February 29, 2012

Mock 365 Project: February 2012

Today I'm busy moving.
But being the SUPER on-top-of-it person that I am, I have my Mock 365 collages ready!
The truth is I made these on Tuesday because I didn't want to start packing boxes. I am not on top of it. At all. Just for the record.


But here they are. I just had to accept the fact that I cannot possibly:
1. Take 365 over the course of a year and keep them organized without losing my mind.
and
2. Condense a month of photos into one collage. So I have two. Again. And will for the rest of the year.

So here's my February in photos...




Clockwise: our first visit to the Biltmore estate:: Grandma and Nono:: Sissy at the Biltmore candy store:: Valentine's candy:: Picking up Granny at the airport:: Jack at the Biltmore:: Mom at painting class:: My banker and me


Noah's 10th birthday morning:: Cake time!:: Sissy beating poor little sharks with a mallet and loving it:: Jack getting lost in a germ-flatable:: My banker and me dominating the little kids at laser tag:: Daddy and Sophia:: Celebration!!


This month FLEW by, didn't it?? Wow!


I'm linking up with the incredibly genius, Rebecca, who came up with this great idea of "A Month in Photos." Go check out her site and more "months" over there :)



February 28, 2012

virtual coffee: thoughts i'm thinking...


Good morning, beauties. Let's have coffee. Lots.
And talk a million miles an hour, not halfway keeping up with my thoughts right now....
do I sound like I've had too much coffee already?
Not a chance.
It's early...the pot's still half full!!!

Sit and chat.
I'm sorry to say this is going to be a one-sided convo...

alrighty then.


Birthday....it is finished. The boy is 10. I survived another year older child AND a birthday party at Germ-O-Rama...aka: Kid's Paradise.





Birthdays are like Christmas around here. When they go to bed there's no gifts, no nothin' but when they wake up...SO fun!





Early morning celebration before church. Yes, those are Dunkin Donuts. So good...SOOO good!!

Then on to the partay....



Laser tag was a hit! (My team totally won...in a big way. But nobody's keeping track, right??) The photo on the right, I have nothing much to say. All I said to them was, "Hey! Let me take your picture, guys." That is what they came up with...in about .2 seconds. Boys!



Besides Germ-O-Rama, we had our own little party when we got home. Noah got to open all his gifts and the little kids loved watching. It was a good, full day. Best of all, Noah went to bed exhausted and happy :)


Other thoughts today?
Well...we're moving. Again. You may have already heard that.
The bummer was our dear friends, the Strahles, were planning a visit to Asheville this weekend...so with the move we canceled....


Until Ms. Becky called me back later that day and said that her and her Mr. both felt like they should still come...to help us!!! How awesome is that!?! Her words were, "We're worker bees. We'll do whatever. We'll get it done!"

Ok, sister. Let's do it then! Gotta love friends like that.


Now before I go start throwing stuff in boxes this morning...I want to leave you with this video. I'm OBSESSED with this song! Supposedly it's for that new Hunger Games movie coming out...I am pretty sure I'm the only literate person on the planet that has not read these books. But I am planning on it, if that makes you like me again.

Get ready to be singing this allllll day! Love this song. Love Taylor Swift...don't love country...but love her :)




Ok sisters, have a great day!
If you need more coffee head over to Amy's she's always got a pot on.

xo,
{alicia}

February 26, 2012

ten, 10, dix, diez


This day is both happy and hard for me.
2012 will mark three major milestones: our 10 year anniversary, I am turning 30, and my guinea pig baby turns 10...today.

His birthday cannot possibly pass without thinking about his original birthday...and the heartache that preceded it. Now I see the bigger picture, but at the time I did not.


I am rereading The Purpose Driven Life for Lent.
Day 2 meant so much to me, given it was two days before this blessing's birthday.
The name of the chapter? You Were Not an Accident.

It said:
"Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature.
Your parents may not have planned you, but God did.
He was not at all surprised by your birth.
In fact, he expected it."

Noah, I did not see the reason then. But oh....oh child, if I could ever make you understand how you changed my life. I was a girl obsessed with myself. And then there was you. Oh sweet little life-changer, you. 



Below is a repost from last year. I wrote this post with shaky hands, wondering if I should let the cat out of the past bag. I thought I might be judged.


I should have known better.


