Thursday, January 24, 2008

These make me happy!

Inspired by both Melissa's post, and Karianne's suggestion that we all post our favorite shoes, here's a pick of one of my faves. I love them for so many reasons, but probably the biggest reason they are my faves is I had wanted them for so long. I noticed them on the Coach website, but they were $200, and I just can not justify that at all. But I was shopping at Macy's, and I happened to find one pair, in my size, for $20. It was love at first sight.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Introducing Ashley's Girls

Here are photos of my two little treasures. The older one, referred to in my blog as "Big Sister" recently turned five years old, attends preschool, takes dance class and enjoys listening to Hannah Montana. She was adopted from Guangxi Province in China. Her little sister was born in Guangdong Province and joined our family last May. She loves eating, watching Elmo and playing dress up with big sister.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Get-To-Know From KB's Blog

More about Karianne

Other than your name, what was the last name someone called you?
Savior. No BS. From a grateful client. Ha!

How old were your parents when you were born?
Very young 16 and 17 or one year older than that.

If you could find one long lost friend of the past, who would it be?
There was an awesome massage therapist that I used to work with at all old job that would lead you thru guided imagery before your session. She was amazing. I miss her so much.

Was your sixth grade teacher a man or a woman?

What was the last thing you drank?
Cranberry juice

At what age do you think a person starts to get old?
When one loses their spirit. (Not my answer, but great answer KB)

What was the last thing you celebrated?
My mommy's bday yesterday! I love her so much!

Have you ever had any teeth pulled?
14. I'd rather not go into that one.

What was the first job you ever had?

Do you wash your hair or your body first when taking a shower?

Are your parents still married?
Nope, thank God they divorced when I was a teen. They were great friends but horrible marrieds!

What is the toy you remember the most as a kid?
My nana had a whole cupboard of "frilly dillys" that we would dress up in. Imagine olden time penoir sets with the silk roses and matching roses. I so wish that I had them now. She always dressed for bed. I wear a ratty old robe that is like my wubbie.

Do you think you will vote this year?
Democrat baby. No question. Can't go against my voting tradition.

What was the last thing you cooked in the oven?
Caramel rolls yesterday.

What craft do you think your good at?
Unfortunately for the recipients of my gifts, I kind of think that I'm good at everything. Sorry guys.

What was the first tape/cd/record you owned?
The New Zoo Revue or Mickey and The Beanstalk. I wore them out! Just ask my mom. I think that she still has nightmares.

Have you ever eaten something other people might think is gross?
I'll try anything, so for all of the tender stomachs here I'll spare you details. Just let me remind you all that my grandma was filipina and they consider some nasty things delicacies.

What famous person do you like that others may not?
Joan Rivers. She enthralls me.

Have you ever invented anything?
My own fantasy world in my mind when life gets too much.

Where is the most unique place you like to eat?
Any place that is a hole in the wall with questionable sanitation. It drives Chris batty the places I find in our scary neighborhoods.

Who do you think you clash with the most?
Oh, do you really want to know the list? You guys think that I'm sweet, but there's quite a list of people who I would fight if given the chance. And I'm sure that they'd say the same about me.

What time of day are you most likely sitting on your couch?

What color is your toothbrush?
Pink sparkles. I have to use a kid's brush. Hence the major teeth pulling.

What is the closest grocery store to your house?

When was the last time you colored with crayons?
This morning

Have you ever owned a plant? What was it?
I have outdoor bedding plants and rose bushes. Bring me anything inside and it's a goner.

Have you met anyone famous?
Reba McEntire. And it is one of my favorite memories since I adore her!

What was the worst injury you have ever had?
Not really an injury either, but I was born super early and lived in the incubator for months.

At thanksgiving dinner, what is the first thing you go for?

When you were a kid, who was your best pal?
My sister. She still is!

Do you have any special talents?
I’m a great listener and I love to hear about other's lives. Hence, I'm a blog addict.

Have you ever been to a nursing home?
Yes. It wasn't that bad actually.

What kind of job did your mom have when you were growing up?
Many, many jobs until she opened a child care in our house and then grew it into a huge business.

