Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Blog Challenge Day 3

Let me just tell you how much I wanted to go back to work today after a great 6 days yeah....not at all.  I really need to hit the lotto or something so this girl can stay at home on a daily basis.  That would be the life.  But I digress....

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's theme for the Holiday Blog Challenge goes along with everything we've been doing tonight (we started to decorate our Christmas tree).  Today is all about Holiday Decor.
I live for Christmas time.  It really is my favorite time of year.  I get excited when Christmas decorations are sneaking in at Target while the Halloween costumes are still out. I'm not mad that Christmas music was being played on the radio a few days before Thanksgiving.  Yes.  I'm one of those people.  So of course Christmas is one of the only holidays I actually decorate the house for.  The Hubs hates Christmas but is nice enough to put on a happy face and get on the roof to put the lights on the house.  He also lets me add a new little something to our outside decor every year.  This year it was a set of 3 lighted gift boxes for the yard!!!
When it comes to Christmas, I collect snowmen and Nativity scenes.  I think I gravitated towards snowmen because my Mom decorates in all Santa's.  I don't know where I got my Nativity scene obsession.  I still have my very first scene that I used to put out in my bedroom when I lived at my parents.  My collection now includes the Willow Tree Nativity, my all time favorite, all the way to the Little People Nativity (and I did not buy it for my kids).  This weekend, I'll have everything set up and I'm sure I'll post a pic or twelve!
I just can't wait for my newest Christmas decor craft.  I'm not going to blab what it is until it's completed but all I can say is acrylic paint, empty Wallflower plug ins, and apothecary jars!!!
Here's a few pics of some of our decor from years past
Some of the snowmen in our old entertainment center (I think in 2009)

My favorite, courtesy of my Momma
My first ever Nativity Scene
Yes, I got very excited when I saw this in the stores!!!
 Hope all of you are having a great time decorating for the holidays!!!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Challenge Day 2

I am so excited to say that I am thisclose to being done with my Christmas gifts.  Santa's been done with the kiddos for a while now, even though this Elf keeps adding more to the loot.  I spoil them.  I can't help it.  I'm finishing up the Grandparents gifts today, getting them ordered, and will patiently await that bright orange package that Shutterfly will send me.  Honestly, I think they know my address by heart now.  2 weeks ago, I got a delivery from them 4 times in one week.  I'm anticipating another delivery in a few days with the last one to show up next week.  What can I say?  I might have a problem!!!

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Now on to Day 2 of the Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge.
Today's topic....Fav Holiday Tradition, old or new

I've grown up loving this time of year.  My mom always had the house decorated to the max. Christmas music was always on.  My most favorite tradition, that continues on to this day, is that we all gather together as a family on Christmas Eve.  Growing up, the Christmas Eve party was always at our house.  We would all go to Mass, then come back to the house.  We would have tons of food (and the same foods all the time....people live for Christmas Eve and my mom's beer meatballs and hot dogs in mustard/grape jelly),  and pass out the gifts and open them up with everyone watching.  Sometimes, my cousins would spend the night and Santa would bring all of their presents to our house.  Now that we're all grown, the big Christmas Eve party has been moved to my house.  I love entertaining in general but hosting the family Christmas Eve party is something I've always dreamed of doing.  It's an honor that's been passed down to me and I try to make it as great as I remember it being growing up.

Now that I have my own family, the Hubs and I wanted to start some traditions of our own.  We have all the grandparents over Christmas morning to watch the kiddos open up their Santa gifts.  We have a huge breakfast and then the kids get to play with their new toys for the rest of the day.  This year, we added a new tradition that I've been wanting to do for 2 years now.  This is the newest addition to our family:
Meet Chippy, the Elf on our Shelf
The Hubs is creeped out by this little guy.  I think he's adorable!  But the Hubs is also deathly afraid of lawn gnomes so I guess it makes sense (and gives me so many devious plans to freak him out!).  Noah just adores Chippy and every morning, he gets up, checks to see if he traveled to the North Pole to check in with Santa.  Then its time to find out where he landed (aka where I hid him).  It's a fun thing for all of us to do together.  As much as it freaks out the Hubs, I know he loves how excited Noah is about it.  Noah even called him yesterday morning to let him know that Chippy went to the North Pole.  I mean how much cuter does it get?!?!  I've been taking pictures of Chippy's daily landing spots and I'm planning on printing them out and putting them in an album every year.  I have so many plans for when it's time for him to return to the North Pole for the year.  I'm thinking postcards from vacation spots, friendly updates, birthday cards.  The possibilities are endless!!!

