Monday, July 29, 2013

Lifestyles of a Domestic Goddess


It started at 4 am, when my dog hopped out of bed, paced up and down the hall a few times, before I caught him popping a squat at the end of the hallway and *ahem* doing his business.

Lucky for him I was too hazy to realize what he was doing and I just chased him back to bed. 

And at 6:30 when the baby-alarm a.k.a. teething toddler started her "I'm awake and can't find my paci" cry, I managed to be in and out of her room and back in bed in less than 30 seconds.

And 5 minutes later, when the 3 year old started screaming "MOMMY, CAN I WAKE UP NOW?  THE SUN IS UPPPPPPPPPPPPP!" I somehow still managed to go back to sleep after throwing the iPad at him and turning on his favorite PBS show.

But once Techy's alarm started it's 7:30 wake up call it was all over. 


Let me just say.  I hate that computer generated wake up call. 

I much prefer the screaming baby or dog standing on my chest any day.

And typically, since one or both of those are happening well before 6 am, it's not a problem.

But today was the blissful exception.

Today, I completely defied the odds and managed to sleep longer than my allotted 4 hours.

And then I managed to completely blow things out of the water when I put away all the laundry that I folded last night.

On any typical Monday morning, that basket would have been dodged and left sitting there for more than 3 or 4 days before getting thrown back in the laundry because it smelled like taco meat or bacon.

But not today.

Today, I CONQUERED that laundry basket!

Today, I liberated more than a dozen pair of socks.

Not to mention all those unmentionables.


To further make you question the likelihood of my body being invaded by an alien, I still managed to bake 2 loaves of zucchini bread, prep a meatloaf, and do 2 loads of laundry before noon.

On the downside, I didn't put a bra on until 3 pm.

And at least once during the course of my day I had to explain why corn was in the Little Man's poo.

And my living room currently looks like Hiroshima - the after, not the before.

You're jealous, right?

You know how we all think the Real Housewives have the most enviable life ever?

I beg to differ.


(ps. Like the new looks of the place?  Special thanks to my friend, Kelsea over at Overwhelmed by Grace for all the hard work!!!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Think of it as an Adventure!

So yeah.

It's been a while.


I'm getting good at this separation thing.

And last time we talked, I was all grumble, grumble, grumble.

Sorry about that.

I was in a bit of a funk.

But that's life, right?

Sometimes it's just words, words, words, grump, more words, sleep.

But some things have changed.

I joined the gym.

And...gained weight.

But the new weight looks like this, so...

(You should be following this craziness on instagram by now!)

Techy and I went to Vegas.

And the Grand Canyon

Where Techy nearly died...

Note:  You should never go to the west side of the Grand Canyon with people who don't have a healthy sense of fear.  These boys almost gave me a heart attack.  

And then there was the (much safer) Hoover Dam...

Which, incidentally, Techy was more excited about than the Grand Canyon.


But then back to Vegas...

Where, only moments after this picture, I had a very authentic Vegas experience on a grungy bathroom floor.  

The source of my discomfort being dehydration - not the funnest source of discomfort in Vegas.

Thankfully, I was not entirely alone.

If there is one place in the world where it is perfectly acceptable to be in tears on a bathroom floor praying for your stomach to empty itself, it is Vegas.

But then, faster than you could blink, we were home and off to visit family in Virginia.

It is interesting to note that within a weeks' time we had witnessed mountains coast to coast.

And after all that travelling, I do believe a bad hair day was in order.

Followed by a 103 degree fever and an ear infection for Baby Girl.

And let's not forget the breakdown....

That fortunately happened across the street from Advanced Auto...

Where we spent naptime cruising the store while they were fixing our car enough to get it home.

And then, there was VBS.  

I love VBS!  

For the kids.

For the snacks.

For the music.

But mostly for the puppets.

People.  I am pretty sure that if the UN introduced puppet shows to their sessions, we could probably see world peace within days.

I don't know anyone who doesn't smile during puppet shows.

With the exception of insecure teenagers.  

But even they slip occasionally.

Puppets are just fun.

And don't even get me started on muppets.

But I digress.

All that living you just witnessed was in the last 4 weeks alone.

Which brings us to the present.

Where today, I  am stuck at home because my car still isn't fixed.

But it's all good.

You could say my attitude has been adjusted a little since the last time we talked.

Probably because I have been out living life instead of sitting home reading about everyone else living it.

And I encourage you to do the same.

This is summer!  

Time for melty snow cones and late nap times.

Time for picnics on  your front yard and wagon rides to check the mail.

A few weeks ago, while I was sitting in the midst of my funk, one of my friends posted a pic of an art project she was working on with the caption of "think of it as an adventure" and I have embraced that with every fiber of my being.  

Life is hard.

Sometimes days are dark.

But the anything has the potential to be an adventure if you look at it the right way!

And from the looks of things, our adventures aren't going to slow down any time soon, so here's to lots more excitement ahead!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Out Of Words

Sometimes, despite my best intentions, life doesn't go the way I plan at all.

