Ok ok, I’ll do the recap

Thanks to the ever amazing Sundry, I will do this once again. Here are 2010, 2008, and 2007, because I apparently skipped ’09.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
That would be… run a half-marathon. Actually, I ran two: one in February and one in October. The training was the thing that was the biggest accomplishment; running every other day for increasingly longer distances is HARD!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year, I wrote thirteen goals and I would say I stuck to about half. Funny though, I just wrote my previous post without looking at that one and I am sad to say some are the same and I didn’t even realize it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend, Courtney, had a baby in February but no one else. I do know a lot of pregnant ladies though.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. We did surprisingly little travelling this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More motivation to maintain.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I’ll say February 3rd and October 30th (my races) but really, this was an uneventful year all in all.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Besides the races, I asked for a raise and got one and then I was also awarded a year end bonus (chosen over other co-workers) so I would say those are big accomplishments.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I’ll have to agree here: fails are always related to my parenting. I have got to be more patient!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing memorable. I know I was sick during the year but nothing awful. And thankfully, no injuries!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

That one time yard clean up! No, really. And other than that, my new phone is pretty awesome but I really tried not to focus on things.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, daycare payment, and food. We eat a lot.

13. What did you get really excited about?
I’ll say our July trip to Daytona. Sure, it was just the beach I have seen a million times and a not so great hotel but it was exactly what Ash and I needed.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Hmm, I will say Luke Bryan’s “Do I?” because it was the song that got me back into into Country and I played it a TON.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Hmmm, probably about the same.
– thinner or fatter? I’ve got to be thinner.
– richer or poorer? I would say we seem to have less but it’s about to change.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More outings with the kids.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Wasting time when work was slow. I could have been writing.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
With family; it was wonderful.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
This doesn’t change: BONES. There’s not a lot of quality programming out there.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I read nothing “real”; all romance. And they were all good!

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Basically from about April to October, everything that came out on the Country circuit was amazing.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
We saw a movie every other Friday and yet, I can’t think of any that were amazing. Immortals was good. We got Adjustment Bureau on Netflix and that was memorable. Nothing blew me away.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 and had carpal tunnel surgery. I spent it feeling like crap but my mom was here to help.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I guess I should say that having more money would be the solution but only I can make that happen, you know? Granted, towards the end of the year, I was getting on track.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
“How many tops can be paired with jeans?”

26. What kept you sane?
Ash. Running. Romance novels.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. And the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Days Go By

I won’t say the cliched “I can’t believe another year is gone!” but I will blog today because I like things like closure and tradition and whatnot. It only feels fitting that I should blog on the last day of 2011, a year in which I began by claiming I would blog every day. I did alright, actually. On average, I posted five days a week; every now and then, I threw in a weekend post. I think that’s all anyone can really ask for out of a writer who is also running 4-5 days a week and has a husband and two children. Not to mention about three jobs. Honestly, some days I have no idea how it all gets done!

I tend not to make New Year’s Resolutions but there are definitely some goals I need to set forth for 2012.

For starters, I’d love to get hosting on this blog. Though I realize this would require me to most definitely blog consistently, there are aspects of my life that are getting easier so it make allow for that. First, I have to figure out exactly how to do it!

I’d like to come up with and stick to a running plan that is manageable. I am not planning to train for any long races this year. (Not at this point.) In order to lose/maintain weight, I’ll still need to run four times a week but I don’t think three milers are going to help, not without also dieting a little more. I already choose healthier things but I don’t cut out “bad” things entirely. And I am way too attached to food as reward to just give up on sweets or greasy foods now and then.

Write more. Of course this is a goal for this year! This is my goal every year. In 2011, I wrote 38 single spaced pages on one novel and left it at that. I wrote a couple short stories for no purpose at all. My friend finished three Harlequin-length books and submitted a few to publishers. This, my friends, is a goal of mine.

Become financially stable. The side jobs I always pick up are good but I seem to scramble at the last minute (i.e. the months right before summer when I make less on my normal job). This year, I am teaching online starting in a week. That money goes towards the summer and anything else I can save up will make those horrible three months less stressful. This year, I will not fall into the same old patterns.

