Monday, December 22, 2014

Busy Busy Busy....



Thought of this video when I was coming up with a title.   LOL! Aint it the truth at this time of year. Working at the drug store I guess puts things in to a "prospective" that I hadn't really seen in  a while.... because everyone I wait on is in such a rush with buying all those last minute gifts.  Almost every customer is completely stressed out!  For some reason I'm not feeling very stressed this year, which is really quite nice.  Oh it isn't that I don't have anything to do,  I still haven't made the candy things I want to make for everyone.   We stopped a few years ago giving presents to everyone and now are only doing a Pollyanna for my side of the family..and kids on Brian's side.   It's really nice, because it takes a lot of the "stress" OUT of the holidays, (especially financial stress)--- but I still like to give a little something to everyone which is why  I usually make something.   This year I'm making those "buckeye" candy... choc & peanut butter candies--- taste like peanut butter cups.   I got the recipe & idea from my sister in law Eileen... she made them when they came to visit us & they were so yummy!  But even knowing I still need to make them doesn't really have me that stressed.  I figure I'll make them tomorrow since I'm off.  Brian & I stopped exchanging presents several years ago,  it took me a while to "get used" to the idea but I guess I'm ok with it now.  I still wish in ways that we did,   but in other ways I'm ok with it.    Financially it's really nice, emotionally I miss giving & receiving presents.  It's not even the "things" that I care about, it's the thought that goes behind giving them.  It makes me a little sad not doing it.  But like I said in ways I like it too.  I guess when I think about all those "stressed out" people spending way more money then they can probably afford I'm relieved not being one of them.  For us really it's about Emily & making it a nice Christmas for her.... she loves Christmas so much!!! I get a lot of my Christmas "spirit" from her,  it's impossible to be a Grinch around her,  she embodies joy & love!   I just love her... I think she's said almost everyday for the last 2 months that she "can't wait" for Christmas!!!!  I know it's also not all about the "presents" for her... she after being asked if we could only afford a few presents to give her, would she be ok with it.... said that would be ok & I believe her.  She's not a very "materialistic" kid----- she didn't really ask for very much this year.  We are really lucky.  I see kids who's list are sooooooo long & they are constantly adding to them... & I feel really really lucky to be Emily's mom.  Ofcourse she's not perfect but she's a pretty easy going kid.   I know really most definitely every day I have the "best" present any one could ever receive so who really needs anything more.  really.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Today is....
            12/13/14

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting in the spirit! #MerryChristmas




BTW...my snow is an old T-shirt.  Used what I had & didn't want to have to buy that fake snow crap! Reduce, reuse recycle... lol!  After I'll use it for dusting. :) Merry Christmas earth!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Haaaaaa.... to taking a nap.

Yeah that whole laying down to rest or take a nap thing...... that never happened.  #amomslife I started "straightening" up stuff & ended never stopping. The good news...  most of living room, dining room, kitchen is cleaned (again) including dusting, bathroom, some beds are made, etc... The bad news...still have much to do-SO I guess it's good I didn't try and squeeze in a nap.  ;)   BONUS HAPPY NEWS...this is my 79th post this year, which means- this is now my second most "blogged" year in my blogging career!!!  LOL! :) I totally followed through with my "New Years" resolution from 2014- blogging more!  ( & I am still only drinking water..... woah!)

Next time tell your mind to shut up & just go to sleep...

I have so much to do & yet here I am procrastinating.   I worked the last two days, & have zero umpf to do anything.  I really just want to lay in bed for a while more... it's not even 8 am on the east coast at the moment, I've been up since 6:45 am, and I went to bed way toooo late after getting home last night at 10:30 pm from work I just was too pumped up to settle down and didn't go to bed til well after 12:30.   I like my new job but some of the peeps there, I can tell have been there toooooo long.  I feel like I'm working my butt off, & they are let's just say NOT.    But what you gonna do.   You can't be happy with every aspect of every thing.  I suppose.   When I'm at work... I do work.  It helps the time go by & it's a nice distraction from all else going on in life.   Kind of a "mental" break from all the normal important life things to think about.  You know.  Task work.  Which I kind of like, keeps my mind off the heavy for awhile.   Anyway... my father in law is arriving today from Las Vegas.  This is exciting because we don't get to see him too much.  Maybe once every few years....  he turned 80 in November & we all really wanted to see him.  Brian & his two brothers decided to make it happen.  SO not only will we be seeing him but we will also be seeing Brian's brother Rob/family who live in Ohio.  Super cool.  But I have sooo much to do before their visit and like I said zero umpf to do it.   I still have lots of "cleaning" to do.  I feel like yesterday I was running, running, running & today my body is saying you need a break.  But who has time for one.  Before work I put away 5 or 6 loads of laundry I had done on Monday,  (many of which was winter clothes I had taken out of storage) made muffins, changed the kitty litter, cleaned the dining room, kitchen & living room... and as always a load or two of dishes. Then worked 7 hours & went to bed way too late.  But ofcourse our house seems to always get messy & I still have to dust & mop all rooms today, clean the bathroom, clean the bedrooms, make beds, etc.....   I'm honestly not feeling it.   So..... I think I'll go and rest/maybe take a bit of a nap & try and get a little energy for full speed ahead.  Here's hoping anyway.  Have a great day!! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Parenting is hard...mkay? (side note)

BTW......Emily did an excellent job w/ communicating today.  She asked one of her teachers if she could send a text when she found out they were having an NJHS meeting today afterschool, because she said her parents would worry.. (lol.. she knows me so well)  YES!! She's learning.  I love this girl, this communicating girl!  Good Job Emily. :)

Parenting is hard...mkay?

 We've been working on Emily's communication skills for awhile.  But yesterday we found a little hiccup in "operation communication"....   Because when I checked on the school's "parent" portal for Emily I saw three or four test (grades) that we didn't even know that she took.  It's not that she did "awful" on them and we're not really concerned so much about the grades.  But we've let her know in the past that when she has a test or a quiz she needs to let us know about it the day she finds out about it, so that we could make sure she's well prepared for it. (basically making sure she studied for it).  Which from the grades we can tell she wasn't all that "prepared" for them.  Emily isn't prioritizing things they way she needs to,  like a lot of teenagers I'm sure.  She wants to do "her" things.  In her case... it's writing, watching her TV shows, & playing music, etc.   School work is secondary.   It's not that what she's doing is "bad", it's just when she's not prioritizing what is most important that isn't good.  We want her to get that in life,  it's not always about what YOU want to do, sometimes the more important thing is the thing that needs to be done.  There are some things that you just have to do.  We try to teach her by giving her examples.... Do you think daddy or mommy always want to go to work... NO.. but we need to.  Do we always want to brush our teeth everyday?  No... but we all need to.  Does mommy want to do the dishes, laundry, etc... no but I need to.  Or we don't have clothes to wear,dishes to eat off, money for bills or teeth to eat with.   I just worry so much about those "life skills" that she needs to learn & wanting to make sure she's prepared for a life on her own one day.  Isn't that a parent's job after all.  It's so hard being a parent.... honestly you worry and worry about your children.  You hope you're doing a good job of "preparing" them for this world.  We know her learning to communicate better is so important to every aspect of her life, now but even more so in the future.  So we had to have a "firm" talking to her last night.   At the beginning of this year we laid out our expectations of her telling us when she had a test.  Which she obviously hasn't been doing.  We didn't punish her yet but told her we now expect her to start changing her ways starting tomorrow (today).  Basically one last warning before some disciplinary action is taken.  Most likely taking away a privilege of hers.  No TV.  No computer.  or No phone.   We don't often have to "punish" Emily but she needs to learn.  We learn most when we make mistakes so I'm hopeful.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Little bits of Heaven #1

