Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bzz Bzz Bzz

I am busy about my home this week! Project Vacation Organization is in full swing. I now have everything sorted into the general area I want it to be. The big TV is set up and ready for me to rock with Just Dance. And I did a mountain of dishes, too. (I have no dishwasher and I don't want to be overrun like last week!)

I had to wear some mitts for my run this morning. It's cold! Like 50 degrees! I'm such a wimp, right? I've done Ohio and New Jersey winters, even Oklahoma was colder! But I'm a California girl now and I say 50 degrees is cold! Although it is perfect for running. My three miles were done in less than 45 minutes, a great time for me, and some of the credit goes to the cooler temperature.

My sister mailed me a jackpot of knitting needles she found at a thrift store in WA. I was amazed! Needles in many sizes and colors! Some are English so I'm not sure how the size translates. I organized them into a pouch roll that one of my friends made for me, as seen here. A marvelous addition to my collection.

Tomorrow will be spent in the old neighborhood as I drop off kids and visit with some friends. It will be a nice break from all the housework!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vacation Organization Day 1

Today was day one of my vacation organization project. I am moving my homeschooling things around to serve me better during the day. It is a massive undertaking.

Not only does it involve sorting through everything, keep or toss is the question of the day, but I even need to rearrange some furniture. I am eager to get this finished because I think it will help me stay on top of my homeschooling plans. Sometimes I forget what I have!

I ran 3 miles first thing this morning. A very stiff run with cold hands to start! I'm so happy I did it. The key to my success was laying out my clothes last night. Preparation is essential!

My favorite Christmas gift this year is my Safety Cat, which is pictured here. It's a self-defense weapon you carry while running, or whatever else you do. I felt confident and safe! Hopefully I never have to use it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This has been such a whirlwind December! I spent the first two weeks closing out the homeschooling year of 2012. Then I spent the last two weeks knitting Christmas gifts nonstop. I am taking the last few days of the year for myself!

I took a break from running this month, but still tracked my diet and went below my target weight for the month. Yay! I'm kicking off 2013 a full 25 lbs lighter than July of 2012, boo-yah! I'm eager to get back to running. I've set a goal of 100 miles by the end of February, which is my birthday. I'm also hoping to buy a weight bench soon and start toning. Overall, though, I'm pleases with how I look so far.

Are you thinking of goals for next year? I always set something big and a few small ones. Exercise, knitting, and writing are all at the top of my list.

I hope your holidays were all that you wanted them to be and more! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We visited my dad in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. The whole trip was my idea. I have wanted to see my dad in Vegas for a while and this seemed like a great time to invite myself and my family to his house. Ha ha! He said we are welcome anytime, so why not?

We had a good visit. I love to see my dad. Not pictured here is my nephew who lives with my dad and stepmother. He is autistic and the older he gets, the more of a challenge it is for him to have his routine interrupted with people, especially other kids, in the house. It was a challenge for all of us this time. My kids know what to expect. We were hoping to hit a movie with everyone, but that didn't work out this time.

Highlights of the trip!

I went shopping with my stepmother ON Thanksgiving evening. This was a new experience for me! Usually I am content to relax at home after cooking and eating all day. BUT, each child of mine needed a new pair of shoes. Kmart had a BOGO sale on shoes Thursday night! I had to go! I got each of them a pair of tennis shoes and Princess O also scored some cute boots. Success! Then we headed to WalMart for a couple toys that were on sale, Barbies and Hot Wheels. Success! The crowds weren't too bad. I was surprised. I attempted to purchase some knitting needles on the JoAnns Fabrics website, but the wifi was so slow I couldn't do it.

My dad was very excited to watch Prometheus with me and DH. I rented it from the Redbox and we spent Friday afternoon mesmerized by this Alien prequel. Have you seen it? This was my second time watching and I felt like I understood a lot more. I don't like watching a movie and not knowing what to expect, which is how I went into Prometheus the first time. (I am constantly asking questions during movies.)

Here are the boys and grandpa ready for breakfast at IHOP. Going here for breakfast concerned me because I had consumed so many calories the day before. Would IHOP have healthy options??!! Yes! The menu included several Healthy and Fit options, thankfully. I ordered egg whites with wheat toast and turkey bacon with a side of fruit. The calorie count was below 500 and food was very satisfying. I think I am learning a lot about keeping my diet healthy even when eating out. I definitely believe it's worth the effort!

Did I mention I ran 2 miles Thanksgiving morning? Yep! Then I ran another 2 miles the next day while the kids were at the park with DH and my dad. So add Nevada to my list of states in which I have gone running! I was so excited to run in Vegas, just in my dad's neighborhood. Wouldn't it have been so easy to not run for four days? Yes. But my commitment to losing this weight is solid! I only missed one day. I went for a 3 mile run when we got home today. I'm so proud of myself!

Knitting goals for the visit were almost accomplished. I finished knitting a gray bag, just need to weave in the ends. During Prometheus, I almost finished the brown tweed mobius scarf I've been working on. I am trying to not be so hard on myself when I can't get some knitting done. I have pushed all my Etsy projects to next year. So there. I am focusing on Christmas gifts right now.

I am now the official road trip driver for my family, yay! This started out as the plan since DH would be working all day before we hit the road. He ended up not having to work, but I still got behind the wheel. Why? Because I hate the way he drives. I get stressed out! He gets mad, although he never admits it. This trip was much more enjoyable for me and for him. I put together some new music for the trip and had a blast complaining about all the other drivers while DH messed around on his phone. And we made great time! We hit Vegas in 3.5 hours, boo-yah! I also drove us home today in 4 hours. At that point, DH announced I was the new official road trip driver. Woo hoo!

This picture is blurry because this dog will not hold still. We left her at home and paid our neighbor to come feed her and take her out. PB was not happy being left alone for two days. I swear she has more gray on her face now than when we left. She kept crying and barking for a long time when we got home. Poor girl.

I treated myself to some chocolate today and this was on the inside of the wrapper. Inspiration to finish well this month! "Get out there and make your dreams happen!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just Catching Up

Wow, this month is going by so fast! Thanksgiving is next week. Christmas is right around the corner. New Year's is in sight. Hoochie mama, 2013 will be here before we know it!

