Monday, November 30, 2015

Be Happy!

Thank you My Crazy Blessed Life

I skipped yesterday because I just couldn't think of what to say for "light." There's a lot of ways to take that word. Lord knows during the power outages I've been very thankful for light when the power is back on!  I thought about discussing God or religion too, but honestly I've already written about them and light when it comes to Christ gets a bit cliche especially at this time of year.  

That said, I am very excited to discuss today's word: Happiness!  Most people that have been reading my blog for awhile know that I really have gotten into this word & the meaning of it in the past several years. Some time ago, I can't remember which year now, I resolved to "be happy."  I was tired of feeling like I was miserable at times and really just decided to take life by the horns and make the choice to be happy. Now it's not always been easy, but every time I get myself to go back to that choice I feel better.  I've continued to work on this and I hope spread happiness too.

This was my planner for 2015 and I chose that cover for the saying it had one it. It speaks volumes. No matter what life is throwing at you, there are always beautiful reasons to be happy. Find them, seek them out wherever you have to look and make the choice. This isn't to say that you have to be happy 100% of the time. I'm not happy that's impossible, but when you make the choice to try & be happy a majority of the time it's amazing how much better your life starts to become. I say this because I've lived it. 

I read something recently that said when you have gratitude that you are happier.  Basically when you give thanks you are happier; you can acknowledge what is good in your life & feel happy. Check out the info here! It's a study from Harvard. I pretty much love that! What you're grateful for in life, can be your beautiful reasons to be happy. 

Be Happy!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

US Navy Ombudsman


Day 28: Mentor!! Oh boy...I am so unsure of where to go with this one. I can't pick just one person who stands out to me as a mentor. Obviously my Mom is the epitome of grace and therefore the main mentor in my life.  Besides her....I am kind of stumped honestly and I feel awful saying that.

I will say though that the United States Navy Ombudsman program as a whole did a huge amount of mentoring for me.  So I am going to say that my mentor was not just one singular person, but instead a program that introduced me to a lot of people & a lot of ideas. I look at situations and at the world in general in a different light thanks to that program and getting to be apart of it. I am more confident in myself. I also put more effort into ME thanks to having been an Ombudsman. I feel like being an Ombudsman pushed me to be the person I always knew I was but had a really hard time showing to the outside world.  I am so grateful and really proud to be part of such a great thing that the Navy offers.  It's fun for me to teach new Ombudsman now and know that I am impacting so many people. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shopping, Music & Love


Happy Black Friday! Is everyone shopping? I normally am a big Black Friday shopper. Unfortunately this year Benjamin is sick (which is completely pathetic in a 3 month old) and I am still getting over this dang cold too so my energy level is way too down to shop 'til I drop. So as of now I've shopped only one store. I am a bit bummed out. I normally do the mall and a few other stores. I don't wait in line for a store to open usually, but still I go out.
Oh year!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. My Aunt came up from Portland. We had a nice, low key holiday. Avery and I both cooked. We tried our hand at doing a turkey breast in the crock pot since it didn't make sense to cook a whole turkey for so few people. It turned out okay, but the meat was dry despite there being a lot of moisture in there.  

Day 26 yesterday was music and today day 27 is love.  Well I love music so that should cover them both right? Haha!!

One of my favorite songs over the past several months has been "Hope in Front of Me" by Danny Gokey.  Remember him on American Idol years ago? I loved him!  And I love his singing. 

In terms of love, today's word....sometimes I look at people I love and am so grateful that God put them in my life. Yesterday I happen to be coming downstairs while Avery was coming upstairs and just thought "Wow, I love this man and our life together!" The story of how we met is sort of a weird one and quite frankly I met him when I least expected it just like they always say. So in honor of love...I am focusing on how thankful I am for my husband. I LOVE him like no other.

Benjamin right after he was born, hanging out with Daddy until I was awake to be with him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 25: Kindess


I am going to be honest here. I've got no clue where to go with this theme today. I am starting to run out of ides with this one. I am very thankful it pushed me to keep blogging all month though. I knew I could blog, I needed that PUSH to get me going. I've heard if you do something every day for a month it starts to become a habit or something....did I read that right?

