Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Its finally over! 2012 has come to a merciful end! Maybe you don't feel that way but I am glad its over. Its been a long on with lots of heartache and I am ready to get on with life and get this year behind me. Only way to go is up, right?

The year in review:

(Image Via Google)

September: My Boys Turned Three and Five

November: I Spoke About Love and Thankfulness

I am thoroghly looking forward to 2013. A year of re-birth for me and the boys. Its time to make this life awesome. Are you coming?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Christmas Life Re-Group

Well, its over! Christmas 2012 is over. No Apocalypse, no crazy snow storms (for us), no drama. It was bliss! My boys were spoiled beyond belief and have had a riot playing with all their new toys. The family that assembled had even more fun hanging out eating ham and cookies until we could hold no more.

Now though, its over and all we have to look forward to is New Years. Then? Its January. Just January. The bleak, depressing, shadow of a month that leaves us all in detox mode. Its time to start diets and hobbies that probably won't see warm weather. Its time to face the music that absolutely nothing interesting is bound to happen at least for a few months.

Of course, I kind of enjoy it. Its a time to relax and regroup before Spring hits and all the crazy comes rushing back like a waterfall.

Its also a time to get caught up on some bills and get a little savings built up for a vacation. Start getting all your ducks in a row. Something that is top on my list is to invest in life insurance for myself and the boys. Its something that will cost me very little but in the event that something horrible should happen, I know that my boys will be better off.

I guess its pretty morbid to think about it this time of year but especially with all the crazy things that you hear about in the news, plus being a single parent, I want to be sure my boys would be "off the hook" as far as any debt or funeral expenses I leave behind.

Of course it isn't as easy to just go buy life insurance as I might think but hopefully I will be able to find a plan that will work for me in the long run.

*This post is included with information provided by Genworth Financial. All thoughts, opinions, and neuroses are my own.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

To you and yours from mine and me, I hope you all have the happiest of Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Big Kitchen Re-Vamp

Late to the game, I finally got my kitchen in order. That means number two of the 2012 List is complete! To be fair though, I did not get as much done as I would have liked. I really wanted to be able to redecorate from the ground up but considering I have had three kitchens in the last year I'm just glad I still have all my silverware.

Of course I also made the big switch to cast iron this year too. There are a few more pieces that I want to collect but otherwise, I have literally not looked back. The dishes I had, we got as a wedding present from my mother. Most of them have broken in the many moves we have made over the last 8 years. We had such a modge podge of dinnerware left, it was time to do something. As for design, they weren't bad, they were just old and boring. Not exactly my style either.

I have always loved a more Tuscan style to a kitchen. Yellows and burgandys and such. If I had my way, I would paint my cabinets a dark red and my walls a pale yellow. Something tells me my landlord would be pissed though. Maybe some day.

Anyway, last week one of my relatives asked what I needed for the house and I told him plates. Oh lord, please plates. He told me to pick something out I liked and email him the link. I knew I needed something sturdy but also something fairly cheap because I do, after all, have two little boys.

Yesterday, I hit the stores in search of some new plates but couldn't find anything that I even kind of liked in person. I did finally find a set that took my breath away at Target though. Its not exactly the colors I had in mind but it is still within what I had expected.   After I had emailed him the link, I went to the store-that-shall-not-be-named and picked up some pretty handtowels to go with the pretty plates and am calling it done. I already had glasses, silverware and pot holders, plus the decorative stuff, so that helped of course. I haven't gotten the plates in yet (obviously) but I am excited about how it has all come together! Who knows, maybe I will find some time to paint al least the kitchen walls yet.

Monday, December 17, 2012

T Minus Seven

Image via Google. I wish this was my tree.
Seven. Seven days Christmas. Holy reindeer. 240 hours. Thats no time at all! Especially when you subtract all the hours that will be wasted doing things like working and sleeping. It has really snuck up on me this year. I have always been done and ready for Christmas by now. Usually I am anxious to get the show on the road and chomping at the bit to get down ton the holiday business by now. Always been an over achiever in that area at least I guess.

This year, my sister is coming for Christmas, which is what I am looking forward to the most. She made a fly through visit this fall when her best friend passed away but before that it had been a ridiculously long time since we had seen her. D asks about his Aunti more than he asks about anyone else. In fact, I have taken to not telling him she even coming until hours before her arrival because otherwise he would ask how much longer every. five. minutes.

We have a lot planned between now and Christmas too. Lots of fun activities and events and family to see. This time of year has always been kind of insane for us but it seems like its all much more condensed this year.

Of course our Christmas is missing some of the festivities that usually accompany this time of year. That makes me kind of sad even it if was a source of contention at the time. Hindsight can be a blessing and a curse.

