~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, January 31, 2013


We Want to Know is back, with new hosts!  I've actually missed this because it gave me a topic to write about each week without thinking too hard.  I am one day behind already, but I just found out it's back.  I'll try to keep up from now on...

If you want to join in, visit Kenzie or Scriptor and link up! 

Here are this week's questions and my answers:
{no. 1} What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Oh, I'm a lazy hog at heart!  My favorite thing to do (when no one is watching) is lay on the couch, eat a ridiculous amount of junk food, and watch a good ole chick flick.  I could do that for hours and hours on end.  My phone would have to be next to me to catch up on Instagram and Candy Crush during slow parts of the film.

{no. 2} Do you actually keep your resolutions for the New Year?
I did last year!  I think it was the first time ever.  I read through the entire Bible in a year.  It was actually much easier than losing the same 10 lbs. I resolve to lose every year.


{no. 3} If you had to do one random act of kindness today, what would it be?
Hmmm...since I plan to be in my pajamas doing housework all day, this question might be tough.  I'll just pretend like I can be out and about.  I love baking things for people and delivering them, for no reason.  I get the joy of baking with none of the calories!  (Well, I always taste just a bit...)

{no. 4} Do you have a bucket list, 101 in 1001 list, or any other list? If you do, what are some of your goals?
Nah, I've never really dedicated the time to writing a bucket list.  My long term goals are just to raise a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted family. 

{no. 5} Why do you love blogging?
I do love blogging.  It's a way to release all these trapped in thoughts that roam constantly through my head.  I suppose that's why most of my points are aimless, rambling thoughts that never quite seem to fit together. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

No Courtesy

The longer I live, the less common courtesy I see in life.  When I finally see someone go out of their way to be kind, it's a shock.  Unfortunately, I have two stories today about the lack of common courtesy.

My parents were helping me by dropping off my son at one of his after school activities.  They pulled in the driveway and stopped to let him out of the car.  While he was getting out, the car in front of them threw it in reverse and plowed into them.  My dad even tried to quickly back out of her way, but he wasn't certain where my son was and didn't want to hit him.  Afterward, he realized he should have blown his horn, but you don't always make the best decisions in a quick moment.

The driver of the other car was irate at my father.  She said he was parked where she couldn't see him.  She also said, "Didn't you know I would just be dropping off and pulling back out?"  It doesn't matter.  When you drive backwards, it's your responsibility to check behind you.  What if my son or another child would have been walking behind her car? 

My parents, not wanting to create a difficult situation for me, asked the woman what she wanted to do.  She emphasized the fact that her car was damaged much worse than theirs and that each party should pay for their own.  My parents agreed, which totally infuriated me.  They were not at fault and should not be responsible for the damage done to their Lexus.  They didn't know if this person was a friend of mine and they were trying to keep peace.

The man of the house was a witness to the accident, but was suddenly nowhere to be found when details were hashed out.  I feel like he should have come to my dad's defense rather than hiding like a coward.

No courtesy.

The second event that happened regards my other son.  He recently got into a very small altercation with a peer whom he didn't know.  My son made some poor decisions and allowed his phone to be compromised by a friend, who also made poor decisions.  The other boy was defending someone he thought my son had hurt.  My son took it as a joke and made smart comments that he thought were funny.  We found out about this by randomly checking his text messages.  After I read them and questioned him down, I realized that the other boy is the son of my friend.  I felt horrible that she may now think my kid is a hoodlum.

I emailed her and apologized for the actions of my son.  I told her we didn't condone that type of behavior and we were disappointed in his actions.  I asked that she and her son forgive my son and not judge him by this one occurrence.  Honestly, her son was just as much at fault as my son, possibly more.  Her son used very harsh words and even made fun of my kid.  BUT- I was trying to be the bigger person...something my mom told me was an important, but difficult, thing to do in life.

That was days ago.  I still have not received a response.  At first, I thought she hadn't checked her messages.  But when I went back in to check for a response, I saw that the message had been read a few hours after I sent it.

