Saturday, December 24, 2011

I live for today.

And today, we're pregnant!

We decided to spill the beans after two blood tests, only done because of my paranoia... no signs of anything except a healthy pregnancy.

We asked my sister Jessica, and Joel's brother Chris to make the announcement for us in a sneaky way... we asked them to volunteer to say prayer before eating at our family Christmas parties, and say a normal prayer but at the very end say very quickly, "And I pray for a healthy baby for Olivia and Joel amen!"

Then wait for the reaction.  It was fun.  Lots of screams, hugs, kisses and talking to my belly.

My mom kept saying it was the best gift, and Joel's Mom gave me a million kisses and then said she was about to cry.

We're very excited.  We were hesitant, Joel especially, to get excited... but after today we are letting ourselves feel what you're suppose to feel when you get those two lines.

This is the last Christmas as the three of us, next year... it will be the four of us.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


It's amazing what you know, but you don't know....

Only time will tell.
-a list of little things we should appreciate

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
 -Robert Brault

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Water for Elephants

Watching "Water for Elephants" tonight... it just dawned on me that this past Spring, when I was reading the book, it was also the time I got pregnant.  I guess it has a little bit of sentimental value to me.

Probably seems strange to most, but when you don't have much to remember about your child... you grab onto whatever you can.

Guess I'll always have a soft spot for that book, let's hope the movie doesn't let me down, I heard it's amazing.

After linking the word "child" to our story... it dawned on me that maybe I shouldn't use that word.  But I want to.  Joel wouldn't like it, probably some family members too, but it's what I choose to believe.  Most want to forget... pretend it didn't happen, but I can't do that.  I won't do that.  I'm not trying to be depressing, just trying to be real.  It's still hard to call what some only consider an "ectopic pregnancy" a child... like I'm putting more effort and emotion into something I shouldn't.  Least that's how people make me feel.  Some correct me... they fucking correct me...

Okay this is getting way too depressing, it was suppose to be a happy post... here, smile :)

Off to go to snuggle in bed and watch (a hopefully) amazing movie :)

-a list of little things we should appreciate

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
 -Robert Brault


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

***Do not use this recipe! UPDATED RECIPE HERE***

I've seen several different versions of this, but this is the recipe I used.  It's very similar to the Duggar's recipe that they use for their 19 kids and counting.

I've done several loads of laundry today and it does the job just fine and your clothes are not hard as a board afterwards (this was a strange fear of mine).  I spent $26 with tax for everything, but I also bought name brand oxi clean; I clearly wasn't thinking.  I normally spend $10-$15 per month on laundry soap so this should save us at least $60 or more.

And I can't believe you only use 2TBSP per load!  Say what?!?
(2 TBSP is recommended for a large load/ heavily soiled load, and 1TBSP for a normal light load.)

This stuff I heard is suppose to last 9 months to a year (for those averaging 6-8 loads per week).  I'll update this once we run out :)

Here we go!

What you'll Need:

1- 55 oz. box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
(Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!)

1- 76 oz. box of Borax

OPTIONAL: 2- 3lb tubs (or around there) of Oxi Clean to fight stains.  I have a three year old so I just feel better adding this to the mix.  I chose the perfume and dye free kind.  Next time, I will also choose the store brand to save even more.  I was in a rush.

3 bars of Pink Zote Soap
(Or you can use Fels-Naptha bar soap, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile bars.)

***ALL of these items I found at Walmart right next to each other, it was insanely simpler than expected!
 make your own laundry soap and save$$
I also needed a large container for the Laundry room, so I stopped by GoodWill and picked up a glass container for $1.99 and it came with a scoop.  (Shown in very last photo below.)  However, this recipe is so large it filled the container and two large plastic bowls so be ready to store it.

Step 1: Grate your soap bars... I used a hand held cheese grater but I promise you I will be purchasing a nicer cheese grater for the future after this experience.
Step 2: Mix everything!  
I used a trash bag in a huge tub (originally stolen from Jack's room).... however, the bag broke so I just mixed it in the tub and later rinsed it out.  I would suggest not using a trash bag, I got the bright idea to shake it like baked chicken and it ripped right through because the weight of the soap.  

