loving lemonade.

hey life, bring on the lemons!

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Lessons learned at the farm…

…none of which have anything to do with farming! This past weekend, we indulged ourselves in the October tradition of pumpkin picking at a local farm, complete with a hayride, animal farm, ice cream, even a bouncy house. We had a blast! It was a really great family day.

But no family trip goes without lessons learned. Here’s what our day at the farm taught me:

Lesson 1: Kids turn into line-cutters, because parents teach them how to be line-cutters.  It must be a vicious circle! Carlene was sweetly waiting in the bouncy house line when some lady comes up with her three kids, and tells them to get in front of Carlene. Don was standing over there with her, and said, excuse me but she is next. The lady asks, “Oh, are you sure?” At this point, it’s much better that he was over there instead of me, because there IS a such thing as a stupid question in my opinion, and this was one. So anyway, a parent standing nearby confirmed that YES, Carlene was standing there. To which this line-cutting mentor responds, she didn’t see her there. Whatever lady, better hope your pants don’t catch on fire later!

Lesson 2: When you can’t control your 2 year old, just hand them a can of Mountain Dew. Another fantastic example of prime parenting! This toddler was crying. Why, I don’t know. But I see the mother return with a can of Mountain Dew, pop it open, and hand it to the kid. WHAT?!?! Okay, I’m sure some of you give your kids soda. I’m sure I drank a ton of it myself as a kid (and I still drink too much now). But Mountain Dew?! That kid’s not going to sleep for 2 days! Which makes me say to myself… well, maybe the parents will rethink Mountain Dew as a drink of choice by midnight tonight.

Lesson 3: If there is anything you can think of that you would enjoy in pumpkin flavor, they probably make it. Case in point on this trip: Pumpkin Soft Serve Ice Cream. Now, I’m not big on pumpkin anything (no, not even Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes!), but Don loves it, so he ordered one topped with chocolate sprinkles. He said it was delicious. I’ll take his word for it. What next, pumpkin filled M&Ms or pumpkin meat marinade? Or do they already make those things too? Don’t you people get tired of all this pumpkin stuff?!

Lesson 4: Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats a day out with my family. NOTHING! Okay, so maybe this isn’t a new lesson learned, but it sure was a nice reminder!

farm blog


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Making Up Words With Friends

Words With Friends

Words With Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was way behind in getting an iPhone, which put me way behind some of the smartphone fads like Words With Friends. In fact, WWF was the very first app I downloaded when I got my iPhone. Thankfully, I know a few people who still played (and still play!) regularly, so I got to indulge in the fad after all.

I know that WWF gets some heat because you can try words over and over until you find something that works. Some may say it’s unfair- I say it’s one of the most fun elements of the game! You end up learning words you never knew before, like “agouti,” “trachle,” and “khat.”

But in the meantime, you also develop some words on your own which get rejected by the game. So I’ve started a compilation of made-up words that even WWF won’t accept. I’ve even defined them. Here’s my top 10:

1. Beering- The act of giving someone a beer.

2. Jacquet- A jacket from France, something so fashionable that I would never be able to pull it off.

3. Uptax- A significant tax increase.

4. Murfed- To have been a victim of Murphy’s Law.

5. Ebetion- Feeling incredibly idiotic.

6. Viara- A tiara and veil combo in one. (The next big thing to hit the bridal market?)

7. Guidium- A yet to be discovered element, most likely to be found at the Jersey Shore.

8. Thorf- An omitted character from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, this being has the strength of a Troll, the curiosity of a Hobbit, the lifespan of an Orc, and the height of a Dwarf.

9. Luigi- The 2nd most important person to Nintendo.

10. Hov- Jay-Z.

I know I’m not the only one who does this. What words have you created? Definitions are a must!


31 for 31

In July, I turned the big 3-1. Not a significant birthday. But I wanted to make some new goals and aspirations for me, myself, and I, and what better time than the start of my own personal new year? And if you put them in writing (or in the notes section of your iPhone), then you’ve gotta stick to them, right?