I sent another message, explaining that I found out more about the story.  Several of the texts were sent by another person, pretending to be my son.  I wanted her to know that he, although not innocent, did not say all those things.

Still nothing.

I've been on pins and needles awaiting her response.  I've checked and discovered that both messages have now been read.  Why can't she respond- even a few words to say that kids are kids and make stupid decisions?

No courtesy.

Rather than lowering myself to the levels of these two people, I'm going to continue to be the bigger person.  I'm not going to call out the bad driver and cause a scene.  I'm also not going to send another email, stating that her son was just as much at fault and should also be apologizing.  I'm going to let both incidents go and just continue being a nice person.  Well, that and try to find a way to pay back my parents for their dented fender.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Call Me (ir)Responsible

I always figured I'd be one of the strictest parents on the block.  My parents were very strict and I came to realize that's the only way to parent.  Both my brother and I turned out well, and my friends who had very lax parents all have issues today.

One rule we adapted when we had children is that they don't spend the night with anyone, except family.  We wanted to make it a rule that wasn't broken so that we didn't have to pick and choose who was trustworthy and who wasn't.  The first time I had to address this rule was when my first son was 4.   Someone invited him over for a sleepover party and I was flabbergasted.  I thought 4 was incredibly early to start sleepovers, especially for a boy! 

Since then, I've had to break the news to parents probably a dozen times that we don't do overnighters.  Likewise, we don't allow children to sleep over at our house. 

It only takes one accusation and a person's life can be ruined.  I know two people who were accused of illicit behavior and their entire family swears by their innocence.  I also know of two fathers of my peers who have recently been convicted of abuse of children.  I spent the night at one of their homes. 

When you have an unbreakable rule set, you never have to worry.  It's better to be safe than sorry.  I don't care if some school mom thinks I'm weird because my daughter can't attend a sleepover.  My daughter will never be the one who was abused at that party.  Even if the parents rank at the top of my list, you never know who their brother-in-law or next door neighbor might be.

One of Big Sis' friends has a birthday sleepover every year.  I just don't understand why they need to sleep together to have fun.  If they're supposed to be asleep anyway, what fun could they be having?  Also, if this little girl has a sleepover every year, where is there to go from there?  By the time she's 16, she'll be bored with sleepovers and want something incredible and exciting.

OK, I'll step off my soapbox for the day.  Do I have any supporters?  Or are you all offended that I won't let my kids spend the night at your house?  :)

The Overprotective Mother

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Almost Tragedy

This post goes along with yesterday's post, and it's all The Lovely One's fault.  She told a story about a little girl getting lost outside at night.  Stories like that chill me to the bones!  As a parent, I've had one similar occurrence, and it still turns my stomach.

We were vacationing in Myrtle Beach a few years ago.  My brother-in-law owns a house down there and lets us rent it when he's not using it.  It was Spring Break time, so Baby Girl must have been about a year and a half.  It was the last day of our vacation and I was getting the house cleaned up nicely for my in-laws. 

Ten minutes away was the only Dunkin' Donuts in the area.  Hubby made a point of going there every day for a coffee.  (He's a tad spoiled.)  Baby Girl was (and still is) obsessed with her Daddy.  When he left that morning, she wanted to go with him.  He thought he successfully snuck out, but she noticed.  I was in the bedroom packing and cleaning and she opened the door.  The house sits back off the road a bit, which is busy with traffic.  Directly across the street is a tennis club.  Looking for her Daddy, Baby Girl wandered outside and started to follow him. 

In the meantime, I noticed she wasn't around.  I started looking for her, calling out her name.  No answer.  Something sparked me to look outside. There she was, in the middle of the road, with some man standing next to her.  Dear God, just typing that makes my hands shake.  Some men who were finishing up their tennis match noticed her in the road alone.  The guy was apparently afraid to touch her, so he just stood there next to her, looking around and blocking traffic.

I was in my pajamas with my hair in curlers.  I ran outside, scooped her up with trembling hands, and thanked the man over and over.  I was mortified and scared out of my mind.  I'm sure those guys think of the lunatic mother who can't keep track of her kids every time they pull out of their club.

