Just a few random facts

Life is funny sometimes. You meet people and make connections, lose contact for a bit, and then one day you meet up again. This happens in real life as well as with the friends that we make online through blogging and social media and it recently happened to me (again). Sara from High Heels and Training Wheels tagged me along with some other awesome bloggers to share a little bit about ourselves and answer some questions.
I’ll admit that she did this like a week ago and I’ve just been lazy… I’d like to come up with some other excuse that it is really good but I can’t. So we’ll go with the truth… I’ve been to lazy to write. But I’ve put it off long enough and really want to try and write more so here it goes!

Do you believe you have a purpose in this life? If so, what is it?

I’d like to think that we all have a purpose in life and that we all know exactly what it is, but that would probably be wrong. Well, just the part about knowing what that purpose is. I think that we wander around aimless more or less once in a while trying to figure out what it is that we’re supposed to be doing. For me, well I don’t know yet. Right now I am trying my best to be a good mom, a good friend, a good wife, and a good Christian. None of it’s easy that’s for sure.

What scares you the most in life?

There is a lot that scares me in life but this is not to say that I walk around in fear of something bad happening all of the time. I fear death, whether it’s mine, my husband, kids, parents, siblings, or other family and friends. I’m afraid of how my kids will get along without me around, what will happen when my oldest goes off to college in the fall, how my youngest will turn out because he’s such a busy & loud little boy right now, and if I’ve made the right choices every day.
What is your favorite vacation spot?

Well, right now it’s any place where there isn’t snow, ice, and constant cold weather. This winter has been rough here in Michigan and I read an article yesterday saying that this state has the most snow cover than any other state and that the Great Lakes have more ice than they have had in years. So, warm and sunny.

What is your favorite way to unwind?

This is an easy one! Reading. I love getting lost in a good book.

What’s your home decorating style?

Decorating style? This is funny…. It’s called cluttered, messy, and lived in. I’d love it to be something beautiful and fit for a magazine but in reality I have 4 kids, a husband, and work full time so it is what it is.

What’s a favorite childhood memory?

I find this one a bit challenging. Not because I don’t have good memories of my childhood but more that I can’t seem to remember many of them because of all that bad that happened. This is something that I am working through in therapy. But I do remember holidays with my sister and parents before they divorced, camping together, spending time with my grandparents, and large family gatherings.

If money wasn’t an issue would you want a bigger home, smaller home, or stay where you are living now? 

I think that I would get a new house. The one that we have right now is okay, but there is a lot that we want to do with it and we also want more land (which is not an option where we live now).

What was your favorite age? Why?

Favorite age… Let’s see. I can look back at my life and say this or that was a good age because of X but honestly I have to say 41. 41 is my current age and it has taken a lot of time, a lot of change, and turmoil to get where I am but I have learned a lot along the way. Right now I am moving towards a really good place because of the therapy and becoming a Christian (again). I am starting to understand things that have happened in my life better and seeing things in a new light.

What’s a guilty pleasure?

I have two…. chocolate and Diet Coke.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

Nothing, because I am not a spontaneous person. I’m a big chicken and am always worried and wondering, “what if?”.

Why do you blog?

Ummm…. well, lately I haven’t been doing much blogging really. I’m at a point where I don’t know what I want or should do with my blog so I don’t have an answer for this one. Cop out, huh?

So, there are some rules that go along with this…

1) Acknowledge the nominating blogger. 2) Share 11 facts about yourself. 3) Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. 4) List 11 bloggers. 5) Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you

I’m skipping 4 and 5 simply because I’m lazy and I don’t even know if anyone still reads my blog! I’d have to hunt people down to actually play along… seems like a lot of work doesn’t it?

Anyway, there you have it….. just a few random facts about me.

Tell me something random about you now.

41

Once a year we all reach a special milestone. Of course to some it’s not all that special and we’d rather ignore it and to others it’s a reason to celebrate for days and something that we look forward to all year.

Yes, it’s our birthdays.

