Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nervous!

I am hosting a baby shower today with my sister Sarah for our cousin's wife Ashley. I am excited but nervous!!!

I am not the most natural of hostesses, so here's hoping I can pull it off. Thank God my sister is helping me, and most of the guests are family.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Baby

Today was a special day around our house. Not just because it is Thanksgiving, but also because my little Sammy boy turned 2 at 11:24 this morning. It was rather appropriate the days were combined, as I spent a lot of time today being thankful for Sammy, who was the biggest surprise of my life, and for my husband, the second biggest surprise.

We actually did most of our celebrating last Sunday, when we had friends and family over for a party. He loved the presents, which he quickly figured out, and he loved being sang Happy Birthday to; one of the few people I have ever met who enjoy this part of a birthday celebration.



Isn't he cute? I am so thankful that even though he no longer officially a baby (although I will always call him that since he is my youngest) he still has his round baby face, and utterly edible chubby baby cheeks. I am thankful that he still wants to snuggle and cuddle with me, and I am still the one who can kiss away his boo boos.

I am so thankful that God sent me this beautiful baby boy, even if finding out about his arrival into our lives gave me quite a jolt. Although looking back maybe it shouldn't. The night that Sam was conceived I had this very vivid dream, of being inside a womb, and watching an egg get fertilized and a baby begin. I awoke with a start right after the dream had ended, and I felt vaguely unsettled. I didn't even tell Jeff about it right away, because the dream was so real, and I didn't want it to be true. I had a newborn to deal with. I couldn't completely forget it though, and the dream faded into a little nagging itch in the back of my brain. I think the itch is why when I felt a vague sense of nausea a few weeks later I had a horrible suspicion of what had happened.

As usual, God knew best and Sammy turned out to be the missing piece of our family, and the very thing I needed to complete my heart.

I remember looking up into Jeff's exhausted, red, tired, loving eyes shortly after Sammy was born, and being so very thankful for this man who was strong enough, loving enough, and patient enough to stand by me through birthing two children in one calendar year. I am not a pleasant pregnant person. Hormones do wretched things to my emotional state, and I become demanding, whiny, depressed, and teary. Jeff patiently rubbed my back, put my shoes on for me, dried my tears, and encouraged me through it all. If he was frustrated too, he never once let me see that, not wanting to add to my already full plate. I remember thinking that if we could get through that, surely we could get through about anything.

I am even more thankful for this amazing man, who I am blessed enough to call my husband, today. The last two years have been HARD. And that word doesn't even begin to cover it. Having two children only 10 months apart is COMPLETELY exhausting. Not that I don't treasure my children, but there have been many moments when I wasn't sure I had enough energy and patience to make it. Today in the car on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner in Harlan, I looked over at Jeff, and I was hit with the same feelings I had two years ago, but much more intense. This man is still here, still walking by my side. No matter how hard it has gotten, how crazed I have become with the demands of mothering and working full time-he is still here. I am just so incredibly thankful to have the blessing of a husband who loves me and sticks with me through thick and thin. And I feel so secure that if we can make it through all of this happening in only 3 1/2 years of marriage, we can make it through whatever comes next. Together.

That's why Jeff is my second greatest surprise. I had given up on finding a friend to walk through life with. God surprised me with his goodness, in sending not just any man to be my husband, but this man of strength.

Happy Birthday Sammy! I know you will keep bringing happy surprises and blessings into our lives for many years to come. I love you, buddy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Organization: My Own Form of Heroin

I love to be organized. I love the process of organization. I love finding containers to organize things into.

A little OCD?

Probably. Nobody's perfect though, right?

Anyway, that's why the storage room in our house has bothered me for the entire 2 1/2 years that we have lived here. The room is big, which is great, but that's all there was-just a large open room with not a shelf in sight. When we moved in, we piled boxes up against the walls. My first months in this house were not restful ones that I could spend leisurely sorting through boxes and organizing this cave which seemed to attract spare bits of flotsam from all over the house. I was newly pregnant with Sam, and had a 4 month old Charlie to deal with at the same time. Needless to say, I didn't get around to organizing much of anything in there anytime soon.