Have you ever known anyone thats been on tv, including you?
Yes, my dad used to do a lot of commercials for a local restaurant. I've actually done some voice work for local commercials as well.

What was the most interesting animal you have seen in the wild?
Chipmunks amaze me.

What holiday do you enjoy the most?
My birthday. Isn't that a national holiday yet? Or Valentine's Day if my birthday doesn't count.

What was the first video game you ever played?
Pong. I'm laughing right now.

What is the one thing you own, that if it got lost, you would be bummed?
My library card. which it did and I had to open an account in Ivy's name. Shhhh. Don't tell. Even tho my librarian told me to do it.

Do you have a favorite breakfast item?
Almost anything if it is after 11 in the morning. Other than that, I don't eat or drink. No appetite.

What do you find yourself buying all the time?
Clothes for myself and the kids. Little non essentials at the grocery. Junk rings, fake tattoos.

When was the last time you got a real letter in the mail?
Yesterday. With a gift certificate from my sis-in-law to customize my own perfume at a spa here in town. But the best part? Her card said, "You are my night-light" isn't that the cutest?

Do you have a most prized piece of jewlery?
I have a vintage necklace that I bought from KB that is my favorite necklace. It is just so me and so her. I adore it.

Oh, crap. I guess I should have said my wedding rings huh? They have cool stories to them. Yikes. Bad wifey.

Do you own any board games?
If it has Dora on it, you can bet I have it.

What article of clothing would you say you need more of in your wordrobe?
Bras. I have to go in and get fitted for the right size. Since I got pregs with Ivy, I have no idea what size I am. But I know that 34C isn't it, altho that is the size I buy.

What chore seems the most daunting right now?
Taxes. But not too bad if I break it down.

Were you born in the state you live in?

Have you ever lived in a house that has been broken into?
yes. every house that I've lived in. That's sad, huh? I'd never thought of that before.

What is your favorite cheese?
Havarti, but I had a white cheddar the other day that was really yum.

Who do you know that watches the most sports?
Myself or my sister or my brother.

What was the last magazine you read?
Vogue. Did you even have to ask?

Thank you KB!

new shoes

Every day my principal gives a little morning annoucement to encourage the kids that day. They always end the same way: "Make it a great day.....or not, the choice is yours". I love that. I think it helps me look on the bright side; the glass is half full side of things.

So, I'm thinking of all the little things I'm grateful for.....and while this may seem a little materialistic, I think these just look Happy. You know, if inanimate things *could* look happy, that is!

sorry to those who expecting Jimmy Choo's or Manolo's---this is more my style! :)

The Artist's Way - Anyone up for it?

I've started a new blog for anyone interested in going through The Artist's Way. I know that so many of you are so talented and creative... just thought some of you might be interested:

My Fortune Today

Hey Guys,

Yes, I had a fortune cookie for breakfast! Yummy. This was perfect for our group, especially with what Melissa and Carrie doing with their finances.

Friday, January 18, 2008


"Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom."

James Wright, from "A Blessing"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mailing list...

Is there a mailing list distribution for this group? Sometimes there are things that we (I) might like to share for good vibes or prayers that we (I) don't want to post on the World Wide Web. Karianne, if you have one, could you send it around to all of us?

Thank you!!! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Much I Love My Husband

He has asked me to grow my hair out again.

So I'm growing it out. But I'm in that "in-between" stage, where your hair doesn't look good no matter what you do...

This is what it looks like in the morning after my shower:

See how much I love him????? Gah!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun New Toys!!

It amazes me how quickly our kids move to the next stage. We figured out Mia needed a new toy to climb on in an attempt to keep her from climbing the kitchen cabinets and other "no no's." Therefore, we started looking for a cute little climber thing that is just her size. I mentioned it to a friend at church and she said her neighbor who was moving had one and she may sell it. Well, I jumped on that and am now the recipient of a cute new climber for $20!!! I love good deals!! Anyway, Mia loves it so I thought I would post a few pics of her playing on it. Happiness is sitting in the backyard watching her go up and down and the joy she has every time-- she never gets sick of it-- she just loves each time-- pure joy!!!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Five Happy Things From the Week

Not what I wore last night, but the tattoo is similar
1. Finally painting my nails "Skin Tight Denim" with new polish that I've had since Christmas.

