Christmas Spirit

I was just reading over a Christmas post from years ago about the most irritating and ridiculous Christmas songs ever.  Thankfully this year, I have daily reminders of the stupidity.  I want to add one more song to the "run from wherever you are in the house to turn the radio off, even if the other station is playing Justin Bieber" list.  I may be blacklisted from friend lists after this, but it is a risk I am willing to take.
The 2011 inductee to the "Worst Christmas Song Ever" list is...(drum roll please) "The Christmas Shoes" by Bob Carlisle.  Why was this song made?  Even more, why has this song been re-recorded by other people??  I don't know about you, but my hatred of this song runs deep.  I have no specific reason for the dislike, but the radio MUST be turned off when it comes on.  I get the sentiment, the kid wants Mom to be all pretty when she meets Jesus...but seriously,  why the holiday downer?  
If I could have one Christmas wish, it would be that this song meets the same fate as the kid's Mom.  Harsh, I know, but that's just the way it is.  Maybe I could introduce the song to the reindeer who ran Grandma over?
Just in case you need a reminder of horrible songs, you'll find the previous rant, here.
Merry Christmas everyone!


A Minute to Remember

It's been one of THOSE weeks, so this post is more for me than anyone else.
Being November, and with Thanksgiving coming up, I figure I need a little memory jog of some of the things I am thankful for...so here goes (in no particular order):
Good health, healthy kids, beautiful vivacious kids, a hard working husband, a job for my hard working husband, a home, heat, my Church, working cars, friends who watch my kids when the need arises, friends, family (even if nowhere near me), amazingly awesome nine west boots, a fridge and shelves full of food to eat, candy cane hot cocoa, sesame street, my Blendtec, little hugs and kisses, the Internet, Costco, Target, Amazon.com, Saturday mail delivery, schwan's caramel apple pops, dishwashers, cupcakes, friends who will eat those cupcakes, holidays, a fantastic hairstylist, wonderful neighbors, no sales tax on shoes and clothes, DSW, online shopping, Caribou Coffee's milk hot chocolate with raspberry, the sparkle in my kids eyes, our Wii and playing Just Dance with the family, toilet paper and paper towels, options -even if I disagree with them, my education, cheesy dance music, key lime pie, coconut ice cream, French macarons, outings as a family, piece and quiet, checking in on sleeping children, medical technology, Skype/FaceTime, digital cameras, new opportunities, meeting new people, electricity, Joann's, books, Allrecipes.com, friends that love my kids, peanut M&Ms, catching up with old friends, opportunities to serve others...
Some of the list is obviously light hearted and whimsical, but I truly am grateful for everything I have in my life, good and bad. And on those days when it is so hard to crack a smile, it is those little things that can help get us back on track. Can you really eat a bag of peanut M&M's and not smile? I can't. So there is my reminder for today. Fittingly, today being Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day, I am thankful for being able to live in countries that give me the freedom to practice the religion I choose, live the life I choose, drive, vote, work...all the little things that we take for granted in Canada and the U.S. Thank you to those who made it possible!



Ever wish you could just wipe the slate clean and start again?  Not with you life and the choices you've made, but with your living area? House, apartment, room, condo...whatever.
We've been in our house four years now and I wish I could just un-paint, un-decorate (not that we did a lot), un-curtain, un-choose furnishings and just start again.  The only problem is...I don't have a clue what I would pick if I could do it all over again.  I am currently trying to paint the bedroom, but seeing as it is still the horrid grey colour (with the exception of the 8 squares of potential new shades), I have not gotten very far.  It is much easier to choose when there is just one person, but when you have the opinion of another, it just makes it harder.  Especially since we don't seem to agree on too many things!  I have a blank slate but I can not decide what to do.  Just as I think we've decided, I can not commit to buying the paint in fear that one of us will dislike it once it gets on the wall, and I am not going to have another experience like the bathroom again!  How to decide?? And then how to decorate?  I have pictures piled away that I thought I would like up on the walls, but no, they just lean lovingly against the wall underneath the stairs. 
I suppose the upside to living somewhere with the basics (bed, couch, table) is there wouldn't be too much for the kids to destroy!! 
But, if anyone has any tips, ideas or advice for me...help!!  I really want my bedroom done, it's the last room in the house to have anything done to it!!


Growing Pains

In keeping with my previous post showcasing some of the best of school year hairstyles, I am forewarning those who know me to get ready for some more awesomeness. I am growing out my hair and I can only imagine what is to come. I am hoping to avoid anything close to a mullet, but it can't be promised. Should that occur, please refrain from laughing in my face and try to keep the double looks to a minimum. Hopefully this process won't take too long or be too painful... I won't be growing it to the lengths of Rapunzel, like a certain three year old thinks she wants to do, but the short 'do has run it's course and it's time to attempt something new. Of course, knowing me, I will get it grown out, enjoy it for 8-10 weeks and then just chop it off again, but...it's hair, it grows, I cut it, it grows, I cut it.
Any one with any tips or ideas for living with "growing out" hair, let me know. I don't think I want to live in a hat or a headscarf for the nex 6 months!!


Weight a Minute!