Warm clothes fresh out of the dryer immediately put on... those precious warm moments are little bits of heaven. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Me & my Mom.... #TBT


Sharing this picture today, because yesterday would have been my mom's 65th birthday.  Yep... that's me & my mama in 1976 or 1977.   So just want to put it on here & say Happy Birthday in Heaven Mommy... I miss you so much! & I'll love you for always!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

August: Osage County Review

So I was excited when I found out that this movie was playing on one of the pay channels we have this month.  I've been wanting to see it so bad.  I like character-rich dramas.   So I thought this would be right up my alley. Well first off let me say... the acting was superb but the film was down right Depressing with a capital D.  If you are looking for a film with alcoholism, suicide, cancer,  incest, mental abuse, drug abuse, divorce, child molesting, racism, adultery, & more....  then this film will be right up your alley however even for someone like me who generally likes dramas this one was a bit toooo much.  MY GOD! I walked away feeling depressed & not in any kind of learned a lesson way.... just depressed.  I don't even know what else to say, as it was just emotionally draining to watch.   The film centers around a very dysfunctional family who gather after their father "Beverley" kills himself.  Throughout the course of a few days you learn about this family & their secrets.  Including those of his wife Violet (Meryl Streep) and their three daughters Barbara (Julia Roberts), Karen (Juliette Lewis), & Ivy(Julianne Nicholson) which include among other things one marriage breaking up, & an incestuous relationship.   This is a doozy of a drama but it was almost too much of one for me- to put it simply I didn't like the way I felt after watching it.  I'm pretty sure one viewing of this film was enough for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

what's new with me Part 2

Thought I'd pop on here and write a little bit of what's been going on in my life.  So as I stated on one of my last blog post.  I started a new part time job working at a drug store.  Anyone who says retail is easy, probably has never worked it.  I can't speak for all retail workers but I for one, work my butt off.  I actually like retail,  because I enjoy keeping busy, & for the most part I enjoy people.  I try really hard to be friendly to everyone... it's always my goal, but let's be honest... there are some customers who are incredibly difficult to please and some who are down right rude no matter how kind you try to be.  As an example.....    It's the rule in this establishment to "ID" everyone for cigarettes... whether they look 22 or look 100! I'll admit....  I personally find it- a bit ridiculous having to ask someone with gray hair for ID, if they look 60 or older, I really don't get it... BUT I work for this company & it's their requirement.  SO I ask for it from everyone....some people are nice, but some people get SO pissed off.  HEY, here's an idea... DON'T SMOKE! Sorry... but it's really obnoxious how upset they get at a seeming simple request.  If you smoke.... I feel like you should be prepared to show your ID,  or at least understand that we have a job to do & part of it is requiring you to show us ID.  It's the companies rule, not the employees & we need our jobs, so we have to follow the rules. So if you're reading this & smoke.....  have a little heart.  OK? Just be kind back & show your ID when you're asked.   Anyway... sorry I'll get off my soapbox but so many people were down right rude to me today for simply doing my job, and I'm feeling a little beat down by their rudeness.  Besides that, though, it's been pretty good.  There is always something to do & that makes the time go quickly.  Anyway, what else?  Emily's been doing well.  She had a fun Halloween, as you can see from the last pic I posted--- she was a minion.  Her daddy was Gru.   Our family loves the movie, "Despicable Me" so it was fun for all of us.  I got the idea off Pinterest.  I really like that site,  so many great ideas!!!!  Yesterday we had a really short 1 day visit from Brian's mom Pat,  it was nice to see her & we all had dinner together at Brian's brother Jim's house.  Christmas is coming fast... I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost here.  I haven't even made any plans yet,  I imagine I'll just be cooking for our family, maybe ask my brother to come over for the day.   I miss my brother.... we used to see each other every day & while we got on each other's nerves,  we also love each other & I miss seeing him.  He's been having a hard time lately & so I think that's been making me feel a little sad.  I want him to be happy.  It's weird.  I always have felt like a second mother to him.  We've always been close,  & he was only 15 when our mom died, so I definitely took on that role after that, & in many ways even before she passed due to our age difference.  I was 15 when he was born.  SO I babysat him all the time.  So it's hard to think he's hurting in some way & I don't know how to help him feel better.   But I hope he feels better soon. :)  Brian is home until January.  I like that he'll be home for the entire holiday season.   Last year Brian was traveling in December & that just sucked.    It's just nice we'll all be together for the holiday season.  Alright well I guess I'll go... hope everyone had a nice day! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What's new with me...

So I start a new job on Monday----just a part time job at a drug store.  But I'm kind of excited,  mostly because I haven't had a job in a while & it'll be good to make some extra money & get out of the house for a bit.  We have lots of home repairs we've been putting off, not to mention college expenses in a few years for Emily--- so it's definitely going to be helpful to have a little extra money.   The great thing is that it's really close to our house,  so if need be I could even walk to work.  I guess it's maybe a mile a way. It took like a month to get the job... I was grateful I could be patient since we've been surviving on one income already & I didn't really have the pressure of HAVING to find something immediately.   It was a long process though, I was kind of surprised by just how long it took, considering it was only for a part time position.  I felt a little like I was applying for a job at the CIA. LOL!  I had two interviews... an initial one,  and another one to discuss the pre-screening test I'd need to take (drug urine test, compatibility test & background check), then I waited another few weeks to hear back with the results.  I wasn't worried about any of them... I mean I knew I didn't take drugs or anything so I felt pretty good about the likelihood of getting the job, it just required patience.  Which thankfully unlike so many others who are unemployed we were lucky we could handle.   Anyway, what else?   Emily's doing really great in school this year- in fact, she got straight A's on her first progress report. Which is really saying something.... her math this year is really tough.  I was helping her study.... & man o man am I happy that the book gives the answers to the odd problems cause I'd have no clue,  I have to google practically everything.  Which makes me sound really dumb I know,  but I'm just gonna blame it on the 25+ years I haven't done it & the fact that she's in a very advanced math program.  In fact it's the "exact" same class as the High School Algebra level--- and their last test in the class is the high school's final & determines if they will jump to Geometry in High school.  So I'm happy she's doing well in it.  She amazes me with how easy this stuff comes to her.  She's really blessed that way.  Brian's been away for the last few weeks but is coming home soon--- I can't wait, I really miss him.  He was a way for our Anniversary which was a bummer.... but he sent the most delicious chocolate covered strawberries.  As I stated on facebook... the best present would have been him being home but they were a pretty good substitute...LOL! ;) They were awesome!!! Really- Emily & I ate the 12 strawberries in two & 1/2 days! I want more!!!! LOL! I told Brian he should sent me some more as a Congratulations gift for my new job! He didn't go for it,  he said not at that price! LOL!   Anyway... feeling very blessed right now.  I just hope that I like the job & that it eases some of our burden.  Take Care everyone.  It's almost the weekend. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

A poem I used to read to Emily at bedtime...

