I'll Tell You a Little Secret...

I have always secretly wanted to be a writer!! The problem with that? Well, I'm not very good at it! In the 6th grade I even started a book once - would be cool if I could find it today!

I've always loved to read, though and I love to get deep into book series - I used to read Dean Koontz in Jr. High & High School. I love the suspense. I love fantasy books, too which explains why I loved the Harry Potter series & the Twilight Series. In Elementary I read Nancy Drew books and the Hardy Boys books and the Sweet Valley Twins books.

My latest crush is Janet Evanovich!! I've started using iBooks lately & I'm working on building up my collection of her books!
(Winnie the Pooh was a free book with iBooks!)

I've finished the first two of the now 16 book series and started on #3 this week. I love the characters in this book and there is as much laughter in these books as there is suspense & mystery. I love "who-done-it" books! I've always discovered she has in-between books between the numbered series books that are supposed to be very good, too so I am going to have to get some of those, too & read them!

Yesterday we stopped at Barnes & Noble after dinner out with friends (that's where the picture of Emma reading down below is from - she picked out a book to get, too. I love that she enjoys reading like I do!) and I made an impulse buy from the sale books stack - I hope it turns out to be good!

It's called Love The One You're With. From what I read on the jacket cover it's more of a love story, which I also enjoy from time to time. I don't mind reading books that result in tear stained pages - Same Kind of Different as Me did that to me. Holy cow that book was a tear-jerker!

So - back to Janet - have you read these books? Wouldn't they make an awesome TV series, too. Though in all honesty I'd probably be disappointed b/c I have my own image of Stephanie & Joe & Grandma Mazur and the director probably wouldn't get that right & then I would be jaded a bit & not enjoy the TV show. I think the show Rizzoli & Isles is based on characters from Tess Gerritsen books. I haven't read any of her books, either.

I don't have a Kindle, but I have the Kindle app and the iBooks app on my phone (as I've said before) and recently have been reading more on my iPhone. It's easy b/c between carrying a gym bag or a diaper bag with all their contents and trying to carry kids or stuff for work the last thing I need is to balance a book with me, too. Plus this way if I ever get stuck somewhere with five minutes to kill I'm not wishing I had brought my book with me. It's on my phone. It's always with me. I don't think I would always keep the Kindle with me anyway either. My phone never gets left behind - victim of technology!!!

So, maybe my dream of becoming a writer will never materialize and I'm fine with that, but I will still always enjoy reading. And I'm so happy Emma enjoys it - lately in lieu of a song at night she's asks her daddy to read a story to her every night. I love sitting in the other room listening to him read to her over the monitor...and when he is tired and she picks out a long book I love to hear how he edits it and makes up a new story just based on the pictures so that he can finish early and lay down himself!! LOL! My hubby is a great daddy!!! 

Who is your favorite author???

Photo Friday - Crooked

Beautiful sky tonight!

At the bookstore!

He's smiling in his sleep!!

Another Bright & Shiny Summer Layout

Can't let these gray days get ya down!! I created this layout a while back & decided to use it on this rainy, dreary day! The one I had was already bright, but this one just has more color! Hope it brightens your day a little! Plus looking at that cute little boy has to make you smile!!

Do you realize my baby just turned 5 months!?!?

I cannot believe that he is already 5 months...I went to put together his 3-4 months page for his baby book and that's when it hit me that Friday he turned 5 months!! It's just going by way too fast!! He is eating foods now - we're still on the #1's, but he enjoys them. Green beans seem to be the favorite! And he is rolling over like a pro these days, too - though he prefers to be on his tummy. He scoots a little too - if I leave him on a play mat I find him off of it before too long! And this weekend he found his toes, too. He hasn't been able to put them into his mouth yet, but I see him trying, too. It's hard b/c he's such a rolly polly! LOL!! He is a happy baby, though that's for sure. Emma plays with him all the time and I'm always worried she is being too rough, but he must love it b/c he is constantly laughing at her. She can make him laugh easier than anyone I think! His sleeping pattern is better - he still wakes up most nights at least once, but it isn't every night now. I know introducing foods helped there a lot. Thank goodness for a little extra sleep! And though I haven't seen any I think there are some teeth that are about to come through - he slobbers so much and had a bit of a runny nose (no fever) and loves his teething ring right out of the freezer - it won't be long till we see some teeth I think.

