Girls' Weekend: iLive Conference

Until last weekend I had never been to a large (ish) scale women's event/conference.
Now I know what I've been missing!

Back in November when The Girls and I went to the Ladies' Christmas Luncheon at a local church we heard about this iLive event (kind of like a mini-mini Women of Faith event) for women which would be a weekend filled with inspiring speakers, praise music, food and GIRL TIME.

How could we miss that?

Sign us up!
Friday night we soaked up praise music from Christy Nockels and two uplifting--and hilariously real and relatable--talks from Patsy Clairmont and Lysa TerKeurst.

Oh my. It was GOOD stuff, y'all.
I knew immediately Lysa was my people when she explained the importance (and fragility) of Day One Hair in one of her scenarios of how we react to people and situations (really good, practical--and spiritual--thoughts from her latest book, Unglued).

Y'all know how I feel about the sanctity of Day One Hair.

Who only made a token appearance beside the fireplace while the kids roasted marshmallows on New Year's Eve because it was Day One? Was it me?

After the talks Friday night we stalked the speakers. A little.

Here we are with Christy Nockels (formerly of Watermark and now based in Atlanta and part of the Passion college ministry/event).
And then with darling Patsy.
When I am a woman of a certain age I want to wear a zebra headband with confidence and flair.

Don't you?

And here we are with Lysa (squeal!), who was so gracious to chat with us a bit and sign our copies of Unglued.
We stopped for coffee and chit chat afterwards, which is always a must do for us.

Bright and early the next morning we were giddy with excitement for a full day of encouragement and praise.
There was a morning session with Christy's music, a talk by Jeannette Clift George and then Lysa TK.


There was much laughter and yes, a more than a few tears (but the good kind).

We then had a break for a yummy catered lunch.

And cheesecake!
The afternoon was packed with more praise music, another wonderful talk by Patsy and then Lysa TK wrapped things up.

We were exhausted from all the goodness.

However, not too exhausted to stop by La Madeleine for an early supper and more GIRL CHAT.

I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to get my spiritual well refilled this weekend at this event and by spending time with My Girls. I am so blessed and grateful!


Three Quickies

I did my second Insanity workout today.
Brace yourselves, it ain't pretty.
I did my first one (Plyo Cardio Circuit) Friday afternoon and almost saw Jesus.
I took three days off just to let my calves recover.
Today was Cardio Power and Resistance and marginally more bearable than day one.
Okay. I'm lying.
They're both killer. But in a good way. Mostly.

I did the first 30 (ish) days of Insanity over the summer and chickened out of doing Phase 2, the second thirty days when the workouts add the word MAX to their titles and scare me even more.

This time I'm committing to the full 60 (ish) days, both phases.
Hold me.
(Wait, don't, I'm too sore.)
I'll keep y'all posted.

Well, it's finally happened.
We're Fuddy Duddys.
Somehow over the last few weeks we've drifted back into eating supper at Luby's usually once a week.

I know. I'm embarrassed for us.
But I do like the convenience of a meat and two veggies (LuAnn plate) and the fact that on Wednesdays kids eat free.

I always get the same thing, the baked fish almondine with two green vegetables, usually broccoli, green beans or brussels sprouts. My guilty pleasure is an extra side of macaroni and cheese (for some reason I can skip my roll and ask for mac & cheese instead and they don't charge for this extra side).

Scott always asks me how me fish is and I always reply, "Square."
Yet still tasty.

Annelise finished reading The Lightning Thief for her book report (she has one report due each quarter).
(photo from a few weeks ago when she was getting started)
It's the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (by Rick Riordan) and she ended up really liking it. I did have to push her at first to give it a try, she almost balked because it was longer than her usual choices (350 ish pages) but after the first chapter she was hooked and has since checked out the second book in the series, so, yay.

I've been reading lots of different things lately, which has been highly enjoyable. I recently checked out several historical fiction books by Michelle Moran and John Irving's latest novel, Last Night in Twisted River, so I'm anxious to get carried away with those soon. Here's the latest on my reading challenge progress, but don't let that fool you, many of those books are very short, so that's why I'm further ahead.

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.

Why was that such a terrible taunt in elementary school?
I haven't a clue.


Leftover Tuesdays (are for the birds)

I just finished some mexican meatloaf (from this yummy--and easy--recipe) for lunch. If I get deathly ill then I'll know one week is too long to stretch leftovers. Do y'all follow a leftover rule? Like three days and toss no matter what or wait until it turns green and fuzzy? I guess I fall somewhere in between, most leftovers get tossed after a week or so depending on what it is. In my defense, it still smelled and tasted okay, but I smothered it in salsa, spinach and blue corn tortilla chips just in case.

