Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet and great with Eloise Margaret

Meet our cat: Eloise Margaret aka Ellie Mae

Yes, our cat has two names. 
I've never owned a cat until Ellie. I faintly remember wanting one that I fell in love with in the 7th grade at the local PetsMart. By the time I finally convinced my mother to get her for me, she was gone. 
My husband never owned a cat either so when our son conjured up in his head that he wanted one, we both immediately dismissed the idea. However, as most children do, he didn't lose sight of the idea. In fact, he even wrote a letter to Santa begging for just that. 

Somehow, Brody's wish was somehow a conversation at work. One day, a co-worker called me over to her desk and mentioned she may have a cat for me. To make a long story short, a man whose family had been rescuing stray cats and kittens, had made the decision to part with the many cats that the family had taken into their own home. We discussed which one he thought would fit us best and came to the conclusion that a kitty named "Lady" was best for us. She was not even a year yet, so it was likely she would do well with young children. Best of all, she was free to a good home. So we drove to Tempe and took her home.

She sat on my lap the entire drive, nervous as heck. As a family, we decided to name her Ellie. We have a pup named Sophie, so it was fitting. Only later did Brody, Brin, and I extend her name to Eloise. And yes, it comes from one of our favorite book series :) Margaret, because sometimes Ellie reminds us of a very prissy old lady. The girl's got 'tude. But she is very, very sweet. 

Ellie has most definitely turned me into a cat person. Although, like my dog, I feel as if I could never "like" another cat as much as her, as Ellie has put the standard quite high. It took her a solid year to feel at home, but she is right where she is supposed to be. 

I often tell people that I understand why the elderly choose to get cats. They are very low maintenance (especially Ellie, she uses the doggie door to do her business outside! Yay for no stinky litterbox :) ). and very kind. If I lay on our bed to read, she sits at my feet to nap. If I work in our office, she lays behind me. If we are watching tv as a family, there she is, right next to Sophie. They both also sleep in our room, Ellie at the foot of our bed and Sophie by Chase. They are both truly a very essential part of our family. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Because sometimes, I realize why I married the man I did and today, I feel mushy. 

I give him a hard time, but I truly believe this guy was made for me. And even though I never tell him, I know that someday he will achieve all of his dreams.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to school craft - Teacher Bags

For Teacher Appreciation Day this past school year, I wanted to do something that would involve my son. Considering that it is a gift for his teacher, I thought it only appropriate that it be something that his little then 5 year old hands could do. Considering that we did it the night before, I never shared on the blog since I figured it was too late for anyone to care. However, now that school is back in session, here is our little craft that you can do with your own kiddos as a "back-to-school" welcome gift for your new teacher. Especially, since we have yet to really learn about our new teacher's, this is a simple style "one size fits all" kind of craft.

Tote bag
Craft paint

The stencils were great as my boy is just learning to write nice, so he didn't have to worry about an unsteady hand or making it "perfect."

He chose the theme and colors. TBH, I have no idea if his Kinder teacher actually likes purple flowers and butterflies, but she seemed to love it when we gave it to her. In fact, she mentioned it was the perfect "laptop" bag :)

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Brody starts First Grade

This week, Brody started First Grade. And although, I was definitely emotional last year when he embarked on his first official school year, this time, I was a bit more of a mess. Perhaps, it was a cause and effect of my many friends whose children started their first year of Kindergarten this year, and spoke of their own emotional distress about the whole deal. I felt as if I did not experience anything near their thoughts. But this year, I apparently caught up.

He was very excited and anxious about his first day. He found that he had a teacher he liked and a few friends in his class. But going from the loving and gentle hands of Kindergarten to the pack of wolves of First Grade proved a challenge for mom & dad. Last year, we were able to drop him off at his classroom everyday and pick him up directly from the teacher. There was a lot of communication, a lot of ease in the transition. This year, we drop him off on the playground, where he walks to class with the teacher, and we pick him up in the ever-dreadful "car line." Which all of us were very anxious about! Chase and I both picked up Brody, arrived 15 minutes early only to be the 9th car in line, sat in the hot Arizona sun, and sat nervously hoping our boy would make it to the right spot. We definitely talked about it, informing him where he would need to go, and ensure that HE DID NOT get in anybody else's car. We informed him to ask for help and his teacher would be more than happy to give it to him. In our God given parental right, Chase and I had every reason to be nervous, as in a mix up last year, Brody was lost for a good 10 minutes. And let me tell you, that was 10 minutes of HELL I don't ever want back. Brody said that he "would be brave." And brave he was, as when we pulled up, he was standing just as told. I think Chase and I both sighed a bit of relief, knowing that Brody had just matured a little bit more than he had in the day before. Another small milestone in the very many of childhood. Although it makes me appreciate the efforts that my own family went through in picking me up during my school-years, it makes my time as a parent continue to grow in challenge and triumph. (And they say the baby years are hard - ha!)

But we made it through. No tears, just smiles. Chase treated him to Yogurtini that evening and he had a small visit with friends.