Still, seven more days. A crazy seven days, with little time to stop and think but maybe thats what we all need, right? Especially after such an emotional weekend. I think we all need the crazy to make us so thankful for the cold and dreary January coming at us like a freight train.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Morning After Heartbreak #NewtownCT

Yesterday, we got quite a shock. An unimaginable horror story played out in one of our quiet towns. What can be said at this point that hasn't already been said? I can't imagine that kind of evil. I can't imagine any one feeling that something like this is the answer. Mental illness is a hard one to predict.

Meanwhile, my heart is broken. Broken for the families of the slain children and faculty. Broken for the witnesses. Broken for the whole community. I held my boys extra tight yesterday. We snuggled and watched movies and played in the yard with the dog. We ate special snacks like it was a birthday. Occasionally I would sneak off to the bathroom and bawl my eyes out until I could hardly breathe.

After I got K down for his nap, my D curled up beside me on the couch and asked me why I was sad. I told him that my heart hurt and I was worried about some people that needed some extra love today. He simply told me he would kiss away my boo boo and kissed me all over my face. I am so lucky to have these little boys.

People keep saying that innocence was lost but I disagree. Innocence was shattered. Hunted down and ripped away. To say something is lost implies that it has simply gone astray with the possibility of being found again. While I would hope that is possible, I just don't think it is in this situation.

I do agree that the teachers and staff were heroic in protecting the young ones. Just like they are every day. Teachers in general are a special breed of human, you guys. Its a self less mostly thankless profession of people that genuinely care about our children. Otherwise they would not be there. Lord knows they could make more money doing something else. Thank your kids teachers. They love your littles too.

So what now?

Kiss your babies for me tonight. Hug them until you feel their heartbeats and memorize that feeling. Tell them that you love them and mean it. Show them how to love. Do it every. single. day. Raise them to know love of all forms. Even when it is hard to do.

Call your mother, your sister, your nieces and nephews. Tell them you love them. Make them know it. Make sure that you have told them what they mean to you specifically.

Treat the people you meet with overwhelming kindness. Go the extra mile. Hold a door, buy a coffee, share a kind word to the people that you meet. You never know who might need it most.

Now is the time to come together and change this crazy train ride. We are all in this together. Remember the hurt you felt in your heart when you heard about Newtown and vow to change the world we live in. Not by persecution or by mistrust but by kindness and love. Help and be helped. Love without bounds. We can do this. Deep breath, here we go.

*Reports of shootings and tragic circumstances can trigger overwhelming distress, even in people not directly involved. If you are in need of help, the Disaster Distress Helpline offers 24/7 support at 1-800-985-5990.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ho Ho NO #WW

K has never been fond of Santa and D has always been indifferent. You would think I'd learn...

2010: Who IS this guy??

2011: You can make me sit here, but you can't make me smile.

2012: A little better but still not happy.

Bonus: Snow angel misery 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Eyes Have It

My eyes have never been great. When I was young, and couldn't read the whiteboard in school, they blamed it on my "inability to pay attention". When I started to drive and couldn't read road signs, I just memorized the color and shape of the signs and did my best. The thing is, no one else in my family had eye problems so they didn't believe I needed them. Not the schools, not the family, not the doctors.

Of course the schools and doctors all did their own "exams". Which consisted of sitting me five feet from a giant poster and telling me to read it. End result was always the same. I could read letters as big as my head from five feet away, so I must be faking. I wasn't blind, I just had a hard time seeing far away. Which apparently they don't test for in kids. Or didn't in the 80s.

When I got married and had a kid, I finally got around to having them checked out for myself. By an actual eye doctor. Turns out I wasn't crazy, I could hardly see at all. On top of an astigmatism, I had near sightedness and the beginning signs of glaucoma. So there third grade teacher.

Anyway, since then, I have been an ol four eyes. I remember saying something to the effect of "the trees have individual leaves on them!" after I picked up my first pair of glasses. It was a weird, dizzying change for me. I could see! I could read road signs! I could find my exit the first time! Lets just say it saved me enough time in u-turns to justify the cost of the glasses.

Since that first pair snapped in half after years of abuse, I have tried (and hated) contacts and owned about 3 more pairs of glasses. Each of which have met a miserable, violent demise by the hands of one or the other of my boys. The most recent pair has been my favorite. Well, they just work and I feel like they fit my face.

Today though, I go to have my eyes rechecked and then I am off to find a new pair of glasses that don't make me look like some kind of librarian. I have always preferred the heavier plastic frames to the wiry, see through kind but I am thinking that this time I will just let them tell me which to get. Partly because I trust their judgement and partly because I don't care as long as I stop getting a migraine every time I spend more than an hour at the computer.

