Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I will start off with saying I am truly blessed to have a number of these types of friends. People who understand that I have children, family, a job (or few), and other things taking up a majority of my time these days. If I was ever needed by one of these friends (I consider family) I would do everything in my power to be there. We may not have the same interests/views or whatever 100% of the time but we are THERE for each other. I may not have the time or money to go out at night and when I DO get a rare night off, I want to see my family... my husband bc I really don't get to so much with our opposite schedules. We are really getting back to MAKING time for each other as it was an issue for a while but thats another topic entirely... *we're doing awesome, don't worry*
 I am trying not to be upset with some people I used to have in my life and considered friends/FAMILY that have recently stopped even trying. People I thought were true blue. I know "the road goes both ways" and I can try to call them or reach out myself... believe me, I've tried. I guess I have to suck it up and let it go. This is starting to sound very "poor me" and that was not my intention. I just like to get my thoughts out. Time to focus on the friends and family that deserve to be there.

with that thought out of the way, I will catch up with the happenings of recent times. I am taking a photography class that really has helped me sharpen my skills and has taught me what all of the settings and buttons on my fancy camera are for and how to use them. Being a self taught photographer, this hands on training was a gigantic help! Now I just need to get a new lens as my loving children have knocked my camera off so many high surfaces that it is busted. I have a few other lenses but I need a regular lens close to the kit one that has bitten the dust. Pretty sad that tonight is the last night of classes. I am hoping to find the money to take the next class up - advanced photo....

the following photos are things from class. They are practice shots, but I learned a few things! Sooo ready to go out and shoot and fine tune the new things I have learned.

once I up my equipment, maybe I can continue pursuing a career in photography *gasp* Self doubt is my largest enemy there. I have so many people behind me, pushing me to do it. I have practice on Halloween at Maris' class party! We shall see how I do with real subjects :)
other happenings...

we went to a super cute train birthday party
saw a walking stick bug!
 just an insert here: we were concerned about the pincer on his back end biting the kids... I was reading up on these creatures here and the pincers are for mating purposes. The pincers are on the male bugs and they are for grabbing onto the female bugs body while mating. Yikes.. lol

our little ballerina is doing fantastic!

keeping up with homework

J is "helping" her cut out shapes... or cutting them into confetti... but it makes him happy!

we made candy corn explosion cookies (a sugar cookie recipe I altered and made my own. Used pumpkin coffee creamer instead of milk in the recipe and added orange coloring and candy corns)

ridiculously sweet. I had one and felt the diabetes setting in haha
J is in preschool and has his ups and downs. He IS the Goob. He has always been a very sensitive and particular person that we have a lifestyle of walking on eggshells with him. Don't get me wrong, he is the sweetest most loving child ever. He does have his moments where he is just beyond reasoning and can be difficult. I feared that this would continue out of the home.... maybe it was only me that he does this with... but no. Last week at school I was pulled to the side and asked about his personality bc he is usually bright and happy and particiipates. Truly loves school. BUT the other day he was withdrawn and sullen as she put it. He wouldn't join in any activities and kept saying no. I was surprised, but then again not really. This IS jackson. I asked him on the way to the car if he liked school and he said no. I asked what happened and he stopped talking. But then Monday came around and he was bright eyed and bushy tailed pumped for school. We waited on the line of kids to go in and I asked him if he wanted to go play with his friends and he said "I have no friends. Just Maris." with a straight serious face. I wonder if he just isnt willing to get out there or CAN'T (shy like his Momma) or if it's all in his head. Jim says to let it be, I cant compare him to the outgoing older sister that meets friends everywhere she goes... and I try not to. I really embrace what makes him HIM and I try to take a cue from my Mom and let my kids be who they are... he is a (mostly) happy, wonderful kid and I'm sure he will be fine. This week has been great. Still no friends he claims, but he tells me all about how he does puzzles and paints and hears stories... he can't wait to dress up for the Halloween party.

Well I guess that's about everything. I know its a cluster-eff of thoughts and photos, but this is how my brain works! Now to continue making the costumes and getting him ready for another day of school.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bittersweet day...

 Today marks the 10 year anniversary of when Jim and I first started dating officially and also the 4th anniversary of our marriage. The date was strategically chosen to keep track, plus I love the fall. It also marks the day that we had to say goodbye to my Godmother & Aunt Sherry. It was a difficult day to balance feelings of sadness and love and happiness...