Things got worse after Sam was born. Not only was I half crazed between taking care of two infants, but I started to need things that were buried in boxes down there. I would hurriedly paw through boxes and shove things around to find something quickly in the rare 5 minutes I would have to myself, desperately searching for a piece of baby equipment I knew was down there SOMEWHERE. The mess grew and grew.

Eventually things calmed down a bit in our lives. As they did, I stopped to notice how horrifying it had become in the storage room. Admittedly, not as horrifying if you are Jeff or someone else without a need for order, but to me it was horrifying. I hated walking past the door or going in to find something.

So, I started talking about getting some shelving units. My dad, who is a master at building things thought that was dumb. He said he could custom build me some floor to ceiling shelving units that would better utilize the space.

My rock star Dad took the day off from work on Tuesday, came to my house to work instead, and built me this:



They extend along two walls and I am just in love with them. I happily organized away last night, and I just feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. Isn't my dad great?



This is a part of what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. Not just my new shelves, gorgeous as they are, but for a wonderful Dad who loves me. Loves me enough to keep taking care of me with kind acts even though I am a grown up. It is a wonderful thing to feel cherished and loved by a parent, and to know that will be true no matter how old you are.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Putting All That Training to Good Use

Sammy took 20 years off my life tonight at dinner by scaring me to death.

We had some left over baby carrots from a veggie tray we had at his party yesterday, so I fed them to the kids at dinner tonight. Sammy was goofing around in his chair at the same time he had a mouthful of carrots, and fell over backwards onto the floor. He hit his head on the floor when he landed, which caused him to inhale in surprise and pain, which meant that he breathed in a mouthful of hard chunky carrots. And then-my worst nightmare (or one of them-the other being a fire in the middle of the night) came true. He started choking.

There is nothing worse than looking at your child's face when they can't breathe. When they are scared spitless.

I am praising God right now that I have had to sit through countless First Aid and CPR trainings for various daycare and teaching positions I have held. Somehow adrenaline and training took over, and I grabbed him, flipped him upside down in the football hold, and started pounding on his back. In a few seconds, even though it seemed like HOURS, the carrot came back out. He coughed and coughed and coughed for a long time after that, and a lot more came out.

I was SO relieved I started crying, and I went to sit down on the chair I thought was behind me so I could turn him around and reassure myself that he was fine. Somehow in all the excitement though I moved the chair, and I ended up falling with Sammy to the ground, flat on my back, and hitting my head REALLY hard on the edge of the kitchen chair on the way down.

What a night.

Poor Sammy. For the rest of the night he kept saying, "What happened?! I upside down! Mommy hit me!" He was so confused!

No one in this house is ever going to eat a fresh carrot again. It's a new rule. You can add carrots to my list of things I'm scared of.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Generations of Love

A few days ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Sharon, did a post called An Object With Unexpected Significance. .

I've thought a lot about her post her post ever since I read it, and yesterday while I was doing some baking in preparation for Sammy's birthday party, I found my own objects with unexpected significance.



The rolling pin on the left belonged to my wonderful Grandma Sophie, and the pastry cutter and rolling pin on the right belonged first to my Great-Grandma Adeline, and then to my Grandma Rose. I love to use all three of these things, which would probably seem like ordinary objects to anyone else. When I am baking something and using my rolling pins, I can feel my grandmother's hands on mine. I feel how their hands touched the very handles that I am using. I imagine all of the cookies, pies, and meals these rolling pins helped to make for their families. Sophie had 10 children, and Adeline had 8. That's a lot of hungry people. Adeline came from Germany, and her husband Henry, who later lived with my Mom when she was a child, often spoke of the German tradition of ALWAYS having a freshly baked desert after every meal. I am sure they both got a lot of use out of these everyday tools.