Alas, I bring you my already in progress 31-for-31.

1. Eat my fruits and veggies! I wish I could live on cupcakes, cookies, bacon, and soda, but I can’t.

2. Get outside every day. Fresh air works wonders. Who cares if it’s hot or cold? I’m not going to melt, and I’m not going to freeze.

3. Floss daily. I do it sometimes, but not every day. Come on. You don’t either.

4. Exercise. The standard that must be included in any resolution list. But I have been! I’m even running a 5K in a few weeks!

5. Don’t quit my job!  So, working from home and taking care of kids is far more challenging than I would have ever expected. Six months in and I’m still trying to get into a good swing. I have some days of heavy frustration where I’m sure I can’t do this not one more minute. But I do, and I will continue, and it will get better.

6. Take a stab at writing a murder mystery. Pun totally intended.

7. The Empty Sink rule. You will never see a dish in my mother-in-law’s sink. It’s quite remarkable. If something is dirty, it gets put in the dishwasher or washed right away. It’s her peeve, but I think it’s an awesome way to stay on top of a pesky chore, and I want to do it too!

8. Read to my kids more. Sure, we do bedtime stories. But why not wake up stories? Or after lunch stories?

9. 31 pounds. That’s how much I want to lose during my 31st year. In 2 months, I’ve lost 6 pounds. Not a huge number, but I’m going for the marathon, not the sprint, and that has me right on track.

10. Try Zumba! This one I’m happy to say I’ve successfully done! What a great, fun workout!

11. See friends. With us all being parents and working, it’s not as easy as we wish it was. But I hope my friends know their importance in my life, and how I wish we could see each other more!

12. Call family. In the world of text and email, hearing someone you love’s voice can be such a pleasure.

13. Become more financially healthy. Stick to our budget. Think before we buy. Keep heading towards a debt free life!

14. Stop biting my nails. I’m about to put hot sauce on my own fingers.

15. Happy Birthdays. Wish them to anyone and everyone. Each new year is a blessing!

16. Donate. Whether it be time, material items, or money. Giving back is one of the most gratifying feelings.

17. Have an adult beverage, or two. I bartend twice a week, but rarely ever enjoy a drink myself. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to have a glass of wine on the couch after a long day!

18. Drink more water. Before I was pregnant with Blake and during my pregnancy, I drank about a gallon a day. Now I’m drinking a lot less water and a lot more crap. Time to go back to water.

19. Cook. I’m never going to be a gourmet chef, but I do enjoy trying new recipes and preparing meals for my family. I just don’t do it very often. But I should!

20. Say hello to the neighbors. Another success! In the past 2 months, I’ve met neighbors who just moved in, and neighbors we’ve lived across the street from for 6 and a half years (who we had never actually met prior).

21. Start composting. What do I know about composting? Nothing. But I do know that I like my planet, and I want to do my part.

22. Take more pictures. I take a lot with my phone, but really should break out the camera more for some good quailty memories.

23. Organize the photos I take. I’ve always been terrible with this. I have plans to make family yearbooks dating back to our first year of marriage, as well as yearly kid books.

24. Read a book. Finding time to read isn’t easy, but I really should put the Candy Crush down and read a little more often.

25. Have a yard sale. We’ve been saying every single year that we need to have a yard sale. It’s going to happen.

26. More date nights. Don and I need a little more “us” time that doesn’t involve talking about work or falling asleep on the couch while watching sports.

27. Join Instagram. Did it. I like seeing pictures, but the amount of hashtags some people use is a bit much for my liking. #guiltyascharged

28. Do yardwork. I find yardwork to be incredibly calming. I’d like to work on some landscaping, or mow the lawn now and then to give Don a break.

