Archive | December, 2013

Out With the Old…

30 Dec

This time last year I posted a blog complete with 13 resolutions, and then six months ago I posted a follow-up. As 2013 comes to a close, I thought I’d look at those goals of mine one last time. The original resolutions will be in bold, the stuff from June will be in italics, and my new additions will not only be in the font you currently are reading, but separate. The new Music Theme is “The New Year, all this Old and New” so you may see a few videos in the mix as well 😉

1. It’s a recurring resolution, but to be a better wife and mother. You know how there are those cheeses that get better with age? I think I’m like that. I feel like I have been growing right along with Logan, and I know there is still much more growing to do.

I’d like to think I accomplished this, just like at this time next year I will (hopefully) be even better yet. Logan may be the one who’s growing up, but his dad and I are still growing along with our soon-to-be-three-year-old.

This is the New Year- Glee Cast
“Speak louder than the words before you, and give them meaning no one else has found.”

2. To continue blogging on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th of each month. Speaking of, what blogs would you like to see in the new year? We’ll just ignore the second part of that, but my goal to blog on those specific days has not been ignored which makes me happy. It would have been pretty easy for me to go on a hiatus while we were without internet for over a month, and although my weekly blog suffered, this one never did.

Done! *Throws confetti* If you don’t believe me you can check out my handy calendar widget.

3. Start a Pen Pal of the Month series. Check to the 6th power. KaylaJodySadieAllisonJustine, and Casey have all been Pen Pal of the Month now.

Also done. I won’t be continuing this next year so I hope all the pen pals I have acknowledged enjoyed their recognition and little knick knacks. (This blog series occurred on the 10TH of every month should you want to investigate.)

4. Use up stationery I don’t use much anymore via Stationery of the Month. Some of the paper I chose for some of the months didn’t take me long to use, though March was a real bitch.

This became especially tedious after a while, but I did use up a lot of paper that I likely wouldn’t have used otherwise. I still have stationery from several of the months (and used the leftovers from two as a trivia prize), but a dent’s a dent.

Unwritten- Natasha Bedingfield
“I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned.”

5. Send a random postcard to a random pen pal every month. I haven’t made some kind of record of this, but it’s safe to assume I did just this considering how I’m always finding a reason to send someone something.

I constantly post things in my FB group like “The first person to like this gets a postcard from me,” so I think it’s safe to say I did this.

6. Reward those I’ve heard from every month at the end of the year. Can’t really cross this resolution off yet, but I can tell you that Jody, Justine, Kayla, Amanda, Holly, and Kimberlee all remain in the running.

I sent Jody her reward along with her package from the Christmas Exchange, and I’ll be sending Justine and Kayla rewards, too.

7. To meet at least one pen pal (Kära &/or Jody from Ohio perhaps?) I have yet to accomplish this one either, but Kära and I have been talking about meeting this summer and going to the Toledo Zoo. *Fingers crossed*

The boys and I were close to meeting Kära and her fiance this fall, but our vehicles both decided to crap out on us at the same time. Better luck next year.

8. Have another photo shoot with the boys and Katelyn Revill. This should be happening sometime in July!

*Ahem*

9. Send both family and pen pals pictures from #8. This will probably happen early August then…

As sure as there are pictures above this number I accomplished this task.

10. Finish the %#@&!%& basement and hang up all the postcrossing cards down there. Ugh. Nothing to report here :-/

This isn’t any closer to happening now than it was this time last year. My father-in-law mentioned working on it with his father-in-law, but nothing has become if it yet.

11. Read more than just mail, Facebook posts, and text messages. The first couple months of 2013 I did NOT do this, but I made myself get Julie & Julia for my birthday in March and after I read that I kept finding things to read like the Fifty Shades of Grey books, The Infernal Devices trilogy, and The Help.