Little Donkey Close Your Eyes
                                               By Margaret Wise Brown


Little Donkey on the hill
Standing there so very still
Making faces at the skies
Little Donkey close your eyes.

Little Monkey in the tree
Swinging there so merrily
Throwing cocoanuts at the skies
Little Monkey close your eyes.

Silly Sheep that slowly crop
Night has come and you must stop
Chewing grass beneath the skies
Little Sheep now close your eyes.

Little Pig that squeals about
Make no noises with your snout
No more squealing to the skies
Little Pig now close your eyes.

Wild young birds that sweetly sing
Curve your heads beneath your wing
Dark night covers all the skies
Wild young birds now close your eyes.

Old Black cat down in the barn
Keeping five small kittens warm
Let the wind blow in the skies
Dear old black cat close your eyes.

Little Child all tucked in bed
Looking such a sleepy head
Stars are quiet in the skies
Little child now close your eyes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I've never....

...been skiing (snow or water)
...paid for a manicure or a pedicure
...had a professional massage
...been out of this country
...been on a vacation with JUST my husband since our daughter was born (almost 14 yrs ago)
...eaten sushi
...paid more than $40 for a purse or handbag


 There's probably only two I care to do.  Which ones do you think they are?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My favorite "fast" food! :) Love it!

Doesn't this look delicious? I know it's a little blurry but took this pic a few weeks ago at Qdoba! SO GOOD!!!!! I recommend it- so healthy & so delicious.  :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Just another ANNOYING trip to the grocery store

Actually... I don't generally HATE going to the grocery store. I'm the type of person who "meanders" the aisles looking for the deals.   If you've read my blog before you know about my "frugalness".  When grocery shopping, I buy what is on sale ONLY!  If it's not on sale I don't buy it.... & generally we don't eat that thing that particular week.  The things I know our family likes to eat I make sure I have enough for a few meals of it all the time.  In order to shop this way though,  it takes a lot of time & I've learned to be okay with that... I don't like to rush at the grocery store.  I take my time cause that's how I get the good deals.  When I rush I tend to not save as much.  So I always go when I have plenty of time.  Like I said, I generally like shopping but today was different..  First off... they were supposed to have a deal on a 4 pack of Chicken Noodle soup, for 2.99.  I know cold & flu season is here & I always like to have a few on hand just in case.   So when I got to the soup aisle... I didn't see them.  I ask the lady working on the aisle about it.  She's very nice & says she doesn't think they have those.  In fact when she uses her little "inventory" scanner thing they say they are "discontinued"  Which is kind of funny cause it's spotlighted in the ad... & takes up an entire page top.    BUT she's actually really nice & says to go ahead & take 4 & she'll let them know up front to give me the deal.  Ok, great!  Thanks!  Next they had a deal that if you spent $30 on certain items, you can get $10 back,   in 2 $5 off coupons for the next 2 weeks.   SO I figure out what it is I should get from the 20 or so items to choose from.  I decide the simplest & most necessary things to get are cat food, cat litter, & apple juice.  Staples & we actually NEED to get apple juice & cat litter.  Our cats still have probably a 1/2 bag of cat food but... what the heck they'll need it soon enough.  Plus this will put me at just a dollar over $30.00.  I head down the pet aisle & see the cat litter & cat food.  I grab the cat litter & head to the cat food.  It's 11.99 I look for it & find it. So I grab a bag & notice it says now 22 lbs. Don't really think much of it cause it's IN the spot marked 11.99 so I'm thinking I just scored this great deal!  I finish up my shopping which includes a great deal on big cans of petite diced tomatoes & tomato sauce.  We are big Chili fans!! I've also just discovered a great Jambalaya recipe that calls for tomatoes too.  Anyway if you buy 12 cans they are only .66 cents.  They are usually 1.49 a can.  That's a really great price.... so I get 12.  I felt like I've been in the store for ever even for me... I finally make it to check out.  I lift all the heavy things for her to scan... & notice the cat food rings up at 17.99... I'm like that's suppose to be 11.99, it was right under the sign & if it's not I just need the right one cause I have to reach $30 to get the $10 worth of coupons.  I wasn't yelling or saying that they had to give it to me for that price but am understandably a little annoyed cause it WAS right under the sign.  SO she has the bag guy go get me the right one.  I tell her,  that they might want to check because it was definitely right under the sign & I don't want another customer to get annoyed too.  I worked retail before so I'd want to know if I was them.    She has to call over the manager to void out the original cat food.   So while she's there- I tell the manager it was under the wrong sign.   She's like.. .OH really I'll go check.  After a few minutes,  she comes back & says to me... I don't see it.  Infact there aren't any other of the 22 lb bags there, only some up top.   Ok.. well what does that mean?  I feel like they were accusing me of lying... which is now starting to tick me off.  I mean I think I was being pretty nice considering IT WAS right under the sign. I say well I don't know. It was right under the sign but maybe it was the only one. I don't know.  Since I was not requesting the bigger bag for that price I don't really see the need she had to say that.    The cashier then says to me,  well there's no reason to get upset.  I'm thinking am I entering the twilight zone.  I WASN'T upset.  I was trying to help them because I found it in the wrong spot & someone else might too.  But now I'm actually starting to get ticked.  Cause I know my intentions were good & I don't like people thinking they aren't, I generally thought I was helping them out by saying they might want to check.  UGH! Anyway... she finishes up ringing me up & gives me my "store printed" coupons.. Don't you know? THE $10 COUPON isn't there... & I have to go CUSTOMER Service to get one printed!!!!! WTF!!! Well they got their wish NOW I am really upset!.........& when I get home I remember that with everything else going on, I never said anything about the soup, so I paid the regular price! DOUBLE UGH!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"We didn't want to end up in a roadside ditch"

We recently made the switch from Comcast to DirecTV.  We've always had Comcast so I wasn't really sure how I'd like DirecTV.  Our Comcast bill just went up again recently and so that was when we decided to make the change after they really couldn't help us too much with making it any less.  We've had DirecTV for about 2 weeks now & I must admit I really like it.   The picture is so clear, and I feel like the guide is more "customer" friendly. The only down side I have found is with the On Demand service & the fact that shows don't show up as quickly.  I did with Comcast, get used to the fact, if I missed an episode- I could almost always watch it the day after it aired to catch up.  With DirecTV it's more like a week or more later.  But otherwise our family has been quite happy.  That might also have something to do with the fact that we are getting a lot more premium channels for less money & Brian made sure that we got the NFL Channel so that he could see every Steelers game! That made him really happy!  I'm really liking all the movie channels we have now.  Because more movie channels = more movie watching = more movie reviews on my blog... LOL! Be on the lookout for those on here.   So far we're really happy, & haven't had any problems at all,  not even with reception..... which is always what I feared before with direcTV, ofcourse we haven't had any real big storms either.  We did get a tip from believe it or not the Comcast worker who came out about our internet- who told us to make sure DirecTV put the dish on the ground (w/ cement) as opposed to on the roof, which apparently is never as secure as it should be.  So that's what we had them do.  So thought I'd share that tid-bit on here for all of you too. :) Have a great day,  I gotta go... there's a movie on.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pokemon Translations, Part 1

Introducing... Emily the Pokémon translator.  Emily has always loved Pokémon.... & since she is now old enough to have a YOUTUBE acct she has made her first video for her channel.  If you know anyone who enjoys Pokémon, please make sure they take a look at it! She's quite good at matching up the Pokémon body language to the words.  I guess we can add "Pokémon Translator" to her list of talents..... LOL!  :) Love her.

