10 Things I am not good at.

Mistakes

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1. Patience. I think it might be a sickness, actually. If there are more than two people in line before me at the store I will just go make a few more laps through the aisles, even though this usually takes more time than it would if I had waited in line. It literally pains me to stand there doing nothing, when I could at least walk around.    

2. Sleeping. My mind comes alive right when the rest of me hits the hay. Some people have epiphanies in the shower…mine happen when I am settled in to bed for the night. No wonder I end up staying awake entirely too late. Unfortunately, emotions surface at this time as well. If something has been stressing or upsetting me deep down all day, it comes out when the house is finally quiet. Tear stained pillows and manic journal entries are often a direct result, but you know what? I always feel much better in the morning after dealing with my good, bad and ugly the night before.

3. Caffeine-Freedom. Believe it or not, there was a time when I refused to drink anything but green tea and water. And then, well, to put it lightly, I had kids. ‘Nuf said, right? I not only drink the stuff to stay peppy, I L.O.V.E. coffee. And tea. And things flavored in a coffee way. If I happen to spill coffee and no one is looking, I might even slurp it off of the counter/desk/floor it landed on. What? I’m an addict! And I don’t like wastefulness. It’s my civic duty. How do you take your caffeine? For coffee, I adore a good creamer, the sweeter the better, and for tea, I like a good splash of soy or almond milk and a spoonful of Honeyville honey. Yum. Oh, yum, indeed.

4. Remembering Names. Hi I’m Elizabeth. What is your name? Oh you’ve told me before? Three times!? Wow, sorry. I, um, have…short term memory loss. It runs in the family. I will remember this time. Maybe.

5. Handwriting. Chicken scratch. Doctor’s scribbles. Preschooler penmanship. Whatever you want to call it, I have it. No making cute fonts out of my handwriting. No one could read it! But I have read that messy handwriting is directly linked to high intelligence. Score!

6. Holding my Tongue. I think we should pack up and move the kids to Switzerland… And buy an alpaca… What time were you born? This one time when I was 3 1/2…It like totally broke me in two when you said that my glasses made my earlobes look crooked…Oh my gosh I can’t wait for you to see your surprise, it’s a pet parrot!!  See, I can’t hold anything in for a second.

7. Going to Church. This is something that I would really like to improve upon. I love church. I grew up in church. I feel happy, content, lovey-dovey feelings when I am singing love songs to my Maker.

8. Boxing up Baby Clothes. What mom doesn’t feel a little twinge of sadness when her little itty bitty baby can no longer fit in to their onesies.

9. Waiting for Fall. Seriously. I love it. As soon as it ends I am ready for more. The 100+ degree summers really get me in a crabby-pants mood and the spring means massive allergy attacks for me. Not my favorite. I like the winter and each season has its merit, but Fall, oh glorious Fall is the bestest. Pumpkin pie, Hot tea on cold nights, Thanksgiving, falling leaves. Come on.

10. Saying Goodbye. Just ask the Hubby, he will tell you all about it.

Love and hugs to you all!

Elizabeth

That’s Right, I Signed up for a 5k

 

I know, its true that the only form of fitness I have been involved in lately has been shoving around a wicked double stroller through stores and hauling children away from any number of precarious situations. Repeatedly. Incessantly. And while these activities may be stimulating, they don’t do much for cardio health and overall maintenance of the physique. Not to mention mental health, but that is a different story entirely.

 

Enter my super awesome mommy friend, Brittney.

 

Brittney: Hey! What ‘cha up to?

 

Lovely: Just sitting on my fanny at the computer, drinking my fifteenth cup o’ Joe for the day. What’s up?

 

B: So you need to check out the Color Run 5k. I think we should sign up.

 

L: (laughing and mumbling) Do you know me at all? Ha-ha! I am no runner and I am pretty sure you would be shoveling my arse off the pavement after the first mile.

 

B: Ugh! Just look it up, it would be so fun! People throw paint powder at you! It’s just so happy. Sign up with me, okay?

 

L: But I don’t run. Its on my bucket list, though. But running? Moi? (shudders and cringes)

 

B: Don’t be a baby. Just do it. You know you want to.

 

L: (Grumbling and contemplating) Oh alright fine! It does look fun, in a masochistic sort of way. And I have been complaining that my muscles have turned to flubber in recent years.

 

B: Just stop doubting my awesomeness and go for it. (contagious excitement pouring through the phone.)

