Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 30

I can hardly believe it's already the 30th of the month. Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas is right around the corner!

Today I'm going to share with you 5 good things that have happened while doing this blog challenge, as well as a picture of me today.

  • I didn't procrastinate! Yep, that's the number one good thing that happened (not really, it just happens to be number 1 on this list) during this challenge. I was able to work ahead, schedule my posts (including this one!), and crank them out on time.
  • I got to see my big kids and my parents. This season can be my favorite time of year just because I get to see my family a little more often. I might complain about the logistics of it all, but seeing them is all that really matters. Who cares if it's not on the terms I wish it were? I'm fortunate that I'm still able to spend time with them. There are so many mothers (and fathers) that don't have the option of seeing their children at all.
  • I learned a few things about myself. It was fun to reminisce and think about who I really am. I hope you learned something about me too!
  • I got my Christmas shopping started. Again, not procrastinating as much. One of these days I will have it all done before December 1st, but this is not the year!
  • I celebrated my 2 year anniversary on day 19 of this challenge - two years tobacco/smoke free! I think that's a pretty big deal, and I'm proud of that!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 29

I can't believe this challenge is over tomorrow already. This month has literally raced by. Today I'm going to tell you about 3 wishes.

Wish #1 - I wish that all of my children will live each day knowing how much they are loved and cherished, and never have a doubt in their minds that I am thinking about them all the time.

Wish #2 - I wish for good health for myself and my family. I can't imagine having to deal with a medical crisis for any of my family members, especially my children.

Wish #3 - I wish for prosperity for my family and friends. Prosperity in the form of love, career, and health - I want us all to be happy, healthy and successful.

I know, these sound really cheesy. I thought about wishing for a big old diamond ring, but that just seemed REALLY shallow, so I had to get a little deeper with it. If you only had three wishes, what would YOU wish for?

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 28

Stressors. We all have them. Today I'm to tell you about one of my stressors. Money is a big stressor for me. I've been fortunate as of late to not be so stressed about the finances, but it's always in the back of my mind. I know that money doesn't buy happiness, and I truly believe that. However, money does pay the bills, keeps scary landlords off your back, and ensures your car is full of gas and that your fridge is full of food. Most arguments between married couples are due to finances, and I'm so fortunate (in this marriage) that no matter how broke or not broke we've been, we do NOT fight about money. My husband works hard for our family, and I respect that. He respects that I work hard to take care of our household and our kids. He never belittles me for being a stay at home mom, and is constantly thanking me for all I do. I thank him frequently for the sacrifices that he's made for our family. Let's face situation with my older kids is a big stressor in the pocketbook. Between child support that has to be paid each month (yep, my husband pays that too - for MY kids - because he's awesome), and the cost of travel between Maryland and Florida a MINIMUM of four times each year, usually with 3 kids in tow, money can be a big issue. My husband has never let the money come between us, so this stressor that used to be a big deal hasn't been such a big deal in the past couple of years. That doesn't mean that told traumas don't cause anxiety when the bank account is getting low. It just means that I'm learning to not let it get to me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 27

Today I'm going to share with you an original photo of the town I live in: Indialantic. This photo was taken on the beach - our town is very small, and the beach is the main attraction here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 26

Dream wedding. Really? You would think this would be an easy topic, since I've been married twice. My first wedding made me feel like a princess. Unfortunately, the frog that I married never did quite turn into that prince I was hoping for. The second time around, I was broke and I wasn't looking for a fairy tale wedding. It was kind of last minute, as we had originally planned to just get married by a justice of the peace at the local courthouse. At the last minute, we threw together a church wedding, minus all the flowers and big pretty dresses. My kids were there and my mom was there, so it worked. If I had it to do all over again, it would be my husband and I, our children, and a white sandy beach somewhere warm. Somewhere like this would be great:

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa

At this point, it would be more of a renewal of vows than a normal wedding, but I'm just glad that after the past four years of marriage that I would be more than willing to marry him all over again.

Friday, November 25, 2011

CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz | Win 2 Clean Eating Cookbooks! |#CouponCabinHop

Welcome to CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz! This multi-blog event is hosted by Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA and is sponsored by CouponCabin. This is the biggest event the blogosphere has seen with over 400 giveaways each at $25 value or more plus a huge giveaway with some major prizes like a MacBook Air, iPad2 & Visa Gift Cards. You can find all the giveaways from the participating blogs by visiting the host blogs, Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA. Each host blog will feature a different set of giveaways for you to enter!

No matter what type of coupon you're looking for, you'll find it and over 100,000 others at, a leading destination for coupon codes, printable coupons, deals and more. Now with a new and improved grocery coupons section and the largest selection of coupon codes that are guaranteed to work, CouponCabin is the best place to start your search for savings. This holiday season, CouponCabin is dedicated to making holiday savings as easy as pie by bringing you the best deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can also download our CouponDetector and we'll let you know when the site you’re shopping has coupons and deals available. Never pay full price again with help from!

CouponCabin is giving away the following fabulous prizes:
Grand Prize: MacBook Air (11-inch, 128GB; ARV $1,199)
2nd Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629) & $200 Visa Gift Card
3rd Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629)
4th Runner Up: $300 Visa Gift Card
5th Runner Up: $200 Visa Gift Card
6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Runner Ups: $100 Visa Gift Card each

Please visit Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA to enter the giveaway and make sure to say A Glimpse of My Life referred you! You can enter on all three sites or just one- it’s up to you! If you enter all three giveaways that just means more chances for you to win.

If you follow my blog, you know I'm a believer in Clean Eating. I'm such a believer that I have chosen to self-sponsor a giveaway for this event of two Clean Eating cookbooks, each valued at $19.95.  The winner will receive BOTH cookbooks, a total value of $39.90 USD.

The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2: More Great-Tasting Recipes That Keep You Lean

The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids: Simple Strategies for Lasting Health and Fitness

The giveaway ends on November 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be selected at random and have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. Good luck!

Enter the other blogs' giveaways in the CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz by visiting the links below!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 25

It's Black Friday! Hope you're enjoying the great deals today. I won't be, since I'm traveling back to DC with the kids today, but I'm hoping to score some great deals on Cyber Monday!

Today I'm divulging the first 10 songs on my iPod when I press shuffle. This is kind of embarrassing, but keep in mind that I do have four children! I see two songs below that I actually listen to when given the choice! Comment below with your guesses of which two they are and I'll tell you if you're right. Click on the links below to go listen to the songs for yourself.