Allow me to present exhibits A-I:

12. Try at least one new recipe a month (and from meggoesnomnom, perhaps?) We have made six recipes over the past six months, just not one each month- whoops. We have made our own speciality pizzas, a breakfast casserole, and things in the crockpot like lasagna and meatloaf. I have yet to try any recipes from my sister-in-law’s blog but alas, I still have six months to go.

I stopped keeping track around the time I wrote Resolutions Revisited, but I know we’ve tried several things since then like baked spaghetti, pizza from scratch, and this recipe from my sister-in-law’s blog.

13. SAVE MONEY! This hasn’t really happened. It seems like every time we go to try some new expense will come along. The year’s not over so maybe our luck will change.

Our bank account had fewer highs than lows this past year so this particular resolution didn’t happen, but thanks to Gabe’s bonus we’re at least ending 2013 rather comfortably.

Blame it on the Pop- DJ Earworm
“Just pick back up when you’re tumbling down, down, down.”

I hope that your resolutions were as resolved as most of mine were, if not more so. All the best in 2014!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

PS: If you’re intrigued by the music videos/ music theme concept, I listed the other Music Themists in a widget on the right side of this blog 🙂

Home for the Holidays

25 Dec
Our Christmas Tree and Cards as of 12/21

Our Christmas Tree and Christmas Cards as of 12/21. Also pictured: Some toys from Logan’s own Island of Misfit Toys.

Seasons Greetings, Bleaders! It’s Christmas morning and the boys and I are about to open presents, but I wanted to give you all a little something, too!

Don’t get too excited 😉

My first gift is the gift of knowledge. Likely useless knowledge unless you happen to be one of my pen pals participating in the Christmas Exchange I organized, but knowledge nonetheless. Earlier this year a handful of my pen pals showed interest in me arranging it so each of them would A) send me enough of their own contribution to give to each participant so B) they’d get a little something from everyone, too.

The good news is, with the exception of Allison’s (per her request), I got all the packages shipped out; the bad news is that my best laid plans still went astray… The first craptacular incident happened when I had a falling out with one of the participators, but fortunately she already sent me her contribution. The second incident was another contribution taking its time getting here– thankfully the others were all patient as well as supportive. We’re still waiting on the latter’s gift, but hopefully it will get here soon and the participants will get their (first) packages soon, too! Because my pen pals have yet to get anything, I’m not going to post any pictures in here or say who was responsible for what. I will, however, tell you that 3 people got us pen pal-friendly odds and ends, 2 people went the homemade route, and 1 person hooked us up with some candy made in her state 😉

My second gift is the gift of music. There are a handful of bloggers here on WordPress that indulge in Music Themes. Every 4-5 days one of them will announce the theme and the other themists will find their niche within that theme and then find videos, artwork, or other things that coincide with it. Normally I help my mother with such endeavors, but considering the newest theme is “Home for the Holidays” and today is not only a holiday but the 25th, I thought I’d share the songs you might hear around my home today…

Phineas and Ferb “Christmas Vacation” Theme
“Building a snowman the size of Colossus, or giving a yeti a shower. Fa la la la”

Do They Know it’s Christmas- Glee Cast
“And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy. Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time.”

White Christmas- The Drifters
“I, I, I, I’m dreaming of a white… Christmas! with every Christmas card I write.”

All I Want for Christmas is You- Lady Antebellum
“I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know…”

Last Christmas- Ashley Tisdale
“Happy Christmas. I wrapped it up and sent it with a note saying ‘I love you’, I meant it.”

Christmas Eve in Sarajevo- Trans Siberian Orchestra

Believe- Josh Groban
“Believe in what you feel inside, and give your dreams the wings to fly.”

Here are the blogs that regularly participate in the Music Themes if you’re interested: bearspawprint, 47whitebuffalo’s Blog, willowdot21, johnny ojanpera, Hat Paint, Ladders and Wonky Pooh, and of course Container Chronicles.

