Monday, September 6, 2010

Exercise

I need to exercise. And in a bad way.

But what to do? I hate exercising. Nothing is fun. I'm not a runner. I can walk but it's boring. I need a video, I think.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's been a while

I can't believe how long it's been since I've last blogged. This summer has just flown by.

As the kids get older, the activities seem to pile up. With three of them - it's nonstop.

Olivia has started pre-k. I'm so excited to have all the kids at one school this year! Not to mention the $500 a month I'm saving in daycare! :) She fit right in and the teacher told me yesterday, she's the best behaved in the class. She's often the line leader or project leader because, as the teacher put it, "She's a leader and the kids model her behavior." I'm so proud of her. I think it has a ton to do with her being the youngest of three, and she tries so hard to keep up and do the things the older kids do.

Yesteday, she had a pre-k physical and not only had to get four shots, but also a TB skin test and a finger prick. It was horrible for her and me.

Abbe Mae is doing well. She's been studying in school and focusing on spelling and reading. I got her progress report yesterday and she's doing okay, but needs improvement in certain things. Specifically, turning in her home work. She's at 5 out of 8. She's a mess.

Tyler is also a star student. He's in 5th grade. Quick story - yesterday I took the day off to take Olivia to the doctor so I had lunch with each of the kids (which meant three trips to the school but that's another post). While sitting in the cafeteria waiting for Tyler, there were other 5ht grade kids in there. One of the little boys we know from Boy Scouts, "R", was at the table next to me. He didn't realize I was there as he called for one of his buddy's down the way and proceeded to FLIP him off. I couldn't believe it. I told him I was telling his mom. And I will.

Jason bought a Harley Davidson. I'll post on that later.

Me, just working. This job and role is taking up way more time than I ever expected. Very late nights, meetings all the time, offsite all the time, it's a little more than I bargined for. I love my family and my job - just need the balance. It's hard!

Got to go know, taking the kids to get them a volleyball set for our party tonight.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

120 million

Jason has been big into buying lottery tickets lately. And he's so excited about winning. It's fun to sit around and talk about what we would do if we won. Today he decided if we won, he'd open up a small restaurant and he'd be a short order cook. I decided I'd travel the world full time.

Ahhhh, what would you do?

Taking It Easy

We've been taking it easy lately. This weekend especially. We only had one thing to attend (the other was cancelled due to rain). That means we stayed at home and relaxed all weekend for the most part. The girls had a birthday party in our neighborhood Saturday so the only time we stepped out was to get the gift and get a few groceries Saturday morning. Then, we ended up hosting an impromptu dinner party on Saturday night. It was a great time, as always. Today, I've laid around all day and even took a nap! I like lazy weekends.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

BACKSPLASH



LOOKIN' GOOD!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Honda Crosstour

This is a celebration item. I NO LONGER HAVE TO DRIVE IN A MINIVAN! Don't get me wrong, there was a time in my life when I longed for a minivan. And when I was pregnant with Olivia, that dream came true. I drove that minivan for five long years.

That changed for me the other day!

I bought a 2010 Honda Crosstour. It's black, it has all the bells & whistles, and it has a sunroof!! It's adorable and I love it.

I certainly miss my kids being babies, but as they grow it's just as exciting!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rain, rain, go away......

I've never seen anything like this before. The rain has been so strong, steady and long lasting, that we are flooded. Water logged. Drowned. No other way to put it.

Let me start with yesterday. Rained all day. About two in the afternoon, lightening hit some where in my yard or very close to my house. Knocked out FIVE of our flat screen tvs, the wii, surround sound upstairs, build in stereo downstairs and pretty much all of our computer accessories (and you know how we roll in that department -- DEEP). So after we stopped crying and arguing, the call was made to the insurance adjuster and we were told we'd have to wait for a call back.

We went over to my parents house to ride out the rest of the storm cause without any media - we weren't up-to-date on the weather happenings and in TN, you need to know about possible tornadoes ASAP.

