Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Gratitude Continues - 12 - 18!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is just such a great holiday.  It's always good to take time to look at the things in your life that you are grateful for.  No matter how hectic things are, no matter how down I may feel, when I think about things in my life that are good...I feel blessed.  I am grateful for that.

So my November gratitude continues.

Day 12 - Music

Monkey at the Denver Zoo
I could not figure out how to capture Music in a photo.  While I am grateful for beautiful tunes, the love of music in our home - I used day 12 to express my gratitude for the Monkey's at Denver Zoo.  Entertaining and full of life and energy.

Day 13 - Time

Time to Relax
Having time to relax and enjoy life is something to be truly grateful for.  We are blessed to have a lot of time to do things we love and also time to chill.

Day 14 - Creativity

Self Portrait - Corbin, Age 5
Creativity through the eyes of a child!  Enough said!

Day 15 - Family

Every day I am grateful for my family...far and near. I am also grateful for the "family" that we choose for ourselves - our Friend Family.  Being away from both our families, Hubby and I are lucky to have a great group of people that support us, love us and are always here for us.

Day 16 - Inspiration

This little man, affectionately known as "The Mayor" inspires me every day to be the best that I can be.  Grateful for everything he has brought to my life - to our family.

Day 17 - Weather

Beautiful weather in Colorado is definitely something to be grateful for.

Day 18 - Change

Gratitude for things that never change!! I have so many pictures of me and Hubby that we take ourselves.  I still love spending time with him, love him, and are grateful that he came into my life.

I'm still a little behind...but I will be caught up, and will have captured something to be grateful for each day this November.

Cheers and enjoy Turkey today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gratitude Catch-up! Day's 8, 9, 10 & 11

Yeah, the days just keep getting away from me!  Between work (Open Enrollment, woo hoo!!), and taking on a new adventure (Thirty-one consultant, baby!!), it's been busy.  Good busy though!!

I have been trying to remember to express and enjoy my gratitude.  So here's a catch up from the past few days.

Day 8 - Sleep
Sleeping Maxie
Maxie is our rescue dog.  The poor thing has such anxiety issues that sometimes he really only finds peace when he is relaxing or sleeping on his huge doggie bed.  I am very thankful for this loving, protective doggie...even with all his craziness.

Day 9 - Holidays

The Most Thankful of Holidays
I am grateful for Thanksgiving!! Not necessarily because I love to eat, or that my birthday is close by, but it really is my favorite holiday.

Day 10 - Kindness

Gratitude for kindness!
Yes, it's a Cream Filled Devil's Food Cake, but I can't get there here in Colorado.  It was amazing of my mom to mail me these two big boxes when I really needed both kindness and chocolate.  I'm thankful for my Mom because she knows exactly when Mom is needed most.

Day 11 - Friendship

Maybe it's not the most appropriate pictures to show friendship...but it was sure nice to share that pile with friends.  I am incredibly grateful for the friends in my life.  They offer support, strength, guidance and love - and they want nothing in return except for support, strength, guidance and love.

Everyday is not going to be sunshine and roses, but taking time to stop and be grateful goes a long way.  My blessings are plentiful...and I don't take them for granted.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gratitude Challenge - Day 6 & 7

I'm going to be honest...I'm struggling a little with gratitude today! Not that I'm not grateful, I know the blessings that are around me.  I'm just not feeling creatively grateful today.

Day 6 - Memories
I am grateful for all of the fabulous times we have had together as a family.

Innovation - Nope!
Day 7 - Innovation
Well, I just could not connect grateful with innovation. So...I'm being innovative and breaking out of the cycle. I'm grateful for Alpacas. Yes, Alpacas.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Gratitude Challenge - Day 3, 4 & 5

We had such a great weekend with friends!  I didn't have a chance to post individually, so here is the Gratitude report for the last three days:


Day 3 - Nature
Since we were in Colorado Springs, we went to see one of the areas that was hardest hit by the fires this past summer.  It was heartbreaking to see the loss...but hopeful to see new growth coming up in the midst of burned nature.  It made me feel hopeful that my hometown and the surrounding areas in NJ are going to be okay after the devastation they have suffered.


Day 4 - Clothes
Thankful for clothes?  Yes, I am very thankful since I know so many people who have lost so much.   I had this pile of clothes in The Mayor's outgrown pile.  I am thankful for a pile of clothes for donation because it reminds me that he is growing and thriving.


Day 5 - Knowledge
Grateful for the knowledge I gain from my love of reading!

My 30 days of gratitude continues...and you can follow along, or join in.  Check it out at


Friday, November 2, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

A twofer on posts for today!! I posted on my gratitude challenge and then could not help but to Fill in the Blanks when I saw this theme.

1. Something I swore I'd never do, but have ended up doing anyway is giving in too easily to The Mayor. I try (for both our good), but sometimes his cuteness just wins over.