Fun Weekend Away

I cannot believe it's already come & gone - we've had this weekend planned for months and have been anxiously anticipating its arrival and now it's already over!! We're ready to plan a trip for next year now!!

Friday we went up to The Retreat at Artesian Lakes with two other families - our friends the Hayden's and the George's (they are our neighbors, too)! We stayed in a three bedroom cabin that had four more beds upstairs in a loft - that's where all the kiddos bunked! Including Aaron the kids outnumbered the adults this weekend, too! Of course, he had to share a room with me & Michael!

I was afraid with all those kiddos it was going to be hectic, but it really wasn't - we were out of the cabin a lot and the kids had such full days they were ready to lay it down when we came back. And they all get along really well, too. Carlton called our cabin the "Vacation House"and Emma called it the "Nature Hunt House"- don't ask me where she got that! I thought it was hysterical, though!

I still have a few more pics to upload from my other camera, but here are the majority of the pictures - click each picture to advance.


We got home pretty early on Sunday - around 2:00 - so we were able to unpack and relax a while and even play outside some after it cooled off a little bit. Emma has a nice little tan now, too from being in the pool so much!! Aaron loved the water, too - he was in there with us each time we went! He looked pretty cool in his swim trunks & matching hat, too!

Her own baby carrots!

Happy Swinging

Happy Boy

Kitchen Re-do

I am so happy with the results of step #1 of our kitchen make-over!! When we bought our house it was half way built so we had limited choices that we could make before it was complete. One of those choices we didn't get to make was the design of the kitchen - the cabinets, counter-tops, backsplash, etc...so this week we got one of those things redone to make things look more the way we would like them!! We recently got a new stainless sink, but we changed that out, too for a better sink and new design which I love!!

Other steps to follow in the near future include changes to the cabinets, the pantry door & under counter lighting.  I like the back-splash we currently have so if we ever decide to change that it'll be way down the road. At some point I would like to get rid of all the white appliances, too but that's also a change for later - the first of which, though is going to be the fridge b/c I've already picked its replacement out! Ha ha!

Here are a few before and after pics of the new granite counter-tops! I'll take more pictures later when I get everything off our dining table & back into the kitchen, too! The color of the granite in some of the pics looks a bit more yellow than it really is b/c of the lighting - it's actually a very rich, golden color with even some hints of red in places and very interesting inserts.

First Goal Nearly Accomplished

Well, I set three goals for myself when we started this diet new way of life!! The first goal was that I wanted to lose 20lbs this summer - well, I'm almost there. As of yesterday I've lost 17.5lbs so far!!! Being on the verge of attaining this first goal makes it so much easier to see that I can reach the next two...which are to lose half my total weight loss goal by our anniversary in October (35lbs) and to reach my ultimate weight loss goal by Aaron's first birthday in February of 2011 (70lbs). I had hoped I wouldn't gain with Aaron the way I did with Emma, but the last two months just when I thought I was doing well I gained about 15lbs - so by the time I delivered him I had gained just as much as I had gained with Emma. Only, this time around it didn't come back off nearly as fast. So - slow is good b/c slow is more permanent! I am happy with slow and happy with my realistic goals b/c I know I can reach them.

Michael on the other hand isn't going slow - the weight is just melting off of him!! All of his pants & shorts are literally falling off right now. I need to buy him some suspenders I guess!! The other day he was walking around in a new pair of shorts and I swear I could see two inches of his boxers b/c his pants were hanging that low - I wanted to start singing "Pants on the Ground" to him b/c he was sagging so much! But it is just that way for guys I guess. It's much easier for them to lose weight and they lose it much faster - plus Michael has a much higher metabolism anyway. No worries, though - I'll get there, too it'll just take me a little longer. But I'm confident, though and I believe setting these short term, realistic goals will really help me reach my ultimate long term goal, too.