Well Bleaders, I hope your holidays are happy ones! Later today we’ll see my in-laws and then on the 28th we’ll see a chunk of my side of the family, but for the most part we’re home for the holidays. Cheers!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

7 Deadly Sins: Wrath

20 Dec

Wrath [rath] noun
strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation;

vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger

Why Kate Sincerely thinks Wrath’s considered a deadly sin:

I know you know I can write, but did you know I can sing? I bring this up because back when I used to cantor at church, there was this song that went along the lines of “Loving and forgiving are you, Oh Lord. Slow to anger, rich in kindness…” and as I was thinking about my thoughts on wrath, I started thinking about that song. I know as mere mortals we’re all going to make mistakes. We’re going to scold someone for something trivial just because we’re frustrated by something else entirely, or we’ll want to hurt someone just because they hurt us. And though it’s one thing to vent our frustrations, it’s another to seek vengeance. The world may be unfair sometimes, but we all need to be slow to anger and rich in kindness.

Some of my Recent Sins:

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not too guilty of this one. Since this is the last of the “7 Deadly Sins” series I’d love to tell you how I once killed a man just to watch him die, but I’m afraid I won’t literally be going out with a bang. I simply need to work on my patience and keeping my temper a bit more.

. . .

Another series of mine has now come and gone– I hope I don’t catch any wrath for it 😉 When I first started this, I used the following as my introduction:

I used to be fascinated by the 7 Deadly Sins, possibly because my mom used to work for the church and life’s funny like that. The other day I thought about this stationery that I used to have– stationery one of my pen pals said reminded her of the 7 Deadly Sins–  and in addition to wishing I still had it, I got an idea for a new little series via SK.

This series might not have been all that in-depth, but considering how it started you can’t blame a girl for just having fun with it.

The Sinful Set of Stationery (picture found via amazon.com)

The Sinful Set of Stationery (picture found via amazon.com)

All the best to my fellow “sinners” now and always!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

All I Want for Christmas is His Two Front Teeth

15 Dec

I’m going to take a little break from blogging about one of my favorite things so I can talk about one of my favorite people– Mr. Logan! However, I have been telling my pen pals to keep an eye out for this blog if they have been wondering about his teeth, so it all works out.

Several months ago my husband and I discovered our son’s front teeth were broken and in October they were removed. Fast forward to December 7th when the little guy was back in the chair since it turned out his molars had cavities. I had no idea how problematic baby teeth could be! If/when Gabe and I have another baby I will definitely be doing things differently like weaning him or her off of bottles when they turn one as this should be a rule and not a guideline.

Anyway, the morning of the 7th was a bit rough. Logan couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight so if the early hour didn’t make him ornary enough, not being able to have any milk or juice certainly did…

I am not amused!

I am not amused!

He may have asked for a drink once or twice as we were on our way to Hurley Medical Center, but otherwise he was pretty content as we made our trek to Flint. There were a lot of “Where are we?”s as soon as we got to our destination, and although he wasn’t a fan of having to wear the hospital gown or bracelets, he was still content for the longest time– he got to ride on an elevator, he liked his nurse, and there were two TVs in our room so he got to watch twice the Jake (and the Neverland Pirates) and twice the Sofia (the First).

063

After hanging out in our room for the day for a while, Logan got to go for a ride on his bed over to pre-op. The dentist and nurses all introduced themselves and gave us the impression they genuinely wanted to be there. At this point Logan was starting to get a bit ruffled again since he had to stay on the bed, but between Vincent, the baby on the next bed over, and the stuffed puppy he was given (who he promptly named Butterfly– love it!) he was still doing pretty all right. There was some pouting but there weren’t any tears.

064

There were a lot of tears once Logan woke up from the anesthesia– both his and mine. I know he wasn’t in pain and that, once again, he just didn’t like how the sedation made him feel, but it’s still so hard to see him go through so much without him understanding why he’s going through it and me not really being able to do anything for him. He kicked out his IV, kept getting the thing they were monitoring him with off his toe, and he just wouldn’t calm down. Every time I though he might be settling down he’d start crying all over again. Once he had been monitored long enough, Logan and I got to head from the recovery room back to our room for the day where his dad was waiting for us. He was still upset for quite some time, refusing to have any water, juice, or popsicles, but eventually he did manage to doze off and once he woke up he downed half of his dad’s ginger ale. We got to leave soon after.