I am hoping to end this year on a high note. Or maybe I should say a low note because my goal is to drop some more weight. Currently, I am maintaining under 160 lbs. My goal weight is 130, but that is so far off. I would love to close out this year at 149! I think it is an attainable goal. My running is back to a daily 3 three miles. I am turning up the metabolism by adding a 20 minute Jillian Michaels workout, Ripped in 30.

I chose this workout because it is only 20 minutes. I need something quick. I need something intense. Jillian is both. I am on Week 1, Day 2 of the 30 day program and she is kicking my butt! I kept up with her more today than yesterday. I was actually surprised that the workout was so difficult, especially the cardio. I mean, I run. Why couldn't I keep up? Because it's intense! And I love it. I love feeling the sweat dripping down my face and hearing myself groan as I dig deep to rock out the last reps of the abs set. I am motivated. I love it!

I have been changing my diet, too. I am so amazed at how much we ate that is processed. I didn't really consider what "processed" meant, but now that I pay attention, wow. I have started stocking the kitchen with a lot more fruit and fresh veggies. I am seeking out healthy, clean eating recipes to prepare. I have changed my eating habits to a big breakfast and smaller dinner. Can you believe I switched my coffee for green tea? I know! I know! I started drinking green tea when I had the flu and I got hooked. I will make coffee when I really want it, but usually I'm sipping some green tea. No sugar or honey, straight. I love it. I think I'm finally grasping the whole healthy living thing, not just diet or exercise, but a well-rounded existence.

We are heading to Vegas for Thanksgiving and I am super excited to see my family. Also, I have already made it known I will be running, making it 3 states I have run in so far. I would love to have a run in all 50 states one day. A new life goal! Also, I am excited because I don't have to cook, yay! Although I will probably do some post-Thanksgiving cooking so my family gets their favorites, like homemade cranberries and sausage balls.

And what have you been up to?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Finally 100%

This flu is nasty. I was out of commission for over a week! Kathy B was right, a total of 9 days sick! Ugh. The whole month of November has been a loss.

So I am extra motivated to get back on track! We started a bunch of new projects in homeschooling today. I am excited about a new writing project I am working on. I am knitting only Christmas gifts right now. My etsy store is a little empty. But that's okay.

I am maintaining my weight loss so far. I am planning to start logging some miles tomorrow, just walking this week. I'm hoping to drop another 8 lbs this month. We'll see.

I'm just so happy to feel better!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Unbelievable! Still Sick!

I have high hopes for November and starting the month with a cold does not bode well.

Although, in an effort to hit my November goal of daily exercise,  I did some Kegel reps. Because I am tired of having to change my pj pants every time I cough. Enough said.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still Sick, Boo

What I would love to do today: stay in my PJ's under my blanket watching a Breaking Bad Marathon.

What I have to do today: laundry, which is like the mail in that it just never stops; take the kids to piano lessons, which is basically me sitting and waiting, which usually I love, but today feels tedious.

I had one of those nights when you wake up coughing every 10 minutes. I ended up sleeping in my chair just to be upright. I looked at a picture of myself from last week and thought, oh that was before I got sick. Time has now become a before and after for this weird sore throat.

In happier news, I weighed in this morning and am now consistently below 160, booyah! Next month's goal is to get below 155. We are planning to get a gym membership so that will definitely help.

Have I mentioned how appropriate I think Sandy is as the name of the SuperStorm wreaking havoc on the east coast? Oh, it's perfect! I have never had a good experience with a Sandy. My stepmother and my SIL share that name. Need I say more?

As I'm enjoying the gorgeous weather here in SoCal, my heart and mind is in constant prayer for the people on the east coast. I have lives here so long, it's hard to remember extreme weather like that.

Monday, October 29, 2012

This and That

So I've been feeling a little under the weather since Friday. But today I have a raging sore throat. Ugh. The worst part is the nighttime cough. You know? Because then you are sick and also not rested. Totally sucks.

I never get sick! Well, almost never. I just have to ride this out and hope it's gone by the beginning of November. I'm pumped to start working on my new fitness goals!

Have you seen the movie, "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"? This was one of DH's picks, which surprised me. I am the one who typically chooses the Indie films, but this one sparked his interest. I don't know exactly why. Steve Carell is one of my favorites and Keira Knightley is great, too. I think it is the whole end-of-the-world-and-we-know-it premise that I didn't like. I give it a half-thumbs up, just one. If you were interested in it to begin with, watch it. If not, spoil it.

I started reading Gone Girl. I downloaded the sample onto my Kindle app. I do not recommend reading books on a phone screen. Once you read for a little while and have to look up, wow! The eye strain is crazy! I really want a Kindle Fire. My Kindle is looking so dated!

What's new with you?

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I know I haven't been posting much. I'm counting the month of October as a general loss due to being so sick for most of it.

November is right around the corner! It's time to think about some new goals. Hmm. I'll get back to you on that!

Professor X is almost finished with his football season. I'm so happy! It has been weeks and weeks since we've been to church due to his practice schedule and games. I love our new church and I miss going.

I have been going to a morning study for women, but I haven't made any personal connections, aka friends. I'm feeling a little lonely, really. My social media is my social life. Is that terrible or typical nowadays?

The week ahead is packed. Homeschooling and running and daily life. I'm hoping it will be amazing!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bzz Bzz Bzz

Finally the weather is cooling off and I feel rejuvenated!

Here is what lies on the horizon.

My Etsy shop, stinkR, is getting most of my attention right now. I picked up a holiday knitting magazine and my zeal was renewed. I have so many ideas! Right now I am determined to finish up some Halloween projects I dreamt up, but procrastinated in starting. Success! I just listed a scarf with dangling skulls and a spider, so cute!

Exercise, help me! My weight is slowly, slowly, slowly, did I say slowly? Slowly coming off. I am running intervals now instead of walking every day. I love to run! I never knew that about myself. I have always been more of a walker. But right now it has been three days since I've laced up and I am feeling it! I had to give myself permission to take a break. I think I overdid it last week because I am exhausted today. Rest is good.

Homeschooling is chugging right along. We just had our second overseer meeting so that means we are about 40 days into the new school year. Really? Is that all? Honestly, it seems like we have done so much! I love these kids. I cannot imagine a day when I wasn't surrounded with their sweet little faces and little-kid breath. I'm serious! Maybe it's a mom thing.