When I think of kindness...I think of the kindness of people around me. Whether it's a friend or a stranger. I always appreciate the people who help me in stores when the kids are super active. Or the people who will take my shopping cart for me as I am trying to get the kids back in the car.

I think sometimes people think kindness has to be a grandiose thing, when in reality it's often the simple things that are best. The friend who lets you come over with your kids to charge your cell phone while the power is out, the cashier who gives your kids a sticker, the time your husband just knows to give you a hug etc etc.  The person who texts you randomly to just talk about something simple. It reminds you that you are a human and that you exist.  

What's Up Wednesday!

Link up here to join in!

I am super excited to be doing this link up! I adore 2 of the blogs that do this one (I'll find the 3rd person's blog ASAP.)  The last Wednesday of every month they answer the following questions. I've not joined in before...mostly because I've been sucking at blogging the past 3 years...but I've been back this month so here goes!

What we're eating this week....

On the menu this week we've had:
Monday: Baked Chicken Breasts, green beans & rice for dinner on Monday. I used this recipe. I've made it before after searching Pinterest. It is quite frankly the best basic baked chicken dish I've ever tried. Super simple & just delicious. Even my kids ask for seconds. 
Tuesday: Poor Man's Beef Stew. I also got this one from Pinterest. It was my first time making it and I hate to say it, but I really didn't like it. My husband thought it was alright though. I won't link it because I don't want to offend the poor person whose blog I found it on. I have an amazing beef stew recipe that I love but wanted to try something new. This just didn't fit the bill.
Wednesday (tonight): I don't know what we're having. I didn't plan anything, but will probably just have tomato soup & grilled cheese. It's the night before the most major food holiday. I don't want much.
Thursday is Thanksgiving so obviously we're having the traditional turkey etc for dinner. Friday will be leftovers. Then Saturday & Sunday I haven't made a plan yet, which is pretty unlike me. The holiday sort of made me lazy on the food front this week.

What I am reminiscing about...

Thanks to Time Hop on my cell phone I am remembering how my baby shower with Matthew was just after Thanksgiving 4 years ago. That was such an amazing shower for so many reasons. 

I also am thinking of Black Friday in past years. It was always a tradition that my Mom, my Oma (Mom's Mom) and I hit the Galleria Mall in St. Louis. I miss my Oma  quite a lot. Plus my Mom and I aren't spending Thanksgiving together again this year so I miss her too. 

What I'm loving...

Oh boy....that's a tough one! What am I not loving these days...haha!! I got a new hairbrush recently. It's called The Wet Brush. I can't find the print I got (black chevron), but I like that leopard print one too. It's AMAZING!!!! My hair is super fine and then combine post partum hormones & breastfeeding and my hair has issues. This brush really has helped. 

What we've been up to...

Not a whole lot honestly. With getting over illness, I've kept the schedule pretty free. The kids have played outside in our backyard and I've done stuff around the house. We did get out to Target & the library yesterday. During a windstorm no less....yes I am crazy!

What I am dreading...
Wrapping gifts. I am doing really well on the Christmas shopping front, so wrapping is coming my way. I used to love wrapping presents, but the past several years it is just a chore! And being a perfectionist on some things makes it way worse. I've been known to just give up & use a ton of tape. (Sorry family!)

What I am working on...
Calendars that we give to the Grandparents as gifts. I was going to skip that this year, but my Mom really talked it up so I figured I better keep that gift up. I was afraid they might be bored with the same gift, but I guess not.  So Snapfish it is for my calendar project!  Plus I've gotta hit up Costco photo for our Christmas cards. 

What I am excited about...
Christmas!! It's my favorite holiday. I really do love it. The kiddos loved Christmas last year and this year I think they'll love it even more. Next year I know Benjamin will love it too.

The tree last year. Can't wait for this year!!
What I am watching/reading...
I just finished reading a book called "The Wife, The Maid And The Mistress" by Ariel Lawhon. It was really good.
Watching...not much since we got rid of the cable and though we've got an Amazon Fire Stick my kids rule the tv most of the time. I did watch a dance series "Flesh & Bone" the other night. Okay so I got through half an episode. I love ballet dramas. There's a few things I'll be fast forwarding through, but the dancing is great so I'll try and tune in again.