Anyhow, we watched as cars, houses and people were engulfed by raging water. It was and is unbelievable to me. Houses we drive by frequently, GONE. Family cars, GONE. Sweet Lord, the people. It's horribly sad. It's amazing how fast these things happen. We were watching LIVE television and these cars were on the highway slowly going around water. Within seconds, the people were jumping out of their cars trying to jump over the median to safety as their cars were washed away by the instant raging water. It was insane.

In the big picture, my stupid electronic picture doesn't matter. We have insurance and most of it will be covered. There are children out there tonight in my community that can't sleep in their bedrooms. And for that, I'm horribly humbled.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Life

Not a whole lot. Kids are doing well in school. They are loving "silly bandz" bracelets. We've had fun collecting and trading them. Since the weather has been nicer, we've been outside a ton more. Except this week and last weekend, it's stormed!

I had some oral surgery today on my tooth. I'm all jacked up and pretty miserable. I look like Jason took a 2x4 to my face. I'm hoping I will be better by Monday cause I've got a BUSY week next week with work. By the way, I am liking my new role at work. It's more stress but I'm really hoping I can get my department (and newly added department) in order soon. With that, I'm hoping the stress goes away a bit. Now if I just had some time in the office I'd probably be better. Seems like I'm offsite at least two to three days a week.

Jason is doing well. He's a great husband and father as always. He still thinks he's going to buy a Jeep, as a second car. He's farther from reality than I thought if he thinks it'll happen.

I am excited cause next week I'm having a new back splash put in my kitchen. I can't wait! I had an interior designer come in an plan it all out to match my colors and my granite. I've been waiting for weeks for the tile and glass to get in so the 4th couldn't come soon enough! I'll post some pictures when it happens.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ONE........TWO......THREE!!

I have never been a fan of the counting game with children. I've always thought they should listen the first time I tell them something.

Silly me.


Out of nowhere, the other day I heard Jason barking off "ONE!"........"TWO!".....to Olivia. She quickly responded with whatever task he was requesting her to do. I rolled my eyes and let it pass. Thinking, "Really, I hate the counting game. I wish he wouldn't do that. Does he know how goofy he sounds?"

Silly me.

Again, I've heard him do this to both girls when asking them to clean up their mess. I sat back and watched, sarcastically. And, it worked. They huffed and puffed but they did what he asked them to do.

I was really surprised. So surprised I was anxiously waiting to try myself. I was just waiting for the right opportunity.

And it happened with Abbe Mae. I said sternly, "ONE"......"TWO".....and she ran and gathered her stuff for the morning. OMG it really worked!

Now what am I supposed to do if I get to "THREE"??

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An interesting read

How to Be a Savvy Cheapskate

Buzz up! 1871 Print
Katy Marquardt, On Wednesday April 14, 2010, 11:40 am EDT

Don't judge this penny pincher by his cover. Jeff Yeager may be the author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Roadmap to True Riches--which one might assume to be filled with coupon-clipping strategies and saving tricks--but his philosophy isn't as much about how to get more for less as it is learning to live with less, period. Sure, he blogs about "12 Surprising Ways to Reuse Aluminum Foil," making cider bisque out of your jack-o-lantern, and using just enough toilet paper, but the bigger goal here is to live green, not just cheap. Ultimately, Yeager says, consumers should direct their frugal efforts toward downsizing their lifestyle--in major areas like housing and transportation--rather than saving a buck here and there. U.S. News recently spoke to Yeager about the most effective ways to economize. Excerpts:

Explain your 'cheapskate' philosophy.

I don't really write about penny-pinching tips. I focus more on quality-of-life and happiness issues ... especially the idea of deciding what "enough" is for you. Most people don't ask themselves that. What would be enough money and enough stuff for you? My wife and I answered that question early in marriage, in our 30s. We were living a comfortable lifestyle--why would we want to spend every last dollar we earned as our salaries increased over the years? We established what I call a "permanent standard of living," a level we still live comfortably at today, even though we could afford to spend more ... we managed, for example, to pay off our house in 15 years and essentially retire in our 40s. It's all about the decisions you make.

[See 21 Things We're Learning to Live Without.]

What sorts of decisions?