PS... Emily asked me to write this blog so that she'd get more traffic to her youtube. Funny girl. (But... I guess I should be flattered, that she thinks my blog will bring her traffic. ha. ;)



Sunday, September 28, 2014

YUM YUM give me SUM

Our family loves a place called Qdoba.   It's a perfect place to visit if one is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.   What we love most about it is that it's a casual Mexican food restaurant, that offers healthy choices that our family just loves!!  Brian & I get the "naked" burritos which are burritos in a bowl without the surprisingly high calorie tortilla shell.  I think they are like 300 calories or something in general.  I had no idea how many calories they were until I started caring how many calories they were...lol.   Brian & I stick with the veggie options... (avoiding the cheese & sour cream) I get rice (my only relatively bad item), black beans, chicken, pico, corn, lettuce & medium salsa)  It is one of my favorite things in the world to eat... NO LIE! I love it! It taste so fresh & yummy & healthy!!  Emily gets a "bean" burrito which isn't "technically" on the menu but they make it for her anyway... they just charge her for the beans, cheese, sour cream & tortilla shell.  (It cost maybe $3 that way!) Anyway... I totally recommend this place especially if you are trying to eat better but still like us, want to go out & eat every once in a while.  Truth be told we probably go there once a week..... we love it so!   Also they have a "frequent" diner card that gives us free entrees, chips and salsa.... etc! :) It's awesome!  The one by us offers a special daily deal on Tuesday, if you go on Tuesday you get double points!  We've already gotten a free entrée, free chips, & we have enough points that by next visit we'll have another free entrée! I love freebies! :)   We also go to other local places on "cheap" days.... this is a must for people on a budget.  Tuesday is cheap salad day at our local Salad works & on Fridays it's $5 a cup at the Frozen yogurt place in town.  I totally recommend finding out if your favorite places have a deal day & visiting it on that day.... saves your family a lot of money that way! :) It's a win win!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remembering Autumn

When I woke up & checked facebook this morning there was a post by a classmate I went to high school with about today being National Remembrance Day for Murdered Children.  So I want to start this post by remembering her daughter, Autumn Pasquale who was murdered at age 12 in Clayton NJ.  She was murdered by two teenage boys over her BMX bike.  I know... it's hard to believe.  So senseless, so tragic, so heartbreaking.   I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for her parents & family.  I think of this little girl so often, a child I barely knew & yet she floats into my thoughts ALL THE TIME.  I hope Autumn & her family can feel all the love being sent to them by so many today & everyday.  RIP Autumn.

It also got me thinking of my mom, she was the closest person to me that I've lost in my life.  She died of cancer at age 51.  While I knew she was dying,  part of me couldn't process it, I was so distracted at the time, that I know now I just couldn't. See, my mom died at the same time my daughter Emily was fighting for her life after being born extremely premature.  It was such a difficult time,  living two life altering events simultaneously, but now in a way, I find comfort in it.  As difficult as it was at the time.  I can't imagine not having Emily there to distract me from the complete sadness that would have destroyed me.   To see my beautiful baby girl fight so hard to just be here & every day after to see the amazing girl she has become keeps me hopeful & thankful.  Everyday I miss my mom but I found that life could still be beautiful & that is where the comfort lies, in the beauty left behind. I just hope that Autumn's parents find comfort everyday some way too.  Perhaps knowing people haven't forgotten about Autumn helps them, surely through their other children, their families, through rainbows that Autumn's mom shares on facebook that always seem to come at just the right moment to let her know Autumn's still around & in a million other beautiful ways.  That's my wish for them.  That in whatever way they can,  they are able to find some comfort in knowing that not only is life still beautiful but that Autumn's still around.   Autumn-what a perfect name, a truly perfect name, each & every year everyone has a beautiful reminder of you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My daughter, the writer.

                                               

 Emily loves to write.  I mean she really really loves to write!!! She's always been the type of kid who loved to read & write but nowadays more than anything else she loves writing.  She will write for hours & hours a day, & if we didn't limit her time on the computer, it would be even more....ha.   She has files & files worth of stories on our computer.  When she was younger she would write her stories on "loose leaf" paper but none of the stories lasted very long that way... usually atleast a few papers would get unstapled from the group & important parts of the stories lost forever--or just get torn out or dog eared. Then she wrote in notebooks... we finally suggested that she start using the computer to write her stories on, since we realized how many "trees" she was killing, not to mention the expense of paper products that were needing to be bought. We should have made that suggestion a lot sooner... because she probably has 50 composition/ notebooks full.   Mind you.... she's only 13 years old!  She usually writes stories featuring her stuffed animals as characters.   Right now she's writing a story about a group of beanie babies whose one friend gets accused of doing something he didn't do & gets punished for it & how his friends are on a crusade to help him.  While the subject matter may seem immature, her writing is really good,  & well I guess if her subject matter doesn't change, there will always be a need for good children writers.   She puts my writing to shame...  I know I'm not much of "writer".  I just write... without really knowing "how" to write. With Emily it's different...she writes "correctly" including all those pesky rules on how to use commas, semi-colons, etc that I've never been able to figure out, she knows how to do correctly.   Anyone who reads my blog knows that me & grammar aren't really friends :)  We just received her NJASK scores the other day & Emily scored above proficient in Reading/Language Arts.   One of the line scores --said 39 points was the highest score possible.... Emily got a 30, & the state average was 19---- so see it's not JUST me "her mom" saying it...LOL!  Last year her teacher even told Emily that she got the highest grade in the class on the essay part.  Over the years we've been told by numerous teachers how good her writing is as well- I remember her first grade teacher telling us that Emily was the BEST writer at her age she'd ever had in her class, & she's been a teacher for well over 20 years.   I'm sorry to brag, but it makes me really proud that Emily is such a great writer.   Emily has always been better at expressing things in writing.   She may struggle a little with "social" interactions in real life but when she puts thoughts on paper they come out so clean & precise.   So Emily.... Please never give up writing--- I can't imagine you ever will BUT don't because you have a real talent!  I love your stories & I LOVE you too! --- mom.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stuff... too much stuff.