Sometimes, I let everything around me get me down.

Sometimes, I don't have anyone to talk to about it.

And the people I do talk to take it all so PERSONALLY.


I have so many things to say.

But I've stopped talking.

Mostly because I don't have the words to say it without hurting or offending people.

So I've been keeping alot inside.

Like my discouragement at not being able to lose that last 5 lbs.

Like my disgust at how little social time I have.

Like my frustration at feeling unappreciated and alone.

Like my sadness at realizing how busy everyone is.

And my frustration for how hard it is to maintain friendships.

Not to mention my self loathing for my own self-pity.

I keep thinking, I can't write this stuff - no one wants to read this stuff!

People want to read about happy times.

People want to read things that make them smile.

And laugh.

And yet, if I keep it in much longer, I may lose my mind.

So, my apologies.

For the record, I have had some really great days since my last post.

Last week was actually really great once I realized that I could go outside during naptime and sit in the sun for a an hour or two all by myself.

But this week, it has rained every single day.

{I think I have seasonal depression a vitamin D deficiency.}

But seriously.

To make things even worse, social media is totally ruining my life.

I mean, seriously.

It's all "vote for Gay marriage"  or "God hates the gays"

And "don't you want to order bags/jewelry/candles/beauty products from my stay-at-home-mom friend?  You'll regret it if you don't...."

And 2 million pastel pictures depicting people in turn of the century attire with condescending comments.

Seriously, people, other than my occasional Wal-Mart run, this is my only connection with the outside world.

And it SUCKS.


Politics and Home Merchandising?

Is it any wonder I'm feeling a little...bereft?

So today, in between reading about your happy lives, I'll be trying to find a way to make my mundane magical.

Because that's what mommy's do.

And that's all I have time for these days.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Making Up Is Hard to Do

Allow me a moment to whine.

Sometimes life gets busy.

Sometimes life gets hard.

Sometimes life gets lonely.

And dark.

And the last few weeks have been that for me.

I don't know why.

I don't know how.

I just know I'm in a dark place.

A lonely place.

A place of isolation and despair and...selfishness.

I said it.

I'm feeling very sorry for myself right now.


But for me, blogging has always been extremely therapeutic.

So, ya know, that's where I'm at.

I might need a cat.

I may need a HOUSE FULL OF CATS.*

I definitely need a Jesus moment.

So, now, I pray.

And I blog.

Of course, I've dropped off the blogging map.

So, I have, like 2 people to be accountable to.

But if you 2 could try to keep me typing, that would really be great.

And pardon my lack of humor during this time.

*dear heavens, I just completely justified cat ladies.  If that's not a cry for help, I don't know what is!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Time for Your Checkup!

As you may recall, about 4 weeks ago, I decided to "give up on" my goals of getting back to my pre-baby weight in favor of just getting healthier and stronger.

A group of my friends and I agreed to do 4 weeks of Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 workout.

And I figured you were all waiting on pins and needles to find out the results about this little experiment.

Good news.

I'm here to spill the beans.

Week 1 wasn't so bad.

But I will admit that by day 3, I could barely lift my arms over my shoulders.

Week 2...


In a nutshell - it's a killer.

I may have cried.

But it's not insanity, so....

And it's only 25 minutes long...

I can do ANYTHING for 25 minutes....

So I kept at it.

Week 3 came and went.

At some point during week 3, I am pretty sure my legs stopped functioning properly.

But it's all good.

Eventually, I hit week 4.

And thought, there is no way I can do this.

But I did.

Week 4 is officially over.

And as for the final outcome???

Well, as it turns out, I did lose almost 1 lb. in the last month.

Technically a total of .8, but it's my lowest weight to date...

Putting me only 5.6 from my pre-pregnancy weight.

But more importantly, I really feel like I can see alot of improvement in my body in the last month.

Muscles are getting firmer, I'm seeing more tone and less flab...

And more importantly, my clothes are fitting better every day.

To be honest, I don't think you can visually see alot of difference in the last 4 weeks.

But I feel it.

So moving forward, I am going to continue the same strain of workout dedication.

I will be continuing at least another month with Ripped - maybe interchangeably with other workouts, but definitely more often than not.

And maybe somewhere down the line, I'll get brave enough and/or strong enough to try Insanity or P90x, but for now, I'm excited about the change that the last month has given me and I'm more excited about the motivation it has given me.

Here's to the next 4 weeks and seeing where it takes me!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Recent Reads: Requiem

Let me ask you a question...

When was the last time you read a book that you day dreamed about when you put it down?

When was the last time you read a book that sucked you in more deeply than Real Housewives drama.

While we're talking about it, considering last night's RHOBH season finale, it's a wonder I have ANYTHING else to talk about today....

But that's how good this book is.

Seriously, people.

If you haven't followed my advice, and picked up the Delirium series, stop what you are doing and go get it.