  Don't forget to share your traditions and link up with Amber and Neely!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fab Holiday Blog Challenge Day 1

2 posts in one day?!?!?  There are some weeks where I can't even post twice in 7 days!  Take that Hubs (he told me I was the worst blogger ever at dinner tonight)  This is y'all's lucky day (Did I just make that word up?)  The brilliant minds behind Brunch with Amber and A Complete Waste of Makeup came up with another awesome blog challenge all about my favorite time of year!!!

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Day 1: Fav gift received for Christmas
I'm going to cheat a little because I got my favorite gift a week before Christmas in 2004.  I was presented with this sweet number by the soon to be Hubs:
Granted the actual engagement ring part was just the center stone and the band with diamonds.  The 6 diamonds around the center stone are part of my wedding band but you get the idea
Now the proposal itself was less than exciting (worst proposal ever) but I love my ring so it makes up for it (not really).
Love you Hubs!!!!

What a weekend....

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I know I did.  Our Thanksgiving involved me not cooking ANYTHING!  My sweet mother did all the cooking.  We all went to my parents this year (we're usually at John's dad's...well not me...I usually work Thanksgiving) to spend our first Thanksgiving together without my Grandpa.  My grandma did rather well I must say.  It was a little hard for me but I didn't let anyone see that.  We feasted on turkey, stuffing, veggies, fruit salad, and squash casserole.  Let me just pants had to be unbuttoned, and not because my post-"rip your gallbladder out of your belly button"-inability to wear buttoned pants for long periods of time.  I ate that much.  Then came dessert....homemade pecan pie (my fav) and a bunch of others.  Then I watched the NFL for the first time this season.  All in all, great Thanksgiving!

Who did Black Friday shopping???  I did!!!  I decided to hit up Bealls at midnight so I could pick up a new UF shirt for the game on Saturday.  I think stores opening at midnight meant more people shopped since they didn't have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn.  I've never seen so many people at Bealls in my life.  But I got my shirt, refrained from buying more USF goodies, and headed back home for a quick 2 hour nap before round 2.   I was at Mom's at 3:30am so we could head to the mall for an amazing deal on boots.  $120 boots for $30....yes please!!!  JCPenney's shoe department was a zoo and I found a pair of boots that I liked.  We headed to the checkout line and it was like the heavens opened.  The most amazing boots!!!   Out of line we went, found a cute holiday saleswomen, and the ultimate pair of boots were mine!!!  I did pay $40 but still...they were originally $120.  Happy Black Friday to me!!!  A quick trip to Old Navy for the perfect pair of jeans for my boots and a pit stop for a Peppermint Mocha and this girl was a happy camper!!!  We headed home so I could get another 2 hour nap before having to wake up to go to the USF game that started at 11am (who starts a game at 11am on Black Friday???)