In fact, one of the handles on Adeline's rolling pin was reattached by my Grandpa Dave, when it came apart after much use in the '70s. The bolt doesn't match and looks totally different from the rest of the rolling pin, but I love that too. It reminds me of my handy man grandfather, who used to love to putter around and make, create, and fix.

I love that these tools are helping me to make food for my own family now. They are truly precious to me. Anything that can help me remember the smiling faces of my grandmothers, their heartfelt laughter as they worked in the kitchen, and the love they served their families with will always hold a special place in my heart.

I am sad that I don't have a daughter to pass these on to, and continue the tradition. Who knows-maybe one of my boys will be a baker. Or maybe I will be blessed enough to have a daughter in law that I love like my own. One thing is certain-whoever I pass these along to will be the type of person who can see my hands in the mix when I am gone. Someone who can see these simple rolling pins as a symbol of generations of women in our family, taking care of the ones they love.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Starting to Panic

I am starting to get nervous.

On Sunday is Sammy's birthday party. He is turning 2! So, I am nervous because:
1) My house is a FREAKIN' DISASTER AREA. Due in part to the fact that I can't stop reading the Twilight series long enough to get anything done, and also to the fact I have a cold-I know you're shocked I'm sick again.
2) I have a lot to bake this weekend, Evan has a birthday party to attend, and I am scheduled to help at church Saturday night. Will it all get done? Probably not.
3) My BABY is turning 2. He will officially be a toddler, and not a baby. I AM NOT READY FOR THIS. Would it be too much to ask for Sammy to remain a one year old forever with his sweet kissable baby cheeks always at that perfect size for munching?

On Thursday is Thanksgiving. I am not hosting this year, but I will be making yet another pie to take with us, and as we will be in Harlan for the day, it will be one less day to get ready for...

the Baby Shower Sarah and I are hosting on Saturday. Which the only thing I have done to get ready for is send out the invites. It's cool-NOT!!!

Did I mention the mountains of laundry that are once again everywhere?

Where is your fairy godmother when you need her?!!! Or at least Merry Maids?!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I admit it-I was wrong

That is not a statement that I choke out easily, but I am ready to insert my blog foot in my mouth.

I was wrong about Twilight.

Or, should I say, mostly wrong. The first 275 pages of Twilight are not fast moving or particularly interesting. The author does a lot of explaining about her characters and plot, and maybe that is necessary in a fantasy story like this one.

Once you hit the last third of the book though, look out. It is fantastic. I literally had my face stuck in the book while cooking dinner, giving baths, and helping with homework. Yes, I now know I can do all those things one handed!

The second book, New Moon, is good-GREAT-from the first page. I have about 100 pages left, and I am watching the clock crawl through the day so that I can zoom home and finish. And on the way there I am stopping to buy books 3 and 4 because I will go crazy if I can't start Eclipse as soon as I am done with New Moon.

I am hooked!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big Scary Monsters

Welcome to my 400th post! I can't believe it. One of my goals this year was to add a lot more posts to my blog-so I am proud that I did it. But I am also pretty amazed that there was enough to write about that many times. I guess maybe I am just getting better at writing about mundane details. And maybe I am boring you all to death with them! Thanks for putting up with me!

Yesterday, throughout the day, Sammy was making growling noises, in a toddler's imitation of a big scary monster. Or so I thought. Charlie and Sammy are both into dinosaurs and monsters right now, so I played along with him, acting appropriately scared, and making him giggle.

Right after dinner he growled deep again, but this time he said, "Guess what Sammy is!! Guess Mommy!" I pretended to think hard, and guessed "Is Sammy a monster?"

He laughed like I had said something stupid, and said,"No silly! Sammy a SCARY OWL!!!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Check It Out!

The awesome Christy and Beth over at Ruby & Roja designs (they did my new blog design and I LOVE them!!!) are having a blog design give away! If you enter the contest, you can win a FREE-yes-FREE Christmas blog design plus four FREE blog designs to take your blog in style through 2009.