This month, Lauren Oliver finally released the final book in this series.

And let me just say, this book is amazing.

The story is exciting.

There is romance, there is intensity, there is excitement.

You will fall in love - more than once...

Your heart will be broken - more than once...

The characters are beautiful and endearing and completely well rounded.

And for the most part, there is a reasonably happy acceptable ending for everyone.

In a nutshell, you should read it.

You can thank me later!

Now, please excuse me while I get back to my regularly scheduled programming (read: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion - I should really live tweet this amazingness!)

The Good Wife

This post is based solely upon my last waking thoughts before bed last night.

You should be afraid.

But, for the sake of full disclosure, Here goes:

I am not a good wife all the time.  

Don't be shocked.  

Put down your paper bag - I'm going to explain....

Sometimes, I don't want to be a good wife.

Sometimes, I even make the conscious decision not to be a good wife.

Sometimes, I am pmsing and I've been around 2 little tyrants who scream their demands at me while I am trying to clean up their poop.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I choose to be the wife that nags and whines and pouts.

Admittedly, on occasion, it's involuntary.

But most of the time, I choose it.

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep listening to my husband, who was still working at 11 pm, talking on his phone next to me, this was the fight I battled.

It had been a particularly long day.

After a particularly long week.

I honestly hadn't said more than a sentence or 2 to him all day.

And at the end of the day, I just wanted a few minutes of his attention.

If you know me, you might know my passive aggressive drill.  (Sarah, you'll recognize this IMMEDIATELY)

1. I sigh, ALOT.

Usually very loudly.

You know that sound your dog makes when he sees a squirrel?  My sighs are a little like that.

Very deep, in the back of my throat.  Just aggressive enough to let everyone around you know that you want something.

Dramatic, right?

And yet subtle at the same time.

2. Then, I make my presence known.

Usually by stomping or banging something.

Think Teresa Guidice.

Think almost, but not really, subtle.

Think, I may have flipped a table in my time...

3. Finally, I play the martyr.

Think Cinderella complex.

Think not at all the strong, independent Drew Barrymore version.

Think "woe-is-me" Disney version.

Usually I start by saying things like, "Do you want anything to eat or drink before I go to bed, sweetheart?"

Usually, DRIPPING with sarcasm.

And last night was pretty much classic Leah-at-her-passive-aggressive-best.

I may or may not have even succumbed to prancing around in lingerie.

Because nothing is as passive aggressive, as a lingerie clad wife who has no intentions of putting out.

But as I climbed in bed, I clicked over to Facebook.

Admittedly, not typically the wisest decision for someone in woe-is-me-passive-aggressive-mode. 

As it typically only leads to more wallowing...

But last night, I saw this...

Le, sigh.

Cue sucker punch to the lacey nighty.

Cue epiphany.

As much as it may have behooved me last night to say it, I have a fantastic husband.

Who works very hard for our family.

To the extreme of working long days and late nights while the rest of us are sleeping. 

It's not my job to love him when he's paying attention to me.

It's not my job to love him on good days.

It's not my job to love him when life is easy and we see eye to eye on every little thing.

It's my job to respect him for who he is and to love him for it.

So, for today, that's where I'm at.

Because that's what love is all about.

Now, excuse me while I go pack my Teresa Guidice angry face away for a while....

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Almost like "The Pianist" But It's Not

Imagine with me.

You are a mommy.

Now for you men out there, this may be a stretch.

Just go with it.

You are a mommy.

You spent your entire life trying to cover everything up.

You got married.

And discovered you married a nudist.

And then you had a baby.

With boy parts.

And he followed his daddy around and did everything his daddy did.

And then one night you went in his room to tuck him in for bed and find him - your BABY BOY - completely naked - snoring.


I'm raising a nudist.

Be warned.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Story Of My Life

This is going to be an emotional post.

Because, dude, that's how I roll.

I can't be funny all the time!!!

But, if that's what you are here for, do I have a story for you!


In the emotional roller coaster that is my life.

These last few days, I have been thinking alot about my life.

Our lives.

How we got here.

Where we came from.

And I have been reminded of some really dark times for me.

I've talked a little about it before...

But when we were first married, I was going through some really tough times.

I was homesick.

My only friends worked all the time or were full time college students.

My mother-in-law was very sick and required constant attention.

My mom was going through alot of craziness.

And life was just...

For lack of a better word...


Michael Scott would be dying right now.

But seriously.

I cried alot.

I was very heavy.

And a little lot discontent with my life.

I remember there being days that I would say things like, "Why me?".

And the occasional, "I didn't sign up for this!"

On one particular night, I had had enough.

We were on our way to a concert 2 hours away.

And I picked a fight.

Have you ever done that???

I'm sure you haven't.

You are all saints aren't you?

Well, sometimes, I fall off the pedestal a little.

Don't be so shocked.

I'm still sporting a halo 99.9% of the time.

But this one time, it fell a little bit.