I know some of you are new here and some of you are not, but either way this is a big part of my story and I'd love to share it with you:


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

2/27/11

I've contemplated writing this post many times.
The thing that's hung me up was fear of being judged, but I've come to the point in this blogging
life of mine where I feel like many of you are my dear friends who would never
judge me, even though we've never met face to face.
The fact that some of you are older than me, maybe even 20+ years, means nothing to me.
Mostly because I feel like I've lived a lot of life in 28.5 years.
Like for example, may baby turned 9 yesterday.
Nine is a lot.  One year from 2-digits.
Past kiddie pools and easy readers, and on to bigger things, like chapter books and staying up later.
Noah's birthday always reminds me of he day he was born, which never fails to remind me of the nine-months prior.
Me-19-Pregnant-Freaked totally out....
reading the little + on that little plastic thingy at 18 years old, two months after I bid goodbye to FHS forever,
yes...that'll give you a dose of "HOLY CRAP!" like no other.
It's interesting to me to look back now on the thoughts that went through my head, but never once, not once,
did I ask "why me?"  Never once was I angry at God for letting that happen to me.
I knew who God was, talked to Him occasionally when I needed something or felt like I had done something really bad, but never deeper then my needy wants.
But at that point in my life, Summer 2001, I had never needed Him more and I knew it.
I spent 9 months, basically in hiding, never wanting to chance running into someone I knew, fearing the undoubted stares and judgement that would come.
I felt ashamed and alone, even though Jarrod was with me and felt a lot of the same feelings as me, he wasn't the one with the watermelon attached to his middle section.
No fault to him, it just seems that men don't get pregnant much.
If I was going to make a mistake, I made it with the right person.  Someone who never wavered,
never once thought twice about sticking around, and never had a #1 goal other than providing for
his little family.
My plans before July 3, 2001 consisted of me, living in The Cities, going to school
and becoming someone totally high-powered and awesome, travelling all over the world, laughing
at people tied down with spouses and kids.
Me. Myself. And I.  The End.


February 26, 2002, my hopes and dreams took on a whole new meaning as I gazed in the face of that little
watermelon.
Up until 2:22pm on that day, I had planned on clinging to bits of shrapnel of my original dreams and carry on with some form of a career.  At 2:22pm, I sent that dream packing.  It flew out the window so fast, you could hear it's wings flapping. 
God may just as well have attached a Post-It note to Noah's forehead, telling me:
"I created you to be a mama to this child and more of them.
I've created you for a career that doesn't require you to leave your front stoop.
Listen to me, I know what I'm talking about."
~The Big Guy
And He does know.  And I listened and I've never looked back.
Ya, my 20's have been something like: me...free of make-up, sporting spit-up on both shoulders,
drinking Juicey-Juice from a sippy cup while most of my friends were enjoying their freedom and fun.
But it's ok...I have no regrets.  Only life experiences that've made me a better person, better mom,
better wife.  I'm hoping my past will never become an area of resentment with my kids, but will make me better
equipped to parent my kids.
If there's one thing I've learned in my 28 years, it's that God's plans are always better than mine.
I like to think I'm a planner and mostly those plans work out, but when God messes with them, they always end up so much better then I could've ever dreamed.
He must've chuckled at my vision of myself in a business suit.
"I've got something so different worked out for you, girl,
and it suits you so much better.  I made you, I should know.
Duh."

Ya.  I think God says duh.
So as I bid goodbye to my guinea pig baby's 8th year, those memories remind me of how much Noah saved me, shaped me, showed me who I am.  Not just a mom alone, but a person that can nurture others and be comfortable in her own skin.
There's no way he'll ever realize the depth of that, but he most assuredly did.

Happy Birthday to you, my sweet life changer :)



xoxo,
{alicia}

February 24, 2012

nooks, crannies, and more change


'Ello.
Come on over for a minute. I love sprucing and I've been sprucing a bit.
I made some new pillows for my bed this week, something I've been wanting to do for months.
What do you think?



I copied my friend Carissa and made myself a little nook in my room for reading and coffee and such.
I sit in here sometimes in the afternoon and read. It doesn't happen often enough, but when it does?? Very very good thing.



Blooms from Amy on an updated thrifted lamp....makes me smile :)


This is where I blog. It's a mini-office in the living room. I like it here. I don't like a lot of stuff out, you know? So I declutter like every day. Clutter distracts me...it's not a good thing.


Ok, so what's the change, hmmmm? Well here goes.


We're moving.
Again.
Next weekend.


hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....ahem. (fake, sarcastic laughing)




 

The deal is our lease is up in June, but my landlord just sold his house and he's offered us incentive to move out early so he can move in here. And there just happens to be another townhouse for rent in the next building over. We are still not ready to buy yet and we want this to be a painless as possible and we really don't want to lose this other townhouse. So, next weekend we're hoping for a quick and easy move.

