4 out 5.  
Pretty good for a first try, huh? 

Oh, and who photographs an omelet on a yellow plate?  Me.  Oh yeah,  this girl, right here.  Sigh.  

So I bet you are wondering if I've tried it back here in Scotland. I have...but I need to get used to our gas stove, the pan was a bit hot and my omelet was brown.  


I guess the student still has some homework to do.  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...