And yes, I picked a knock down, drag out, good-old-fashioned-screaming-match-fight in a car where Techy and I were both trapped for several more hours/minutes.

I went through every range of emotion there was.

Anger.  Why am I going through so much crap?

Discontentment. Why do I have to deal with all this?

Loneliness.  Why am I all alone?

Guilt.  I shouldn't be feeling this way, but....

Homesickness.  At the heart of it all, I just wanted things to go back to the way they were.

And I bottled up all those feelings, and spit them all out in one extremely hurtful statement -


And not just from the concert...

After which, we sat in stony silence for the rest of the trip.

We pulled into the parking lot, and we tried to pull it all together.

Act like we liked each other....

To make matters worse, we were late to the concert.

We were both miserable.

We got out of the car, made our apologies, and put our game faces on.

But as we walked into the outdoor arena where the music was blaring over the loudspeakers, my emotions were ROLLING.

And then I heard it.

I think, we all know that music speaks to me....

And this was no exception.

Because the first words I heard as we walked into that concert were:

"Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city"

Not at home.

Not in my comfort zone.

Not where I wanted to be.

But right where I was.

And that was the day that I realized something.

Contentment is not about being where you want to be.

Contentment is about being where you are supposed to be.

That night I made a commitment.

A commitment to love the place where I was at for as long as God had me there.

And for the next 4.5 years, I did just that.

I committed to that place.

Until the day that God moved us.

And some days I still long for that place.

Because after 6.5 years, it was comfortable.

It was home.

It was normal.

And now, some people look at us and think we are the craziest people in the world.

Some people look at what we've been through in the last year and a half and think, why on earth would you ever do that?

Why would you leave everything you have established together and move 800 miles away to something you don't know?

But that night changed alot for me.

It shook me to my core.

Because that night was the night that I learned that joy is tied to contentment.

Not happiness.

For any of you who may be wondering through your own darkness, I feel your pain.

I've been there.

You aren't alone.

And just so you know...greater things have yet to come!

Believe it with me.

Fire on The Mountain


This weekend we went to Virginia to to celebrate my Dad's birthday.

Now, you should know, I am a great daughter.

Quite possibly the best.

You aren't surprised, right?

However, I'm pretty sure my sister will beg to differ with me on this one.

And you should know, I can often be the very worst gift giver on the planet.

For instance.  

This year, for his birthday, I bought my dad 2 new dress shirts with matching neck ties.

Tell me this.

What 50+ man wants new dress shirts and neck ties for his birthday?

EVEN IF he asks for them.

We all know those things are just list fillers.

But I went and got them for him.

While my sister got  him a new badge wallet (Dad is a retired police officer) and my brother got him a flame thrower.

Maybe I should say that again...


Neck tie.

neck tie.


Believe me, I don't blame him.

I mean, Id' rather have a flame thrower too.

It's like Kanye vs. Kris Humphries.

There's just no doubt about which one you want to be your baby daddy.


Why do I know this crap?

Or a wallet for that matter.

But under these circumstances, some quick thinking was necessary on my part if I was going to give my Dad something he has always dreamed of.

Which led to me sweet talking Dad into taking all of us kids shooting.

As if it took much effort at all....



My dad is a loyal NRA member.

And yet, this hasn't happened in years.  

And I mean, like decade-years.

Dad absolutely lit up like a Christmas tree.

Within the hour, we were at the range with every handgun we own.

And we all got a turn...

My sister in law...

My brother in law...

My sister...



Unfortunately, there are no pics of my brother and/or my dad shooting.

But I promise they did.


Until it started snowing.

And then we all just wimped out.

Or we ran out of ammo.


But here's proof that we survived.

Because the real kicker is...

The guns we used DIDN'T KILL ANYONE.

And my dad didn't stop smiling for HOURS.


(Full Disclosure: We may or may not be rednecks at heart.  And we may or may not have gone home and watched hours of Duck Dynasty.  Feel free to judge us.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Locked Up

Once upon a time, there was a 31 year old woman...

Sitting in the back seat of a minivan...

Watching Veggie Tales and trying to hear what the adults were saying up front.

(Not much has changed in the past 20 years.)

But on this one, very special occasion, this had been going on for more than an hour and two whiny toddlers were between the woman and the Veggie Tales AND the adults.

To say she was bored is to say that Kim Kardashian was just kinda over her marriage to Kris Humphreys....

(Remember that?!?!  REMEMBER when Kim Kardashian was married for a month and filed for divorce??)

Which leads me to wonder...did she just pick him out because of the K name?

And is that why she's with Kanye now?

And why do I know any of this???

My point, of course, is that she was really, really bored.

And if you have ever been trapped strapped in the back end of a minivan with only toddlers and a toddler dvd between you and the nearest adult, you probably know that entertainment is hard to come by.

And if your cell phone is dead, it is even harder to come by.

Meaning, you, inevitably, will start counting the cold, curly french fries scattered on the seat around you....

