December 29, 2010

My goals for 2011...

It's Working Moms Wednesday and time for my weekly post.

For some reason I'm a wimp when it comes to sharing my goals and resolutions with others. I think it's because I'm afraid that, God forbid, my actions will be held accountable (my Bible study group knows how much I hate that word... accountable... just typing it sends shivers up my spine). But, for the sake of using this blog to better myself, I am rolling up my sleeves, putting on my big girl pants, and taking the plunge.

Here are my hopes and dreams and goals for 2011...

1. Lose Weight. This is on my list every year but this year it truly is something I need to do, not just for my vanity but for my health.

2. Use at least one new recipe every week. We are just a few pasta or casserole nights away from a family vacation to the local psych ward.

3. Take time for myself. I need to get over the guilt of taking time for myself. In fact...

4. Stop feeling so guilty...about everything. And while I'm at it...

5. Stop comparing myself to others. Although it's healthy to want to become a better person or mother or co-worker I don't gain anything from making myself feel like crap because Suzie cooks gourmet meals and my family regularly eats frozen pizza. In the end, we all put our pants on one leg at a time.

6. Have fun! Life isn't about stress and dirty's about first spending time with loved ones and enjoying the beauty of my surroundings...and then squeezing in time to fold that last load of laundry.

7. Continue to read my Bible regularly. The holidays have slowed me down a bit but I plan on getting right back to where I started. In fact, I will start tonight! Why wait?!

8. Teach Rachel to love the outdoors as much as I do...and then enjoy them with her!

9. Smile. I was told once that I don't smile enough. The truth is, I hate my smile and I hate the way my fat cheeks fall together around my nose when I smile but probably wouldn't hurt to smile more.

10. Remember that I wrote this list AND actually stick with it.

okay...who is next?

December 27, 2010

There's a first time for everything...

Perhaps we were a bit more excited about Rachel's first Christmas than she was...

Helping her make a gingerbread house...

Look at her, excitement is just dripping from her cheeks...

Opening her presents from mommy and daddy, still super excited...

We needed a picture of someone with the doll house

Her favorite gift was....the wrapping paper, of course.

The view from my office...

The morning was crisp, and white, and beautiful.

I know that not everyone was mesmerized by the surprisingly snowy weather but the peace and calm was certainly a welcome break from the post-travel toddler tantrum that filled our home this morning.

The view from my office this morning...

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Picture this...

A little 11-month old girl in a beautiful red dress and adorned with a big red hair bow.
A husband and wife wearing matching smiles and ridiculously fancy sweaters.
A snowy background scene lit with soft Christmas lights.

And then I hear the alarm clock and realize that it was all a dream and I, in fact, did not have time to write a letter or get a nice picture taken. Rats. However, I love ALL of my readers so very much and wish you all a Merry Christmas....even though I couldn't send you all a gift or a thank you or a picture or a letter please know that I appreciate all of you!

And now, raise a glass (or two) and let us all toast to the completion of a wonderful year and the excitment of another one on the way!

Happy festivus...

I love Love LOVE the holidays. In my opinion there are 4 seasons...Spring, Summer, Football, and Christmas. I love everything about the holidays. I love the cold and snow and the music and happiness and the family time and I especially love the way we all turn into giddy little children. It's just fabulous.

This year I'm also celebrating Festivus, which is ironic because it was created to be a holiday for "the rest of us"...those who don't like the holidays and the commercialism that has turned Christmas into "Santa's Day." The reason I'm typing a Festivus blog entry is quite simple, it produces good writing material. Although we will not be putting up a Festivus pole or practicing the Feats of Strength I DO want to air my grievances, "I've got a lot of problems with you people".....not really but would any Festivus be complete without a quote from Frank Costanza?

My Grievances:
1. I hate that time goes by so quickly.
2. I can't stand the fact that our living room smells funny.
3. I am not a fan of being covered in baby puke at the beginning of an 8-hour drive.
4. I wish my pants would fit. I'm not fat enough for my fat pants (thank God!) but I'm too big for my "normal" pants. I have less than 3 weeks to get into those things.
5. I don't drink enough water anymore and that makes me a horrible person.
6. I drink too much coffee, which also makes me a horrible person, I'm sure.
7. My feet hurt, my lips are dry, and I need a hair cut.
8. I need a new purse, and thanks to my pal Melissa...I'm going to buy one.
9. I want a break from the crazy of life. Last night I was so tired I threw-up and went to bed at 7:00.
10. Christmas should last longer.