The holidays are creeping up! My prayer, my hopeful fervent prayer is that a miracle would happen and I would get to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Washington. I know, it probably won't happen. But, then again, who knows?

Monday, September 24, 2012

So This Was My Day

Meal preparation
Running 3 miles
50 squats
30 pushups
Knitting during 2 episodes of Breaking Bad (OMG! I am addicted to this show!)

Rinse and repeat

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Night, Swimming, and Sushi

Today we switched our plan of going to Disneyland for an invitation to swim at my mother-in-law's. I am excited to see all the Halloween decorations at Disneyland,  but it is still very hot here so I was happy to swim instead.

My mil's pool is amazing and we always enjoy spending time there. She treated us to sushi for lunch. Delicious!

Have I told you about my burning desire to move to Washington with my sister? Yes. Recently I have been missing my family so much I have started praying about moving up there. Well, any chance I get I am talking to DH about moving. Not nagging or trying to sway his mind, just pointing out little things here and there or comparing weather reports, things like that.

Wouldn't you know, the sushi restaurant had a roll called Washington! It was like a California roll, but topped with salmon. You know I ordered it! I just grinned at DH and laughed. It's a sign!

We were back in our old neighborhood tonight and noticed a lot of changes. I reminded DH that at our new home, we don't pay rent. I could see a little nostalgia taking hold of him. I told myself we are in a better place. We feel like we are in limbo, not totally removed and not totally settled. Could it be because we belong in Washington?

I am officially naming this my Wishington Campaign.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Evening Quickie

I spent the afternoon knitting and watching one of my all-time favorite movies, Julie & Julia. That movie appeals to me on so many levels, the cooking, the eating, the writing, the journey to being published. Sigh. It is wonderful.

So I was inspired, not to cook, it's way too hot, but to post the picture of the quiche I made for a potluck on Friday morning. Here it is. I love that my quiches are good. I'm actually amazed by how easy the recipe is and how delicious they taste! My family did not get to eat this one and actually requested that I make another for dinner, which I did. That quiche turned out really good, too. I can now add this recipe to my menu of meals that I make confidently. My quiche is right up there next to my ceviche. Yum-o!

Now, I am off on a date with DH. We need to keep it cheap, so he asked me what I wanted to do, for cheap. I grinned and said I would love to do something for free. He looked at me warily. I just grinned and then did the finger-walking mime. He laughed, and agreed! So we are off on our 3-mile walk. What a great date!

What are you eating tonight? Have you gotten some extra movement logged today? Go for it! Don't give up! Choose to be sore, not sorry!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, Ho Hum

Today was just a regular old day, for which I am thankful. I look back to September 2011 and my life was in turmoil. I am very grateful for my family and where I am now. I am focused on making my life the best it can be.

Homeschooling was uneventful, but special in that it was finished before PE class. I love getting things done by lunch and then we have the whole afternoon to do whatever we want. Of course, by the time PE was over and we made a Target run for dinner stuff, it was time to start dinner. No knitting. Boo.

My routine for dinner is the same. I start off by turning on the TV. I record The Office reruns every day so I am sure to have something for myself in the DVR list. I start an episode and then I turn my attention to cooking. Once that is underway, I hit the dishes. One appliance I sorely miss is my dishwasher, DW. I hate hand washing dishes. But it is a necessary evil right now. By the time dinner is ready and the family is assembled, I am ready to sit down. You know that great feeling you get when you've been on your feet for a long time and finally sit down? I love that! Plus, I get to eat, and that's always good.

We watch TV during dinner, yes. I know, I know. People say you shouldn't do that. But I don't think those people homeschool their kids. After being in constant interaction with this kids all day, and serving two meals previously, I want to zone out a little and watch TV. Occasionally we leave the TV off and turn music on, and that's nice, too, but usually we don't.

DH is the boss of dinner. You say you're full and can't finish your food? Talk to him. You want more rice and won't eat your chicken? Talk to him. I am off duty. Then he and the kids clean up.

Have you ever noticed that a man cleaning up after a meal consists of putting refrigerated items away, packing up leftovers, and that's about it? No dishes get washed. The table might not even be completely cleared. Ah, well. He works all day, right? I shouldn't complain.

I enjoyed my 3-mile run today. I have some new music I am trying out thanks to Run Hundred. I love getting new music in my inbox every week. I also did over 50 squats throughout the day. I finally figured out the proper form and, wow, I am feeling it! I want a nice, round butt. Is that wrong? :) I also did some abs work, ugh. I think all the inspirational people I follow on Instagram are motivating me to do more. I simply did squats while I waited for things, like coffee brewing, commercials, kids eating. I can do 15 squats in the time my Keurig brews my coffee. Good to know.

I am thinking of cutting my hair short to make it easier to keep out of my face when running. Maybe coloring it, too. I think the approach of fall is inspiring me to make some changes. How about you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blue Jeans, Knitting, and What to Watch

So, let's start with the daily life. I woke up, had my coffee, and realized when I took the dog out that I could, gasp, wear my blue jeans today! The weather had cooled to a lovely 80-something at 8am and I took full advantage! I wore my jeans all day, until they were stuck to my legs with sweat and I traded them for my running shorts. By then it was 90-something around 2pm. Bleh. Where is the cooler weather? Dang it! I'm ready to get my holiday knitting going and it is very difficult to think about cozy yarn gifts when it is stinkin' hot outside.

Speaking of holiday knitting, have you seen the new Knit Simple magazine preview? Oh. Em. Gee. I cannot wait for this issue to come out! On October 2nd I will be running to the bookstore to grab my coffee and spend some time perusing, making lists, and planning. The preview was just what I needed to get my knitting mojo back.

Speaking of knitting mojo, I dragged out a WIP b&w bag that needs to be finished and worked on it while DH watched Jeopardy. This project demands attention so I had to watch for the stitch markers and pattern changes. But, when DH turned the TV over to me, I whipped out a no-look, knit in the round, red bag so I could knit without looking. I got to watch another episode of Breaking Bad while everyone in the house was off on their own. Bliss! I am so caught up in this show. Walter continues to surprise me, even though I know to expect the unexpected with him. His wife is really getting on my nerves. It is almost like she wants to own his cancer and control his reactions to it. Ugh! Anyway, I spent 47 minutes glued to the screen and knit about 1/4 of the bag without looking and without error. Boo-yah!