The drive home from vacation would have been a lot, lot worse if we were making the trip with one less family member.  Thankfully, that's another story with a happy ending.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Remembering Back

The Lovely One wrote about an incident that happened recently in her neck of the woods.  It's an unreal occurrence; I suggest you read it.  It prompted me to remember a personal experience that happened many moons ago.

When I was about 9, my dad was hiking with my mom and some friends.  He's a typical show-off kind of male, so he swung on a vine across a ravine.  He proceeded to do this several times...one time too many, to be exact.  His last ride across the ravine resulted in a broken vine, a 30' fall, and a load of injuries.  He broke his back and both his ankles, but was very lucky to be alive.  Since they were in the middle of nowhere, he had to walk about a mile out of the woods with a big stick and a big buddy as his only help.  He spent the next six months in a hospital bed located in our cramped living room. 

When he was well and a full inch shorter, he had to prove to himself that he was just as good as new.  He built a new living room on the back of our house that was about half the size of the existing house.  We needed more room and I guess he was sick of being stuck in that tiny front room with the dark green carpeting. 

Anyhow, that's just the back story.  I was a pretty bad sleepwalker at this point in my life.  One night, I got out of bed, walked through the house and into the construction area.  There were tools everywhere, drop cloths, and plastic door coverings.  The steps hadn't been built yet, so there was a ladder outside the new door that was the temporary entrance to our house.  Somehow, I made it through all that unscathed.  I walked over to my aunt's house, two lots away.  It's where my cousins lived and we were raised like siblings.  I knocked on the door, which woke me up.  I remember standing on her porch, wondering where I was.  At that moment, I heard both of my parents shouting my name.  I turned around to see them running through the yard.  I guess I realized what happened at that point because I started crying. 

The next morning, my mom found a note on the kitchen counter.  It said:
Going to Aunt Nan's
At least I was kind enough to tell her where I was going!  The funny thing is that I made a mistake on the note and corrected it.  Only I would correct a spelling error while asleep.  My mom kept the note on her dresser mirror for years.

After that event, my mom put a motion alarm on my bedroom door.  It shrieked and screamed if moved.  One night, I had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I was paranoid to open my door because of how loud the alarm was.  My mom found me standing in my room, crying and trying not to pee myself.  I think she ditched the alarm after that.

It's always been a fear of mine that one of my kids would leave the house at night.  Son #1 was a sleepwalker for a while, but it only lasted about a year.  Now after reading this story, I think I'm going to be nervous for a while at night!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not much going on...

Hi, my name is She and I am an addict.  To this:
I highly recommend never picking up this horrible iPhone game, unless you want to spend countless hours trying to get rid of the bleeping chocolate that keeps growing back!  In my house, chocolate only disappears...not multiplies!  Yes, I've dreamed about matching colored candies at night.  Sad, so very sad.


I love Target clearance!  I got a pair of faux snakeskin heels for $15 and a winter coat for $24!  Score!  I haven't worn the coat yet because the next two days were in the 60s here (what's that about?) and then I haven't left the house since (sick kids).


I really want to redo the kids' rooms.  All these glorious rooms on Pinterest have me thinking I can do it.  I need to talk myself down, remind myself I'm not crafty, and move on to another obsession.

Dilemma:  When the husband puts his dish in the dishwasher, fully covered in crusted food, do you explain to him that dishes must be rinsed first or they won't come clean?  Or do you count it a blessing that he even made the effort and let it go?
If one more person in my house drops a roll of toilet paper in the sink, soaking and ruining it, I think I'm going to lose it. 
Tonight's a Chipotle night.  I couldn't be happier!  I had to borrow bread for lunch because there's no food in the house.  Anxiously awaiting that Chicken Burrito Bowl!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bucket List

The kids are sick and I haven't felt fresh air since Sunday.  I'm sure you'd rather not hear details about the mess I had to clean up in the middle of the night.  Instead, I'll post this email I received from a friend.  I usually don't get into these forward-type things, but this one looked fun.  I can't say these are actually things I'd put on my bucket list, but it's interesting to see how many things I've done.