What I'm listening to..
Not much honestly. I love talk radio. My favorite is 97.3 Kiro out of Seattle. 

What I am wearing...
I don't have makeup on today (not even some tinted moisturizer) so no pictures of my outfit. I am however wearing the jeans that are in the following picture. I adore these jeans. They were from when I worked at White House Black Market. That company has amazing jeans!!

 What I'm doing this weekend...
Finishing my Christmas shopping! My goal is to be done with the shopping by December 1st. I am on track to make it if I use my weekend well.  I'll also do my usual Mass on Sunday and just relax with the family. 

What I am looking forward to next month....
Wreaths Across America  Day on December 12th. This is a Global event where wreaths are placed on Veterans graves across the country. It starts at 9am PST (to be in line with noon at Arlington National Cemetery) and is just a fantastic event. It brings me to tears as we honor of country's Veterans this way. This year I will lead the Pledge of Allegiance at our local WAA ceremony and one of the wreaths being placed is in my Grandfather's memory since he was a US Navy Veteran.

What else is new...
Good question.....not much else is new. With having to blog every day to complete my 30 day challenge I think I've said a lot in November.
November was a good month for cleaning up some post-Active Duty life loose ends. Avery got his first civilian pay checks, drilled with the reserves for the first time (and got paid, yay!), we got health insurance & new doctors all squared away, got reserve IDs....all the last things I was worrying about are cleared up. I am really thankful for that since I know the transition from AD to civilian life can be really tough. Ours was relatively painless all things considered!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Surprises! Day 24


Day 24: Surprise! I am going to be honest here. I don't really like surprises. I like to be in control so surprises don't really fit the bill with that type of personality. That said my husband does surprise me with flowers occasionally and I love it. It doesn't matter what kind they are...I adore receiving flowers. 

The following picture is of flowers I got from the Captain I used to work for...he surprised me and got them as a farewell for me. It was so nice & unexpected. 

Gotta go...the littlest boy in my house has decided he's over nap time. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 23: Homemade with a Healthy Dose of Ramblings


[All 3 kids are sleeping and so is the cat. My house is blessedly quiet for a quick minute....can I get a Hallelujah since we know this won't last long thanks to Benjamin being off his schedule.]

Day 23....Handmade. This word can mean many things and I am not really sure where to go with it today.  I suppose I'll go with something I'd like for Christmas. As you all know by know I use/adore/obsess over my Erin Condren Life Planner. My Mom asked me if that's what I wanted for Christmas again this year and I *gasp* declined. Instead I'll buy my own ECLP and have her get me one of these gorgeous planner covers. This amazing shop on Etsy sells awesome looking covers for the ECLP where you just slip the planner in and it's got a built/sewn in pen holder (I didn't like the pen holder from Erin didn't work well for me) and holds other odds & ends. Plus it protects the life planner when it's in your bag getting beat up.

Check this one out, here  It's not secret I adore all things Paris, so that is a nice one. There's also a nautical theme. I gave my Mom free reign here. I sent her a link to the Etsy shop and she'll surprise me with what she picks out. 

Speaking of Michael Kors bag that I got on super sale last Christmas to help me carry the ECLP & my other crap has really not lasted. It was a great looking bag, but man the material did not hold up. I love MK, but admit to being fairly disappointed in this bag.  So I am in search of a great bag to hold everything I drag everywhere with me. (Ps. I am a  a bag snob....just in case you didn't know.)
I know some Moms just use their diaper bags, but I can't seem to do that. I need a separate purse that does not have diapers, toys & more in it. 