065

On the way home, roughly 9 hours after we arrived that morning, the Loganator would nod in and out. He really wanted McDonalds so, being the sympathetic parents who wanted to win back our son’s favor that we were, we obliged and he DEMOLISHED his fries and nuggets in record time. I thought for sure he would pass out when we got home, but he was content watching even more Jake cuddled up against me (as I was passed out). Around 6pm we decided we would take him over to see my in-laws… only for him to climb on their big recliner with Butterfly and not climb back off of it– that light was out!

066

It has been a little over a week since that day, and although he was still a bit groggy the following morning he is back to his normal self who is excited for Christmas. He hasn’t showed any signs of discomfort, but he continues to show Butterfly some lovin’, both at home and when he goes to his grandparents’.

There’s a thing on WordPress called “A Moment in Time” where a group of bloggers share their experiences from certain times on certain days, the current moment in time being 6:58 p.m. on 12/14/13. 6:58 was the moment when Gabe got up to get batteries for Logan’s LeapPad because for the past few days it has been used for a lot of Flingo via Pet Pad and ship building via his Jake and the Neverland Pirates cartridge game. While Gabe was fetching the AA’s I asked Logan what he wanted for Christmas and apparently he ‘s going to need even more batteries for the LeapPad. There’s nothing wrong with that kid’s cognitive development.

With any luck, from now on Logan’s just going to have to go in for check-ups at six month intervals. Aside from wishing he still had his front teeth, I think it’s safe to say that’s what all three of us want the most right now!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Pen Pal of the Month- December

10 Dec

retiredMy 12th and final Pen Pal of the Month is Simona from Italy! Crowning her December’s PPOTM was an easy decision– not only did I get her letter on the 5th, it included this:

You give a big importance to your friend every month– great idea. I enjoy reading about them.

As you can imagine, Simona was very excited when I told her the news!

SK: How do you feel about being pen pal of the month?

Simona: As I wrote you in the last letter, you make a person feel special and important by being pen pal of the month. Thanks for it! Never thought to be.

SK: When and why did you get into pen palling?

Simona: I had a pen pal years ago (when I was 8 yrs) but I don’t remember anything about her… So I can say you are my first real pen pal. I just found a few groups on FB and thought it would be great to find new friends and improve my English.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about pen palling?

Simona: I love to wait for letters, to write (wish I had more time for it)… It’s so much fun to see peoples faces when you say “I write letters” to them. Do you mean email letters? No, I write and send it by mail. Why? By email is faster… Letters written by hand on paper– what can be better? Seems it’s a bit old fashioned.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about having me as your pen pal?

Simona: I like the way you write, how you express yourself. That’s what I’d like to learn from you. You are sincere, nice. Even if I’ve got just few letters from you, seems we’re old friends.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about December?

Simona: I love the atmosphere before Christmas, all the lights in town… When I lived in Lithuania there was lots of snow in this period. Unfortunately, here in Italy it’s a rare thing.

SK: What do you want more than anything this Christmas?

Simona: I asked Santa for a sewing-embroidery machine– I want it so badly!! I could do nice things with it.

SK: What are you looking forward to next year?

Simona: Next year I MUST get my driving license. To be happy, to get my English better, and to visit some new places.

I hope Simona enjoys the goodies I’ll be sending her as much as I have enjoyed hearing from her over the past few months, and I hope you, dear bleader(s), have enjoyed this series!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Throwing Snowballs Instead of Throwing Heads

5 Dec

Hola! In addition to being nominated for the award I originally created, Container Chronicles also nominated me a few others *throws confetti* (Since it’s December, the thought of throwing anything reminded me of the song “What’s This” from The Nightmare Before Christmas in case you were curious about the title of this blog… like my mom was.)