( ) Rode in an ambulance - Thankfully, no!

( ) Shot a gun - Just the gun from Duck Hunt, the video game.

( ) Gone on a blind date - Not really, but my cousin and her boyfriend arranged for his friend to hang out with me once at an amusement park.  So, kind of.  I won't count it though.

(X ) Skipped school - Because I was such a good student, my mom allowed me to flick from time to time.  The best time was my Junior year when about 8 of us signed out after lunch, walked home, and ate at Taco Bell, I think.  We definitely weren't rebels though. 

( ) Watched someone die - I've never actually been there when someone gave up the ghost, but I've seen both of my grandparents immediately afterward.

(X) Visited Canada - A few times.  I've been to The Falls a couple times and Toronto once.  We crossed the Michigan border once to a French speaking area, which was neat.

( ) Visited Hawaii - No, but I've experienced the beauty of it through Linda's photos!  She winters there every year!

( ) Visited Cuba - No, I can't say that it's something I'd ever really want to do.  I don't smoke cigars and Ricky Riccardo is dead.

(X) Visited Las Vegas - Yes!  For our 15th anniversary.  We really enjoyed it!

( ) Visited Central America - Nope.

( ) Visited Asia - Nope.

( ) Visited Mexico - Nope.

(X) Visited Washington, DC - Yes.  We took the boys there when they were little.  It was in '02 or '03 and we could still see the effects of 9/11 on the Pentagon.

(X) Seen the Grand Canyon -  From an airplane, flying to Vegas. 

(X) Seen a Lighthouse - Sure, lots of times.

(X) Seen the Capital of your State - Of course.

( ) Been Snow Skiing - No, Hubby said I would certainly break a leg if I tried.  We live within 20 minutes of two fabulous ski resorts too.

( ) Been Water Skiing - No- again, the broken leg thing.  I have been tubing though.

( ) Ridden in a dragster - I don't even know what that is.  A race car?  Um, no. 

(X) Flown in a plane - Of course.

(X) Served on a jury - No!  Although, stating that right now will cause me to get called!  I've only been called once and it was when I was nursing a newborn.  I got out of it.

(X) Been lost - Only a few hundred times.  I am directionally challenged.  At least I can read a map though.  If I could read a map while driving, I would never get lost. 

(X) Traveled to the opposite side of the country - I've been from southern Florida to San Fransisco, California.

(X) Swam in the ocean - Many times.

(X) Cried yourself to sleep - Unfortunately.

( ) Been camping in a trailer/RV - When we go camping, we're hard core!  We sleep in a tent on the ground.  None of this RV with a toilet stuff for us!

( ) Rode on an elephant - Nope.

( ) Rode on a camel - Nope.  But my kids have!

(X) Eaten just cookies or cake for dinner - Ah, the college years!  Lunch was typically fruit snacks & a Kit Kat.  Dinners weren't much better.

(X) Been on TV - Once one the news, and once on a religious show.  Our youth choir sang 3 songs on one of those shows that only old people watch in the middle of the day.

(X) Been on Radio - I've won a couple contests before and they put me on the radio.  I've never done a show or anything.

( ) Stolen any traffic signs - No, that was my brother. 

(X) Been in a car accident - Yes, but nothing too tragic.  My most recent was when a 92-year old woman T-boned me.  She lost her license after that.

( ) Been in hospital in past 24 months - Thankfully, no.  My year of hospital stays was 2008.

( ) Donated blood - I tired, but they poked all the way through my vein and told me I couldn't do it.  I haven't tried since, but I know I should.

( ) Gotten a speeding ticket in the last 12 months - Again, I'm afraid to even say this- I've never had a speeding ticket!  It's only the grace of God because I do not drive like a grandma.

( ) Gotten a piercing - Never.

( ) Gotten a tattoo - Nada.

(X) Drive a four door car - Um, yeah!  What other kind is there?  Like I'm going to drive a little sporty convertible!