I don't think it will be that bad.  (I hope) And the other townhouse has wood floors and a fireplace, so that's cool. But it has even uglier carpet than my current situation, which is hard to believe, but true.



Let's just get it over with, huh?
Ready?
Ok!!

Happy weekend to you!

xo,
{alicia}

PS: my baby is turning 10 this weekend! What the heck??!!

February 22, 2012

your q's...my a's

I feel like with all the goings on at my house I haven't had time for a lot of stuff...like answer emails :-/ I've gotten several comments lately with questions and here's me...finally getting back to you.

Here's a few of your randoms...


Suzette, Cailin, and Amy asked:...Should I get a Smash Book? I have gone back and forth and ...don't know what a Smash Book is, so I hope you clue me in soon :) and...um...what's a Smash Book?

K. I'm super excited about my Smash book. I first saw THIS video out there somewhere...then I read they weren't making them anymore. Then I found them on Amazon. Then I saw them at Micheal's and about fLiPpEd! So I bought one.
The idea is to just smash...it's like scrapbooking for dummies...or something like that. I used to scrapbook a lot more and I just don't anymore. I like this idea. It's simple. My book doesn't have a theme...it's just whatever hits me. I have only done a couple pages, but here's a look:





MJ asked: Hotel Hutchinson looks great! Love the pillow cases!! I also love the green paint you used on the chalkboard and the chair - do you mind sharing the name?


Honestly, I don't remember. But I do know it was Rustoleum Double Coverage (best spray paint ever!) It might have been called Leafy Green?? Maybe??


Denise asked:...Just curious...where is the necklace you are wearing in the picture with you and your blog friend from? I love the rectangular shape.


Ok, first off...this is a comment on a post I wrote over a year ago when I met my sweet sista Becks and I just LOVE that my older posts still get read...it feels like they're going to waste otherwise, you know??
Anyway, the necklace. It was a gift from my lover/banker/boyfriend...how scandalous does that sound?? Ok, my husband...but that sounds boring. It's personalized with my initial, and sparrows (to match his chest tattoos...how romantic, right??) It's from One Blue Moon Charm. Good stuff over there...


Kristi McInerney asked: Alicia...I've been homeschooling my kids since they were 2 (Julia is now 4 and Mark 2 1/2) I love it. I used to be an elementary teacher in a christian school...can I ask what curriculum you used for kindergarten for your kids?...

Ok, so would I sound like a loser teacher if I said "nothing?" Well, not really nothing. But I just feel like spending a ton of moola on preK or K is kinda sorta a waste of money. A lot of the things in a full curriculum are things you can find for free on the Internet or in those workbooks from Target or Barnes and Noble.

I am currently using Hooked on Phonics for both my preKer and my Ker to learn to read. I love Hooked on Phonics. It works great for us.

We do science and history all together, but if I wasn't schooling Noah I would probably just buy a science experiment book and do fun projects once or twice a week for the little ones.

I have the two little ones practice their handwriting on school lined paper.

I am using first grade Saxon math on my Kindergartner too and for my preKer, I just want to have her get counting and number recognition down.

And just read, read, read! I wouldn't spend a lot of money on that level...it only gets more expensive, so I just don't want to jump the gun, ya know??



Ok. I feel better now like I'm not ignoring you guys' questions. I totally should have gotten paid for all the brand dropping in this post ;)
Hope you're having a great Wednesday!!

xo,
{alicia}

February 20, 2012

slightly intriguing topics

Good Monday, gentle ladies!
How was your weekend? Mine was good and productive and relaxing...all of those are good things.

I feel like writing, but I don't have anything really awesome to share. So maybe if I ball up a few slightly intriguing things it will be a good post?? Maybe??

First: No heat curls. I saw the post here, I tried it. I like it. It's super easy and lasts a long time...even till the next day!




It even looks kind of cute while it's curling. Much cuter than a head full of rollers right? :)



And after a few hours, it looks like this: 


Ok, so SECOND slightly intriguing topic; my 2012 book list. (does it still feel weird to write 2012 to anyone else??)

So far I've read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Little Women. Yes, I read the children's Classic Start version of Little Women. But I still read it. Even Sophie listened. It was good.

I loved the Guernsey book. It was a little tricky to get into it since there's no narrative, just letters back and forth. But pretty soon you get hooked! It was so good.