So we've been trying over the last few years to get rid of  all the "extra" stuff we have.  Our house is small & when I moved in....   I had an apartment so I had "stuff" ... then when my mom & brother moved in, they had stuff & then Brian moved in & he had stuff,  so needless to say, we've accumulated a lot of "stuff" over the years.  Not to mention I (we) used to be much worse at holding on to all our "Stuff".  It's still difficult for me to get rid of some things.  You know... things I find meaning in.  Lots of Emily's things,  you know mostly things like school assignments, art work, her cute little hand writing from when she was just learning.  It's all so special to me.  BUT I'm trying,  it's sometimes difficult to let go of things.  But..... I do try & especially in the last few years we've really made a concerted effort... it's not always easy especially for me.   For a while we tried to have yard sales... BUT they are sooooo much work & you never really know how the day will go.  We got pretty good at them though.  We KNEW we had to put an ad in the paper,  the signs up,  price every thing in advance,  get up early... the yard sale nuts come early. (No offense) BUT we still didn't always do that well... plus people who go to yard sales generally are really really "CHEAP". (Again NO Offense-just speaking the truth here)  Anyway... A couple of years, we discovered this co.  called "load lighteners"  They come,  They take your stuff, & they sell it.  They get 40 %, we get 60%.... it's so much easier.  I would recommend to anyone who has tons of stuff.. trying to look up on the internet some company like this around where you live.  You don't have all the work & it's just one time to say "goodbye" to all your stuff, as opposed to a yard sale where every customer there takes a little memory away---& you must continually say goodbye to your stuff all day.  We have another batch of things for them to pick up... quite a bit actually so I'm excited to have a little more space, make a little money & happy to be one less step away from being a hoarder one day.  ;)  peace out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Healthy Start to the Morning" Muffins

While in New Mexico visiting my mother in law, She made these muffins for us.   They are made out of raisin bran, wheat germ, whole wheat & white flour, brown sugar, eggs etc.  Very high in fiber.  We ate them for breakfast nearly every day while we were in New Mexico.  They are about 130 calories per muffin.  SO I asked her if I could have the recipe.  This is my first batch of these healthy yummy muffins.  :) The really cool thing is that the batter can be refrigerated for up to six weeks.  The batch makes 30 muffins---- i made 12 this morning.  I'm sure we'll use up the batter before 6 weeks. :) But it's still kind of cool it last that long.  If anyone is interested in the recipe... comment & I'll happily email it to you. Thanks!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

 Pictures from Bike Camp (Days 1-4) Aug 18-21







Monday, August 18, 2014

Camp day 1

Today Emily became an "ICanBike" camper.  It's a 75 minute day camp for kids with various special needs who haven't yet mastered riding a bike.   Emily's first day of camp went really great.   It was nice seeing Emily so "active"!!!  She's more of an intellect so for her anyway, that means she doesn't really have much of an interest in sports.  This camp uses special bikes with rollers (think like a rolling pin) replacing the back wheel that gradually get both smaller & more tapered on the sides as the kids get used to balancing & learning how to ride the bike.  The camp has an 80% success rate by the end of the week.  It's a great organization, & I highly recommend it!!!! BUT each kid is different. While Emily is very intelligent.... balance & coordination are slight issues for her, hence her reluctancy to learn to ride in the past.   Having a "coach" will help Emily too & the bikes will help with her balance!    I think she's going to do really well & be bicycling by Thursday.... but I don't want to put any pressure on her so whatever the outcome is, I'm sure it will be a positive one for her.  The camp organizers seem to be very knowledgeable & encouraging.  The parents I spoke with were all great too.  The campers were AWESOME!!  Each one unique, special & all happy to be there, and almost all, wanting to learn how to ride a bike. So far it's been a great experience.   By the end of camp today Emily was high fiving her "spotter" & so proud of herself.   I'm glad we found out about this camp.  Shout out to the.... Love that Max blog! Where I first learned about the program from Max's mom. :) The one & only thing that bothered me today, just a little bit, had nothing to do with the program. It was something one of the parents (who didn't even have a child in the program, but who's associated with the rec center said)  Before I go any further...I should tell you the camp is in our HOMETOWN.  Which is amazing... because when we checked last year it was quite a drive away in North Jersey. So we got really lucky,  it's about 5 minutes from our house!!! :) Anyway, back to the story at hand... Her child recognized Emily from school, they go to the same middle school. She was a year younger than Emily.   Right away the mom assumes Emily is in the class with the special needs kids who have academic delays & are in a special class (not included in regular classes).  She ask Emily if she knows some kids? Which Emily doesn't...  She asked Emily who her teacher is? Side note: no one in regular classes knows who their teachers are until the first day of school. Emily is like, "NO".  So I prop Emily to tell her that she knows one of her classes though?  Emily catches my drift & tells her that she made the Algebra program-(this is difficult program to get into... and is based on her NJASK scores, Her STARR Math scores & last years grades!) After Emily goes to bike, this mom is still talking to me, (I just want to watch my kid!) But she's like so... Emily's just "socially" behind?  Again not really your business but I tell her a few things.. premature birth, etc. I also explain she doesn't have "any" academic delays... she's in the advanced classes, excel & National Jr. Honor society.  She says... "Oh".  (damn right!)   Don't get me wrong I have no problems saying my child is a special needs child (after all she's here at this camp, right?) but what bothers me is when people assume things about her or any kid's ability based on some assumption they have.   Emily's  social "interactions" are different from your child & many children. So what?  Your kid may be able to hold a "typical" conversation per say better than my child right now,  that doesn't make your child any smarter than mine & it might surprise you to know she isn't.   I don't really mean that in any kind of cruel way because I don't know your child from Adam... I just mean it's possible.  That's the point... none of us know each others children, it's okay to ask me something but don't assume things first.   I guarantee if I made assumptions about your child it would bother you as well.   It just frustrates me.  I think it didn't help that it was day one, I didn't know what to expect from camp & I wanted to watch my kid & learn about how this whole thing works & wasn't really in much of a mood to speak to this woman about anything at the moment.  Let alone something that frustrates me in general.    Emily's a bit like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory & I'm not saying she's a super genius or that she's as smart as he is,   On second thought, who am I to say if she is or isn't.  Emily didn't go to University at 10, that's all I know. lol.  BUT I use him as a reference whenever someone wants to know about Emily, because a lot of people know that character.    Sheldon is very smart but he struggles with "social" issues.  That's a lot like Emily. Shelton wasn't born a "preemie" as far as I know... so obviously Emily has that history & the "side affects" for lack of a better word of being premature as well... as such it's hard to "pin-point" what her "diagnosis" really is. But who cares really.  She's just Emily! I hate people who think they know who she is from looking at her or assuming something about her,  get to know her- then you can see for yourself.  I guarantee you, like all her teachers she's ever have, will think differently about her if you get to know her.   I'm sure this woman was just curious- since her daughter went to Emily's school & she worked there too.  Being Emily was in this camp-- she made some assumptions about her.    I get it & yet it still bothers me.   Because I just wish people would stop assuming things about other people's kids.  For instance,  I volunteered to be a "spotter" today.  I ran alongside a little boy who I'll call C.  He was a super cute lil' boy, he wasn't very talkative but was a pretty good rider, especially for day one! He made turns very well... it wasn't important for me to "diagnose" him.  I knew that if there was something I needed to know about him... his mom, the director or some other person would let me know.   I just treated him like a kid! I didn't ask his parent so what's wrong with C?  Does he go to a "regular" school or is he in a "program"? All I knew is he could do turns like a beast on that bike & I was really impressed with how well he did.  The only thing I said the whole time was, "awesome!"  & "good job C!" It was really nice to volunteer & I enjoyed seeing how well C was doing as his spotter BUT when I saw Emily high fiving & smiling so much at the end of camp,  it put everything into perspective... & I was the happiest mom :) 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

BTW.... Here's my Pinterest page! If you'd like to check it out!

http://www.pinterest.com/meliwil2000/

Check out my PINS!