Well, for me, it's all about the bigger financial decisions in life. I rail against the latte factor ... for 20 years, pundits have been saying that if you give up your daily Starbucks cup and bank the money, you can attain financial security. That may work on paper, but I don't think it works that way in reality, for most people. One [of the bigger decisions] is housing. I'm a big believer in finishing in your starter home: Buy a modest home when you're first starting out and ignore people who tell you not to pay it off right away. Pay off your mortgage as quickly as you can, settle in and get to know your neighbors, and make your house your home. The conventional wisdom before the housing bubble burst was that if you could afford to pay down your mortgage early, instead take that extra money and invest it because mortgage money is relatively inexpensive to borrow. The financial pundits at the time said that any idiot could make a return on their investment above 5 percent or 4 percent of their mortgage interest. ... Well, it didn't work out that way.

These days with the tight economy, you hear so much in the media about economizing. But that's almost always about "how to get more for less" ... how to clip a coupon or find a bargain. But I think we're missing what could be the golden epiphany of these hard times: We shouldn't be asking ourselves "How can we afford it?" We should instead be asking, "Do we really need it?" There's lots of social science that shows that once you're above poverty level, more money and more stuff doesn't contribute to happiness. I believe that most Americans would be happier, and the quality of their lives would increase, if they would only spend and consume less. If you believe as I do, I think there will be a lot of upsides to the current recession in the long run.

[See 12 Hidden Costs of Homeownership.]

What are those upsides?

For example, when gas was $4, we all complained about it, but two-thirds of people reported that they changed their driving habits as a result. And unless I'm missing all the horror stories, nothing awful happened because of it. Certainly driving less is better for the environment and better for our pocketbooks, so where's the downside? Another example: Since the start of the recession, the size of new homes being built in the U.S. has dropped by about 11 percent ... 300 fewer square feet. Again, that's a change, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Think about the tremendous financial impact that the decision to live in a smaller home will have on your life. Not only it cost more to buy [a larger home] in the first place, but once you have those extra 300 square feet, you have to insure it, decorate it, heat and cool it, maintain it, repair it, and pay taxes on it. That's the kind of fundamental decision that has enslaved so many Americans to the yoke of too much debt. So apparently now were going to be living in slightly smaller houses, but why is that a bad thing?

[How to Gauge Your Middle-Class Status.]

If you read the book The Not So Big House, it says that as humans, we're uncomfortable in big spaces. If we have a chance to move into the mansion on the hill, we're not really comfortable with it. We're learning some lessons in the recession. Personal savings rates are up. Even though things are tighter now, we're somehow magically able to put money in the bank. Go figure.

Aside from driving less and being happy with a smaller house, what other significant things we should cut back on?

Eating lower on the food chain, for one. I try to spend only a dollar a pound on food. It's a myth that it costs more to eat healthy. You can spend a lot, but when you think about the kinds of things we should eat the most of--whole grains, legumes, and produce--they tend to cost less per pound than things that are bad for us like red meat and many processed foods that are high in trans saturated fats. I encourage people to eat more meals at home. Forty-five percent of the average U.S. family food budget is spent on food prepared outside of home. And they cost an average of 80 percent more than preparing the same food at home. There's a lot of waste, too. According to the USDA, about 25 percent of food is thrown away, so arguably you could reduce your spending here by 25 percent simply by being smarter about food storage and portion control.

You write a lot about the relationship between being frugal and environmentally conscious on thedailygreen.com. Any takeaways?

For most Americans, the greenest thing you can do is consume less, which probably means spending less. I think there's some hypocrisy in the current green movement, even though I've been an ardent environmentalist my whole adult life. I fear that the so-called green movement is catching on now because there's a bunch of cool, expensive green stuff we can by. It's become what I call a "cause de stuff." Much of the current environmental movement in the U.S. seems to be built around the very thing it should be seeking to combat ... rampant consumerism. Take green cleaning products. They tend to be more expensive than the toxic products. But you can clean almost everything with baking soda and vinegar, which are safer for the environment than green products and cost less than any other cleaning products, green or toxic. Hybrid vehicles are another example. It's cool now to own a $35,000 Prius, although driving a gas guzzler to work instead is better for the environment IF you carpool with four friends. Sure, the greenest choice would be to carpool in a hybrid, but I don't see Americans being that committed to environmentalism. We're really mostly committed to buying cool, expensive, green stuff. That's the hypocrisy I'm talking about.