Be more patient. I have always had an issue staying calm. Now that the kids are at exceedingly exasperating ages, I have been tested on this time and again. This year, no more getting angry at them when not totally necessary (because something, it IS necessary). I am learning to count to ten, as cheesy as it sounds, and let them work their way through issues. Me getting annoyed and mad will not help them anyway.
Well, that looks like a good start. I was feeling sick last night but feel ok today. Going to run a nine miler and hang out with the family and enjoy what’s left of 2011. See you next year!

WWTK Wednesday – Mamarazzi is back! edition

Ok, even though one of my kids appears sick and the other is making a mess of the (already messy) living room, I am going to blog. It keeps me sane.

PhotobucketHosted by the above and Queso.

{1} What was the best part of 2011?

I’m not sure I can pinpoint one thing. The best part is that I ran some half-marathons and lost weight and found some more online work and the kids and my husband are awesome.
{2} What do you look forward to in 2012?

I am looking forward to Isaac being 2. And Ell being 5. I am hoping for more financial stability as well.
{3} Do you actually keep your New Year resolutions?

I try to make reasonable ones so that I can.
{4} What are your top 3 resolutions for the new year?

3. Become a faster runner.

2.) Lose the belly fat.

1.) Learn more patience with the kids.
{5} Do you have any fun new years traditions or plans?

No, but I’d like to start some. We don’t eat black eyed peas typically or do any other sort of festivity. I look forward to reading all yours!

Random Tuesday – Post-Holiday Come-Down


Stacy

I bet we’re (almost) all in the same boat: over the holiday but still clinging to some of those good feelings left over from it. Let’s see what kind of random I can pull out here.

  • I am blogging from my bed, which is rare for me. I really prefer to be in my quiet office at work, where I can think clearly. But the boys are being good… so far.
  • They are off school/daycare this week and so am I. This will be our time to bond. And a mental and physical challenge for me as well. (SAHMs, I don’t know how you do it.)
  • We had a small tree fall over on the other side of our back fence. Which is weird but I think it was Santa’s erratic driving. LOL.
  • On Saturday, Ash and I ran together, which we rarely do. But he only had to go 15 and I was slated to run 12. We went to the Saint Marks Trail because it’s nice and flat and though it was a hard run, I had fun, strangely enough. Except I tucked my Gu packet into my waistband and it chewed into my flesh; I have a weird bruise/missing skin patch now.
  • Christmas was pretty amazing. The kids were so overjoyed by everything and had a blast opening gifts. And they were happy to see us open things, which is nice to see.
  • We chose to go to church Saturday evening at 8. I went with my parents and took Elliot while Ash stayed home and put Isaac to bed and wrapped gifts. Ell was exceedingly well-behaved, considering we don’t ever take him to church. It was perfect.
  • On Sunday afternoon, once all the Christmas chaos died down, my neighbour – the one we don’t like because they feed the stray cats and don’t wave or take care of their house – came over and dropped off a big bags of fruit and pecans. He said he just wanted to interact more with his neighbours.  It was truly a random act of kindness.
  • Did you get good loot for Christmas? I got some neat things like socks and books but also, a Forerunner 405 (running watch) and a bunch of gift cards. My parents also got us a Costco membership but at the moment, it’s lost. It was in a 4×5 manilla envelope and we cannot find it anywhere. Yesterday we went through all the wrapping paper in trash bags and today, I have to keep looking. Luckily, we really haven’t thrown anything out. My mom was convinced she left it at home but when they got back last night, it was not there. It’s a mystery!
  • I had a great time with my parents here but – as always – we reached a limit right about the 2.5 day mark. I was mad that Ash went off to run and hadn’t washed dishes and Ell was acting like a little obnoxious brat and my mom wanted to help with stuff and I told her I got it and we all blew up. Then it was fine again, soon as we all calmed down. But I tell you, that’s the amount of time it takes.
  • I have plans this week for me and the kids but for today, it is raining. So today’s plan includes walking around Target and the mall. And maybe we’ll get some frozen yogurt. :)

Ok people, if you’re off work this week, enjoy it. And if you’re not, well, enjoy that too. :) Oh! almost forgot Man Candy. What would Tuesday be with out it? Caue Amaral; know nothing about him except the tats and piercings are hot.