I've added a list to my side bar of the books I've read this year. Now I have currently gotten myself into three books at once, which I really don't like doing. I just sort of happened. Will update you soon.




Third: I am making these for dinner this week. Intrigued yet?





This weekend we watched Sarah's Key. I was afraid to watch it. I read the book a few years ago and it was one of the saddest books I'd read. I wasn't sure I could make it. I like depressing movies. Call me weird, I just do.

The movie was so good. It followed the book pretty well I thought. A lot of it was in French. Something about watching a movie with subtitles makes me feel all cultured-like ;)

Here's the trailer...


So that's about all the intriguing topics I have for the day...don't want you to ponder too much now.

Have a happy Monday, sweets.



February 16, 2012

let's let today be about today


It's Thursday now. I got home late and carried two sleeping babies into bed and tucked the third one in, still wiping away goodbye tears. I'm having a bit of a Mama-hangover today, but the coffee is helping. I know you already read my title, but let's put on our backward glasses and recap the last few days of Grandma's visit shall we?

We did the normal and the holiday things; gluing, reciting, preparing for a skating bash.







Jumping at my brilliant husband's plan, we dined on Mexican food and frozen yogurt Monday night. We ate out a lot while Mom was here. More than usual, but that's ok. It was like vacation for us too.




Valentine's Day was super special. Super busy, but super special. We toted our boxes and bags full of Valentines to the skate rink and exchanged them with 100 other skating homeschoolers. We left with only a few bruises. Mom and I chose our wheel-less shoes; she was afraid and so was I...my back would have broke in half. It's feeling much better now though :)









Even though I would have loved crawling into my bed at 5pm, the day was not over yet...we had not sucked every bit of sweet honey from it yet.

Noah's birthday is coming up in the next couple of weeks. One of his big concerns with moving was that his Gma and Gpa wouldn't be at his party. To his surprise, we threw a very merry UNbirthday party for him. A sort of Valentiney UNbirthday party...complete with Frank Sinatra, spaghetti and meatballs, frosted cupcakes, candles, presents from Grams, and a side of Lady and the Tramp.

He grinned from ear to ear and told us how he didn't really like all the attention  ;)







We all reminisced together, telling him the stories he's heard a hundred times about the day he was born...
about how Grandpa Bill couldn't stand waiting and drove a million miles per hour to wait in the waiting room for Noah to come.
About how his daddy, Jarrod, drove Mommy nuts while he tried to eat M&M's while she was in labor and the crinkling of the paper heightened her contractions a thousand percent!
We told him how excited we were to have a baby and how sweet he was and is and what a amazing older brother his.



I had a special toast for Noah.
Tuesday, the 14th, marked the 10th anniversary of my last day at a real job. Remember those?? The ones where you get a paycheck?? I was in college working at a flower shop and Valentine's Day was my last day. Way to go out with a bang!, huh?? I had planned on going back to work...until 12 days later when I saw that face.
There was no way.
I was finished, ruined with love for life.
We toasted to Noah and I thanked him, yet again, for helping me find my inner mother and who I was meant to be.


To Noah, my guinnea pig baby...




And yesterday...
we couldn't have let a cloud hang over Grandma's last day if we'd tried.
The day was gorgeous. We took her on one last hike around the neighborhood before we headed back to the big city...paused for a few more photo ops.

The airport scene was as expected; tear and hugs, hugs and tears.
We were that family in the airport.
Jack was the first to lose it, then Noah, then me...Sophia, forever in her own realm, was doing plies across the floor.

The reminder of their next planned trip, this time with both grandparents, was our saving grace...our something to look forward to...and we trudged back home.



Today is perfect for what it is today; a lazy day.
It's gloomy and overcast. We have nowhere to go. I'm about to go shower and put sweats on. I have a sick little girl in need of extra snuggle time, which works out great. School will consist of books on the couch and flashcards with leftover cupcakes.
My sweet Carissa texted me this morning forbidding me from making dinner, that she'd be over at 6pm with grub. She said I am to rest...I will not argue. She's very bossy about things like that ;)

It's Thursday, and today is all about Thursday.


I drove off with my tired babies into the beautiful Atlanta skyline, talking to Jarrod on the phone about yet another change coming up quick, and realized this: each day's trouble really is enough for that one day. We can't look too far ahead and we can't stay stuck back on Monday. If we do, we'll never move on. I want to look back on the happy, learn from the mess-ups, and focus on the present.




Cheers to Thursday, sweet friends.

xo,
{alicia}
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