You must make big purchases every now and then. What's your strategy?

I'm a big believer in the Consumer Reports approach to shopping. Buyer's remorse is at epidemic proportions. How is spending money on something we'll regret later a good thing? It makes us poorer, and clearly hasn't made us happy. My advice is to have a mandatory waiting period. Wait at least a week after you see something in the store that you want. I guarantee that half the time, you won't go buy it.

Once or twice a year, I look at the things I've spent more money on, and ask myself one simple question: "If I had it to do over again, would I have spent that money?" I call it a 'what heck was I thinking? audit." Maybe you'll see that you spend a lot on restaurant meals that you regret. I noticed that when I had a regular 9-to-5 job, when I was stressed at work, I'd often buy things I regretted later. It's a way of helping you learn from your mistakes and change your spending behavior.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

40th Wedding Anniversary

My brother and I hosted a 40th wedding anniversary for my parents at Maggiano's Italian Restaurant this weekend. It was grand. My dad's sister, Aunt Kathy, my favorite aunt in the whole-wide world came. It was awesome of her to come up from Florida. My brother flew in from LA to spend the weekend with us as well. We had close to 30 guests to celebrate this special time with us.

The place was great and the food was fantastic. We toasted my parents and thanked them for all their love and support. Then my mom got up and toasted my dad. She spoke of the good times, but focused on the bad times. The times of financial struggle, of losing loved ones, of the hardships they faced and told us all that it was not the good times that kept them together. The good times were the easy times. She reminded us that when thing are horrible or tough, it's easy to give up. She told us that the hardest parts in her life were losing loved ones both young and old, she knew that when he held her and she put her head on his heart - everything would be okay, cause they still had each other. There wasn't a dry eye in the house after she was done. My dad, a man of few words, returned the favor. I'm so proud of them. My family is lucky to have them.

But isn't there a negative in these types of things? Well, here's mine. We invited a ton of folks. Mostly from out of town. I'm okay and totally understand they can't come. I even expected it and invited mostly as a courtesy. But what I don't appreciate or expect are the few local family members that do not RSVP or RSVP and then call at 4 pm the day of the event and say you can't come (after I paid for you). At this point it's NOT even about the money, it's about the lack of respect for my parents. And to that - I won't be inviting any of them again. !!!!!!! It's their loss.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blog

The blog has been neglected lately. Mostly cause we are so busy. Mostly cause I am starting to feel a little more private about my life and the changes that are happening.

I don't think I have very many followers anymore and I'm good with that.

Kids are great. Tyler turns 10 tomorrow. Olivia 4 two weeks ago. School is well for all. Saturday we celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary with a big fancy dinner at Maggiano's. We have lots of guests and my brother is coming in.

Hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Taylor Swift

My husband is in love with her. We are laying here watching her videos over and over again. OUR SONG......

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Open letter to Summer

Dear Summer,

My dear friend Summer, where are you? I miss you terribly. The long days of sun and warm weather are desperately desired. Old man winter has been brutal to us Southern transplants and we are done with his unwelcome and harsh stay.

When you're around, you make me so much happier. I love waking up to birds chirping and sunshine.....I'm so much nicer to people when you're around. You give me so much energy!

I love having you around for those cozy nights too. BBQs and margaritas outside at Club 417 with the neighborhood crew. Don't forget the fire pit!! Everything is just so much better with you here.

We have so many projects we need to get done outside and the sunshine rays you bring make that possible. I don't know how much more of this dull, wet weather I can take!

The kids are needing a good dose of you too. They have been locked indoors long enough and are begging to burn off some of this energy. They want to run, swing, ride bikes and play and they need you to do it!!! Oh how I wish you would hurry up and visit.