On a random side note: I just realized I am drinking caffeine at 4pm. I never allow myself to drink caffeine after 3pm. Oops! Maybe that'll help me get through my crazy grocery list with 3 kids who I'll inevitably being dragging kicking & screaming one of them with me (I am guessing child she seems to hate grocery shopping lately...even cookies don't tempt her into coming with peacefully.)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dessert-Day 22


I am sick today. I've been fighting a bit of a cold the kiddos shared with me and over night I was achy and miserable. I've rested all day and am starting to feel better thank goodness! I don't really feel like blogging on the topic, but I'll tell a story and relate it in somewhat.
Last night we got take-out from Olive Garden, because I had cooked all week and just plainly didn't feel like cooking. On a hilarious note, Matthew thinks that Olive Garden's name is "Take Out" because I usually only go there to get food to go.  Someday I will tell this hilarious story to his first girlfriend and he will be annoyed, but she'll find it cute. ;)

Anyway....I figured why not get some dessert. So I ordered the Chocolate mousse cake. I was fairly disappointed to find that the portion size you get when you eat in the restaurant is much bigger then when you order take out. In fact so small, that I wondered if they were somehow mad at us.

Anywho.....this post makes no real sense & the baby is crying. Back tomorrow! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Day 21: Where I decide that leaves are boring and discuss Christmas instead.....


Day 21! Leaves!!  I found this below picture from an article the County Public Works department put out.  Basically it said clean your storm drains of leaves. It causes flooding here if you don't. Huge surprise I am sure!  When we lived on base there's a low point that would always flood due to design & leaves clogging the gutter.  

Leaves is basically the most boring topic, IMO. If you want an amazing leaves scene...I suggest going to Wisconsin to a place called Door County in October and driving around.

My Saturday was great. I spent it at the Fairgrounds at the annual Holiday Food & Gift show. My friend Sharon from church and I went (Benjamin & Julia came too) and had a great time. I got several Christmas gifts which really pleased me! My goal is to be done Christmas shopping by the end of November. I want to be able to just enjoy December and not worry about shopping for gifts etc that I have in previous years. I've got at least 5 Christmas parties to attend if I am counting correctly. And my husband also wants to attend his work Christmas party. Not sure if we can swing all of them, but we'll see! Anyway....I'd like to make December as stress free as possible, so I've gotta get the shopping done so I can just wrap, mail gifts out and do Christmas cards quickly.
Speaking of Christmas cards....I've been cutting back the number we send slowly every year, but this year I am cutting back even more. Is there a point in sending them to people who never send or even acknowledge us? Not to be rude, but I am thinking it's okay to put the brakes on this a bit. I am even cutting some family members off the list...GASP I know!!

In other news....I need to decide ASAP which Erin Condren Life Planner I am going with this year. I refuse to let go of my vertical design, but the cover design is a BIG DEAL! Which one do I chose?? It's a first world problem right there I tell ya!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 20- Laughing it up!


Day 20...Laughter!! I laugh at least once everyday thanks to the kiddos I swear. I wish I could remember all their craziness. Today when I told Julia it was time for lunch and she needed to come downstairs she said in a very dramatic voice: "But Mom, I am playing!" The emphasis on "playing" was hysterical. I told Avery I think I got a glimpse of her as a teenager. 

Benjamin has just learned how to smile & giggle recently. I love it. He is the sweetest! That's one of my favorite things about when they smile & giggle at you. Benjamin has it down. He melts my heart! 

I mean how cute is this little dude??? I can't believe he's almost 3 months old. Please excuse me while I go cry in the corner over my littlest baby boy growing so quickly!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Days 18 & 19-Grateful for Food and other things......


Yesterday blogging was supposed to happen, but for some reason it just didn't. We lost our power Tuesday afternoon and didn't get it back until around 10am yesterday morning. I also had a doctor's appointment with my new doctor and for some reason lacked motivation after all that.  I dragged the kiddos grocery shopping at 4pm....Matthew kicking & screaming practically. He said he was staying home.....I asked with whom and he said "with you."  Well that was going to be difficult since Mom was the shopper. Anyway...we finally got there and he was happy. Taking 3 kids by yourself to the grocery store or anywhere really is always an adventure. I've got shopping with 3 pretty well down and I've figured out McDonalds with a play place.  Nicer sit down restaurants...umm...yeah not happening for awhile. 

Anywho.....that's my long excuse for missing yesterday.

Day 18 was food. I love food. My favorite food is pizza. It's the ultimate make me happy food. When I was pregnant & even sometimes now with nursing Benjamin, we'll go to Costco and I can eat 2 slices of their cheese pizza. It's not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes me happy!