Today I am 41… another year has passed and I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday. There are days where I really do believe that age is just a number and that it really is about how we feel, act, and live our lives and then there are days that I start to feel (and see) my age.

So in celebration of my special day I am taking the day off of work (it’s a paid holiday for me where I work WOOHOO!) and I will be doing all the things that I want (except for taking my husband to the airport at 4am today and the load of laundry).

I’m going thrift shopping, napping, collecting my free pizza from the local pizza place for lunch,  writing a few blog posts, and a maybe even doing some crafting…. and if I can fit it in… a pedicure. Today is all about me and what I want to do. Because your birthday is your special day and you should be able to do what you want, right?

41

There are times that I look back at my life and wonder how the time has passed so very quickly. I look at all the pictures, where I was and who I was with in each of them, and fondly remember each and every moment like it was yesterday. Through those pictures I relive special times in my life.

41

Weddings, birthdays… mine, my children’s, and family members alike, holidays, special events, and every day moments are all captured in those pictures of my life. They’re a history of me. A history of my life. A history of my family.

As I looked through pictures yesterday for this post I realized how many pictures I really have, printed and digital. They’re are literally hundreds of pictures and they span the entire 41 years of my life.

So today I celebrate my 41st birthday and look forward to what the new year holds for me.

How did you celebrate your birthday this year?

Old School Blogging – July Edition

Yay! Another Old School Blogging meme! These really are a lot of fun and so very easy to do…. are you joining in on the fun? You should.


This month Elaine from The Miss Elaine-ous Life and Allison from Writing, Wishing, her co-host for July, are challenging everyone with lists of 5. Easy peasy… lists have to the easiest thing to do, right?

List of Fives Meme

Five Things I Have a Passion For
1. Chocolate – do I really need to say more?
2. Cooking/baking – this is one of the things that relaxes me. I don’t know what it is about cooking and baking that does it but it does and if I could I’d own a bakery or small cafe.
3. My family – all of my family is important to me. My parent, my husband, and of course my kids.
4. Reading – this has to be one of my absolute favorite past times and can read for hours on end.
5. Social media – I love what social media has done for me, how it’s changed the way I think about the internet, and how it’s brought new friends into my life.
Five Things I Would Like to do Before I Die
1. See all of my kids happily married & a house full of kids.
2. Travel
3. Bake for a living
4. Take a week long vacation somewhere gorgeous with only my husband
5. Own my dream home – this one is the long shot for sure!
Five Things I Say A Lot
1. No
2. What in the world are you doing?
3. What did I just say?
4. What do you want for dinner? – the question that never gets answered but they’ll complain if it’s something that they don’t like.
5. What?
Five Books and/or Magazines I Have Read Lately
1. Birthright – Nora Roberts
2. Beautiful Creatures -
3. The War Brides Club – Soraya Lane
4. Eating Well
5. How to talk to girls at parties – Neil Gaimen

Five Favorite Movies (maybe you’ve seen them Five times…)
1. Wedding Singer
2. 16 Candles
3. Breakfast Club
4. Lord of the Rings
5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Roman Holiday
Five Places I Would Love to Travel
1. Scotland
2. Italy
3. Greece
4. Grand Teton National Park
5. Yosemite National Park
Five People I Invite to do this Meme
1.  Jill
2. Liz
4. Lizz
And just for good measure….
7. Emmy
Okay, so maybe I didn’t follow the rules very well but I didn’t want to leave people out and I couldn’t stop at just 5 so 7 seemed like a good compromise.
Aside from that I was wrong.. it wasn’t all that easy because thinking about 5 things that you want to do before you die is hard. It’s something that I really haven’t given much thought to either.
Okay, enjoy your Friday and the weekend!

A week of anger

My first thought was to just skip the post for today and play around on Pinterest for a while. It mostly made sense since I hadn’t been there in a while, but the post won for a few reasons. 1) It’s been on my mind and I really think I’ll feel better if I write and 2) Pinterest will be there waiting for me as soon as this post is finished.

Last week was a bad week for me. Really bad and I don’t know why, what caused it, or how to prevent it from happening again.