Step 3: Pour into containers and you're finished!  Ta-Da! 

The finished product!

I specifically put a 1TBSP measuring spoon in our jar because "eyeing it" means using too much and losing the purpose of all this- to save money. 

This was insanely simple!  Now go try it and let me know what you think. 

***A friend of mine (Thanks Jenn!) suggested adding essence oils like lavender to your mix to give it nice fragrance, I think I may try this in the future. 

Anyone else make their own soap?  What is your recipe? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Winter Bucket List

Bucket lists are fun, they help you map out all that you want to do and gives you ideas on days that are slow and uneventful.  We made a summer bucket list earlier this year and it was fun going back and crossing things off our list, although we didn't do everything, we mindfully chose activities from the list when we needed some ideas. 

So here's our winter bucket list... 

Visit Santa

Watch "It's a Wonderful Life"

Put up the Christmas tree as a family while listening to Christmas tunes
Oh Christmas treeee!

Drink yummy mint hot chocolate

Prepare a yummy Christmas morning breakfast

Go Christmas shopping with Joel for Jack

Wrap all Presents (no bags! Our first year of marriage EVERYONE'S gift was in a bag, ha!)

Make a gingerbread house w/Jack

Make homemade gifts

Go to Clifton Mills to see the lights and Santa display

Take a horse drawn carriage ride with blankets

Build a snowman

Have a snowball fight

Read "The Night Before Christmas"

Have a living room picnic

Go sledding in the front yard (we have a huge hill)

Go sledding with nieces and nephews

Give to a charity

Read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

Make a few visits to Grandparents, we all suffer from Cabin fever this time of year!

Have Santa visit Jack in our home (I bought Joel a suit on Jack's 1st Christmas to start a family tradition)

Get creative with "Elf on a Shelf."  Jack absolutely loves this tradition, I'd never heard of it until our Dentist told us about it, now it's everywhere!  Here's where we got our "Elf" and with free shipping.

Make some fancy, fun dishes for Christmas like THIS! mmMmmM

Do a craft with Jack that tells the true meaning of Christmas.

Put lights outside or some fun decoration.  (This usually never happens.  We hate raising our electric bill.)

Send out our annual Holiday card with a photo of Jack.  (Must do this SOON!)

Go tubing at Mad River Mountain with Jack.  It's less than five minutes from our house so I'll be very disappointed if this isn't crossed off our list!  (Don't let the name confuse you, it's snow tubing!)
***[I took this photo a few days back while passing Mad River Mountain on the way to a client's home, no snow yet, so they're making their own.]

Make play-dough

Sign up for the YMCA to help fight cabin fever

Bake cookies

Go ice skating

Bundle up and take a nature walk in the snow

Watch "The Santa Clause"

We are always looking to expand our horizons, what's on your bucket list?

-a list of little things we should appreciate-

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
 -Robert Brault

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

gray world

A lot is on my mind. 
I feel like people who give you black and white answers are ridiculous.  
I live in a gray world. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"Some people drift through their entire life. They do it one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time. It happens so gradually they are unaware of how their lives are slipping away until it's too late."
-Mary Kay Ash

such is life

(such is life)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

So I played the lottery...

Last weekend, after a budget tight week I was feeling "lucky" (yes, I am "that" type of person) and bought three powerball tickets on the way home from our annual pumpkin road trip.

I heard on the radio that the jackpot drawling was that night (I never play the lottery, but talk about wanting to win it like every other American) so I stopped by a Marathon gas station just to purchase the numbers.

Once back in the car and heading home, I mentioned to Joel we should pretend we already won... what would we buy or do with the money?  We agreed on buying the house we live in now, adding an in-ground pool with a heater and glass over it, fencing in the yard and buying a trampoline.  Oh and a hybrid car for me and a Cadillac for Joel.  We would also add onto the home a "studio" for me.  We would buy a boat, go on a cruise and take our first out of country vacation to Italy (my dream!)