2. Something I've always wanted to do is travel to Europe. Someday!

3. Something I have absolutely no desire to ever do is go in a hot air balloon. Nope, not going, not happening.

4. The best thing I ever did was trust my instincts when I left my hometown with Hubby. It was risky, scary, out of my comfort zone and exciting. It changed my life and it changed me. It's why I am the person I am today.

5. When it comes to trying new things, I am hesitant. I get nervous when it's time to do something new. So much so that I will even talk myself out of things sometimes.

6. One thing I've never done is traveled outside of North America.  Again, someday!

7. My favorite thing do do is cook! 

Gratitude Photo Challenge | Day 2

Gratitude for Technology...hmmmm.

After I thought about it for a while I was able to grasp the gratitude for the role that technology plays in my life.  I am really able to appreciate the things that it brings to my life; and for that I am thankful.  In the past week alone, my computer, along with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, have been my connection to my family on the east coast.  I also love the conveniences that all my little apps bring to my world - to do lists, shopping lists, school grades.  My kindle lets me read in bed (even when hubby is sound asleep) and my iPhone has been my side kick since I got my first one more than 4 1/2 years ago.  

Yeah...Gratitude for Technology!

However, my DVR has to be one of my favorites.  When the house gets quiet - Hubby and The Mayor are tucked in for the night - then it's my time to chill out and enjoy my favorites (usually cheesy reality TV!).  So, I found gratitude in technology.

Have an amazing weekend.  Don't forget to check out the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge at


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge | Day 1

My Words of Gratitude
Ahhh November!  I love that the sheer mention of the word November automatically makes my mind think about giving thanks.  This November, I am more thankful than ever...but it has taken a lot to see that.

The past few days I have been overwhelmed with sadness because of the images of devastation from my hometown in New Jersey.  However, the people that I love most are safe - and in the end, that's really all that matters.

This November, I am going to celebrate the month of gratitude with this great challenge that I ran across here. Thank you is just what I needed.

Blessings are counted and I am off to bed!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. My favorite feeling in all the world is the content feeling I get after spending a day having fun and making memories with Hubby and The Mayor.

2. My favorite smell is the Mayor after his bath or shower. I can't stop hugging him.

3. My favorite taste is the first sip of morning coffee.

4. The most beautiful thing I've ever seen was the view of the ocean on my wedding day! I remember feeling so happy and everything just looked so amazing.

5. The best sound ever is M&M's being poured into a Waterford Crystal bowl. Random, yes...but the sound is so glorious that I have a beautiful bowl that I call the M&M bowl.

6. A smell that reminds me of my childhood is the smell of the beach...sand, ocean and sunscreen.

7. My favorite of all the senses is sight for sure...I love all the beauty out there to appreciate.

I am so looking forward to this weekend; and I'm sure that I will sit down at the end of it and get that feeling of being content - and I'll count my blessings.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Wish List!

Sweaters and boots are out!  It's time to wear the "heavier" scarves (since I seem to wear them all year round).  And, there is a certain crispness in the air that comes with this amazing time of the year.  Let's face it, it's not blazing hot, but it's not yet too cold, and I still have that optimism that comes from knowing that the holidays are coming...but they are not in my face scary yet.

Needless to say, I was super excited when I saw the Savour the Season series on a blog that I really, really enjoy! First off, the title of the blog is amazing - The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking, but secondly, the tips, ideas, suggestions are actually do-able (Woo hoo!).  Behold, Day 2 of the Savour the Season series was about making a Fall Wish List.  That is exactly what I needed this week.  So thanks!

My Fall Wish List

Three Things to Eat/Bake:
My amazing beef stew
An Apple Crisp
Pumpkin Bread

Three Pictures to Take:
The Mayor with Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch
A picture in the mountains with the Leaves Changing
A family picture for our Holiday Card (that's not taken the day before I order the cards!)

Three People to See:
A weekend with our friends in the Springs
A Fall Pot Luck
A craft day with my girlfriends

Three Places to Go:
The pumpkin patch
Somewhere in the mountains (to get that picture, above)
Out for fondue with My Hubby

I am already well on my way.  I have picked the date for the Fall Potluck, booked our weekend with our friends in the Springs.  So far, so fun!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Mommy Molars and Giving Strength

A child in my community is gone.

What started out as a local missing child, with a community that rallied to try to bring her home; turned into a case that captured attention across the nation. Today, we learned that all the hope and prayers were not going to bring her home.

In my heart, I knew that when a body was found on Wednesday that it was not going to end the way we all had hoped. I, like many others, held onto the hope of an abandoned station wagon thousands of miles away. Then that hope faded and we were back to the feelings of sadness as we waited for a proper identification.


