Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Read my 2011 review here

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Got a promotion.  Participated in the madness that is Elf on a Shelf with my crazy three year old. 

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I actually didn't make any New Years resolutions for 2012--and that's okay.  I have a few goals for 2013--not really resolutions.

For 2013 my goals are to:
  • Work on a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family.  This will include more homecooked meals, lots of meal planning, less fast food, and more working out.  
  • Really make time with my husband.  We have been struggling to connect since our second baby was born in April--we need to find time to have more dates, more alone time, more adult time.
  • Work on organizing this tiny house--we hope to put in on the market in early 2014, so we have a lot of home improvement projects and other tasks to complete before them.  
  • Run a 5K--this goes along with the first item--I have a great group of friends that is teaming up to run a marathon relay--I will not be joining them, but some other friends and I are planning to run the 5K that goes along with that major event.  
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yup--that would be me.  I'm in the process of writing the birth story of my sweet little Carson--hopefully it will be up soon.  He's a sweet little angel and I can't imagine our house without him in it. 

In addition to me, one of my best friends had a baby in June.  Her little guy is going to be Carson's best friend.  It's already been decided!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None outside of the U.S.  Travel isn't really in the cards for us at this stage of our life.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?
As I said last year, I want more time with my friends and family. 

I would really like to have more patience--more patience with everything.  Definitely my week point!

7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
April 11--the day Carson was born
July 1--started my new job

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Having a baby--growing a human is serious business, yo.
Getting a promotion and starting a new job--working in the same office with the same people and doing completely new tasks has had it's share of challenges.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Um, probably my lack of patience with my precocious three year old.  He is a good kid--he just needs some more boundaries.  He has been a rock start with transitions this year (moving to a "big boy" room with a new bed...welcoming a baby brother...finally potty training (still working on the second part of this--what's up with kids and fear of pooping in the potty?)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No--just pregnancy--thankfully that was completely uneventful.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A rock and play sleeper--best $50 I have ever spent--led to significantly improved sleep for us.  If only we could get the now almost 9 month old to sleep through the night now.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband--he took over nighttime duty with the baby more times than not so I could devote myself to the daytime stuff with a newborn and a very active preschooler.  He lets me buy stupid things and tries all my Pinterest cooking projects.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Oh there are so many--many of our politicians have angered me.  People that just spew hate nonstop.  Everything that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School (seriously--I have had a very hard time moving past that--those sweet, sweet babies and those heroic staff members).  Most of all, the things that people post on Facebook and think they can get away with saying with no ramifications.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Diapers, milk (how on earth do a grown man and a three year old drink so much freaking milk?  I need to buy a cow), random baby stuff.

15. What did you get really excited about?
The birth of our second son.  He is a sweet, sweet boy.  He completes this crazy family.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I will have to say freaking "Call Me Maybe" it gets stuck in my head and I can't get it out. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Probably about the same happy.
Well, I was 23 weeks pregnant at this time last year, so  hopefully a little thinner!
About the same--still kind of poor!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising.  Spending more time with my husband.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
As in 2011, less worrying.  I worry about everything CONSTANTLY.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Trying to cram in time with everyone.  It was miserable dragging the kids everywhere.  We didn't get to spend much time any place and that sucks.  But, Jack was so excited about Christmas this year.  It was amazing to see the joy in his eyes.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
With Carson.  When you are pregnant with your second child, you wonder how you will possibly love that child as much as you love the first.  There is always room for that baby.  I love him so.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Dexter.  Homeland.  How I Met Your Mother.  Pretty Little Liars (yup, I'm a 14 year old girl).  I have reignited my love of Friends.  I watch every night before bed.  Still cracks me up.
I've been watching Damages on Netflix--love, love, love!

23. What was the best book you read?
I am in the middle of Gone Girl--super good.
Yes, I read all the 50 Shades of Grey books.
Read the Hunger Games trilogy--pretty good.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Listening to Pandora in my car makes my drives so much happier.

25. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby.  A new iphone.

