Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What has chocolate done for you today?

Every girl needs a little chocolate in their life. But I am not every girl. I need more than just a little chocolate in my life. Like, truckloads more. But since truckloads aren't feasible (where would I park a semi?), I'll have to deal with a couple of doses each day.

And when trying to lose weight, chocolate is (contrary to previous beliefs) NOT a girl's best friend. Darn it.

In my opinion, there are very few truly yummy, slightly lite chocolate foods. One of which is the Reduced Fat Oreo (thank you, Nabisco!) and the Skinny Cow (if you haven't tried these, now is the time). And yesterday, I added one more to my chocolate-you-can-have-while-losing-weight list.

I was doing some weekly grocery shopping at Aldi, my cheap-store-of-choice, when I happened upon these little gems:

Pretty freakin fabulous. Three dollars worth of pure, chocolaty, creamy heaven. I've had these before by other brands, but had forgotten them (probably because they were overpriced?) In the dorms at K-State, they used to serve these and would would hoard them in our mini-fridge.

My advice? Fill your freezers now, gals. These things won't last long with me in town!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Babies and paper.

Had some free time this weekend. Free time? What? What is that? I can't seem to remember. Anyways, I wanted to do something crafty and just for fun of it. But after the 10 or 15 minutes I spent trying to decide what to do, I decided I was wasting my precious "freetime" and had better just get to it. So, in an effort to be productive AND creative, I started working on some invitations for an upcoming baby shower I am helping host.

Turned out pretty fun, huh? Hard to tell from the photos, but these are stitched together on my sewing machine.

This is just the prototype. Now, the fun part is finding the right papers, etc and getting to work on production! I'll keep you updated on the finished product.

While I was brainstorming ideas for the invite, I started thinking of all the others I had made in the past. And all the other cute ones we had recieved over the years. (Yes, I do keep them. I'm somewhat of a pack-rat when it comes to unique paper things.) Went digging and decided to share some of them with ya. [P.S. Some of these are baby announcements]

Maybe someday I'll have some more free time and I can share the collection of wedding invitations I have stored away...

And a shot of Lilah and me, before we went on a hot and sweaty walk on Saturday morning.

Best part of the walk was about 10 feet away from the house when Lilah said "Mom, I love walks! Thanks, Mom!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Man Life Vol 1

In order for all of the female readers out there to better understand the life from a man’s perspective I am going to be a guest writer on the blog. I have made a pact with Kylie that if I write once a week she will try to “learn” how to fish and give it a try. Feels like a win/win for both of us.

So out of this pact I have created Man Life. A look into my life as a man. The name came to me last week as a vision when I was mowing in glorious Kansas sun. The vision had corporate sponsors and a cult following and then eventually having Kylie become the guest writer. The vision may have been something like a mirage since I was dying for water or freshly squeezed lemonade that day (which Kylie never brings).

So this takes us to one of my last projects. Building my daughter, Lilah, a playground set for her birthday. Sounds pretty easy, right? I could have done the easy thing and purchased a kit and built it in a day, but in the theme of doing things the tough way, I decided to build one from scratch. I felt like I had looked at enough of them to know what to do.

Just deciding where to place the playground took me 3 hours and 4 beers. About 3 weeks later and lots more beer, the playground was finished for Lilah’s birthday party. It did require some finishing help from my bro-in-law, father-in-law and dad. The playground is equipped with 3 swings, double-swing, rocket-fast slide, and a military-style rock climbing wall. I almost forgot to include the lookout tower that sounded real easy in my head, but was a pain to build. It seemed like every time I went to work on the playground it started raining 10 minutes into getting all of my tools out. All and all it went pretty well. If I had to do it over again I might have just bought a kit, but what fun would that be.

The fruit of my labor:

Stay tuned next week to the Man Life view of “Gardening” or as I like to call it Landscaping.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It's good to have goals, right? And to be accountable. So that is what I am doing. I'm giving myself some goals to drop some LB's. And by telling you, I'm making myself accountable. So, here we go.

Goal: Drop weight by 17 pounds
Method: Eat healthier + be more active.
Reward: Milestone rewards!
Deadline: Vegas, baby! (A group of friends and I are planning a girls getaway to Vegas in September)

With each milestone, I will reward myself with some of the stuff that I've been wanting, but never buying because it's a little too self-absorbent.

FIVE: this beautiful bracelet.

TEN: an embroidered pillow that I've been eying at Target. I'd better act fast, cause this may not last long on their site!

FOURTEEN: Now, a dishtowel may not seem that exciting, but I am in love with this one. All the beautiful stitching just makes me melt. And I'm not the type who would buy it and never use it. I actually think it would look even better with a little wear. So, really, I'd be doing it a favor, right?

SEVENTEEN (the end!!!): this magnificant piece of equipment!