Day 19 (today) is grateful. I am grateful for so many things. Right now I am most grateful for having a roof over my head, food in the kitchen, a car to drive, health insurance and all the basic necessities that make life easier to live. We didn't have any health insurance for over a month and I was really scared. I've never not had health insurance. I am so grateful that my husband's new job was able to get us health insurance so quickly and that none of the kids had anything happen to them while we were insuranceless. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 17: Color!


Day 17: Color! I have several favorite colors. I've always liked the color pink and then blue became my favorite color for ages. I love red though too.

Lately though my favorite colors are more teal and mint green. I am in love with those. If I see something in that color range, I kind of go nutso! 

Kirkland Signature Women's Soft shell Hood Jacket Windproof Waterproof / S~XL
Image copied off of Ebay
The first photo is a shirt I got to wear home from the hospital. It's looser and goes great over a camisole. The second picture is the jacket I got in July from Costco (I didn't realize how often I pick up nice clothes there until today) and I wear it all the time. It's a thin fleece lined jacket that is great for our rainy weather since the outside fabric is water resistant!  Regardless I LOVE the color.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 16: It's Raining!


Day 16: Weather! Well....I am not sure there is much I can really say. It's November in Washington which means it is raining. And by raining I mean raining a lot. It's cold and damp. It's a good day to snuggle by the fireplace in your coziest pajamas while drinking hot cocoa and reading a book. Except that may only exist for people with no children or children who are older. Or people who aren't control freaks like myself who don't know the meaning of relax. Thus it's a rainy day in Washington where I am wearing my favorite jeans from Banana Republic, a camisole and a perfect Puma sweatshirt that I randomly got at Costco in like July and saved for after I was done being pregnant.
(I wish I'd bought it in more colors...I wear this sweatshirt every single week!)

People are going to call me crazy, but I'd love a little snow. I learned to drive in the snow and grew up in the Midwest, so snow doesn't really phase me like it seems to do with the rest of the people here in WA.  Plus snow is possibly the only weather that forces me to slow down a bit. Oh heck who am I kidding....that's a lie!
Either way...snow is something we hardly get where I live in WA and it's kind of nice & holidayish! It makes me think of Christmas and snow days when I was a kid where I'd get to stay home & play with my toys and watch daytime television.

For now I am thankful for a rainy afternoon where I am feeling good, the kids are napping (Can I get a Praise Jesus!), and with the exception of the annoying kitty water's quiet!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 15 Joy To The World!

From here!
Day 15 is joy! My childhood best friend's middle name is "Joy." I always thought that was the nicest middle name. (If she's reading...Hi Angie!)  Joy is one of those words that literally sounds exactly like what it means to me.  So what is joy to me? Joy describes what brings me to smile even in the darkest days.  It's an uplifting song, a silly thing my kids do, a friend who texts when I really need an "ear," the smell of a nice scent, a compliment and so on....

What brings you joy? When it's your worst day, what gives you a little joy?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Days 13 & 14....My Friday novella

Go here
I missed blogging yesterday because I pretty much spent the whole dang day in the car. My MIL and her bestie are visiting (pause for a moment to marvel at the fact that they've been BFFs for 50 freaking awesome is that?!?) and we went north of Seattle to an outlet mall. It was pouring not even tolerable rain, but hard, cold, annoying rain. I pulled out of my driveway at 8am, picked them up at their hotel, got on a ferry, drove to the outlet mall, shopped, stopped at a Babies R Us, drove back to into Seattle where a stupid bicyclist yelled at me (OMG Seattle can you please stop this madness where bicyclists get to rule the freaking world??), back on a ferry, drove to dinner, dropped them off at their hotel, and finally pulled back into my driveway about 9pm! Whew...long day! I am proud though that I managed to get all 3 kids sleeping by 10:30pm so I could go to bed myself. that I wrote a novella for you.....
Day 13 was animal. I kind of already touched on that when I wrote about my Gracie cat's death over the summer. I am not really sure what else I can say on that topic. So to keep it brief I am grateful for that animal having been in my life. We have a male cat, Blackie and after he passes over the rainbow bridge, I think I may just want to be pet free for awhile. Pets are a lot of work!

