Monday, December 31, 2007

Happiness in the New Year!

With the theme of our blog being, "A Continual Happiness," I thought it appropriate to discuss the new year. I personally love making resolutions every year and seeing which ones I can stick with. It's not easy, but goal-setting is a good thing. It's like taking an inventory of your life and micro-managing it, decluttering away the pile of things that are not working. Of course, there is only so far one can go. I will never wake up and see myself onstage, belting out tunes like Celine Dion because I don't have the voice for it! Nor can I move into the big mansion up the street because I haven't won the lottery yet. But, seriously, resolutions help us reflect and indulge in our dreams. Here are my resolutions for 2008:

*Find a great job!

*Be the best I can at the new job!

*Give my daughters all the lessons I can afford (dancing, swimming, music, etc.)

*Curb the spending and start saving money!

*End bad relationships that aren't working.

*Surround myself with positive people.

*Spend more time just playing with my daughters and let the house be messy for a change!

*Let my nails grow out. They are very short and brittle!

Okay girls, I posted my New Year's Resolutions, now let's see yours!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Calendar Disclaimer

By this time I hope that you have gotten your calendars. Although the gift is from Kelly and me, Kelly is the driving creative force behind the photos, the layout, the mailing and the idea in the first place. I was just her partial benefactor.

I'm enjoying that you are enjoying our little project. I just want to make sure that we give credit where credit is due, to our own in house graphics gal!

Thanks Kel, you are so talented!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas to ALL!

I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday... I know that I did!

Thanks so much to Kelly and Karianne for the adorable calendar! What a neat idea! I love it and am so glad that I was included. I feel like a "pin-up" girl. :)

I wish you all continued peace and joy today - this day after Christmas - and all the new year through.

Much love,

Karen Beth :)

Thank you, Sweetest Girls, and Merry Christmas!!!


Karianne and Kelly -- what a sweet gift to receive in the mail from you... to open up this little calendar and see my name among yours... to know the love that surrounds this little group of girls.. and to know that I'm included in it.. You have no idea how much this means to me right now. Please know that you are a blessing and I'm so thankful for you all!!!


Christmas at the Prells was a nice and quiet time this year and I have a photo to share of the 4 of us..


I pray that all of your holiday seasons are blessed and full of love, laughter, and peace!!!


With so much love,

Catherine


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A White Christmas



For the first time in my life, it snowed ON Christmas Day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas, Dear Blogging Chicks!

Just wanted to take a minute and wish you all a beautiful Christmas tomorrow.

We have so many crazy plans tomorrow that we celebrated today as a family. It was one the best, most relaxing, enjoyable Christmas days ever! Both of my boys, ages 2 and 4, were able to fully understand the sheer delight and joy of the day. It was a joy watching them experience the joy of it. My oldest was able to really understand the real meaning of Christmas this year, and my youngest semi-got it. It was just so amazing. On top of that, I wasn't sick and was able to eat. Ah, tis sheer bliss!

Thank you to each of you for your friendship over this past year. I have enjoyed really getting to know some of you, and look forward to getting to know the rest of you even better in the coming year!

Thank you to Kelly and Karianne for the beautiful gift - how thoughtful and creative! You two are some of best hearted girls I know, and I count it an honor having 'stumbled' across you two. (More like divine intervention I think.)

Here are some photos from last night (our Christmas Eve). We always do candid pajama (no make-up) shots with our timer and tripod. :)

From our home to yours, merry, merry Christmas!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thanks and Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all my Happy Friends!!!

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I just got the gift in the mail (I only get my mail every few weeks-- hate the bills) and I was so excited to see the little gift for the girls. You guys are so thoughtful. I will display my calendar and my January page with pride and always smile as I know it came from my "happiness" friends!!

Thanks for your thoughtfulness and Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Julie Andrews sang a beautiful song in the Sound of Music of little things that make her happy. It's so appropriate that this song is associated with Christmas with all the wonderfully winter favorites sprinkled throughout the song!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Speaking of "brown paper packages..."

All the ladies that were kind enough to post pictures of themselves or send them to me, you will be getting a special surprise in the mail soon from Karianne and me (Kelly). It's coming through the US Post Office. I'm not quite sure if it will make it in time for Christmas, but I should think it will make it before the beginning of the new year. So be on the look out!

Sending you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

For Katiefucious, And the rest of us!

I'm tired of Christmas music today. Get up and dance/skate girlies,access your inner ONJ!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thanks for the Memories

My Grandmother died today.

My Grandfather died in the middle of September, just about four months ago.

Amidst all of the sorrow that usually accompanies an event like this, I find myself feeling grateful for the 29 years of my life that I was able to spend with my Grandparents.

When we visited my Grampa in the hospital before he died, people were saying things like "If only we had spent more time with him." And to be honest with you, I think that they will be saying the same things at my Gram's funeral.

Why live your life that way? If there is ANYTHING that I have learned in three decades on this earth, it is that time is something that you can never replace. If you don't spend the time you have with the people you love NOW, you will never get that chance back!!

I am GRATEFUL for the time that I chose to spend with my Grandparents instead of doing something else!

I am GLAD that I got to know two such WONDERFUL people in my life!

I hope that someday someone will feel about me the way that I feel about my Grandparents.

See you in 80 years, Grampa and Gram. Tell Jesus I said hi. Thanks for the memories.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Daddy Daughter Love

 


Happiness to me is watching my hubby and my daughter interact. They are just so darn cute!! It is amazing how much inlove they are. This is happiness to me!!
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Friday, December 7, 2007

Photo Winners!

I just wanted to let you all know that everyone is a winner in my book. So keep your eyes open in the mail. You'll received something in a few weeks! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips




My sis in law in spirit manages a Hallmark store in town. Ivy and I were visiting her last week and hanging out at her candy counter when I saw a new item, Chocolate covered potato chips! She gave us a sample and I fell in LOVE!! I have been trying to get back down there to purchase some, but haven't gotten to that side of town. These chips are from my dreams!

Here is a recipe that I tried today and it is pretty good. I think that I like Hallmark's better, but these will do great for the cookie exchange I'm in next week.

Chocolate Covered Potato Chip recipe

Introducing Mandy!

I think it is so cool how spread out we all are--all over the country: California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi. . . just to name a few!

Well, now it's time to add a new state to the mix! This is my friend Mandy. We were college friends and even had an internship together one summer. I was the designer. She was the writer. Now Miss Mandy is an editor in Tennessee. I don't want to share more than that because I don't know how much info she puts online. Plus, that's a cool thing about blogs. You discover all that while you read!

As you can imagine, she's an awesome writer! I thoroughly enjoy her blog, and I thought she could use some more comments. So ladies, get to it, okay? ;)

Her blog is titled Unfinished Business. Go take a look!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My photo and 7 random things



First off, I want to apologize for not being here in forever. I've had severe morning sickness that has been pretty debilitating, and I ashamed to say I fell of the wagon and haven't gotten back on. I'm feeling a little more human for the past week, so I wanted to post!
The first picture is me at 14 weeks pregnant. (I am currently 17 1/2 weeks.) Don't mind my son, he thinks it's hilarious to lick my stomach. (Don't ask - he's a boy!)
1. I got married in a field. In my bare feet.
2.I love long lazy mornings when all 4 of us (myself, hubby, and two songs) all snuggle in our bed before we get up for the day.
3.My Christmas shopping is 90%+ done!
4. I am a die-hard bargain shopper, and am super proud of my 'gift closet' (where I store great deals for random gifts. I seldom have to go shopping for showers, birthday parties, etc.).
5. My knees are double jointed. As well as my thumbs.
6. I flipped my husband's car less than a year after we were married, in the first snow storm of the season. 5 years later I am just learning not to have panic attacks driving in inclement weather.
7. I talk to my mom at least 2x daily on the phone, usually more. And I haven't lived at home for almost 7 years.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Somewhat Under Duress

I've cropped my daughters out of a photo
that my husband took of the three of us.
It's the best I can come up with.
I wish I had something better.