Or you will start playing with leftover Happy Meal Toys.

And if you are really desperate, you may (but you shouldn't) stick your hands into the pockets and cubbies and cupholders around you, trying to make the time pass.

But chances are, you will never end up in the situation that this lady ended up in last week....

Because, chances are, most of you don't have a police officer for a brother in law.

And if you do, chances are, his 5 year old hasn't tucked away an old pair of his on-duty handcuffs to play with on long car rides.

And if, by chance, this scenario presents itself to you, the next few words I am about to say may save you untold embarrassment:

Do not...

Yes, you may believe them to be toy handcuffs.

But I caution you to take a moment and feel the weight of them, before letting your instinct override the situation.

Because you could easily end up like this...


With every adult in sight laughing at you.

And most of the toddlers as well.

What's worse?

You may come to realize that your only way out is to drive until you see a police car and then beg him to unlock you.

Or in this case, drive to the school where my her mother works, and have her page the School Resource Officer, while you stand in the principle's office waiting.

And hope no one asks you to explain how you came to have police grade handcuffs on your wrist.

Not that this has ever happened to any one I know, mind you....

You can thank me later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Weight-Up Call

I understand it's been a while since I posted anything relating to my weight loss goals.

If you know me well, you probably can read between the lines enough to know that it's because I am not succeeding....

My last weigh in post was January something.

PEOPLE.  We are 2 days from March.

I have been completely silent about my weight loss during the month of February.

And since that last post back in January, I have lost a total of...drumroll please....

1.6 lbs.

If you, like me, are excellent at math, you know that averages out to .4 lbs per week.

And you probably know that it brings me down to here:

And for the record, I hit the 40 week mark 2 weeks ago.

It's easy for me to get frustrated.


It's also very easy for me to get discontent.

Don't ask me how.

I am comfortably wearing a size 8 now and often able to wear a 6.

Remember this girl?


She doesn't look like that anymore....

That's a size 8 and a medium.

Be impressed.

So, I have decided to change my game plan.

Since, at my current rate, it would take me approximately (or exactly)  16 more weeks, or another 4 months, to lose the rest of this weight.

And I'm sure it will happen, BUT....

I have decided to change my focus.

And as it turns out, a group of my online workout buddies have dedicated themselves to doing a month of Jillian's Ripped in 30....

(They just completed 30 straight days of 30 Day Shred)

My knee-jerk reaction is, "I can't do that!  I need more cardio!"

Which is actually Leah-speak for, "I don't wanna do strength 5 days in a row!  That's too hard!"





Or rather, I'm doing it.

This is post-day 3.

It's ridiculous.

I could barely move after day 1.

And this is still the "easy stuff".

I am still working in a half hour of cardio, post-Ripped (thus the bike pic), but I want to focus more on toning what I have.

And stop worrying about the weight side of it.

Because, truthfully, I'm at a healthy weight.

Do you know how difficult that is for me to type?

Because I am seriously OCD.

And a little goal driven.

It's not really like me to "give up" this close to my goal.

But I'd rather reduce my body fat/increase my muscle strength than lose weight.

That's just where I'm at.

How big of me, huh?

Now, who wants to join us?!

You know you do!

(Seriously, though, if you want in, Facebook me or email me, I will invite you to the group!  It's excellent for keeping you accountable!!!)

If not, that's cool, just keep watching - Transformation is happening people!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Party Fever...

Remember that month when I decided to host family from out of town, throw 2 birthday parties, and a baby shower at my house???

And on top of that, enrolled myself in a firearms safety class with my girlfriends....

It's been IN.TENSE, people.

Like more intense than Mariah and Nicki's love/hate affair.

No, seriously, people.

I am in craft overdrive.

I can no longer control myself.

I now understand how Leslie Knope feels about project binders.


I'd love to tell you that I will blog about all of it, but my life is so backlogged.

And filled with so.much.poop.

No, literal poop.

That's reality with 2 toddlers, a dog, and a husband.

But for a glimpse at all the things you missed...

Birthday party #1...

Little Man's belated birthday party....

He turned 3 on December 28

But since it was so close to Christmas, we waited....

Also known as the day before Baby Girl's birthday party.

I thought it was such a smart idea.

I mean, family was here.

And his friends were in town....


However, Lego brownies and Mickey Mouse ears absolutely ROCKED this kid's world.

And then, Baby Girl's 1st birthday party....

How has it already been a year???

Girlfriend was a birthday all star.

I am busy editing all the photos, but here are a (very) select few I snagged on my phone.

You can't tell it from this pic, but we went all out for this party.

And by all out, I mean CAKEPOPS.

Why has the world just now discovered cakepops?!?!

And why does it take SO LONG to make them?!!!

Something that delish should really be so much easier to acquire!

Or maybe not.

I think I gained 10 lbs in cakepops that week.


But then, with just over a week to recover from Baby Girl's party, several of us girls signed up for a firearm's safety course.

Let me tell you....