(X) Driven a stick shift - I don't know if "driven" is the correct word.  I sat behind the steering wheel, causing the car to do all kinds of lurches and make crazy noises.  I finally got it to stop, put it park, and vowed never to try again.

( ) Ever owned your dream car - Right now, I'm eyeing the Mercedes GL line.

(X) Been married - Just the one time.

( ) Been divorced - I hope to never check this box!

(X) Fell in love - Again, just the one time.

( ) Fell out of love - No, I don't plan to.

( ) Flew in Goodyear blimp - No, but I was there at the hangar to watch my cousin and a couple of my friends take their ride.

(X) Flew in hot air balloon - Yes!  We had one at our church once.  It only took us up and then back down.  But it was an awesome experience!

(X) Flew in helicopter - Yes, one of those tourist helicopters.  I was terrified!

( ) Sailed on a yacht - Um, no.  I don't exactly roll with yacht people.

(X) Cruised on a big ship - Yep!  3 times!

( ) Rode a motorcycle - No, and I don't plan to.

(X) Rode on a snowmobile - Oh yeah!  My dad & uncle had them when we were little.  We spent all winter riding snowmobiles!

( ) Gone para-sailing - Nope.

( ) Gone Skydiving - Ha, yeah right.

( ) Rode on a Zip-line - Yes, and I have a video of it!  It was a short ride that my kids did before I could get up the nerve.  I loved it though!

( ) Gone SCUBA diving - No, but it sounds fun!

(X) Rode a Subway - New York and D.C.

(X) Rode a Train - Oh yes!  We took a train from California to Colorado!

My age is: 36
Now that I'm thinking back on this, who would put "Fall out of love" on their bucket list?  That's a little nutso if you ask me!  Someday I'll have to sit down and write my own bucket list.  The first thing on my bucket list is:

1.  Write a bucket list

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Annoyed and Not Loving It

Today, I  have a special edition of Pet Peeves Eating Me Alive!  I'm not sure if I'm a bit crabby or if people are allowing their true ignorance to spew forth more than normal.  It seems like so many people are getting on my nerves lately.

(By the way, googling "Pet Peeves" comes up with some pretty funny results.  I love Google.  It is definitely not one of my pet peeves.)

Number One- people in the school pick up line.  I know all of the parents out there know who I'm talking about.  I just hope you're not one of them.  If you are, please recognize yourself from this post and change your ways!  There are rules and regulations when it comes to picking up your kid after school.  Some of them are written; some of them are just common sense.  What makes me the angriest right now is the lazy people:  those who stop their car anywhere they want to avoid walking thirty feet to the assigned pick up spot.  They don't care if they block the entire drive and no one else can get through.  They don't care if their misplaced car causes me to step into a huge snowdrift.  All they care about is sitting in their warm car, with their warm pajamas, loud music, and cigarette hanging from their bottom lip.  These people also tend to roll down the window and shout the name of their child.  Enough said- I guess I need to be thankful that I'm above that type of behavior.

Number Two- people who share far too much on Facebook.  I know you know some of these people too.  These people can be divided into a few different categories:  people crying out for help, insecure lonely people, and people just too dumb to know better.  This week, I have seen a woman pour out her soul, detailing everything that is wrong with her life.  To her, I would like to suggest journaling her feelings privately instead of displaying her plethora of problems on the world wide web.   What can come of airing your dirty laundry to 437 of your closest "friends?" 

I have also seen a woman who detailed every problem in her adult son's life.  I think that's even worse.  I had no idea this man was involved in so much drama, but thanks to his dear mom, I now know every detail.  Privacy is obviously no longer important to so many these days. 

