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


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


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

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

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!


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 ( 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!


Karen Beth

About The Katiefucious

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

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 -

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.


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.


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.