(It's good for me to get out of my comfort zone.)


Friday, November 30, 2007

his pick

This is my son's pick for "favorite photo" that he took today. He was pretty excited to get to use my camera!

A Funny Video

I know that Katya and Natalie have seen this over at practicingcontentment, but have the rest of you?

Go check out my kids and Rocky Balboa. It makes me laugh every time.

Punching Bag

Seven Things and a Photo

I am finished with my last Calculus test of the semester before the final.

It was HARD!! I love Math, but it's not easy. I am always very relieved after I finish a test!

I am giving you photo of me that is about three years old because, as happens with most of you, I am not usually the person in front of the camera. It's a photo that I like, though. I took it MYSELF when my DH was in Iraq. Heh. :)


Here are my 7 Things:

1.) I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. I'm 29 now, and I still want to have a farm. The happiest times of my life that I can remember were on the farm that we ran when I was a kid. We had sheep, cows, turkeys, chickens, goats, rabbits, pigs, horses (briefly), cats, and we even had a dog for a week.

2.) We are currently owned by two rescue Akitas--Sumo and Pearl. I would rather adopt an older dog from a rescue organization than buy a puppy from a breeder. If I seem a little snippy about that, I apologize. That's just how I am--I would rather give a home to a dog who really NEEDS it than pay money for a small, whiney poop machine. You will never see a puppy grace my home.

3.) I make the best oatmeal cookies ever. I'm serious. I got the recipe from a friend of ours in Iowa. She created it herself. If you want the recipe, I'll send it to you, but you have to promise never to tell anyone what my super-secret special ingredient is. :)

4.) I used to think that Christmas was my favorite holiday, but I have realized over the years that Halloween is my favorite holiday because I love horror movies, haunted houses, dressing up as something else, and especially eating candy!

5.) I am going to school to be a Math teacher. I wish I had started school for this earlier, because the more I research Mathematics, the more I want to learn, and I want to continue taking Math classes. I want to go to MIT and do something cool, like be an Astrophysicist, Propulsion Engineer, or something that involved complex mathematics because I LOVE IT. REALLY. I LOVE MATH. Maybe I will just take summer courses every year for the rest of my life?

6.) I am a stepdaughter as well as a stepmother. I love my stepkids and my stepdad. I have no biological kids, and I don't care much for my biological father.

7.) I have two tattoos. This one is on the small of my back. Both are dragons.

I don't have a photo of the other tattoo, between my shoulderblades. Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten two tattoos that I will never be able to see. I want to get another tattoo someday of Rosie the Riveter.

Hope you all enjoyed reading these.

I have a carrot cake recipe that I am going to post soon that is TO DIE FOR. We call it "Akita Carrot Cake" because it is SO fantastic, just like our Keeters!!

Here's Ashley!


My five-year-old daughter just took this photo of me a few minutes ago. Like Christy, seldom am I the focus of the camera. The majority of my photos include my daughters.

This is Christy

I must preface this with the fact that I rarely take pictures of me. I am always the one behind the camera taking the pics so it was very difficult to find a pic of me that would work. This picture is from Halloween and I had to crop my hubby out to get it with just me. Anyway, not my favorite picture but oh well, it will work!

 
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

7 things about me

Okay, I've been putting this one off for awhile, now, but I can't sleep, stuff is wearing on my mind, so I figured rather than be stresed, I would finally post my seven things about me.

1. I love the cold weather. Positively love it. I'm from California originally, and summer is great, but man, today it was so cold I had to wear my long underwear, and I was thrilled!

2. I am a pretty good judge of character, and as such have some of the best friends in the world.

3. I'm incredibly sensitive, and I think that other people tend to see that as a weakness and exploit it.

4. If I could be anything in the world, careerwise, other than a social worker, it would be Mimi in the Broadway production of Rent or Tinkerbell at Disneyland.

5. I own upwards of 45 pairs of shoes.

6. Right now my favorite food is cinnamon toast.

7. Since my brother left for bootcamp on Sunday, I've pretty much been wearing something of his every day.

There you go! Whew, it's done!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wassail ... a little bit Southern ...

This is my favorite holiday drink recipe. So delicious and smells wonderful simmering!

~ Wassail ~

1 gallon apple cider
1 quart orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 large can pineapple juice
24 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, over medium heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Strain and serve hot. Refrigerate to store.

Makes 1 1/2 gallons.

a look at me!


So what do ya'll think?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

seven random things about alisonwonderland

  1. i don't particularly like capital letters (as you can tell).

  2. i'm the oldest of seven sisters, no brothers.

  3. i love diet coke with lime, chocolate in many forms, and microwave popcorn.

  4. one of my earliest memories is of being on a ferry boat near seattle. another is of a thunderstorm.

  5. i hate to put clean clothes on a dirty body. i shower in the morning and once i’m dressed generally that’s it. i will sometimes dress “down” into sweats and a tshirt, but i will never dress “up” without another shower.

  6. i hate to wear shoes. i'm almost always barefoot indoors, and unless it's really snowy, i'm usually wearing my favorite sandals outdoors.

  7. i don't particularly like having my photo taken, so i'm not sure if i'll get something posted before friday - but i'll think about it!

Natalie's 7 Things

I have no idea where the original post is for this little trend, but I thought I could add something. Maybe. Here goes!

1)I constantly have a song in my head. In fact, if you hang out with me in person, you would find me humming. I wouldn't realize that I was humming or possibly what I was humming. I have had a few patient's notice and comment, that's how I found out.

2)I like sports. I watch football, basketball, and baseball by choice. And it didn't start because of my dad or any boyfriend. I just like sports.

3) I like to drive fast.

4) I have a goal of visiting each of the 50 states before I die.

5)I grew up on a farm.

6)I have held a 1 lb child in my hand.

7) I love cucumbers, but hate pickles. explain that one....

So who is next?

This is me.

Pensive Pics

Introducing. . .

Karianne


Kelly


Now it is your turn.

Monday, November 26, 2007

7 Things About Christy

No picture this time but it will come before the end of the month. I'm feeling FAT right now-- uggg :(

Anyway, here are my 7 random things:

1. I'm a school Psychologist part time

2. I love to snowboard with my kids (and hubby too) and have been snowboarding since collage.

3. I use to weigh 300 pounds (had Gastric bypass 8 years ago- wish I could say I lost it the hard way but I didn't-- but it worked)

4. I have 2 sons (bio ages 7 and 9) and we adopted our daughter from China in May 2007 and she just turned a year-- ya Mia

5. My hubby and I have been together since we were 16 years old (we are now both 35-uggg)

6. I could shop everyday all day (I genuinely love to shop) nonstop in heels-- seriously, I suffer through the pain for fashion sake

7. I hate to clean my house. I will keep it picked up and the couches fluffed but you will not catch me deep cleaning. Cant afford to pay a house cleaner but we do for the sake of cleanliness.