2. Getting up off of my rear last night to go to a client's 30th birthday party, by myself! I was feeling so lame about skipping out since I couldn't find anyone to go with me that I just said, "F* it" and got ready and went. At 1030 at night! And had a ton of fun, rollin' into my drive about 200 just like I used to. I wore a pink and black striped tube top with an a-line hem down my hip. A black knit knee length sweater over the top, my jeans that I need to wear a thong with and my biker boots that lace up. I even put on a huge dragon fly tattoo that went over my collar bones (see above) with a tiny rhinestone solitaire necklace. Finally wearing some new going out clothes that have been burning a hole in my closet for months! I'll probably have to post more about this on PC as I keep thinking about some of the dynamics that were going on. But I was proud of myself, honored my wonderful client and danced so much I was sore today.

3. Having the kids' shots be over. Man, that is HUGE. And now I have all of the info to finish Bec's yearly report for the Ethiopian government. Last year I turned it in late. This year I'm on top of it!

4. Having my sister Landi's birthday be over. I'm pretty open minded about most everything, but I can't wrap my mind around people who do not enjoy their birthday. It is always such a tightrope walk to honor their wishes and still, she will end up pissed and crying. It is confusing to me, but I really try to be respectful. When she gets upset, I can't help but feel a tad responsible. Yeah, I know! Co-dependency is a flaw of mine. (with my sis that is)

5. Having Chris home to help with transportation. On some days I'm called in to transport my nephews and my niece which I adore. But some days it is a lot of juggling to be in a million places at the right time. Jack and Camilo at one end of town at 230. Jaiden at the other end at 245. Ju and Jaiya at 315. Sometimes they are ready, sometimes they aren't. When I got into a bind this past week Chris went and got J and C while I got the others then picked up Bec and Ivy. I guess that it is a small touch of what it might be like with a large family, which I've dreamed about at times. (That's 7 kids you guys!) Thankfully I don't have to do it everyday.

Here's to more little happinesses for us all in the coming week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Anyone on MySpace? I've added a couple of you but thought I'd throw it out to the rest of you too. Here I am:


Monday, January 7, 2008

1/7/08 Happiness

Do you ever dread upcoming events? I sure do! This past one was that today we had to take both kids in for shots. I don't do well with shots for my kids. I myself, do wonderfully with shots, but not when my kiddos are getting the needles!

Well, it was just as horrible as I thought that it would be, but it is over. Another obstacle feared, accomplished and conquered. It feels great!


At least for another 6 months...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Show Some Support! :)

Hey everyone,

Since we are an awfully supportive and wonderful group, I was wondering if we could show a bit of support to a new blog of a friend of mine. Her name is Sherry and she has one post up with one comment (me) and I know she would love some support as she is pretty nervous about blogging outside of MySpace anyway. So, if you could pop over, that would be great! Thanks!

Blog link is Creating Chloe.


Karen Beth :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

1/4 Happiness & a surprize at the end

You guys, I am so proud of us for supporting each other like this. We didn't share it, but it seems like we are all trying to be more involved in our individual and communal happiness. Can't this only make the world a better place?

*Chris' carpal tunnel surgery was a success today. Happy it went well and happy that it is over.

*And now a reminder for all of us, especially, "Don't you carry nothing that might be a load..."

Get up and shake it, Hotties!

My Happy List & Resolutions

Happiness is:

Good friends to make you laugh, talk you down off the cliff, and carry some of the burden for you.

Good food

A furry dog to warm my feet

A little girl saying "goodbye everybody" spontaneously to no one in particular

Warm hugs of comfort (from anyone not considered a scary patient)

Becoming debt free and a conscious consumer

Loving myself enough to say adieu to drama no matter who/what/when/where/why

In 2008 I will:

Run: 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon (April in Nashville....) & maybe a full 26.2 mi

Lose 25 pounds

Eat for health not entertainment! (Yes that does include dessert, but not mindless snacking. I am a champ at eating a serving of something without noticing/savoring it. grrrrr)

Read at least one non-toddler book a month

Take the girls on a special "field trip" each month

Stay out of debt.

Apply to Grad School. wow.

Okay, that is a pretty weighty list. I think I will stop there.