So please, Summer, come soon. We welcome you with open arms!!!

Sincerely,


Jennifer

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

1500 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets



They are amazing. Beyond amazing. I suggest everyone go out and buy some.

JBN



My loving mother bought me the prettiest bracelet for my birthday. It's silver with a my initials hand engraved. I love it! I really love it!!!

Thanks Mom!

Monday, February 8, 2010

This vehicle was seized from a drug dealer



Driving to work the other day, I roll up behind this truck. It caught my eye cause it was a new, black truck with sirens on it. As I got closer, I read the words on the back and never laughed so hard. I love it! Frantically, I grab my phone and snap a shot to share.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crappy Ending to a Crappy Weekend

Ugh. I took Friday off cause we ordered a new mattress and bedroom set and it was being delivered. But before that, we had to clean our carpets and paint the bedroom. But before that, we had to find the bedroom floor.

Thursday morning we slapped some paint on the wall where the headboard was going to go and then Jason cleaned the carpet. I think the machine we rented was jacked up cause the stupid floor was sopping wet the next morning. By the way, I woke up sick (sore throat and ear ache) on Friday. The delivery guys showed up at about 8:30 am in the pouring rain with my stuff. Guess it doesn't matter that it's all wet cause my floor is still wet. As they bring in the headboard, I quickly realize it's the WRONG headboard. Guy says, "We'll leave it and you can deal with the store. I have a full truck, our policy is not to take it back." Bite me.

Call the store and argue with the sales guy a minute cause he doesn't get what's wrong. I tell him I want the bed on the floor - I got some other bed that I haven't seen before. "Oh I'll look into it can call you back tomorrow. I have to get a copy of the delivery order from the driver." Now I'm pretty irritated and not feeling well still. I decide to lay around the rest of the day and not paint. To hell with the laundry too.

I wake up on Saturday and paint the entire room - twice. Sales guy calls me and tells me that the bed I wanted is $200 more than what I paid. I said, "MY ASS IT IS--- COME AND PICK IT ALL UP." He said, "Let me see what I can do." I feel we overpaid for it in the first damn place, I surely ain't giving them anymore more. Yes, I said AIN'T. Tired, exhausted and not feeling well still, I go to bed early.

Sunday, I wake up and hit the 30,389,083 loads of laundry I have piled up. You have no idea how much I hate laundry. It's a never ending story in my house. I wish everyone just had two of each item. Anyhow, I end up going to the store for Valentine Day stuff for the kids and between the three I have and the one tag along I'm wore out. Not to mention I spent $150 bucks at Walmart and all I bought was dog food, toilet paper and milk. Then we have a few people over to watch the Superbowl (nothing planned) and the Saint win. I am not a fan of anything from New Orleans so booooo on them.

Finally, while out today, I took out $20 bucks cash just to have on had for breakfast at work this week. Sure enough, Tyler was messing with it and loses it.

I'm pissy. And I'm not looking forward to going to work tomorrow either. I need a weekend get-away. But I'm so fat I don't want anyone to see me so I'd rather stay here and eat Girl Scout cookies. Ugh.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

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Snow!!

It snowed in Nashville! I left work at about 2 pm yesterday and the roads weren't horrible, but I think that changed overnight. This morning when I let Pepper out, she ran out and slid right on top of the snow. It was pretty funny! There is a solid sheet of ice over the snow.

Looks like its going to be an inside day for us. Our plans of running around and our lined-up babysitter are on hold. Boo!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This-n-That!

Three kids, things never slow down! My computer time is so limited these days.

Let me see:

-I celebrated my 37 (!!!) birthday last Friday. It was very low-key. My lovie took me to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was very nice and quiet!

-I didn't get a gift cause I'm taking a trip to Chicago soon! Yeah me!

-Kids have been good. We've struggled with all the time off from school and adjusting to getting back in gear.

-Jason and I are working on decorating our bedroom. Very exciting stuff happening in our love palace which will include cool grey walls, a new king-size bed with a sleek small box spring, and a clutter-free minimal design. I'm going semi-fung shway but with a TV....lol.