Day, yay! Tradition. There's a lot to be said for tradition. I am thankful that there is such a thing as tradition. I love traditions. For our family, we've started a tradition where we eat pizza on Christmas Eve after Mass. I love this one! 
In the military there are tons of traditions. These traditions are important, since they remind me of why I am proud to be an American. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 12- Gift Giving!


I am racing to get this one in today. My Mother in Law is headed this way from the airport and I need to get this done before she arrives at the house.

Day 12: Gift!  I am taking this word in the literal meaning. I LOVE giving gifts! It is one of my favorite things to do. I have so much fun picking out the perfect thing for a family member or friend. Even finding something for someone when I am least expecting to find something.  Then the wrapping the gift and finally seeing their face when they open the gift from you.

The following picture is from last Christmas. Matthew had asked for a blue cat for Christmas. This was the first time he'd ever asked for something specific for any occasion so I wanted to do this for him. I looked everywhere. Finally found one from Build A Bear only for it to be sold out. So in a crisis I searched every single store known to man for a blue cat. Finally finding one at Michaels. I felt like a million dollars when he saw that blue cat on the Christmas tree (granted he's barely played with it since....but oh well.)  Julia picked out the purple turtle so she got something too.

Now here's hoping they don't nearly stump me this year. But I know he may because so far he's asking for a Fireman Sam motorcycle and Mommy isn't sure she can do that one. (Fireman Sam is a cartoon show we found on Amazon Prime Video.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Days 10 & 11: Smile and Life

Courtesy of My Crazy Blessed Life
Eeks!! I missed yesterday, because I was doing the mentor thing for Compass. Meaning I was teaching Navy Spouses important stuff. And then once I got home I hurried to get the kids down for a quick nap, call to check on my moving Mom, clean up, get ready for the babysitter to arrive and then ran out to a meeting. So basically blogging was not primary in the brain.  Sorry about that everyone!

Day 10: Smile!! I am thankful for my smile. Silly to say, but it's always been one of my favorite features about myself. I remember one year in summer ballet class, the musical theatre teacher was teaching us how to smile big. I felt so ridiculously silly, but get this everyone?? He was right. That smile that I got coached to do is now "my smile." I own it. So thank you Mr. T (I think that was his name) for helping me out!
How's this photo for a way back Wednesday photo? One of my senior photos from high school!

Day 11: Life!  How can you take a picture of life? I could do a family photo, an ultrasound photo or tell you my story etc etc.....I am not sure where I'd even begin with that.  So I am going to share some really random trivia about my life!  

  1. I hate returning stuff without a receipt. It makes me uncomfortable & nervous. My husband thinks that's crazy. I made him return expired lunch meat for me this week to the grocery store, because I just couldn't do it. 
  2. I LOVE getting mail that isn't bills. So it is certainly not me causing the USPS to run out of money because I still mail cards frequently. Granted the amount of packages I send has lessened since we left Hawaii.
  3. I really like it when people re-pin my stuff on Pinterest. At one point in August one of my pins was re-pinned hundreds of times. I felt like a superstar! (So when I fail at blogging, I still keep up my Pinterest activity!)
  4. Sometimes I go "online window shopping," basically I add stuff to my cart, then I don't feel like inputting my payment information so I walk away. This is probably really good for my budget and I bet my husband likes it too! 
  5. I am so excited I've been blogging so much this month. It's fun again!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 9th- Warmth....Remembering Gracie


Day 9: Warmth! Remember that quote from Charlie Brown where it says something like "happiness is a warm puppy," well I love that quote. Though in this case I am applying it to pets in general.

In July my very special cat, Grace Kelly (Gracie) passed away rather suddenly. She'd been ill for a few months, but I kept thinking surely she'd get better. I waited way too long to take her to the vet and when I finally did take her in May, I figured a round of medication and she'll be fine. Unfortunately she wasn't fine and nothing we tried worked. Basically she had an issue with her bladder. We could've done exploratory surgery to the tune of a lot of money, but even then our vet didn't feel that'd explain the bloody urine she'd suffered from for quite awhile. We tried diet change, supplements and more....nothing worked.
I called the vet on Thursday, July 9th as was planned to discuss what to do if things still weren't improving after another diet change. We talked, went over the options again and finally he just said that it was time to put her down. She was 8 years old, so middle aged for a cat, and miserable at this point.  The next day I bundled her up in the kitty crate and took her in to be put down.