26. What did you want and not get?
My husband to get a new job.  This is an epic struggle.

27. What was your favorite film of 2012?
I just saw Les Miserables on Friday.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  I want to see it again.
I cracked up at Pitch Perfect--stupid funny.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31--and I didn't do anything.  I opted for a low key celebration this year.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not much.  Probably better financial control. 

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
Trying to fit into things while pregnant. 

31. What kept you sane?
My family, friends, coworkers--and caffeine.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
 So many--but my biggest issue is with equal marriage rights for everyone.  I am utterly dumfounded that in (nearly) 2013, all of my friends cannot have the same rights to marry that I have.  This is the issue that I can get into heated arguments over. 

33. Who did you miss?
My grandma--as I welcomed my sweet Carson, it was so devastating to me that she never got to meet him or hold him.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
That we can move past many things in our lives--as long as you have the love of friends and family--anything is possible

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason

Bringing something we must learn

And we are led

To those who help us most to grow

If we let them
And we help them in return

Well, I don't know if I believe that's true

But I know I'm who I am today

Because I knew you...
36. Bonus Question: What else will always remind you of 2012?
Pinterest (some epic fails and some great new things).
My sweet baby boy Carson.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Random Tidbits

I have many a random tidbit for today...

We started the Elf on the Shelf nonsense at our house last week.  I kind of feel like this about the Elf

I mean, the thing is kind of creepy

Jack named our elf Ariel--so I guess it's a girl with a pixie cut.  Ariel has been fairly tame so far, but based on the behavior of my lovely three year old, I think that I need to step it up a little bit.  


I had a parent teacher conference for Jack's preschool yesterday.  Seriously?  Parent teacher conference for the three year olds.  Cool.  I was ridiculously nervous leading up to the meeting.  It turned out okay.  She had some hilarious stories about our little man.  Including the following:

Teacher: "Jack, are you done painting your pumpkin?"
Jack: "My done"
Teacher: "I'm done--you say I'm done"
Jack: "My done"
Teacher: "No Jack, you say I am done"
Jack:  "You are done"

Little turkey is smarter than he looks. 


 Carson is just adorable.  That's all I have to say about that!


Jack's new favorite thing to do every morning is to go into Carson's room and climb into bed with him.  I love listening to their conversation (obviously very one sided).  

Here is the conversation that I overheard yesterday:

Jack:  Good morning brother.  What are you doing?
Carson: (Happy Squeal) 
Jack: I getting in your bed Carson.
Carson: (Probably thinking "dude, don't step on are huge")
Jack: Don't worry Carson...mommy will come get you
Carson: ("Dear lord I hope she saves me from you")
Jack: Silly Carson


Jack has never had an interest in coloring or drawing.  He will very rarely ask to paint or something.  Recently he has wanted to draw more.  Here is his very first face.  It is Carson (in case you didn't see the resemblance) 


I am so ready for Christmas to get here!  I love it!  I still have lots of shopping to do--but my boys are both done!  I need these few weeks to go quickly because I love giving people presents!!  Cannot wait!!  

Do you have any random tidbits??

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Celebrity Encounters--of the B, C, & D List variety

I'm linking up with Holly and Erin today for:


Where do I begin?  As part of my job, I book performers to bring to our university's campus.  Because of this, I have had the opportunity to meet a variety of "celebrities".  I'm going to share a few of my favorites (what I feel is the best/most skeezy is last!):

Yes, this is me (and my best friend) with Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell (also known as Dennis Haskins).  For a long time, Mr. Belding was on the "college circuit" doing a variety of hosting and appearances--until the students got so young that they don't know what Saved by the Bell is (I feel really old and don't want to live in a world where kids don't know every episode of that delightful show like I do!)

This is Anthony Rapp--most people won't know who he is--but if you are a fan of the Broadway show "Rent", you will recognize him as the original Mark in the show (and in the movie).  He was the closing lunch speaker at a conference I was at--he was also super nice. 

Demetri Martin is a HILARIOUS comedian--he has several stand-up specials and a show on Comedy Central called "Important Things with Demetri Martin".  He came to campus three years ago.  