Seven Things About Me

1) I love M&M peanuts, Mallowmars, and anything chocolate!

2) I am allergic to seaweed!

3) I had back surgery resulting in a car accident in 1984 and have titanium rods fused to my spine. (No back pain or problems thankfully!)

4) I love listening to and singing along with music (anything from Pop to Jazz).

5) I'm a middle child!

6) I enjoy hiking, photography, scrapbooking and travel.

7) I went kayaking in New Zealand.

How Ironic!

Well, it looks like Blogger is having difficulty with the photo option.

Sooo....

Just email your photos to me, and I'll post them altogether when it starts working again. Remember, you have until Friday!

You can find my email in the dashboard.

A Photo (Not) and 7 Things

I've been trying to post my photo here and a video to share for the past hour or so and giving up for the time being will make me very happy! But, they will be posted at some point by Friday, I hope.

Here are my 7 things that Christine asked for a while back:

1. I'm not a "holiday" person. Instead of forcing myself to feel like certain days are holidays, I try to make every day a holiday. Kind of corny, but Ivy and I celebrated the last day of using her baby carseat a few years back and that was one of my favorite holidays ever! Other than that, my birthday is my FAVE day of the year.

2. Although I'm not going to Artfest this year, I am participating in one of their extracurricular activities. I've joined the "fatbook" group twice! Sometime in April I will get 2 fatbooks with about 40 pages each, one of which will be my submission. The theme is "forest floor". I've been working on my page all day and I'm not too pleased yet. But, it will get there.

3. My fave part of the thanksgiving meal is stuffing.

4. This year, my spa partner and I went to black angus for Thanksgiving. We both had prime rib and lobster. I could so get used to that!

5. I'm craving stroganoff for dinner.

6. I'm totally into winter hats this year. My first one that I bought about a week ago for $15 has been worn 4 out of the last 7 days. The other one I've worn once. I barely have to wear a coat I'm so warm.

7. I've regained my rockstar status in the eyes of my nephew Juju. This weekend he asked me specifically to play guitar for his band, 'roadkill'. Yep, he's eating his hat and I'm loving it!

Who's next? Let's get to know each other!!

***Picture Perfect***

Well, you guys make me happy! But what is so weird is that I have no clue what you ladies look like! So I propose we post pictures of ourselves.

Like Melissa's blog says. . . "Just Me!"

And since we are a creative lot, I thought I'd make a little competition of it. Try and be creative with your shots because I have a special gift for the Best Photo! (BTW, I'm the judge!) :)

I'll post a pic of me when I get home. And of course I can't compete. Anyways, I'm already a winner with friends like you gals! (

**Did I hear a groan?**

Here are a few simple rules/guidelines:
• Please be horizontal.
• Post sometime before the end of the month.
• You and you alone are the model.
• Try and be as current as possible.

And most importantly, submit something! I want to see your bright shining faces!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday has arrived!

For serious bargain hunters, today is "D-Day!" It "D" for waking up at Dawn to Drive to the malls and shopping centers in search of the best Deals. A few of my friends and family members take this day very seriously. They look forward to it every year and spend a great deal of time reading through newspaper inserts dreaming up the perfect gift lists for their loved ones. One of my dear friends is so energized by "D-Day" that she will shop for 4-5 hours straight after running on little sleep the night before. Last year, she happily told me that she was able to save $300 on her bargain shopping.

While it's nice to see my friends' out there spending the day doing something they love, I prefer to avoid shopping on Black Friday. Rather, I like starting earlier in the year, at least by October, casually buying things that pop out at me as a great gift for 'Uncle Matty' or 'Cousin Joe.' My all-time favorite way to shop is online. It's so relaxed and convenient. Best yet, my two energetic children are usually asleep in their beds at night when I am free to peruse the plethora of online shops. Online shopping has so much to offer and is so easy that it makes me sometimes question why anyone would choose to spend their time driving to a mall, fighting large crowds or standing in long lines to pay for something, especially on Black Friday. I guess it just comes down to choice. Would you rather buy a bra online or in the store? I've done both my friends. I've done both, but not on Black Friday!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Holiday Happiness

I love the holidays. So many people focus on all the negatives and irritations, but those things just don't bother me. I love autumn. I love Halloween and dressing up. I love that month long anticipation of Thanksgiving. I love see the Christmas decorations up early. I love visiting with family and friends. I love having an excuse to buy gifts for people I love. I love days off of work. I love carols and Christmas movies and new recipes. I love ornaments and lights. I love a slight chill in the air. I ADORE Christmas Eve and prepping. I love the sights and smells and tastes. I love the Christmas nativity pageants and the costumes. I love making plans for the new year. I love parties and dressing up and music and singing toasting to new beginnings.

I love reasons to celebrate--whatever it may be. It gives me something to look forward to. After New Years Eve, we don't celebrate much. The next holiday is Valentines, which is usually a big letdown anyway. So I will soak up every bit of these three months so that perhaps when January gets here I will have enough "gas" to get me through until the spring.

All the above makes me happy! :)

Choices

During your childhood and growing up years you normally don't have many choices dealing with the holidays. Your parents decide how they are going to be spent and that is how it goes.

When I was younger I decided that I would celebrate the holidays a certain way. It took me a long time to be able to implement my decision with my husband(s) but the last couple of years, I have stuck to my guns and have compromised as much as possible, but I was able to decide what I thought was best.

Last year and today have been wonderful so far. About as stress free as it can be with 2 kids!

Having a choice makes me happy in many situations. Not having a choice is a sure sign to make me NOT happy.

Happy Thanksgiving, buds.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Joe's Secret Lair



So I posted on my other blog recently that my cousin, Joe, who lives with us, has decided to stop sharing a room with my brother Chris. He's moved into our cupboard under the stairs, Harry Potter style. He even calls it his secret lair. He also tried calling my mom Aunt Petunia, but that didn't last very long. He loves sleeping down there, and moved his little bed down. Weirdo!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Accessible Medical Care

This may sound like a weird thing to be happy about, but I'm all about silver linings!

Yesterday our PCP facility was closed for Veteran's Day. Mr. Bec started a fever on Saturday which got worse until Monday. I took him in to our "urgent care" center first thing in the morning, which was at 730 am. We walked right in and were home by the time Chris had to leave for work.

Today, the spider bite on my leg turned suspicious. All red and hot and swollen and hurting. I called our PCP facility and there were absolutely no appointments available today or tonight. So, off I headed to urgent care. I was seen quickly and professionally by a different doctor than Bec had before.

To have the middle ground of urgent care in between the PCP office and the emergency room is close to having it all. It's all about the options.

Two things of interest for everyone...



I really don't mean to be spammy but I thought you all might like to know about this wonderful shopping opportunity, especially in time for Christmas.

I sell Arbonne skin and healthcare products. I don't really advertise or announce it much except around Christmas-time since it does make really wonderful gifts. I personally recommend the Awaken Sea Salt Scrub. It is my favorite product! During the holiday season only, you can get smaller containers of it. They come in sets of three and are perfect for stocking stuffers, gift bags or little happies for people on your lists.

The Arbonne Hand Cream is also divine and also makes great happy gifts.