I have been wanting a new camera for a while, but always felt guilty for spending the money. I've read a lot about this particular camera and even hope to take a online photography class taught by one of my favorite bloggers, Karen Russell. I'm not so sure that the class will work out, cause her courses fill up within minutes after she opens them. But, a girl can try, right? I guess if I can't get in her class I'll have to find a different one - cause I definitely will need help learning how to work this thing!

THE KEEP-IT-OFF-REWARD: now, everybody knows that keeping weight off is almost as difficult as losing it. For this reason, I am giving myself incentive to prevent that. At six months, if I haven't gained more that 2-3 pounds (we gotta be realistic, the holidays are in that window of time :), then I am buying some big, new, fabulous lamps. Again, something I have been wanting for a while, but never indulgent enough to buy. Don't have these picked out yet, but they may look something like this.

Okay, so there you have it. Now I've put it out there. There's no turning back. I'm really hoping this rewards system is the ticket to geting me to the end! So, next time I'm craving a chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard, I can just think of all my "prizes".

I've never really lost any serious weight in my life - besides the lbs. I naturally dropped after having babies. Other than that, never more that five or so pounds. So, if anybody has any tips, please share! I've also been considering setting up rewards for working out. That is actually the hardest part of this commitment. I always have about twenty things to do, so getting the gym to the top of my priority list is always a challenge.

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Daddy.

So, it's not actually Brady's birthday, but Lilah kept getting confused when we'd mention that it was Father's Day. So she sang Happy Birthday to him instead. In honor of the holiday, I'm sharing a few recent shots of Brady with our kids.

We spent the weekend in Clay Center with Brady's family. Saturday afternoon was rainy, but that didn't stop us from boating, tubing, grilling and playing at Milford Lake.

All these activities left my kids like this:

This shot was taken about thirty seconds before Lilah accidentally dropped her sippy cup on Graham's forehead. Very tragic - left both of them crying for quite a while. A big dilemma I now have - which child do you comfort when they both need you??

And, yes, that is my oh-so-graceful daughter :)

I can't even count how many times I've found Lilah sitting in her crib like this. Just waiting to get out after her nap. Usually, I am greeted with a "Hi, Mom. Whatcha doin'?"

Graham has become the king of sucking his thumb. He is such a self-soother. If he wants something to suck on, he pops his thumb in his mouth. He has started teething, so now he just chews his own lip. If the kid didn't need to eat, I'm not sure he'd have much of a use for me!

First time in the big high chair! We also sampled some rice cereal, but that went nowhere. Exercise in frustration.

And for my final kid story of the day:
Lilah loves to wear sunglasses. She has several pairs and loves to accessorize with them. (I just hope that she doesn't end up with the raccoon eyes that her Mommy gets every summer.) Anyways, whenever she really is looking at something, she always has to lift the glasses. Like, if she wants to look at me while I'm talking to her. Very hard to discipline a little girl when she's doing that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Milk and cookies.

I find humor in this and relate to it in a couple of ways:

1. As a lover of chocolate. Especially my Oreos. With milk of course (+ one ice cube). What a way to end a day. Oreos and milk are for me at the end of the day what a cold, frosty beer is for my husband. The perfect mini-celebration of getting the kids to bed.

2. As the mother of a milk-addicted 4-month-old baby boy.

Need I say more?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And the winner is...

Baby Graham!

I entered Graham (and the quilt that I made him) into a cutest kid contest that was being held by Jackie Clark Designs. AND WE WON!! I am super excited (because of the prize) and super proud (because of all the work that went into the baby AND the quilt)!!

I've never really won much of anything before. My dad won a truck once. Seriously, a no-strings-attached brand new Dodge truck. All he did was buy a $10 raffle ticket from some kid! That was a few years ago and he still drives it to this day! The most that I can claim winning was a t-shirt from Hank's Brewery in Cheney. All I had to do was walk in the door and drink a beer (or seven). Then they drew my ticket number out of the bowl - and I was pretty excited, let me tell ya!

Oh, and last month at Bunco, I won a prize - a cool pair of socks and a nifty note pad, which still makes me proud to write on. (And believe, winning Bunco is nothing to be proud of. There is ZERO amount of skill involved.)

Why is it that winning prizes is so fun??

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


My husband, Brady, loves to fish. So much so that I've caught him sneaking to the pond in our back yard at sunrise on his day off just to throw a line in. So much so that he hauled the boat out to Cheney lake three times this weekend. So much so that when he fishes, he holds multiple poles at once to increase his chances of success.

Now that's passion. And I love him for it. Do I love it when he comes home smelling of lake and beer and slimy fish? No, but I love that he's truly exciting about this. Life is too short to not have that feeling.

I tagged along to Cheney lake once on Friday afternoon. It was the kind of weather that you only dream of. The kind that you wish you could bottle up and pour out during the cold winter months. Or during the steamy summer months. Or anytime really. Weather like that is NEVER inappropriate. We went minus kids and plus a cooler full of Lynchberg Lemonades. A big bag of sunflower seeds and a good book is what I brought along to keep me entertained while he was "passionate". It was a great day, despite the lack of fish we brought home.