I will keep this short with a few photos bc that's what I do. 10 years, 2 kids... a billion photos and memories... we did good. Hopefully many more years to come.

Here is to embracing life and to enjoying many more happy years. Thanks to all for the well wishes on the anniversary and also the comforting words about my Aunt. I really wanted to write a lot on the subject of today but i am just so burnt out. Family is everything. Plain and simple.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ten Things I Took Away From My 10 Year HS Reunion

I am a nostalgia junkie. I occasionally look back at my yearbooks and scrapbooks, post old photos to social networks, remember stories about just about everyone I've ever met... it's just who I am. So when the time came for my high school reunion... I was pretty pumped. The whole myspace/facebook/twitter trend has really killed the whole "I wonder how everyone is" aspect of a reunion. Most people that you want to stay in touch with from your past, you've sought out already and KNOW how they are, how many kids they have, where they work, if they got fat, or any other cliche thing people love to go to reunions for just by "cyber-stalking" their profiles :) Regardless of this fact, I still put myself out there and opened myself up to the experience of enduring people I haven't seen/spoken to in 10+ years (some on purpose). Not gonna lie... I am SOOO glad NONE of my ex boyfriends were there... haha Of course I had some friends there that I still remain in touch with, so I was looking forward to hanging with them and introducing Jimmy to the ones that haven't met him yet. AND SO! onto the things I have taken away from this experience.

NUMBER ONE: most importantly, the first thing is Some Things Never Change. I arrived before anyone else to the Inn where the event was held and Jim and I had some dinner and a drink while the people started filtering in. As a people watcher, I found it fascinating that everyone followed the same social structure set 10 (well, even more!) years ago. A few people I knew from middle school and lost touch with since filtered in and formed 2 distinctive groups on different sides of the bar. Reason being : there was a recent break up *divorce actually* and everyone there awkwardly took a "side". JUST like high school. Then, as the night went on, the more popular kids from back then all formed another separate group WAY on the other side of the bar in a different room by the pool tables and barely mingled with anyone else. Not that I wanted to see or speak to any of them... I just found it funny that nothing changed in that aspect. I remained a neutral party in high school being that I didn't really have an outward personality. I was in art club and had a diverse spread of friends in different social "levels" in the school caste system, so I spoke to people from all of the divided sects in the reunion. Some things never change.

NUMBER TWO: The prom king had the after-party at his place. We desperately avoided all invites we received to attend this... I guess this one counts as the some things never change stated above :) but still deserves it's own spot.

NUMBER THREE: high school reunion movies make more sense now. I played scenes from them in my head as things were happening. I am really glad we had a low-key event instead of the movie-depicted formal forced prom in the old gym routine... movies that came to mind: Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (I didn't have a back brace like her, but I did feel like the outcast in hs sometimes so I related to this one. I was awkward.. still am!), Peggy Sue Got Married (I always fantasized about having this relive-a-moment experience and wake back up in your life knowing it's better), Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Grosse Pointe Blank (great songs and John Cusack yum), American Pie Reunion, The Big Chill, Hot Tub Time Machine...

NUMBER FOUR: I can ride a mechanical bull. Maybe not well... but I stayed on for a billion years longer than I ever expected. I have enough courage to get up in front of everyone there and do it. AND I wasn't even drunk :) I had a shot of Jameson and a beer in me but that's all. I swore I would go up there and not be able to get up on the thing to begin with but I did it! There's something I never before thought I'd ever be able to say... I rode a mechanical bull and survived! haha 
photographic proof

 NUMBER FIVE: Just because you remember someone, it doesn't mean they remember you. I went to this thing figuring everyone would know me... that wasn't the case. No idea why this surprised me.. I have always been shy. I guess I figured because I was involved with a bunch of clubs and took a ton of classes that people would at least remember my face or name. Most people did. Only 2 or 3 people that I encountered had to really think to remember me. I knew everyone at least by face or name that I talked to. Being a people watcher and observant person, I knew I would though.I even know upper and underclass grad year kids that were there.

