Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Goals for 2010

With a new year comes my new batch of goals. Let's see if I do better this year than I did last year!

1. To be a better blogger. I really love blogging and reading the comments from readers. However, I tended to slack off a lot last year. I have so many posts that I planned on writing and never did. Now it just seems pointless. With a new baby due in the Spring, this may get a little challenging. Please check in at least once a week to see if I can keep up with my end of the bargain!

2. To grow an herb garden. Random, I know. But here's what happened. When we were in Sidney, we ate dinner in a local cafe. I wanted a really good salad and asked the waitress if they had "good" Ranch Dressing (I know, I'm a little obsessed about this Ranch business). She said they did and that the owner made it using fresh herbs from her personal herb garden. True to her word, it was delicious! And I immediately had visions of me in an apron bending over my cute herb garden with a quaint watering can in my hand. Homemade ranch dressing with fresh herbs, here I come!

3. To call my mom more often. I am a horrible human being. This should not have to be a goal. But it is. I'm absolutely horrible about picking up the phone and calling my mom. Seriously, I'm pretty sure there have been times when maybe two months have gone by before I'll hear her voice on the other line. My parents are very old fashioned and are the typical folks who don't like "making long distance phone calls". So basically my mom never calls anyone unless she has too. Luckily, my mom is awesome enough to never give me a guilt trip about my lack of phone calls. Now that I'm about to become a mommy myself, I already tear up at the thought of the first time Parker won't be home for Christmas. I'm hoping it's just all my crazy hormones that are making me think this way already. Now that I've moved and settled into a home in a different state, and my sister and her family are about to move to a foreign country, and my brother and his family live in a different state as well, I just feel like it's up to me to make more of an effort.

4. To complete Parker's baby book. You may be wondering why I'm making this a goal. Let me explain. When I got married, I received a wedding book from two of my friends. I didn't even take it out of the box until we had been married for about two years. That was when I learned my mistake. Apparently I should have had a newspaper clipping from our wedding day, wrote down the number one movie at the box office, etc, etc. Luckily I was able to find out most of the questions courtesy of the world wide web! However, I want to be better prepared with Parker. I've already bought his baby book, and I've already opened it! I'm thinking at least an hour a month and I can have it up to date and completed! Wish me luck!

5. To host a Christmas Cookie/Ornament Exchange party. I read about this in a book a few years ago and thought it sounded like so much fun! This may be a little daunting with an eight month old, but I'm determined to host what I hope will be an annual event!

6. To be a good Mommy. I have no idea how I'm going to gage this one at the end of the year. There are so many parents out there that think they are "good" parents, when I think to myself that I would never raise my kid that way. I suppose to each his own.

7. To print, label, and organize all the photos that are on my laptop and place them in photo albums. I know this one is left over from last year, but it really needs to be done!!! And then once I'm "caught up" I can spend one day a month adding the new pictures from that month. Sounds easy enough, but we all know what happened last year!

8. To pay off the hospital bill after having the baby. Yes, we have insurance, but of course the only OB/GYN in this town is not in my network. Luckily I have already called our insurance and have a rough estimate of how much money we will be out of pocket. It's a small price to pay to have our very own little angel, but it's also a price I don't want looming over our heads in 2011.

9. To be a MILF. Yup. I said it. And don't tell me that it's un-lady-like to speak that way. I didn't make up the expression. My reasoning is that it will be so easy to focus all of my attention on the baby that I'll quit taking care of myself. I'm already more comfortable than I should be running errands in sweat pants looking like I just rolled out of bed. Really it's no more effort to put on some decent clothes than comfy ones. And as Parker grows older I want him to be proud of his mama, and not embarrassed by what I'm wearing when I pick him up from school in. I'm sure Greg will appreciate this, too!

10. To bring the balance of our Harley down to a certain amount I have in my head. I'd love to pay it off, but I'm trying to set some realistic goals here!

11. Not to be such a control freak. You know the expression, "Don't cry over spilt milk"? Well, I'm sure it's about to happen when by this time next year I'll have a (hopefully) walking little boy. And when he does throw food, or a bottle, or whatever on my favorite rug, I need to remind myself that a little spilt milk is nothing to cry over.

12. To breast feed Parker for his first year. If a good full time job comes open, I'm not sure how feasible this will be. However, I would really like to try for him to make it one full year. I just think breast feeding is so much healthier, not to's FREE!!!

13. To be more frugal. As in shopping online for better deals on items we regularly purchase, to use coupons more, to buy in bulk to save money, you get the idea!