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Instructions:

  • 1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.
  • 2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen– there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required– and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.
  • 3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them.
  • 4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/
  • 5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear Share your blog posts with  an even wider audience.
  • 6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars! (There are graphics with more stars highlighted should you be nominated for this more than once).

Since I’m accepting four awards today, I shall nominate four people for this specific award:

ABC Award

Here are the rules:

  1.  You must display this award on your blog.
  2.  Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who awarded you.
  3.  Present 8 deserving Bloggers with the award.
  4.  Link your nominees with the post and let them know of their award.
  5. Write a word or phrase about yourself for each letter of the alphabet.

Here are my ABCs (and yes, I know X is a cop-out and V is just weird):

Amazing                                                                              Notebook Junkie
Blogger                                                                                Obsessive
Collector of Gnomes                                                      Pen Pal
Dear 😉                                                                                 Quirky
Emotional                                                                           Reader
Friend                                                                                    Sinful
Gleek                                                                                     Tomfooler
Homebody                                                                          Unwritten
Idealistic                                                                              Voluptuous
Jolly                                                                                       Wannabe Writer
Kit Kat ❤                                                                            Xtraordinary
Lover                                                                                     Youthful
Mommy                                                                                Zentangler

And here are my eight nominees:

dragonsloyaltyaward

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just someone who follows and comments regularly.”

Rules for this award:

1. First, display the award on your site. You earned it and you deserve it!
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award in your acceptance post.
3. Nominate 15 well-deserving bloggers for the award and let them know the wonderful news by sending them a message on their site.
4. List 7 interesting facts about yourself

7 interesting facts:

1. I have a plethora of questions I like to ask each of my pen pals, and I’m going to use my answers for this set of facts.

2. If I could have a superpower, I’d want what Monica had in season 2 of Heroes. Having knife skills in the kitchen or even wrestling moves just by seeing them would be incredibly convenient.

3. If I could have 50 pounds of anything, besides money, I think I’d go with clothes and divide the weight among me and the boys (e.g. 10 pounds of work pants for Gabe, another 10 for winter-friendly apparel for the Loganator, etc.). Unless gift cards are acceptable, then I’d go with those instead.

4. As a kid, three things I collected were keychains, Beanie Babies, and Goosebumps books, and as a teenager I collected shot glasses, hoodies, and “princess” stuff. These days I’ve been collecting postcards, lined stationery, and gnomes.

5. If life was a movie mine would be called Little Wonders, Maggie Gyllenhaal would star in it, and the soundtrack would include “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, “I Could Not Ask for More” by Edwin McCain, and “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas.

6. If I had to choose an anthem for myself it would be “Unwell” by Matchbox 20.

7. The three things I’m thankful for right this second are leftovers from Hungry Howies, a new episode of American Horror Story, and these blog awards, of course!

My nominees:

The Woman's Skirt Award

My rules:

  1.  Post the award on your blog and who nominated you
  2. Share 8 things about yourself
  3. Nominate 8 people and let them know

Despite the rules, since I nominated eight people when I made this award I’m not going to nominate more people. However I didn’t share eight things about yours truly last time so I shall do that now that I’ve won this award myself…

  1. Despite making this award, I’m not a fan of wearing skirts.
  2. I do not own a single pair of heels.
  3. A goal of mine next year is to win at least five more awards… and for people besides my mom to nominate me (wink wink, nudge nudge).
  4. Another goal is to get 100 followers and for them to comment on each of my blogs to the point I can end each post with my favorite comment from the previous entry.
  5. Things I literally want include Sims 3 and a bookshelf.
  6. I am determined to get Logan an ornament for Christmas every year and Gabe’s just as determined to get him a John Deere tractor.
  7. Most of our Christmas shopping was done before Thanksgiving for the first time ever.
  8. This award seems a bit ironic after a post like this!

Congratulations to all of my nominees; I hope finding the award I chose for you wasn’t too much of a challenge! It’s been great following your blogs and being followed myself (in a non-stalker way, of course). Keep on keeping on!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~