Photobucket




Go check it out! You'll be glad you did!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Shopping

I had the nicest morning today! I got up at the crack of dawn, and my mom, sister, and I headed out to the Younkers Community Day Sale. I got some awesome deals, like a crockpot for $19 (my old one was something I bought at a garage sale in college), a rice cooker for $14, and dress shoes for Jeff for only $35. Actually, looking back, the whole trip turned out to be Jeff themed, as I also got him a dress shirt, dress pants, a new belt, and his three big Christmas presents. I think I can cross him off my list.

The best part though was being with my mom and sister, without any kids. These moments are fewer and farther between since the kids came along, and so I treasure them more when they happen. Living with all boys, I think I crave girly moments like these more than ever. It's just so nice to be around other people with estrogen in their systems, ya know?

The end of the day wasn't as grand. The lights and fan went out in our hall bathroom after dinner, and even after flipping the breaker switch, they won't come back on. After this happened, Evan informed us that for the last couple of weeks the lights have been flickering in there while he has been taking a shower in the mornings. Fab. Luckily, my brother is an electrician, and he will be over in the morning. I'm hoping it's something simple.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fly Away Binkies, Fly Home Thumbs

Remember how the binkies in our house flew away about a week ago to be with a new baby who really needed them?

It's not going to badly, actually. A lot better than I thought it would. We had a couple of outraged bedtimes and naptimes, and that was about it. Charlie is especially doing a great job. He even got a toy car from our super pediatrician when we went in for an ear check as a reward. (Isn't it cool he noticed? And that he would make a big deal out of it with my toddler? I seriously love Dr. B).

Sammy, on the other hand, has replaced one bad habit with another. When he was a tiny infant, we noticed the occasional thumb sucking with him. I remember him popping his thumb in his mouth within the first hours after birth in fact, but it was quickly replaced with a binky.

Not anymore. Whenever I check Sammy at night before going to bed, there is a thumb in his mouth. When he's sitting and watching TV? Thumb in his mouth. When he's reading a book (usually Green Eggs and Ham)? Thumb in his mouth. This is my kid who didn't inherit straight baby teeth either. When I see him with that thumb in his mouth, I am picturing him as a 9 year old with braces. Too bad his thumb can't fly away with the binkies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Twilight

Everyone on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, my blog roll, etc. lately has been talking about the book Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. It was originally written for teen age readers, but the book has a huge adult following. I love, love, LOVE to read, and I had heard it was as good as Harry Potter, so I hopped on the bandwagon and bought the book last week.

It is about vampires, which are normally such an exciting topic for me that I can't even read about them because I have major nightmares. So, Jeff was super relieved when I failed to wake him up kicking and screaming about blood sucking creatures after beginning the book. In fact, he was shocked, because he can count on this happening any other time I read a scary book.

Which is in fact, the problem with Twilight. So far, I am bored silly. The story line is kind of plodding, the love angle is so overdone it is nauseating, and the vampires (at least by page 322) are not scary at all.

I have this obsession where if I start a book, I have to finish it (remember that OCD problem I mentioned yesterday?!) So, I keep plowing through waiting for something to happen. I am really trying to understand why some people are over the moon about it.

Have you read it? What do you think? Tell me what I'm missing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Failing at Being Green

In January when I was making New Year's Resolutions, one thing I really wanted to do was try to incorporate a few things into my family's daily life to make us more green. One of the big things I chose was switching to a more concentrated, earth friendly laundry detergent.

I am totally anal about laundry. Don't hit me, but it is my favorite chore to do around the house. I love taking warm clothes out of the dryer, folding them carefully, and putting the loads away. I feel so accomplished when a load is done! I am BIG on the smell of detergent and fabric softener, it has to be noticeable in the clothes days later. I am anal too about my kids smelling good. Okay, so I admit to having a bit of an OCD problem.

