Thursday, November 29, 2012

Busy, Busy, Dreadfully Busy.

Okay. Not really dreadfully. That's a lie.

Thanksgiving happened. We ended up spending it at my parents' house early, then at Kyle's aunt's house. That's always a fun time, his family getting together.

Then we got home and Christmas sort of exploded in my house.

This is the upstairs tree.

This is the tree in our bedroom. Yes, we have two trees. What can I say? I LOVE CHRISTMAS.
Also, we got this one via FreeCycle. Love that.

This is a sofa table in our living room. Also free, but via Craigslist.
The decorations came from Kyle's Papa, again, free.

This was, again, from Kyle's Papa. Kyle's uncle Paul, the one who cornered me and asked me about my Facebook name upon our first meeting, made this. I love it. His name is Dolph Lundgren.

This ornament tree sits ontop of our DVD rack. We got it from my in-laws 2 years ago for Christmas. I love it.

SPEAKING of our DVD rack. Let me tell you a little story.

We had seasons 1-5 of FRIENDS, which happens to be one of my favorite shows.
Keyword here, HAD.
We were planning on selling them and saving up the rest of the money to get the box set of all the seasons. Good plan, huh?
Well, Selena made these friends on the school bus that lived down the street from us. Their mom came by from time to time, we had polite chit chat, whatever. 
These people screamed white trash, but who am I to judge? I just tried to look past what their outward appearance and actions put off. There's good in all people.
So, one night she comes over. Kyle's at work. I'm home alone with the kids. Before leaving, she asks if we can swap movies for a couple nights. No biggie, they live down the street. She goes home and grabs seasons 1-3 of True Blood. They're mangled.
She grabs all my seasons of FRIENDS. I treated these things like gold.
About a week passes by without any visits from the kids or the parents. I grow concerned, but I figure it'll be okay.
Kyle goes to their house with their True Blood DVDs to swap back.

They've disappeared.

Their landlord is there, and he's mad. The house has been destroyed.
The glass in all the windows has been broken out.
The carpet is ripped up and/or burned.
And the icing on the cake?

These people left their pets, dead, in the basement. In Wal-Mart bags.

What kind of people do things like this?! It's disgusting that people can be like this. Even more horrifying that they have kids. These kids didn't ask for a life like this. They deserve more than that.

Needless to say, I don't have my FRIENDS DVDs anymore. And when I found out, I admittedly about cried. I know, it's so petty and small and easily replaced. It could've been so much worse. The LANDLORD has it far worse than I do. I know.

Now, I'm not so mad. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm upset and hurt and disgusted at these people, but I'm to the point now where I almost feel sorry for them. What kind of life is that, so empty that they act this way? What kind of future is happening for the kids? My heart hurts for them.

I keep telling myself that they need the money they would get selling the DVDs more than I need them for watching. They need good food on their table, or Christmas presents for their kids. I don't know or believe that they would be spending the money on that, but if I think that the money will go towards good things, I'm not so mad anymore. I can handle it. It's not a huge loss.

After that huge blow to my emotional side, I got busy.
I made Riah and Dot Monster some owl hats, which I posted a picture of once before. Here they are again.

After I made them, Riah decided she wanted a pink one instead.
You know kids.

So I made her a pink one. The purple one went to her cousin, along with a matching small purple one for her baby cousin. Then I made a small pink one for their half-sister.

Then, after being told by MANY people MANY times, I posted a photo on a Facebook "garage sale" group with prices, to see what kind of response I'd get.

Well..I'm up to my ears in crochet projects right now.

I was overwhelmed. I'm still overwhelmed, actually. As it stands, I have about 9 owl hats that need to be made, along with a few other hats. I'm getting them done, but with a quantity like that it takes a bit longer.

Plus Gabe's an animal.

So, I may not be blogging so much lately, but I do have a banana bread recipe I want to post because, well, I love me some banana bread.

In parting, here's another photo.

This was a specific order for someone for a pink and grey sock monkey hat. Um. I want one. In my size.

Friday, November 23, 2012

100 Things I'm Thankful For.

I started doing this via Facebook a few years back. I haven't done one recently, so I figured now would be a good time to start it up again!
These are in no particular order.

100. Leak-Proof Sippy Cups
When you have a toddler, these save your life sometimes. Or maybe just clothes, floors, etc.

99. Hair Clippers
Trying to cut Gabe's hair will clippers alone is tough. I can't imagine having to cut his hair with scissors. No thank you.

98. Electricity
Yeah, that's a big one. I'm extremely thankful I'm not Amish. I respect how they live but...I need my electricity. It's a luxury I really want to keep.

97. Comedic Movies
Sometimes, we all just need a good laugh. Some of my favorites are:
Fired Up!
Zack And Miri Make A Porno (er..anything by Kevin Smith)
A Christmas Story
Any of the old National Lampoon's Vacation movies, except for European Vacation. That one was weird.

96. Cheesy Jokes
Come on. Everyone loves them.

95. Rubbermaid
I love their containers. I love their home storage stuff. A lot of love all around.

94. Board/Card Games
We love a lot of old school games in our house. We have Candy Land, Battleship, Phase 10, The Game Of Life, and a few great ones. Monopoly is pretty hardcore here. We're competitive.