-We had a busy weekend this weekend with two birthday parties, Girl Scouts, and a trip to the Circus.

-Olivia is loving dance and we just ordered her costume for her recital. I don't know if she'll participate, but she'll look good.

-Olivia is gearing up to turn 4 in March. I've booked her party at Pump-It-Up in March.

-Tyler is doing well with guitar. Although he doesn't practice, he enjoys his lessons. He's also doing Boy Scouts and has been busy with that.

-Tyler turns DOUBLE DIGITS in March as well. Thinking of a hotel party for him. When do we stop with the parties anyway??

-Abbe Mae had a World Tour w/Girl Scouts this weekend. The theme was to help with world hunger. She also is taking a dance clinic sponsored by the Wilson County High School Dance team. On February 2nd, the girls will perform at half time of the high school basketball game. Can't wait to see her dance.

-Jason is talking about the kids on a trip to Maine over spring break. I think they'd have a good time.

-My parents are doing well. They've been hanging out with our neighbors a lot lately.

-I cannot wait for spring and summer!!!!

-My parents will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this April. I want to do something for them just not sure what!

-I've heard several horrible stories lately in regards to kids my kids know. It breaks my heart to have to know that any child has lived or suffered a hard life. I just want to take care of all of them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday

Yesterday, the girls went out and did some shopping. When I say some, it's a slight understatement. We hit up JCPenney, Old Navy, Home Goods, Target and then lunched at Red Lobster. We wrapped up our day out by hitting Publix to buy some fine drink mixers.

I came home, started a fire and cleaned the house. I threw down my new center rug, fluffed up my new couch pillows, lite some candles and waited for our friends to arrive for dinner.

We had a great time. Good margaritas, great handmade pizzas by Jason, interesting conversation and just an all around relaxing time.

I love Saturdays.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Predators Game





Tonight the family bundled up and went downtown to the Predators game. Of course, we are not huge hockey fans, but got some great (free) seats in the fourth row of the bowl and a VIP parking pass that could not be passed up. It was a fun time and we really enjoyed it. The kids were well behaved; wish I could say the same for some of the foul mouth fans around us!

That brings me to discuss the Pred Girls. You know, the skimpy outfits, boobs hanging out, practical three inch healed boots while walking on the ice? Yeah, those girls. They normally never bother me but it irritated me that little Abbe Mae was so entranced by them! And how she began to clap and yell "good job" like the male role models around her when they came out to clean the ice. It's not how you get attention ladies!!

Predators lost, but we had a good time. Wouldn't exactly call it a family nite, but it was fun.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

C-Section Pain

Every once in a while, I'll have that bad pain. That wrong twist I make, or trying to get up from a laying down position too fast - and WHAM!!! I get that horrible c-section pain. The pain that literally brings me to a halt. The pain that takes my breath away. The pain that I don't know how else to explain other then the ligaments, and all the junk in the tummy area that just hurts!

I had it today. Almost brought a tear to my eye. In about 40-45 seconds it was gone.

Is it just me?

Olivia's Princess Room



I was hoping to wait long enough and she would outgrow the desire for a pink princess room. But that never happened. Since she is only three, I decided to grant her wish. She has a pink and green princess room. I worked all day yesterday painting it and Jason hung up and finished the chair rail today. I assembled her pink desk, put on her new comforter and put some princess stickers on the wall. It looks like a princess puked princess stuff all over the room.

And she loves it.

I guess that's all that matters. I have a few things left to do. I ordered curtains and they should be here this week. Also, thankfully, we went to Disney this year so I ordered all the prints I have of her and the real life princesses and will frame/hang those this week and I'm done!

We have slowly painted most of the rooms in the house so far and just have a few left. We waited a year to paint so that that when we had our year inspection and they fixed the drywall, we would have a good start. But now it's almost been TWO years and have several few rooms left. Exciting stuff. I do have to paint the hall bathroom and I'm not looking forward to that. Today we went and looked at backsplash for the kitchen and that is a really tough decision, but it too needs to be done. Hopefully we'll be all finished up so in the spring we'll have time and energy to really focus on the outside!