Five and a half years ago I became a mom. They handed me this beautiful little child and with all my heart I knew that I was going to love, care for and protect this tiny little being at any cost.  It was one of the most natural and fulfilling feelings I have ever felt.  However, the events of this week affected me in a way that was so new, so different, so raw.

This afternoon the police gave the news that I knew was coming, but when I heard the actual words, I could only put my face in my hands and sob - and I couldn't get the tears to stop, and I couldn't stop asking myself how I was going to protect my child in a world where someone would dispose of a child in such a matter...much less, in my own community where there is a predator on the loose.  How do you get a five year old to understand that their little tiny karate chop is not going to be enough, and they have to run, and scream and yell in a stranger danger situation?  How do you teach a candy loving, puppy loving, kitty loving,  child that an adult, asking if you want ______, may be a murderer trying to lure them away? How do you know they understand?


At some point, while going through the motions that got me from work to home, with a grocery store stop in between, I started thinking about teeth.  Not too surprising considering that The Mayor lost his first tooth yesterday, and the tooth fairy left him some loot last night, but what I kept thinking about was when toddlers get their molars.  Oh, that developmental milestone where they are in agony - but in the end, a whole world of new foods and textures greets them.  The pain subsides and they move along to the next milestone.  And then, there was a connection to how I was feeling.

Today, I got my mommy molars.  The pain is subsiding, and now, whats in front of me is different.  What's in front of a lot of moms who have been touched by Jessica Ridgeway, is different. I am not naive, and I know that the world around us is not perfect; but a little piece of the evil "out there" has gotten in.  It's gotten in to our community, and I don't know that it will ever feel the same as it did a mere eight days ago. I'm assuming that the grieving moms like me will figure it out - the same way that other moms, who have felt this way, who have been touched this way, have figured it out before.  Life in Westminster will return to normal...or whatever the new normal is going to be.


We have a sleepover guest tonight, the daughter of one of my very best friends.  Well Hubby and I enjoyed our evening with The Mayor and Ms. B. and probably spoiled them a little more then we should have.  Not for them, I think it was for us.  And, when I tucked them into bed I kissed and hugged them each an extra few times.

While I was cleaning up from dinner though, there went the mind again.  Of course as soon as I was alone my mind was racing and thoughts of the day, of the week, came back.  My mind was going to thoughts of Jessica's mom - how is she getting out of bed? how is she breathing? how is she going to get through what's ahead of her? I started thinking about how much hurt I felt when I heard the news - pain in my soul - that scared me and even confused me because it was not like anything I had felt before. Then I couldn't stop thinking about Jessica's Mom.

Now, anyone who knows me can tell you that I am an advocate for moms taking care of one another, for moms helping and supporting one another. I often say that my own girlfriends are as important as the air that I breathe.  Well maybe there's something more to that.  Maybe, our pain, the pain felt by many, many other moms tonight, is a way for Jessica's mom to have a tiny bit of strength.  The ultimate way for moms to take care of one another; to subconsciously channel our will to the one who needs it the most.  It's just a thought, but I would unselfishly give her more of my strength if I could.

Tonight, I am sending strength to Sarah Ridgeway, a mom who needs it the most. My prayers go out to all of Jessica's family, friends and loved ones.

RIP Little Angel Jessica, RIP.

Be kind and hold your loved ones close!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday!

The days have been long, and the nights have not been long enough, so I've been feeling super tired. More tired then normal...which says a lot. There are so many things that I miss lately.  Things like eating healthy, working out (I was doing so great with my running!) and of course blogging.  I've even been missing reading all my favorite blogs.

This weekend hubby is off fishing, so I'm going to do some catching up...some relaxing...and getting ready for the week ahead.  To start this off on the right foot, I'm throwing down a Fill in the Blank Friday to get me in the mood.  Plus, I love the topic...Lasts!

1.The last thing I ate was pizza with The Mayor. It was his choice - even though we already had pizza one day this week.  Oh well!

2.The last time I went to the beach was in June; and it already seems like too long ago.

3.My last vacation was coincidentally in June.  I was able to take the Mayor and go back to NJ to visit the family and be there for my niece's graduation.

4.The last place I drove was on the afternoon round.  From work, to The Mayor's school, to the gas station and home. It felt like I was in the car forever.

5.The last song I listened to was The A Team by Ed Sheeran.

6.The last thing I watched on TV was five minutes of the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn.  That movie is just hysterical.  However, the last thing I officially watched was The Real Housewives of New York on my DVR. Might I add that some of them are just nuts!

7.The last time I said "I love you" was when I put The Mayor to sleep.  Every night we always say, "I'll see you in the morning, and a thousand times tonight!"

If you love filling in the blanks...hop on over to She comes up with these great lists each week and lots of other great posts.

Cheers! Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Yeah I'm Posting Something

Fill in the Blank Friday!