93. $5 Bins At Wal-Mart
We're movie people. What can I say? With a collection of over 400 movies, I thank Wal-Mart deeply.

92. Microsoft Excel
It helps me keep a catalog of all our DVDs. It's necessary when you insist on having them in alphabetical order, along with a toddler who insists on messing them up.

91. Nail Polish
My toes almost always have nail polish on them. It's one of my things. They make my feet look better.

90. Craigslist
Creepers aside, I've found some great things on there for free or relatively cheap. A couple years ago, I ended up finding a job via Craigslist. 

89.  Tyler Ward
I love his covers on YouTube. I love his original song, "The Rescue". It ends up bringing me to tears, all the time.

88. Online Banking
Seriously, who wants to wait for mailed statements or stop by ATMs anymore? Not this girl.

87. Bobby Pins
I may lose them all the time. I may find them at random. They are ALWAYS welcome in my possession.

86. Steve Martin
I love him and his comedic work. He never fails to make me laugh.

85. Lunchables
For the days I'm feeling lazy, these are lifesavers.

84. Government/State Assistance
I hate that people abuse the system, but I love that it's there for people who need it.

83. Military
It takes a lot for a man/woman to put their life on the line to serve our country. They protect our freedoms, which is more than many of us can say for ourselves.

82. Westboro Baptist Church
Yeah, I know. Sounds so backwards. But you know what? Without them, we'd never realize just how much pride, love, and respect that we have for our rights and those who protect them. Not to mention, they give the rest of us a sense of community and connection as we all stand together to protest against them.

81. Windows
Natural light FTW!

80. Bud Light
Don't judge me.

79. John Grisham
I could read his books all day. He has a way of writing that just sucks you in.

78. MarioKart Wii
Despite my yelling and screaming at the screen as I see the blue spiked shell flying through the air at me, the dance that Yoshi does when he wins is too adorable for words.

77. Apothecary Jars
I just love them. They're gorgeous and bring character to just about any room/house.

76. Ice Cream

75. College Courses Online
It'll be the only way I can go back to school. I like that I could do it without pants.

74. The Salvation Army
The deals I come across are sometimes excellent. It's hit or miss, but I'm okay with that.

73. Remotes
Yeah, we're getting lazier and lazier as years go by, but it's so much easier to use a remote when you aren't wearing your contacts or glasses.

72. Mod Podge
I use this stuff way too much.

71. Hot Chocolate
Filled to the brim with mini marshmallows. Yum.

70. Buffalo Wild Wings
Their food makes me all too happy.

69. Tim Curry
With the exception of IT. No. Screw that noise.
But Rocky Horror wouldn't have been the same without him.

68. Pizza
Who doesn't love pizza? We just got a Little Ceasar's down the street from us. Heaven.

67. Dry Active Yeast
I always have a jar in my fridge. Always.

66. Spellcheck
Because it's freaking necessary. It'd be better if they could get grammar correction in there, too. Not just the run on sentences, but the whole "two, to, too" thing, or "they're, their, there" thing. Come on, people. That's 1st grade stuff.

65. No Kill Animal Shelters
I wish there were more of them. I also wish there were responsible pet owners that spay/neuter their pets. It's expensive, so we haven't gotten the money yet to be able to do so, but we WILL be. And when our pets are outside, they're in a fenced yard. We're being as responsible as possible. I wish I could say that about other people.

64. Dance Dance Revolution
In high school, this was the ONLY way I lost weight. I'd love to own the game again and maybe get the same results.

63. Snow
It's beautiful. Hate it all you want, but it's gorgeous.

62. Spotify
Music is amazing. Enough said on that.

61. The St. Louis Science Center
I love going there. I haven't been able to go in years, but I LOVE that place.

Sometimes you need a good internet meme.

59. Bubbles
They're just happiness floating around the air.

58. Biotin
I've been taking biotin for about a month or so now and this is the strongest my nails have been without taking prenatals. I haven't really noticed a difference in my skin or hair, but strong nails? Yes, please.

57. Pinterest
It's like it calls to me. I have to try to many things.

56. Diaper Wipes
Those things can clean so much more than a baby's butt.

55. Spices
We all need to spice things up sometimes.

54. Aluminum Foil
I use this stuff all too much. Mainly because I insist on baking loaves of bread that need to get wrapped up.

53. Dawn Dish Soap
Saving all those baby ducks and other animals from oil? D'AWWWW!

52. Lotion
It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.
No, really. My skin is insane.

51. TJ Maxx
I got Gabe a Rams jersey for $6. He looks adorable. <3

50. Olive Oil
I use it for just about everything in life. Have you seen or read The Help? If yes, you know how Crisco is a cure all? That's how olive oil is for me.

49. HE Washers
I love that it controls the level of water and whatnot.

48. Pyrex
I have an infatuation with their glassware.

47. Dimmer Switches
Sometimes full blast is too harsh.

46. Ceiling Fans
I have to have a fan going for me to sleep well. The sound helps soothe me.

45. (and other font freebie sites)
I have a slight addiction to fonts for Photoshop. >.<

44. Ketchup
Gabe's favorite meal. And I do mean meal. He'll eat it straight up. But I can typically add it over something and he'll atleast try it.