It was all me. 100% me.

I was angry at everything and everyone and I knew it… I was able to see it but I couldn’t make it stop.

I was in a terrible mood. I recognized this as well and as hard as I tried I couldn’t shake it or keep it from affecting everything in my life.

I was very low on patience. This is a bad thing when you have a very busy toddler who barely slows down when he has a double ear infection AND pink eye.

There were highs and lows all week long and I had a dull headache for more than half of the week from it all. Maybe the headache was the root cause of my bad week or the constant state of cold, wet weather. PMS? Possibly, but my good friend Mirena has blocked our dear Aunt Flo from visiting so it’s hard to tell anymore. I honestly do not know what it was.

The littlest things would set me off and I’d snap at someone or worse yet I’d yell at them, especially when my patience wore to thin. It was something that I didn’t feel like I could control no matter what I did. And I tried…. but I don’t think that it was enough.

The worst part about it was that I knew I was in a bad mood and feeling angry… I knew it. I could feel it’s grip on me all day long. All I wanted was to be left alone… totally alone. I didn’t want to go anywhere, help anyone, make dinner, or even go to work. Alone with my Diet Coke or any other pop (soda) and my books.

My books were the one place I could get lost and mostly forget about the anger that encompassed me all week. Books were the place that I found some bit of solace. I was alone in my books where nobody bothered me or wore my patience thinner than they already were.

To say that I felt terrible was an understatement. Feeling like you’re that angry and in such a bad mood makes it a challenge to be a good parent… hell, it makes it hard to me a mediocre parent. I feel like I let me kids and family down because I wasn’t the person I should be… I wasn’t the person that they deserve.

This is the first time that I’ve felt like this… my hope is that it’s also the last.

some days

Courtesy of Pinterest

This week has been better. A lot better.

I’m tired though and there is a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. It’s like the weight of the anger & the bad mood has been lifted and my body is now bearing the marks that are left behind from the previous week.

Did writing this help? A little. I will tell you that I have not gone back to edit this at all for fear that I’d change it to much from my original thoughts and feelings as I wrote. It’s better this way I think.

Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.

48 Questions

I couldn’t think of anything really good to write about today and I threw this in as a draft when I saw Theta Mom’s post just like it (Yes, I borrowed it… she said it was ok). I thought that it was a pretty cool idea any way and was going to create this awesome inforgraphic for it, but that proved to be really time consuming… and I was feeling lazy. I did add some pretty color to it though!

So here you go…. a bunch of random questions and my answers… all about me.

1. Were you named after anyone? 

Why yes I was! Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

2. When was the last time you cried?

Hmm… I honestly do not remember.

3. Do you like your handwriting?

Yes, I do. I like to write and use a good pen & paper still.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?

I like the good stuff… maybe some peppered turkey.

5. Do you have kids?

Umm… have you read my blog before? Yes. 4.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?

I think so. Honestly, who would say no?

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Me? Never…. (wait, you can’t hear my tone can you? crap… yes, I use it a lot)

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

No, they threatened to close my throat so they were ripped out when I was 4.

9. Would you like to bungee jump?

No. Never. Not in a million years.

10. What is your favorite cereal?

I like cereal that isn’t coated in fake fruity flavors or 2 lbs of sugar. Lately, I’ve been eating Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

No, because most of them don’t tie.

12. Do you think you are strong?

I suppose that it depends on what you mean when you say strong… physically? I’m okay. Mentally? Depends on the day.

13. What is your favorite ice cream?

Just a plain vanilla. Smooth, creamy, and simple. Now this is not to say that I don’t love a dark, creamy, chocolate… I do! There is just something about vanilla.

14. What is the first thing that you notice about people?

What they’re wearing.

15. Red or pink?

Pink

16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself?

My utter lack of willpower.

17. Who do you miss the most?

My mom. No, she isn’t dead. She’s just made the choice to live her life apart from her family.

18. What is the technique that you need to work on most?

I need to learn to speak up more. I have the tendency to keep my mouth shut even when I know that I should speak up.