Speaking of boo-yah, I laced up and hit the asphalt with DH this afternoon before dinner. We did an easy 2.6 miles in the heat. Blech. I had so many words to use that I just talked his ear off. He was nice enough not to interrupt and even sound interested in what I was telling him. And what I was telling him was all about K is for Killer by Sue Grafton. I finished this one last night, although I intended to just read one chapter and then go to bed. I couldn't put it down! This is one of the best in the series. I am in awe of Grafton writing such a complicated character as Kinsey Milhone and bringing something new to the storyline every time. Big thumbs up!

Speaking of a thumbs up, when my family was reconvening in the TV area, I paused Breaking Bad and switched to Happy. Have you seen this documentary? I am fascinated by films that show life around the world and draw us all together by common drives, like being happy. What helps people be happy? There is so much good information, like goal-setting and new experiences, it is definitely worth watching. I love knowing that my ideas of exercise and having something (anything) to look forward to really do impact my state of happiness. I love that money is not the answer. All the qualities and characteristics of happiness that were spotlighted in the film are free. You just have to know on what to focus. Big thumbs up!

My Six in September campaign is a success so far. Can you believe I have just 3 more pounds to lose to hit that goal? I weighed in this morning and was amazed! I am running my booty off (literally) and it's totally worth it.

Tomorrow is Thursday. Make it a good one! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So This was My Day

Slept until 8:30am and it was awesome
Homeschooling until 11:15am
Piano lessons 11:30-1pm in some incredibly refreshing a/c

Finished homeschooling
Made dinner so DH would come home to a delicious meal (I've been slacking b/c of the heat)

Professor X had practice at the high school so I got to run on the track
Ran 4 miles (interval run/walk)

Now I'm waiting for my turn in the shower so I can go to bed and read. Not the most exciting day, but then I didn't tell you about the smell in the car and the ensuing search for the source. That was fairly exciting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Won the Battle Today

I did great sticking to my eating plan today. I had about 600 calories left even before my run. DH bought a package of Klondikes last week. The peanut butter kind. I love those!

So I ate a couple last week, and then I hated myself. I swear if that stuff isn't in the house, I don't miss it. But if it IS in the house, it calls my name. The cookies. The chocolate. And tonight, the Klondikes.

But, my Nikes were also calling to me. Go run, they said. Just do it, they said. I was torn! Although, I knew that if I went for a run I wouldn't eat the ice cream. I wouldn't hate myself. So...I think that was the fastest I've ever laced up my shoes! I ran! I had a great pace and an even greater sweat going. Aahh! So good.

Shut those Klondikes up,  yes yes!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday is a Rest Day?

Saturday night ended with Princess O puking all over the floor, just outside the bathroom. All OVER the floor and the clothes on the floor. All. Over. It.

This girl is 9 years old but waited just a few seconds too long before sprinting to the toilet. I was the only adult home. Guess who had to clean it up? Yep. Me.

Puked up pb&j smells a lot like Thai food. I kept thinking, when did she eat chicken in peanut sauce? Then I realized I was cleaning up the sandwiches I made for lunch. I don't think I will be in the mood for pad Thai for a long, long time.

She ran a fever all night, which meant no sleep for me. She is finally feeling better this evening. I am exhausted. A sick child adds a layer if stress to everything. I am ready for some solid sleep.

Tomorrow we spend back in our old neighborhood at homeschooling classes. I dread the drive. The bright spot will be hanging out with my homie in the evening. I am looking forward to a shrimp burrito and a nice long chat.

How are you starting your week? Make it a good one!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Morning Started Right

I kicked some asphalt this morning to start the day! This is me nice and sweaty after my run. Today was more walking than running, but my shins thanked me. I stretched a little before I took off, which helps, but I am so lazy about. The main reason I ran early was the temperature. My phone reported a lovely 74 degrees. I got ready in 10 minutes and blasted out the door into a very warm morning. So disappointing! Definitely NOT 74 degrees, not even at 7am. Unbelievably, we are headed to 105 degrees again today. Ugh!

Plans for today are simply to stay inside, wear as little clothing as possible without scandalizing the neighbors or myself, and run the air cooler full blast. This is the only day all week that I have no commitments, no one expecting me, glorious! 

Check out this great blog, another runner/knitter!

Friday, September 14, 2012

This and That

Life is in its usual ebb and flow of busy-ness and routine. I find it hard to get here to write, but I think of doing it every day. I seemed locked in this eternal struggle of desiring to get up super early and never really doing it. Mr. M is an early bird and it's difficult to get my quiet time in before he wakes up. I swear that kid has supersonic hearing! My goal for the rest of this month is to blog daily, no matter what time. I can even do it from my phone, but the right environment is often lacking.

Here are a few things I am into right now.

Breaking Bad, the television series, has caught my attention. I knew this show was a big hit. I just never watched it. We started our Netflix membership again (love!) so I decided to give Breaking Bad a look-see. Wow. What I really love about this show is the psychological side to Walter's actions. Yes, the show is taut and dramatic, but Walter facing his mortality is what kicks him into reality and drives him to make these crazy, but understandable choices. I wish his wife would give him a break! Does anyone else watch this? I would love to dissect scenes and discuss plot with someone! If you haven't seen it, give it a try. Breaking Bad is worth watching, if only for those moments where you think, oh thank God it isn't me!

Weight loss, yes, the battle continues. My goal for this month is to drop these next six pounds to get myself to a nice, round number. I have started running, yes, actually running and not walking anymore. Thank you thyroid medication! I run at least 2 miles a day, 3 if I can. I love the exercise! I haven't been to Zumba for a while since Professor X no longer has practice at that park. I miss it!

My DH printed out an awesome Sarah Connor poster for me as motivation. She looks amazing, totally toned and cut in T2. This is my goal! I just have to remember that my focus right now is on weight loss, not muscle creation. It's frustrating sometimes. I want to be there already! So six pounds this month, Six in September. Who's with me?

Knitting has taken a backseat lately and I am trying to get my inspiration going again. Honestly, the weather has been so incredibly hot (106 degrees today, seriously!) I have not wanted to touch yarn at all, not even cotton. The past couple days I made myself knit just to do it. I started some kitchen rags I need, simple garter stitch while watching Breaking Bad. I am a process knitter, no doubt. I love the rhythm of the needles and yarn moving between my fingers. Definitely have to keep this at the top of the daily to-do list!