Lance Bass!!!!  The 19 year old Michelle nearly peed herself when he came to our conference a couple years ago.  I saw NSYNC in concert four times (uh...yes, I was in college during all of them). I felt like I was one step away from meeting Justin Timberlake himself!  Unfortunately they wouldn't let us take photos in line or with him--but I did give him a hug (whether he wanted it or not).

This is the cast of The Buried Life on MTV--a reality show where these four guys go around the country and try to cross things off their bucket list.  They came to campus to discuss the concept of "What do you want to do before you die".  I am normally very anti-reality stars, but these guys do a lot of good--and had a great message for our students.

Danny Tanner---I mean, Bob Saget!!!  He came to campus for a comedy show two years ago.  He is a dirty, dirty man.  It was HILARIOUS.  This is him with our programming board before the show.  

Seth Meyers.  Seriously one of the nicest guys ever.  He came to campus last year for a comedy show.  Thoroughly enjoyed his show--and I get excited every time I watch stupid Saturday Night Live now--everyone knows Weekend Update is the best part of the show anyway. (As a fun little tidbit, I think that I had a little to do with this sketch--at one point "Mitt Romney" is in East St. Louis--Seth (yes, we are on a first name basis) and I had a conversation about East St. Louis and what a "hellhole" it was perceived to be...and three weeks later, this sketch aired.   Saturday Night Live Sketch

Yup, that's Pauley Shore.  He was very clearly on something.  He was sitting on a table and kept nearly falling off--and he totally wrote on my shoulder with that sharpie he is holding.  

And, the best one ever:

Yes, that is me with porn star Ron Jeremy.  He came to campus about six years ago for a debate about pornography (he was obviously pro-pornography) and he debated a man who was addicted to porn and lost everything (job, wife, kids, etc.).  It was actually really good.  But, I got this picture taken with him--and then went home and took a shower.  He is super, duper dirty.  

Other people I have met--President Obama, Chris Hardwick (host of MTV's Singled Out), Various MTV's The Real World cast members, Snooki from The Jersey Shore, Sarah Colona (she's a regular on Chelsea Lately, and lots of D-List Celebs.  

I'm pretty excited to read about other people's celeb meetings and sightings. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stationery card

Crayon Christmas Wishes Christmas Card
Turn your favorite photos into your favorite Christmas cards!
View the entire collection of cards.

I just finished my annual Christmas Card from Shutterfly.  I send their cards EVERY year and they are always awesome!    You should totally check them out and make your own. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Love/Hate Wednesday

A few things that I am loving/hating today:

Love:  That the sun finally came out this afternoon
Hate:   That I can already feel my winter seasonal depression coming on.

Love:   That Jack is FINALLY potty training.

Hate:    That my baby is growing up!  He's going to be off to college sooner than I want to think about.

Love:  That Carson is rolling around, sitting on his own, and starting to learn to crawl.
Hate:   See above...I think it's time to trade him in for a newer model

Love:   That I get to see my best friend this weekend--yay Chicago road trip!
Hate:   That I am being guilted about leaving the kids for the weekend (by someone who shall remain nameless)

Love:   That the holidays are almost here!
Hate:   That it has to get cold for us to have Thanksgiving and Christmas

Love:  That Barack Obama won re-election
Hate:    That everyone has to get so hateful about it.  The world is not coming to an end people.

Love:   White Chocolate Hot Chocolate with caramel from Starbucks
Hate:   The dent it places in my wallet whenever I indulge. 

Love:   That my Christmas cards are ready to be ordered.
Hate:  That this is the best family picture we got.

What are you loving and hating this week?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching Up

Well, I haven't posted in five months.  Worst blogger ever.  I mainly hate that I haven't documented my sweet baby's life yet!  So, here are some updates! 

Here is a photo of my two boys from sometime in June.  The little guy was about two months old there.  


This is my little guy--he smiles and laughs all the time.  I could not love him more if I wanted too! 

Here is my big guy.  Oh this kid...the personality kills me! 

This is my little guy in his four month photo

This is my big guy in his five month photo (with the monkeys) and my little guy in his (with the dinosaurs). 