New favorite Apps

So hello everyone....I just wanted to pop on here & share a few of my new favorite apps with you guys.  I haven't used apps too much in the past.  Some have disappointed me.... like Instagram. Everyone talks & talks about Instagram & I just am like what's the big deal?  LOL! But I discovered this week two apps, thanks to a pin on *Pinterest!! BTW... I  love Pinterest!  :)  But anyway,  my two new other favorites are VIGGLE.  An app that rewards you for watching TV!! I mean how easy is that one? All you do is check in using the app when you are watching live TV.... you usually get 1 point for every minute you watch but they also have bonus points for watching ads on the app, etc.  I have been using it for about a week now & am up to 2100 pointes which sounds like a lot BUT it takes say 35,000 points or something to get a $5.00 iTunes gift card but who cares it's for doing nothing than what you already do, so even if it takes me a year to earn a gift card... I'm cool with that.. LOL! :) Anyway...my other favorite app is SHOPKICK.  This one gives you points they call "KICKS"... which can earn you gift cards for say stores like Target.  I think around 500 kicks earns you a $2 gift card or something... the more kicks the bigger the gift card!  I got 200 kicks yesterday for JUST walking into JC Penney.  What a great app to use at the mall! Anyway... those are my new favorite apps! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams

I'm sad...  I think it's just one of those things that you can't really explain... why when someone we didn't "really" know passes away we can feel such real deep personal sadness over their death.   But it's true... for so many of us, we feel it--- & it's more than feeling sad because anytime you hear someone dies, there's a sadness to that.  But it's so much more than that kind of sadness.  It's affecting you in a way that almost doesn't seem rational but yet it's there.   When you first hear it... you can't believe it.  Robin Williams.... is dead!  But he's always been there.  From when I was a child and he was in Happy Days to Mork & Mindy.  To him starring in so many of my favorite movies. Personally for me, my favorite movie of his was, "Good Will Hunting".  I love it & I can't really explain how much I love it... I love it!  It's incredible!  He was incredible in it.  The heart of that movie, really.  Through films, television, stand up, interviews, he made us all feel laughter, joy, sorrow.... he did that for us.  He gave us that, it was his gift to all of us.  I really think that is why he'll be so missed.  For people my age especially... he's just always been one of those "good guy" actors, & in so many of the movies we all love so much----- that even though we didn't really know him,  the emotions he made us feel, well, were very very real. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A TID BIT (for you!)

So when we went to the "Tea" in New Mexico,  I was surprised that I was the only one who knew there's a little "tip" to remember which side of the plate goes which silverware.  When setting up a "traditional" silverware setting.... there's a little tip to remember on which side to place the forks & on which side to place the Knife & spoon.   First off.... the forks (*dinner & salad) go on the LEFT.  & the way to remember this is FORK & LEFT both have 4 letters.  KNIFE & SPOON go on the RIGHT & they both have 5 letters. EASY PEASY!! :)  & dessert (ware) goes above the plate. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Mexico 2014 in Pictures

 Tea at the Ice's farm
 
 

         Beautiful New Mexico















  Bandelier National Monument


 Imperfect Beauty



 Rain in the distance
                                                              
 

Emily & a Kenyan artist at the International Folk Art Market



Emily, Grandma & Patrick at the Lamy NM train station  
 
 


Friday, July 18, 2014

New Mexico Summer 2014

Just returned home from our New Mexico vacation.   We stayed w/ my mother in law Pat (Grandma)- it was me, Emily & our nephew Patrick (17).  We were there for almost 3 weeks!  Brian stayed home to do a home improvement project (our bathroom) & so while we were on VACATION-Brian was busy working his arse off, which just doesn't seem fair but it was the best thing we could do, since our bathroom facilities were unavailable for awhile.  We just got home on Wednesday night *around 11 pm. The bathroom looks AWESOME by the way- it isn't finished but it will be soon. Anyway... back to the vacation...   there were a few lows: including the train ride from hell & forgetting the "memory card" for my camera but mostly a bunch of "highs".  It was a fun three weeks, not only did we do a bunch of interesting things but we also just relaxed, enjoying the quiet & peace that is New Mexico. I was really happy also to be able to connect a little more with my nephew Patrick.   He's 17 & a good kid.  I'm happy we had this opportunity to get to learn a little more about each other.  We had a few great conversations.  It was really nice.  He & I are both trying to "get" healthy & so we had the trying to eat healthy thing in common.  BUT it was vacation & so we didn't always succeed in doing it AND we decided early on.... that it was a goal of Patrick & I's to eat at least one green chile cheeseburger while in NEW MEXICO, & of course it was going to be the BEST green chile cheeseburger we could find! We were in New Mexico after all!   So one day about 1/2 way thru vacation.... we went to a place called Santa Fe Bites & got one....... & OMG!!!! It was delicious!!! I'm telling you we did it right.  YUMMY! Check it out if you are ever in Santa Fe, NM.  You will not be disappointed. LOL! Anyway aside from a few New Mexico burrito's & that cheeseburger we actually did manage to eat fairly healthy the rest of the time & I officially came home 1 1/2 lbs LIGHTER!!! YAY! Hey I'll take it! It's rare you go on vacation & actually lose weight so I am quite happy with that.  Emily's favorite part of the trip was "spending time w/ Grandma & Grandma's house".  SO Sweet!!  We did actually manage to get a few day trips in & even spent the night at Coronado Springs.... & visited a place called Soda Dam.  It was really neat.  We also went to Bandelier National Monument- it was really cool.  Here's a little synopsis of the place courtesy of the website:
http://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm

             Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years.  Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.

It was really cool, & we were even allowed to go into a few of the dwellings carved into the cliffs.  (caves)  Unfortunately it was really hot that day & Emily & I only did about 3/4's of the hike.  Cause we both were really hot.  There wasn't a whole lot of shade & I was worried that Emily would get over-heated.  We were drinking LOTS of water but still that altitude really gets to you.   Emily was happy to visit the "gift shop" which is always a favorite of hers, while Patrick & Grandma finished up.   I always say this.... MY mother in law is almost 75 yrs old but she can RUN circles around me.  Which is both embarrassing & inspiring-it makes me want to get fit/healthy even more. ;)  Anyway another thing we did was go to a "tea" that was hosted by a little old couple Gayle & Ron Ice that they host on Tuesdays (mainly in the Summer) at their house.   The couple is in their 80's.  The wife is the one who explains the food she has cooked, that you'll be eating, while the husband goes in and out bringing the various courses to you.... he doesn't talk.  There must have been 8 courses all served on fine china, & real "sterling silver" flatware- you know the kind of fancy "table setting" that includes all those un-necessary forks & spoons... lol.  The lunch consisted of appetizers (fresh veggies, & cream cheese roll ups),  scones, different teas, mini-sandwiches (think cucumber sandwiches) which included egg salad, chicken salad, turkey cranberry, & a radish one as well, we also had salad, fresh sorbet (palate cleanser), before a mini quiche, followed by two kinds of cake (carrot cake & a lemon cake).  Everything was homemade & YUMMY!  It was so nice.  My favorite part was listening to Mrs. Ice.  She was sweet & obviously cared about making you feel welcomed in her home.  She told many stories including one about how their "90 year old farm hand" moved back to Mexico & they are having to handle everything including the farm themselves & not doing as good of a job hence why their fields didn't quite look as good as last time Pat came to "tea".  I was like wow....in his 90's & just retired!   Something must be in the air of New Mexico... maybe we should move there.   We also visited a "bug" museum, spent a day in Albuquerque-visiting a museum, doing a little shopping & going to lunch, spent a day at Cochiti lake & did some kayaking, went to the Santa Fe Opera, hosted a 4th of July party for some of Pat's friends, went to the International Folk Art Market (with artist from 140 countries) & relaxed a lot!!!! I was actually able to read nearly 3 books... & I never read! So that was really nice.  We had a great time, but I'm happy to be home & to see my husband again.   I really missed him & I'm sure Emily missed her daddy too.    One of these years maybe we can actually vacation in New Mexico together... that would be something.... fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Finally.... SUMMER "VACATION"s!