Should you want to order anything from Arbonne, this is how you will register on the site to buy through me. It is really very handy as you can use your credit card, have it shipped directly to you (no coming through me first) and I will get consultant credit for it.

THANK YOU
in advance!

Steps for Client Registration:

Go to the Arbonne site and go to America - English.
Once there, click Shop Online.
Click Login (near the top of the page).
Once you are on the next page, go to the right block side and click on Client Registration.
On the next page, it will say Register Now - Enter Your Consultant’s ID.
My ID is 15993379
Then register with your Name, Address, Etc.

After registration, you can shop and get whatever you need, pay via Credit Card and have it shipped directly to your home.

This seems like a lot of instructions I know, but I don’t think it will be so long when you actually get in there.

If you have any problems or product questions, please let me know!

Thanks and happy shopping!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


My good friend Jessica over at FunkyFinds is having a crafty giveaway. She is giving away not one but TWO (to two different winners) Stitch swag bags. To enter, go to this post and leave a comment saying which of the vendors outlined in her post are your favorites. Don't worry... she has it all set up so that you can visit each store and find out what each has to offer. Some REALLY cool craftiness involved! Check it out!


We're all it!

Christine has tagged us! The rules are:
  • Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'll start us off. I think it would be nice if we EACH postetd our own answers for this so that everyone can be sure to see everyone else's answers. That okay?

Okay, here goes...

7 Random and/or Weird Facts About Me:

  1. I had a tractor accident when I was 16 that severed my middle toe on my right foot. They sewed it back on but it is totally dead on the end.
  2. I love to drink pickle juice. Over ice... Mmmmmmmmmm...
  3. I had extensive back surgery when I was 18. I have a steel rod screwed to my spine now and an missing a rib on the left side (it was also fused to my spine).
  4. I have over 2,000 books.
  5. I collect anything having to do with the Eiffel Tower or France, vintage Kokeshi dolls, vintage atomizers, seashells and ACEOs.
  6. I like bananas but not banana flavored things.
  7. I love subtitled movies. I'll turn the subtitles on an English language movie sometimes just because I like to read the screen.
Okay, who's next?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

the colors of fall




Here are a few pictures of my world. These are all on my drive from daycare to work. Hope you enjoy!

::: Cool :::

While trying to decide this afternoon whether to have another cup of coffee or go healthy and have a bottle of water, I've come across several very neat things. Being the sharing soul that I am, I had to post them here:

Computer Free Friday

The Collaboration Station

Nourishment for the Spirit

100 Things in 1,001 Days (I've been doing this one on my blog)

Keri Smith Fun Stuff

Delurking Day

Be Brave Project

How Bookish

Smile Award

Freedom from Self-Improvement Day

A Week of Positive Blogging

My BakeSpace

Design-Her Gals

www.alliwantforchristmas.com

SwapDex

Ten Thousand Villages

Memory Frames

Ornaments for Charity

MyPoints

Kiva.org

Celebrity Face Recognitions

Ugly Kitty

Pear Jacket

Plantable Cards

Hand Soaps

One Small Change

(Note: Many of these blog exercises will be seen on my own blog in the coming weeks and months. Just to warn you... :))

Wow... this is quite enough. Okay, I will admit that I didn't find ALL of these in one afternoon of surfage. I will tell you, however, what I did NOT find... a reasonably priced best friends customizable Christmas ornament!! Don't you think there would be tons of such to choose from around this time of year? One would think... Le sigh...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

L A Ink



If I could be on a television show to showcase my talent, what would it be? Dancing with the Stars? Top Chef (that would be Chris). American Idol, no way. Singing Bee? Possibly. America's Next Top Model? I couldn't stand the heat or the catty competition or being bossed around. The Apprentice wouldn't let me in the door and I would pay money to NOT be on Survivor or Amazing Race. I need my food and I'm such a wuss. When people speak of "pain threshold" I honestly believe I was born with the most non functioning one.

But LA Ink? Oh, I could so hang with those gals! Could I tattoo anyone to save my arse? No, but after I saw Steve-O do a tattoo, I know that I could do one. I would sign up to be shop janitor, floor mopper and bathroom scrubber to be on that show.

The tattoo talent is sick, especially Corey's work. I love the fact that it shows every one of the artists as human, even if they look different. Or if you might be scared of their clothes, hair and such. They have families. They love their kids and their parents. They are obsessed with their art. They have to make a living like everyone else.

The stories behind their client's tattoos slay me. I'm always crying at some point in the show. Especially the tattoos that honor the deceased, since that is right up my alley. Did you see the one with the guy that had his little daughters portrait done? She died when she was two from a genetic disorder~TEARS!!!

If I only had the balls to get more tattoos! but, I've started with one and you have to start someplace! Whenever I watch, I'm mesmerized by the beauty, style and individuality of these women. I can't take my eyes off of the screen. And their friendship and loyalty to each other is inspiring.

If you haven't yet seen the show, check it out. You'll be wanting to channel your inner Kat Von D. AND, if Chris and I ever have another girl, we would seriously consider naming her Pixie. Not after the show, but we liked it from years ago. My mom vetoed it since she said it sounded like a stripper name. She's out ranked if there is a next time!

Hey Kelly ~ can you photo shop me into the above pic for my christmas present??

Television Addict

A while back I was reading Katiefucious' blog and she was writing about the tv shows that she enjoys. I thought that this might be a fun thread to follow over here, because I know that certain shows really do bring me happiness, and from getting to know you guys, there are some of you that LOVE tv like me. So, if you want to play along, let us all know the shows that you enjoy and why.

Happy Wednesday!

Baby Bath



I am pretty picky about the scents that I'm around. I'm not a floral, sweet scent type of gal. I tend to favor the more medicinal smells as opposed to something like vanilla (ick). I got a sample of this baby bath when I was pregnant with Ivy. Not only did it rescue us when she was a tiny one and had a cold, I fell in love with the smell. Every time the bottle looks like it is getting low, I buy a new one so I'm not caught without it. It is one of my standbys! And it is cheap!

Last night I took a hot bath after everyone was asleep. I turned out all of the lights so the bathroom was pitch black. I used the baby bath and the smell was strong but exactly what I wanted. Heaven right before bed.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Angel Post Fixed

Sorry all. I just noticed the collage of my daughter for my Angel post did not show up. I think it was 3 posts back but I think I fixed the problem.

Christy :)

Introducing Myself!!

Thank you for inviting me here, Karianne! I am excited to get to know you all and to read all the little snippets of joy! I'm Catherine (aka Cath) married to Brian and mom of Jonathan, just turned 7, and Katie Grace, 2. I am a stay at home mom although 3 afternoons a week I watch my friends little autistic daughter for an hour or 2, and that has been wonderful for Katie and I in so many ways.

I'll answer my questions now and then add more as needed so you can get to know me, and if there is anything you want to know about me, just ask!! :)

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?!
Hmm, for me, I'd say I'd go someplace with a warm sandy beach-- let's pick Hawaii for now! mm, yes, I love the beach! Although in my wildest dreams I'd love to go to Wales and Scotland someday, ohh, and I'd love to see Australia!! :)

2. When you were little, what did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
When I was little I wanted to be a mommy. Yes I'm doing it. 2ndly I wanted to be a teacher. Yes, I did that too! :)

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Heavenly Hash..mmmm

4. What is your favorite color?
I love blue.. but I'm a pink girl :)

5. What do you love to do? What hobbies do you get caught up in?
Reading, my computer, (blogging, chatting, facebook), music, hanging out with family and friends

6. What is your favorite movie?
The Wedding Singer, White Christmas, Singing in the Rain, The Notebook

7. What do you think your life purpose is?
Ahh, the question of the hour. At the moment I'm on a mission to be the best mom and wife. Anything else is extra.. I know that my life purpose is to reach lost souls for Christ, that everything is about Him, and nothing is about me.. but if Im being honest I'm still working on that one, because of my selfish nature.