Here's hoping that I can find something that will help me in my goal of updating my look at least. Its been a year for change and this is kind of the last step I suppose. If I don't trip and break my neck without my glasses on in their office, I will show you how the new pair works out when they come in. Which will hopefully be quick and painless so I don't have time to regret it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Train Fanatics

Little boys love trains. It seems to be something that they are born knowing about. My boys were no exception. They got their first train table last year for Christmas and have played with it pretty much every day since. Until we moved into the new place.

And now the whole living room is the train station. They will spend an hour every morning laying out the tracks making bridges and loops and weaving the tracks in and out of the furniture.

Then, they place their little hearts out. Lately all trains have become the Polar Express but sometimes they take turns as the Dinosaur Train or Thomas.

The best part is watching them play together. They work as a team building and playing and there is just nothing more heart warming to me. They have always played together like a dream but something about this particular game makes it even more amazing.

Then, they clean it up without a fuss before lunch and then gain before bed. They are really loving being able to redo the track every day so that helps. Its never ending fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Holiday Visit to @StoneMtnPark Christmas #WW

"Forever Christmas" Show
Cookie Decorating is serious business.

Oh, the lights!

The beautiful Snow Angel

 Everyone in the room got the giggles at K's hostage face.


Better but still a hostage. We are getting there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Its back! @StoneMtnPark Christmas and Snow Mountain

Georgia’s most visited attraction is the only place in Atlanta to experience both the joy of Christmas and tons of fresh snow.

Stone Mountain Park (SMP) debuts its popular holiday attraction Stone Mountain Christmas, presented by Humana, on select dates from Nov. 10 to Jan. 1. This year, Snow Mountain, the region’s only snow park opens for its fifth season starting on Nov. 22 and operating on select dates through Feb. 18.

From Nov. 22 to Jan. 1, when both attractions are simultaneously open, SMP is offering a limited time combo ticket that can be used on the same day or two separate days. The combo ticket is $44 plus tax and includes a two-hour snow tubing session, all-day access to the snow play area and all-access to Stone Mountain Christmas. The combo ticket can save visitors up to $10 per ticket.
(Photo © Amy Curtis)
New for Stone Mountain Christmas, “Forever Christmas” revue takes guests on a journey of holiday music of yesterday and today. The first half the production features 1950s era favorites like “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Man With The Bag.” Then, right before the audience’s eyes, the set changes to 2012 and showcases contemporary holiday music. The show highlights current pop songs such as Justin Bieber’s version of “Little Drummer Boy” with a special marching trio of snare drums and glowing drumsticks. The production also includes a black light puppet number set to “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” The powerful finale of the show is a nod to Jennifer Hudson’s version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” that will have the audience on their feet and clapping their hands.

Guests looking for fun winter memory-making opportunities closer to home get to experience snow even earlier this year. The attraction returns to delight families with the region’s only snow park featuring more than 20 snow-tubing slides. Situated on what is commonly known as the “Laser Lawn,” the snow park features various tubing runs and activities, including the Avalanche Alley family tube ride and the Snow Zone area where younger kids can tube, make the ultimate snowmen and snow angels and throw snowballs in a snowball shooting gallery. After playing in the snow, families and visitors can warm up next to a crackling fire, roast marshmallows and enjoy s’mores.

Stone Mountain Christmas – The Christmas Spirit Is Brighter Than Ever

The holidays come to life during a Stone Mountain Christmas as SMP is decked out with more than 2 million lights. Stone Mountain Christmas is the only place in Atlanta to see the Polar Express™ 4-D Experience, live holiday shows: new for 2012 “Forever Christmas,” “A Crossroads® Christmas Carol,” “Holly Jolly Cabaret,” “The Gift” Train Show and more. Guests can stroll through Wonderland Walkway, a magical tunnel of lights and melodies. The Wonderland Walkway leads families and visitors to visit SMP’s very own Snow Angel at her Snow Palace in Memorial Hall. Families and visitors can also catch the Christmas spirit with the nightly Christmas Parade and visits with Santa Claus. The experience culminates with the magic of the beautiful Snow Angel as she flies high in the sky creating a nightly snow and fireworks celebration. Guests will want to visit their local Kroger location for the best ticket prices. More information about Stone Mountain Christmas is also online at
Snow Mountain-Snow Facts

Snow Mountain adapted technology used at many of the top ski resorts in Europe and Japan to make fresh snow. The technology is temperature independent, allowing snow production in any climate. Snow Mountain has the capability of making 360 tons of snow per day.

Snow Mountain provides family fun responsibly. The attraction uses a closed loop system that borrows water from Stone Mountain Lake and does not use city water. Water goes through a treatment process that brings it to a potable standard suitable for people, similar to swimming pool water. Melted snow returns to the lake via storm line drainage.