[I want to pause and say I love the veterinary practice we use for the pets. They are excellent. They asked if we wanted a second opinion and I declined...after all she'd seen 2 other vets in the practice so I felt we'd gotten varying opinions.]

When I got there, they were very nice and quickly brought me into a room to hang out with Gracie and not have to sit in the waiting area. I really appreciated this. She walked around and I petted her, took lots of pictures and basically told her how much I'd miss her. I affectionately called Gracie, "my baby cat" because I got her as an 8 week old kitten from a rescue. She was so tiny and I protected her like a Mom might at first.

The vet came in, explained the procedure and he got started. It was fast as I remembered from seeing childhood pets be put down. Still this felt way too fast. He listened with the stethoscope and told me she was gone and I felt how is she gone already?? At 3:20pm PST my sweet kitty was gone....I'd only been there 20 minutes. I stayed with her for awhile, they took her paw prints, I trimmed some fur of hers to keep etc. Finally I left and went home. Home without my cat. I still feel like I abandoned her leaving her there. Like I should've taken her with me.  

Back to warmth...for me happiness is a warm kitty cat.  Gracie was a snuggler with me. She'd come under the covers of the bed when Avery wasn't around and snuggle in.

Now we are in a different house and recently I started swearing I saw Grace in the house. Obviously we still have our male cat, Blackie so it could be him I am seeing....but I sense it's Gracie and that she is here with me in spirit. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 8 of 30...Memories!


Day 8, Memories!!! Who doesn't like memories?? I've been a scrapbooker since my Mom went to her first ever Creative Memories party. She came home, I saw what she'd done at the party and I was hooked instantly to say the least. Over the years, my passion has taken me from just simply scrapbooking to even more paper crafting (I've done the stamping thing here & there...right now I am on the outs) and now to decorated planning! 

I cropped up until 2 days before Matthew was born in 2012. Since then I must admit I haven't touched an album to scrapbook, but I have continued the paper crafting and since the start of this year, the planner decorating. Holy Moly the planner's amazing! It's like a mini-scrapbook of my year. For 2015: I have the day I got a BFP (positive pregnancy test) with Benjamin, the stuff I wrote to lift me up when times were tough, every doctor's appt for B's pregnancy, birthdays, anniversaries, play dates, finding out B was a boy (yay!), Gracie cat's death, B's birth, my 30th birthday, M starting school and beyond!  

These memories...they remind me of what I have to be thankful for...the good & the bad. I think that's what's great about life. Your memories can carry you when you're down and keep you humble when life is "perfect."

My Mom, 2 of her friends, and myself at a crop when I was in college.

September monthly spread of my Erin Condren Planner

Weekly spread of my Erin Condren planner, the week of my birthday. 

Dashboard for my planner (a dashboard is a thing to hold sticky notes in your planner.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Faith and being a Catholic- Day 7

Courtesy of My Crazy Blessed Life

Day 7 Faith!  I think I've talked about my faith here and there. I grew up in the Lutheran Church and became a Catholic through RCIA in August of 2003. It's been 12 years now. I haven't always been the most active or faithful Catholic. It's gone in waves through the years. Particularly in college it waned A LOT I sadly must admit. I "came back" strongly to the church 3 years ago when Matthew was 6 months old. I had finally finished my degree and decided to check out one of the local Catholic churches. 

My Catholic faith has never been so strong as it has been in the past 3 years.  It matters to me and I rely on it. We have an amazing support system at our parish. They love my kids as their own grandchildren and crazily enough, I think more people know my oldest son then know me. They held me up when I was struggling....especially at the beginning of this year when life was going 100 miles a minute.
That is the most special thing. 

4th of July weekend at our church.