 

This of course is a slightly abbreviated version. In reality it took me a day to actually get the nerve to sign up. Since then my excitement has grown like wildfire. Thank goodness for friends who really know us, right?

 

The color run is a 5k where everyone starts out in clean white T’s and gets splattered with paint powder, a different color for each kilometer, along the way. How cool is that? At the end the is a color explosion and people start dancing and eating. Now that is the kind of running I want to do. Everyone has a huge smile on their face. It is irresistible. Check out The Color Run to see if there will be one near you!

 

  Just look at these girls in ‘staches. How freaking dang cute is that?!

 

Colorful, happy, healthy people. What could be better?

I better get busy training if I don’t want to look like bubble girl, here. Cute as she may be :)

What's Bubble Girl Running From?

Thankfully, Brittney and I are not the only novice marathoners-to-be out there and there is wealth of information out there on getting started the right way.

 

The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan

 

We will be using the couch to 5k program from Cool Running. It makes the training process very doable and not at all intimidating. Wish us luck!

 

(Oh, Heaven help us, this could get interesting.)

Update: Due to an unforseen event, Brittney and I were unable to participate in this Color Run, although we plan on running a 5k soon. (More on this another time.)

 

Blogging is like Baking Bread

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This morning as I teetered between awake and asleep, I envisioned my coffee cup in my hands, but could not yet actually get out of bed to make it a reality. So instead, my mind wandered. I starting thinking about the post I would write today along with a few dozen other things to do on my list. Now, keep in mind my mental status at this point. It was still dark, my babies were cuddling with me and we were all drifting in and out of dreamland. No algebraic equations were being calculated quite yet; my thoughts simply ran on instinct. Pure creativity. The kind we try to find throughout the day, but that often evades us.

What did I come up with in this moment of pure creativity and mental freedom? Bread. Why? No clue. What kind? Dunno. I just had this great dialog in my head about the similarities between the process of writing a blog post and the process of baking bread. Unusual, oui? The thing is, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The similarities passed through my head over and over again, even after I was up and about for the day.

So here we are. I figured if I didn’t actually write about this, it would take over all of my brain work-y-ness.

I might channel Julia Child here for a bit. Bear with me. Oh, and possibly Emeril. BAM!

semonlina bread  Source

Proof the yeast. Make sure the yeast is alive. Will it serve its purpose? You can’t have bread without good yeast. It will never rise properly and neither will a blog post if you don’t start out with a good topic. Do your research and find something to write about that will engage your readers.

Mix your ingredients. Baking is a science. Every ingredient is essential. If you forget the sugar or salt, it will taste awful. If you put in too much leavening agent (baking powder, yeast, etc.) you might have a big mess on your hands.

The ingredients in a great blog post are equally important. Rich content, such as pictures or videos, will make the post taste and look better. Repetitiveness (a.k.a. overusing your ingredients) will make a mess of your writing and readers will look to other bakers. I mean writers. I mean…uh…you know what I mean.

Knead the dough. The most iconic image of bread making is of the kneading process. This takes real elbow grease. You must work the dough until it is no longer sticky but instead has become smooth and elastic.

Kneading is like editing what we write. You cannot have one without the other. We must proofread our posts and tweak them until the flow is smooth and there is consistency in the finished product.

Allow the dough to rise. Biting in to bread that has not yet risen would not be a very pleasant experience. There would be no fluffy air pockets to sink your teeth into. Not very bread-ish, right? This step takes patience.

Patience is also needed when blogging. There are days when you won’t know what to say, or how to say it. There will be days when no one is reading. There will be days when you are stumped. Don’t give up and don’t rush yourself. If I write something I feel no passion for the writing, well, sucks. There is nothing there to hold it up. Nothing to sink your teeth into. The essential step in good bread making is allowing it to rise properly. Similarly, we must allow our writing to grow and change and be authentic. Not forced. Patience will make it grow. You even might grow as a person in the process.

Punch down, divide, and shape the dough. Gases build up in the dough as it rises. In order for the bread to have an even texture, you must punch down the dough to release some of this gas. If you are frustrated, let it out on the dough. It won’t fight back, I promise. Now is the time to divide it in to loaves and shape in to the desired form, whether it is a round loaf, rolls, a special braid or traditional rectangle.

This is your chance for any last minute edits and for tagging and categorizing your post. The right tags make all the difference in making sure your post gets to your target audience. You are shaping your post further with these tags by making sure they will be the right fit for your readers.

