Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have another confession...perhaps I should re-title my blog: True Confessions of a 30-Something. :)

Here it is: I just don't really like leftovers. They rarely sound good (except maybe soup) and sometimes they downright gross me out. Lest you think all my leftovers go to waste (they do not), I try to make the amount we will eat with maybe one extra serving and I do give leftovers to the kids sometimes (they don't seem to mind). And thankfully, my husband does like leftovers and so he takes them for lunch. Here's the thing, I don't mind at all eating leftovers at my mom's house or at a friend's house - it's just mine. :) Perhaps it has something to do with this strange phenomenon that seems to run in my family - food is sometimes less tasty after you've prepared it...the family will love it and I have no appetite :)

And while we are on this topic, I totally admire people that do freezer cooking. I've tried and it doesn't work well for us. I think it feels kind of like leftovers to me. Maybe part of it is that I generally like to cook and so freezer cooking for me has become chicken breasts, browned ground beef, chunked ham, and vegetables in the freezer to be used in various soups, pastas, and more - instead of already made dishes. My pantry is stocked with canned beans, chicken stock, and canned tomatoes and sauce. It works most of the time and there's always breakfast food for the nights it doesn't work. :)

Anyway, I think it's awesome that my husband loves leftovers and I think it's great that everyone has their own kitchen style. As for me, I'll pass on the leftovers from last night's dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This is a week typically marked by expressing thankfulness for our many blessings. It's a good week, a remembering week, and a thankful week. But this week has been a tough one for me - I am rarely pain free (due to a car accident and other issues several years ago) and struggle with back and neck issues which cause regular headaches and other pain for me. It's been a particularly rough one with sleepless nights, unmanaged pain, and constant headaches. I struggled through work and came home exhausted. It's just something I deal with - it's not something I focus on or choose to talk about but it is my reality. Thankfully most weeks are not like this week. :)

My point of this post (yes, there really is one and it's definitely not "poor me" :)), is to express so much gratitude for my chiropractor. He has been instrumental in helping me to manage discomfort and pain. He will see me at the last minute, is always cheerful, knows my family (and I mean my siblings, parents, kids and all!) listens to my concerns, tells me what's going on, and helps relieve the stress and pressure on my back and neck that is exacerbated with caring for kids and home, working, and just living life. He also gives me techniques to help at home. And he always says, "Just give me a call when you need to come back!" Without him, I have no doubt I would be living with a tremendous amount of constant pain and likely having to take regular pain medication, so a week like this might be my daily life. I'm SO thankful to lead a normal, active life with only a few limitations. He has been such a blessing to me!

I'm incredibly grateful to be feeling some better today after seeing him yesterday. There is too much to do to be flat on my back. :) So if I were giving a toast today, it would be for Dr. F...and my husband would concur - we are thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Tis the Week of Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving menu is mostly set. After work this afternoon, I hope to finish the shopping (not to mention we are out of bread and milk - the staples). I wish my house would magically clean and maintain itself but seeing as how that isn't happening, I have some work to do. :) Thankfully, the boys will spend tomorrow at  my mom's - lessening the opportunity for it to be made into a disaster...er...creative zone again. I'm working on my placecards and planning out the centerpiece and seating. We will use the china and a tablecloth and I will pretend it doesn't bother me when the boys use the tablecloth as a napkin. I'm creating a blessing jar for everyone to write down blessings from this year - for us to read and then save for next year. I think it will be a good reminder. 

Black Friday will find my sister and me heading out for one or two stores to score some deals. I hope to find a great deal on an electric griddle - an unfortunate mishap has rendered mine unuseable and I miss it - A LOT. And between you and me, the boys are getting a wii for Christmas (I've been saving up my Swagbucks!) and so I'll be looking for some accessories to go along with that. We are also considering looking for a new washer and dryer. It's time and perhaps there will be a good deal.

It will be a different year. We have half the number of events in a three-day period that we normally do and while I welcome the calm, it is also comes with some sadness. I will miss seeing my amazing extended family and miss seeing all of siblings and their spouses all together - though I think most will make Sunday dinner at my parent's house.

We are looking forward to decorating our home and tree on Saturday - the boys can hardly wait. We've NEVER done it so early. But with a bridal shower on the 4th and our open house on the 11th, it will be wonderful to have it done. And you are all invited to our open house on the 11th - feel free to stop in between 4 and 7 p.m. for food and holiday cheer. We so enjoy visiting with our family friends and sharing the holiday season. I'm looking forward to all the baking in preparation!

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I've already admitted to coloring and highlighting my hair on a regular basis - something I was certain I would never do when I was younger. (That was before the gray hair. :)) And I look forward to those hair appointments every 10 weeks or so.