The Hubs likes to call this weekend the Ultimate College Football weekend.  He lives for college football.  We went to 2 games in 2 days.  Almost the best weekend in his life.  A few years ago, he and a buddy went a UF game then drove back to Tampa to make the USF game by kickoff at 7:30.  2 games in 1 day....the Ultimate Day in College Football History...I think that's what he calls it.  But anywho....USF has had a rough time this year in the Big East (that's as nice as I can put it....I'm so disappointed this season) but I thought Friday would be different.  But it wasn't.  The Bulls were leading the whole first half and gave the game away in the second half.  So the Hubs and I left with a few minutes left in the 3rd, grabbed lunch at Cheesecake Factory and watched the end of the game on our phones.
The Hubs even wore green!!! 
Go Bulls!!!  Yes the stadium was that empty...sad I know
Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake....this is how I drowned my sorrows after the game
Next up....our day in the Swamp!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  When November rolled around, I had planned on doing my daily "I'm thankful for..." like I did on FB last year but I was way too busy to even blog very much.  So instead, I'll take the opportunity today, on Thanksgiving, to recognize everyone and everything that I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for....
~My kids.  Noah and Emmy are the 2 greatest blessings in my life.  While there are times (a lot of times) that I question how good of a Mom I'm being or how on Earth I was allowed to have children, I cannot imagine my life without them.  They are the reasons I get up every morning.
~The Hubs.  We've had our ups and downs but through it all, we've hung in there and made an amazing life together.  He's the best Daddy to our kids.  He's my best friend.  He's wonderful.  I love you!!!
~My family.  I have the best family, hands down.  My mom is my best friend.  My dad is amazing.  My brothers are great (don't tell them I actually said that!) and their girlfriends are amazing women.  I don't know how many families can still sit around a dinner table for hours, talking and laughing about anything and everything, and truly enjoy it.
~Health.  The health of my children and my health.  Working in oncology like I do, I've seen the worst of things.  It's also turned me into a crazy person because every leg pain or additional bruise my kids have automatically sends me spiraling down thinking they have leukemia....true pediatrician thinks I'm crazy.  Every day I'm surrounded by families who have been rocked by a cancer diagnosis and every day, I thank the Lord that the Hubs and I are not in their shoes.  We have 2 healthy children.  It's a blessing in itself.
~My job.  While we're talking about cancer, let's just say I love my job.  I never wanted to be in oncology but stumbled into it and fell in love.  It is the most rewarding work I've ever done.  But it's also the hardest.  No matter how hard I try, I can't help but fall in love with my patients.  I know that makes me a better nurse to them.  But it also makes me hurt with the families when the patients don't fare so well.  To all my angels, thank you for everything you've done for me!

I hope everyone has a great day!  Enjoy the parade (I have it on right now).  Eat lots of turkey.  But most of all,  give thanks!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Why do I have to wait?!?!?!


November 16, 2012?!?

Why do I have to wait an entire year for part 2:


Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Ok

I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. Where has this year gone?  Pretty soon I'm going to wake up and my kids will be graduating high school.  Ok that just depressed me.  Time to cheer me up.  I've got so much going on this weekend!  Tomorrow is a VERY busy clinic day followed by my Pampered Chef party.  Then I'm getting up pretty early to volunteer for the Women's Running Half Marathon Expo.  I ran the 5K last year and had every intention of doing the half this year but my gallbladder had other plans for me.  But I think volunteering will be a blast.  I'm almost positive I'm handing out goody bags but I could be wrong.  Then we have to rush to figure out outfits for our Christmas pictures that are being done Sunday morning.  Whew...that is a lot!  Welcome to my weekend every weekend.  There are so many things to accomplish and such little time.  Oh well.  Maybe I'll just eat another pina colada cupcake that I made for the party tomorrow night.
On to today's order of business.....linking up with Amber and Neely for "It's OK" Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK.....
~to be obsessed with Shutterfly.  Tonight is the first night this week that I haven't logged on (not that I haven't thought about it).  I have ordered something almost every day and almost all of it has been free. I just love getting the orange packages in the mail!
~to continue to drink skinny Peppermint Mochas like they're going out of style
~to be in love with the cupcakes I made tonight
~to finally be able to be excited for Thanksgiving because that means I finally don't have to work on a holiday!!!
~to have a jammed packed social calendar through about February
~to have a HUGE container of freshly made sangria in my fridge that I haven't touched yet.
~to be mad that I'm starting to get sick (thanks to my kids or was it the patient that kept coughing all over us while we drew labs...I'm not sure)
~to be done with my Santa shopping for the kiddos!!!  This one I'm most proud of because it all came from!!!

Have a great Friday and a great weekend!!!