It feels like forever since I have taken the time to sit down and blog.  My poor blogs have been neglected and are a little dusty.  You know what?  The reality is that when I have time for my blogs, they are right there where I left them.  Patient, non-judging and ready for me to rattle off what's on my mind.  Kinda like a really good friend, I guess!

So no promises that I'm going to make an effort to blog more, no declaration of dedication, just a little "Fill in the Blank Friday" to get my mind feeling a little more creative.  Here we go:

1. I am proud of my husband.  I don't say it enough, and I know I'm annoying the crap out of him lately, but I love him. I am proud of him for the dad he is and for trying to keep it together when a lot of other people would have already caved.

2. This weekend I will have breakfast with two friends that I don't see nearly enough, shop for school supplies (Wow, what a list!) and hopefully get my house in order from the last few chaotic weeks.

3. A secret dream I have is to become an athlete. Sounds corny, but I would love to be one of those "run a 5K for fun" kinda people.

4. I can't handle lying! It's the one thing I have no tolerance for.

5. The most annoying thing in the entire world is people who don't know how to merge when driving.  It's not that at a time, your turn, my turn, the next person's turn.  Sounds easy until that one person just has to barrel over everyone else to be first.

6. The most relaxing thing in the entire world is laying in bed with a book, on a Sunday night, after a great weekend.  There is something about it that says, "it's going to be a good week!"

7. I think everyone should treat others the way they want to be treated!

Have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 28 & 29

Dang, missed another day! This challenge got harder and harder as the month went on. But, I tried hard to not lose my commitment.

Today is the first night of Vacation! The Mayor, my friend Indie Mom and her daughter, the Fabulous Ms. B have joined me in a trek to NJ. The Jersey Shore, to be exact. This is where I grew up, and this is where my heart comes back to each summer...this year, I'm sharing it with them.

So today my "me" time was utilitarian! I needed to pack, so C took the Mayor to our Club for some play time. It was nice to be able to pack in...well, almost peace! Between C and The Mayor being gone, and my packing, our dog (who is quite neurotic) was quite disturbed. Max followed me around the house while doing this high pitched whine thing that he does- heeeeeeeeeeee, heeeeeeeeee! Bless his little heart!

One thing I have learned throughout this journey is that when it comes to getting some peace and quiet-some time for me-all I need to do is ask! Wow, when I communicate to C, and let him know what I need, he's been right there to help out. It's really been nice.

Off to bed so we can begin this vaca in the AM!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 26 & 27

I'm not really doing so well this week keeping up with my blogs.  I'm not stressing it though, this last month, doing this challenge, has been extremely rewarding.  I've really done a good job of keeping focus on what is important.

The last few days have been vacation focus...and I could not be more excited.  Two more sleeps until Jersey.  I'm looking forward to seeing my family and having some down time.

So last night, there was no blog - and it was probably a good thing.  I went out for some Happy Hour fun with some girlfriends.  Well, happy hour was very happy...hubby had to bring me this morning to pick up my car. would think I would know better, but not so much.

Today I wrapped up everything at work and feel like I left everything in a good place.  I have everything I need for myself and The Mayor, and all I have to do is pack tomorrow.  Nice!  Today's "me" time involved one of my favorite past times - wandering around Target!  However, I was wandering with a purpose, but no sense of urgency for a change.  Sometimes, it's really nice to just be able to go with the flow.

For now, I'm going to enjoy the rest of the evening by getting some laundry done and cleaning up from dinner.  It's going to be a good weekend and lead to a good week!


Previous posts on My Mother's Day Challenge:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 25

Happy Hump Day! And, only four more sleeps until Vacation. There is so much to be excited about. Since this week has been about getting ready for vaca, it was only fitting that my time was well spent today focused on this very endeavor.

Thanks to C volunteering to take The Mayor to swim lessons, I found a few extra hours that were well used. I stayed at the office an extra hour and finished up a work related blog post that I had been working on. It was great to send that on for review!

On my way home I decided that I needed to spend some "me" time taking care of some *ahem* personal grooming. Not my favorite thing to do, but it's really nice having things 'taken care of' when I know next week will include lots of bathing suit time. I'm sure by now you have figured out what got groomed!

So, in the spirit of over-sharing (hey, why not?!?), I saw a new person tonight. I half expected this since I didn't have an appointment, so it was not a big deal. I go in, lay down and she starts with a little eyebrow shape, and I was pleased with the result. So then it's time to move south, and I'm prepared for the inevitable...or so I thought.

Ok, so to back track, I'm pretty conservative in matters of 'personal grooming' - so my normal MO is a little off the sides and the rest is just fine.

So, back to the moment. In sure you can appreciate my surprise when I suddenly felt warm wax...well, where I had not ever felt warm wax before. After being quite startled at this revelation, I quickly realized there was only one way that wax was coming off. Oh No!! Oh No!! Oh-my-wax!