Friday, November 6, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness...Day 6: Friendship

Courtesy of My Crazy Blessed Life

Day 6 is Friendship! I can't do a picture, because to do that would mean about 100 photos to get all my friends in. I have tons of friends. My husband once challenged me on if I actually knew all of my FB friends and the truth is I do. We may not all be close friends, but I know every single person and I can tell you how I know them.
I am a people person! In college I was visiting my Dad for Christmas in Denver and I made friends with the waiters and though they've since been deleted as FB was hilarious to my Dad that I could so quickly befriend these people. I just love talking to people and being friends.

Close friends are trickier. I am very open, yet I don't let everyone "in."  Lately I've been feeling really lonely......mainly because friends of mine that I was closer to have PCS'd and left Washington or I left my closer friends when I moved here. Getting married, kids, jobs etc etc changes the amount of time you have for people. It's harder as you get older to make new close friends or at least it feels that way to me. And with 3 young's not like I can just pick up and run out for coffee whenever I feel like it. Things have to be planned out a bit more.

I was going somewhere with this and I've lost my train of thought completely. Let's just leave this as....I love my friends and I am thankful I have friends!

How do you make close friends as an adult? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

FUN fun fun (Day 5)

Courtesy of My Crazy Blessed Life

Can anyone else really believe I've made it 5 days in a row blogging? I am pretty shocked honestly. Today I am exhausted. I taught Ombudsman Basic Training last night and didn't get home until nearly 9:30pm! Thankfully my sitter had put the 2 older kiddos to bed (Benjamin stayed with me.) I got Benjamin sleeping and finally could eat dinner, make M's lunch for today and run around the house like a crazy person!
Matthew is at school, Julia's playing with Play-doh and Benjamin is here I am!

Day 5: FUN!  Who doesn't like fun? Kids are fun.  The following picture is from a few weeks ago. The bigger kiddos were playing with their Mr. Potato Head toys and decided their baby brother needed glasses. To say that B wasn't amused would be an understatement. Of course being the Mom that I am....I took a picture before rescuing the poor little fellow. I am sure he understood the wait...haha!!

Speaking of B.....nap is over (wow do I time this well or what??) and he'd like to come out of his crib. Toodles my friends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness...Day 4: Cozy

Courtesy of My Crazy Blessed Life
Day 4 is cozy! I love that describes itself perfectly. Cozy is what I think of when we have cold weather and you finally get home put on a warm sweater or lounge clothes and relax. Last night we went to the grocery store late in the evening and it felt so nice to get home & warm up. The weather isn't outrageously cold yet, but it's definitely Fall here.

This photo is actually from this summer. The kiddos were cold from swimming in the pool, so they made themselves a "bed" on the living room floor to warm up. As much as they fight, they also adore each other. That makes my heart happy and despite how scared I was during Julia's pregnancy, I am thankful they are close in age.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day 3- Nature

Courtesy of My Blessed Life

Day 3: Nature!  I sort of did the nature theme yesterday with my pictures of the sunset in Washington.  So nature for today....I leave you with one of my maternity photos with Benjamin. I used the same photographer for maternity, birth and newborn. It was a package deal and I was thrilled with the results of all the photos. My maternity photos were taken at a local state park.

This picture is one of my favorite maternity photos from the session. Standing against a tree. Looking gorgeous. The dress was a random find at Costco of all places. As soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for my photos. The Nature was beautiful and I felt beautiful. Pretty good for my 3rd pregnancy! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 2: Home

Courtesy of My Crazy Blessed Life
Day 2! The theme is HOME! Home is a tough one for me as I think I've mentioned before. I've lived several different places in so many different houses. For example, we've lived in WA state for 3.5 years now and are in our 3rd house here (and shoot me now I hate'll be a 4th house next summer.)  I generally have always thought of home as where my Mom is located. However she moved to Portland, OR in August and is moving into a new house there this month (10 days to be exact.)  I've got no attachment to that house, so it's not really home. Oregon isn't home etc etc. I think you get the picture. Illinois was my home base forever. Now I have a WA drivers license thanks to Illinois not allowing me to renew via mail I had to get one (for a state with 2 former governors in prison you'd think they'd be less picky...just sayin'.) So I guess that means WA is now home according to the government.   
In honor of are 2 pictures from mid-August. They capture the real beauty of the PACNORWEST to me. Sun was setting as I drove home from a local state park. It was summer and life was beautiful. This is the WA that awes me.