19. What color shoes are you wearing?

I’m not wearing shoes.

20. What is the last thing you ate?

Veggie stir fry with tofu.

21. What are you listening to right now?

The State of the Union speech.

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Purple. I love purple. Not lilac.. not lavender… not some off shade of violet. Just a true purple.

23. Favorite smells?

Fresh laundry. Crisp leaves in the fall. Apple pie baking in the oven. Babies.

24. How important are your political views to you?

I’m not a political person. But my views are important to me just as yours are important to you.

25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?

Both as long as there isn’t snow there.

26. Favorite sport to watch?

On TV… Football. In person… whatever my kids are playing.

27. Hair color?

Brown with a bit of silver. 

28. Eye color?

Blue

29. Do you wear contacts?

No

30. Favorite food?

Pasta!!

31. Scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings. Do you think that there is such a thing as a scary movie with a happy ending?

32. Last movie you watched?

Hotel Transylvania

33. What color shirt are you wearing? 

Pink flannel jammies with teddy bears on them. #DontJudge

34. Summer or winter?

Fall

35. Favorite dessert?

Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

36. Strength training or cardio?

Both, because I need them both to get where I want to be.

37. Computer or television?

Again, both. It depends on what I’m doing and how much attention it requires.

38. What book are you reading right now?

The Winter Witch – AWESOME book so far too!

39. What is on your mouse pad?

Funny story… I actually have one at work because my mouse refuses to work on any surface without it even though it’s new.

40. Favorite sound?

Silence. Soft baby signs. My kids getting along.

41. Favorite genre of music?

I really like a lot of different kids of music. Picking a favorite genre is to hard.

42. What is the farthest you’ve been from home?

I’m lame… Arizona or Niagara Falls I suppose is the farthest.

43. Do you have a special talent?

I just said I’m lame… so no.

44. Where were you born?

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

45. Where are you living now?

I’m still here in Michigan.

46. What color is your house?

Beige/Tan color.

47. What color is your car?

Brown

48. Do you like answering 48 questions?

Sure! They’re not really challenging.

So there you have it. 48 random questions and answers all about me.

What about you? Do you feel up to answering them?

Mom Hair

Alright, you all know what I’m talking about when I say mom hair. It’s that dreaded look where we are no longer cute, fun, and fashionable and have settled into a hairstyle that is quick and easy. Worst than that we cut it short thinking that it is cute and that it’ll be so much easier to take care of and style when in all honesty we’re just fooling ourselves.

So we get that supposed cute hair cut and after a week we look in the mirror and realize that we have mom hair.

Yes, I’ve been saying “we” because 1) I refuse to admit that I’m in this alone and 2) I know you’ve done it a time or two and then quickly did what you could to make it better.

Anyway, I did just that. I had this great idea in my head that I would cut my hair and it would be so easy to style and it’d be really cute and to make it even easier I had a great picture of what I was envisioning.

jennifer nettles

This is the cute, non-mom hair cut I had in mind.

Well, I can tell you that it doesn’t look like that. Even with my natural wave/curl I couldn’t get my hair to look even close to that. I’m pretty sure it’s because my hair is freakin’ thick and totally has a mind of it’s own which means that it does what it wants and when it wants. Now I look like a mushroom head instead of having cute hair. It’s mom hair to the 10th degree.

mom hair... or not

I’ve gone from really long hair to medium length and back again. I really am just undecided as to what looks good and what I really like. For the most part I blow it out straight in hopes that it’ll look halfway decent.

mom hair

Now, this is where the mom (mushroom head) hair comes in. It has grown out from the original cut and it’s kind of hard to tell in the picture since I have part of it pulled up but you’ll have to trust me. It totally fluffs out on the sides giving me that mushroom head look.

The color is boring… the cut is boring… it’s total mom hair or on the edge of grandma hair which is far worse.

Now this is where you all come in. On Saturday I have a hair appointment for a cut & color and I need your suggestions!

What do I do?!?! 

How do I get awesome looking hair without looking older than I am?