I'm going to stop there, and focus on the fact that my "me" time tonight got one more item off my to do list, and put me one step closer to vacation! 'nuff said.

Good night.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 23 & 24 there was no day 23 post!  Well, guess what?  I had one of those days where you come home from work, you don't feel like cooking (so we had Chinese food, yummy!), and once we got home I crashed onto the couch and watched The Bachelorette.  To be honest...if felt kind of good.

Tonight, I came home from work and made some dinner.  And I have to be honest, I am really getting into that zone of going home to NJ, because I made Chicken and Rice for dinner.  Doesn't sound special, but it's one of those things that my Mom always made - and I always loved it!  It was good, but I have tried to make it a few times, and it never seems to come out like Mom's.

After dinner, my Men cleaned up the kitchen (man style, which if you don't know what that are probably lucky!), and then we sat and talked about politics, the country and our respective days.

So speaking of my day, I was having one of those weird kind of days where my focus was off, my attention span was incredibly short and it was a good thing that I had a lot of little things to finish up prior to my vacation.  Then, I had an awkward run-in with a homeless man downtown (bless his heart!); and almost twisted my ankle (on my own shoes) when I was trying to end the little run-in.  Well, in order to salvage anything left from the day, my "me" time was simply taking an extra 1/2 hour at lunch to spend it with a friend.  It was good to see her, even better to chat and catch up and I felt much better when I got back to work.  Ahhh, the power of girl time.

I'm feeling really good about being ready for my trip to NJ.  Plans are made, my packing list is coming together in my mind and I got one last swim suit for The Mayor.  If I can keep up with work and finish out this week as planned...this might just be a super fun vacation!


Previous posts on My Mother's Day Challenge:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 22

Another weekend come and gone.  The good thing is that this weekend going by so fast means that I'm on my last week of work before vacation.  I can tell you already that it's going to be a crazy week - and I'm going to do my best to keep it productive.  Then it's time to get ready to head to Jersey!!

From Pinterest!
I am really looking forward to this trip.  My oldest niece is graduating from high school, so it's really exciting that I'm able to be there with her.  Another thing that is really going to be great is being close to the ocean.  I'm a believer that the ocean connects to us, recharges us and gives us strength...and right about now, all of those things are more than needed.

Today was an epic "me" time day!  Yeah!!  I started with a massage (much needed after my crazy week), and then moved on to some shopping.  With the exception of my recent jean purchase, it's been quiet a while since I did some shopping - and I was really in the need for some summer clothes.  You know, that stuff you can wear to work and actually feel (and look!) like you put some effort into it.

Well, the next couple of days are going to be a little crazy, so I'm really going to be struggling to get everything done...and get that "me" time in.  After all...I still have 8 days left of my challenge.

So, it's time for bed and I'm really hoping for a good night of sleep.  Good night.

Previous posts on My Mother's Day Challenge:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 21

Happy Saturday!  Ahhh, Saturday...the day to clean, organize, and decompress from the week.  It seems like every Saturday goes about the same.  It also seems like Saturday's are the hardest days to get in any "me" time.  The day just goes by so fast.  Today was no different.

Right now is that "me" time.  I have just spent most of the evening playing Lego's with The Mayor - and I loved every minute of it.  I honestly think that playing Lego's is one of my favorite things to do with my son.  Tonight's creation...the people!  We found almost all of the hands, heads and helmets (we were missing two hands, one head and one helmet - not bad!) - and after we lined them all up, I had two new ones for him...and he was thrilled!

The Mayor's Lego Army - All 32 Little Guys!
Now, it's 10:00, and I'm going to finish up some blogging, and watch a bit of something on the DVR and then head off to bed.  Quiet time is quiet time, so I guess I can't complain.  The best part of the day is that my tomorrow "me" time is already on the calendar; and I couldn't be more excited.


Previous posts on My Mother's Day Challenge:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 20

The last few days I've been out of sorts for the most part.  You see, I try really hard to balance, juggle and keep things together - and for the most part I feel pretty good about the results.  Sometimes though it all just feels like a jumbled mess - even though, it's not really as bad as I make it out in my own mind.  I guess that's just the way I am.

I'm sure every mom out there knows that you can only keep going for so long before you hit a wall!  Let's face it, we all get tired and just need to crash sometimes.  Sometimes though, my body has a different idea of how things are supposed to work - and the wall hits me first.  This past Wednesday was just one of those times.  After starting work as a very normal morning, I suddenly could not see.  Everything didn't go black (thank God!), but everything in front of me turned into a foggy haze.  I went from sending/responding to emails, to not being able to make out a single image or word in front of me - even with my glasses on.  No matter how much I squinted, blinked or stared...there was absolutely no clarity.

