Sunday, January 31, 2016

Confessional

FRIDAY CONFESSIONAL at HIGH-HEELED LOVE
Come join the fun over at Aubrey's High-Heeled Love. She host this little party every Friday.


Forgive me, my friends it has been awhile since I have confessed AND it is not Friday.  My last confessional was December 5th.   Here it goes.

I confess...

I  began something new this month and it is working out great. We have Taj every other weekend which makes my weekly shopping a nightmare. I now plan our dinner menu for two weeks and shop two weeks at a time minus fresh veggies or additional milk.  I will pick them up on my way home. I drive by three grocery stores and a quick pick up is not bad.

I confess...

This weekend the stores were packed in preparation of the storm.

I confess...

My oldest has volunteered so many hours for the candidate of his choice. Almost as many hours as a full time job.

I confess...

He is very angry he will not be able to attend the Iowa caucus on Monday because he had to fly out to Las Vegas for a wok conference. He was informed a week after the deadline to sign up for absentee voting.

I confess...

I am ready for it to be over but it really is just beginning. I hate the annoying automatic calls to my cell phone, which I find ironic since it is against a Federal Law where one cannot automatic dial cell phones.

I confess...

I am NOT for Donald Trump but I am against those who threw tomatoes at him in my beloved city. It is not how we act.

I confess...

I love hearing the younger generation's excitement over the primary.  I will respect them all even if my opinion differs because they are doing what they should be doing by getting involved.  One of my co-workers I trained and he sits across from me since my promotion.  His excitement for Monday is so contagious and he requested to be off work early to attend.  I love his passion.  He posted this picture on Saturday and it is now his profile picture.  I can just hear him come Monday telling me all about it.  Look he is so happy in the picture.

 

I confess...

A major Winter Storm is head our way. Depending on what station we can have anywhere from a mixture of ice and snow from six to twenty inches.  The one  thing they all agree is blizzard conditions. The worse of it is supposed to be late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

I confess...

I hope the politicians get out before it hits or they can use this as their campaign theme song...



What do you have to confess about?

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book & A Cuppa Swap Show Off


http://cgswaps.com/2016/01/book-and-a-cuppa-swap-sign-ups/a

It is time for Swap Show-Off hosted by Beth and Angie over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps.  

I was paired up with the wonderful Ricki Jill from Art@Home. I was super excited when I received my email because I think the world of Ricki Jill and I found a mug in the Pioneer Woman Collection I thought of her and was hoping to be paired up with her for a swap and Walla it happened.

Ricki Jill really spoiled me and knows me so well.  Here is what she sent me.

 
 The package was so pretty and I did not expect anything less from the fabulous Ricki Jill!
The card she sent me was so me.  The historical look and hidden bonus.
On the back is a book marker.  How cool is that?  Right!  Very Cool!
 She gave me some extra goodies to drink while I kick back and read or watch something
with my love on the weekends or take in my travel mug to work.
 French Vanilla is my favorite flavor of coffee. 
I had the Winter Blend Hot Cocoa was delicious.
The cone hot chocolate I will be sharing with Taj and Christian.
Christian was super excited when he saw it.
 Next I unwrapped my mug.
 I just love my mug.  I am going to be selfish with this one.
It will be mine only to drink out of.  This way it is not stuck in a boy's room.
  
Next was the books.  I loved how she wrapped each one in different paper.
The wrapping paper reminds me of her so much.  I also loved each of the tags.
 Each book was labeled which one to open first.  
It sort of reminded me of the labels in Alice In Wonderland.
 I was super excited when I revealed all three books.
I really scored, she bought me the complete set of the Kanin Chronicles
I plan on starting book one as soon as I am done with the book I am currently reading.  Punished (Crescent City Creatures Book 1) by Samantha Stone.  
The author is someone very special to my swap partner. 

Thank you so very much Ricki Jill.  You did a fabulous job and spoiled me.  Thanks again Beth and Angie for pairing us up and hosting another fabulous swap.

If you are ever interested in joining in with the swaps and getting to know others, check out Chaotic Goddess Swaps.  

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Random Ramblings~ More Sports, Grandson, Winning

It seems I am at it again rambling randomly...