Just thought I'd write a quick or not so quick post to let you know what's been going on & what's about to go on in my life.  It's been a busy month.... On the 16th we attended the awards dinner for March of Dimes March for babies.  Brian & Emily got awards for 2nd place & 5th place (in top walkers & youth walkers) I also was acknowledged for being a $500 + walker. Our Family team came in 4th place in our County,  not bad when our team consist of only 6 members, many of the other family teams have upwards of 20 members.   It was a very nice night, Brian again was the family team speaker & gave a very moving speech sharing Emily's story & why we walk & thanking & encouraging other families to keep walking each year & letting them know this was our family's 12th walk & we plan to keep going.  It was a great speech & he didn't even have anything written.  He's so good off the cuff like that.  I'm completely jealous,  I'd be a nervous wreck up there in front of everyone, BUT he was cool as a cucumber. I was proud of him. :)  Anyway.. Emily finally is finished school.  Her last day was June 20th! She came in the door SCREAM singing, Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer" upon entering the house that last day! Her last day was made even better by the fact that her grandma was visiting for a few days before they left on a very special trip.  Emily's 13th birthday trip.  Her grandma (Brian's mom) takes her grandkids on a special trip the year they are 13.   Emily decided she wanted to go to Washington DC-in fact they are there right now, & from all accounts having a great time! :) They've already visited the Zoo, the Lincoln Monument, Mt. Vernon, they even toured the White House-which was no small feat since you have to get permission in advance & through your Senator! Pat- is such a great grandma! Emily made a list of all she wanted to get done & Pat is making sure she does most, if not all.  I love her!!  They are also doing a trolley tour today.  They have a few more days there, then we will meet them in DC & are off to New Mexico.  It'll be Emily, our nephew Patrick (17), Pat & I on a road trip adventure.  Should be interesting & FUN! :) The closer it gets, the more exciting I'm getting... that might also have something to do with missing EMILY & my excitement over seeing her again!!! This is the longest time I've ever been away from her.  It's tough.  In fact she's never been on a trip without one of us, either Brian or I EVER! So this is a new experience,  but she seems fine.  When she calls at night she doesn't even seemed fazed by the absence.... I'm glad she's having fun BUT geez a little missing us,  would be nice! ;)  Anyway..... Brian is going to be re-doing our bathroom while Emily & I are in New Mexico.  He thought this would be best since our shower/facilities will be out of commission for a few days, he's just gonna go to the gym & shower there...LOL! At least that gym membership is coming in extra handy. I'm gonna miss him though BUT It will be nice to come home to a fresh new bathroom.  Our current one is quite embarrassing... tile missing, duck tape on the shower faucet... yeah, it's bad! LOL! We could easily win one of those worst bathroom contest.  Anyway.... I feel kind of bad that Brian will be doing so much work while we're away but he insist he doesn't mind.   He'll probably be happy without me micro managing...  who me? LOL!  Anyway... I have lots to get done before we have to leave so I guess I should go.  But wanted to pop on here & get this down.  Hope whoever reads this, is having a great summer too, now that it's finally HERE- took forever this year it seems. Peace- Missy

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Diet UPDATE-Day 22

Hi Everyone... figured I should let you all know, I'm still doing my diet.  While the weight loss has slowed down, I'm still down 14.4 lbs in 22 days! I'll take it!!! Still only drinking water w/ lemon & I feel really great, my blood pressure is steadily coming down too. WOO HOO! :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Happy (& Sad) Father's Day post

It's hard being on facebook sometimes.  It's just a reminder of all that is missing in life.   Like on Mother's Day when everyone is posting pictures of their mom's.  It makes me miss my own so much.  It's just hard.  Since Father's day just passed everyone was busy posting pics about their fathers.  One post someone posted said, what's your dad's favorite quote/saying.  I read it, some were funny, most were loving & it made me a little sad. The truth is I don't miss my dad... cause I don't really remember life when I had one.  I just miss the "idea" of a daddy.  I would love to have had a really loving father, who looked at me like I was his "princess" & the "apple of his eye".  To see the pride I see that Brian has towards Emily, be felt by me from my own Daddy.  I guess it just wasn't in the cards for me.  It does kind of suck though.  I know I'm not alone in this,  & there are so many other "daddy-less" daughters out there.  I'm glad though that I get to see a loving example of a Daddy through my husband & I know that my daughter is really lucky to have him in her life & that provides me with a lot of "happy".

Friday, June 13, 2014

It's all "Relative"

I don't think there is a truer statement than " it's all relative".  My daughter, Emily has always been an excellent student-I hate saying it because it sounds a lil' obnoxious but it's true, she's a "gifted" student.  She's just one of those kids that easily got all A's every marking period in Elementary school.   It was all really easy for her- and honestly (as annoying as it might sound) we never really had to think too much about whether she'd do good on a test..because she always did.  She had other struggles in school but grades weren't one of them.  To be honest with everything else (medically, socially) it was really nice to have the issue of grades, that so many parents/students have to worry about (including my own mother w/ me) off the plate.  So last year when she started "middle school" we thought ok- let's see how this goes?  We had heard from some other parents...how it might ALL change in middle school. Guess what happened? Straight A's again.  So we breathed a bit of a sigh of "relief" that her first year went so well, but this year (7th grade) it finally got a little more tough.  She was accepted into a "honors" math class they offer to a select few 7th graders (Pre-Algebra program) and the teacher was no joke- he was a self proclaimed "tough" teacher and it was *understandably a little harder for Emily.  So when she got that first test/quiz back with a grade she had never seen before, on ANY paper EVER.... that was really hard for her.  She beat herself up about it.  She was a bit shocked because that was not what she was used to.  See, it's all relative... most students have probably seen a grade like that before and so it might not affect them the same way, but to Emily it was shocking and she wasn't happy about any of it.  With how hard Emily was being on herself, we took a pretty gentle approach about the whole thing,  we knew she had to maintain her grade average to stay in EXCEL, the National Junior Honor Society and this advanced math program, *to us aside from the academic aspect of being in these programs was the "social" one of being in them- we wanted her to stay with this small tight knit group of the same kids.  (Emily has a VERY hard time making friends) BUT we knew she could still bring the grade back up.  But Emily had to do something she never really had to do too much of before... she had to work!  We had to explain to her that this was a wake up call, it was getting harder & she would have to "work" at it,  & the effort or lack there of she always put in, simply wasn't going to be enough... she'd have to dig deeper.  For the most part she has,  she's still learning that her "priorities" need to change but she's definitely learning. Know what, she's done pretty well....  she's gotten B's all year in that class so far... yep she's still IN school, until the 20th! Believe me the girl has never been so eager to have any school  year over, she's never had to work so hard!  We are extremely proud of her, considering all the changes & struggles she's had this year, it wasn't an easy year FOR her & yet she did it!  What we know, that she won't understand until she's older... is that this was good for her.  It was good to really "work" at something- this year has taught her so many important life lessons.  She's made mistakes this year, she's had to work this year,  but she got through it, she did it & all with out an aide (this is the first year she hasn't had an one on one aide as part of her IEP) I am always proud of Emily, but I am in ways more proud of her B's this year than all the years of A's because she had to work at them & she's grown up in many ways because of them.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Diet Update- Day 9