I will eventually write a big post about little man, Carson, but for now, I will leave you with those pictures of the cuteness! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Missing Grandma

As I sit here with my one week old son (birth story coming soon), I'm overcome with sadness and missing my grandma so much it hurts.  She passed away 10 days after Jack was born, so almost three years ago.  I wish that she was here to meet Carson and to love on him a little bit.  One of my most cherished memories was bringing Jack to meet his great grandma.  She was so, so happy when she held him. 

I know that she is watching over my babies...and our entire family (as is my grandpa), but the fact that she will not hold Carson in her arms is just heartbreaking to me.  She would love to kiss his chubby cheeks. 

Ugh.  I miss her. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 in Review

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I went to a professional conference alone (I normally go with colleagues or take students)...and actually did this twice.  The first was a HUGE deal with big, important people from schools like Harvard and Yale.  And, I didn't make a fool of myself.  In fact, I think that I sounded intelligent in most conversations!  

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My biggest New Years Resolution was to lose weight...and I started off well.  I will say that at this point, I actually weigh less than I did when I started the year...and I am nearly 23 weeks pregnant.  So, while I didn't hit that goal of losing 30 pounds this year, I have made progress, and will get back at it.  I don't know if I will make New Years Resolutions this year or not.  If I do, I think they will just have to do with loving my family and spending as much time with them and my friends as possible.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My best friend had a baby girl in April.  Another friend just gave birth to a little boy 10 days ago...he was early and very tiny but is doing amazingly well.  My sister in law also had a baby girl in October--her sixth!  Wowza!  

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.  It was a quiet year...which my family desperately needed after the last few years we have had.

5. What countries did you visit?
Absolutely none.  Although I did have to fly through Atlanta...and I'm pretty sure that airport can count as it's own country.  

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?
This is really hard.  I feel like I have so much and have had so many blessings.  I would like to have more time with my family and friends.  As my friends all start their families, it is even harder to make time for each other...but I know how amazing just a little time with them can be.  

I guess that better control of my finances would be another one.  This seems to haunt me from year to year.  

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
August 7--the day I found out I was going to be a mommy again.  October 24--my 30th birthday.  November 7--the day that it was confirmed that I will be taking on a new job in July 2012 that will utterly change my career and probably in some ways, change my life (and I haven't been able to really talk about it much, but hope that is about to change after the start of the new year).  December 8--the day it was confirmed that baby number 2 is a boy (and appears healthy)

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I guess that I have a personal one and a professional one.  In my personal life, it would be that we decided to have a second child and were able to conceive this little guy.  Professionally, it would be sticking up for myself and asking for what I know I deserve. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting my finances in order.  And not thoroughly enjoying all of my time with my son.  I love him, but two years old is hard...and sometimes mama is very excited when bedtime rolls around.  

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new iphone (hello love).  Also bought a new car (lower payment, brand it).  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Probably my husband who put up with my complete neurotic mindset through most of the year--and he didn't kill me (pretty sure he wanted to on multiple occasions).  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I can't think of an individual...more like groups of people.  Sometimes students drove me crazy this year.  Celebrities are insane for the most part.  Politicians in general.  The Obama-bashing people who think that the world is coming to an end.  

14. Where did most of your money go?
You know, mortgage, car, diapers (please let me get boy #1 pottytrained before boy #2 arrives).  Probably too many trips to restaurants.  

15. What did you get really excited about?
Learning I was pregnant (though that also scared the crap out of me), my new iphone (yup, I'm pathetic), and the prospect of new job responsibilities.  

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably something by Adele

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I would like to say happier, but I'm probably about the same
Thinner by the scale, fatter by the maternity pants I'm currently sporting
Probably about the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading to my son.  Reading for myself.  Gotten more alone time (an hour a, that would be amazing).  Date nights with my husband (it's only going to get harder as we add to our family, but we really have to make a conscious effort to do this.  We went almost an entire year without a date night (that didn't involve attending a wedding).  

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How will you spend Christmas?
Running all over the place to see family.  But to me, that is Christmas.  

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I fell in love with my unborn child.  It is amazing how you can love something so much that you have haven't even met.  