SPORTS

What a season so far for the state of Iowa in basketball.  Iowa has three Universities, yes three.  Most people know of only two, Iowa State (Cyclones) and University of Iowa (Hawkeyes) but we also have University of Northern Iowa (Panthers).  This year all three teams beat the number one team when they played the Iowa team.  November 21, 2015 University of Iowa beat North Carolina.  Next came University of Iowa on December 29, 2015 beating Michigan State.  Finally, Iowa State beat Oklahoma on January 19, 2016.  What a great feeling.  Could the state of Iowa be the graveyard for number one ranked teams?  ha ha ha...nah!  But our Hawkeyes are ranked number 3 right now too.

The Hawkeyes are great at wrestling and right now they are ranked 2nd.  I am in hopes maybe next year we can try to go to the NCAA wrestling tournament again.  I joined Todd several years ago and it was great!


The Hawkeyes are having a great year in sports!  Proud to be a Hawkeye here in Hawkeye Nation.

GRANDSON

We had Taj this past weekend. It is always a pleasure to have him but it is also wearing on both Todd and I.  I still would not change it one bit.

Saturday we took him to a Jim Gill concert.  We arrived early and was in the front row which gave Taj plenty of room to dance around.  He made a new friend and cried when they had to depart from one another.

 Above: The boys playing on the floor before the concert
Below: They were sharing a share. 
(I purposely chose blurry pictures of his new friend
since I did not have permission to post his photo.)
 
Above was a picture of his last freeze pose
from the song in the video.
(Notice Taj towards the end telling me to stop recording him. ;P )
After the concert we walked up the street to an ice cream shop to buy a little more time for the two new friends.  It was so funny the two were saying good-bye and telling one another they can spend the night with each other.  Sadly we do not live in the same city.
Sunday was just fun and play at the house.  I love listening to Todd and Taj playing.


SWAP

I am super excited to see the reaction to the person I was teamed up with in the Cup a Book Swap.  I was lucky to be paired up with Art@Home.  I had so much fun shopping for her.

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER

I won a door prize at the Holiday Party...$50 gift certificate to Brush and Barrel.  Yay Me!
Above: I was ready to go and Christian just told me 
my hair looked like I stepped from the 80's.
Truth be told, it was closer to the 70's.
Below: Close up of my eye make.  I just love Printcess mineral make up.
I was wearing Manuscript all over, Sultry on the outer corners blended
with Direwolf in the center of the lid.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This Week's Random Rambling

This is going to be a very Random Rambling post.  Ready? Set. Go!

SPORTS


2015 was a very good year for the house's favorite teams.  Our Cubs went further than expected.  They finished the season with the third-best record in baseball and won the 2015 National League Division.  They made it to the National League play offs but did not fair well.  The Cy Young Award went to Jake Arrieta who also pitched a no hitter this year. The Rockie of the Year Award went to Kris Bryant. Joe Maddon won Manager of the Year.  That is three of the four major awards going to the Chicago Cubs!   Next year's team should be good as well, please stay healthy.


Iowa Hawkeyes Football team had a very good year too.  They went 12-0 during the regular season and won the Big 10 Western Division lost the Big 10 championship in the last few seconds of the game.  They were ahead nearly the entire game.   Our boys did not play their best at the Rose Bowl.  I am not sure what happened but they did not come to live until the 4th quarter.  I am still very proud of this team.  They had an excellent season no matter what the press said about them.

Speaking about the Rose Bowl, the Stanford Marching Band totally disgust me.  I would not be proud one bit having this marching band with my school name.  They are band from flying and now band from away games for awhile and should be.  They did not uphold the Rose Bowl's prestige one bit and the way they made fun of the state of Iowa and farmers, just sickened me.  It not only did it anger Iowans and farmers but even ESPN had enough and pulled away from their performance.

WORK

I am really enjoying my new position so far.  I just love where I work and it makes me so happy.  I do have a few more stressful days since the promotion but it is still rewarding.  This weekend is our Holiday party and I cannot wait. 