Monday, November 14, 2011


I love photography.  I love taking pictures.  I always have my camera on me.  I love being able to capture my life (and my kids's lives) on my memory card (I kinda miss having real film).  I've always been fascinated by the art of photography.  My dad is a pretty good photographer, as in he's real good.  Growing up, our upstairs bathroom was a dark room for a while.  Then he stopped working on it and life got in the way I guess. Now that I have kids, my fascination with photography has heightened.
The Hubs recently coordinated my favorite birthday present ever, my new camera.  He got everyone in on it so I could have it.  I was torn between a DSLR and a fancy point and shoot with all the qualities of a DSLR.  I ended up choosing a fancy point and shoot (Canon PowerShot SX30IS).  I love it to pieces.  I mean LOVE.  I'm doing online searches for cute camera straps and camera bags.  I lug it around everywhere, even though I'm known to have cameras small enough to slip in my back pocket.  But you know matter how much I might look like I know what I'm doing, I have NO CLUE how to use my camera or maximize it to it's potential.
Devastating, I know.
My dad was nice enough to try to explain things to me.  He's even willing to work with me to get basic photography down.  He saw the pictures that we had done of the kiddos and said to can take pictures like these.  That is what I want.  I want to have the knowledge and skill to take amazing pictures.  Do I want to have my own photography business? No.  Do I want to take professional quality pics? Absolutely.  That is the ultimate goal.
So I've done some googling (Google is my BFF....for reals) and stumbled across a 31 day project on taking a better photo.  It's all about learning the camera, learning the basics, and taking it one step at a time.  I think it's just what I need (besides a translator for my camera manual...have you ever read one?  Impossible to understand).
So here's to struggling with my camera.  To feeling like I'm dumb for getting confused on what each number and dial means.  To getting frustrated with every blurry picture, every horribly lit picture, until I get the one perfect picture.  To that one perfect picture becoming the way my pictures turn out on a regular basis.  

Oh and if anyone has any helpful tips, suggestions, websites I can check out, feel free to send them my way.  I need all the help I can get!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

What my day was made of

I got so much accomplished today!!!  The Hubs might disagree but we all know that the Hubs and I have different priorities ;)  I am so excited about all the fun stuff I did!

Today I....
~ordered our Christmas cards!!!  I am so excited about them.  Usually we go to the photo studio and get family holiday pictures done but I am so in love with the pictures that we had done of the kids that I decided to use those for our cards.  The cards turned out amazing!  Shutterfly has the best cards and is so easy to use! It also helped that they're offering free shipping on orders $30+ and 40% off cards right now.  I had received a few codes for 5 free cards so I cashed in 2 of those plus used the code on their site for 1 free card.  Not too shabby!

~ordered 200 photo prints...for free.  I think I'm the queen of free products, although I can't take credit for knowing about the offers.  I have to thank my friend at Saving Said Simply for the tip.  Check out her blog and her Facebook page.  She shares amazing deals every day!  Plus I know her.  She's amazing.  You really should check her out.

~ordered New Years Cards.  Yes I received another code for 10 free cards (I had 2 of them).  Thanks SSS!!!

~did all my Santa shopping!!!  This is a HUGE deal.  Every year the Hubs and I brave Toys R Us to do Santa shopping for the kiddos.  This year, the Hubs has been doing a bit of online shopping and found an amazing deal on the My First Disney Princess Carriage Playcenter that we had planned on getting Emmy.  This sparked us to just shop on Toys R Us's website for almost all of our gifts.  They're offering free shipping (up to $20) but also offer in-store pick up. So anything we could pick up at our local store is being sent there and the 3 things that had to be shipped fell well below the $20 limit so shipping was free! As much as I secretly love the thrill and commotion of braving TRU during the holiday season, there's something calming about knowing that's not in our future (until I realize we need to buy more things).  It's also a great feeling to be done with shopping and only have to get gifts for a few more people.
~got some of my housework done.  The laundry finally got folded (I'm really bad at folding it...remember this post???) and it will get put away tomorrow.  We also got our grocery shopping done for the week.