My biggest Facebook pet peeve right now is adult bullies.  Television specials and newspaper columns are dedicated to teens to cyber bully one another through social media.  No one seems to address the ridiculous adults who do the same thing.  Also this week, I was directed to a post about my family.  It was cruel, it was public, and it was embarrassing.  The worst thing is that I'm actually linked to the person who posted it.  The post wasn't skillfully vague so that no one would know exactly who they were talking about.  It was bold, obvious, and clear to anyone who knows us.  Being the classy person I am, I did not retaliate.  I did not post something equally cruel or slimy.  I lifted my chin a little higher, brushed off the insult, and went about my life.  (Then I came here and told all of you about it.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Baby's Birthday

I am really bad about starting a post, not finishing it, and letting it sit as a draft for ages.  I found this almost complete post about Baby Girl's birthday, which was Labor Day weekend.  What a shame.  I decided to finally finish and post it, even though it depicts a 90 degree plus day as I sit here shivering in my flannels.  Here we go...

A friend of mine asked when we're going to quit calling our youngest child "The Baby." I think she'll always be a baby in my eyes.

Well, she's 4 now and she decided she's all grown up. She asked for party themes ranging from princess castles to rainbows. Finally, she settled on Dumbo. I had no clue how I was going to pull that off. As always, I turned to google and started searching. Dumbo parties have been done, but mostly by professional cake bakers. I've done fondant before, but molding an elephant that actually resembles a famous cartoon elephant is far beyond my ability.

I finally decided to go with a circus theme, concentrating on Dumbo as much as possible.  I thought I could find some sort of toy to use as a cake top, but Dumbo is not popular enough right now to find toys in the store.  I'm sure I could have found something at Disney World, but I wasn't thinking about that right then.  Bummer.  I decided to just print out a picture of Dumbo, attach it to a dowel rod, and stick it in the cake.  With My Crazy Busy Life right now, that was all I could manage.  Here's the result:
I ended up writing her name on it too, in big blue letters.  For food, I decided that hot dogs, peanuts, and lemonade were the most related to the theme.  (Plus, it was simple and easy, another benefit!)  I paid $2 a box for animal crackers (which no one ate) and couldn't find Cracker Jacks or cotton candy locally.  I considered borrowing our church's huge popcorn machine, but quickly changed my mind when I realized how heavy it was.  I had just returned from vacation, the school year had just begun, and it was Labor Day.  The guest of honor was 4 and would never know the difference.  So we popped popcorn instead and skipped the cotton candy. 
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:



Friday, January 4, 2013

Instagram Recap

These were my Christmas packages this year. I got the great idea to combine a couple ideas I found on Pinterest. Yeah, that turned out to be way more work that I thought. They were gorgeous though. I wrapped each gift in brown kraft paper that I bought in a 30 lb. roll. I will be using this paper for the next eighty years, as I have so much of it now! Then I tied each box with burlap ribbon that is supposed to be used for wrapping tree trunks. It made a bit of a mess, but it was so cute. I have quite a bit of that left too, but not 80 years worth. I used red and white twine to secure the burlap. Then, I donned each present with the recipient's initial cut out of a page of an old book. Of course, my English major buddy tried to read her letter, filling in the missing areas with her own words.

The women in my family made Butterhorns every Christmas when I was growing up. I was jealous because they never waited until school was out. They counted the cookies, divided them equally, and fought over who got the burnt ones. My aunt always accused my other aunt of sneaking more into her bowl. When I was old enough to help, I felt like I had achieved a right of passage. When Grandma's health got bad, we quit making them. My mom & I tried a couple times on our own, but couldn't quite get it right. This year, I googled the recipe to get some better directions. It was a great idea because the cookies turned out absolutely perfect! I can't wait until I add my own daughters to this family tradition!

More Christmas cookies. I didn't even make these until after Christmas, but I couldn't allow the season to pass without my famous iced sugar cookies. AND that's why I'm so fat now. :) I also made Monster Cookies, chocolate fudge, Chocolate Crinkles, and Nutroll. (Many of these recipes can be found in my Recipes tab above.)  We had some good sweet eating during the holidays!

And, a bit more of She's craftiness. I bought a huge box of chocolate covered pretzels at Sam's Club for $9. My intention was to give the entire box to the office staff at the elementary school. When I got home, I realized how many pretzels were actually in that box. I made up a canister for the elementary school and one for the middle school. Still left with a couple dozen pretzels, I decided to wrap up 4 pretzels each for every one of the boys' middle school teachers. I don't usually buy them gifts, since they have 5 teachers each. But I had everything I needed, so I decided to be nice. I even got a hand drawn thank you card from a certain math teacher with a reindeer saying "Happy Mathmas." The crayon colored card made the whole chore worth it!