Just for fun I’m going to link up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies for Wordful Wednesday. Maybe someone will have an idea or two for me.

I’m back….

So if you haven’t noticed I’ve been gone… I didn’t plan on taking the holiday season off from blogging but I got lazy.

On top of the laziness there was the holidays and we can’t forget the unforgettable illness that had it’s death grip on 4 out of 6 of us in my house. To make it more fun the toddler got sick and then a few days later I got sick.. oh the joy!

Worst. Holiday. Ever.

So, the holidays are done (yay!), I’m back to work (boo!), and looking forward to a great year of blogging and social media (yay!).

Want to know how I know the holidays are done? Well, my tree told me.

fallen tree

As I lay on the couch dying a slow, painful death the tree fell over all by itself.  I must say that it did add a bit of comic relief for that day…

Things we learned:

  • Our tree wasn’t wearing it’s life alert bracelet.
  • Our tree fell… and couldn’t get back up.
  • Our tree shed worst the furriest animal ever.
  • The tree falling over, you being sick, and helpful kids gets the ornaments put away fast with no help from you other than giving directions from the couch. #awesome
Anyway, I’m back.
Oh and that’s all you’ll probably see from me as far as a holiday wrap up.

The winds of change

This will be one of those short posts because I am exhausted and have had a raging headache for the majority of the day. But I do want to let you know what an incredible weekend at the Mitten Mom’s conference up in Petoskey. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people that had so much knowledge to share with everyone who was there.

There was one little phrase that has really stuck with me this weekend. One that has got me really thinking about where I am, where I’ve been, but more importantly where I want to be.

“I took myself seriously…” and the woman who spoke those words (and so many more inspiring ones) is Sommer Poquette.  That phrase is leading me to make a lot of changes around here and in my life. So stay tuned!

That’s all the words I have for now… I’ll give you more of an update on what I learned at the conference later. In the mean time take a look at a couple of the pics from the weekend.

Mitten Mom Group

Me & my Cinch partner Maggie! My phone must have been all smudged up or something because this is one hell of a blurry pic!

Mitten Mom Group

Check out our awesome group of Michigan Bloggers!

The winds of change are coming….. can you feel it?

The Last One

Today I’m off doing all the things that I want to do…. when I want and how I want. Today it’s all about me and I’m totally being selfish.

Why? Well, because today I am celebrating the last one.

40th-birthday

Yup, today is my 40th birthday. I’m still unsure how I feel about it because I sure as hell don’t feel that old and not to be full of myself or anything but I don’t think I look 40 either. But then again maybe I do… I’m just used to looking at myself and don’t see what others do.

Anyway, I’m skipping social media today (maybe), not working, and taking 24 hours for me.

Me time. I think that I deserve it.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Monday and I’ll see ya tomorrow!

Like it! Please….

This week on the Monday Menu I shared my Summer Pastabilities recipe for Southwest Grilled Shrimp & Pasta made with Hodgson Mill’s whole wheat pasta with all of you. It’s a healthy, wonderful dish for a quick dinner or as a side dish to bring to a summer picnic.

I need a huge favor from you… and if there is anything that you ever need in return simply ask!

My recipe is one of 50 that has been selected by Hodgson Mill as an entry to their Summer Pastabilities contest! I am really excited about this and am really hoping that I win!

This is what you need to do….

Follow Hodgson Mill on Pinterest.

“Like” my recipe. “Liking” my pin on any board other than Hodgson Mill’s contest board will not count toward helping me win a prize. Voting (like) ends on July 6th!!

OH… I almost forgot! If you like it then you can enter to win a prize pack from Hodgson Mill! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post or on Monday’s!

You have no idea how much I would appreciate some “Likes”!!

I will select a winner via random.org on July 7th and will notify them via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond before another one is selected.

Don’t forget to vote because the voting period ends on July 6th!

You can follow Hodgson Mill on Facebook and subscribe to the Hodgson Mill Recipe Blog, www.HodgsonMillBlog.com.

Will you Like my pin?