8. What is the thing that brings you happiness on a DAILY basis?
My children. Their smiles and laughter. Good morning, Momma!

9. What is your favorite book?
I tend to go by authors rather then books: Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, Karen Kingsbury, Debbie Macomber, to name a few..

10. What is one thing you would like to try or do before you die?
Wow.. I don't know. I guess this one needs more thought! One easy answer is learn how to knit, lol

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Enjoying the Fall Weather

Our weather the past two weeks has been wonderful! When we had our first snowfall the night of October 20, I was afraid we were going from the long, hot summer directly into a long, cold winter. But that snow was gone before the day was over, and the weather has been gorgeous since!


I took this photo on October 8 during a break between some rainy weather and the snow we later got. But today was similar to that day. Just terrific!

Happiness in an Angel!!

We celebrated Mia's first birthday on Saturday (it was actually on Monday) and she was a sight!! She looked like a little Tiffany's box all dressed up in her birthday dress. When I look at my little girl a grin takes over my face. I just cant help it. Happiness is my little Angel!!!

click collage to enlarge

Friday, November 2, 2007

What's That I Hear?

silence.

oh yeah, that's heavenly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The cutest kids in the world


My kids really enjoyed dressing up this year. My oldest is finicky and very sensitive and prior years he was very unhappy to be dressed as something so 'silly'. This year we had a great time visiting family and enjoying the kids in costume. We took them to the retirement apt. where my Grandmother lives. All of the residents were waiting in the lobby with PILES of candy for them. My kids were really sweet to them and they made the peoples day. It did my heart good to know that we had blessed them. It did my kids hearts good to know they got more candy. :)


Mulled Wine Recipe

Here is a recipe passed on to me from Lisa, my best friend Joe's wife. Perfect for those cold autumn and winter nights! We save the leftovers in the wine bottle in the fridge and reheat by the mug in the microwave as needed. We always have this for the big monkeys on Halloween.

Mulled Wine

1 qt. apple juice
1 qt. cranberry juice
1 qt. water
2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
12 whole clover
zest of 1 lemon, cut in strips
2 qts. rosé wine
1/2 cup lemon juice

Combine apple and cranberry juice, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks,
clover and lemon zest in a pan. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar
dissolves. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice.
Heat, but do not boil. Garnish with lemon slices.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"which is yes"

I'm not really the praying type lately, but I read this yesterday and I keep thinking about it. So much of it makes me happy. Hope it does the same for you!

I thank You God for most this amazing day; for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.

-e.e. cummings

Monday, October 29, 2007

Karianne

I don't know if this is appropriate or not, but I just wanted to make a post about Karianne. I don't know how long ago it was that I stumbled across her blog in the cyberworld, playing blog hopping... but I do know that her words were very inspiring and thought provoking from the beginning!

She is so different from me, yet she inspires and encourages me daily. Her free spirit, her deep and intense love, her raw honesty, the way she knows herself and is not afraid to explore how she feels is amazing.

If I am not mistaken it is her that has brought every single one of us together here, and I just wanted to send her some *Hugs* and to let her know that she has touched so many people through her words!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Flutters!

I have had two pregnancies that ended with healthy little boy babes for me! Before having them though, I had two heartbreaking miscarriages which have changed me forever in numerous ways. Some positive, some not so positive. One of the negative (??) things it has done to me is stolen my pregnancy innocence. I'm always kind of hoping with a guarded heart. Anyway I felt flutters last week at 11 weeks pregnant. I know it's early but I'm not a big person and I always feel my babes pretty early. It's nothing regular or strong, but it's definitely flutters. I adore feeling those first few flutters because not only does it mean that my little person is growing like s/he should, but also it means I can breathe a sigh of relief and know that I am getting past that point where you feel pregnant but don't have any physical signs that anything is really happening in there.

I'm also glad to say I've gained a pound back. I've lost 10 from my morning sickness, and my doctor was starting to get worried. So hooray for my pound (who-duh thunk I'd ever say that? LOL) AND hooray for a sign that my little person is alive and well!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Girls' Day Out

I had a very happy day today, a nice reprieve from the day I had yesterday.

Today I got to go to Memphis with my Mom and my Aunt Jane. It was a quick trip but a good one. We ate at our favorite restaurant and I had a lovely piece of char with brussel sprouts. We sat for awhile and ate our meal together and talked and laughed and just had a great time. On our way home, we had a latte and shared a pumpkin muffin. Mmmmmmm...

The tastiest part of the day was the knowledge and realization that I have such a wonderful family, such wonderful, fun and inspiring women in my family. We have so much fun together, which is something that not all people share with their families.

Today more than made up for yesterday, not that it really had to. It was wonderful on its own, relative to nothing else.

Which is good enough for me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

From A Newbie!

Blogging has become a new addiction and I feel fortunate enough to have been invited to participate in "A Continual Happiness". I have enjoyed reading this blog and love the idea of posting those things that make each of us happy. In a world of many things that do not necessarily make us all happy, it is nice to be able to escape to a place where happiness is paramount.

So, what makes me happy? My family is number one- My husband Kevin- My 9 year old son Ethan- My 7 year old son Owen- My 11 month old Mia. Five months ago today our daughter Mia was placed in our arms for the first time in Hunan China. I had dreamed about that day for over 2 years and it was a day that I can say made me more happy then words can express. Here is a little part of that happy day:


Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos


Part 2 to Video


Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos


Thanks to all the other contributors for allowing me to be a part of your happy place!!!

Christy :)
PS- If you want to follow my families journey on my blog it is www.tomiawithlove.blogspot.com

I love Washington.

Where I live makes me really happy. I grew up in California, and I loved it, but there are such vast differences between the two places, and it is these differences that make me love where I live so much.

When I was growing up, scarves and hats were fun items for my dress up box. Not items that I actually wore on a daily basis. Now I own more scarves and hats than any one woman should, and they are all used regularly. Scarves are my favorite accessories, and I believe it's positively unhealthy for a person to venture out in the fall and winter without a hat on. I love living somewhere where I can wear these things as more than just dress up items.

Next, and everybody say it with me: Seasons! Now, I have met quite a few transplants from the east coast who are quick to inform me that I haven't SEEN seasons until I've lived in [insert East Coast State here], but let me tell you, for this California girl who grew up with more palm trees than actual foliage, I did not know what Fall was until I moved to Washington. I love it. LOVE IT. I even enjoy the rain. Growing up we would get about one month of rain a year, and rain was probably not the right word, anyway. More like a drizzling. I love our windy, cold, sideways, pelting, sometimes slushy with snow rain.

My first white Christmas ever was my first Christmas in Washington. That was the Christmas of '96, known to people from my area as the year of "the Ice Storm". I love snow. Especially snow at Christmas.

