PicMonkey Collage

In Iowa, it has finally turned into park weather.  The snow has melted and *hopefully* we can put away the winter coats until next fall.  Whenever HJ and I head to the park, I like to throw some items in a bag.  You know those items you wish you have when something happens (like the drinking fountain isn’t working or the kid next to you wipes his boogers on your arm…that has happened).  I like to pack some park essentials before heading down the road.  I always bring waters, a few snack items, hand sanitizer and wipes.  Every now and then, we will throw in a Frisbee or football.  And how cute is that quilted bag we packed it all in?

Have you all heard of Yak Pak?  It is a store that specializes in bags, backpacks and other items.  They have bright colored designs, that stand out.  The bag I received is extremely durable, and easy to clean.  Want to win your own Yak Pak bag?  Enter the giveaway and if you win, you can pick out your own bag!

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I hope you all had a fabulous Easter.  HJ and I had a lot of fun with family and friends and got to enjoy some amazing weather.

We started our weekend with a birthday party for a friend of HJ, where I was able to see some old co-workers I haven’t seen in a long time.  After, we went to my parents to color eggs with the cousins and have some fun outside.

We also had a birthday party for my dad, where we celebrated with some family friends and a few wild rounds of duck, duck, goose.  I also learned that doing cartwheels isn’t as easy as it use to be, but at least I can still do it.

PicMonkey Collage

On Easter, HJ woke up to a surprise from the Easter Bunny.  Which is surprising, because Saturday at the grocery store, the bunny approached HJ and HJ quickly declared, “YOU ARE A MAN.  I CAN SEE YOUR FACE.”.

We headed back to my parent’s house for an Easter Egg hunt, where my sweet little boy shared his peanut butter cups.  This was followed with a family trip to church, where HJ asked me things like, “Where is God?”

“How is he in my heart?”

“Why is Jesus hanging there?”

While looking at the stations of the cross, he pointed and said, “that is a bad man!”.

Somehow, he got it in his head that everyone going up for communion was getting skittles, and he about rushed the alter.

Clearly, we should spend a bit more time at church to help with all these confusions.

After church, we had a BIG Easter dinner and spent the rest of the afternoon outside.  It was the perfect temp for running and laughing.  And hula hooping.

PicMonkey Collage2

Easter is one of those holidays I just love.  It isn’t all about gifts and spending money, it’s about spending time with loved ones.

The last week, I have had a crazy bird on our deck.  It tries repeatedly to fly through the patio door.  Every day.  I hear the tap, tap of the bird hitting the window.  I walk over and shout, “get outta here robin”.  And then it poops on the chair and flies into the window AGAIN.  It’s not afraid of me.  Then the dog runs over and it flies to the neighbors patio window and does the SAME THING.  What is wrong with this bird?  And who wants to come clean off the patio furniture?  Is there a trick to getting birds to stay away?

Speaking of birds…I recently hung up my Spring-y wreath.  It was on the door for 2 days… and HJ and I were playing in the yard.  I noticed a bird peeking out over the flower and another bird perched on the roof.  I go over to check it out, and they are building their love nest on my wreath.  At the front door.  I thought about how messy that would be, and promptly removed the entire wreath.  I should mention, the next was only about 8 pieces of hay by this point.  I definitely would not have taken it down had there been eggs.  I am a pushover who loves baby animals.  Luckily, the 8 pieces of hay didn’t break my heart.  Until, I noticed the 2 birds staring at me with sad eyes like I had just ripped their world apart.  Needless to say, there is no wreath on my door at this point.  I am not ready to disappoint more birds.

The other night, I was getting dinner ready.  HJ was at the table and says, “OH, MY TUMMY IS SO MAD AT ME!”.  After some questioning, I came to learn that means his tummy was growling because he was hungry :).

Tonight, HJ and I went in search of bunny trails.  He wanted to track down the Easter Bunny and see where he is hiding all the candy.

I also had HJ agree to give me all reeses peanut butter cups he receives.  In exchange, I have to give him all my peppers.  Yes, peppers.  He wants peppers in his eggs.

Have a great weekend, it is supposed to be nice out here!  Or as HJ says, “warm and cozy”!

I was chosen as a Beacon Hill Press blogger to read/review books and share my honest opinion.

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I recently read A Story Unfinished: 99 Days with Eliot by Matt Mooney.  I knew from the title this would be a hard read, but I was pleasantly surprised by Matt’s sense of humor and the way that he looked at their situation.

Before his son was born, Eliot was diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  This meant that if he survived the birth, every moment would be uncertain.  Instead of saying, “we only had 99 days with Eliot” Matt says, “we were blessed to have 99 days with Eliot”.

How awesome is that?  He was able to look at their situation as a gift and a blessing and not a tragedy.  Matt and his wife put their faith in God, and were able to see what they had been given as this amazing gift day after day, for 99 days.  After all they went through, they started a non-profit called 99 Balloons.

The story was captivating.  Even knowing how the story would end, I still wanted to see what happened next.  It is obvious that Matt shows his heart and wants his readers to truly experience how he felt.

Each year, I have had HJ’s picture taken right before his birthday.  With the pictures, I add some of his favorite things and have the picture printed into a 16×20 canvas (this year, my lovely readers helped pick it out).  I love being able to look back at his favorite things, and see how they have changed.  This year, I feel like he looks like a big kid.  The baby-ness has gone away and been replaced with a handsome little kid.