Over and out

I have wrapped everything I can wrap that isn’t a Santa gift. (Or that hasn’t come; still waiting on something for Ash; feeling it may not get here in time.) I have semi-cleaned my house but have some time before my parents arrive tomorrow. I have a 6 mile run this afternoon but once that’s done, I can relax for a day. (Before my 12 miler on Saturday; ugh.) I am very ready for it to just BE Christmas, but at the same time, want to savor a little more of it, just a little longer. I love my living room by the light of the tree and my North Pole Village. In some ways, I like that Tallahassee isn’t really cold for Christmas because I get the wintery feeling for the holiday but then the cold continues into the next three months. It draws out the season for me.

It’s foggy today and it rained all day yesterday but I feel pretty good. I don’t plan to blog much until maybe next week. I think my parents leave either Monday or Tuesday and then it’s just me and the kids aaalll week long. Luckily, I have some tentative plans made. Maybe the Junior Museum with a friend and her kids. Maybe the playground with another friend and her kids. I hope the kids sleep a lot; as in, sleep in and nap well. Last night was a weird night. Ash and I got to bed pretty early – 11 or so – but Elliot woke up at maybe 1:30 calling for me but was still basically asleep. I could swear it was at least 4 or 5 at that point, but no. Then he woke again at 4. And at that point, I was totally awake. Sigh. I need this break something fierce, I tell you.

I apologize for anyone who has been diligently blogging away and I have not commented. I am just not keeping up with the normal stuff anymore… these days… this week. It’s been hard to keep up. I am sure you’re feeling that too. It’s a crazy time of year. I enjoy it though, I ‘d be lying if I didn’t say I liked the last minute rush of getting gifts and making preparations for meals and family and time together.

SO, I wish all my readers the happiest of holidays and I shall see you on the flip side of the 25th. Have a great week!

Random Talk to Us Tuesday – Time Is Running Out!


Stacy

Seriously Shawn

Oh yes, people; I am behind like nobody’s business this week. I don’t know why I can’t seem to catch up. Also? More broke than I thought. I think maybe I underestimated how much stuff costs these days. Anyway, on with the random!

  • My brain is ready to just check out but I cannot do this. I am over committed and there’s just no end in sight.
  • I told you how I got a one-time yard clean up for myself right? Now I am rethinking the price. It’s not much but should I really be buying something for ME this time of year? (Granted, everyone benefits.) My yard better look like a million bucks when they’re done.
  • I left work early yesterday (because I wasn’t feeling well) and I got one more thing for Ash, a few stocking stuffers, and my cards (the ones for Ash, my parents, and my sister) and I am pretty darn happy that that’s all done with.
  • Are you burned out on Christmas music yet? I’m getting there. Maybe I am just starting to get sick of the season.
  • At the same time, I am starting to get really excited. Mostly because Elliot is pumped about it.
  • I am, however, totally burned out on running. I have to stick it out for another couple weeks and then I am taking a break. A long one. And then I’ll reassess my plan.
  • I ordered a ham. On Friday, I couldn’t get ahold of the Honey Baked Ham store. I wrote about it on Facebook and my friends were right: what a first world problem!
  • Regardless, we’ll have a turkey breast AND a mini ham on Christmas day. God, I feel so privileged.
  • Next week, both myself and the kids are off. My parents will probably stay until Tuesday and Ash might take a few days off. I am trying to plan some activities but I guarantee I will be losing my mind by the end of the week.
  • This post is so not exciting, is it? Ok, I’ll finish up by telling you about this dream I had just before waking up on Sunday. It was True Blood related and a crew of folks were seiging a house with Sookie, Bill, and Eric inside and it then turned into some weird ass thing wherein Sookie was in the middle of a Bill and Eric sandwich. (wink wink) But the truly juicy part of it all was that I WAS Sookie. Yeah, a nice way to begin my Sunday!