Needless to say, that set into motion a series of events that now have me waiting for the results of yesterday's MRI.  Scary, a little...but I've had MRI's before and have always been fortunate enough to get good results.  I'm hoping for the same results this time - and calling this one an unexplained neurological incident.  Right now the worst thing that's going to come out of this will be some family members being a bit annoyed that I didn't immediately call them.  But hey, it would just feel weird to call someone and say, "Hey, I went to the ER, but I'm fine, and we don't know anything. So how are you?"  I did tell my Mom though.

So today's "me" time is extremely non-monumental! Our work day officially ended a few hours ago, but I have stuck around to prioritize my inbox; make my to-do list for Monday and get to a good stopping place for today.  I have set a mind-frame for the weekend that includes spending time with my family, non-stress time and rest.  A little quiet work time sometimes goes a long way.

One thing is for sure - 20 days into this challenge I have learned a lot about the importance of balance and priorities.  It's really easy to get caught up in life...and really, sometimes we are so caught up that we actually miss out.  I hope that maybe one person who has read this has taken away the same.  Please, let me know, I would love to hear!

For today though, TGIF!  Time for Happy Hour!

Previous posts on My Mother's Day Challenge:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 19

The past two days have been a little overwhelming, so the need for some "me" time today was needed and welcomed.

Tonight, I ate ice cream for dinner! And, I thoroughly enjoyed every tasty bite, sitting outside, on a bench, doing some people watching. I was meeting a friend, and was about 1/2 hour early, so I decided that some self indulgence was necessary.

It really made me think. This should be something that is done more often. It was relaxing and satisfying, and really took my stress level to a place that it hadn't been for more than 48 hours.

Give it a try...order your favorite and cop a squat! Cheers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mather's Day Challenge - Day 18

Unfortunately, Day 18 is going to have to be a pass! It was a strange and exhausting day that needs to be to bed I go.

Good night! Be well!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 17

Tonight, I'm keeping it really short! I woke up way too early this morning, and couldn't go back to sleep. So, instead of laying there tossing and turning...I decided to make lemonade out of the lemons.

Today's "me" time gets a title all it's own...The Mother's Day Challenge 4am Pedicure! Argh! Yes, that's right, I gave myself a pedicure at 4:00 this morning.

When I set out to do this challenge, it was really about making the most of my free time so that I can keep myself balanced. I'm finding that balance needs to come from making the most of each day-and that's just what I did today.

I'm tired, but my toes look great! G'nite!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 16

What a great Memorial Day weekend!  If this is an indication of how the summer is going to be, then I'm thinking this could be a great summer.

Hopefully, you had an opportunity to enjoy the weekend with your family and friends!  Before I go any further though, I want to say a huge thank you, thank you, thank you to the soldiers who fought, are fighting and those who gave their lives to protect our freedom.  Thank you also to the families of all the brave soldiers who do what they do everyday.  The support of your family is such a great gift - and the families of our troops truly deserve our gratitude as well.

Today was about getting ready for the week any normal Sunday...only it was Monday, so it's exhilarating to know that the weened will be here much quicker thank normal.  After some coupon clipping, a car wash, grocery shopping and making a batch of amazing cupcakes, I was thoroughly tired. 

We enjoyed a great evening with some friends this evening, and it was nice to sit and relax and have some great conversation.  The kiddo's were running around like crazies, and really showed us what summer means when you are carefree and young.  

Once we were home, I settled into bed and enjoyed a little "me" time in the form of an online quiz.  Wow, it was much more interesting than that just sounded.  I recently purchased Strengths Finder 2.0 and have been fascinated with it.  In a nutshell, it's a tool to help identify your natural talents and help to develop them in order to help you do, and be, your best every day.  When you purchase the book, you get a code to go online and take the assessment.  It was pretty cool!

Now that I have identified my top five strengths (Discipline, Consistency, Belief, Responsibility and Analytical); I can read on to learn more about them, and then create an action plan to help utilize these learning's in my every day life.  I am really looking forward to moving on and checking out what's next.  This was some pretty neat, and very productive "me" time.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 15

Initially, when I set out to do my Mother's Day Challenge, I made a list of things to do each day to get a little "me" time.  My thought was that if I had a list of inspiration, then I would be able to ensure the success of my challenge.  It's still a pretty good list, but I have not accomplished quite a few of the things on list.  There is still time, so we'll see how it goes.

Today was a day to go to the list.  Being as it is a Sunday on a long weekend, I had a lot more time than usual, so the "me" time was not a huge challenge.  I got to sleep in today, C took the Mayor swimming which gave me some DVR time, I caught up on some internet games (Words with Friends!) and I even had a phone/electronic free evening.  Well, today's Challenge was to try a new wine.  Ohhh, tough challenge said the wine lover!  Ok, all kidding aside.  I do sometimes get caught in the rut of drinking the same things.