Baking the bread. Last but certainly not least, it is time to stick this baby in the oven. Bake it at the perfect temperature for just the right amount of time, and you will start to smell the aroma of success wafting throughout your home. Don’t overcook it or you will have a crusty, charred, unsavory mistake. Undercook your bread and you will be faced with a doughy, tasteless, ball of gunk that has raw eggs in it. Salmonella! Not good. Just follow your recipe and you will be fine.

In the same way that bread must bake properly, not too much, not too little, your post must be finished just right. Once you hit the “publish” button, you can sit there and do nothing but your post could become stale after a couple of hours. Networking is a vital part of blogging. Share your post with the world. Tell your friends about it, post it to social networking sites and don’t forget to comment on other blogs. This is good for both parties since they receive the support we all want/need and you receive more traffic and some valuable support of your own. On the other hand, don’t kill your self doing this. Don’t lose yourself in networking. Too much of a good thing can leave you burned out on blogging, with a bad taste in your mouth. Nobody wants that to happen.

Enjoy the finished product. I don’t know of anything that tastes better than fresh bread, hot out of the oven. Warm and gooey, sweet and satisfying. There is nothing quite like it. Enjoy it while it is fresh and you will see why it was worth all of the hard work involved.

When your blog post is a success, enjoy that too. Take comfort in knowing that you touched someone with your words today. It might have been just the thing they needed. A virtual hug. I have met some amazing people in the blogosphere who always know how to make me smile.

Now go out there and get cooking! Enjoy your craft and work it according to who you are and what you want to be known for. My blog is my canvas and my escape. What is blogging to you?

Redecorating, little kid style.

Don’t you just love thinking about different decorating ideas for your home? I know I do. I like to visualize perfect paint combinations, smart room design, and D.I.Y. projects for amazing organization. I love to imagine the different furniture pieces and where I would place them in my home. A place for everything and everything in its place. Dreamy.

My boys, on the other hand, have their own views on home décor. Big E likes everything that is supposed to be on a table to be on the floor. He also prefers his favorite items, whether they be a collection of toys or a mix of miscellaneous crap items from around the house to be strewn about in easy-access locations. Baby Bear thinks all drawers should be emptied of their contents regularly and trash must be checked for treasures several times a day.

My decorating style, these days, is one of necessity. I need to keep dangerous things out of the kids’ mouths. I need to keep breakables out of their grubby hands. I need to drop whatever I am holding and grab Boy A before he falls off of the entertainment center and run across the house to rescue Boy B from the perils of toilet diving. Therefore, I am not a huge help with the counter clutter situation. This seems to be where all of the contents I need to release end up.

My boys keep me grounded. I keep them safe. The house keeps us sheltered. We keep the house untidy, unfortunately. Someday the concept of cleaning up after one’s own mess will click for my children, but until then we probably will have a conglomerate of household contents scattered throughout our home at any given moment. The upkeep is constant and unwavering, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. My kids are growing and learning and living their lives within the walls of our family decorated home. We are a happy, healthy group and, as long as we stay that way, our home is the only place we want to be.

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What Makes a Dream Home?

We all have a vision of what a dream home would be for us. No two are alike, and not many are attainable. But it sure is fun to think about, isn’t it?

Like the France Traditional exterior  Source

I love going for drives with the Hubby to ogle at beautiful houses we wish we could live in. I tell him about the Craftsman style stunner I would love to have, complete with 4,000 square feet to ramble about in, a separate garden shed to write/relax in, a playroom as big as our current living room and a perfect location on beautifully landscaped acreage. Not to mention an impeccable gourmet kitchen, spa, and wine cellar. It is usually at this point that the dear man starts rolling his eyes and reminds me that I am, in fact, dreaming. *Sigh*

A girl can dream can’t she?

In all seriousness, these things would be nice to have, but at what cost? There comes a point in many folks’ lives where things start to represent who they are and what is important to them. I don’t want that to be me.

A true dream home, to me, consists of my beautiful family. It is a place filled with love, comfort, acceptance, and security. Home should be a place where we can go to grow, thrive, and give. It doesn’t matter if the house itself is as modest as can be or messy and lived in like mine. If there is love and family within its walls, it is a dream home by my standards. I would never want to have a mansion in Malibu or a grand Southern estate, if it meant my Lovely munchkins’ sticky fingerprints were not on the windows and their artwork didn’t hang from the fridge, or if my sweet hubby didn’t come home to it every night. These are the things I must have in a home.

How about you? What are some things you must have where you live and what are some fun features you would enjoy in a dream house?

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