29. Reuseable grocery bags. I have them. I just need to remember to bring them.

30. Make time for me. Maybe it means doing a Pinterest project. Maybe it means taking a nap.

31. Blog. And here I am 🙂

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Getting Bratty over Bratz

The first time I heard of a Bratz doll, I was in college. I said I would never let my potential future daughter have any scantily clad doll wearing far too much makeup with a name that promotes bad behavior, and I still feel that way now. But I also figured that there was no way society would stand for such a product, and I was sure there would be no Bratz dolls for me to worry about with my future daughter.

Bratz dolls from 2010

Bratz dolls from 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fast forward to now, and I’m the mother of a wonderful 5-year-old daughter. Somehow, society has not blacklisted Bratz dolls. In fact, now there are even Bratz movies, video games, a TV series. And yesterday, as Carlene and I were leaving the grocery store, what should she see at eye level but a Bratz movie in a Redbox. “Oh, Mommy, Mommy, can I get THAT movie?!” Upon seeing what she was requesting, I’m pretty sure my eyes actually did bug out of my head. I couldn’t say NO fast enough. Which then caused me to have a very upset daughter. Oh well. I still feel strongly that I will not let her have these toys in her life.

These dolls wear more makeup than I’ve ever owned. Their clothing definitely doesn’t meet usual dress code requirements.  I’m fairly certain that if a girl actually wore such an outfit in real life, she wouldn’t be able to successfully sit down and maintain any sort of modesty. The tag line with these dolls is fashion. This is NOT childhood fashion! I mean, maybe if you are 22 and heading to a club. Go for it. But I’m pretty sure 22 year olds aren’t looking to Bratz dolls for fashion advice.  In fact, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Age is 6 & up. I can’t help but wonder if those running this company (MGA Entertainment) have children, and if they let their children play with these dolls.

I’m ready for the judgment.  “But I bet your daughter has Barbies.” Yes, she does. Quite a few. I too owned Barbies. She dresses with more class, and she wears proper shades of lipstick. And at least Barbie has some life aspirations. She wants to be a veterinarian, an astronaut, a teacher.  What sort of aspirations do these Bratz dolls reflect?

I’m no radical who thinks the world will ruin my children. They watch their fair share of cartoons, I don’t always adhere to age suggestions on toys. But WHY would we want our kids to have anything that contains the word “Brat?”  And to top it off, MGA Entertainment didn’t even spell the word “Brats” right! Yes, let’s spell it with a Z so we’re also teaching our children bad grammar!

Let it be known that I’m not judging any parent who has let their child have these dolls or movies. We’re all just trying to do our best here. But I’m all about open discussion, and I’d really love to hear what sparked it. Was it a gift? Did you find it harmless? Do you think I’m overreacting? Trust me, you won’t offend me, and I have no intention of offending you.

I know I’ve got at least 3 more years of Bratz doll avoidance ahead of me. Wish me luck.

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Perfectly Imperfect

So the initial purpose of me starting a blog was just to get writing again. Maybe to some people I could offer a fresh perspective. Maybe to others I can provide a good laugh. Overall, maybe I can just be a break to the usual blogs we read about perfect parenting, deliciously well balanced meals, and meticulously organized and beautifully decorated homes. (No offense to any of those writers. It could be a bit of envy, wishing I could be as put together as you!)

I’m not any of these things. My home is a cluttered mess of unsorted mail, unfolded laundry, and toys all over the floor. But it’s my home. Our dinners sometimes consist of hot dogs and Velveeta shells. But our bellies are full. And as for parenting, well, my kids are usually smiling and always giving me hugs and kisses. So I don’t think I’m screwing that up too bad. I’m so far from perfect, and this is right where I’m supposed to be.

So I want to give this blog thing another go. But I have no idea how I am supposed to relaunch. Am I supposed to tell you all what I’ve been up to for the past 6 months? Am I supposed to just jump in as if I never left? I have no idea. I’m just going with the flow. Stay tuned!