I love that for me, Ugg boots are not a fashion statement, but the best possible way to keep feeling in my toes during our cold weather months.

Not to mention how green this state is. There are so many places to go and enjoy nature. I love beaches with rocks instead of sand. Call me crazy. I love that our state "gem" is petrified wood. No joke. That's amazing! So sorry to bore you all with my Washington state is the best talk, but living here makes me happy.

The happiness that comes with a new friend...

Some people just click. Right off the bat. No questions asked, no conditions set, no criteria to meet. You just are... friends.

I've been so blessed lately to make a great new friend, a friend with whom I just click, a friend who I hope will be around awhile. We are getting to know one another over email and it is a blessing. Even though we've only emailed for a week or so, I feel comfortable with her, like I'm talking to someone that I've known awhile.

That is nice.

New friendships bring so much happiness.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~~~ Anais Nin

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Happy Thank You

This is for Katya who put up the new skin for me today in the freaking blink of an eye. Happiness is having friends willing to take something off of my "to do" list!

Thank you Katya. It looks beautiful, just like all of us!

Share happiness...


"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." ~ The Buddha

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Soothing Warmth Wrapped Around My Bod

Ha ha! Not what you think!!

I think that most of you already know that I am pms~ing this week. And like Katya, that in and of itself isn't happy, but Thermacare Heat Wraps save my poor aching back during this time.

I wake up and it's like I've been hit with the hormone truck. Everything hurts, but mostly my lower back. So I do stretches, take ibuprofen, up my Generalized Anxiety Disorder Meds and strap on a heat wrap. It lasts at least 8 hours, I can wear it under my now super tight clothes and my back gets soothed.

I also use them in the summer for when Chris freezes us out with the A/C. I wrap up in one, put on my jams and sleep all snug and cozy in our icebox of a bedroom!

They have all different sizes and different shapes for different spots on your body, but I use the back ones the most. Just like wearing a discreet hot water bottle without the bulk and mess.

Just to clarify...

Hey all... This is Karen Beth. :)

Whenever I post, it posts under Recy Vintage & Creations. This is the only Blogger blog that I have registered and Blogger won't let me post under anything else. Booooo!

My REGULAR blog, and the one I hope you all will visit is http://zazazu.wordpress.com/

I don't update the Recy one very often at all and it is more of a business-y blog anyway. Zazazu is my personal blog and probably - hopefully - a bit more interesting.

Just wanted to clarify!

xo,

Karen Beth :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

happiness is a warm bed.

I have a cold. It hit me, all of a sudden, as I was sitting in my practicum seminar, with overwhelming force. My head is throbbing from the pressure. Which doesn't seem very happy at all, does it? But I notice I'm easier to please when I'm sick. Instead of thinking of all the stuff I should be doing, or wish I could be doing, I am completely content to lie here in my bed, knitting a sweater and reading blogs alternately, while I watch semi-lame tv. The actual being sick part is no fun, for sure, but the part where my bed is twice as comfortable as usual is definitely a bonus.

Here come the crazy answers

Here are my answers. The title of my blog makes mention of my "crazy" life, so the answers must be crazy also. Right?

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Belize, New Zealand, Baniff, or Egypt OK, just say pretty much anywhere in the world!

2. When you were little, what did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?

A nurse, a pageant queen, a vet

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Breyer's Natural Vanilla Bean with Hershey's syrup. :)

4. What is your favorite color?

Purple! Always. Blue is nice and green is neat and red makes me look pretty, but Purple rules!

5. What do you love to do? What hobbies do you get caught up in?

I like to read, but I don't really get to. I'm really enjoying blogging (banditsbeauties.blogspot.com) Photography is fun. Running is freeing. Cooking can be expressive and gratifying. Don't forget playing with my beautiful daughters!

6. What is your favorite movie?

Singing in the Rain, Strictly Ballroom, the Wedding Date, Mr&Mrs Smith, any Indiana Jones, the Little Mermaid, Sahara

7. What do you think your life purpose is?

I have NO idea, maybe it will become clear someday. Until then, I'm going to do my best to raise 2 little girls. Oh I'm also helping people breath.

8. What is the thing that brings you happiness on a DAILY basis?

Lately, Powder Sugar Donettes, Mt. Dew, and Snickers seem to be doing a fine job. (And I wonder why I'm not losing the baby weight?) My little girls' laughter is pretty much a fabulous day brightener.

9. What is your favorite book?

My that is a difficult question. The Bible is a versatile answer. Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson is a real tear jerker. The Harry Potters.

10. What is one thing you would like to try or do before you die?

a full triathlon, skydiving, scuba certification That might be more than one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

about alisonwonderland

hello! my name is alison, and i blog at "We're all mad here," said the Cheshire Cat to Alice. i created that blog about a year-and-a-half ago, and i'm addicted to posting my various and sundry thoughts. i've also been blogging about books since the beginning of the year at So Many Books, So Little Time. as you can tell from my profile, i'm the mom of three and an accountant. here are my answers to the questions:

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
somewhere near the ocean. it doesn't really matter where - Southern California, Seattle, North Carolina, Maine, Hawaii - but there has to be water.

2. When you were little, what did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
when i was little, i wanted to be the first female astronaut. later, i wanted to be an architect. i also wanted to be a writer. my professional training is as an accountant, which is the work i do day-to-day (besides being a mom). but, to be honest, i sometimes still wonder what i want to be "when i grow up"!

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Baskin-Robbins German Chocolate Cake.

4. What is your favorite color?
pink. definitely pink!

5. What do you love to do? What hobbies do you get caught up in?
first and foremost, i love to read. (check out my book blog for what i'm currently reading!) i also love to blog and play computer games like Blokus. i also like to collect recipes, drink Diet Coke with Lime, and sleep! my latest addiction is Facebook.

6. What is your favorite movie?
one all-time favorite is The Princess Bride. other current favs are Serendipity, 10 Things I Hate About You, and The Lake House.

7. What do you think your life purpose is?
to be the best alison i can be.

8. What is the thing that brings you happiness on a daily basis?
i sometimes think i'm "happiness-challenged." :o) that's why this blog is a good thing for me! chocolate brings me pleasure; books and learning give me fulfillment; my family gives me meaning; ultimately, my joy comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.

9. What is your favorite book?
one all-time favorite is Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford. other favs include The Secret Life of Bees, Gift from the Sea, and A Live Coal in the Sea. my new fav author is Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series.

10. What is one thing you would like to try or do before you die?
can you believe that the first thing that came to mind is bungee jumping?! mostly i want to see my kids grow up.

Happiness is... "The Deets"


This post is partially in reply to Karianne's request for "the deets" on my "bf" in the comments on the survey post. (Did you get all of that!??)

Yes, I have a bf, even though I've never been wrapped up in relationships. I've always been more of a happy-go-lucky-on-my-own type of girl. I still am but have been fortunate to find someone to compliment that, someone who lets me be me and respects that I have my own goals and things that I want to pursue, someone who doesn't expect me to change from the person that I've always been, someone who respects when I do want to change.

I met J online three years ago. J lives in Australia and I live in Mississippi. We have endured three years of a (very) long-distance relationship with only a few visits. However, your instinct speaks very loudly and I know that, despite being born on separate continents, we are meant for each other. I can't imagine loving someone like I love him or being loved by someone in any other way.