HOME

I struggle with Christian (a.k.a Noah) from time to time.  Last night was not pretty and lead to only two hours of sleep.  It is so hard to look at a child you love with your entire heart and know you cannot trust him and that he chooses to have basically no relationship with you.  I think he is definitely my most challenging child and test every part of me as a mother and as a person.  I hope he is able to figure this out one day.  I really do worry about him.



SHOWS

Todd and I have gone to three movies in the past few weeks.  We typically do not go to the movie theater often due to the cost.  The first one was opening weekend for Star Wars Awakening I really enjoyed it and it reminded me of the first three movies.  Next we saw Hateful Eight again I enjoyed this one.  I love Quentin Tarantino movies, there is something about them.  Finally we took Taj to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip I enjoyed it and it was a cute movie but I think Taj became bored with it although he talks about it still.  He loved it when Dave yells, "Alllviiiiiin!"  

Todd and I are also watching The Americans on Netflix.  I am surprised how much I like this show.  I find myself thinking about it every now and then during the day.

Well I think that is enough of my ramblings for today.  I hope you all are staying warm because it is freezing here in the Heartland. 

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Book & A Cuppa Swap Sign Up


I love blogging and the blogging world has so much to enjoy, one of these are the blog swaps.  Chaotic Goddess Swaps is a blog site where one can participate in exactly that blog swaps.  Typically there is a theme and you are teamed up with another blogger and most of the time you get to know this person and then purchase goodies for them.  I love getting to know other people and form friendships.  Today is the last day of their swap called A Book and Mug Blogger Swap.

It is combining my favorite swaps... Book & A Cuppa Swap.  I was so excited to see this theme and cannot wait to see who I am teamed up with.  I have so many ideas in my head for mugs and hope whomever I am teamed up with the ideas will work for them.  If not I will hold off until I am matched with someone I can send them too.  

http://cgswaps.com/2016/01/book-and-a-cuppa-swap-sign-ups/

I am so super excited and this is the perfect season for both a nice new mug to enjoy warm drinks and cozy up to a new adventure.

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Literary Friday ~ Larger Than Life




I wanted a quick read so I purchased this little eBook Novella Larger Than Life.  I need to take my time and read a little more about the reviews.  This little quick read was good but I did not realize it was a prequel to Leaving Time.  I am definitely going to read this one because of the little teaser I completed.   Nice work Jodi Picoult, smart move. 

I enjoyed how the author intertwined the past and the present.  The main character, Alice Metcalf, who is a naturalist and is living on a game reserve in Botswana to view the animals in their natural habitat.  One day she comes across a herd of elephants who were mascaraed and left a young calf.  Alice knew without helping this poor calf, the calf would die as well.  Alice chose to risk her dream career to try to save the calf.  During this process she comes to understand more about the love of being a parent.  The flashback memories we have a look how Alice and her mother have conflicting relationship.  I would recommend this little book.  I enjoyed learning facts about elephants and how determined Alice is.   Now, I have to get Leaving Time to read about her next adventure. 

What have you been reading? I am a little late but I am linking this up to Art@Home's linky party. You can click on the icon below to find other book reviews or if you write book reviews you are welcome to join in on the party and add your review for others to enjoy.
 
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Friday, January 8, 2016

January Goals



It is a blog hop, so click on the Monthly Goal button and you will see those who play along post as well. Come join along!

The Monthly Goals: a Goals Linky Party at My So-Called Chaos and A Peek at Karen's World

RECAP OF DECEMBER GOALS

  • Complete the paintings for Christmas
  • Complete decorating the house for Christmas  SUCCESS  It was great to have the Christmas Spirit once again.  I have forced myself to do things the past few years.  This year was enjoyable and less stressful.  You can click here to see the decorations.
  • Bake some goodies for Christmas SUCCESS  The fact not having Whooping Cough this year made it more doable for baking.  Although I am very proud of the will power I found and did not taste any, the kids enjoyed them full heatedly.  I did make a diabetic friendly candy for Todd and I.  If you want to see what all I made, click here.
  • Keep going to the doctor to figure out what is wrong with me. SUCCESS  I am being treated for diabetes, so far it is going well.  I am so happy I have lost pounds and made it through the holiday season.  I am so excited to step on the scales at the doctor office for him to see how successful I really have been.
  • Complete the pillows for Christmas FAILED
  • Celebrate Christmas SUCCESS It was one of my better ones in a long time.
  • Celebrate my last Birthday in the 40's. SUCCESS
JANUARY GOALS

  • Work on finishing pillow cases.
  • Paint the remainder of the Master Bedroom.
  • Reupholster the chairs in the Kitchen.
  • Read a book
  • Keep working on reading the Bible and doing my daily devotions.
  • Keep working on getting healthier.
  • Complete the Seasonal Painting for real this time. 
  • Begin to research where to book our inclusive resort trip. 