And with that, I bring you Eric, er, Alexander Skarsgard. Enjoy!

Weekend + MMMM

My morning will consist of an hour of web-related things, then actual work, then I plan to take a half day, depending on how I feel. Because I was sick this weekend. Ok ok, my body was threatening to be sick. I didn’t start feeling really bad until about halfway through Sunday and even then, I was somehow very motivated to clean.  I got a lot done, actually. But I still don’t feel great. A little better today but still… it’s the winter ick that I get every year.

We did do a lot this weekend though. I ran (an awful) 10 miles on Saturday and we made cookies and put lights on the outside trees. I did laundry and actually got it all folded and put away ON THE SAME DAY. This is somewhat of a miracle, people. It so rarely happens. The kids behaved too. And on Friday night, while Ash was at Magic, not feeling sleepy, I decided to lay on the couch with Christmas music on my ipod and watch the tree. I think I probably lay there for a good hour just thinking, until I finally did just drift off to sleep. It was incredibly relaxing. Especially after the afternoon. Ash and I went to Elliot and Isaac’s Christmas lunch (but opted not to eat) then went out for Mexican. I decided to have a couple margaritas and that’s when I realized how overwhelmed by the Christmas season I was. So I cried it all out in the car on the way home and then we took a nap. In the quiet day-time house that was ALL OURS. No kids. It… was… glorious.

If you have kids, I highly recommend doing things like that.

*************

One of my favorite songs of all-time is Frank Sinatra’s rendition of the Christmas Waltz. And my ipod always likes to juxtapose it with the Carpenters; I have no idea why. (Sorry, no official videos)

Photobucket

13 Things I did want as a kid and things I do want now

Wow, that title is convoluted! Anyway, I got the idea from Cathy Kennedy who listed 10 things she wanted for Christmas as a kid. I’m going to split it: some I wanted as a kid and some I want now.

1.) Kid want – The Lego Galaxy Explorer space train. I was really into Legos as a kid and this was the ultimate desire. Unfortunately, my parents could never afford it.

2.) Adult want – Dyson vacuum. I have an OK Hoover but it doesn’t handle hair well; I have already had the roller replaced after only 1.5 years.

3.) Kid want – Ecto 1 Ghostbuster car. I had a lot of the Ghostbuster action figures but never the car.

4.) Adult want – Tauntaun sleeping bag – For the Star Wars nerd in all of us.

5.) Kid want – Nintendo! The original. I asked for it year after year and what did I get? SEGA Genesis!

6.) Adult want – One time hardcore lawn cleaning. I have a ton of accumulated leaves and a generally unclean backyard because we have so many years. I want a service to come just once and get rid of it all, then I can maintain it.

7.) Kid want – Skip-it! I got one for maybe my 7th birthday and it broke within five minutes of use. I never got another.

8.) Adult want – Tamron 60 mm macro lens. Oh God, this would be amazing!

9.) Kid want – To see New Kids on the Block in concert. Yup, it’s true.

10.) Adult want – Cash. Yeah, I know it’s boring for family members who ask what I want but we all know that this comes in way more handy than that gaudy sweater or a random kitchen device.


11.) Kid want – a dog! I always wanted a puppy and we didn’t even get one until I was 13!

12.) Adult want – 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I have been on an AWFUL sleep schedule lately and it’s starting to affect my life.

13.) Gonna cheat and do another adult want – For my family to be happy and healthy. Really, this isn’t too much to ask.

WWTK Wednesday – My Carpets are Wet edition

Yeah, the janitors need to warn people before they go steam cleaning. Just because the school is having finals this week doesn’t mean people aren’t still working, you know?? God… what a way to start my day!

1. Are you a party person? Or do you prefer an intimate gathering with just a few friends?

I suppose – if we’re talking about holiday parties – I do prefer smaller gatherings. The one we attended Saturday may have been 20-30 people and that was nice. The one I hit up on Friday was upwards of 80 and it was pretty fun but crazy. And I wasn’t sure if I should stay in one place and wait to see people or walk around and interrupt.