If you have not done one of these, DO.IT.

(And in my case, if you have, but need a refresher, DO.IT.)

Worth every penny.

We loved it, and learned so much!

You should really be impressed with us.

And finally, this weekend will wrap up my month of crazy with a "Little Man" (not to be confused with my Little Man) inspired baby shower....

If I make it out alive, it will be a miracle.

Wish me luck!

I know it's hard to believe, but with all this craziness, I'm running on empty.

I haven't lost weight in weeks.

But I'm enjoying the crazy, if not the weight.

Because that's life!

And life is beautiful, even at it's craziest!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Funny Valentine

Let me just be honest with you....

When you are a stay at home mommy of two and your husband is galivanting all over the state of Georgia running a company, Valentine's Day can seriously sneak up on you.

Suddenly, the day is here and you are running your dog to the vet, then the groomer, paying bills, running errands, and eventually rolling into the driveway just in time for naps....

And then back out for more.

I did have the forethought, though, to place a to-go order at Chili's....

Only to arrive in one of the most crowded parking lots in town, and realize that I still had to drag my 2 kids out of the car to go inside and pick up my food.


And then I called the groomer to see if my dog was done with his appointment.

Because, you know, his appointment was supposed to be over hours ago.

Only to have them tell me that he wasn't done and he wouldn't be for more than an hour.

So there I sat.

With my hard-won dinner that I had victoriously acquired at the hands of tyrannical toddlers and an over-crowded restaurant.

Not to mention, said fussy off-spring.

Stuck in the car.


That was when it hit me.

It didn't have to be miserable.

And I didn't have to just sit there and wait for the groomer to catch up with  me.

So, I called Techy and rolled out of the parking lot.

I may or may not have turned on some sappy Taylor Swift song to get me into the mood.

And made a quick left hand turn into the emptiest parking lot in town.

But, in the opinion of at least one of my passengers, the happiest place in town:

Within a few minutes, my date pulled in next to us, and we happily unloaded our crew into the play place.

Where we celebrated one of the finest Valentine's Days' I can remember....

In the flourescent glow of can lighting - after all, who can see anything in candlelight?

Our centerpiece was nothing more decorative than a ketchup packet and paper napkins....

But the food was still warm,

The company was better than I could have dreamed of,

And the crowd was non-existent.

Our Valentine's Day may not have been a classy as yours.

Or as romantic.

But it was filled with love.

And happiness.

And in my opinion, that makes it the finest Valentine's Day we've celebrated in years.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Voice In the Dark

There are things you experience as a parent that no one warns you for.

There are feelings you feel as a parent that no one could POSSIBLY prepare you for.

And let's be honest, I've done things since being a parent that I swore would NEVER happen.

You hear about the poop.

You hear about the puke.

You hear about the laundry.

But no one has ever told me about this....

I started my day pretty normally.

I had a ton of laundry to do....

I had several errands to run....

And I had trash to take.

I threw a load of laundry in the washer before we left and then ran out the door dragging a bag of trash behind me.

When we returned several hours later, it was to some annoyingly high pitched noise coming from...

well, somewhere.

But I had more important things to do.

Like feed tiny humans.

And clean them.

And put them to bed.

And fold laundry.

And clean my house.

And the noise got louder and louder and louder.

And more annoying and more annoying, and more annoying.

And then I opened up my washing machine to find this.

Now, for the record, we've had this thing for more than a year.

I had no idea it made noises.

But since I washed it this morning, it hasn't stopped singing...

In its VERY, VERY high pitched annoying voice...tone...sound....

What exactly do you call an inanimate object's noise???

It's been almost 4 hours....

It's still singing.

I'm planning to go kill it.

If it doesn't get me first.

Wish me luck.

Hopefully you will hear from me tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Holy crap, batman

My life is completely upside down.

In the past week, we've made 3 doctor visits between the 4 of us.

We've thrown not one, but 2 birthday parties.

We've hosted 5 visiting family members.

We've worked constantly and rested little.

My house looks like...Lindsay Lohan...

Light on the hot, heavy on the mess.

It's been a wild week.

It's about to get wilder.

How does life do that?!

But as wild as life gets, as crazy scary as it can be, I'm blessed.

Beyond measure.

So really, if all i have to complain about is a hot mess, then, people, I'm a rich woman!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I have severe anxiety.

That's probably what you should expect the night before a house full of relatives are scheduled to descend upon you.

And days before your baby girl's first birthday party.

And days before your 3 year old's unbirthday birthday party.

And the day before your 2011 photo book has to be sent to the printers....

And the day after you find out you have high cholesterol.

Who, you?

No!  Not me! 

Then who?

Must be...

Why would you say that?

The bloodwork WHAT?

Sorry about that.

Inner dialogue.

Yes, last night I got a call from my doctor's office....

Apparently, I have high cholesterol.

Let this be a life lesson.

You should most definitely play poker with me.

I ALWAYS get dealt the bad hands.

