In Honor of Leap Year

I leaped out of bed this morning and went for a run.

Okay, I may have exaggerated the whole leaping out of bed thing.

But I did run four miles.

Okay, I may have exaggerated the whole running thing if you are imaging a sleek gazelle effortlessly sprinting.

I'm more of a wogging shuffler plodding along only somewhat faster than grass grows.
But it works for me (I follow a 3:1 run:walk interval pattern).

Some runs are faster than others, some aren't, and that's okay.

Moving is much better than not moving.

Sometimes just showing up is more than half the battle.

I'm so glad I'm showing up again.

P.S. No doodlebugs were squashed during my run (to the best of my knowledge and efforts).

P.P.S. Listening to Pumped Up Kicks, by Foster the People really helped me knock out the last bit of mile between 3 & 4. I'm fairly sure the song is about shoplifting (or worse?) but it sure is kicky.


Running. I'm Bringing It Back.

Just like Justin Timberlake.
But not.

I really couldn't tell you the last time my feet hit the street. Once, sometime in January? Before Christmas? Mid-November? Somewhere just shy of the last sweet forever?
Yeah. Probs.
And that makes me sad. Especially based on the fact that once I finally do get myself out there my red-hot, albeit dormant, love of running comes immediately swooshing back to me.
Once my legs are moving, my feet start shuffling with tunes blasting in my ears, I remember how much I like to do this (even when I act like I don't) and I realize how much I've missed it.

Even when it rained while running and I were getting back together this morning I didn't turn tail and retreat (truth: it was a mere sprinkle).

Maybe, just maybe, we're back together for good.

Shoelaces crossed.

P.S. This was my first run since I hurt my foot earlier this month and the good news is it didn't whine at me too much over the course of three miles, which is encouraging. The bad news is after my procrastination (read: laziness, denial & avoidance) when it came to, um...training, combined with my foot woes, I won't be running the streets of New Orleans this weekend after all. The good news is I'm only out $38.00 and not a full price race fee. The terrible, awful, no-good, very bad, move to Australia kind of news is I'll miss out on a fun weekend & running with my awesome friend (please don't hate me Heather!). Boo me.


Five for Friday

Good morning, y'all!
Or maybe good mid-morning teetering on over to afternoon.

01.) Scott and I went to IHOP for breakfast this morning after taking Annelise to school.
(Pardon Scott's deer-in-the-headlights look, he's still not 100% onboard with spontaneous pictures in confined public spaces like IHOP booths)

Annelise will probably be mad when she finds out we went without her. Sorry sweetie.
This time we tried to be smarter and healthier (even though we were @ IHOP) and frugaler (yes, I just made up a word) and decided to split the Breakfast Sampler (the sad thing is we've each ordered our own in the past, can you say glutton?).

It still seemed like a ton of food but we weren't stuffed to our gills and it only cost us $11.58. Sweet!

02.) Earlier this week I helped Annelise's class with their art project for the auction next Friday. After mulling over various possibilities and not being excessively giddy about any of them, I stumbled across a cool kids' art site and soon found this faux stained glass project that I was actually excited about. Bingo!

It was simple, used basic supplies (foil & Sharpies), yet had a modern pop art edge. The kids really seemed to like making their card and it was neat to see their personalities shine through their art.
Scott and I then arranged the foil cards into a grid pattern on a black board (he did the math and I did the hot glue) and then framed it.
(Sorry for the glare)
Whaddya think?

03.) We took a self-portrait before our late lunch date at La Madeleine yesterday. Just because.
04.) This week the daughters joined the mothers in tap class so they could start learning the dance.
Between my uncoordinated-ness and her high distractability we make quite the pair.
Did I mention the song is really fast?

05.) In a fit of weakness and hunger while at Target I tossed a box of these into our cart.
Once I came to my senses I tossed the box on into the trash the next morning. Scott even offered to stomp on the individually wrapped packages of goodness but I assured him I wouldn't pull a George Costanza.

In the spirit of full disclosure I will tell you that I ate four (maybe five?) in the few short hours they were in our pantry.

Self-control. I have none.

Even when it comes to these.
But at least they're natural.