Two weeks left to go in the latest (and last?) weight loss contest with the in-laws side of the family!!  I don't think I will make my overall goal in that time, unless I starve myself.  or just watch what I eat and exercise...yah I am not going to reach my goal.  But I am close!!  Maybe by Halloween...just in time to raid the kids candy!
The hubster and were talking about weight loss and he mentioned how someone had been tweeting their weight and what they had eaten that day to feel accountable.  Everyone who followed them would see that they had fallen off the bandwagon and downed an entire meal comprised of four items from Denny's "Let's Get Cheesy" menu. 
It got me thinking...would I share my weight with the public?  I would easily tell people how much I have lost and how much I have to go, but would I tell them where I started and where I am now?  Why is there such a taboo about weight sharing?  I think women are more apprehensive to tell people how much they weigh, whether they are a size 2 or a size 20, but I think the same goes for men.  No one usually walks around saying, "Hi!  My name is Bob and I weigh 194 pounds."  What makes us so scared to share those numbers?  I mean if we are overweight, it's not like someone is going to be shocked to find out, it's not like we can hide it very well.  Is it just because we don't want people to know specifics? Are we embarrassed?  If we were embarrassed by our weight and then lost weight, wouldn't we shout it from the rooftops?  When big weight losses occur it's usually accompanied by a headline of "She lost 154 pounds!!"  not a "She now weighs 146 pounds!"  Unless your on the Biggest Loser...then we see it all (literally!)
Why also do we not share our clothing size?  I know when I talk to people about shopping I will say things like, "I fluctuate between two sizes", "I had to go up/down a size", or "I am down 3 sizes!!"  Why not just say I ended up getting a size 4 or 8 or 16...whatever it may be.  If the person you are talking to ups and runs because you just said you wear a size 12, let them run!!  Especially when every store's sizes are different.  Even within the same store...I tried on 4 different sizes!
So why then?  I will gladly tell anyone I have lost almost 40 pounds in the last 3 years (not including weight gained and lost from pregnancies), but will I tell you how much I weighed pre-baby #1 and how much I weigh now?  Will I tell you what size I was before babies and what size I wear now?  No, probably not.  Maybe if I need that last ditch motivation to get rid of these last 9 pounds to reach my goal, but I am hoping I don't need to go there.  Why won't I tell?  I have no idea.  Why won't you tell?  Or would you?


After T was born, everyone said she was a Mini Mark, the spitting image of her Dad.  It wasn't until she was around 2 that someone said, "She looks just like you!"  So when little t came around, it was no different.  I have never thought either of the kids looked much like me, I don't think they look exactly like Mark either.  But as I was looking back through some old pictures, I cam across one that changed my mind.
If you've ever wondered what little t would look like wearing a dress...
there you have it. 
And if you have seen Miss T's scrunched up little nose that she does when she gets all snippety with you...
I guess they are my kids after all!!


Hair Gone Wild

I don't know why I am doing this.  Perhaps I need to learn to laugh more at myself, or to remind myself of how much older I am now, or even as a cautionary tale for the years to come now that I have a daughter.  I'm thinking it's a note to self for when I am having a bad hair day/why did I cut my hair off??
Either way, here we go. 
May I present to you a sampling of hairstyles (and I use that term very loosely) past.  Ones that haunt me, ones that when glanced upon result in head shaking and tsk tsk-ing.  I wish I knew who to lay the blame on; me, my Mother, my Father...I just don't know.  The truth is they happened.  And sadly, Josten's has captured it on film, to live forever.  And now I am adding it to this here world wide web as a service to those around the world.  Take this as your lesson in what NOT to do to hair.

And may this serve as a reminder as to why growing your hair out is such a difficult, torturous decision...one that very rarely can be accomplished without embarrassment or the explanation of "I'm growing my hair out."
(terrible picture quality, but it was many, many moons ago before the days of digital cameras)
There are oh so many more I could share, but the pictures are so huge that I am afraid small children and pets would run away crying.  Just take my word for it...or look at the pictures again, you'll believe me.


So Nice! Part One

(Warning...prepare for photo overload in the coming posts)
Back to reality.  I think coming down/back from vacation deserves another mini vacation! :o)
We just spent 8 fabulous days in the French Riviera (and one chilly night in Amsterdam) thanks to a Grandma who was more than willing to fly to our home and watch our two munchkins for us while we toured, sunbathed, ate leisurely meals and enjoyed the sites of various French and Italian cities (Thanks Grandma S!)
I'm not sure everyone wants an hour by hour recap of our trip, or any recap for that matter, but just to document it on this old world wide web, I'll provide the highlights!

We flew into Nice and spent the first 2 days there adjusting to the wicked humidity and intense sun (we were one of the very few pasty white folks walking along the beach!) and enjoying the sites.  We walked miles every day checking things out.  This time around we didn't worry so much about museums and art galleries and instead strolled down streets, perusing through stores, and checking out things here and there.

Day 1 and Day 2 we spent in Nice, we walked along the beach, toured Vieux Nice, walked and walked, spent some time at the beach and the pool, ate ice cream, and just wandered around.  These are some of the things we saw (and most of them we don't know the specifics or history, I just took pictures!!)
 The Pastys (does anyone ever look good in pictures wearing sunglasses, or is it just me that doesn't??)

 (There will be no up close shots of the beach!!)

Day 3 and 4 up next...

Day 3 and 4

The next day we checked out the local market.  Flowers, soaps, spices, fruit (oh the fruit), veggies, bread...it was wonderful!!

Then we climbed a great big hill to get a great view of the area.

The next day we jetted off to Monaco.  We walked around Monte Carlo, went inside the casino, took a trolley ride around the city and enjoyed the fireworks they set off that night just for our visit! Ok, it was for the International Fireworks Competition or something, but still...

Day 4 consisted of riding the rails to Antibes and Cannes.  I have to say, these towns are very much alike!  As I am guessing most Mediterranean towns are...beach and tourist shops with some history and art mixed in!! I don't even know if I took a picture in Antibes, but they did have a lovely market there (how I wish I could have brought home the flowers and produce) and a cute shop that I bought some clothes from!!  Cannes was about the same, but they have the Film Festival so I think it gets the spotlight a little more.  But we toured around both cities and ate ice cream, so how bad can it be??

Day 5 and 6...coming your way!