Big Time Rush - Halfway There

Taylor Swift - Back to December

Hellogoodbye - Here (In Your Arms)

Diddy - Dirty Money & Skylar Grey - Coming Home

Disturbed - Stricken

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

Disturbed - Decadence

Big Time Rush - Boyfriend

The Philadelphia Orchestra & Eugene Ormandy - Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34: II. the Last Spring

Tool - Lipan Conjuring

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 24

Today I'm supposed to talk about something that I've learned.  I've learned this lesson first from my mother.  I had it reiterated to me the other day while standing in line to pay my bill at breakfast.  My mom used to tell me that when something gets me irritated or aggravated, to think about whether that thing will matter tomorrow, next week, or next year.  If it's not going to affect the future somehow for the worse, then shrug it off and move on!  This can work in so many aspects in life.  The next time you're stuck behind a "blue-hair" (as my husband likes to call the snowbirds!), and they're doing 10 mph below the speed limit, ask yourself if it's really going to matter tomorrow that you spent a little extra time behind the wheel of your vehicle today.  Don't let it get to you!  This is great advice, as I find myself getting irritated many days while driving!

I told you that I was reminded of this lesson the other day.  I had just finished eating breakfast with my children,  and I was standing in line waiting to pay our bill.  There was quite a line at the front of the establishment, and when this happens, they post a sign on the front door asking patrons to please use the side door to enter.  Several people were coming in the front door anyways, causing those standing in line to have to shuffle around, and creating a bit of a crowd at the front entrance area.  The gentleman standing behind me stated that he guessed they couldn't read the sign, didn't read the sign, or didn't care what the sign said.  I chuckled and agreed with him.  He then backtracked and said that it didn't matter.  It wouldn't matter six months from now, so who cares whether they came in the wrong door or not.  I agreed with him again and told him that my mom used to always tell me that too.  He said that he learned that when his daughter dropped out of college, and he was very upset and angry with her, feeling like a failure as a parent, he asked himself if it would matter in six months that she had dropped out.  When he found that the answer was no, he decided to let go.  He said that he has learned to apply that theory to many aspects of his life because life is too short to be angry and disappointed over things that don't matter.  What a profound lesson to learn!

So, on this Thanksgiving Day I am thankful that I have learned this lesson from my mother, and thankful to have the reminder from that anonymous gentleman on this Thanksgiving week.  Enjoy the holiday today with your family!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 23

Today I was supposed to tell you about my favorite movie, but we already discussed favorite movies on Day 7. Today I've decided to tell you about our family pets instead.

Bella squaring off with Helo
Bella is our cat. She has calico markings, and is your run of the mill mutt cat. She's got these huge green eyes, and fur that sheds everywhere! Lint brushes sure do come in handy at our house! Bella was a gift to my daughter for her 8th birthday. A friend of mine from work had a cat that had kittens and was giving them away. We went to her home, and Karissa picked Bella out. She also picked out her name.
When I was planning to move here three years ago, there was some discussion as to whether or not Bella would be going to live with Karissa at her Dad's or moving with me. Lucky me, I got to take her with me. Poor Bella didn't like the long drive to Florida. The trip took us about 18 hours, during which she refused to eat, drink, or use a litter box. She meow-ed for the first 45 minutes of our trip, then she just huddled quietly in her kitty carrier. It wasn't long before she was out and about, learning to tease the big dogs and hold her own! She has since adopted my husband as her "person", even though he's not really a cat person. She keeps him company when he's home by perching on the kitchen counter while he makes his breakfast, and huddling between his legs at night when we're in bed.

Helo is our boxer boy. We adopted him when he was 8 weeks old in October of 2008, shortly after Tommy's dog Rocky passed away. Tommy would get up every two hours during the night to take Helo outside, and he was housebroken in just a couple of weeks. I would sit at my computer to get my work done during the day, and Helo would be sleeping on top of my feet (it's hard to believe he was that tiny!). Oh how I miss the tiny Helo! Now, Helo is almost 70 pounds. He's so strong and muscular! He's also about as sweet and lovable as a dog can get. He loves to be rubbed and played with. He has proven to be highly tolerant of children, and Tristan is constantly taking advantage of that by sitting on him, patting him hard, and tugging on his ears. I knew Helo would be great around Tristan when he was constantly at his side right after he was born. Helo thought that Tristan was HIS baby. No joke! We've raised Helo as we would raise any child of ours - we've taught him his manners, disciplined him when he forgot them, and loved him unconditionally.

Boxer Bash, December 2010 with Helo & Lilly
Lilly is our sweet rescue girl. Lilly was originally a foster that we got from Coastal Boxer Rescue. I had my eye on another dog, but it turned out that he was already adopted when we inquired. They let us know that they had an owner surrender that would be coming in and felt that she would be a good fit for our family. We agreed, and so our journey with Lilly began. When she arrived at our home, she was skiddish, filthy, and reeked of cigarette smoke. Tommy gave her a good bath, and she was very submissive. She just laid down in the tub, didn't try to fight that bath a bit! After her bath, Tommy let her and Helo outside to use the bathroom. I was sitting in my bedroom nursing Tristan when I heard a loud splash. I got up to see what the commotion was, and Tommy informed me that when Lilly ran out the door, she went straight...into the pool! It was pitch dark outside and she didn't see it coming. Poor girl! Luckily she was able to swim to the side and Tommy pulled her out.

She was, and still is, really shy around strangers. Especially men. It took her forever to get used to Tommy, and our good friend Bryan. In those early days, when we would have family or friends house/dog-sit for us, it wasn't unusual for her to run outside when she was let out and hide out under the trailer for hours, refusing to come back inside. It was pretty clear she had been mistreated by a man at some point in her life. We were also told that Lilly had pancreatitis - a condition that was kept under control with special prescription dog food. We were told she could ONLY eat that particular type of food. I did my best to try to keep her food separate from Helo's, but she wanted nothing to do with her food, and everything to do with Helo's. We gradually introduced his food to her, and I'm happy to say that she and Helo eat the same regular dog food (Natural Balance - the good stuff!), and she has shown absolutely NO symptoms or signs of pancreatitis at all.

As I mentioned, Lilly was a foster. About 3 months after we got her, I realized that there was absolutely no way that I could part with her. She was MY dog. She follows me everywhere. If I'm at my desk, she is usually underneath it. If I'm at the dining room table, she is sitting next to me (unless Tristan is eating in his high chair - then suddenly she's HIS best friend!). Lilly is 9 years old now, and she's just as active as Helo is, for the most part. I'm so thankful that she's as healthy as she is!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 22

Well, instead of "What's in YOUR wallet?" I'm answering the question "What's in your PURSE?"