Speaking of food, I've been struggling, as per usual. Sigh. Good days, bad days, good mornings, bad afternoons, all around bad days, a few good days in a row then off the rails again. Sigh.
For example, I'll have my green smoothie and feel smugly happy for making such a healthy choice then  grab the Cheetos (flaming hot, BAM) a few hours later and feel totally gross (and have brightly orange stained fingers). Ugh.

Last week, in a fit of wild rage, I ripped all of Annelise's screen privileges out of her hot little hands (not literally). No TV, iPod touch, Nintendo DS, computer, et cetera, et cetera...et ceteRAH until I change my mind--and of course see an improvement in her attitude, behavior and personal responsibility (you know, the important things). So we'll see.

Also on that same day, but later, I found myself sobbing (varying levels from watery eyes to ugly cry) throughout a documentary on President George H. W. Bush (it was called 41). I have no explanation for my woe, I didn't know I even had strong feelings about him, but apparently I do. Or I'm extremely hormonal. You decide.

Every year Annelise's school has an auction and every year I end up helping her class with their art project which I alternately love and hate doing. This year it was somehow decided that both classes would do the same project (and I would do both, ahem), which was, well for lack of a better term, birds sitting in a tree with something each child (um...bird) is thankful for written on a leaf.

I guess they turned out all right.

This is how they looked before I Mod Podged them.
What do you think?

I guess it's good advice, when in doubt, put a bird on it.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!


Three Things

I hate it when I let so many days go by without posting. 
Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things (you know, like Rick told Ilsa...the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world...).
Like, at all.

And not that what I'm posting now is by any means important.
It's not.
Like, at all.

And yet, still.
I've been in something of an emotional slump, like I took a vacation in BlahVille and lost my return ticket, and for some strange reason blogging helps me claw my way out.

Or something like that.

You know you are really winning at this whole Mom Thing when your beloved little one calls out, "Mom! My chapel uniform is still dirty!" at 7:50 in the morning and you have to leave, like, in a jiffy.

I think Presidents' Day threw me off my laundry game. 
Or something.

So I did the only logical thing, spritzed her jumper and blouse with Febreeze, dampened the shirt sleeves with water so the laundry basket creases might have a hope of disappearing, and fluffed them in the drier for a few minutes.

I also could be heard shouting a last minute reminder to check the lost and found for her navy sweater as she scrambled from the car sans outerwear in damp, mid-50 degree weather.

Motherhood FTW!

I had a follow up eye appointment this morning.

The good news: my corneal infiltrates have left the building and I am cleared to wear contacts again. I'm excited about that, I've missed them.

The marginally bad news: I decided to keep my existing frames (although I had to send them away for two weeks, eek!) and just get new lenses, I thought since I was still happy with them I'd save some money that way.

Nope. Well, at least not really. Just my lenses, single vision, coating, blah, blah, blah was still close to $200 with insurance.

What the what?

Imagine if I had gotten new frames!?!?!

And I still will need to order a supply of contacts after my trial period (I go back next week).

I am fairly certain Optometry is a scam.

The creepy news: Norman Bates was placing the order for my lenses.

Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly.

Rainy days and Wednesdays call for red shoes.

That should be a rule.

I think I'm finally settling in to certain colors and styles that are *me*.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still try new trends I'm sure (although all these printed jeans are bringing back 1986 and not really in a good way--unless you are a twig) but I realized I feel most comfortable in greys, blacks, whites, the occasional tan or brown with jeans, mix and match fun accessories and shoes.

Basic. Comfortable. Random pops of color.

That's me.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!


Won'tcha Be My Valentine?

So...this year I was all, "Whoa...Valentine's Day is in two days, I better do something."

What? I say that every year?  Hush.

Annelise and I ran around one day after school to scramble up something for her two teachers. We bought two Starbucks gift cards and she picked out two different Vera Bradley ID holders (I use one of these all the time when I just need to carry my driver's license, debit card and a bit of cash, they're great).
We tucked them inside a to-go cup and wrapped them up with bakers twine and shipping tags. Simple, yet still cute. Plus a little bit of chocolate never hurts,
We did the same 3D photo valentines that we've done for the past four years.

I say if it's not broke then don't recreate the wheel.

Or something like that.
Truth be told, every year I do ask Annelise if she wants to switch it up and make something else and every year she says she's fine with the photo card. This year though we went with Tootsie Pops and a *fresh* saying, so there's that.

Another truth? I was too cheap to buy envelopes (these need 5x7 or greeting card size) because all they do is get ripped off and tossed, so, why bother, right? Right.