And so life goes on. I am thankful it's Friday even though we are facing a very busy weekend. I hope your weekend, or workend, is marvelous and lots of interesting things happen!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Perfect Summer Moment

It is evening. Dinner is over and the children are clamoring. I want to read and so I am sitting outside in the cool air. I am in one of my favorite places, a bench under the trees outside the kitchen window. The window is open and I hear the rattle of silverware and murmur of baseball. This is a perfect summer moment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday, My Day

Happy Friday, friends!

I had such high hopes for this last week of summer, but it sure didn't go as planned. The last few days have been one frustration after another. Problems with the in-laws, Fios installation confusion, ceiling fans falling out of the ceiling, friends needing to talk about huge, major problems, bickering children. The list is long! Therefore, I am taking this last Friday and making it worth a whole week.

My plan for today is to sit in my special chair with my feet up, watch an HGTV marathon, and knit. I will not be putting on a bra today. I will not be washing dishes or clothes today. I will not be preparing meals today. I will not be refereeing any fights today. The kids are on their own! I will not be answering any calls! Save the drama for your own mama! Today is my day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Last Weeks of Summer

These are the last two weeks of summer! I don’t know about you, but this summer has felt really long to me. I am ready to get back to the daily routine of homeschooling and sports and maybe some cooler weather.

I have been knitting a lot the past couple weeks. Check out my work! My goal was to stock my Etsy shop. There are now a few more things there, not much, but that’s how knitting is, right? Do it well, and it takes time. I have thinking about my Etsy shop a lot, why do I have it, what is my goal for stinkR, that kind of thing. I have decided to keep my shop and fill it slowly. No pressure for sales or money. I started knitting because I was intrigued by the process. I continue knitting because I am passionate about the creative process of making practical things with yarn. I want my shop to be a side-shoot of that, not the purpose of my knitting.

At the same time, I want my shop to be the best it can be. Therefore, I bought a mannequin! She was a wonderful, spontaneous find on Craigslist. We happened to be heading to the beach, so on a whim, I searched for a mannequin in that area. Wouldn’t you know, there was one listed for cheap! It was meant to be! The seller lived five minutes from the beach we went to and we picked up the mannequin on our way home. Here she is. I named her Tyra.

My headless mannequin is watching me, always watching!

One of my goals this week is to get photographs of Tyra modeling everything already listed and get the new pictures posted on stinkR. At the very least, the bags and things will look as they should, instead of lying flat or hanging on a hook.

I have also spent a lot of time reading this past week. I finished The Lost World by Michael Crichton. Sigh. I am so thankful he has a long list of books written. I think he is one of the greatest suspense, action writers of all time. Amazing, heart-pounding, loved it!

Last night was my Zumba class. The teacher is awesome and I am finally getting some of the choreography down. Although, by that I mean, just my feet. As soon as I start trying to copy the arm movements, forget it! This was only my third class so eventually I will get it. I love that I spend an hour dancing and getting sweaty! It’s fun exercise and that is the best.

I am spending this week reading, knitting, and catching up on my DVR shows, The Office and Political Animals. Next week will be spent organizing and preparing for the school year. How are you spending your last weeks of summer?

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Weekend Update

Oh, Monday. How do you get here so fast? This weekend was crawling at some points and just whizzing by at others. Now here we are at the start of another week! Does your week hold a lot of activity? Will you be busy? I am counting down the last three weeks of summer and determined to make the most of these days! What I mean is, I plan to do a lot of nothing and a lot of what I want to do only, no demands or requests from the kids!

Here are the weekend highlights.

DH and I have changed our date night to Saturday due to Professor X's football practices every evening. This date night found us enjoying Mediterranean food and strolling through downtown. We made a stop at DH's favorite store, Rhino Records. He browsed vinyl, I browsed anything else. I happened to spot a pillow that looked like an old cassette tape, thinking how much DH would like it, I picked it up for a closer look. Lo and behold, I found this record underneath with a note saying, "Congratulations! You found it!" Jigga what? Yes, I am the contest winner you never want to have win. I didn't even know there was a contest! I was just killing time! When I took it to the front desk, the lady said the prize was the record itself, which is an autographed copy of Electric Guest's mondo. Wow! It was a surreal moment. I listened to some of the record via DH's phone and I really like it. Take a listen.

DH had the crazy idea to eat dinner really late on Friday night. Where do you head with kids to eat when it's almost 9pm? Denny's, apparently. I dread Denny's. I have a had a couple really bad experiences at Denny's. But the kids wanted pancakes. So we went. Ugh. The pages of the menu I got were stuck together with gobs of syrup across the bottom. There was this disgusting peeling-apart noise when I turned the pages. The food was okay. Princess O barfed after we got home. I don't think we'll be going to Denny's anymore. And that's all I want to say about that.

Here I am, nice and sweaty, after a two-mile walk. Yes, I am back at it. I kicked off the weekend with a good walk and then DH and I hit the asphalt yesterday for our regular three-mile walk. It was the most silent walk we've ever had because we were both hating it so much! He says he didn't hate it, but I think he did. I know I did! The good news weight has finally, finally, finally dipped below that big old number I've been hovering around! Yes! So, this time, it's working. Hooray for thyroid medication! Don't give up! I have a new role model. I am bringing back Linda Hamilton! Yep! This time I feel like it is within my reach!

We also hit the used bookstore where for $1 each I scored six of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, brand new, for one of my homies who loves that series.

For myself, DH found me two Tony Hillerman's I haven't read. I also found Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler, one of my absolute favorite authors. The only reason we went to the bookstore was to see if they had The Lost World by Michael Crichton. The bookstore is very small and my hopes were not high. Wouldn't you know, DH spotted the book on the bottom shelf of the $1 rack!? He deserves something very nice for that, right? I have already started reading the book and it has already drawn me in. Michael Crichton was such a good writer.

This weekend I also had the most delicious fish tacos I have ever eaten in my life at Senor Baja's. I love fish tacos. I will order them anywhere. There were hands-down the very best! If you have one near you, try them.

How was your weekend? Any firsts or exciting thrift store finds? Monday is the day to start fresh. Get out there and exercise, eat some healthy food, and enjoy life!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Morning Potpourri

Good morning, friends!