But I digress...

Point being, I don't have time for a book review today.

And probably nothing but whiny pants, unstructured, why-do-we-need-parties posts for the rest of the week.

Be excited.

Off-topic Leah is always so much fun.

Maybe I'll be back to normal on Monday.

Monday, February 4, 2013

That's Just The Cravings Talking...

Apparently last night was a big night in sports.

Not that I know anything about that since I was too busy chewing my nails off waiting to find out what happens to Mr. Bates to care about a football game.

That being said, I do have some regrets about my choices yesterday.

Like the food choices.

Normally, I spend my Sundays, and especially Super Bowl Sunday, binge eating as many pizza bites as possible.

But I was so nervous about the goings on of my favorite Brits that I completely forgot to eat.

Like anything.

And now, here I sit....

Chewing on my non-existent nails

And watching Ellen re-runs.

Sophia Grace and Rosie just had tea with Justin Beiber and my only thought was.


Aren't Mondays bad enough without having to talk yourself out of every.single.carb in your house???

That and "Don't these kids go to school...EVER?"

If hungry Leah sometimes morphs into cranky Leah.

Craving Leah morphs into something altogether Hyde-ish.




Is it me, or does Kelly Ripa talk too much?

Is it me, or is EVERYONE on Facebook totally annoying today?

Is it me, or is all places on all the internets against me?

So, if you happen to be confronted by Craving Leah today, I apologize.

And remember, I probably didn't mean it when I asked you to shut up about the amazing plays, Beyonce's incredible moves and your favorite commercials.

That's just the unsatisfied cravings talking.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Honest Opinion: Purex Baby Detergent

If you have been around here for any time at all, you know that I happen to be a Purex Insider, who gets updates on all newly released products from Purex. (If you don't know, you should start with this one.  It's classy.  Of course, when am I not classy?  I'm like the freaking Dowager Countess with my A++ classiness.  Also?  My wit.)

Which, may I say, is now one of my favorite laundry detergents.

But, since I took practically the entire last year off from blogging, I was clueless.

Speaking of...

I found this on Netflix the other day.

AS IF...

So many memories.

But I usual.


Apparently, sometime in the last year, Purex released Purex Baby Detergent.

Only, I was completely unaware that it was a new release, possibly because I was having a baby at the time....

And at some point after that, Walgreens had a sale on my favorite detergent, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a bottle of Purex baby for the silly price of 2.99.

And people.

I was "like totally buggin'"

First of all, let me ask you, how do you rank your laundry detergent?

How do you determine what your favorite is?

I guess overall, I am pretty lenient when it comes to laundry detergents.

Mostly, I just want them to get the clothes clean.

And let me tell you, when Baby Girl was still in her infancy, back when we were going through the same 4 outfits every day and we had about 25 bibs and burp cloths in the house...getting clothes clean was CRITICAL.

Needless to say, I was doing laundry every other day, at least.

Thank God for those burp cloths....

Anyway, that being said, have you ever tried to clean crusted on milk out of a bib?

Or a burp cloth?

Especially one that you have misplaced for about a week?

Or a month.


It would probably be more accurate to talk about trying to clean furry milk out of a bib, because after a week, there is nothing crusty about the set-in stain....

Oh, no, after a week, the thing has taken roots and decided to build itself a full force bacteria tree to reside in.


Pardon me.

That may or may not have been the sound of me gagging.

My point being, that I have tried washing that kind of thing with my old detergent, and let me tell you - it didn't do the job.

I threw away more than one furry bib.

But that was never the case with Purex baby.

Now, admittedly, I did pre-soak them, but they all came clean.


And the scent???

You know how sometimes the free and clear laundry detergent leaves your clothes smelling like the inside of your dryer?

Well, this stuff smells like heaven.

And the top of a newborn's head.

Which is basically the same thing, so you get the picture.

It smells good.


And at half the price of some other baby detergents out there!

Or in this case a quarter of the price!

What I'm trying to say is if you have babies and you haven't tried Purex baby, you should.

It is in NO WAY a waste of your time or money.

And that's coming from someone who has gagged over my share of furry bibs.

No judging.

I'm wagering there has been/will be a furry bib in your life one day....

And you'll be happy to know that Purex Baby will be there to hold your hand.

Post-script: I was in no way compensated for this post.  I didn't even get a bottle of the stuff to try this time around.  I just want you to know that you don't have to spend fortunes on baby laundry detergent to get the job done.  Really, you are so lucky to have me in your life...really.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Helpful How-To: Creating a Mood Board

Would it be too much of an assumption to think that you saw my post about Little Man's Big Boy Room???

You know what they say about assuming....

And I'd never want to do that....

So, if you haven't, go ahead.  Click on over.  I'll wait.

And try to be impressed, despite the misalignment.

I haven't had much patience with my blog this week.

And apparently posting straight from the site I used to design the mood board, really screwed up the alignment, and I haven't had time to straighten it out.

Pun totally intended.