What are your goals for 2010?

2009 Goals In Review

I can't believe that 2009 is already coming to an end! The years seem to go by faster and faster the older I get. You may remember that I posted my goals for 2009 back in January. And although I'm pretty embarrassed by my results, here's how everything panned out:

1. To put money into our online savings account at least once a week. This just didn't happen. Some weeks I did, others I didn't. And we have recently opened a new local banking account since we moved and it's an interest bearing checking account! Amazingly enough, it earns a far higher interest rate than our online savings account does.

2. To apply for our passports. Yay! I can scratch that one off my list! Obviously, since I blogged all about our amazing vacation in Cancun, Mexico!

3. To read all of Sophie Kinsella's books. Check!

4. To write at least the first section of my book. Well....ummm....hmmm...let's just not talk about it, OK?

5. To loose 25 pounds. Obviously, that didn't happen! ;) But I'm happily starting to embrace my pregnant belly! A friend told me that Heidi Klum says, "When you're first pregnant, wear baggy clothes to disguise the "fat" look, but once the tummy starts to stick out, ROCK IT!" I'm trying to fully embrace her motto!

6. To finish the Harry Potter series. This is one that should have been easy. Especially since I'm down to Book 7. But I have a really good excuse! I am actually a huge fan of public libraries. I have always loved going to one and I could easily spend hours inside of one. Needless to say, I rarely go out and buy myself a book. However, I figured the Harry Potter series would be an awesome collection to read to my kid (or kids) someday and I wanted to hand them down to them as they got older. Which meant I wanted hardback. However, I have a hard time going to Wal-Mart and just buying myself a hardback book. So I've waited to receive it as a birthday or Christmas present and it just hasn't happened.
*hint, hint, HB!*

7. To pay off our Gordon's account. Yay! Scratch this one off the list! I love paying off debt! Now if only we could pay off the Harley....

8. To grow my hair out longer. Well, I haven't chopped it off, but I don't think it's gotten any longer than it was last year. I've always heard that pre-natal vitamins make hair and nails grow like crazy. I haven't noticed that affect. I am now trying to grow my bangs out, which is not fun.

9. To deep clean the camper at least once a week. I promise, I did really good with this up until the time I got pregnant and began feeling sick all day long. Then it got a little out of control. On the bright side, we cleaned all of our "stuff" out of the camper a few weeks ago and it's sitting in our driveway now, nicely cleaned and empty!

10. To actually get the pictures that are taking up space on my laptop printed, labeled, and in a photo album. This was actually my big project when I joined Greg on the road. You would think that 2 years later the huge box with random pictures thrown inside of it would be organized by now. Unfortunately, I had better things to do. Like read. Or blog. Or watch the endless movies we receive courtesy of DirecTV. You get the point. Basically I'm a lazy, procrastinating human being. I have made some progress though. I did get more pictures printed off of our laptop. I have them in chronological order and in zip lock bags based on the year. All I have left to do is label and put in albums. Let's just say I have a feeling this one is going to roll over onto next year's goal list as well. Is that cheating?

So there you have it! How did everyone else's New Year's Resolutions work out? Stay tuned for my goals for 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Unconventional Christmas

Christmas was a little different for us this year. It was the first time we spent Christmas in Colorado...without the company of our families. We sure did miss seeing everyone, but at the same time it was nice to not have to deal with the annual "juggling of the families".

Our Christmas Eve was actually spent going to church. I felt a little guilty for not going to Christmas Eve church for the past, oh, six or seven years, and luckily my guilt wore off onto Greg and he went with me! From there, we went to the bar. (That's not bad is it?) We had a good evening visiting with friends and the bar owner, who also happens to be our neighbor!

Christmas morning I woke up bright and early and made us a batch of cinnamon streussal muffins. YUM! Afterwards, we opened the few presents we received from family members and then we just lounged around. For our Christmas lunch I prepared an awesome meal of ham, baked potatoes, and squash. OK, I'm exaggerating just a little. I burned the squash. And I didn't really cook the ham. It was left over from my company Christmas party that I took home, froze, and re-heated in the microwave. It was still good nevertheless!

After lunch we hit the road to go to Colorado Springs! I cannot tell you how much I am in love with the Springs! Put me in any big city and I am a happy camper! But add beautiful Pikes Peak to the background and it's the cherry on top of a sundae! (Even though I don't like cherries on sundaes, but you get the point!) One of my friends here in Lamar had graduated from college in Springs the week before and she's already moved back to Lamar but has her apartment until February. So she gave us the keys and let us stay there for free! It was awesome!