I will use the term "purse" loosely, as my purse is usually more of a diaper bag or tote bag of some sort. My purse is usually fairly minimal with its contents. My wallet is a must have. In addition to my wallet, I typically carry some lip gloss or chap stick of some sort. I always have my phone. If I'm just taking a normal outing to the store or somewhere local, there will usually be two diapers and a travel bag of baby wipes. I try to always have a pen with me also. Oh, and a snack container of Cheerios are a definite must, especially if we're going to be out at a restaurant.

See, not much to it is there? I'm not your typical "everything but the kitchen sink in my purse" type of gal. When I'm traveling, I do carry a lot more in my diaper bag/purse. I like to have my Kindle, extra clothes for Tristan, napkins, additional snacks...pretty much anything I can fit in the bag!

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 21

Today I'm supposed to share my all time favorite photo of myself with you and tell you why it's my favorite. I shared this photo with you a few days ago, and I'm going to share it again.

This photo was taken the day after my youngest son was born. Let me paint the picture for you. My husband and I were expecting our first child together, a boy. We decided when I was around 32 weeks pregnant to switch out of my ob/gyn's care and into the care of a midwife. I really wanted a homebirth, and after a couple of weeks of convincing, my husband agreed to let me try. I labored easily for about 19 hours - I was able to move around and pretty much follow my normal routine. I did homework, went shopping, worked a little, even slept in the very beginning for about 6 hours. Later in the evening it got a little bit more intense, and I had to work a little harder to get through the contractions. My midwife and her assistant showed up, and Tommy and I got to work on having this baby. I'll spare you the rest of the details (you can read my full homebirth story HERE), but we had a successful homebirth. When my husband took this photograph, I can only assume that I was remembering the wonderful experience we had bringing our son into this world. I know I never wanted to take my eyes off his sweet face, and I'm sure I was thinking about my older kids when they were that age as well. I marveled at every crease in his skin, every eyelash, every strand of strawberry blonde hair (there weren't that many of those at first!). I was completely in love, and I think he was in love with his mommy too. I think this is why this is my all time favorite photograph of myself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 20

Nicknames.  Today's topic is nicknames.  Well, I don't recall any nicknames for me as I was growing up.  Unless you count fatso, carrot top, little orphan Annie, etc.  I don't have a long formal name, so Kellie was just "Kellie".  I guess sometimes you can hear it being slightly shortened as "Kel", but I never introduce myself as "Kel".  My brother was a Daniel, so he was always "Danny" and now that he's older I guess some people might call him "Dan".

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of nicknames.  I don't have one for my daughter (unless you count "Sissy"), or any of my boys.  The two older boys have both taken on nicknames for themselves ("Nate" and "Jake"), but I prefer to call them by their full first names.  My husband likes to call our son "Junior" and sometimes just "T" or "Little T".  A couple of times I have called him those names as well.  My best friend chided me for calling him Junior because it reminds her of the boy character in the "Problem Child" movie series.  Okay, I see her point!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 already?  Where has the time gone?  Today I'm supposed to talk about something I miss.  Since I'm on my way back to Florida with the three little people that I usually miss the most, I'll pick something else to talk about today.

If we're talking people, I should say that I miss my husband. I truly do miss him, but he will be home before I know it. In my heart, I have to say that I miss my MD friends. I miss hanging out with them on the weekends, impromptu lunches and dinners and cocktail hours. I sometimes miss the freedom that came with being a single mom. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my husband and I love being married. I gave up a lot to be with him, and I certainly have no regrets. However, there are days that I miss the fun times I used to have with my girlfriends. I don't have a swarm of friends, never have. The distance has changed my relationship with my two best friends. One I speak to pretty regularly on the phone, and she's been down to visit. We had a blast when she came, even with all the kids! The other I haven't talked to in months. I miss her. I'm just as much to fault (pretty sure that phone does work both ways, huh?). We didn't have a falling out or just happened. I had a baby and became totally consumed in him. Her kids are both grown adults now. I guess we're just at different life stages. I always think about her and wish her well in my prayers though. Some of my fondest memories, especially in my adult years, I shared with her. I think I'm going to have to make some plans to go see her next week. Nostalgia has hit me hard!

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 18

Today I'm going to tell you about my favorite place to eat.  Those who know me well, know that on almost any given day I can be found at Panera Bread. I'm so addicted to their salads. For the longest time, I would always get the Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad.
For the longest time, I would always get the Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad. I tried it once, and I liked it, so I stuck with it.

Every now and again I'd get a turkey sandwich or their macaroni and cheese (which is SOOOO rich, but SOOOO tasty!), but I'm usually not very adventurous when it comes to trying new things.

One day I decided to try the Thai Chopped Chicken. It was delicious! I think I have a new favorite...until I try something else new off the menu!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Prints Talent Search!

Tiny Prints wants YOU to enter for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash, plus a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate. What a perfect prize just in time for the Holiday season!

In the Tiny Prints Talent Search Contest they are looking for the cutest photos in the following categories:

· Cutest Baby (From ages of 0-24 months)

· Cutest Kid (From ages of 25 months - 10 years old)

· Cutest Family

· Cutest Couple

· Cutest Pet & Owner

After the entry period is over, Tiny Prints will open up the contest to the entire Community to vote for their favorites and determine the winners! Hurry! The entry deadline has been extended to November 21st!

You can enter the Tiny Print Talent Search Contest via Facebook or on our website. For Official Rules, click here.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 17

Today the task is to tell you all about something that I'm looking forward to. This is such an appropriate task for today because I'm SO very looking forward to seeing my three older kids tomorrow. (For those of you who don't know, my three older kids live out of state with their father. This certainly isn't by my choice, but in the past three years I have come to terms with it and I'm making it work from my end.) The big kids get a full week off school for the Thanksgiving holiday, so tomorrow after school is over I will be whisking them away for a week of fun and sun in Florida. This will be the first time we've spent Thanksgiving together at my home in Florida rather than at my parents' home up north.

While they're here, I'm hoping to get in as much fun with them as we can. My youngest has been talking about going ice skating since he was here over the summer, so we will definitely do that. (I skating in Florida? Who knew?) We'll also be getting together with my in-laws to have a Thanksgiving meal either Wednesday or Thursday. I'm hoping to spend some time at the park and the beach with them as well. The weather looks like it will cooperate for now.