05a.) I've been doing really well with my goal of not purchasing books, which has been another weakness of mine and utilizing the library or my stash for my reading addiction. As it turns out clicking the "Place Hold" button is just as satisfying (if not more so) as clicking "Add to Cart" since it's free (!!). I do have to practice literary patience, of course, but I'm getting much better at that.

So far this month I've read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I enjoyed, but still found rather  depressing in a way; Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, which I LOVED and highly, highly recommend; and am now in the middle of The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, and I have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (also by Larsson) waiting in the wings. I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a few years ago and had mixed feelings about it (a little too dark & twisty, but definitely suspenseful and entertaining as far as mysteries go), which was the first in this Swedish mystery trilogy.

Annelise & I are reading Poppy together out loud. We've been rather hit or miss (mostly miss) with our evening read alouds so I'm really happy to be back in the swing with it (and so is she).
Well, I guess that sums up a few of the random happenings of late.

And then some.

Happy weekend, y'all!


Project Life: Week Six

Well, it happened.

I got behind with Project Life.

It was inevitable I suppose. And it's totally okay, I just don't want to get more than one or two weeks off if I can help it (it's a slippery slope, people).
Here's a look at the overall layout. I used a 6x12 divided page protector for a few extra photos this week, it's so nice to have this option (especially since I have a hard time culling sometimes).
A little closer look at the left side.
I kept things fairly simple, as I am wont to do, with just my photos, kit cards & arrow stickers, a few stamps (I'm crushing on stamping on vellum and adding it over a photo) and a few swipes of wash tape here and there.

A big part of this week was Annelise working on her first book report. I trimmed a photo with her finished report (they made flip books) to fit in one of the 3x4 slots and included the others in the extra insert.
On the back side of the insert I included photos of how we made her 3D photo valentines this year.
And here is the right side without the insert.
A lot of the photos came from the same day, but I am okay with that. Some weeks will be more varied and some just won't. That's life. Everything will balance out eventually over the entire year I'm sure.

I'm linking up with The Mom Creative, be sure to visit over there for tons more Project Life inspiration & ideas.
The Mom Creative

Thanks for stopping by & happy memory keeping, y'all!


Five for Friday

Is it just me or has this week flown by for you too?
Maybe since there was such hooplah over Valentine's Day the rest of the week just slipped on by in relief.
Not that we had a big hoopty-do or anything for V-Day. Wait. Maybe I should say Heart Day. But never VD-Day.

01. We made Annelise's valentines over the weekend, and I must say if felt pretty awe to the some to be done with them early. Of course we went with our insanely easy yet still nifty and semi-homemade 3D Valentine. This is our third year. I guess it's kind of our thing now (Annelise might want to do something different at some point, but for now she's happy with this).

Our neighbors might think we're slightly nutty to have Annelise stand in various poses around our yard while holding her hand out and me barking directions at her like "higher, more to the right, no...up more...over, smile...NO a real smile," and so forth while snapping a zillion photos.
And, just so you know, it was COLD, y'all.

And of course once we sat down to get our craft on I could not find my Exacto knife anywhere. I believe in Borrowers, do you? Scott was sweet enough to make a mad dash to Hobby Lobby so we could meet our goal of finishing them in one fell swoop.

I cut the slots and poked the Tootsie Pops in her hand.
While Annelise stamped the envelopes with various hearts. It was very difficult for me to let her use so many stamps at once with five different ink pads open at the same time (did you know I'm a bit of a control freak?), but I threatened her within an inch of her life sweetly warned her not to cross contaminate my ink pads, one stamp, one color.
I know, I'm such a joy to do crafts with.

02.) Somehow we had an extra five minutes Tuesday morning so I made Annelise egg-in-a-hole for breakfast, Valentine Day style.
Cool mama points: score!

I made another one for Scott after we took Annelise to school, which I guess I'd never done before because he looked at me like I was cray-cray when I asked him if he wanted an egg-in-the-hole for breakfast. He really liked it (he likes eggs over medium which grosses me out, eggs should not run unless they are still inside the chicken).

Cool wife-y points: score!

03.) Same day (Valentine's, in case I've lost you) we went to our favorite Mediterranean place for lunch.
This time though, I'm pleased to report, there were no belly dancers.

After lunch we drove across town (not really) to our favorite little bakery (Miss Ginny's) for cupcakes. As you do.