The kids really enjoyed the massive amounts of snow we received over Christmas break!  We live high on a hill with a winding driveway.  It makes for perfect sledding, as long as there is no traffic on the road.  The kids (and Grammy) took turns standing on the street, letting sledders know when the coast was clear.  I enjoyed standing at the window, warm with a cup of tea, watching them.  I don't sled.  I enjoy the use of both of my legs, thank you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review and Resolutions

It's so difficult getting back into the routine of things!  My Christmas break was simply fabulous!  I ate some cookies, gained some weight, and basically chilled.  The kids only had a week and two days off, so they're back to school now.  I'm back to laundry, back to making dinner, and trying to work off all those extra Christmas calories. 

We didn't go overboard on the kids this year, however, Hubby went overboard on ME!  As long as he pays cash, I can't complain.  (Here's a little shout-out to Dave Ramsey!)  For a couple years now, he's been saving up to buy me a new wedding ring.  He was only 20 when he purchased my first ring and he earns a wee bit more now.  He's always been slightly embarrassed about the size of my diamond, even though I was totally happy with it.  I told him I would enjoy a new wedding set for our 20th anniversary.  He thought it would take him that long to save up, but he was a good little saver!  He came up with the cash early, thanks to all the overtime hours at work for Christmas peak season!  Anyhow, here's a cell phone shot of my favorite Christmas gift:

(It's much prettier in person!)

With his bonus money, Hubby bought the kids Just Dance for the Playstation.  That was a surprise to us all!  Today, I did the fitness side of the video game.  I wouldn't really call it an exercise program, but it got me moving and my heart rate up.  It's just 10 minutes, and it's a lot of fun, so I'm going to try to do it regularly.  Since winter has set in, I haven't been running.  I'm getting quite chubby.  I think our next investment is a treadmill.  I would love to run a half marathon in 2013, but I'm not committing to it yet.  (5.5 miles was so difficult last year...can you imagine 13.1????)  Maybe my inspirational catch phrase should be "13.1 in '13!"

One great thing about 2012 was that I read through the entire Bible!  I am so thrilled that I actually completed my goal (2 weeks early)!  I'm going to read through again this year.  (Yeah, I'm already 2 chapters behind.)

Big Sis had pink eye over Christmas break, but thankfully, no one else got it!  The stomach bug has hit this area hard, but we've somehow avoided it so far.  I'm sure we'll all get it now just because I said that.

I'm finally working on a Shutterfly album for our Disney trip.  Unfortunately, I waited too long to access our Photo Pass pictures and they're gone.  Now I feel bad for making my family stand in line to get all those pictures taken!  I honestly thought they'd be there for longer than 30 days!  I'd also like to make an album for 2012, but I'll be lucky to get the Disney album created!

The photo booth and photography side jobs are still going well.  I did a lot of portraits for Christmas and still have a senior photo shoot scheduled.  We took the photo booth to a gorgeous wedding the Saturday before Christmas and got to charge full price for our top package!  That was sure nice to add to our bank account!  We don't have much coming up on the books, but I welcome the break.  We're doing a bridal show next month, so hopefully we'll make some contacts there. 

We had some major drama around here on New Year's Eve.  There's an apartment building on the corner of my small street that is occupied by seniors and disabled people.  Someone jumped from the 13th floor balcony facing our street.  There were so many emergency vehicles on our tiny street that they had to shut it down.  My mother-in-law lives in the building and said the 20-something guy jumped without a shirt on in front of his aide.  Sad. 

I'm so thankful for what I have and that we have very few issues in life compared to the rest of the world.  We've been blessed. 

I hope everyone had a very nice series of holidays...I haven't been on much to wish you happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's.  With that whole season coming to a close, I just might have more time for extra things like blogging (and cleaning the basement - yuk).