Another thing I'm looking forward to comes after the big kids are back home after the holiday. In just over two weeks from tomorrow, I'll be picking my husband up at the airport for his next break! He's only been gone 3 weeks but it already feels like three months. We don't have any huge plans while he's here this time, but we will be traveling north to celebrate the Christmas holiday with my family up there.

What do you have to look forward to?

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 16

Today's topic is really thought-provoking.  No, I'm serious!  I haven't thought this long and hard about something in a long time!

My dream house...hmmm....funny you should ask. A while back there was a house being built on the river near where I live. I didn't really pay much attention until the finishing touches were being put on the house. A seafoam green wide siding was put up, the driveway was done in pavers, the sod and landscaping were gorgeous! The icing on the cake came after the lucky homeowners moved in. When you're driving past this house, you can see straight from the front door to the rear of the house, out the back window and to the river. In that entry room, they had placed a grand piano, and when I drove past it the first time I could just see the silhouette of the piano in the light. I was sold. This was my dream house. Nevermind how many bedrooms or bathrooms, closet sizes or anything else. The grand piano in the entry way did it for me. However, since they just moved in, I doubt they'll be moving out any time in the near future. No worries though...I have a backup dream house.

This is the dream house on the river .
Well, for starters, it would be located in the general area where I currently live. I'm thinking it would be located closer to the river though...the ocean view is gorgeous, but I'm not sure the price of the lot is worth it to me. My husband would love if it were located on the river with a boat dock/lift, or at least on a navigable canal. We both know that we need 4 bedrooms, but I would prefer 5. When I say bedrooms, I'm not talking about cookie cutter bedrooms. I am talking about spacious rooms. My kids deserve to have their own separate spaces, and since this is my dream, I'm dreaming big! My current master bedroom is HUGE x PRETTY BIG (I have no idea what the exact measurements are because I'm lazy and don't feel like finding the tape measure right now), and I'd like the master to be at least the same size. I would like to have 3 full bathrooms, but we can manage with 2.5 (which is what we have now). The kitchen would have to be enormous, and open to the dining area and family room. I'd love to have a separate room for a play area for the kids- kind of a rec room if you will. The garage needs to be big and tall in order to house our cars, motorcycle, trailer, and kids recreational equipment.

While I'm "dreaming", I'd like to have the cast of Extreme Home Makeover build and design my home as well. For free. They could include some great outdoor makeovers to include an outdoor kitchen, pool, jacuzzi, courts? (I don't even play tennis, but it sounded good!)

One day we'll find the house that's perfect for us. Until then, the house we're in now suits us just fine.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Traditions

I have fond memories of our holiday traditions when I was growing up. We spent every Thanksgiving when I was young at my great Aunt Betty's house. She lived in a neighboring state, so we usually had to drive a little bit to get there. As I got older, we moved Thanksgivings to my Uncle's house, who lived much closer to us, but my great Aunt and her kids and their families would still come.

On Christmas Eve, we would celebrate with dinner and gifts at my mom's parents' house. These are some of my favorite childhood memories. Usually, us kids would eat our dinner first. We were usually too excited to eat much, so we'd wolf down our dinners as fast as we could, and hurriedly clear out the table so the adults could get started. It would seem like they sat there forever and a day, eating, chatting, and torturing us with waiting! My brother, my cousin and I would continuously peek around the corner of the kitchen, giving them all the stink-eye for keeping us waiting so long. The rule was that the kitchen had to be cleaned up before the first gift could be opened. Do you have any idea what torture it is for a small child to sit and stare at a massive pile of gifts with your name on them, but have no control over when you'll be able to open them? That hour would feel like days of waiting, but we'd eventually get to open our gifts, and be delighted with each and every one of them.

On Christmas morning, we'd wake up really early to see the gifts that Santa had left for us. We'd spend the day at home, until dinner at my other grandmother's house that evening. Luckily, she lived right next door to us, so travel was minimal.

With time has come a parting of ways from old traditions. As my brother, my cousin and I have grown up and moved out, we've had to deal with coordinating work schedules (both my cousin and my brother have jobs that require them to work holidays sometimes), and coordinating celebrations with our own in-laws as well. To make things even MORE difficult, I've also got to contend with a visitation schedule for my older three children. It wasn't such a big problem in the beginning. We alternated Christmas and Thanksgiving each year. Now that I live out of state, it's a little more difficult. I still have them each year for the duration of their Thanksgiving break, which is wonderful (they always get a week off school for Thanksgiving). We've spent the last three years at my parents' home for the duration of the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, I really wanted to bring them to my home in Florida. It can get really hectic at my parents' house when the kids are cooped up indoors for a week (usually it's too cold and icky outside for them to play). I also knew that we would have more time over this holiday than we will during Christmas this year. Luckily, it worked out for us for this holiday. Don't even get me started on the cost of air travel during peak holiday season. The airfare cost me nearly $2,000 for this trip, and that's with my youngest sitting in my lap for both of our round trips. I don't even want to know what the cost will be next year, when he's too old to sit on my lap.

I've been struggling with the Christmas travel lately. My youngest, who lives with me and my husband, is having his 2nd Christmas this year. My older three children are scheduled to wake up at their Dad's house on Christmas morning on alternating years and this is his year. This means that I won't be able to pick my kids up until Christmas Day in the afternoon. This also means that I will either a) Have to travel on Christmas Day (which I have done before and it sucks) or b) Travel prior to Christmas Day, which means that my youngest won't be able to wake up in his own home on Christmas Morning on alternating years. I realize that he is too young to understand all of that this year, but two years from now, he won't be. He will be asking all sorts of questions. "How will Santa know where to leave my gifts?", "Why can't they (Sissy/Nate/Jake) wake up here with us?", "Why does Santa leave them gifts here when they don't live here?". Thinking about the future has got me wondering if I should even attempt to put on the whole Santa charade with my youngest. I only question this because I want to avoid his panic when we're not able to be in our own home for Christmas morning. I realize that it's really not fair to him, but then again, it's only one day out of the year. I wonder if my kids will have the same fond memories I have of Christmas and other holiday traditions, when they're not given the privilege of those things actually becoming traditions due to the visitation schedule.