December 19, 2010

My christmas list...

Is it sad and perhaps just a bit pathetic that I don't really have a Christmas list this year? Don't get me wrong, there are lots of things that I need and several things that I would love to have but I can't bring myself to make a list for several reasons...

1. The husband and I can't afford gifts for each other so unless Santa is real there isn't a reason for me to keep track of all of the things I wish I had. That's a depressingly long list folks. But, I keep telling myself that this too shall pass and one day he'll finally be done with school and we'll both have jobs and all will be right with the world.

2. I pay the bills and usually balance the checkbook every week so I see all of our expenses. So, even if we could afford gifts, what fun would that be?
Me: Honey, what did you buy for $54.95 at the jewelry store?
Husband: Nothing dear
Me: Really? Nothing?
Him: was going to be a surprise but...
Me: I found the receipt in your wallet.... thanks for the hrt-shapd nklc
Him: Yeah, um, Merry Christmas. just wouldn't be fun for either of us.

3. Every day I write lists- grocery lists, to-do lists, and reminder notes. Why would I want to associate list writing with my favorite time of the year? yuck.

4. I still need to write my Christmas letter and wrap presents. I don't have time to make a Christmas list....unless it includes things like clean house, finish laundry, and pick up that one last gift.

Speaking of one last thing to do..... I'm not sure if I'll get another post written before Christmas so just in case I don't have a chance to say this later, MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

December 16, 2010

5 words about me...

It's Thursday. I love Thursdays for two reasons:
1) Tomorrow is Friday. 2) It's time for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!

Describe yourself in 5 words…

1. Clever
2. Demanding
3. Comical
4. Trailblazer
5. Writer

Choose 1 and write a poem…

To a Clever Working Mom:

You can reconcile a budget, and compose a confidential letter;
You can design a website, and make an office procedure better.

You can attend meetings, and coordinate an event;
You can make major purchases, and get an order sent.

You can serve on a committee, and offer your assistance;
You can complete HR functions, and work against resistance.

You can help design a course, and contribute to student satisfaction;
You can assist faculty with their teaching, and develop a plan of action.

And every day you leave your job and I am happy to report;
All of your success is possible because of good support.

Thanks everyone!

December 15, 2010

Vera the cat...

The other day I was late for work. Earlier that morning I had been running almost ahead of schedule so I decided to spend a few moments petting our cat Vera. She is plump and slow and awkward and can't successfully complete a jump over the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs so she spends most of her life upstairs, alone. How sad.

After petting her I decided that I too deserved to have a little something special so I sat down and painted my toe nails. I'm the only one who will ever see them this time of year but isn't that a wonderful thought? Only I get to see the bright fun nail polish that is hidden under my winter socks. Just me and no one else.

Jake told me that he helped Vera over the gate the other night so she could spend some time with the rest of the family. Apparently it wasn't as fun as she thought it would be and soon she was sprinting for her life from a busy little gal who just HAD to pull that fluffy tail. Vera was so focused on getting away from Rachel that she momentarily forgot about her lack of abilities and leaped over the gate to safety. Interesting.

I found it fascinating that the thing that had inspired me just a few days earlier was actually a lot like me: neither of us want to miss all the fun, we don't like to "jump the gate" on a regular basis, and we're both afraid of children.

December 13, 2010

I may not have been completely correct...

No, this is not a post about coming clean about any deep dark secrets and I’m certainly not admitting to any major wrong doings. I am, however, willing to set aside my pride for just a bit and admit that, perhaps, my accuracy regarding a few issues might require a bit of tweaking…

The other day I whined about how cold it was outside. This past weekend old man winter sat me down and we had a conversation that went a little something like this, “Angie, you’re a wimp.” Now, we can’t wait for it to get back up to zero. I hate winter, I really do.