I hope everyone has had a perfectly fabulous start to 2008!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Thoughts

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...


Ok...things that make me happy...let's see... Ah! I know.

1.) The Alien movies. I know, it sounds unconventional, but watching Ellen Ripley kick the crap out of a bunch of aliens just sends happy shivers down my spine. I love Sigourney Weaver. (I am, of course, referring to the original FOUR Alien movies, not the AVP movies, which are a completely different animal)

2.) The Furkids. As if you hadn't figured that out already.

I have no children of my own. It's obvious. I will post photos of my two kittybabies one of these days...when I scan them...(the photos, not the cats)

3.) Differential Calculus.
Is there ANYTHING better than finding the derivative of a variable equation??? I think not! It's the slope of the tangent line!! And we all know what happens when the slope of that line is zero! Hahaha! Just wait until I get into Multivariable and Vector Calculus! Wheee!!!

4.) The movie "Untamed Heart."
My sista-friend Karry and I used to watch it just so we could cry at the end, because it's such a freakin' GREAT ending!!!

5.) Most of the time I don't blog about religion because so many people are hypersensitive about it and I don't want anyone to feel as if I'm cramming it down their throats, but since we're talking about things that make us happy, one of the times that I can remember MOST recently where I was REALLY joyful was last week--a couple of days after Christmas--when I was at my Grandparents' house (my stepdad's parents) and we were singing songs out of a book that they had put together. Some of the songs I could only barely remember from years ago when I was at Bible camp in Iowa, and when it was my turn to choose, I chose one of the older melodies that I remembered and it was so great to sing it with my family.

Yes, that was all one sentence.

Anyways, that is something that I always loved. When I went to a Christian college, the singing would fill the auditorium and it was so beautiful. I miss that. My mom and I actually wrote a song once. We sang it last week. Good times. :)

New Year's Resolutions:

1.) To lose weight. (I know what you're thinking!! But we actually bought a BOWFLEX!!! AND BUILT A ROOM TO PUT IT IN!!!)

2.) Comment more on blog posts. I promise. I will. At least I'll try. Don't get mad at me if I don't...

Oh, and one more thing...

If you choose to make the oatmeal cookies that I have given you the recipe for, be warned that they are so good, so delicious and tasty, that any oatmeal cookies nearby will feel inferior. Handle with care. If you are adventurous, email me and I will tell you my own personal super-secret-special ingredient that only I know...

Er...and one other person who I told once.

And my mom.

But that's it!

Ergh...sorry for making such long-winded posts. I defer to the rest of you for the time being.

The Wiz! 1/3/08

On an errand at Best Buy today, I came upon a copy of The Wiz! I adore this movie!

Alas, C,I, and B aren't too interested, but I've been enchanted. Reliving a beloved childhood movie. I texted my sis, saying "These guys aren't too taken by The Wiz." She texted back, "party poopers! Watch it by yourself and sing really loud."

Great advice.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

1/2/08 Happy Things

having oatmeal at a bakery in town that they serve with nuts and cranberries. It was incredible.

picking up 2 of my nephews and 1 niece from school today and hearing them talk, seeing them smile.

finding out that Chris will have at least 2 weeks off to recover from carpal tunnel surgery on friday, meaning he will be able to help me out with the kids' booster shots on monday (hallelujah)

a fun catalog in the mail celebrating Valentine's Day which is my fave holiday besides my bday

goodreads website I am addicted.

Today was really tough for me for a lot of reasons, but making myself think back to find some happiness really helped! This blog continues to work its magical happiness.

1/2/08 Happy Things

  • Warm socks - fuzzy and green

  • Eating s'mores (made for me by my resident 8yo chef)

  • A whole year of reading ahead of me!
    (If you've never visited my book blog, I'd love to have you stop by!)

  • That fact that it feels like Monday but it's already Wednesday; Friday will be here before I know it!

Happy New Year (especially if you like carrot cake)

First and foremost, thank you Karianne and Kelly for the fantastic calendar!! It is placed prominently in my kitchen to remind me how wonderful friends are. I have notified my DH that we need to take more photos of ourselves and less of the furkids.

Can you blame me, though?