Off to the liquor store I went where I grabbed something new.  I decided to not go with a wine, per se, but bought a Skinny Girl Sangria.  I have really enjoyed the Skinny Girl Margarita's, so this seemed like a good try.  All I can say is that I've tried it...and I've tried it.  It wasn't my speed and frankly it wasn't very Sangria-y.  Will I buy it again?  Probably not.  But hey, it was something new and something different.

While trying something new may not seem like a big deal to most, I'm a creature of habit...sometimes to a fault.  Going with the flow, the familiar, is my thing.  Of course, this started me thinking, and I had to give it a quick Google.  I actually found an article talking about trying new things.  It was on Psychology Today's website (you can check it out here); and it actually lists four benefits to trying something new...

1. It takes courage.  Now, this may not be the case with a new wine...but there are bigger things to try that do take courage.

2. It opens the possibility of enjoying something new.  Cool!

3. It keeps you from becoming bored.  I think most of us know the pitfalls of boredom.

4. It forces you to grow. 

I didn't exactly think that the simple act of trying a new adult beverage would have such a huge effect, but those benefits really seem to be some great advice...and a great reason to put this to the test for yourself.  I challenge you to try something new.  Let me know how that works out for you.


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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 14

Two weeks down!  Nice.  It's been a good two weeks - busy, but good.  Today was a great Saturday, and the family is really making the most of this long holiday weekend.  Please remember as you and your family enjoy this weekend, we celebrate our freedom thanks to the brave men and women who have fought and died to preserve it.  Thank you!!

We started our day with a trip to the Denver Zoo to see the new Elephant Passage.  The Mayor was particularly excited because he has been waiting to see Mimi & Dolly's (the Zoo's veteran elephant inhabitants) new home ever since they moved them a few months ago.   It did not disappoint, and the new Asian Tropics display is absolutely beautiful.  We are looking forward to enjoying it much more in the future.

Groucho, one of Denver Zoo's newest elephant friends.
After the zoo, we headed to C's favorite burger place and enjoyed a quick lunch, followed by a quick trip to the mall to get my engagement ring checked out and cleaned (gotta do that every so often!).  While we were at the mall I decided it was time for a little "me" adventure.  I say adventure, because it wasn't necessarily "me" time, but it was something for me.  Well, I did a little impromptu jean shopping.  Normally, that would be a great big - ARGH!  This however, was different...and not so bad.

Since I was not planning to purchase jeans today, I didn't have time to psych myself out, talk myself down and do that whole negative talk thing that most women do when it's time for jeans.  But here's the thing, I have been wanting a pair of "skinny" jeans.  Walking past the Levi's story was all the inspiration I needed - and in I went.  The tall, thin, tattooed sales associate (Lauren) was amazing and really made it super easy.  She gave me a measure with this random torturous looking device that she wrapped around me, after groping me to find my hip bone.  Whatever the measuring device did - I have no clue - but she came up with the style of skinny's that I should try.  She then started bringing me pairs and within 15-20 minutes I was hooked.  Happily, I now have a new pair of jeans that I feel really good about. Yeah!!  Oh, and also left with a chambray shirt that was on my summer wardrobe to-do list.

We finished out the day with some fun time with friends at Casa Bonita - a Denver institution which I had never had the opportunity to visit.  If you've never heard of Casa Bonita, give it a quick Google, or check out the South Park Episode (not kid friendly, FYI).

Casa Bonita from the famed South Park Episode.
All in all it was a great day, and I could not be more excited to have a new pair of jeans without the stress of buying them.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 13

Happy Friday, and Happy Memorial Day weekend! Yeah, the unofficial start to summer. Being from New Jersey (Jersey Shore to be exact) this is the be all, end all weekend of the year. It's funny, but I still feel that way even though I am so far from the beach.

Well, the only thing to do for me today is to get some rest! We have a busy weekend ahead of us and lots to do around the house. It's 8:40 and I am in bed and it's pretty great. The Mayor and C are still down stairs watching Hockey (Go Jersey!!) and I'm enjoying some quiet time. Sometime, that's all you need to make for a good day.

So I'm going to say cheers to the weekend, and good night to all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 12

Today, I'm down for the count! Blogging is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

I spent quite a bit of time working on a bog post for work, so that was quite gratifying. However, the rest of the day has been in bed. Thanks to some minor surgery to remove two little things from my eye area (a mole and a teeny tiny cyst) my day ended a while ago and I have been in my jammie's all afternoon.

I got a little freaked, so a little Valium type med was sent my way to calm the Jenn storm. So this groggy Mom is hitting the sack. I'm feeling good, and after a little healing you'll never know anything was there. Yeah!

I guess this could constitute me time, but it's really not the fun or productive kind. See ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 11

Back at the beginning of the year, a friend introduced me to  It came at just the right time, because I had wanted to get back into the groove of reading more.  Before I gave birth to The Mayor I had an appetite for reading - and always found it easy to get lost in a good book.  OMG, and vacations where I could take in 2 or 3 books were so amazingly the norm.  Fast forward five years, and I can barely get in a chapter, at night, in bed, before dozing off to sleep.  Needless to say it takes forever to get through a book.