04.) The Valentine Haul:
Scott gave Annelise and I both flowers (mini-roses for her, tulips for me) with funny Looney Tune cards, Annelise gave us each a handmade card (sweet!) along with a small box of candy for me and Steve Jobs'  book for Scott (well, that was from both of us). 

Her Valentine party at school was really, really low-key this year, which was fine, but strange because it was the first year I haven't gone to her school party (since it wasn't really one). They exchanged cards and treats (they each made a house out of construction paper to hold their loot), then made a scrapbook for their cards while watching A Charlie Brown Valentine).

I know this is kind of overboard, but we also gave her a small Lego set (we all have a weakness for Lego) and one of those scratch & sketch art books, which she loves.

05.) I saved my red velvet cupcake for the next day and it did not disappoint.

05a.) I'll need to exercise around the clock for the next two to six weeks.
05b.) But I won't.

I really didn't intend for this Five for Friday post to be so Valentine-heavy (you know, like my behind), but that's the way it turned out. Soooorrrrrry (said in my best Eunice voice from the Carol Burnett Show skit).

Happy Friday, y'all!

(I miss The Carol Burnett Show, don't you?)


To Cry or Not to Cry, That is the Question

First of all I hate that Parenthood makes me cry.
Mainly the TV show but sometimes the actual efforts as well.

And I am not an easy crier. In fact, at times, I wish I were more emotional, more heart on my sleeve.
But I'm not. I even worry sometimes that there is something wrong with me, that I'm either numbed to feelings (depression?) or too Grinchy-hearted (before he spied the Whos still celebrating after he stole their tinsel and roast beast). I don't think I am insensitive (usually), I mean I do have empathy and sympathy but those emotions are possibly overshadowed with a heavy dose of cynicism and pragmatism. My current emotional response-o-meter probably stems from my childhood where crying was tolerated only briefly and then you were warned you'd be given something to cry about (I don't think that ever happened, but it was threatened just the same). Crying was weak, unnecessary, and appropriate only for funerals or dire situations. Maybe it was a generational thing coupled with the fact that my dad was, you know, a man. He didn't have much patience with my mom's tears or mine, but maybe that was because he just didn't understand them or if he couldn't *fix* it.

Showing emotion and talking about your feelings just wasn't kosher (we're not Jewish, so I guess Kosher is neither here nor there) around our house either. I've only seen my dad cry a handful of times, the first time when my grandmother passed away and the second time a year later when my mom died and one of the more recent times was last year the night before his surgery for cancer (which, by the way, was successful and he has received clear scans every few months since, praise!), so...um, yeah, crying has always been a last resort of sorts.

I want things to be different for my little family of three.

I try to show patience with Annelise's crying jags, even the fake ones, but I don't always handle those as well as I probably should. Not too long ago it dawned on me that Annelise has never seen me (or Scott) cry. At least I'm 98.7% sure that she hasn't witnessed us cry, and she's 8 years old. (!!) That scares me a little because 1.) does that prove that I have a truly have heart of pure cold steel after all? and b.) will it totally freak her out to her core if and when she ever does see either one of us cry?

So I'm wondering can a non-crier become a crier? If so, how does one go about this metamorphosis exactly?

P.S. Just to prove I'm not completely Grinch-hearted, I did cry during Jennifer Hudson's tribute song to Whitney at the Grammy awards Sunday night. How could you not?


What I Wore Wednesday

To say it's been a while would be something of an understatement.
I honestly can't remember the last time I did a WIWW post.
Somewhere along the WIWW road I seem to have lost my way along with a hefty dose of fashion-y motivation.

I've been bored with my look, such that it is, and have drifted along wearing my usual stuff (sometimes an actual outfit, more often than not, not) without challenging myself to shake things up and try something new. Until this weekend. We had a cold spell Sunday (yes, it was actually cold here in south Texas) so I decided it was the perfect time to try out a new pair of boot socks with a dress.

I felt kind of edgy and cool but then, but then, I let doubt creep in. Can I, the 43 year old mama, wear boot socks? And while maybe I can, were they the right look for this dress after all?