Anyways, I wanted to post an official "Happy New Year" and two of my favorite recipes. If you're not a baker, feel free to ignore the recipe part and concentrate on the cuteness of the furkids, or post photos of your own kids (fur or no) doing something cute. I can never get enough cuteness.

Where was I? Oh yes, recipes.

When I was just a young'un, my mom and I lived together (dad left early on and I have no siblings), and I think that was when I first learned tolerance. Several members of my family are bigots and make no bones about disparaging people based on their skin color. I believe my mom wanted to stave that off early, so she made it a point to introduce me to as many ethnic backgrounds as she could.

My oldest and dearest friend from kindergarden is Vietnamese.

Some of my fondest memories are of going to the home of a friend of my mom's, and eating cookies. She was African-American, she had three kids (my age), her name was Myra, and she made the BEST oatmeal cookies EVAR. So it's no surprise that we ended up with the recipe, right?

In my house, we are cookie afficionados.

Myra's Oatmeal Cookies

Cream the following:
1 and 1/4 c shortening
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Add the following to the creamed mixture:

1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 c flour
3 c quick oats

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 min

I am also a member of an Akita rescue forum which includes people from all over the country who are interested in helping Akitas in need. One of the rescue groups has a picnic in New Jersey every year and they raved about one woman's carrot cake. So she posted it on the forum for all to enjoy, under this name:

Akita Carrot Cake

1 and 1/2 c flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 and 1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 jars (4 and 1/2 oz each) strained baby food carrots
2/3 c crisco
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
1/2 c chopped walnuts
2/3 c coconut

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 3-oz package cream cheese
1/4 c soft butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c confectioner's sugar

The recipe calls for a tube pan, so if you've got one of those, feel free to use it. We do not, so I used two round cake pans and made a layer cake with the cream cheese icing between the two layers. It is FREAKIN' DELICIOUS.

Baker's Note: I use butter-flavored crisco to make the cookies extra-nummy, and you can add
whatever you want to these recipes--raisins, whatever. Also, when any recipe calls for either cinnamon or vanilla, I always add extra. Like the whole bottle...

Hope these recipes bring you as much joy as they have my family.

Can you tell we're food-oriented?

Happy New Year!!


Karianne, what a great idea! Here's mine in no particular order -





*Going out to dinner

*Shopping (without the kids!)


*Having coffee with a good friend

*When my daughters tell me they love me


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

1/1/08 Happy Things

Leftover gumbo

Karaoke machine

Long ol' nap


Perrier water

Champagne brunch

Store returns

Talking to Kelly and Natalie

Leaving Happy New Year's voicemails

Having a husband who understands your feelings about marriage
click here:
If you were me

a new year

Well, everybody has spent the last several days going on and on about resolutions, which is generally something I don't take part it. I find that making grandiose promises to change my behavior rarely work for me. Sure, there are things in life that would make me happier (losing some pounds, saving up to move out), but I'm a big child, and those are still things I depend on others to hold my hand as I accomplish the goals. Not neccessarily something I feel comfortable labeling as a resolution, because I feel like it sets me up for failure. Rather than set an unmeetable goal, I like to move at my own snail's pace, holding my mommy's hand while she helps me budget.

However, this year I've got one. I have a promise to myself, and that promise is that no more will I let myself get sucked into relationships where I am disrespected. I don't need to be in a relationship, and the relationships isn't worth it if the guy I'm with doesn't treat me right. So my goal this year is to respect myself, and only date guys who respect me just as much.

2008 Goals

Following Ashley's lead, here is my resolution for 2008. (I love resolutions too)

*work on my posture

My posture has always been a peeve of mine. I don't think that I ever really learned to stand up straight, so it's time to learn once and for all. This is what I'm going to do:

I purchased a small brace that pulls your shoulders back last month that really works for me. I'll be wearing it a few times a week when I'm home. I am going to put little post its around to remind myself to stand/sit up straight. One of my partners at the spa was trained to use athletic tape to help straighten the spine. I've had her do it to me a few times, but it is intense! so I'll have to work up to that one, and buy a few rolls of tape for my own personal use.

I have to have just one resolution, or I'll blow it by January 10th at least because I'd be too overwhelmed!