Dealing with visitation schedules and other custody arrangements can sure put a damper on the holiday season. In addition to the logistical nightmare that they can be, the financial burden is also bothersome. I really wanted to bring my kids back to Florida for the Christmas break, but my husband talked some sense into me. He pointed out that if we purchased tickets for Christmas also, then we would be spending nearly $5,000 on airfare for them in a period of about 40 days. This would be piled onto his airfare cost to come home on break for the month of December, which was also over $2,000 (International Flight costs SUCK!). He pointed out that the kids would probably prefer we spend the money on their gifts instead, and he's right. It makes more sense to do that. Having my husband with us over Christmas break this year will make the season a bit more bearable, and we agreed that we could just alternate our holiday travel each year.

I hope that our kids will appreciate the season for what it is, and realize that we did the very best we could with what we had to work with at the time. I honestly don't know how other distant parents are able to manage the financial burden of the travel alone. Without my husband's job, there is absolutely no way we would be able to afford the luxury of bringing them down during the holiday season. Our holiday arrangements may not be conventional or anything like what I experienced growing up, but it's all my kids know and doesn't appear to be changing anytime in the distant future.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 15

Where has the time gone? This blog challenge is already half over! Today I'm going to share a bible verse with you. This one is important to me because it rings so true. My husband and I knew that we wanted to have a child together. We were pretty set on waiting until our life together had calmed down. My husband wanted me to graduate from school first, then we could start talking about a baby. The closer I got to graduation, the more I knew I was ready. We talked it over and decided that if it was time for it to happen, then we'd let it happen. My husband was so set on wanting a son. He's already got a daughter, but he's always wanted a son to carry on the family name. When we found out we were expecting, I was half excited and half scared. I knew how much he wanted a boy, and I was worried that if this baby we were carrying was a girl that he would be disappointed. I knew he would love the baby either way, but I didn't want to have to see that look of disappointment on his face. The weeks passed, and before I knew it were were having our 20 week ultrasound done and attempting to find out the sex of the baby. Most important to both of us was the health of the baby, and sex was secondary to his well-being. I wish I had a camera to capture my husband's expression when the ultrasound tech announced that we were having a boy. I've never seen my husband quite as happy as I saw him in that moment.
I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. ~ 1 samuel 1:27 from NLT

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Monday, November 14, 2011

D Whynn Designs - Made With Love Giveaway!

Welcome to the Made With Love Event hosted by The Reynolds Mom and Seventeen Sirens! This event features at least $25 or more in handmade prizes on each of the participating blogs. Be sure to go through the linky below and enter for your chance to win! This event will close on November 13th at Midnight EST. Good Luck!

I am very excited to announce that Debbie from D Whynn Designs is sponsoring this giveaway here and on my other blog Happy Baby Chronicles. D Whynn Designs features clothing fit for your little princess, currently offered in little girls sizes 2-6. I'm even MORE excited about the fact that she will be adding accessories (headbands, hair ties, bows, hats and bags), additional sizes of 3, 6 and 12 months, and stuff for little boys! I can't wait to see the boys' line and get some cute things for little T! Be on the lookout for new photographs of her most recent work, soon to come on her Facebook page and in her Etsy shop. A little birdie told me that Debbie's sewing machine has been whizzing away creating some adorable outfits just in time for Christmas.

Debbie creates all of her own designs and uses only high quality fabric, threads and finishes on her items. She is also able to do custom work upon request. If you're the winner, keep that in mind! In addition to finished items, D Whynn Designs also offers original patterns for sale, all of which are printed in full color with photos, diagrams and instructions. Be on the lookout for PDF Downloadable patterns coming soon!
One lucky winner (on each of my blogs!) will win a $25 gift card/store credit to D Whynn Design's Etsy Store!

The Made With Love Giveaway Event will begin on November 8th and will end on November 13th Midnight EST. This giveaway event is opened to residents specified on each participating blog (US, Canada, Worldwide, etc) that are 18 years or older. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Please understand that The Reynolds Mom, Seventeen Sirens, and the "Made With Love Giveaway Event" bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. However, we are responsible for contacting our sponsors regarding the winner's prize at the close of the giveaway. We expect that our sponsors will fulfill their prize agreement and ship them to the winners in a timely manner. Please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping. If, after 6 weeks, you have not received your prize, please contact the blog that you won a prize from for a follow-up.

Made With Love Winner

I'm pleased to announce the winner of the $25 GC/Store Credit to D Whynn Designs in the Made with Love event is:

Congratulations Angie!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 14

Today's task is to show you a picture of myself from last year, and then talk about how I've changed since then.  First of all, finding a photo of myself around this time last year has proven to be a task in and of itself.  I am our family's photographer.  I found hundreds of pictures of my 4 children, and several photos of my husband, parents, in-laws, siblings, etc.  Photographs of me?  Not so many.  I did come across my all time favorite photo of myself, and it was taken just over a year ago (13 months ago, to be exact).

This photo was taken the day after my youngest son was born (10/10/10).  I was basking in the glow that is motherhood.  I wouldn't say that I look my best in this photo, but I do love the expression on my face.  I am filled with pure joy and I can't fathom the idea of ever having to take my eyes off this precious baby boy.

Since then, I have changed a little.  My hair is much longer now.  I've lost all that extra baby weight.  I am no longer a student, because I graduated 7 months after this photo was taken.  I'm also no longer employed because I was laid off about 6.5 months after this photo was taken.  This past year has been full of ups, not so full of downs (I know...the layoff might be considered a down to some, but it was a huge blessing to me).  I didn't think it would be possible, but I'm actually happier today than I was on the day this photo was taken.  I've been able to focus my energy on watching my youngest learn and grow.  I haven't missed any of those important firsts...rolling over, smiling, first tooth, crawling, first steps, first words...I've been able to be here with him for all of it.  

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 13

Today we're talking goals, and not the kind you score in soccer or hockey, unless that is a goal of yours.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.

One of my long range goals is to finish and publish a book.  I'm only on Chapter 2 (still...but I just started it a week or so ago), so maybe this won't be as long range as I think it will be.

Another goal of mine is to purchase a home with my husband.  I have been a homeowner before, but hubby and I have agreed to just rent a place until we are debt free.  We like the area we live in now, but we have been toying around with the idea of moving further south.  We'll see what happens.

The most important goal I have is to enjoy life to the fullest.  This would include enjoying every minute I have with my kids and my husband, and then learning to enjoy my time without them as well.  Every second counts.  Life is too short to spend even one second unhappy!

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 12

Today I will tell you about something I NEVER leave the house without.  That item would be my sunglasses.  I have a couple of pairs, but at least ONE pair of them is always with me.  I live in the sunshine state, so I have to protect my eyes from those harsh rays of the sun.  Plus, it doesn't hurt to look good while wearing them!