This I do not know.
(I asked my hubby to take my picture but I forgot to change the setting from manual to AV, oops!, so they are terribly overexposed, but I ended up kind of liking them anyway)

Should I have pushed them down a bit so they were more leg warmer-Jennifer Beals-y? Pulled them up onto my thighs? Ditched them completely and gone with tights? Do tell. Please.

dress: Kohl's; green cardigan w/ruffle trim: DownEast Basics; boots: Frye Jane Zappos; boot socks & necklace: Target
grey shirt, jeans & drape-y cardigan: Target; pink ruffle neck rag: TextileMonster; boots: Old Gringo Bonnie (from Santa); and it's hard to see in the photo but I also wore a long silver loop necklace from Kohl's.

Then the next day we had a warm spell (again), so I just threw on one of my stand-by tops & jeans.
orange top: SteinMart; brown tank & necklace: Target; boyfriend jeans: Lucky; brown flips: Yellow Box

And that, my friends, is me easing back into What I Wore Wednesday. Will I do a WIWW post every week? Maybe. Probably not. But I am challenging myself to switch up some of my *regular looks* a bit and try some new things--without shopping outside my closet (okay, maybe thrifting is okay) and to get myself together more days of the week then I have been.

That's a little something.

I'm linking up at The Pleated Poppy, clickety-click on over there for oodles of fun fashion inspiration.
pleated poppy
Happy Wednesday, y'all!


12 on the 12th {February}

01. Watched a bit of BBC's Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren with my morning coffee (thanks to Netflix & my Keurig).
02. Breakfast in the form of a chocolate Shakeology smoothie (they're really quite yummy).
03. Driving to church while putting on my lipstick & lip gloss (isn't that what rearview mirrors are for?)
04. Tried something edgy: boot socks with my dress (my personal style jury on this is still out).
05. Self-portrait with Annelise.
06. Lunch at La Madeleine (spinach salad for me, breakfasts for Scott and Annelise).
07. Quick trip to the mall to get new eyeliner (I love the creme lash liner by Buxom in Leatherette) and an impulse purchase of some new perfume (Calvin Klein Euphoria). I seriously cannot go into Sephora unsupervised. Or at least I shouldn't.
08. Who could walk by Godiva and ignore it? Not us.
09. Looks like the mall wore out our little person. Or maybe she's just a really good possum impersonator?
10. Annelise  finished up her mail-out valentines and wrote a few notes (and yes, we hang plastic shopping bags and other odds & ends on our chairs, don't you?)
11. I love it when she digs out my old (antique? vintage?) Fisher Price Little People sets and plays with them all afternoon. Heart swells.
12. Tex-Mex supper after evening church. Oy vey. Er...I mean ole!

(I really don't know how I'm going to make my 12x12 grids once all the ants eat up Picnik in April. Do y'all have any suggestions? And just so you know, Photoshop Elements has been known to make me cry.)

And that, my friends is a little peek at our twelfth. How was yours?

I'm linking up with Amy, be sure to pop over there for more 12 on the 12th fun!


Five for Friday

Good morning, y'all!

01. It's raining cats and dogs and a few other small animals outside this morning so I am nestling in with my coffee, laptop and Jim Caviezel for a little while. We've been watching Person of Interest and it's slowly growing on me. We totally mock the way Jim (Mr. Reese) is a low-talker but we like the quirky Mr. Finch (former Ben on Lost) and the fact it's set in NYC. Oh and the whole Big Brother/Somebody's Always Watching You theme.

02. I managed to do my TurboFire workout yesterday (on my still tender foot) after all, but I took it easy on the jumpy parts. It still felt good. Then, and then, I broke out my cheesy Brazil Booty Lift DVDs to do some, ahem, targeted toning. Owie!

03. Annelise stayed after school yesterday to practice for the next stage of the speech meet competition. She placed first in her category (bible memorization) for her class, so she gets to compete at another school, like an area wide thing, in early March. She's highly excited about this, mainly because she gets to officially miss a day of school. Since she was staying after school and then we'd be scrambling right over to dance, I packed her a large-ish snack (granola bar, clementine & small box of raisins), told her & showed her where I put it and she acknowledged my efforts. When I picked her up after speech practice she exclaimed, loudly, that she was starving. It turns out she ate her after school snack at morning snack time, her morning snack (cut pears) at lunch and only had the small teeny-tiny box of raisins for the afternoon. What the what? 