What type of goals do you have this month?

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Year In Review

2015 was a year I wanted to dedicate to loving me.  It was definitely a much better year than 2014.  It was a year of healing, loving, accepting, and moving on.  Here is a little recap of 2015 for me.

Personally

I blogged less because I needed to heal.  I love blogging.  I love keeping in touch with my blogging family and friends, however I needed to take time away to heal too.  2014 was a rather tough one.  I was so ill at the beginning of the year.  Whooping Cough lasted more than 100 days.  I came down with it in November 2014 and was not feeling well enough to sleep in a bed until middle of March 2015.  This is a long time sleeping in a recliner.  I made sure to get my TDAP shot in September to avoid getting Whooping Cough.  I NEVER EVER EVER want that again!

I battled the weight all year.  I would loose then gain.  At one point I was down 30 pounds by the end of December I was down 22 pounds from the beginning of January.  I tried my best but felt horrible and achy.  I finally did what I should have maybe last Summer and went to the doctor.  He ended up putting me on Diabetic medicine and now I am having a little success again.  We will see.  The doctor's goal for me is to be down 15 more pounds in three months. 

Although my youngest has stressed me out some this year again, I have learned to try to shake it off as much as I can.  I have accepted for now we will not have a close relationship until he chooses.  I hate that but I cannot control his behavior.

I had a wonderful visit from my Dad in one of my dreams.  This dream and the Living Tribute early last year helped me move on with accepting his passing.  Please do not take that I do not miss him because I do, but I am at peace.  He is not hurting and I know from my dream he is in heaven and extremely happy.

I fell in love.  Yes, love with Printcess Mineral Make Up.

Swap Participation

I did participate in a couple of Blog Swaps this year hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swaps.


 Mug o' Comfort
 Books n' Blogger



Family

2015 was such a big year for my son, Ethan.  In March he went to Spain for two weeks.  May, he had his Senior Prom.
 
I also went to the Living Tribute which helped me with my Dad's passing.   Later in May, Ethan graduated.  I am so proud of him.
A few days after Ethan's graduation, our loving Tilly had to be put down.  She would have been 22 years old if she would have made it another two months, she was definitely more than a cat or a pet to us all.  In August, Ethan moved out leaving only Christian a.k.a Noah.  Ethan moved in with Matthew (on his left) my oldest.  Joshua moved in with his girlfriend.  This past year the boys and the girls began to come over every Sunday where we will have dinner and most of the time play games with one another.  I love Sundays seeing them all.  Ethan also began college in August.  Emily found someone very special to her.  They moved in with one another as well.  I really like both Emily's and Joshua's significant other a lot.  

Traveling

Due to Todd and I working opposite hours and rarely seeing one another until the weekend, we decided to try to have many close to home little get away and I began my little series name Iowa Adventures.  Once Winter is over we will begin this again. 
 
One of my favorite adventures
Another favorite. 

We also had our family vacation which turned into only Todd and I traveling West.  
We had the greatest time and it was the first time the two of us have been away from our children alone for more than two days.  We traveled to Yellowstone and had such a great time.  We found other beautiful landscapes on our way, like the Grand Tetons pictured below.

Paintings

Paintings I completed or nearly completed in 2015.

 
 Above: The background to my Seasonal Paintings
Below: Spring the only one completed.
 
 
 

Others

I blogged less as stated above and I read less.  I am hoping 2016 I will be able to improve on both. 

I love where I work and feel so appreciated.  I could not have improved on me as much or heal as much as I have if I was not working at such a wonderful place and have such a supportive husband and friends.

I hope you all had a great year and I hope 2016 will be even better for us all.





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