It may sound crazy, but I absolutely love going to a movie on Christmas. So we did just that! We watched Sherlock Holmes, which in my opinion was not that great, then luckily we found a Denny's that was still open for dinner. Afterwards, we went back to the apartment and hit the sack! We had to prepare for our big day of shopping the next day!

Now, I know I've mentioned that I am not the shopping type. And I'm really not. But when I'm actually in the mood to shop and am mentally prepared for it; watch out! I was determined to find a lot of good post-Christmas deals! For instance, I wanted to buy stocking holders for our mantle, a cute stocking for Parker, a train to go chug-a-luging around the Christmas tree, outdoor LED Christmas lights, and some Christmas books for Parker for next year since they would be half off! Needless to say, I was pumped!

Unfortunately, all of my dreams went bust. The only good deal I got was on 4 Christmas stocking holders (One for me, Greg, Parker, and Shady!) at Hobby Lobby. Other than that I couldn't find any of the other items I had in mind. And get this: Christmas books never go on sale. They just package them up and return them to the vendors to re-sell the next year. Darn! OH, and here's a cute story about Greg! When I told him I wanted to buy Christmas books he said, "We already have one." My response was, "Yeah, one! We need more". He argued that the baby won't even know what we're reading to him anyway. I beg to differ, but I also had to clue him in to the fact that I'm not going to want to read the same book every single night! *sigh* You gotta love my husband!

Luckily, we were able to get some fun kitchen decor at Hobby Lobby, made a Home Depot and a Lowe's run (our kitchen now has cabinet hardware!) and my first ever trip to Motherhood where I got a good deal on two cute sweaters!

The day was topped off with dinner at The Elephant Bar where we shared an amazing blueberry apple cobbler after dinner! The next day we loaded up everything and came home.

All in all, our Christmas was pretty enjoyable. However, I absolutely cannot wait for Christmas next year! I'll finally have a home to decorate that (hopefully) won't be under construction, and it will be Parker's first Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Watch Me Grow!

This was taken at 16 weeks. Which is about the time I finally started to think I looked "pregnant" and not "fat"!

Here I am at 19 weeks. This was taken literally right after I found out we are having a BOY! I told Greg I would wear blue that day since he desperatly wanted a boy. Apparently the blue shirt worked! ;)

Week 20! I made Greg take this of me before I went to work. His response was, "Why?" *sigh* MEN!

Taken at 21 weeks with "the man behind the belly". This was right after my company Christmas party. I actually felt as festive as I look!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

That ain't no ordinary bottle o' Ranch!

No sireebob!

When I was in high school I was introduced to two of the greatest food combinations in history: pizza + ranch dressing. YUM! The reason it took me so long to discover the two foods that should just automatically come together, is because I pretty much grew up in Oklahoma City. Then, right before I began high school, my parents moved to "the country". On pizza days in the cafeteria there would be bottles of ranch sitting on the tables and everyone poured a big puddle of ranch onto their school lunch tray and proceeded to dip their pizza in it. This event never happened in the OKC public school system. The first time I saw this I was a little appalled. That was, until I tried it! What's funny is that now whenever I eat pizza in front of someone that hasn't combined these two foods together, and they see me dipping my pizza in ranch, I sometimes get a raised eyebrow. They obviously have been missing out!

Now, onto the bottle of ranch pictured above...

Have any of you ever ate at Mazzio's Pizza? I know they are all over Oklahoma but not sure what other states they are located in. Unfortunately, they are not in Colorado. Not only is their pizza delicious, but their ranch dressing is to. die. for. I'm serious. I almost think the ranch dressing is why I love Mazzio's so much!

I mentioned that my sister came to visit us over Thanksgiving. And since I have the most awesome sister in the world, she knew that earlier in my pregnancy I was craving Mazzio's. (Luckily she was smart enough to know that I was really craving Mazzio's ranch dressing). Believe it or not, my sister went to Mazzio's before leaving Oklahoma and bought a large to-go container of ranch dressing. Then, she transferred it into an empty ranch dressing bottle and brought it all the way to Colorado for me via ice chest! How awesome is that?

Greg and I have been enjoying some of the best salads lately, along with a Little Cesar's pizza this past weekend, made even better with this awesome condiment! In fact, we love it so much that once it was only 1/4 full, we added water to it to thin it out and make it last just a lil' bit longer!