04. Okay. Valentine's Day has totally sneaked up on me this year. I usually get the stuff for Annelise's party and cards early, like crazy early and now I have a sneaky suspicion I'll be digging through the dregs of candy Monday afternoon and fighting through the mobs of other slackers like me. Sigh. The good news is I think her class party is extremely low-key this year, like hardly a thing, so I just have to get stuff for her cards. I'm 99 & 34/100ths % sure we'll be doing the 3D photo card (where she's holding her fist out with a Tootsie Pop or pencil or something) again. Goal for the weekend: take cute photo & buy candy. You heard it here first.

05. Y'all. The cursor has been blinking here at #5 for a good fifteen minutes. Nothing. That's what comes to mind.

Oh...here's a little something. My shellac manicure is still going strong (can you see my fingers clutching my coffee up above?) after week 2. There's some separation from the cuticles since my nails have grown, but only two teeny-tiny chips on two of my nails--but nothing like the chips from a regular polish manicure (which would have been gone, baby, gone by now anyway). I'll probably stretch it into next week and then get them redone (and this time I'm going to have her shorten them even more, I hate talons).

(Hmm...maybe I should have just let that cursor keep blinking after all.)

Happy, happy weekend my friends!


This & That on a Thursday

So I've been feeling a little torn when it comes to the ol' blog lately. Since I started trying to document more of *the daily ordinary* stuff through Project Life I haven't been blogging *the daily ordinary* stuff as much. And I miss that. I think. But I haven't quite figured out a good balance yet, it feels kind of redundant to do both right now.

Remember how I told y'all I was all up in TurboFire these last couple of weeks and was looking forward to continuing my streak? Well, I had a bit of a set back this week and am so bummed.

Do people still say bummed?

Last Friday afternoon I was doing my sixth TurboFire workout for last week (!!) and was feeling all kinds of good about my effort and commitment and follow-through and stick-with-it-ness, well...I fell off my high horse.


Except only semi-literal because I wasn't on a horse, but I did take a tumble. I lost my balance on one of the moves, my foot turned a bit and the rug slipped, my foot/ankle rolled even more and I went down ever so gracefully. Or not. Thankfully I don't think anything was broken, just badly strained. I was still able to bear weight, but my foot was swollen for several days and I'm fairly sure I resembled Igor dragging my foot behind me for most of the weekend & beginning of this week. The swelling has gone down now and I'm able to walk more normally (yay!) but I've missed oh...something like 5 days of exercise and I hate-ity, hate, hate that.

Moving on.

I've been taking my #febphotoaday photos, have you?
1. my view, 2. words, 3. hands, 4. a stranger, 5. 10:00 (watching Downton Abbey, as you should be doing too), 6. dinner, 7. button, 8. sun (I tired to get cool sun flare but it was not cooperating). Today, (9.) which I have not done yet, is front door.

In other news, Annelise had a dentist appointment earlier this week. She thought it was so cool to be checked out of school a little early, I guess we haven't had any reason to do that so far this school year.
She hasn't had one single tardy this year either.

Of course now that I've typed that we'll probably break our streak.

After the dentist we stopped by the health food store, which by the way I probably won't be darkening their door again any time soon. It turns out they weren't all that nice and were out of stock of some things and I later discovered I could buy the same things at The Vitamin Shoppe. So there, take that health food place.

This assortment of supplements cost a small fortune.
Why is it so ding dang expensive to try and be healthy?

Fish oil gels, coconut oil gels, daily multivitamins, coconut oil in a jar, and grapefruit seed extract for washing fruits and veggies (which I haven't done yet, I'm a little scared to see the residue left in the bowl afterwards and know I've been eating that residue for years, nice). I also bought apple cider vinegar capsules and some gummy vitamins (for Annelise, which she has been begging for and I've been dragging my feet because of their gummy candy-ness--not that we are anti-candy--hello, have you met me?--but I wish vitamins for kids didn't look like candy. I can't explain my reasoning, but I've been quite stubborn about it.

I'm fairly certain I had a few more this & that type things to share but now I'm drawing a blank. Maybe I just thought I had some. Oh well. I hear some laundry calling my name anyway.