Congratulations Jason & Mallory

We went to Jason & Mallory's wedding on Saturday - it turned out so great and we couldn't be happier for them! I think they are two awesome people!

We ended up having a lot of fun Saturday night...and I paid for it a little on Sunday! Ha ha! Weddings are always a lot of fun, though!

Talk About a Messy Kitchen

My Body is Fighting Back!

So lately, and for obvious reasons, I've been hitting the snooze button a lot in the morning. Well, this morning instead of hitting snooze, I actually turned off the alarm, sooooo....needless to say I slept late. Next thing I knew it was 10 minutes till 7:00, which is what time I'm supposed to be at work. I was up and out the door with the kids in less than 20 minutes and made it to work around 7:30. I am one of the first ones in every morning anyway, so it didn't really matter anyway, but still...I know it's b/c my body is starting to fight me on this lack of sleep stuff. Aaron went down pretty easily last night, but then woke up around 11:30. I held his for a moment to soothe him then laid him back down & he went right back to sleep and didn't wake up again until around 4:00 to eat!! It was a nice 5 hour stretch of sleep for me, but obviously still not enough. Everyone who talks to me on the phone asks what is wrong - I guess I sound like I am about to cry or something, but it's just that I am so very, very tired and it comes out in my voice.

At least today is Friday...though I don't see much rest over the weekend. We have to be up early Saturday b/c the contractor is coming over to tear up my kitchen, which we'll have to live with until Wednesday when they come back to make it pretty!! Hmmm...guess that means no kitchen duty for me next week! LOL! Don't mind that! We also have a wedding Saturday night so that means we'll be up late Saturday night, too and up early for church Sunday morning. Man - I am getting tired all over again just writing about what all is going on this weekend. Next weekend I'll get to catch up, hopefully - we are going out of town on a little mini vacay! I can't wait!

"It's a hot summer day" Emma said

I'm Extremely Sleepy Today

Aaron decided to party again last night - starting at 2:30 and he wasn't done till 4:30. Again, not crying or upset, just UP! I needed to rest during the week to recuperate from the weekend, but that isn't happening!!

Friday we went to my sister's house to celebrate Gianna's b'day - I cannot believe she is 5 years old! The kids had a blast playing in the water. Emma ending up spending the night with Teta & Geddo b/c Saturday we had plans to meet with the granite man and go pick out new granite for the kitchen - we didn't think this would be fun for Emma! We hit four different places over three hours - yeah, I think she would have been bored and a bored 3 year old only leads to trouble!! We did narrow it down to two choices, though. Aaron was so good the whole time. Our contractor's wife is due in September with their first child and he kept saying how good Aaron was and how he hoped their child was this good!

Saturday night we went to the race track to see Kevin Fowler. We haven't done that in a long time!! We met up with friends there & had a really good time despite the mosquitoes that were all over me!

Sunday my friend's mother got married & I took the pictures for the wedding & reception. I haven't shot a wedding in a couple years, but it turned out great. It makes for a long day, though. It looked like they all had a great time, too and the food was very good!!

This was one of my favorite shots of the rings.
So - we had a really busy weekend and this week is really busy at work, too. I'm anxious for some serious downtime, but that isn't going to come for a while! The next two weekends are already booked solid, too! We had a party, a wedding, a trip out of town and somewhere in all that I have to have my kitchen torn apart for a couple of days while we get the new counter tops installed.  Whew!

Photo Friday - Summer Fun

Such a serious face - I think she was pouting about something at this time...only lasted a couple of seconds, though b/c she realized she was missing out on all the fun!!!

Healthy Living

So Michael & I have made a few lifestyle changes recently...and they are starting to pay off! When I came back to work from being gone for three months on maternity leave I was so exhausted - not only b/c I had a newborn keeping me up at nights, but b/c I was out of shape. So, I decided it was time to get back into the gym. We have a wonderful facility here at work with great trainers so I set up a meeting & started working out every day at lunch. As I got more into it, Michael started to get interested as well (I've been trying to get him to work out with me for years!) so we started working out at home together. At first we were just walking in the evenings with the kids, but it started getting to hot to have this kids out so long. Then we started doing workout DVDs after the kids went to sleep. We follow the 30 Day Shred & it's awesome!