Why Greg and I never thought to load up on Mazzio's ranch before is beyond us. All I know is, we're going to Oklahoma in January for my baby shower, and Greg claims we are buying six containers of ranch dressing!

Does ranch dressing freeze well? ***crossing my fingers and my toes that it does!***

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An Unconventional Thanksgiving

I know that Christmas is right around the corner, but it's not too late to write about my Thanksgiving is it? This years Thanksgiving proved to be quite different from years past. Typically Greg and I visit a family members house for Thanksgiving. But not this year! Instead my sister and her family drove all the way up to Colorado to help us work on our house. And boy, did they help!

I tend to get the impression that most families spend Thanksgiving getting together for a huge lunch and then the men retire to the living room to watch football while the women clean the kitchen. Well, not in this house! Amazingly enough, neither my husband nor my brother in law, Andy, are sports fans! Which is a good thing since the only working TV was in the nursery/temporary guest room. When we bought our house, since it was a foreclosure, there were no appliances. And although my husband bought a microwave and oven when he went on his big Home Depot trip, we didn't think we would have any of them installed by the time Thanksgiving rolled around. The week before we went ahead and unpacked the microwave and had it downstairs in a random room (it's one of those "hang over the stove" kind in case you're wondering). So when I prepared my menu for the week (yes, I am that girl) I was forced to come up with a creative Thanksgiving meal that didn't require a stove.

Let me backtrack a little. Since I now work from 2-6 every evening, I'm starving by the time I get home. Keep in mind this preggo is used to eating dinner at 5:00. So, for the last three weeks, I've been cooking with my trusty crock-pot during the work week. I even purchased a new crock pot cook book, and believe it or not, there were several recipes in it for cooking a turkey! I settled on one that I thought sounded pretty good, and it only involved a turkey breast. Sounded simple enough! I also decided we'd eat cranberry sauce (from a can, but who cares, right?), Country Crock microwavable mashed potatoes, and a new coleslaw recipe I learned from my father in law's girlfriend the week before. The meal was complete with a frozen cream pie from Edwards. There! Thanksgiving from a crock pot and microwave!

Now, if there is one word for me to describe my husband, it would be a toss up between "workaholic" and "the energizer-bunny". That may be more than one word, but you get the picture. I also tend to tell him he's a slave driver. Getting a better picture? Since we had so many people coming to visit us and help us work on our house, the workaholic in him went into overdrive. The great thing is that my brother in law is the exact same way! My family had arrived Tuesday night and by the end of the day on Wednesday Greg and Andy had ran the water line for the fridge and the new gas lines for the oven. (I discovered while living "life on the road" that I absolutely love cooking with gas! And my husband was awesome enough to surprise me with the gas stove I really wanted, even when I told him I could live with electric! Gotta love him!) Once that was completed my sister, Sheila, and I tackled putting new plastic shelving liner in all the cabinets and drawers. Then came the joyous task of trying to unpack and organize our kitchen. After I went to work they worked on some overgrown yard work that the neighbors commented on. It wasn't exactly on our schedule, but it did need to be done. Don't get me started on our lack of a housewarming from our neighbors.....

When Thanksgiving rolled around, my sister and I had to make a quick Wal-Mart run (again, something I've never done on any Holiday). Since we officially had a working oven, I decided to pick up some rolls and decided why not make "real" mashed potatoes?! Since the guys aren't sports fans, lots of work took place in our house that day! Andy painted our office and most of the upstairs hallway while Greg textured the wall we had to strip wall paper from in the living room and the dining room. Once the texture was dry, they primered those walls and painted the ceilings. Sheila was a trooper and brought load after load of "stuff" from our trailer into the basement. By the time dinner rolled around we were all pretty hungry....and thankful that our Thanksgiving dinner from a crock pot turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself!

Unfortunately for us, no shopping was done on Black Friday. But, the guys painted the living room and the dining room, and hung new lights in the living room while my sister continued to bring in load after load of "stuff" from the trailer. Believe it or not, it's still not unloaded all the way! (And to think that a lot of people don't believe anyone can actually "live" out of a travel trailer!) Despite all the work going on, the kids were pretty good about entertaining their selves. Greg turned the box that our oven came in into a "Box Castle" which also occasionally turned into a coo-coo clock and a choo-choo train. They also had a blast playing on.....the stairs! Who knew!

All in all it was a great Thanksgiving week! The gang left the next day and I was so sad to see them go. THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP GUYS!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!