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch way too much TV...but my favorites are Dexter (woah season finale last night), Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Glee (I'm still on board), and I recently discovered a love for The Big Bang Theory.  

23. What was the best book you read?
Honestly, I can't even remember.  Which is pathetic.  I have been doing so much research for work that my free time isn't spent reading for fun.  I have big plans to read over the holiday break though!  

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I love Adele.  

25. What did you want and get?
Pregnant.  A new car.  An iphone.  

26. What did you want and not get?
For my husband to get a new job with set hours that don't involve working most evenings and weekends. 

27. What was your favorite film of 2011?
Pretty sure that the only movie I saw in theaters was Harry Potter.  We don't get out much.  

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30!  And for the first time in two years, I stayed at home alone during the day!  My son went to school that day and I got to enjoy some time at a pedicure...went to lunch with a friend...laid in my bed for an hour.  It was blissful!  I got to have dinner with my family...and then a few days later went out to dinner with some friends.  

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Honestly, I'm not sure.  

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011 ?
Ugh.  I have none.  Right now it is "does it fit?  Yes?  Put it on"

31. What kept you sane?
My husband, my friends, my sons hysterical laugh, Dr. Pepper

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Obviously the economy is on everyone's minds right now.  I have already started to worry about the election next year.  Getting all of our troops out of Iraq this past weekend was "baby" cousin just got home from Iraq and another has been before.  I would really like for our troops in Afghanistan to be removed as well before my cousin is sent there this summer.  Occupy Wall Street has kind of annoyed me more than anything. I get it...but sometimes I just want to tell people to get a job (any job).  I kind of lost it when a local TV station was interviewing one of the "occupiers" and they were complaining about how the only job they could get with their bachelor's degree was working at McDonalds. at McDonalds.  My husband has a master's degree and works at a luggage store because he hasn't found a job in his field and he needs to help support our family.  You have to do what you have to do.  It sucks, but sometimes you do it.  (and I completely understand that there are people out there who can't even get jobs at McDonalds...but I think that many people could find SOMETHING if they stopped complaining...or even tried).  Okay, tirade over.  

33. Who did you miss?
I probably miss my best friend the most of all.  Since she had a baby in April, I haven't been able to see her much.  Actually, I haven't been able to see her since June.  Fortunately, we talk via email most days.  But, I still miss her face!  

I'm also missing my grandma terribly.  It hit me early in my pregnancy that my grandma would never meet this baby.  That was devastating to me.  She passed away 10 days after my oldest son was born...but she met him, and held him, and kissed his sweet cheeks.  I won't have that photo with this baby.  I miss her more than I thought...I think part of that has to do with the fact that I didn't properly grieve when she passed away because I was trying to survive with a newborn.  

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
That people are generally good and will help out when they can.  That there are always people that have so much less to be thankful for than you do.  

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I'm going to have to come back to this one...I'm lame and can't think of anything right now.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stationery card

This Year Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

We love our Christmas card this year! It is colorful and fun! We can't wait to design a new one next year to share photos of our TWO boys!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I love living in the Midwest, but one thing that I hate is the bipolar nature of the weather. While yesterday was kind of rainy, it was 70 degrees. Today, it's 40. I realize that it is November 9 and we have been extremely spoiled with good weather...and that winter is inevitable, but couldn't we have a gradual change?

In other news, I am really excited about Christmas this year! Jack is going to get a train table, which we know he will love! I can't wait to see what he thinks when he gets up on Christmas morning and sees it! I have had to stop myself from buying it already because I know that I will just want to set it up now and play with it! I even asked my lovely husband if I could put up the Christmas tree (that's a no). So, to quench my thirst for all things Christmas, I have been listening to Christmas music in the car and pondering when I can sit down and watch my favorite Christmas movie...Love Actually (yes, that is my favorite Christmas movie of all time).

I'm also trying to pick out a Christmas card for our family. We got some decent family pictures taken so I definitely want a photo card, but the options are just to hard to chose from! I love them all!

Alright, I'm trying to be a better blogger and blog more, so this is my first (albeit boring) post in that hopefully long stretch of interesting pieces! I promise the next one will at least have pictures or something!