Since almost all of my kids clothes also get passed through three boys, I am a stickler about stain removal. I get as many as I can with a pretreater, but with boys, I am ALWAYS missing something. And whoever thought it was a good idea to require the students at Evan's school to wear white polos as part of their uniform was obviously a man who was not in charge of the laundry. I want a detergent that will step in and erase the spots I've missed.

I have tried three different detergents this year that are concentrated and touted as earth friendly. including Melaleuca's MelaPower, All small and mighty, and Seventh Generation. I even tried a friend's reciped for a homemade mix. All of them brought terrible results.

I guess my kids play in the dirt all day long, because the washcloths were the first to bite the dust. I watched in horror as they all turned a sickly gray after trying to tackle the dirt of three boys in our daily battle to keep the kids clean and presentable. Next, I started to notice set in stains-the BANE of my existence!!! Then, the whites load, which includes that most stubborn of male garments, the undershirt, turned gray, even with bleach. What is it about mens armpits that can cause such stains?!!!

So this weekend, I gave up. I threw out undershirts and washcloths damaged beyond repair, and with a relish, I went to the store and bought my favorite liquid Tide, Bounce dryer sheets, and Downy fabric softener (yes, I use both dryer sheets AND liquid softener! Like I said- OCD.) I threw in a load, and when it came out of the dryer, I will admit to you I stood there and sniffed for 5 whole minutes. My clothes and my family smell and look great again.

So, I guess I am a failure at green laundry. Have any of you ever tried this? Any success?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tripping Through My Day With Bells on My Toes

I can't begin to tell you how NICE it is to feel half way normal today! I am not 100%, still really tired, but I can BREATHE! And it doesn't hurt to swallow! And best of all, I don't have a fever!

I hadn't realized until today exactly how grumpy and irritable and depressed I had gotten. My poor kids who had to put up with me!

We had a great day in school-I was happy to be there, excited to teach, and we had fun learning. It has been so long since I felt that way, and I could tell the kids were excited to have their regular old (although tired) teacher back.

I was cheerful with my own kids today, and it felt nice to be together, instead of a supreme struggle to get through the next five minutes.

And to top off my awesome day, my Mom, saint of mothers, is in my kitchen making home made pizza and letting me rest.

THANK YOU God for giving me health on the upswing today!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Joy of Raising Boys

I woke this morning to the sound of raucous peals of laughter coming from the toddlers' room. Even with my brain fogged with sleep I knew this couldn't be a good sign.

When I went in, I found both boys buck naked, diapers off. Both of the them were joyously using their boy parts to spray the room with pee. The walls, the floor, the toys. I was torn between laughing and crying. Not a mess you want to clean up when you're sick, but it was just so....boyish! They looked at me with faces flushed with laughter and chuckles and fun, and it was hard to be stern.

I can name quite a few grown men who would have just as much fun doing the same thing.

So, tongue in cheek and trying to suppress a laugh, we had a talk about not getting undressed until I got there, and how our parts were for going potty in the toilet, NOT around our room.

Is life this much fun with girls?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Illness

I didn't write about this last weekend in an effort to not complain too much, but I feel the need to do so now, because sickness is consuming my life.

Last Sunday I was diagnosed with strep throat. Which was depressing of course, but more so because I had just finished two bouts with a wretched stomach bug within the last three weeks.

I pushed through work during the week. I know I should have stayed home at least a day, but my class had two practices during the day for our big All Saints Day at church on Tuesday, and to tell you the truth, I just can't afford to use a sick day on myself. I have already used 4 1/2 this year, and with all of the eye doctor appointments for Evan I need all that I have left. And God knows the toddlers are going to get sick as we head into cold and flu season. At my school, when you run out of sick days, if you miss any other days you have to pay for the sub out of your own pocket. Which is $125 a day. Something we can't afford on top of Evan's eye treatment.