We are currently in the throes of the long process of applying for his visa so that he can move here for us to be together. It can't happen too soon. Wish us luck!

xo,

Karen Beth
http://zazazu.wordpress.com/

About The Katiefucious

*sigh*
The Katiefucious Say blog used to be so much better. It had to be deleted--if you would like the details, email me and I will be happy to relay them to you. :)


As for Karen Beth's idea, I will take the bait!




1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I have already been to Europe, England, and Ireland, so I think I would like to go to China. I have been slowly learning Mandarin Chinese for a year or so, so when I am proficient, I would like to go there and explore. They have such a rich culture!

2. When you were little, what did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?
I wanted to be a farmer. I am not doing it now--I am going to school to be a teacher, but I STILL plan on having a farm someday. (I remember always wanting to write on the chalkboard when I was in school, so maybe I secretly wanted to be a teacher?)

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate, of course!!! But I love my ice cream mushed together with cake. Like Chocolate ice cream with yellow cake mushed in it YUM!!!

4. What is your favorite color?
I guess I would say blue. I love wearing blue jeans, and most of my clothes are blue. I like all of the colors, though. :)

5. What do you love to do? What hobbies do you get caught up in?
I love to garden. I could sit in my little greenhouse and plant seeds all day! I love animals--I used to spend all day at the barn when I was in 4-H helping with the sheep, turkeys, chickens, cows, pigs, goats, rabbits, etc... When I was younger I took piano, voice, and guitar lessons--piano was my favorite, I think. I could play the piano all day. I love to READ!!! I write occasionally--I was even published in the school's literary magazine. Oh yeah, and World of Warcraft. What an addiction!

6. What is your favorite movie?
I don't have one. I love watching movies. "Labyrinth," "The Goonies," "The Punisher," "Robin Hood" (the one with Kevin Costner!), "Kill Bill 1&2," "Enter: The Dragon," "Mixed Nuts," any of the Alien, Star Wars, or Star Trek movies! There are so many...I love zombie movies, alien movies, all sorts.

7. What do you think your life purpose is?
To make life better for someone else.

8. What is the thing that brings you happiness on a DAILY basis?
My husband.

9. What is your favorite book?
That's like asking me what my favorite movie is!! My first FAVORITE was The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I love anything by Anne McCaffrey, and I am obsessed with the denizens of Kaeleer, who reside in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels novels. I love to read.

10. What is one thing you would like to try or do before you die?
Learn Kung Fu.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Simple Visit

Tomorrow will mark the third week in a row my mom has come over for a visit. What's so special about this? Well, my mom used to visit me often before I had children, and even semi-frequently after the birth of my first son. Then the visits slowly became less and less frequent. I often felt confused and saddened as to why she did not want to visit me. Especially when I was very sick during my pregnancy with my second son and could have really used a helping hand from my mother. Last year I found out why. My mom has cancer. We didn't know it. She didn't know it. But she knew she didn't have energy and didn't feel well, but was afraid to tell us. So for several years I really thought my mother simply did not want to visit me and was very jealous of my brother and sister who still lived at home at the time at saw her often. My mother has an incurable blood cancer. Incurable, but treatable. For maybe as many as 15 years (but I am seeing beyond that in positive thinking!). Anyway, chemo has been over for 6 months now, and she is starting to really recover. She has her ailments, the side effects from both the cancer and the chemo, but she has her stamina back. She also has that spark back in her eye that I have always known to be there. For three weeks in a row she has volunteered to come to my house. She plays with my kids. She watched TV with me. She helped me fold laundry. A simple visit. Even sitting on the couch. Or drinking tea. Anything. Is a lot more reason to be thankful for than it used to be.

PS This blog makes me sign in under my google name. My blog is not under a google account, so if anyone has been curious and wants to read my blog, you can find me at www.mountainrailway.typepad.com

Not trying to remain annoymous or anything on purpose.

A proposal...

Seems that there are so many great people contributing to this wonderful blog that Karianne set up. However, I don't think any of us have really gotten to know the others. I feel like I haven't anyway.

So, I'm proposing that we make introductions. Let us all post a brief introduction about ourselves, a link to our blogs and a short overview of what your blog is about and answers to the following questions.

Everyone in?

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

2. When you were little, what did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it?

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. What do you love to do? What hobbies do you get caught up in?

6. What is your favorite movie?

7. What do you think your life purpose is?

8. What is the thing that brings you happiness on a DAILY basis?

9. What is your favorite book?

10. What is one thing you would like to try or do before you die?


Looking forward to "meeting" you all!

Karen Beth - http://zazazu.wordpress.com/

Happiness is... Nature

I wish I had some pictures to upload for visual proof of the wonder of nature happiness that I've experienced the past week.

I was fortunate to go on vacation with my family for six days to the Great Smoky Mountains. We had the most adorable little cabin in the woods that overlooked the prettiest, most serene babbling brook. We saw a fox, elk, otter, deer, and all manner of wildlife (no bears). We cooked out, we relaxed, we sat on our peaceful deck in the early hours of the morning.

It was wonderful. And miraculous.

Happiness for me is nature. It is appreciating all the wonder around us all the time.

xo to you all... Karen Beth :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

washable crayons

I don't know if anyone else can sing the praises of Crayola for coming up with Crayon that washes off, so I will.

THEY ABSOLUTELY ROCK!!!!!!!!

Today Allison decided to color most of my laptop screen blue. I like blue, think it's a great color. But I would much rather see what I was searching for. So when I got out the paper towel and Windex and watched the blue wipe right off, I smiled.

Ah the small and easy things in life.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Nice Post About My DH

Today I turned 29. I woke up, went to school, went to work, and came home.

My DH had gone to a meeting so I finished washing the dishes and vacuumed.

He returned after about an hour, proceeded to cook me dinner, and presented me with a teddy bear and a miniature rose in a pot, as well as a triple chocolate cake that he had bought at the bakery earlier today.

I often find myself thinking that if he bought me a hundred diamond rings or a thousand expensive sports cars, it's still those little small things that I love the most. Like when he cooks me dinner. Or when he spends that precious time making reservations at a restaurant.

One day I came home and he had done seven loads of laundry.

I don't care what Cosmo says. 7 loads of laundry? THAT'S foreplay.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pumpkin Pie!

Tomorrow is my birthday, and my very special big sister is making me pumpkin pie, and bringing it in to where I work.

Even though I have to work on my birthday, at a job I don't really like very much, the fact that someone is willing to go to that much trouble to make my day special makes me very happy!

Happy Birth Day, Avre!


This is the baby that my sister and her husband are hoping to adopt! She was born today at 12:56 p.m., weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20 inches long.

Fresh Flowers In A Vase

Last week when I went to my new counselor she had a tiny office space. What endeared me to her off of the bat was that she had two tiny bouquets of mixed flowers. One on a small side table and one on the filing cabinet. Since our appointment last week, I've thought about those flowers a lot. I smile.

Tonight after a meeting I went to a friend's apartment. She had been in a funk, but when I walked in, there was a bouquet of yellow tulips in a modern glass vase. I kept telling her how happy I was to see the flowers in the house. Almost like a visual sign that she had turned the corner towards happiness.

Tomorrow I am going to buy myself some fresh flowers and arrange them in small vases around the house. Looking forward to that makes me happy. And then I will be happy fixing them up. And then I'll be happy looking at them and sharing them with my family. That's a lot of happiness for under $15!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Good Feelings

It's a nice feeling, when, needing that reassurance from your husband, he says "I don't know what to say to make you feel better," you tell him what to say, and he says it.