These are my newest pair of sunglasses, the Oakley Forsake.  They are SO comfortable, and work with my hair color and skin coloring.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Holiday Cards by TinyPrints

The Holiday season is upon us, which means it's time to start thinking about getting your Christmas cards ready to send out. I started thinking about the holiday card chore months ago. Since it's so difficult to get the whole family together all at once, we had our family photos taken back in April. It was one of those rare occasions where we were able to get all the kids together, as well as both my husband and I, in the same place at the same time. The year before, our family portraits were taken in July, with the full intent of using those shots in our holiday card. We also had separate portraits taken in October last year, then again this year, to celebrate the birth and then the 1st birthday of our son together. I like to incorporate more than one photo into our holiday cards, and Tiny Prints has so many different designs that the options are limitless.

Last year, I designed Tristan's birth announcement with a Christmas theme.

The card was gorgeous, the card stock was high quality, and we even got matching envelopes and address labels to compliment the card. Everybody remarked at what great quality cards they were. Most assumed that we had spent a fortune (which we had NOT!).

This year, since we don't have any babies to announce (darn it!), we'll just be doing a family card. Here are some of the templates that I like.

For a chic look, check out the Chic Carol in Black

For a fun look, I like the Creative Christmas: Tomato.

Fitness Friday - Week 8

Welcome to Week 8 of Fitness Friday. Feel free to grab the button and link up with your Fitness Friday story. (Be sure to post a direct link to your fitness story!) I'd love to hear from you!

A Glimpse of My Life

I tried something a little different this week. I decided to take a walk over the causeway. It was kind of a cloudy morning, and I was worried that we would get rained on, but we lucked out! It was really windy on the way back though. The total distance of the walk was 5.2 miles (not bad), but the causeway made it more challenging with the hill up to the top. Here's a photo of the view from the top!
I missed Barre class last week, but fingers crossed I make it to Barre today! There hasn't been much in the way of fitness this motivation was zapped out of me by this time change. I'm staying up way too late, and then waking up way too early by both the dogs (who don't care about the time change) and my son (again, who doesn't care about the time change). I'm hoping to get back on track starting with Barre!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 11

First of all....HAPPY VETERAN's DAY!!

Today's challenge is to tell  you about my favorite TV shows.  OMGoodness!  I have soooo many.  So, I'm going to just show you pictures instead.  That seems like it would be more fun...enjoy!

Grey's Anatomy - Thursday nights at 9 pm EST on ABC

Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo 

Private Practice - Thursday nights at 10 pm EST on ABC

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo - Monday Nights at 9 pm EST

Ringer on CW - Tuesday nights at 9 PM EST

Sons of Anarchy on FX - Tuesday nights at 10 PM EST

Tori & Dean:  Home Sweet Hollywood on Oxygen starting 11/29/11 at 10 PM EST

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Heelys for the Holidays

I received a pair of Heelys to review a couple of weeks ago (yes, they make them in adult sizes and boy, is my 7 year old jealous!). I have to admit, I was kind of intimidated when they arrived. Shoes with wheels? Me? Surely you jest. I will admit that I procrastinated on trying them out, but when nobody was looking (except my 13 month old), I went for it. The shoes are pretty comfortable, I must say. With the wheels out, they are fine to wear out and about. They're a skate shoe, and look as such.

I put the shoes on (wheels in!), and decided to use my son's stroller to hold on to (to learn about "heeling", click HERE). It didn't feel like there was enough weight in it, so I put my son in it. That helped (especially with the part where I didn't want him to see me!). There was definitely a learning curve, but I figured it out. My son had a blast as we wheeled around the house (lucky me, we have tile throughout our home). Afterwards, I read through some information on the Heelys website, like the Heely's Safety PlayBook and the Responsible Skating Agreement.

My 7 year old has been begging me for a pair of Heelys for a long time now. I have been afraid to get them for him, because I didn't think they would be safe. However, after reviewing all the safety information on the website, I'm convinced that with the proper safety equipment (helmet, CHECK!, knee pads, CHECK!, Bubble Boy, errr..check?), Heelys will be another way to help him get up off the couch and outside and on his way to being fit and healthy for years to come.
Now I really don't have any excuse to NOT purchase a pair for all my big kids this holiday season! The best part is, Heelys is throwing a Black Friday special!! Between Nov 25-Nov 28, Buy any pair of Heelys, get the second pair for $25. Or buy a Nano, and get a pair of shoes for $25, and get free ground shipping on all orders! You can see the entire fall and winter 2011 collection HERE. Which pairs of Heelys will YOU bring home for the holidays?

I received the product discussed for review purposes only as a Business2Blogger member. My writings and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Prepare Dinner as a Family

Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools

There is something very fascinating to children about the kitchen. It's the place where home cooked meals and delicious cupcakes come from. The kitchen is like a magical place of make-believe to a child. Watching their parents cook leaves children with a desire to be just like Mommy and Daddy. Kitchen time can be a fun and valuable way to incorporate quality family time into your daily routine.
The kitchen is the center of your home and is the place where families gather to laugh and share memories. Also, to create new ones! Children develop a very deep sense of responsibility when they are allowed into the kitchen to help create something wonderful. This will prepare them for challenging situations when they enter a school or educational day care situation.

Keeping your children safe is very important when they are spending time in the kitchen. It is easy to keep the fun atmosphere in the room while also practicing important safety steps.

5 Steps for a Safe Kitchen

1. The first step is to supervise your child. You should never let your child cook by themselves or spend time in the kitchen alone. This is the most important step in kitchen safety to ensure that your child does not come to any harm while in the kitchen. It is also important to make sure they have a sturdy and safe stool to stand on. There are many child safe kitchen stools and stations available on the market today.

2. Make sure that your child always washes his or her hands before starting any cooking project. Explain to them that this is very important to keep from spreading germs into the food they are preparing. You can make hand washing fun by coming up with a catchy song or game.

3. Give your child simple yet meaningful tasks that they can perform easily. Mixing batter, rolling out dough or measuring and pouring liquids are great jobs to give your child that are easy and fun. Your child can also add the finishing touch on a meal by sprinkling parmesan onto pasta or adding sprinkles to sweets. If you are cooking vegetables, tearing lettuce and breaking open pea pods are also other good alternatives.