I've recently decided to be done plucking my eyebrows - I HATE doing it. It hurts and it's hard to get the right shape and not miss any of the strays. I never did it often enough. My solution is having them threaded. It's inexpensive (though still painful), it's done in about 5 minutes, and I love the results! The bonus for me is that they have a little shop in the grocery store so I periodically get it done after I shop.

That's my true confession today - I pay someone else to take care of my eyebrows.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I don't consider myself a crafty person at all. Sure, I love to cook and bake and experiment in the kitchen but it pretty much ends there. But one thing I really enjoy is making invitations, placecards and other related paper items. Cutting paper and making something beautiful is so fun for me!

Tonight, I put together invitations for a bridal shower I'm hosting in a few weeks. I rummaged through my scrapbook goodies (which are rarely put to use these days :)) and found some excellent embellishments - I already had cardstock in a lovely color. I'm so happy with how the invitations came together. My mom helped and it took less time than I thought it might. It was just the creative outlet I needed this week! (On a side note: I wanted to take a picture and post it but there is a little too much identifying info. :))

I'm excited to make some paper crafts for Thanksgiving next week. Although it may necessitate a quick trip to the craft store for some fall colored cardstock - I used all that I had for the labels and cards I made for my office open house a few weeks ago.

Music used to be my main creative outlet but we don't currently have a piano (which is sad...someday we will!). And I've turned to cooking and baking but I'm starting to think that I should do more with paper. Do you have a favorite creative or crafy hobby?

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Goodness

I completely miss blogging! Thanks to Kim, I figured out the picture issue. I was looking back a couple of years ago and enjoyed how busy the blog once was. Ah well, seasons of life. Perhaps I'll get back in the habit soon!

Our first semester of homeschool classes are nearly complete. It's been a good semester overall and somewhere along the way, I think we've decided to homeschool for another year. There are certainly frustrating days and days that I think I can't possibly do this but I'm so thankful for the time with my kids. I know I'll miss these years someday! Homeschooling is most definitely not for everyone and I have no idea how long we will do it but I'm focusing on enjoying it.

My favorite parts of school has been our country studies (which we have not done nearly enough!), our history, and reading. The last one surprises me the most - I told a friend recently that I realized that I was so worried about teaching my kids to read that I completely overbought materials. I think my recent tally was 4 different types of programs/approaches. :) I didn't even realize. Thankfully, it has not been quite as daunting as I thought it might be. The boys love the program that I settled on and are making great progress!

I'm so impressed with all the materials and resources available for homeschool. And I think that in some ways, homeschooling has brought out some creativity that I didn't realize I had in me. :) It's usually just simple projects and new ways to present material but still...

We are looking forward to our winter break. We will keep up with reading and math and some review but it will be a welcome break from our more intense study and memorization. I'm planning lots of field trips and holiday activities!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Way Overdue

Here are some photos of the kids from a couple of weeks ago. I'm not biased at all :) but I think they are pretty cute! We had such a great time at the zoo - seeing the animals, trick-or-treating, and hanging out with friends!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Celebrating 2 Years!

This past Saturday marked Titus' second Adoption Day! We took our sweet little 2 3/4 month old baby to court and after a few questions, our motion was granted. A VERY happy day and for all of you adoptive friends - always a big relief. :)

Our Court Day - November 6, 2008
It still amazes me that in 5 months we wents from considering beginning the process for #3 to finalizing the adoption of our wonderful baby boy. It seemed like a seamless process on the surface - though much of it was far from it - a very emotional journey.
Our first picture as a family of five!
We remain indebted to Titus' beautiful birthmom. I had an unexpected chance to speak with her recently for the first time since Ty's birth and it was a wonderful conversation that I will carry forever in my heart - needless to day, I ended up in tears. She and I will always be his two moms - we share a unique bond, an unusual bond, a bond that transcends background, culture, and expectation.

I like this poignant poem which expresses many of my thoughts.


Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.

And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.

© Author Unknown
Just a few weeks ago - a very sweet, happy, active 2 - year old! A wonderful son - such a blessing!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

No Pictures

I have tried to post pictures this week (from the weekend) and blogger has been quite uncooperative! I'll try again but don't have time right now. :)

We had a great fall break in South Bend. And we are going to visit friends in TN soon - I can't wait!

Work is going well and I feel like I'm getting into more of a groove at work and with the boys' school.

Big changes have been happening over at The Cooks Next Door - my sister, Stephanie, is a new contributor. I'm thrilled to have her!

Other than that, we are looking towards the holidays! I think we will have our open house and I'm looking forward to it!