Here I am enjoying my first cup of coffee, my most favorite time of the day. I love the morning hours and the morning routine. My Keurig brews my coffee while I take my chihuahua out. Having a dog is a blessing that way since I get to take in some fresh morning air and see the sun peeking over the rooftops. While I'm outside, I also send DH a text or lately, a Tango video message. Then we head back inside and I settle in to plan my day with my coffee and computer. Yes, I love the morning routine.

Do you have Tango? DH and I were attempting to use the Skype app and it was not working out, too complicated with all the sign up and details. Ugh. DH found Tango, we downloaded it, and seconds later we were video chatting. It's so fun! We can actually see each other's faces during the day now, love that! Also, he can see all the goofy expressions I am making to get a laugh. You know I need the laugh! It's a great app and you should try it if you can.

Today I am planning to knit and spend some quality time on my computer. The kids are blacked out from screen time every other day, so no one will be breathing down my neck to go on Poptropica or Webkinz. I remember being a kid and having to make my own Webkinz-ville out of shoe boxes and toys! Things are so different now. But, I know my kids will spend the day playing Legos or Barbies, which is great.

My Princess O is the most creative when it comes to making things for her Barbies. Last week, we were eating at a restaurant and the waitress brought us an extra to-go box by mistake. We were going to give it back, when Princess O snatched it and said it would make a good room for her Barbies. That's my girl! No $300 Barbie mansion for you! We could give her a really big cardboard box and she would be just as happy. I peeked at her and her little friend from down the street while they were playing Barbies the other day and one of the Barbies was being floated around in the bottom of a plastic egg. Nice. What did you play with or make things out of when you were a kid?

A quick update on the hypothyroidism. Can you believe that after being on meds for a week, I have lost two pounds? This is in addition to my regular exercise and calorie counting since May, which did nothing for my weight loss. Hooray! My energy level is way up and I feel like more pistons in my brain are firing. Things are looking good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Spider, the Shower, and the Fake Tattoo

This is a picture of the fake tattoo I put on my arm this morning. I had some old ones in the bathroom that I came across while giving myself a facial this morning. I was in the mood to do a few nice things for myself and I decided to stick one on. I took this picture at night so you can tell it's all faded and messed up by the end of the day, definitely old.

I went about my day as usual, not thinking anything about it really. I am saving my left arm for a very special tattoo someday and I think it will look great having one on each forearm. Anyway, I had to get some exercise in and Mr. M asked me to dance with him, so we worked out to Just Dance 3 for an hour. We had fun and I got a marvelous sweat going. Love that!

A marvelous sweat means a definite shower before bed. While in the shower, I discovered a fat spider scrambling around by the drain. I was putting shampoo in my hair and I certainly didn't want that thing climbing onto my foot and up my leg, so I did what any normal person would do in that situation, I screamed.

I hate spiders. I am afraid of spiders. I only get near them to kill them when I am the only adult around who can do so. Hence, the screaming.

DH bursts into the bathroom and I tell him to hurry up and get it NOW! Don't you feel that time slows down when you are waiting to be saved from a scary situation? Like people move way too slow? Yeah, well. He calmly grabbed the removable showerhead and washed the spider down the drain, looking at me with a grin that said, why didn't you think of that? Uh, I don't know. I just saw it and because I was naked I felt helpless. That makes sense, right? So he leaves.

And then I raised my arms to start rinsing my hair and I see this dark thing on my arm that looks just like a spider! So I screamed, really, really loud this time because it was on me! I shook my arm and looked again and, oh. Right. That dark thing is the tattoo I put on my arm this morning. Not a spider. Oops. DH calmly pokes his head and asks, "Are you still ok?" By this point, I am laughing hysterically at myself and he just leaves.

But, you see how that could happen, right? Good times.  

Zumba Class - So Much Fun!

Professor X has started playing tackle football. He looks so much older with all the gear on! I love it, though. He is doing a great job figuring everything out. He’s the only kid with glasses and we are actually getting contacts for him next week. Wow, right? He’s 10, but he will be wearing contacts. Considering he’s worn glasses since he was five, I think it’s a good thing.

The football practices are 2 hours every evening except Sundays at a park. The park happens to be the main park for our area and has lots of classes in the evenings, like Zumba! I was so excited to discover this last week. The class starts at the same time as football practice so it’s perfect. Last night was my first time going. I was a little nervous since my experience with Zumba is limited to my living room with the X-Box Kinect. I get an amazing sweat going and love dancing with Zumba Rush. But how different would it be?

I didn’t even think about what to wear. Big mistake. I showed up in my baggy Adidas shorts and old t-shirt, while most of the other ladies were looking cute in Zumba gear and make-up. Jigga what? I would never put make-up on to work out! Next week, though, some mascara and eyeliner, poppin’ lip gloss, all a must! I think I can find some Zumba cargo pants before the next class, though. I want to look like a cute Zumba chick, too!

The teacher was awe-some (read in a high pitched voice)! She introduced herself to me before class and very tactfully explained that this was not a beginner’s class. (Uh-oh) That it might take five classes or so to get the hang of her choreography (uh-oh). But don’t worry! Women of every, ahem, fitness level can do it! Now, when she said fitness level, she looked away, and it was implied, I believe, that she took one look at me and thought I was too overweight to stick. She wasn’t rude, not at all. I think she was concerned I couldn’t make it through the class. This really helped my motivation. I always rise to the challenge! (Plus all the other ladies in the class were some skinny Minnies and let’s see how they look when they’re pushing 40 and have had three babies!)

Here is how the class looked to me, everyone basically in rhythm, doing the moves, clapping, looking good.

Here is how I looked.

 Remeber that scene from "Housesitter" with Goldie Hawn? Yep, that was me!

Ha ha! Yes, the class is WAY different from the living room! But it was way more fun! Thankfully, I have a great sense of humor and can laugh at myself. I think that’s what got me through. Did I mention the whole front wall is mirrored? Yep. So I had a front-row seat for my efforts. Honestly, it didn’t bother me too much. I was having too much fun!

The teacher is very energetic and the music is pumping and I am telling myself to just do it. I loved it! If you enjoy dancing, you MUST trya Zumba class! Do I plan to go back next week? Oh yeah! Not only that, but when I rejoined DH at the practice, a couple other ladies heard me telling him about it and now they want to go, too. Boo-yah! I won’t be the only beginner anymore!