By Tuesday, I was also coughing and stuffy and running a fever again. I thought at first it was related to the strep throat. By Wednesday it hurt terribly to breathe, and I was feeling worse instead of better. I decided to go back to the doctor, but I couldn't make it until Friday afternoon between doctor appointments for Charlie and swimming and choir for Evan.

Yesterday I was diagnosed with pneumonia. They gave me yet another antibiotic, steroids, and cough medicine with codeine. Which I was very grateful to knock myself out with last night. I slept soundly for the first time in days.

The most depressing thing for me, and the questions I wish I could have answered is why. Why do I just get one thing after another?

If I am honest with myself, I really think it is because I can't rest and heal like I need to. I need to crawl into bed for several days and stay there. The not taking off from work is made worse by the fact I am a single mom during the week. Jeff is rarely home before 7:30. So even when I get home from work I can't rest because I am still on the job as Mom and Dad put together. Which sucks but it is just a fact of life for me/us.

I don't know what to do. My mom is coming Monday after school to help me out with the kids. I hate to depend too much I on her, but what else can we do?

I guess I will try to lay low as much as possible this weekend and just hope it is enough.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

From the Classroom

Our class journal assignment this morning was:

I like _____ for dinner.
It is good to eat because _____________.

One child's response:

I like Texas Roadhouse for dinner. It is good to eat because they have a penis to eat.

Hmmm. It's a shame then I've never been there before. Do you think Jeff would take me if he knew they serve this entree?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fly Away

Last night when we came home from school, Charlie could not find a binky (yes, my 2 1/2 year old still uses a binky! Try to refrain from throwing fruit at me!) and he threw the mother of all temper tantrums.

Over the weekend, Jeff had made up a story which he told both boys. It involved how binkies fly away when boys are too big to use them, and they find a brand new baby that needs to have a binky and stay with the new baby instead. Who knew my husband could be so creative? I was totally impressed.

After we had suffered through 45 minutes of Charlie's wailing, screaming, gnashing, and head smashing (he bangs his head on the floor when frustrated) I made the impulsive decision that those binkies were going to fly out the window that very minute!

I gathered all the binkies left in the house, had Charlie and Sam tell them good bye, and made them "disappear", aka threw them in the trash can.

In other words, we quit cold turkey.

Stupid, no? But now I am stuck. So bed time was a bit rough last night, but they eventually went to sleep.

This morning on the way to school Charlie asked me if "that dumb other baby still have my binky?" Poor guy. I am so tempted to give in!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Lovely Nuggets

I have been learning a little bit here and there lately about the Mormon faith. Three of my favorite bloggers are Mormons: Courtney at C jane enjoy it, Stephaine at the Nie Nie Dialogues, and Jessica at Balancing Everything. In the last few days, I have learned two things that warmed my heart. I "met" these women and began to read their blogs as mothers first, and as their faith is an important part of their lives, I have also learned some of their beliefs.

In Courtney's post today, which is an essay she wrote about her sister Stephanie who is recovering from serious burns to 80% of her body she says, "We also believe that women are divine. Where a righteous woman walks there is virtue. We want to be around the angelic presence of females. We are commanded to treat our mothers, wives and sisters as holy daughters of God. We worship a Savior who teaches the sacredness of women." It warmed my heart to read this. In a world where so many women are still treated as second class citizens, and where in some countries women are outrageously abused, it is wonderful to know that somewhere children are taught respect for women, especially in a religious context.

Mormons also believe in forever families. It is their belief that if a marriage is performed by a priest of God in a temple and is a "true" marriage, that marriage bond lasts beyond death. I love this. It has never made sense to me that God would create a soul mate for you, allow you to live your life together as one, bring children into this world as a part of that love, and then have it end at death. At my own wedding, that line of my vows truly bothered me. I want to always be connected to Jeff in a special way. Maybe it's not physical in heaven, but I really believe in my heart that our bond will last at least in a spiritual way beyond death.