But for those of you who are wondering how I did that, let me tell you.

It's super easy.


I've used it on and off for a few years, but a few weeks/months ago when one of my favorite bloggers posted a 4 part tutorial series on using Polyvore for mood boards, I knew I was going to be making my way back over.

And as soon as I had the chance, Little Man's room design happened.

And since I love to share the wealth, and I know you have been wringing your hands in wonder to know how to make your very own mood board, let me make this easy on the both of us.

I refuse to recreate the wheel.

And as much as I would LOVE to take credit for it, since I love nothing  more than getting all the credit and all the acclaim, this is a big step....

Here is the link to House*Tweaking's 4 part tutorial on how to create mood boards using Polyvore.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I hope you learn as much from her posts as I have!

Now, get to it!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recent Reads: Delirium

As we all know, my obsession with good reads is pretty far reaching.

If it gets good reviews, I'm typically in.

So, when I first heard about Delirium, I knew it was a read I wanted in my hands.

Like yesterday.

On her website, Lauren Oliver has a tag line that says it all:

"Before Scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing."

And if that doesn't pull you in, well, then...





And then read it again.


Here.  Buy it here for your Kindle. And here for your Nook.

Because, PEOPLE.

I want to talk about this book.

In graphic detail.

I want to talk about Hanna.

I want to talk about Lena.

And I want to talk about Alex.

Oooooooh, Alex....

Ok, so if you know anything about my taste in books, you know how much I LOVE dystopian fictions.

I love the general idea that freedom can overcome oppression.

And this is yet another book where that is the theme.

And it will blow your mind.

The fact that the world could be indoctrinated to believe that love is a disease - nay, THE GREATEST DISEASE - is absurd....  Appalling, even.

And yet, Oliver rationalizes it in these books in a way that makes you second guess yourself.

But at your core, is the knowledge that robbing someone of the  the freedom to love with complete justification is simply...disturbing.

And automatically makes you want to fight for Lena and Hana and any/all future generations.

I automatically felt a kinship with the characters.

Felt drawn to them.

Felt compassion for their plights and sympathetic to their fights.

And the fact that I fell in literary love with Alex "at first sight" is pretty much undeniable.

Have you started reading it yet?

I will warn you, you will have your heart broken.

And then put back together, and then broken - lather, rinse, repeat.

This is another book that is well worth your time.

And, as is the thing these days, it is one of a series of books.

And the second book - Pandemonium is every bit as good.

I personally liked Pandemonium better than Delirium.

The story is much more intense, even if it is a little harder to follow.

Book 3 is scheduled to hit the shelves sometime this spring. (please, please, please Ms. Oliver, hurry up.  I am chewing my nails off to find out what happens to my favorite characters in book 3...don't make me wait too much longer, please????)

So, yeah, excellent books?


Exciting read?

Mmm Hmmm.


Just Slightly.

Now get to reading!!!

Post Script:  If you have read these books and you haven't read the e-books Hana and Annabel, Don't miss them!  Worth every penny!

Monday, January 28, 2013

ABC Themed Toddler Bedroom

I have been working on a design for the Little Man's Big Boy Room for a while now....

This is one idea I threw together one night last week.

Do you know what is really frustrating?

When life throws a whole bunch of curve balls at you.

And then you lose track of the one thing you have been trying to do for a year.

Of course, that isn't this project...

Actually, this project is just pushing that one even further down the line.

But that's life.

As for this project, I'm not totally sold on it.

I don't like the creamy undertones with the white furniture.

Call me crazy, but that just erks me.

But there are elements I do love.

Like that pouf.

Does that pouf just have you at "Hello", or what?!

I mean, it reaches out and grabs your soul!

Like those Dementor things in Harry Potter.

Only if a Dementor was yellow and wearing a smile instead of black with a hollowed out face.

You get what I mean, right?

I mean, I could draw you a picture, but my artistic skills are....


Just think, Walmart smileyface.

It's way less complicated.

And already in your permanent memory bank.

You're smiling, aren't you?

You can thank me later.

Back to the idea bout those vintage-y alphabet cards???


Wanna know a secret?

I actually ordered those MONTHS ago.

For educational purposes.

And then when they arrived, I changed my mind and decided they had to be wall art.

As soon as possible.

Possible still hasn't happened, yet.

But hopefully, getting to this stage means, I am closer.


Now I know you are all looking at the daybed and going, "Is that what she's going to make the poor kid sleep on?"

And just so you know, yes.

But I plan to do it a little more like Layla did over at Lettered Cottage.

But we'll see....  I'm guessing that a bookcase and a possible window seat may also end up in the picture, if I can convince Techy to let me use my big girl tools a little more.

And if not, well, what Daddy don't know won't hurt him, right?

Anyway, I would love to have some feedback on this, so feel free to let me know your thoughts, and for those who will/may ask, below you will find a breakdown of all the items and the stores they are from.


ABC Themed Toddler Bedroom