NUMBER SIX: Don't worry about the people you disliked... no sense in wasting energy on stupid things that happened eons ago. Think of how different you are and how different those people may be by now. Although I did state that some things never change, PEOPLE do. Old habits die hard, as displayed by the segregation of the room. I DID however sit with Jim and fill him in on the who's who and what I remembered them for in school. Whenever I encountered one of these people, I politely waved and smiled or excused myself from conversations.

NUMBER SEVEN: I "look exactly the same"! I heard from just about everyone that I look the same as I did in high school. I just smiled and said thanks... I am used to people at work assuming I am a high school student - happens constantly. :) Guess it's a good thing to look young.

age 17
age 28

NUMBER EIGHT: Don't have high expectations . I made sure that I didn't idealize or visualize anything that could or may happen. I tend to think waaayy too much about everything and I'm glad I didn't put much emotional stock into this. I went with an open mind and even Jim had fun. Which brings me to...

NUMBER NINE: I have a great husband. He willingly and enthusiastically put up with going to another school's reunion with hardly anyone he knew... listened to stories that had nothing to do with him or anyone he knew besides me... he was charming to all of my past friends and acquaintances and actually had fun. We are NOT bar people... this was not our "scene", but we both had a great night. AND both hit the "enough is enough" point at the same exact time haha
check out the "I'm having fun!"goofy camera face

NUMBER TEN: ten years is a great number to span these things out. Any sooner, and I might not have ever gone. I have had my fill of high school awkwardness,drama, and forced social environments to fill that time period. If we have a 20th reunion, I say bring it on!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy October - Costumes of the past

 Happy October everyone! I have already begun to plan for this years Halloween. It has always been a favorite holiday of mine... it is during my favorite time of year! I am ready for apple and pumpkin picking, hay rides, baking all the time, trick or treating, parties... here is a look back on Halloweens past.

Halloween 2007 - I couldn't find a better quality one! They are all backed up somewhere. Maris was a cow :)
 I remember her first Halloween... I had only been a Mom for a few months and still ragged and getting used to everything and as crazy as it sounds (for ME)... I didn't think to get her a costume! We had a few Halloween onesies and things so I didn't think she really needed one, but ON Halloween that year, I took her into Babies R Us to pick up a couple things and saw that their costumes were already marked down to insanely low prices. Not a huge selection, but there was this cow costume sitting there in her size for less than 2 dollars. Sold. haha. I also purchased a giraffe and princess outfit equally as cheap.

Halloween 2008

2008 - unpacked that 2 dollar costume from the year before and it JUUUST fit her! She has always been tall for her age so it was a close fit lengthwise but she made a cute giraffe! We took her trick or treating to family and a few friends houses and had an early night.

Halloween 2009
 2009 - Enter Jackson! This is the first year that I made costumes by hand. I came into my "mom-ness" and started doing things like my mom always did... homemade stuff and crafts and outings... I really wanted to make them match and Maris had her heart set on being a lobster. At the time she said "Lops". I made felt pinchie claws and attached ping pong balls onto pipe cleaners on her headband for googly eyes. I sewed an entire fish outfit for Jac kson complete with hat. I LOVE that hat. It is a 3d fish head with a pink open mouth. A lot of work, but made both costumes on the extreme cheap. I made the fish on the "aquarium" while coloring with Maris one day. Cut them out and taped them to the fuzzy blanket. Rolling aquarium!

Halloween 2010

2010 - Homemade for Maris, store bought for Jackson. BUT only bc I got his on clearance really cheap and again - almost didnt fit him! She wanted to be a ladybug princess. She wore black clothes she already owned and I bought a couple bucks worth of tulle and made her a black and red tutu with polka dot ribbon details and got her lady bug wings at the dollar store!

Halloween 2011

 Maris wanted to be a candy corn princess (she comes up with these on her own... haha) and Jackson didn't care. I got this pirate costume last minute. I had MADE him a pirate costume, but I wasn't thrilled with it and this one was at the consignment shop for a couple bucks so I went for it. Again, almost too small for him, but you only wear it for a few hours one day really so it wasnt a big deal. He did make the most adorable pirate ever :) He kept walking up to everyone saying "im a PIRATE!"

Halloween 2012 will bring us a black cat (complete with tutu - she was very specific) and Jacks keeps going back and forth from Kermit and Jack Skellington. I have the Kermit made, but I am tempted by Jack! 2 of my favorite characters, a man after my own heart... he already has that though :)