It will always be a struggle for me to make decent cookies. I hear my dad’s voice running through my head right now saying something like, “Sitting in church will no more make you a Christian than sitting in a hen house will make you a chicken.” That loosely translates to watching a cooking show will not make you a cook. Use a timer. That’s all I’m saying…

Annual Christmas letters are just as easily viewed online as they are in hard copy form. I always swore that I would never email my Christmas letter- that a real one comes by mail. Oh man, was I wrong or what? This Christmas, if I even find time to actually write the letter, you better believe it’s coming through email. I don’t believe that I will ever again find time to address over 150 envelopes. Yes, I am a schmuck and will forever feel guilty for falling prey to the email gods. Unfortunately, we have to pay for things like diapers and formula instead of extra stamps and copies. The times they are a changing.

December 8, 2010

Everything i need to know...

Once in awhile I get the chance to participate in the Working Mom's Network Weekly Writing Prompt and today is one of those days.

So, what have I learned about children that I would have been shocked to know a year ago...

1. Children really do grow fast. "They" are not grow so fast.

2. Having children does not make you happier. It adds purpose and meaning and a feeling of accomplishment but it does not necessarily make you happier.

3. No matter how much stress you're under a child's smile will almost always melt all of your worries away.

4. Oh my goodness, all of that crap that everyone says you need is a bunch of hooey. You can survive perfectly fine with just the basics. This includes passing over "essentials" like a bumbo chair, a special diaper pail, coordinated room decorations, a walker, 50,000 onesies, and a changing table. I'm not saying that no one needs these things but the next time you tell a new mom to purchase the latest "must have" item try to hold yourself back. They'll discover it soon enough...if they REALLY do need it.

5. During meal time, if your child is so sleepy that all they can do is cry, take the opportunity to shove food in their mouth whenever it's matter what noise is coming out (I've said it before and I'll say it again...don't judge).

6. The U.S. military could take a hint from children and make their tanks out of the same materials that a child's head is composed of.

7. Some children will never be good nap-takers.

8. Just because they would/would not eat it yesterday doesn't mean they will/will not eat it today.

9. Sometimes blue eyes stay blue.

10. There will be days that she just doesn't like her mommy. ouch.

December 7, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside...

Yes, I know...I choose to live in Iowa and have most likely given up my right to complain about the weather. But, in my defense it's quickly getting colder around here and, quite frankly, I'm just not ready for it. So, you ask, how might one know when it's too cold? Well, you're in luck...

1. It's too cold if you're walking across campus and can see your building but still feel an overwhelming desire to lie down and die because you just don't think you're ever going to make it back to your warm office.

2. It's too cold if your eyes fill up with tears and freeze to your face because of the wind.

3. It's too cold if you're walking around with snot hanging out but can't feel it because it too is frozen to your face.

4. It's too cold if you have to say things like, "I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you with only your nose poking out through that scarf wrapped around your face."

5. It's too cold if, in your rush to FINALLY make it into a warm building, you smack one of the nation's leading defensive linemen in the face with the door and don't think twice about bulldozing him over to get to warmth.

P.S. I tried to apologize but I don't think he heard me through his fur lined hood. Now, that's how you know when it's cold....when even the football players are wearing winter coats.

December 3, 2010

What's going on...

The Latest Happenings at our House…

This is how Fall ended at our house. Doesn’t she look thrilled?

I believe they’re discussing how best to detect gravitational waves, which require extremely precise measurements

My first Thanksgiving feast. If anyone left hungry it was their own fault (I hope).

We always put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. It seems to be a little empty underneath. Grandparents, I’m looking at you…

Jake and his lights…think “Christmas Vacation”ish

He always has an audience. This year it was a little girl banging on the door…

…with her cat. At one point they were both standing with noses to the door.

December 2, 2010

I'm sorry, so sorry...

After almost 10 years of working for a state institution I feel that I owe an apology to the taxpayers who are footing the bill for my salary...


I'm sorry I spent the majority of my afternoon eating cookies and watching the lights blink in our office. It wasn't my fault though. The electricians couldn't figure out which wire went with which thingy so they had to turn our power off and I didn't have anything else to do. I can definitely tell you that, according to "Steve", the blue wire was still on...

Please accept my apology. :)

P.S. The renovations are scheduled to be completed by March so I believe that means they'll be done by next Thanksgiving...we can only hope.