Now I guess I'll have to go to bed since I stayed up WAY too late playing on Shutterfly.  But because I don't like leaving a post picture-less (if I can help it), here's a few more pictures from our amazing photo session with Jamie Lewis Photography!
Love this one (even if I think Em's face looks fat!)
Again, this picture was not staged.  Noah was very loving to his sister that day 
Melt my heart right now!  Adore this picture (and his hair isn't red....i just looks like it  in this pic)
I love that the orange/grapefruit trees are in the pictures...very appropriate for my family
 Hope everyone has a great Sunday!!!
****I 100% love Shutterly and it's products.  I was not compensated at all for this post.  I just received some amazing deals today that I wanted to share with you.  I would, however, love to be a Shutterfly spokesperson because I do love them so much!!!****

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's OK

Today has been such a great day!  My clinic was so much smoother than I expected.  I got out of work 1.5 hours earlier than I thought I would.  I got to see some of my favorite patients.  And I got to spend the evening with my family.  What could be better than that?!?!  Well sleeping for 3 days straight might be a little better but that's never going to happen ;)

This whole daylight savings time stuff is really messing with me.  I do NOT enjoy waking up and it being bright as day out and I definitely DO NOT like driving home in the dark.  I enjoy walking out of clinic and it still be light out.  Now I feel like I'm running late all the time and that I'm staying at work too long since it's dark out.  I will say though, I'm feeling better every morning.  I'm not as tired.  I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I'm out in the sunshine so early in the morning or if it's because I'm just crazy and have tricked myself into thinking I'm feeling better.  Either way, I'm functioning a lot better on less sleep now that its bright out.  We'll see how long this lasts.

It's Thursday so it's time for "It's OK" Thursdays with Amber and Neely.

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK.....
~to be craving a Peppermint Mocha (all day, every day).  I'm counting down the minutes until I hit up my Starbucks in the AM and they hand me happiness in a red cup
~to have entertained the idea of staying home from work today just so I could attend the grand opening of H&M at International Plaza.  I went to work like a good girl but really wish I was at the mall
~to tell my kids that it's not "awake time" unless the sun is completely up and shining (read: Mommy gets a few extra minutes of sleep).  This is where daylight savings time is screwing me over
~to be taking advantage of every free print code I can find for pictures
~to be in dire need for holiday scrub tops
~to be lusting over these beauties.  I think my feet/legs would look stellar in these boots!
~to be a grown adult and be just as excited for the newest Twilight movie as any other crazy, obsessed adolescent girl
~to be very worried about my grandmother.  She fell and broke her shoulder (like it's not really attached or something)

About my grandmother...She has horrible cardiac health and her kidneys don't function at 100%.  She should have had open heart surgery a few months ago but she decided not to the day before surgery.  She is a horrible surgical candidate but needs to have a shoulder replacement just to improve the quality of her life.  She's in a terrible amount of pain and is on tons of pain medications.  My grandpa is going nuts over her condition and being in the hospital (he just had a hip replacement after falling and isn't doing well either).  She (and my grandpa, Mom, aunt, and uncle) have to come to some decisions about her plan of care tomorrow. Any prayers you can spare for my grandma, our family, and the physicians/nurses involved in her care, would be greatly appreciated.  It's been a very rough few months for my family.  We've already lost my grandpa. I can't imagine going through that experience again with my other grandparents.  

Hope everyone has a great Veteran's Day Friday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Likes and Dislikes

I have come to realize this week that there are a lot of things that I like right now and a million things that I dislike right now.  Some (most) things are very superficial and not important but some of these things are really messing with me a little so I figured why not talk about it on here.
~that the Duggar's are having another baby.  I just cannot believe this.  First off, how can anyone stand to be pregnant almost all of their adult life???  That's just craziness to me.  But more importantly,  how is her uterus still functioning? I mean there's got to be a point where a doctor has to say enough is enough. I just can't believe this is safe for Mom and baby.  I just pray the baby is healthy since they had such a scare with their last baby
~that Christmas is less than 2 months away and we haven't started shopping.  Christmas has snuck up on me this year and I am not prepared at all.  At least the Hubs and I are starting to work on things
~that Noah is turning 5 in January.  I don't know why this is bothering me so much but it is.  I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.  There's no way it was 5 years ago.  He's such a big boy now.  I'm so proud of everything he's accomplished so far but I really wish I could keep him little forever.
~that Emmy goes to PreK next year.  My baby girl will be 3 which means time for school.  I'll have both babies  in school.  What am I going to do on my days off?  I won't have screaming and crying.  I won't have "Mommy" said over and over. I won't have cartoons on the TV.  I'll have to start doing more work around the house.
~folding laundry.  Enough said