Today I am even a little sore, just my abs. I twisted and moved in ways I haven’t for a LONG time. My body was like, huh? You want to do THAT? Totally worth it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finally a Diagnosis!

Hello, friends! After an extended absence, I am back. Things have been hectic lately, lots of personal stuff going on, and I have missed blogging so much. Sigh. Here is a little glimpse into what I've been dealing with the past few weeks.

What do you do when you exercise and walk and count calories, but the weight just refuses to drop? And I don’t mean those last ten pounds. No. I mean the whole 25 pound bag of fat that has attached itself to your upper body. This was the predicament I have been in since February.

Remember April? I was sick of myself. Then came May, no change in weight, and I was really sick of myself! I took action. I logged endless miles, counted calories religiously, but no change. Argh! Very, very frustrating. I tried to reboot my exercise drive this month, but honestly, I could not face the prospect of another month of sweat that would end in tears. So I went to the doctor.

I have always had a thyroid problem, always. From 2001 until 2010 I was on thyroid medication. In 2010 I developed some other issues and was taken off the medication. Big mistake. Huge. I have struggled physically and mentally ever since. But no one put it all together. Until I went to the doctor last week.

Although my blood tests are normal, as is the case with many hypothyroid sufferers, this doctor finally agreed to start my thyroid meds again based on how I am physically feeling, hooray! This is day five on the meds again and I swear I feel better already. My mind is a little clearer. I am motivated to do things, like housecleaning and cooking, that I dreaded doing lately due to an utter lack of energy.

You know me, I love to be outside. I am out exercising or with the kids daily, yet my vitamin D test was low. Jigga what? Also thyroid related! Today is day 5 of taking vitamin D supplements and I know it is helping me. Does that sound crazy? Like maybe it’s too soon for anything to really be helping me? I know, I think it does. But it doesn’t matter. I’m energized and getting the help I need to feel like my old self again.

This is a recent photo, after I kicked asphalt for two months trying to lose this weight. My whole upper body is puffy and bloated. Look at my fingers. My fingers are usually long and slender, but now they are like fat sausages and I have a hard time wearing rings. My arms are also very full of water weight, ugh! My face, well, let's let the chins speak for themselves. A puffy face is another symptom of hypothyroidism. This will stand as the Before picture, okay? I will post another one in a month and hopefully there will be a major difference.

 It’s time to kick off this weight loss goal! I have 20 pounds to lose. Two big old bags of potatoes. Tonight is my first Zumba class. I’m excited! I am going to start walking again in the evenings. I have a new fitness program on my X-Box to try. I am sticking with the “Don’t Give Up”theme, now more than ever. It has got to work this time!

What are your fitness goals right now? I know it’s hot everywhere, but get up and do something! You won’t be sorry!

Here are a couple fun pics of me and my boys, focus on these and not the one of my fat face.

Me and Professor X
Me and Mr. M - he looks like a little Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Once More Unto the Breach!

Well, friends, I am off on another adventure with Princess O’s Brownies troop. Tonight we spend the night with Shamu, actually with sea turtles, I believe, as a reward for cookie sales.

I know what you’re thinking. You are remembering my previouscamping adventure with these people and how opposite of fun that was. What could possibly persuade me to drive hours from home, sleep on a concrete floor surrounded by glassed-in water, and be subjected to the patronizing, controlling attitudes of these people? Oh, the things we will do for our children! If I don’t go, Princess O doesn’t go. I am not the type of parent who can send my 8-year-old off on a voyage without me, hours from home, overnight sleeping, and the environment of an amusement park in summer time. Uh, no way.

So here we are, barreling once more unto the breach!

Here is the history of this trip so far. First, while on our extended stay on vacation, we are informed that chaperones will have to pay over $100 to join the excursion to Sea World. No problem, we think, considering the trip is in August. In my absence, DH must fill out all paperwork, for me and for Princess O, a real-life nightmare for him, and send it in to the troop leader. He neglected to send the check. He also neglected to fully fill out the paperwork for me. In his defense, he said, “Well, you’re going to be there. Why do you need a medical release form?” (Um, in case I’m unconscious or something, hello!) So, a week after our return from vacation, the paperwork is all filled out and sent in. Except the check.

Now, the troop leader had told me, three times actually, that she paid for me to go and that my payment was to her personally. Get that? She covered me so I could go. She specifically called me while we were on vacation to explain to me that if I end up not going, I still have to pay her back since she paid for me already. We could just let someone else go since that spot was paid for. Get that? I was paid for. Right?

No worries. Except that DH flipped out a little that on top of all our vacation costs, here is another $100+ going out of the account. Hee, hee. Oops. My fault. I didn’t realize we had to pay right now. The trip is in August! Why should I pay right now?

So, I mailed the check a few days after I told her I would. Imagine my surprise when she called to tell me that because my payment was late, there was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to go. Really?! Because I thought you paid for me! Oh, the drama! Everything up in the air for a couple days while she gets it all taken care of. Seriously, my stress level this week has been atmospheric.

Because the trip isn’t in August. It’s this weekend. Which I found out on Monday when I got the email reminding everyone about the trip. What the?! I immediately called the troop leader and found out, why, yes, you didn’t know the trip was so soon? I guess all those meetings I “didn’t need to attend” were planning sessions or something. Nice.

Now the email barrage begins. First, there is the optional carpool spreadsheet, which I was left out of. On the surface, seems thoughtful, right? No one asked me what I preferred since I live so far away (30 minutes) it must be easier for me to drive my daughter and myself alone. Okay, but not as much for her. And, another expense, gas for the trip down and back. Wear and tear on the car which we just drove up to the Pacific Northwest and back, yikes! DH is outraged.

On the one hand, I don’t mind the drive. Would I prefer being stuck in a vehicle with these people for a couple hours? Hmm, maybe, if I had my knitting it wouldn’t be too bad. Certainly, Princess I would love it! Whatever. The decision has been made. We depart in a couple hours. God forbid we are late!

The second email contains the restaurant spreadsheet, listing every possible eating possibility in Sea World. Do I mark my preference, pick one or two? No. I mark each and every one, about ten, with a yes or no that my daughter and I would eat there. Apparently, the groups are being organized with this factored in to the equation. Really? We can’t just tell the children, “We are eating here. Pick something.” Aah! These ladies make things so difficult for themselves!