Scott, bless his heart, gave me this innocent looking flamingo since I adore them.
He left if for me on the kitchen counter, along with a card and chocolates, before he left for work in the wee small hours of the morning, which is really sweet (he also left a card, little stuffed dog and chocolates for Annelise).


This is the text conversation that soon followed.
(No offense to Whitney, but this bird is so wrong and must be mocked.)

Like I said, bless his heart.

Happy Valentine's Day, Y'all!


Six for Saturday

01.) I jumped back on the green smoothie wagon this week after a rather long hiatus. I had forgotten how good they really are and how much better I feel when I drink them regularly. My current mix includes one cup almond milk, two(ish) cups spinach, one leaf of kale, half a banana, some cut up apple, flaxseed, one scoop Amazing Grass powder and a smidge of vanilla greek yogurt.

Just call me Kermit.
02.) We've been helping Annelise with her science project this week, as in acting as part of her testing group. We've been chewing lots of bubble gum.

Did you know bubble gum makes me want to gag? It's true. Not only do I abhor thick blocks of gum, I don't like out of control flavors whether green apple or traditional bubble gum flavor. I hardly ever chew gum (I prefer mints) but if I do it's usually Trident (for the smaller pieces) and never fruit flavors.

However, this week I somehow managed to keep it together and chew for the sake of third grade science.

03.) Annelise was so excited to have a friend ride home with her yesterday after school (same sweet E. that came over in November). They stayed busy playing outside, playing Legos, having Bey Blade battles, dancing in the disco (Annelise's room with her pseudo-disco ball) and snacking on Crazy Easy Blondies and making their own little pizzas (out of thin sliced bagels).
04.) Earlier this week I drove by a school and saw a car plastered with neon Post-It notes, which not only made me giggle it caused me to have a random flashback to college when some guy had been mean to one of my girlfriends and we sent him a message late one night.

We plastered his car with maxi pads.



Don't mess with us.

05.) Thanks so much for the input about my new glasses dilemma. I realized that while I like the trendy oversize nerd glasses on others but am not sure this 44 year old mama can (or should) pretend to be that much of a hipster. And I'd hate to spend $$$ on a trend. So, I came to my senses and decided to order new lenses for my existing frames (the bronze rectangles) from my eye doctor and ask for a copy of my prescription and will order a free fun trendy pair from Coastal.com (maybe). I really appreciate y'alls' advice!

06.) Okay, I have a super guilty confession to make.

I think I like rap music.

Well, some of it. On a highly selective basis. And the clean versions (well, cleanish).

Have you heard of  The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis?

(I know, I've been living under a rock.)

I'm kind of addicted to Thrift Shop. And White Walls. And Can't Hold Us.


Happy weekending, y'all!


Three Things. On Thursday.

01.) We went to see Parental Guidance last week (it was Scott's Friday off and Annelise was out of school because of a teacher conference, so yay!) and gave it six enthusiastic thumbs up. Not only was it  a great blend of hilarity and sweetness, it was also very clean (which is hard to find these days even in a PG movie).

Afterwards we popped over to our new Steak and Shake, which after months of anticipation was finally open for business.


The burgers weren't really hype worthy and the french fries were like matchsticks. And one more thing? We had a creeptastic waiter. I think we'll stick with Five Guys and our local dives like Tookies or Stomps to get our burger fixes.

02.) Annelise went to a dance camp on Saturday hosted by the Cavalier drill team.
It was at my old high school, so I had to take a selfie. Or a footsie.
She was highly nervous at first but ended up having loads of fun learning several dances.

03.) After much procrastinating I finally went to the eye doctor earlier this week. I normally wear contacts, but was down to my next to the last pair of Acuvue Oasis and had been suffering from redness in my right eye for, well, a while. Who stretched her supply of contacts from one year to 2+? Was it me?

Apparently I have corneal infiltrates (I guess that's fancy doctor speak for my poor corneas have unwelcome irritating guests) and I have to take a break from my contacts for the foreseeable future. 


So I'm thinking of getting new glasses to make this whole contact suspension thing more bearable.

As you do.

Call me crazy (its okay, really) but I have a strong hankering for those trendy *nerd* glasses.

But I don't know if I can pull that hipster look off.

I narrowed my choices down to two, the Buddy Holly frames on the left are being ordered in a tortoise so I can try them on before a final decision, but as strange as it sounds, I'm not sure they're bold (big) enough. I like the shape of the ones on the right but they are a boring brown and only come in two other equally boring colors.
Or I just stick with what I have, a bronzish rectangleish frame, which I've had for four or five years, but think I still like, except get new lenses.

Which I'm leaning toward. But of course I still don't know.

Indecision at it's best, my friends, that's one of my strengths.
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