Day 9 of the #SmartforLife diet.  We are doing well.  I'm down 9.2 lbs & Brian is down 16 lbs.  So it's been going really great.  It is getting a little harder for me to keep up w/ the "strict-ness" of the diet.  I actually have done pretty well--- we even went to a birthday party over the weekend.  That was tough.  They had meatballs, baked ziti, potato salad, macaroni salad, hot roast beef sandwiches, brownies, cake, fruit- It was torture!   I cooked up some grilled chicken & we brought it with us, & ate it there along w/ veggies & salad! It was really hard not eating the "party" food. Confession...  I did cheat but only a little.... I had a teaspoon of macaroni salad & a tiny sliver of cake! Ofcourse Brian didn't cheat at all-ugh! (haha)  I figured it wasn't the end of the world &  It wasn't.  I maintained that day. Aside from that day,  the worst time for me is at night.  I really like to snack while relaxing & watching tv.  So that's been hard.  But this morning I'm doing well. I had my first cookie/water & am due for another in 46 minutes or so. ;)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Diet day 7- UPDATE

I'm down 8.8 lb!!! WOO HOO! :) This was an awesome week.  I hope next week is just as good. #SmartforLife diet

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Diet Day 5 UPDATE

My diet update -7.4 lbs since Sunday! I can do this!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Growing up... The worry free years part 1

Every single person has many stories to tell.  This one is about the "worry-free" years of my childhood.   When my mom was probably around 27, she married a guy named Bill who was around 50.   My sister & I were around 9 & 5.  I was the baby then. We moved from a one bedroom apartment we lived in to his very small ranch house.  It's funny how it seemed like such a big difference at the time. This house was a very small house,  years later when I went to visit it... I couldn't believe how truly small it was.  But it's all relative & us girls had our own room so to us it was a mansion. (really) My mom married Bill very quickly,  I don't know why it was so rushed.   While my mom & my "real" father were separated for a while I believe, it wasn't until recently when I found my mom's divorce papers from that marriage, did I find out that she had in fact married Bill only a few months after her & my "real" father's divorce was finalized.  Which surprised me.  My sister & I were not at the wedding.  Which I find strange even now?  I think Bill didn't want us there & mom went along with it.  I'll never really know the reason.   I knew even when I was very young, like when I was in middle school the reason why my mom married Bill.  She wanted "security" & he provided it. Saying that,  I know they were very happy for a while & obviously loved each other as well.   I don't know all the details of why my mom & "real" father split up, but what I've been told is that it wasn't a good relationship, that he drank a lot & didn't provide for us the way a "daddy" should.  I never saw "my real" father again.   Not much of a father, was he?   My sister & I never really warmed up to Bill.  He wasn't what you would call a "warm & fuzzy" type.  He didn't beat us or anything but let's just call him "strict" & "oldfashion" & at his age that didn't really surprise us.  Or at least that's what my 5 year old self thought.  Now in my 40's I have a totally different opinion of 50.   NO....50's not old at all,  but see the response you'd get from most 5 years old.  BUT even with my opinion now...I would still refer to Bill as "old fashion" even at the young age of 50... *I'm tired so I'm going to stop here.  I'll write more later.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Diet- Day 3 Smart for life UPDATE

Well I know my last post stated I started my diet on Wednesday... BUT I actually decided to wait til Brian got back so we could do it together & help each other, so after those first 2 cookies, which let's just call a "taste test",  I OFFICIALLY started  (following the rules totally) real diet on Sunday.    SO after 2 1/2 days (My before weight was officially....I don't want to put this out here but I weighed 199.6 lbs yikes!)  You see why I needed to go on this diet! (200 lbs was the # I didn't want to get to) SO I'm happy to report I've lost 5.2 lbs!!! This morning I weighed 194.4!  WOW! I can't believe it!   The truth is- it's a really easy diet BUT I am not going to lie I am hungry sometimes.  It helps that you get to eat a cookie every two hrs but it doesn't really "Fill" you up. But it isn't suppose to, the idea is to learn to accept when your hunger fuel gauge is about 1/4 to 3/4 full.  By learning this, when you stop the diet, you can still use that as a way to avoid overeating.  Let's hope!   The diet is super easy as I said... just remember to open a cookie & eat it. Every 2 to 3 hours!  & then eat a healthy dinner.  For instance... Yesterday I made grilled chicken 8 oz w/ Mrs. Dash, A big salad *my salad dressing was A lite raspberry vinaigrette that was only 40 calories, & steamed green beans!! It was really YUMMY! You are not allowed any fruit. & you must remember to drink a big glass of water with each cookie! I've been averaging about 10 glasses of water a day! YAY! I know the weight loss will probably slow down but it's such a drastic change for me that I'm hoping for atleast a few more days of this positive "reinforcement"! It hasn't felt good to go on the scale in a long time. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just ate my first cookie

Well my first "Smart for Life" cookie anyway... that thing was yummy!  So as you can guess,  I'm starting the "Smart for Life" diet.  You just eat COOKIES.. I can totally do this diet.   LOL!  Anyway about a month ago I was looking at Zulily.com & saw this special offer from Smart for life...It was a 15 lb weight loss plan for around $90 (which is a lot less than the regular price, like 50 to 60 % less I  believe) Brian & I have been talking about doing something like this so I decided to talk to Brian about it.  I know that if we wanted to do it, we would have to make a decision.... Zulily things go fast!  SIDE NOTE: I love Zulily.com!!! IF you don't shop there, YOU SHOULD!!! :) Anyway... we talked & decided for that price to give it a try.  We ordered two of them. *one for him & one for me.    The boxes came quickly *I mention this cause that is the only thing with Zulily.  The prices are great BUT you do have to wait awhile for your things to be shipped.  Longer than normal sometimes 3 weeks or a month.   Which I really don't mind all that much.  It's like a "surprise" when you finally get it.  You almost forgot what you ordered. LOL! But anyway... back to the story at hand.   We got the boxes & since we wanted to do it together, decided to wait until Brian got back.  HOWEVER.... I couldn't resist &  decided to start a few days early.  Plus... Em & I are going to go back to NM & I wanted to make sure that I got the full month in before I left.  SO I ate the first one today... a choc cookie at around 8am.  How this diet works is you eat a cookie within an hr of waking up. with a glass of water.  & then every 2 to 3 hours after that,  eat another w/ water (6 a day) & then you have a "healthy" dinner.  SO far so good.  I actually just ate my 2nd cookie not that long ago.  It was a peanut butter one & was good too. :) I'll keep my blog up to date on how I'm doing so everyone can see my progress.  Anyway just wanted to write a quick blog on what I'm up to. We shall see... fingers crossed for me please.  :) xo Missy

There will never be another like Maya Angelou. RIP

 Her Poem: Still I Rise



You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Emily's "Math Poster" project.

I love Emily's math poster she made for her Pre-Algebra class.  I love her slogan & how she put the "fraction" line. :) SO Clever. #Smartygirl