There was also a packing list email and an email listing the new rides with YouTube video attachments so you could see what they are like. I have to admit, the video of the rides was pretty smart. Princess O is pumped to get on the roller coasters! The final email was to inform the parents that we cannot all go on the behind the scenes tour. This is another additional charge. I’m going! I marked the spreadsheet that I was going. Then I got a text. Did I understand there was an additional charge? Did I understand I will have to have a check with me to cover this charge? Uh, yes. I read that on the email and marked it because I agreed to it. Really? Ugh.

Anyway, I have to leave soon. I’ve been dreading this trip all week. Let’s focus on the positive for a minute, shall we?

I will have quality time with my daughter on the drive.

I will have a new, once-in-a-lifetime experience with my daughter that we will always remember.

I have a break from home duties.

I will have a behind the scenes tour of Sea World and that’s pretty cool.

Stayed tuned for some pics and the conclusion of the tale!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Movie Overload - Date Night and a Couple Reviews

Last night DH and I saw the new Spiderman movie. Thursday is our standing date night. I gave him two choices, movie or food trucks. I wish he had chosen the food trucks.

Spiderman, another one? Really? Haven’t we seen this before? I know the comic book story of how Spiderman develops. That movie was already made. “The Amazing Spiderman” movie has a new young star portraying Peter Parker, a new love interest, Gwen Stacy (not MJ?!), and a villain, The Lizard. We see Uncle Ben’s demise and Peter’s guilt done differently, which I thought was okay. But, the love story is so cheesy! The way Spiderman reveals himself to Gwen is…very high school-ish, maybe that’s the intention since they are in high school, but, ah, whatever. I enjoyed seeing the villain played by the actor, Rhys Ifans, who you may know as Spike from Notting Hill. He was great! The only reason to go see this movie is the special effects. Amazing! As for the rest, I think it’s rental worthy, not theater worthy. If you need a Spiderman fix, watch the Toby Maguire and James Franco version.

 We’ve always been movie watchers. Isn’t that such an easy way to spend the weekend at home? Recently, we were using Redbox, but if you forget to return that movie, or two in our case, the dollar a day adds up quickly! We were billed $14 for our forgetfulness. Ugh! So, DH green-lighted the Pay-Per-View movie watching option.

Do you use this? It’s the best! You order the movies on your TV for about $5 and it’s a 24-hour rental. Awesome! Nothing to return! You can watch the movies over and over until the rental expires! We watched two movies this week, during the week, simply because we could. No one had to run to Blockbuster or wait in line at Redbox hoping to find what we wanted. Perfect!

We watched “Mirror, Mirror” with Julia Roberts, which I found very entertaining and even funny. The dialogue between the dwarves is hilarious! Julia Roberts played the wicked witch perfectly. I wasn’t sure how she would do in this movie since some of her other roles seemed to blend a little, like she’s always the same, you know? But she is wonderful as the egotistical, nasty, scheming queen. Who knew? There is a very creepy part of the movie where black magic produces these puppets, controlled by the mirror image Queen. I mean, it's really creepy. You should watch the movie for this part alone. I found the eyebrows on Snow White a little distracting. They’re very thick and bushy, reminiscent of Brooke Shields in the 80s. Don’t expect Oscar-worthy performances here. This is an over-the-top movie purposely and meant to be taken as such. The story is predictable, yes, but this is Snow White, folks, we all know the plot already. I suggest you watch this simply to be entertained. And if you can knit while watching, all the better! So thumbs up, a fun Saturday afternoon flick.

We watched the movie I have been anticipating for weeks. The Redbox never had it! Netflix didn’t have it! Pay-Per-View had it! Yes, that’s right, we watched “Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows.”

Have you seen Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes? Incredible. I have read a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories and RDJ comes very close to epitomizing the character in every way. Jude Law as Dr. Watson? No one could do it better! The dynamic between the two actors is electric. They fight and scheme and solve and fight. I loved it! Did you recognize Dr. Watson’s wife as Caroline Bingley from the new Pride & Prejudice? It took me a few minutes to place her. Rachel McAdams, meh. I think Holmes does better without a love interest. The movies don’t need it since there is so much plot and action pushing everything along.

The plot moves quickly and the action is superb, plenty of fistfights and explosions. I really like hearing Holmes work everything out mentally and there is a scene at the end that is unforgettable, where he goes head to head with Moriarty. Big thumbs up!

And, now, I am movie-d out. I feel like the Spiderman movie last night pushed me to my limit of sitting and watching long stories. I think I will head to the library today and remedy my brain with books, lots of books, nonfiction heavy.

What have you watched recently? Anyone seen the new Wes Anderson flick, “Moonrise Kingdom”? (If you need another recommendation, watch “TheAquatic Life with Steve Zissou” this weekend.)  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I hope your Independence Day was as relaxing as mine! Although I had to do some laundry and make breakfast (beyond cereal in a bowl which was my original plan) I had a fairly kickback day.

Did I mention I made my first sale on Etsy? Yes! Okay, well, it was to my mother, but, hey, that still counts! She bought the neon striped bag I posted. Etsy made a big deal out of it being my first sale, which was way cool. Definitely a great event to wake up to!

We spent the evening with the members of DH's band, which is undergoing some major changes. The hostess of the party was a crafter. Love! She showed me a very cute project she worked on, a paper bag photo book I think she called it. Here is an example.

Hers was just as fabulous and made me want to add this to my homeschool craft projects for next year! I love the crafting and scrapbooking combination represented here. Needless to say, the hostess and I bonded over crafts and I think I might take her up on the offer to come back and swim again! She was lovely and very hospitable, always asking if anyone needed anything, putting out food, making coffee. I definitely felt the love, the mark of a true hostess.

The appeal of fireworks is lessening for me as it lessens for my kids. Actually, my kids have never really cared for fireworks, what with the loud noises and all. We didn't see a professional show tonight, just whatever popped off on the street. Meh. I would rather be knitting. Or reading. Or inside watching the news. Maybe next year we'll do sparklers and stay home.

On another note, I am in love with Fourth of July fashion for fingernails this year! Here are some absolutely fabulous pics for you to check out. Enjoy!