~Target's Halloween section being 90% off. I got 2 costumes, a bag of candy corn, a pumpkin bucket, 2 haunted house craft thingies, 4 packages of treat bags, a shirt for Emmy, stickers, 4 decent sized Halloween bucket/tubs, all for way less than $20.  Did we need all of this, absolutely not.  But I saved a significant amount!!!  The costumes themselves were originally $20/costume and I got them for $2 each!  Score for me!!!
~that Christmas items are out already.  I just love Christmas!  It makes me happy!  But I will say that hearing Christmas music in the stores already is a bit much though
~the Peppermint Mocha is back!!!  I've had 3 since Sunday (skinny of course!)
~that I've officially decided on which half marathons I'm running this year.  I've decided to run the Inaugural Rock N Roll St Pete half and the IronGirl Clearwater half. I'm going to throw in the Turkey Trot 5K (maybe 10K) and a few random 5K's along the way.
~the cooler weather that we're experiencing in Florida right now. It's nice to wear long sleeves every so often!
~that I'm hosting a Pampered Chef party next week!  I can't wait to see everyone and purchase some more kitchen goods.  If anyone is interested in buying, check out my consultant's page and search for my party (Jessica Crimella).  Any items purchased will count towards my party.  Plus there's a free gift for any purchase over $60.  Can't go wrong with that!
~that I got to spend the weekend with my family and my friend Jen.  It was a great weekend and I can't wait to get back down there again.
Jen, Em, and Me
Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Miss this guy already

My lifelong friend Jen had this amazing bundle of joy in September and I finally got to meet the little guy!  I am in LOVE with Colton (and the very flattering camera angle!!!)  He is the most adorable baby and it's so amazing to see my friend in the Mommy role!  Although I have to apologize for Colton's obvious obsession with my boobs ;)  I am a very proud Aunt!!!

Congrats to Mrs W (and Mr W) on their exciting news!!!
I'm catching up on blogging this week!  I'm getting back in the saddle with tons of stuff to talk about!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's OK

Yes, it's one of my favorite days of the week...Thursday!  Not only is it my BMT clinic day, but Thursday means it's almost the weekend and I can link up with Amber and Neely for "It's OK" Thursday!!!  So here goes......

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK.....
~to be a HUGE blog slacker and only post randomly (I'll be better I promise!!!)
~to be so excited for this weekend so I can finally meet Colton and hang with one of my bestest friends ever
~to be excited that it's almost time for the holiday menu at Starbucks!!  I know everyone has been raving over the Pumpkin Spice Latte but I'm a Peppermint Mocha kind of girl!!!
~to be loving the weather in sunny FL right now!  I'm actually enjoying the crisp cool air this year
~to be bummed that I never took advantage of any of the amazing Erin Condren deals out there (yes I'm a loser)
~to go to bed at 9:15 last night and get almost 9 hours of sleep and still be exhausted when I woke up
~to be extremely happy for this girl and this girl for all the hard work and training they've done in preparation for their half marathon this weekend
~to be slightly obsessed with our new TV lineup....Glee, The New Girl, Tosh.O, Restaurant: Impossible, Once Upon a Time, The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs
~to have never realized how funny The Big Bang Theory is.  The Hubs and I have been watching it nonstop lately
~to almost have a huge hole in my sneakers right at my big toe....ok...that's not OK...obviously
~to need new sneakers due to the above....hint hint Hubs

Hope everyone has a great Friday!!!