And I just might put my newly recovered foot to the test and try to get it to work out with me. For me.

Fingers crossed. Or maybe I should say toes crossed.

Happy Thursday, y'all!


Project Life: Week Five

If it truly takes 21 days to form a new habit, well, I guess I have formed one for Project Life 2012. (!!) I'm sure there will be weeks when I'll get behind but right now it feels fabulous to be keeping up with it each week. Could I tweak it more? Frou-frou & scrappy it up more? Well, sure. But for me keeping things fairly simple works best.

Here's the overall layout for Week 5.
This week I added a bullet point weekly review on the main card using the colored number stickers in the Clementine core kit.
Here's the left side.
I included a collage review of the #janphotoaday Instagram challenge in the bottom two 4x6 slots. I used scrapbook paper from my stash to add a bit of color and save my kit cards for other things.

The only life tidbit I saved this week was the cardboard wrapper from my latte. Some weeks will have more tidbits, some less and that's okay.

Here is the right side.

This week I used a 6x12 divided photo protector to include photos from our Lego building adventure at the library.
Here is the back side of that protector filled with photos from my dad's 71st birthday on Sunday.

I played with using vellum & stamps to add a bit of pizazz on top of the photos. I really like the way the vellum adds a simple yet classic touch.
And here is the right side without the insert.
This week turned out to have more photos than usual, and that makes me happy, but also limits the story a bit too. All of the 4x6 photos are from our fun weekend with good friends, I used address labels and one of the folded journaling cards to tell the story.

The top left photo shows all the kids piled up on the couch and on the floor watching Dolphin Tale. It gave the mamas a few minutes of calm while we chatted over coffee and cookies Friday night. It warms my heart to see all our kiddies together!

I trimmed a 4x6 photo to split across two journaling card slots (which I think is a fun (whimsical?) thing to do occasionally) to be able to include it without adding an adhesive flip-up protector (it's still so hard for me to leave out favorite photos).

I'm linking up with The Mom Creative again, be sure to pop over there for more layout inspiration.
The Mom Creative


Hello February

well helllooooo february, you sneaky little thing you. somehow you popped onto the scene before i could say jack robinson.
but welcome just the same.

i actually finished something y'all.
the #janphotoaday challenge in instagram.
i know, big whoop, i managed to take a photo a day for a month, give me a prize.
but for a girl who usually gets distracted by other bright and shiny things and fizzles out on projects 2/3 of the way through...i'm a wee bit proud of myself for sticking it out.
28. light
29. inside our fridge
30. nature (actually a combo of nature, water, reflection, my shoes and a bit of me)
31. me, again (no make up & sweaty after an awesome turbo fire workout)

so that was a fun little photo challenge. i started fatmumslim's  new one yesterday (feel free to join me).

speaking of being sweaty from my turbo fire workouts , i've made more of an effort to do them, you know, regularly. last week i exercised 5 days and am on track to do the same--or more (!!)--this week, which feels, well...fabulous. i love the music, the moves, the intensity, the punches and kicks and the challenge. my goal is to stick with it for a month (of 5+ workouts a week) and see what happens.
of course my food choices could be better. i have patterns of good days followed by scary days, so as always, consistency (discipline? commitment?) is still my biggest struggle.


in other goal related news, i read 6 books in january (i'm keeping a list in my 10-yr journal):

1.) the phantom tollbooth by norton juster
2.)in the garden of beasts by erik larson (very good)
3.)rules of civility by amor towles (nyc in the 30s, loved!)
4.)11/22/63 by stephen king (could. not. put. it. down. soooo good--even if you think you don't like stephen king, this is not horror guru stephen king at all, it's history, it's time travel, it's what-if, it's a love story and if you are a fan of his novel IT, you are in for a treat)
5.)i feel bad about my neck & 6.)i remember nothing by nora ephron (so funny and sharp)
i also started a few others but quit them when they didn't grab me or make me want to care about them. 

6 down, 37 more to go.
(i made a goal to read at least my age in books this year.)

this month i hope to:
exercise 5-6 days a week
eat well (less meat & junk, more fruit and veggies)
read my bible & pray more
read more books
take more photos
write in my journal (more than the daily 5 lines in my 10-year journal)
write real letters
continue project life
smile more and be nice

wish me luck
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