Here's to a good school year for Brody, for mom, for dad, and for every other parent and child out there. It may hurt our hearts to see our babies grow, but oh my, does it feel amazing to see them do it with such pride. It makes the whole thing a heck of a lot easier.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Love Letters to the Dead

When I first read the description of this novel, I thought it may be too morbid for my liking. But then I realized that the best books (and apparently most of my favorites) involve some type of death. (I'll let the psychology majors go crazy on that one). So, I opened my heart and mind and jumped in. Like Aristotle and Dante, I am so glad that I did. 

The synopsis is that a girl writes letters to singers (and one pilot) who died young as a means of coping with the loss of her sister. A true novel of self discovery, I was moved by the writer's words, wit, and wisdom.  I actually stayed up until 3:30 am to finish this book. It was that good. I recommended the book to my husband (who is.not a reader) and to another musician friend because I think this would be a wonderful inspiration to pen a few majestic lyrics.Not a poet or musician by any means, I was able to pen a few myself. (In my private journal, that I will share with no one. Ever. Except maybe my children when I'm old and gray so that they may get a sneak peek into the world that was their mother's).

My favorite quote from the book, that literally made me stop pedaling on the exercise bike (my favorite place to read due to the lack of disruptions by young children asking for a snack):

"When we are in love, we are both completely in danger and completely saved."

Ponder the truth on that for a minute... then go download, check out, or buy this book.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I'm sure that you've heard the phrase "don't judge a book by it's cover," but with my latest read, I've coined a new version: Don't judge a book by it's subject line.

I grabbed this book quickly when rushing my tired and cranky children out of the library. As usual, we spent all of our time in the kid's section, so by the time we browsed our way over to mom's section, they were completely over it. So, I grabbed the first few titles in the recommended and went on our way.

Two days ago, I cracked open the book and realized that the book was about two teenage boys falling in love. I put it down, thinking that it would hold no interest to me. I mean how could it, right? I am a heterosexual, thirty year-old female. How could I possibly like this book?

I have nothing against the gay community and as a matter of fact, would consider myself a pro choice, pro marriage, and pro gay rights. So, upon further thought and reading all of the praise and awards associated with the book, I figured why not.

And, boy am I glad that I did.

This book was not good because it was about two boys falling in love. It was amazing because it was about parents who love their children, the difficulties of family matters, the strong bond of friendship, the incredible journey of finding yourself, and battling your own inner demons.

I read the book within a 24 hour time period.

When I finally allowed myself to open up and read something new and outside of my comfort zone, I grew.

I suggest you to do the same.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five things Friday

Back when I wanted to become a big and famous blogger, I used to do a 5 Things Friday post every Friday. Inspired by Lauren Conrad (fangirl alert), I wanted to document my favorite things at the moment. Well, as you can guessed with my ultimate boring intro, it's time again for me to do just that.

Since I no longer care if I become a big and famous blogger and because, well, this blog is mostly for me and my little family unit, I'll post what I actually like, rather than what I think other's may like.

1. Vlog Brother's

So, I'm a bit behind the curve here, but I am a total "nerd fighter"! I LOVE these dudes. Basically, they are two brother's who make videos about nothing, but absolutely everything at the same time. They're super smart and just a tad bit nerdy. It makes me wish I would have learned to embrace my inner nerd much sooner than my 30's. Plus, John Green has totally become one of my favorite author's. When I was busy not blogging, I was busy reading all of his other novels. Inspired by my absolute obsession for The Fault in Our Stars, I decided to read all of his novels. Best. Decision. Ever.

2. Breakfast smoothies

Somewhere, probably on Pinterest, I saw a recipe for an awesome breakfast smoothie. I made it and it's delicious. Try it.

  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup oatmeal
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (or cocoa powder, equally as delicious)
  • 1 banana (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp honey (optional)
On a side note, Brody enjoys this smoothie, but Brin does not. She does, however, enjoy helping me make it.

You're welcome.

3. An awesome boss

I had a meeting with my editor this week and I couldn't help but feel thankful for having such an awesome person to work with/for. Having not-so-awesome bosses in the past (including one who wouldn't schedule me so that I could instead babysit her child), it makes me truly appreciate have someone such as her. She is super smart, creative and part-nerd just like me. Perfect combination.

4. This song.

Okay, so I didn't become obsessed with this song this week. But I did two weeks ago and I wasn't doing 5 Things Friday, and I still kinda love the song today. Okay, I love the song a lot. It's pure perfection. How could it not be? It's John Mayer and Beyoncé. Duh. Now, John Mayer, please ask Beyoncé for permission and get into the studio and record this song immediately so I don't have to keep listening to it on YouTube over and over and over again.

5. Mother's Day

Let's be honest, it's a total Hallmark holiday (ecard/Facebook post?), but I'm a sucker for it. I love my kids and the chance to relish in that love is just plain amazing. Plus, my kid's are the best. Just look at them :)

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