After doing the shred for a couple weeks Michael called up one day and said, "How bout I come to your gym after work and we can work out together?" Even better I thought! Spouses are the only non-employees allowed to work out in our facility. So for the past few weeks Michael has been meeting me after work and we work out together before going to get the kids & heading home. I still work out at lunch - so I'm doing this twice a day - and we've moved the shred to be a weekend workout.

I feel fantastic!! I have so much more energy these days. The weight is sloooowly coming off, though. I've only lost about 8 pounds since coming back to work (I think Michael has lost at least double that), but I have to remember I didn't put it all on right away, so I can't expect to lose it right away.

Yesterday I decided to take it another step further and I re-joined Weight Watchers. I'm only doing the online membership right now - they have a fantastic app for the iPhone that is so easy and quick to use when tracking points. I was using other apps, but none allowed for the fact that I'm a nursing mom. I didn't know how many calories I needed to add for that fact and WW does that with their points - after you figure how many points you should have you add on 10 points (I couldn't believe it was that many) for nursing. Now that I'm tracking again I realize I wasn't getting in enough food actually - yesterday I still had 4 points to go after dinner and wasn't hungry at all. I needed to find something for those 4 points - I ended up having a Modelo (which still left me with 2 points after all) because 1)it tasted good 2)it actually helps keep my milk supply up. So, I still didn't make my points yesterday, but I think I need to add some mid-morning or mid-day snacks at work to use up some of those points.

Michael isn't counting points, but since we started working out together we had cut out sugar & fried foods already and he has been reading all about what foods are good for muscle gain & weight loss. We've quit buying diet cokes b/c he read how they can increase your appetite (something I've heard before, but always ignored) and have been buying much healthier snacks - lots of fruits, which honestly we always did anyways.

Years ago I had a website called These Old Jeans that I used to talk about my diet and exercise and record my weight loss - I'm not going to start that site up again, but I'm adding a new label called Healthy Living to track it here. In my recent efforts to lose weight I always kinda kept it to myself, thinking if I didn't talk about it no one would know if I failed, but I find that not talking about may have been part of the reason for the failure. It's so much easier with support! And so great to have my husband's support and have him doing this right beside me!! Michael has never really had a weight problem, he just got a little heavier than he was happy with and now he just wants to be healthy. We owe it to ourselves - we owe it to our children to be healthy so we can be there for them for a long time!!

From my honey...Just Because!

Are you my friend?

So...some of you have noticed that my pictures on my Fotki site are no longer accessible - well, actually they are you just have to be a Fotki member. Recently I had some pics used by people I didn't know for commercial purposes and...well, I just have too many pictures of my babies to worry about who is doing what with my pictures! So, I still have pics on Flickr that are available and I post a lot here, but if you want to see everything, just sign up for Fotki.

Our high tech kids - each with a game!

We've Moved on to the Good Stuff

 At Aaron's 4 month checkup the doctor said we could get started on baby food - Aaron wasn't sure about it at first, but he quickly got the hang of it!! We started with green beans & have moved on to squash since then - he seems to like both and I think he must be about to go through another growth spurt b/c the boy cannot get enough to eat these days. He is back to waking up about twice during the night, too. I thought maybe it was just a phase and he would go back to sleeping through the night like he has since I went back to work - but he is just super hungry so the food came at just the right time! Maybe this will get him back to sleeping longer!

  And, of course, big sister had to help feed him, too! She doesn't have quite the delicate touch, though so I had to help her! LOL! She was still thrilled to help out!

July 5th!

Today is a day to recuperate! We had such a great time yesterday - and it was the biggest group we have had so far to celebrate Independence Day! This year we rented a water slide for all the kiddos and it was a big hit - heck all the adults were ready to get in it at one point! I think that will be part of the annual event from now on!

(click the pictures to advance)

Happy 4th of July

Fun on the 4th

Aaron's New Hat

July Desktop

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