4. Stop disasters before they happen. Regularly discuss with your child what is safe to touch in the kitchen and what is not. If possible, keep hot pots and pans on the back burners of the stove. If you are using all of the burners on your stove, make sure to turn pot and pan handles towards the back of the stove. This helps to prevent the pots and pans from catching on clothing and being knocked to the floor. Young children should be kept away from the stove completely.

5. Keep the kitchen fun! Cooking is messy, with or without children. Don't stress over spills or messes. They can be easily cleaned up, especially if you turn clean up time into a game. It also teaches your child some extra responsibility if they have to clean up after themselves. Ignore the mishaps and praise your little sous chef for a job well done. Keeping the kitchen fun will have them begging to help you at meal time. Who knows, maybe someday you will have the next Rachael Ray or Emeril Lagasse on your hands!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 10

First of all:  Happy Birthday to the USMC!  Ooh-rah!

Today I'm supposed to tell you about something that I'm afraid of.  I have lots of fears, some of which my husband tells me are "irrational".  For instance, he considers my fear of ALL snakes an irrational fear based solely on the fact that not ALL snakes are poisonous.  Well, poisonous or not, I don't like any of them.  Especially when I peek out my sliding glass door and they are all up on the glass peeking back at me!  Yikes!

Another irrational fear I have is of rabbits.  Yes, those fluffy, cute little creatures that some of us have as pets.  We had a rabbit several years ago.  It was kept outside in a rabbit cage (hutch?).  More times than I can remember, I somehow ended up with the task of feeding and watering this rabbit (whose name was Lollipop).  Lollipop scared the bejeezus out of me.  He would frantically hop all over the place while I was trying my best to get him some clean, fresh water and some food, causing me to jump and flinch!  I was scared he would bite me.  He never did.  Unfortunately, two dogs that belonged to some neighbors of ours got loose, broke into his bunny cage, and devoured him.  All they left was a bit of fur and bones.  Now THAT was a scary sight.  Even though I was terrified of him, I was really sad when he got eaten, but mostly because I knew that my daughter would be sad.

The last fear I'm going to tell you about is my fear of being rear-ended.  I say that this is NOT an irrational fear because it has actually happened to me.  Twice.  In the same month.  When I first moved to Florida, I hadn't been here two weeks before being rear-ended the first time.  I was sitting at a stop light, in the left turn lane.  A teenager in his mom's car bumped into me.  He wasn't going very fast, but it did cause the bumper to fall off the back of my car.  I wasn't injured, and neither was he.  Thank goodness!  I got the car fixed and all was well.  About a month later, my husband was driving my car, and I was in the passenger seat.  We were in the "slow" lane, about to turn right (yes, his blinker was on) onto the street we lived on.  The speed limit of that road is 45 mph.  The guy that hit us was doing the speed limit (doesn't sound like a lot, but being hit when you're almost not moving at that speed is a huge jolt), causing my car to nearly crash through one of our neighbors front doors before my husband was able to correct the direction of the car and bring us safely to stop.  The driver of the other car wasn't injured, but both myself and my step-daughter suffered neck injuries.  I will always have a bulging disc from that accident which was over 3 years ago now.  Today I am fortunate that the pain is mostly under control.  I have some days where the pain comes back and will stick around for a couple of days, but I swear I think that Pilates has helped with that.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at just for voting!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 9

Today I'm supposed to share my favorite picture of my best friend. It's certainly not the best picture of either of us, but it always makes me smile and reminds me of how much fun we have together!
This photo was taken this past summer when she came to visit me with two of her four kids. She and I have a lot in common. We have the same first name (spelled differently), the same middle initial, and we've shared the same last initial (although at different times in our lives). She was the care provider for my children for a couple of years. She's been my confidant for several years now. She knows things about me that NOBODY else does. And I completely trust her. I'd trust her with my life, my kids' lives, and all my secrets. I never had a sister, but she's my sister friend for sure.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 8

Today is day 8 of the 30 day blog challenge and I'm going to share a place that I have traveled. Recently, my husband and I took a trip to the Cheeca Lodge and Spa in Islamorada, Florida. It's truly a beautiful place. Here are some of the highlights from our trip.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 7

It's day 7 of the 30 day blog challenge.  Today I will share with you some of my favorite movies.

First up is my all time favorite movie - The Notebook.   I can remember watching this movie during my first marriage and dreaming that I would be able to find somebody one day who would love me as fiercely as Noah loved Allie.  As luck would have it, I found him just a couple of years later.  This movie is also the first movie I ever watched with my current husband.  On our first date, we were discussing our "favorites".  I asked him what his favorite movie was, and while expecting to hear a response like "The Terminator", instead I heard "The Notebook".  I was quite surprised, but pleasantly so.

Some other favorites of mine include

Yep, they all appear to be chick flicks.  I will say, All Good Things at least had some suspense and thrill to it.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge -Day 6

It's day 6 of the 30 day blog challenge. Today I'm supposed to show you a picture of something that makes me happy. There are actually four somethings in this photo that make me happy.
My children make me happy. I'm so blessed to have four healthy children. Sometimes. when I'm feeling sorry for myself, I remind myself just how lucky I am to be the mother to all four of these children.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 5

Day 5 - A Song that describes my mood

Lyrics | Lucky lyrics

This suits my mood perfectly. I feel lucky in so many ways. My husband is working overseas, currently, but I'm so lucky that he'll be coming home again. I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend. He has always made it easier when life's been hard. I'm so lucky to have him.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fitness Friday - Week 7

Welcome to Week 7 of Fitness Friday. Feel free to grab the button and link up with your Fitness Friday story. (Be sure to post a direct link to your fitness story!) I'd love to hear from you!

A Glimpse of My Life

Link up your Fitness Story and then scroll down to read about my week of Fitness!