The other day at work I was talking with my friend KK about those 50-Shades of Grey books that everyone (OMG, even my mom!) are reading.  It must have registered to her that I had been reading the book for a while now, so she stated the obvious - that it's taking me a long time to read a book that others have told her they can't put down.  Argh...yes, it takes me forever to read a book...but honestly I'm trying.  You see, back at the beginning of the year I made a challenge on to read 24 books in 2012.  Now, since I have not read 24 books in the five years AC (After Child), I knew I was in for it.  Oh, and Goodreads promptly let me know that I am 5 books behind reaching my goal.

Today, a little me time was in order in the form of reading.  Not laying in bed, I set off to read a chapter during the day.  Carved out some time to do it...and got it done.  Now, if I can keep my eyes open once I climb into bed I'll read a little more and hopefully get through this book sooner, rather than later.

If you are looking for a great new site to poke around on, check out  And if you are a reader, I promise it will be worth your time.  You can create an account, and then create virtual book shelves to keep track of what you're reading, what you want to read, and what you have finished.  The site will generate suggestions based on your ratings of books you have read, and you can connect with fellow reader friends to see what they are reading.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 10

Today was a departure from my normal Tuesday nights.  Normally Tuesday's are what we affectionately call "mom's dinner" nights.  This is the night that three mom friends and I get together for dinner, some wine, some kiddo playtime and some conversation.  This week, however, 50% of the mom's are getting ready for big moves, and I have a busy week that I'm trying to stay ahead of, so it was a good night to take off.

My original plan was to work a little later, have some dinner with my men and then relax and watch Dancing with the Stars season finale.  However, as the day went on I was running out of steam...and was truthfully feeling like I needed a little redemption from my challenge failure of yesterday.  So, I finished up at work and headed to Target.  I half wanted to wander around (who does not love wandering around Target!?!) and I was looking for some supplies to make a little craft project.  Crafting on a Tuesday...brilliant idea!  Relaxing idea!

A couple of months ago I found a really cute perpetual memory calendar of sorts on Pinterest.  I fell in love with the idea, and knew it would be something that I could give my own twist and have some fun with it.  Here is the original idea:

You can also check it out at
I was looking for something to hold the index cards that was a little modern; and had nice clean lines.  Behold, the cutest little "crate" that holds the full size index card perfectly!  For my dividers, I wanted to use photos.  Once it is complete, each day I will have an opportunity to write something that happened, something I did, or any other event.  What a great way to record memories.

The start of my perpetual memory calendar!
I dug through an old box of pictures, and found twelve that were a good representation of old photos, new photos and family members.  I trimmed photos to the index cared width, but slightly taller.  I then covered the photos using clear contact paper to give them some stability.  There is some more work to do, but for now I know that I have had some "me" time tonight and that feels great!  I'm looking forward to taking the time to finish it up so I can start adding memories.  I will post more pics when it's done.

Happy memory making!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge - Day 9

There are definitely days when I wish I could stop time.  Days just seem to go by way too fast and it feels a little overwhelming.  It seems like one minute I'm waking up and the next it's time to start getting ready for bed again.  Today was just one of those days.  Sadly, those are the days that are so hard to fit in any "me" time.

When I set out to do this challenge, my goal was simple - do one thing each day that focuses on me.  Make sure that in the hustle and bustle of the day I'm not losing sight of the need to take care of myself so that I can be the best mom, wife and employee. 

Today just feels like a miss.  Wow, that kinda stinks.  I have even gone back through the day to see if I can snake something out of it.  Reality...with the exception of this moment, sitting and writing this blog, I've got nothing.  I woke up extra early this morning and was at my desk before 8am, I went on an errand with a friend at lunch time, ate a quick lunch at my desk, and ran out the door at 5:15 to pick up the Mayor.  Throughout the day...there was no walk, I didn't drink enough water, I forgot to take my vitamin...I didn't even get my Pinterest fix with my lunch.  Argh.

I'm going to regroup and salvage the rest of the evening though.  I'm going to head to bed, try to get in a little of the book I'm reading and get some sleep.  I will however, share an article that I read today on Modern Mom.  Making Yourself a Priority, Doesn't Make You Selfish, by Leslie Morgan Steiner.  The article starts off with an interesting quote:
“Women, after they turn 40, often hit a point when they decide the world should be all about THEM. They just get tired of taking care of people and go through a selfish period. It doesn’t matter how wonderful a man is it. It is just where women are at this stage.”
Don't worry, once you read the article the quote will make more sense.  It was interesting to see an article that touches on exactly why I took on this Mother's Day Challenge.  Take a read, and if you're so inclined, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.


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