For single tubes, guests must be 42 inches or taller. For the family tube ride, guests must be 36 inches or taller. The maximum height for Fort Snow is 53 inches. Space is limited, advanced reservations are strongly recommended. Snow Mountain tickets include a two-hour tubing session and an all-day snow play access. Tickets are on sale now at

Special Stone Mountain Christmas & Snow Mountain Promotions
•Veteran’s Day Weekend, Nov. 10-11: Complimentary Stone Mountain Christmas Adventure Pass (includes Stone Mountain Christmas activities) to active and retired military and up to $10 off for immediate family members. For more information:

•Mountain Member Bring-A-Friend Free Weekend, Nov. 10-11: As a benefit to annual attraction ticket holders, SMP is offering members to bring a friend for free to Stone Mountain Christmas. For more information:

•Teacher Appreciation Week, Nov. 19-23: To honor teachers, SMP invites Georgia educators to take a holiday break by offering all active and certified K-12 teachers and principals a complimentary Adventure Pass (includes Stone Mountain Christmas activities) and the opportunity to purchase additional Adventure Passes at a discounted rate of $20 plus tax. For more information:

•Scout Day, Dec 8: Girl & Boy Scout troops are invited to Stone Mountain Christmas & Snow Mountain for a special discount Combo Pass including a meal for $40. For more information:

•Special Winter Stay & Play: hotel packages are available to stay inside the park at two Marriott hotels. Packages start at $149 and include overnight accommodations and breakfast. Stone Mountain Christmas tickets are included in most packages. For Snow Mountain tickets, simply go online to book your tubing session time. More details are available at

For more information, special promotions and giveaways, guests are invited to “Like” Stone Mountain Park on Facebook at Listed in Frommer’s 500 Places to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up and cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of “35 Natural Wonders in Georgia You Must See …,” Stone Mountain Park is located 16 miles east of downtown Atlanta. To get to the park, take I-285 to Exit 39B, Hwy. 78 East. Stone Mountain Park is off Exit 8 on Hwy. 78.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kicking Off the Holidays

Last week we did our very first Christmas type adventure. I found out from a friend on Facebook that Marietta was having a Christmas kickoff party complete with tree lighting and Santa's arrival and it sounded low key enough to get things started. So after nap time, we took off down to the square with my father to check out the fun.

The very first thing that the boys noticed was the old fashioned fire truck they had parked out on the street. They weren't allowed to climb up in the truck but they did have fun getting their picture taken. Even thought they don't look like it particularly. I took 5 pictures and this was the best one. *sigh*


  After that, we checked out some of the other activities and such they had. The kids choirs singing on the stage was fun to watch but the boys got bored. So, we headed over to the train playground but we weren't able to stay there long. Mostly because of safety. There were a million big kids climbing all over it and I was afraid the boys would get knocked down.
(Click to enlarge)

Then we went and took some pictures in front of the tree and got in line for Santa. Where we waited. And waited. And waited. I have to admit though, he was a particularly good Santa so I can understand why the line took forever. He spent time talking to all of the kids individually and they boys were in awe. Well, D was in awe. K stood there looking like he was being held hostage like he did in all of his Santa pictures last year.

At any rate, we had a good time and got to see Santa and the boys got to spend some time with their Grandpa. All things that the boys love doing. Can't beat that for a first of season kick off!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stompeez Review and Giveaway! (Plus A Promo Code!)

If your kids have been around a television, odds are they have seen a commercial for what they consider their must have Christmas gift. The first time my boys saw the commercial for Stompeez, their eyes lit up and they picked out their style and have told everyone they meet, including Santa Clause that is what they want for Christmas.

If you haven't heard about Stompeez, they are the most adorable slippers you have ever seen. When your child puts his or her foot down, the Stompeez truly spring to life! Plus, they come in a variety of colorful characters, including Growlin’ Dragon, Sir One Eyed Monster, Perky Puppy, Unusual Unicorn, Playful Puppy, and Bee Bop Bunny. There is a slipper for every personality!

The Stompeez Slippers are super soft and squishy and seem to be particularly well made. They also have a slip resistant bottom which is important for homes with wood floors or even for those night time trips to the kitchen or bath room. It doesn’t take much pressure to open up the action and show her the cute faces either so stomping is not a necessity even with the name.

Would you like to win a pair of Stompeez for your little on or teen? Enter easliy by using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to go ahead and purchase your own or you didn't win the giveaway, the following codes can be used until Dec 31, 2012!

  • Get $5.00 off your order by entering promo code SLIPPER at check out.
  • Customers who order two or more pairs at enjoy free same-location shipping on the additional pairs (after S&H paid for 1st two pairs).
Also, remember Stompeez come with a 60-day money back guarantee. So, its always a win win! Good luck and Happy Holidays!


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