This week started off with a bang! I made it to the gym and got an hour of cardio in on Monday morning. I was highly determined after sending my hubby back off to one of the 'stans. The whole month he was home, I didn't get in nearly as much exercise as I had hoped. We were so busy traveling and running errands and enjoying our time together that I neglected working out. Back to Monday - 30 min on treadmill, 30 min on elliptical, and 1 hour of strength training. Tuesday was an off day, and Wednesday I exercised by getting my house in order - vacuuming, dusting, mopping, etc. (and YES that counts as exercise in MY book). Thursday morning I took my son for a walk to our local park and we played for about 45 minutes before walking back (it's only about 1 mile each way to the park). This morning, I had planned to take a barre class again, but my sitter was sick, so I had to cancel the class. Instead of sitting around wishing I could be at barre class, I decided to pack up the little man and head to the gym. I got in 30 min on the elliptical (which surprisingly enough goes by really fast if you're watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta!), and then I did about an hour of strength training. I was happy to find that my time away from the gym hadn't put me back at square one. I felt alot stronger today, and the weights felt light. I was able to increase the weights on every machine I worked on, so that felt really good. Although tomorrow I might feel differently! I'd love to hear about your fitness goals for the week and whether you were able to meet them!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 4

Day 4 is about my parents. I think this is really fitting because today also happens to be my Mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!!
Here's a fairly recent photo of my parents with me and my youngest son on my graduation day:

My parents have been married since 1978. I love the story about how they met - my Dad basically chased my Mom down, and figured out who she was and all that. Kind of stalker-ish, but really cute, especially since my Dad doesn't really seem like the type. I think he must've known that she was the girl he was supposed to marry. They had a whirlwind romance, and got married pretty quickly after they met. I came along 14 months after the wedding.

My parents have had their ups and downs, as all couples do. My Dad was always quiet and non-confrontational. I get that from him. It takes a lot to make him blow his top. He never let us steamroll him, but he was always the laid back parent. I can remember getting in late after curfew one night as a teenager. He was awake, and he let me know that he was awake when I came in. My Mom was sound asleep, but he told me that he would keep it between us so that my Mom wouldn't get upset. He was my hero at that point!

My Mom was always the disciplinarian. I'm pretty sure I told her many times when I was growing up that I didn't like her. I might have even used the word "hate". I'm so sorry now. My Mom was and IS a great parent. She has always been there for me, even when I have screwed up. When I went through a really costly custody battle over my 3 older kids, I was broke. I had been left some money when her mother passed away, but I had basically blown through all of it in less than a year or so (mostly on rent/daycare and stuff for my kids). I didn't want to tell my Mom that all the money was gone and that I was back to living paycheck to paycheck (and those paychecks weren't much!), but I really was terrified and I needed some sort of financial help in order to fight this custody battle. We were sitting next to one another in the courthouse and she asked me if I could use some of the money that had been left to me. I couldn't lie to her, so I just shook my head and said no. She said to me, "It's all gone, isn't it?". I told her that it was, and she said she had a feeling that it would happen. I felt like such a disappointment to her at the time, but she has NEVER made me feel that way. She told me that I could take that experience and learn from it, and move forward. That's something that both my parents have taught me. Never live in the past. Don't bring up old "hurts". Look to the future in your relationships, never over your shoulder and in the past.

I hope that my children are able to look at me when they're grown and say that I was a good Mom too.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 3

Day 3 is about my first love. This one is tough to write!
My first love was in 9th grade. I'll call him "J". A good friend of mine (at the time) had a HUGE crush on this boy. She wanted me to talk to him for her, put the feelers out, so to speak. I befriended him (at her request), because we were in math class together. He was funny, and a really nice guy. We were friends first, for sure. He made it clear he wasn't interested in my friend, but that he was interested in me. I felt bad for her, but I had really come to like him as a person over the previous weeks. He "asked me out", and I agreed. I grew to love him (in a 14-15 year old way). Neither of us could drive, so it's not like we really had the opportunity to date much or go places alone together. We did our 10th grade homecoming dance together. I remember his parents taking us to a restaurant, and letting us sit at a table by ourselves while they had dinner alone together. I still have photographs from that night of the two of us (one even made it into our yearbook that year). He was a good guy, and he never tried to pressure me into doing anything that wasn't right. From what I know about him today, he is a faithful husband to his gorgeous wife, and he has two beautiful little girls. It would seem that he is as much of a stand-up guy today as he was then, if not more so. We were together for 10 months, and then I blew it! One silly kiss with an Italian exchange student and he and I were over. It took awhile, but we got over it and became friends again. I've always felt really bad about what I did to him, and always regretted it. I think it all worked out in the end, for the both of us. The whole butterfly effect has placed me exactly where I want to be in my life.

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 of the challenge is to tell you all about the meaning behind my blog name.
A Glimpse of My Life was named because I feel that you will all get a glimpse of my life by reading my posts. I try to keep things positive, because there's enough negativity in this world without me adding to it. However, nobody's life is all sunshine and roses all the time! This blog challenge is about getting back to my original plan with this blog. I don't think that product reviews and giveaways show you what I'm really about, nor are they actually enjoyable to read. It's time for me to get real and share the things that are really on my mind. Stay tuned...I'll try not to bore you to death!

To see the full list of the daily challenges, see this POST.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 1

I've been wanting to do this for awhile now. I'm in dire need of getting on some sort of a schedule with my blogging and sticking to it. Blogging is my therapy. I really want to get back to that-the flow of thoughts from my brain to the screen. I've gotten a little lost in this world, dabbling in the giveaways and product reviews a little. I've decided that those really aren't for me. I'm not interested in selling out. However, I have made some commitments that I must stick with, so there will be a couple more giveaways before I can completely move on from those. Anyhow, on to a little more about this 30 day blog challenge. Since today is the 1st of November, I'm going to start this. Hopefully at the end of this month, you will all know a little more about me (whether you care to or not!), and perhaps some of you will share my blog with others. Here is a list of what's to come in the next 30 days!

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you've traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of yourself from last year - how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you're looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What's in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Movie
Day 24: Something you've learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

Since today is Day 1, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Kellie.
This is me:

Here's a few facts about myself.
1. I'm a natural redhead.
2. I'm a lefty.
3. I have 4 biological children. The older three were born in a hospital. My 4th was born at home.
4. I've been married twice.
5. I am a college graduate (although only recently - Class of 2011!!)
6. My parents are still married (they're great role models!).
7. I am a Christian.
8. I love to read.
9. Although when I was expecting my first child I was relieved she would be a girl, I can't imagine not having my three boys. I adore all my kids, but I believe boys are so much easier!
10. I'm an intactivist. If you're not sure what that is, ask me and I'll be glad to talk to you about it!
11. I consider myself somewhat of a lactivist also. Again, if you have no clue what that is, I can school you.
12. My older three kids go to public school, but I feel really strongly about homeschooling my youngest, when the time comes.
13. I have a VERY small group of true friends, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Except I wish we lived closer.
14. My husband is my hero. He has sacrificed more for our family than I could ever have asked him to, but he did it all without being asked.
15. I'm a stay at home mom and I love it. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be home and watch my youngest grow and learn each and every day.