There’s a pic of me at the Friday party. I’m on the right. (Sorry it’s not bigger)

2. Would you rather be a guest at a party or the hostess with the mostess?

Having been both, I have to say that so long as I have the time and money, I kind of like being the hostess. I guess I relish in the prep work.

3. What is your favorite party food or drink? (I’d love to see the recipe!)

Ok so lately, I have been seeing these bacon-wrapped dates a lot. I think they’re super! recipe

4. What is the best party you’ve ever been to?

Oh man, I don’t know if I can quantify any parties. One of the coolest, swankiest ones was my Ash’s boss’s last year. They live in a super fancy house and had caterers and fancy foods and a guy on the deck shucking oysters. It was classy but not uptight.

5. What is your favorite party game?

When I was in college, I particularly liked Circle of Death, but if you google similar ideas, you get this game called Kings,  which
is the same thing. I particularly liked the viking rule, wherein someone would throw up their hands in a Viking hat-like horn structure and anyone who didn’t furiously pretend to paddle a boat had to drink. Now, games just aren’t the same.

I have a picture from 2004 that is a bottle of beer surrounded by the deck of cards and it would be perfect here. But I am at work.

Well, there ya go. i am going to go delievr my Christmas cards to co-workers and move on with my day. Happy Wednesday!

Random Talk to us Tuesday – Full Moon Fallout edition


Stacy

Seriously Shawn

  • After I ran on Saturday, I showered and threw on some yoga pants and a Batman t-shirt. I had my hair up to dry. There came a knock at the door and – thinking it was my phone – I answered without looking. It was a woman, maybe around 25-30, trying to sell me some Xtreme Cleaning product that she apparently made. The first thing she said, however, was “Hey, is mom or dad home?” I was taken aback and answered, “I AM mom or dad…” She was like, “really?” and then proceeded to tell me that all my neighbours are geriatric and rude so she assumed I was a kid. Weird, right? She was also rude and pushy in selling her expensive-ass product. It was impressive but I didn’t have $120 to spend. She kept pushing me to use a credit card, which I don’t have but she didn’t believe me. As one of her last ditch efforts, she said she’d drop the price if I let her detail my Element and drive it for the weekend. What is THAT about? Made me a bit nervous to say the least.
  • Speaking of my phone, I ordered it Friday morning and it was to be overnight delivered by FedEx. Well, it’s Monday and I still don’t have it. Clearly, overnight means something entirely different to them. Not a good way to start off our service together, Verizon.
  • I mowed my lawn on Sunday and because the leaves and gumballs (From the annoying Sweetgum trees were super thick, I had to push that mower extra hard. It ripped my hands to shreds. Today they feel burned. It’s similar to the way your arm feels after someone give you an Indian burn (video not mine.) That’s what we get for not having a self-propelled mower.
  • I am bothered by something going on at work. I just wish people could be more reasonable.
  • While out on Saturday, I stopped into a gas station for a bottle of water. While paying, I leaned on the count containing lottery scratch-offs and said to the guy, hell, why not? I told him I’m not usually lucky but I’ll buy a couple dollar tickets. He said he’s also unlucky with them but has returning customers who will only allow him to sell them tickets because they always win. So, I bought two and one of them was a winner… for two bucks! I recouped my money and moved on with my life but thought that was a pretty interesting exchange.
  • If you wanted an Xmas card from me and emailed me last week, I am getting to it. They’ll go out this week. Sorry it’s taking so long; we’ve been busy, that’s all.
  • I tried Vegemite for the first time this weekend and I have to say, it wasn’t gross or anything but I’d like to ask Australians why they like it. It’s like putting salt on bread. It was just salty.
  • I think all the weird occurrences and the awful way I have felt lately is all because of the full moon. And it wasn’t just any full moon; the eclipse was an added weirdness bonus.
  • Later on, I have to go confront a friend about something that is bothering her – about me but out of my control – and I am not happy about it. Wish me luck.

Ok, there you have it. Oh, and Man Candy today is Arthur Keller who is, for all intents and purposes, SMOKING HOT. You’re welcome and merry Christmas!