And he means it.

It's a good feeling.

It's nice to know that no matter what anyone else thinks of you, YOU know who you are, and your husband knows who you are, and he loves you.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Happiness Is...

Happiness things I experienced this week:

-receiving a sweet card in the mail from someone who cares for me.

-finishing up my first big project on time.

-receiving a telephone call from a friend out of the blue just to see how I am.

-enjoying my favorite TV show with my favorite old roommate. (even from afar)

-having lunch with a new friend.

-enjoying the first taste of a just-out-of-the-oven cinnamon roll.
(the second and third bites aren't too bad either!)

-knowing that dad is doing well after having his pacemaker surgery.

-being able to take a quick IKEA run after work.


Happiness things I hope to experience very very soon:

-unpacking the very last box!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Vitamin B6 and a Good Man

Vitamin B6 gives me some much needed relief when dealing with the severe morning sickness I have encountered. I wish I would have known about this during previous pregnancies, but am so thankful for it now.

I am also thankful for a wonderful husband who senses my weariness and green-ness and is willing to take over the household responsibilites as well as the children when he get home from work, even if it has been a long day for him. He never complains.

It is the simple things that count.

Speakerphone

How great is speakerphone while you are on hold? An irritating task of dealing with the insurance company yesterday was made surprisingly pleasant when I used speakerphone. I finished my hair, touched up my makeup, loaded pics onto the computer and put away dishes. Yes, I was on hold that long. But it didn't matter! I still got business done and lived my life. At times, being efficient makes me happy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"word spurt"

I read an article recently about how it seems that toddlers just "happen" to suddenly acquire many new words in a short period of time. The reality is that they have heard those words time after time after time and have been rehearsing them mentally long before they actually verbalize them.

Lately Ella seems to have experienced this word spurt phenomenon. She's identifying seemingly hundreds (ok...not really that many) of objects and items around house, car, and everywhere we go.

Tonight when I put her down for bed she said, "Luh-lu mommeee" (love you mommy). Yes, she HAS been hearing that from me for months...I put her down, say "Love you , Ella" and then speak from her POV and say "Love you mommy". Tonight I didn't say it first, so it feels very real and, somehow, from her heart. And I am filled with happiness.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Powdered Sugar Donettes

I realize everyone has great memories of childhood. Mine, being relived today, is eating powdered sugar donettes! I know they are unhealthy, full of sugar, and will bottom out my blood sugar and leave me feeling like a sloth. BUT, I love them anyway! And they make me smile on sight!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

When The Light Bulb Turns On

I get paid $7/hour to tutor high school kids on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

I remember a few years ago not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted a career to identify with, so that when someone asked me "So, what do you do?" I could say, "Well, I'm a [insert title here]."

For years, I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Then, about six months ago, my dad told me about this program for adults who have a bachelor's degree and want to get into teaching. I thought "I've always liked working with students--maybe I should try teaching?"

So I am currently in the last class that I need to get into the program. Calculus.

I decided to ask around and see if anyone needed tutors at their school. Hence my current position.

It is one of the most exhausting, fulfilling, frustrating, and wonderful things I have ever done! (besides being married, mind you)

That look on their faces when I explain something and they just...get it. That "OH!" look, when the light bulb turns on and the gears start whirling as they realize that it's not as difficult as they thought it was.

It's a good feeling. Especially when the principal comes to you and says "The students really like having you here to tutor them. Can you come more often?"

It's a VERY good feeling. ESPECIALLY when the principle comes to you and says, "Let me know when you get your license, ok? I think we may have an opening soon."

So in two years, when someone asks me "What do you do?" I'll be able to answer them.

I'll say, "I'm a teacher."

Choose Your Own Adventure Books

Do you guys remember these? I LOVED them when I was in grade school and couldn't get enough of them.

Well, I just bought the first box set for my brother for his birthday. He is in CA this week with his kids doing the Disneyland scene, but I can't wait until he gets back on Saturday to give them to him. He is going to love them and will be very surprized!

The books in the set are:

The Abominable Snowman
Journey Under the Sea
Space and Beyond
The Lost Jewels of Nabooti
Mystery of the Maya
House of Danger


I'm cracking up typing, "Nabooti" Journey Under the Sea sounds the scariest to me!

Connecting with Nature

It has been raining in sheets here for the past two days. It is so incredibly beautiful and soothing. Some people hate rain and - in truth - I do hate having to DRIVE in rain. But, when I'm home and can relax and sit back and just listen... ah... it is wonderful. I wish I could share this beauty with each of you today.

xo,

Karen Beth
http://zazazu.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My First Ever Post

This was my first blog post on my old blog. That was almost 3 years ago! Anyway, I thought that entry fit the purpose of this blog as well. So enjoy!

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Someone should write a poem about swinging. As an adult, I have found a true appreciation for this "childish activity." Many times—especially in the autumn—I'll slip away to a park and savor this gust of joy. The breeze in my hair. The freedom of dancing out of arm's reach. Forward. Backward. The innocent pleasure of being a child. All I do is close my eyes and fly. It's simple to imagine those chains releasing as I shoot toward the sky and away from all cares.

Corporate America should have recess instead of coffee breaks. A big swing set instead of vending machines.

Doing Only 5 Things

Most days, whenever I get up from the computer or am going from room to room, I try to put away 10 things that are out of place. In reality putting away 20 at any given time would be much more needed, but I stick with 10 for the majority of the time. That is why doing only 5 things makes my list. Knowing that I might need a bit more tenderness towards myself on any day, and letting myself get away with only doing 5. That makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How This Will Work, Anything to Add?

So in my mind, I was thinking that whenever we have an idea about something that makes us happy and why, we would come over here and blog about it. Kind of like a constantly evolving list of happiness and gratitude. A Thursday Thirteen without any limits.

Any other insights?

My Happiness

Karianne... What a cool concept for a blog! I've always wanted to be a part of a private blog. Thanks for inviting me. Can you give us a bit of an idea of how this blog will work?

In the meantime, I will tell you that MY personal happiness is when my cat - Delali - sleeps on my feet at night or when she walks up my body at 4:00 a.m. to get some petting and to tell me that she is going to get a bite to eat. Everything about her makes everything about me just so joyfully happy. I'm blessed to have her.

Can't wait to meet you ALL!

xo,

Karen Beth

Shoes

Shoes make me happy.They have very practical uses, like keeping your feet from turning into one oval shaped callous, keep hot cigarettes on the ground from branding your feet, and keep your feet from completely freezing off in the Winter, etc. But I love shoes because they are all so different! Who would have thunk it 589 years ago that we could literally choose from millions of different pairs of shoes?! I also love shoes because it doesn't matter how much weight you gain, you pretty much can always fit into your shoes. They come in such pretty colors! And such fun shapes! Shoes have got to be one of the best things in life!

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon

The last time I was in having my hair dyed, this song came on the radio and I swear about all of us in the salon started singing. It is timeless. I can remember listening to it when I was little with my parents. And the whole mystery about who she wrote the song about? I love the intrigue. My favorite line is , "your scarf it was apricot". I love apricots, they are my fave fruit. I don't know of another song that has the word apricot in it. The color is beautiful as well!