I love learning about different faiths, how people worship, and what values and traditions they hold dear.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

I must apologize to you for being such a whiny blogger this last week. Hope I didn't bore you with my ranting. I have to thank all of you for your kind and supportive comments! They really did help me get through the week. That's one of the things I love best about blogging. People you've never met in person become a community and friends you look forward to hearing from. What in the world did we do before the internet?

Halloween was a wonderful time for us around here. Jeff made it home just in time for us to have dinner together. The look on the boys' faces as he walked in to see them was priceless. Sammy jumped up and down and absolutely squealed with delight. It was one of the priceless moments that you file away in your memory to take out again to look at many times.

This year we had a clone trooper, a dragon, and a giraffe to trick or treat with. Aren't they cute?



Sammy was not wild about the idea of a costume and kept asking why he had to put it on. Charlie thought that being a dragon was a grand idea and kept growling at us in true dragon style.



It was a Halloween of firsts for us. The first time Jeff has been able to go with us, the first time Sammy trick or treated, and the first time we have done so in our own neighborhood. I was amazed at the hordes of children we saw. There were large groups of 25-30 children walking along together. It made me a little sad. All of these kids in our neighborhood, and we don't know any of them. One of the definite downsides of having Evan go to school where I teach (which is pretty far from where we live) is that he has no friends where we live. And, I guess, neither do Jeff and I. We know our neighbors to either side pretty well, but we haven't really met or bonded with anyone else. Something to ponder.

Most of the dads (and quite a few of the moms too!) were walking along with cans of beer or bottles filled with brew. I guess everyone got to have a good time!!

You want to know a secret? One of my favorite parts of trick or treating is getting to have a glimpse into other people's houses. I love seeing how people decorate and make their houses into homes.

The toddlers made it for about an hour before Sammy plopped down on the sidewalk and said, "Sammy crash. I need hug. I not walk any more!" I guess our route was a little over zealous for the little guys. Luckily we were only a block or two from home, and I only had to lug his 34 pounds of adorable chub a short way.

Evan and I headed over to our friend Katie's house for an hour or so after that. She had a firepit going in the driveway, chili and cider, wine, and caramel apples. It was so beautiful out, and it was so relaxing to sit around the fire with friends after a long walk in the autumn air. A perfect end to the perfect evening.

See? I went an entire post without complaining. I feel much better. In fact, I won't even mention that Sammy was diagnosed with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease yesterday =)

How was your Halloween?

I Love E.L.F

About a week ago, the awesome Christi sent me an email about a new website she had found called E.L.F. As Christi always knows what she's talking about, I visited the site and discovered we weren't talking about Santa' little helpers, but instead about one of my favorite things, MAKEUP! ELF stands for Eyes, Lips, Face cosmetics.

One of the things I regret most about not having little girls is that I won't be able to play with make up with a daughter. I love new colors, new makeup trends, and new products. One way I motivate myself to get up in the morning is by thinking about how much fun it will be to do my makeup!

So imagine my delight when I discovered I had found a new line of makeup. I went a little wild, and ordered all of this:



But that's okay, because get this-I only spent a total of $25!! Most of the products offered by ELF are only $1.00. Yes, you read that right-$1.00. Go ahead-I'll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor.

Now, I admit that I was a little skeptical at first. I thought maybe the quality would be terrible, or that the sizes of the products would be miniscule. But when my box arrived on Wednesday night, I was delighted to find full sized products. And I have loved playing around with them the last few days, and the quality is wonderful.

Here is a shot of just the makeup portion:



My favorites so far are the all over face brush, and the luscious liquid lipstick, although the bath set is wonderful too. I got the peony scent, and I am in love with the body butter.

So-go check out ELF and treat yourself while saving yourself a dollar or two at the same time. You'll be glad you did!!

PS-Just as an FYI, no I did not receive any free samples from this company, nor was I asked to use them. Just wanted to pass on a great product-we girls need to stick together, right?!

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