We then talked about giving money away... I talked about wanting to help people, maybe open a women's shelter for homeless pregnant mothers and their babies. 

 Joel stopped me and told me, "saying that won't make God happier and make your chances for winning go up."

I was stunned... no more like pissed.  I meant what I said.  I would want to do something like that.  He gave me a sideways look.

(How the hell does he make a hoddie hilarious?  HOW?)

That's when it started to settle in, things are going uphill in a hurry... Joel went on about the guns he would buy, the gun store he would love to open etc.

It totally freaked me the H out!  I would never want to own a gun shop.  I trust Joel, but the rest of the world- I do not!  There are a lot of weirdos out there, and I would hate to sell a gun to even ONE of them.
(I have no idea what is going on here?  Weird children.) 

The "hippy" in me was coming out, and the hunter in Joel was coming out.  We began to argue over money we didn't even have... money in theory.  We stopped talking about winning.  And secretly to myself, I hoped we didn't win, but then I did want to win... it was weird.

We both even agreed that having that much money would cause a million problems in our marriage and maybe even destroy us.  

Winning didn't sound like so much fun anymore.  I started to feel silly for buying those tickets.  

I went to bed that night early, before the powerball numbers were drawn.  I didn't care, but I did... but it could wait until tomorrow. 

I checked the number the next afternoon, we lost... of course.

I felt foolish.  Why do I want MONEY? THINGS?  I HATE THINGS!  Does this make sense to anyone?

I re-read an old journal entry today, and it's one I re-read often to remind me what life is about... sometimes we get too caught up in materialism, it's really sad.  And what's even more sad, some people will read this post and not understand a single fucking thing I'm talking about. 
April 6, 2011, 11:14pm  (sitting on the couch)

The boys are asleep.  It seems much later than it really is.

Today was wasted on movies from the library, phone calls to dealerships, and subway. 

     I wasted the day longing for a car I shouldn't.  We can't afford it and I don't know why I entertained the idea so long.  I fed myself the lie that a car would make me happier.  I was doing the math on how much we spend in gas and got sucked into the idea... silly really.

"Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have." - Crystal Bennett
Poor Joel had to hear me carry on.  He works so hard to provide for us and here I am going on and on about a $24,000 car!  I know we're all guilty of this, but I thought I was more mindful.

"Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times." -Anonymous

People don't work their whole life just to drive a car off a lot.  They work to live.  And buying a new car is not living, otherwise... like, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" was saying, movies would be very boring if the whole time you just watched a man work then buy a new car... and how you'd be pissed and feel robbed and want your money back.  How great stories, also make great lives.  Are you following?

If you understood anything I just wrote, I highly recommend the book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hello October

sipping mint hot chocolate...

I got Jack that mini mug at Goodwill, my Mom and Dad use to have one just like it when I was little.
baking with those you love...

Jack helping me bake "pumpkin" cookies.  Sadly half the box was already eaten... we are guilty raw cookie -dough eaters. 

the rustle of leaves...

Jack found a leaf yesterday the size of my head, no joke.  This kid has an eye for them :)



A small town's homecoming weekend...

Celebrating my 5-year high school reunion w/the bff's.  Ps. Thanks again Leslie for the ride home after my one too many.   Nobody's perfect.)


fall skies...
decorating the house... Jack's Great Grandpa Champ made this little witch :)




wondering how long your wildflowers are going to last...

I remember slaving away with those itty-bitty seeds this Spring.  Jack torturing worms the entire time.  I'm going to be so sad when they're gone.  We picked probably well over 50 this summer for random holidays, loved ones and just because. 


pumpkin pies...


apple dumplings...

turning on the furnace for the first time...

pulling out winter coats and putting away the sandals...  

October is finally here.

-a list of little things we should appreciate-

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
 -Robert Brault

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