The canvas wall is one of my favorite decorations in the house.  It is so fun to see how much HJ has grown throughout the years.  The bad part?

The wall is officially full.


I always pictured the canvas’ lining a stairway wall.  Only problem is, we don’t have a stairway.  And it seems a bit silly to move because of some pictures.  Silly, but not totally out of the question.

You may remember my other photo project was to complete a yearbook for 2013 instead of filling photo albums.


I will definitely be continuing this tradition.  I love it, and it is so much easier than having numerous albums lying around.

Do you have photo traditions?  Any advice on what to do with the next canvas?


You know one of those moments where your head is overwhelmed with thought but you can’t quite get it onto paper?  Tonight is one of those.

I received some news tonight regarding a friend, and haven’t had time to process it.  I thought writing would help, but after I had a post all written, I hit delete.

Without trying to cause drama, there are some people I wish I could have helped.

There are people I should have been kinder to.  People I should have helped more.  People that I should not have held my tongue for.

On the flip side, there are some people I have been too kind to.  Some that I have let repeatedly break my heart.  And some that I gave too much.

You never know what is actually going through another person’s head.  You never know what they are feeling.

And then you wonder.  What if I had said something?  What if instead of joking about it with friends, we actually voiced our concerns?  What if I had been a better friend?

I didn’t realize that another’s stupid mistake could make another friend so visibly shaken over the phone.  I didn’t realize that her actions could make my friends and I feel guilty when we did nothing.  Or maybe that is why I am feeling guilty?

Heavy words to start a weekend with, I know.



PicMonkey Collage

I had a few questions on one of my photo projects from February.  I didn’t clearly describe what I was doing, so here it goes…

Kids come home with a lot of art work.  A lot.  As parents, we would love to save and treasure it all, but there’s a lot of it (have I mentioned that?).

As HJ brings his masterpieces home, I set them in a pile on my counter.  Leaving it in a place that will drive you crazy is key to curing procrastination.  Since I hate piles, I quickly like to eliminate the art work.

To do this, I take a picture of it.  Then throw it out.  GASP.  I throw out the art work.  I save it all to a file on my computer, and edit and crop in picmonkey.  Then, I uploaded the masterpieces to snapfish and created a photo book.

All of HJ’s art work from 2010-2013 created volume 1 of his art books.  Being in school now, I know the books might fill more quickly, so I am hoping to stay on top of it a bit more this time around.

I think it’s a fun way for HJ to show off his work and progress.  And, it saves a lot of storage trouble for me!


Guess what?  I FINALLY won the monthly contest with Courtney.  That’s right.  I lost more weight.  It’s about time, really.  I was sick of sending her gifts

I lost another 2.92% and am only half a pound away from my goal weight!  HALF A POUND!  Overall, I have lost 12.5% since January.  Sorry while I brag, but daaaaannnngg am I proud of myself.  Not to mention, I am currently wearing jeans that didn’t fit a few months ago.  And they are too big.

And since I gloated over beating Courtney, I should mention that she is 6 pounds UNDER her goal weight.  She even went bikini shopping.  Skinny little punk.

I am still using my fitness pal, but not nearly as much as I use too.  I am still working on my couch to 5K program.  Everyone kept saying once I get in the habit, I will love running.

Those people are nuts.  I do not love it, I don’t even like it.  Running should really only be done when being chased.  But I am still determined to do a 5K.  I am currently able to run almost 2 miles without stopping.  I have been running on an indoor track, and it is so BORING.  If it wasn’t for my Pandora pop and hip hop power work-out station, I think I would collapse out of pure boredom.  Pitbull jamming out makes it a bit better.

I am hoping to be able to keep this motivation going as it gets nicer out.  I fear I won’t want to go to the gym, but want to come home to play outside.

I am also joining in with Living in Yellow and her #1800minute challenge.  So far, I am 200 minutes in.  I am hoping this helps with my motivation a bit.

I was starting to feel frustrated that you couldn’t actually see a physical difference in my appearance, so I took a picture from Christmas and a selfie form last week.  Here is the comparison:

PicMonkey Collage

Sorry for the poor photo quality, but you shouldn’t expect more from me by this point :).  I think the difference shows!  Also, I should consider wearing make-up when I go to work.  A little under eye oncealer would have worked wonders.

Work-out people: Is it better to have a cardio day and then a separate weight day?  Or do some cardio and some weights each day?

Billy Coffey is celebrating his new book, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway.



One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 5th. Winner will be announced April  7th on Billy’s blog. Watch Billy give the backstory of the book here.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Billy’s blog on April 7th to see if you won.

March: Get Organized

February: Picture Projects

January: Get Healthy


March was one of those months where I felt like I was going non-stop to try to accomplish my goal.  Therefore, I declare April as my “hopefully easy” month.  Also, it seems petty.  And dull.  So, don’t worry, I won’t bore you with updates throughout the month.

Get Pretty Fingernails.

What?  I know.  It seems dumb.  Buttttt…I use to have a routine where I would file and paint and moisturize.  My nails didn’t use to be brittle.  And then, I just didn’t care.  Until now.

About 6 week ago, I slammed my thumb in a drawer.  It broke the nail halfway down the nail-bed, and I haven’t been able to get it to grow back.  Not only that, but it hurts.  And looks like it hurts.

I went out and bought some miracle grow nail drops that I am supposed to rub into my nails each day.  I also started taking biotin (it is supposed to be fabulous for hair and nails).  I am actually going to take time to file them…clip them…paint them…whatever it may be, until they are healthy again.