43. S'mores
The ONLY reason I'd ever consider camping for. Nomnomnom.

42. Casa Gallardos
BEST margaritas. EVAR.

41. Bras
Once you have kids and get other, gravity becomes the most sinister force of nature there ever was.

40. Razors
I hate shaving, but I hate the feeling of stubbly legs more.

39. Make Up
Dear God. Words cannot express how much I love make up. I love playing with it. I love that it makes me look less tired. Just...I could dump thousands of dollars at Sephora. That's all I'm saying.

39. High Heels
When you're a measly 5'5" and have a husband who's 6'3", they come in handy.

39. Oil/Wax Burners
I have one in my kitchen that smells like cupcake. Kyle about punched me because it made the house smell like Funfetti cupcakes.

38. Autumn
I LOVE when the leaves change. So beautiful.

37. Vinegar
SO many uses for this stuff. Fabric softener, disinfectant, and in my sweet and sour chicken sauce.

36. Clearance Aisles
I LOVE me a good deal. I'm not Black Friday crazy, but I love sales.

35. Fleece Blankets
There's just about nothing more cozy.

34. Natural Comedians
Like Gabe. Gabe is a natural. He HAS to make people laugh. He THRIVES on it. It's hysterical.

33. No Slip Grip Pony Tail Holders
We have 3 daughters. These things are necessary.

32. Arms/Legs/Hands/Feet
I'm beyond grateful that mine work with my body and I still have them fully intact. Props to those who use prosthetics. I don't think I'd have the strength. I honestly thing I would just give up.

31. Home Pregnancy Tests
Sometimes it's good to fail a test.

30. Toilet Paper
I hate having to do laundry. Having to wash the cloths that people are wiping with is even less appealing to me.

29. Bear Hugs
Sometimes you just need to hug it out. And when you get one from your kid, it's like the world stops spinning and in that moment, you're just happy.

28. Saturday Night Live
For the longest time, Weekend Update was the only way I found out what happened in the world.

27. Internet
It's my only outlet to the world. I hardly ever leave the house. I need the interaction.

26. Tools
They may not always be necessary, but things are so much easier with a hammer, drill, screwdriver, wrench, saw, etc. around.

25. Q-Tips
Cleaning my ears. Helping with my make up. The world is a happy place with them.

24. Swagbucks
I've gotten quite a few things using their search engine. I "buy" Amazon gift cards and buy real stuff. w00t!

23. Hobby Lobby
Our local Hobby Lobby knows my kids on sight. I'm there THAT often.

22. Wal-Mart Being Open 24/7
When you can't sleep and it's late at night, you'll go ANYWHERE as long as it means away from the house. And shopping. Great combo.

21. YouTube
Videos of cats, kids, and bands. Can't go wrong there.

20. Skype
Through Skype, I've been able to talk to friends overseas in the military and my in-laws. Skype is so amazing. I love it.

19. Tattoos
When done right, the personal artwork on someone's body is a beautiful thing.
When done wrong, it's pretty funny (if it's not you).

18. Paint Primer
Sanding sucks.

17. Twilight
Now I can really show the girls how NOT to behave. They don't need a man to make their lives worth something. They're always worth something. A relationship doesn't define your worth.

16. Divorce
Because, honestly, at 17 I was too young to be married. I'll admit that. At 18, I was too young to become a mother. I'll admit that. I have NO regrets, though. Because these are the mistakes I needed to make. I learned so much about life and myself through the decisions I've made. 

15. The Baby-Sitters Club Books
I'm collecting them for the girls. They were my favorites growing up. I still like them.

14. Knitting/Crocheting/Crafting In General
It's my outlet. It helps zone me away from the stress and tension. And I really love seeing the kids wearing things I make.

13. Facebook
I still get to connect with people I haven't seen in years. I like that.

12. Piper, Izzy, Loki, and Gizmo
The crazy animals. They're fun. And funny. And Izzy with her underbite? That's comedic GOLD.

11. Coffee
This is a big one. I love coffee. Probably too much. I get at least 2 cups every day.

10. Kyle's Family (My In-Laws)
Never have I met such an amazing group of people in my entire life. They accepted me, for some unknown reason, and welcomed me into their family with open arms. They've gone out of the way for us, even. Things my family hardly ever does. I love them, so much, and I'm so grateful to have them in my life.

9. My Parents
Things have gotten better between us. Sort of. While we don't really maintain a strong relationship, we talk often and see eachother. We help eachother as best as we can.

8. Kristy (Moonshoes)
I can't put into words just how much she means to me. I owe her a kid and 5 years in food. She's been there for me through thick and thin, more than my family has.
Above all, she's the mother to my Logan. And Logan opens my eyes to such a better view of the world. One where everyone is a prince, princess, Mario, Luigi, Harry Potter, Hermione, or anyone else they could be.

7. Nikon
I love my camera. I love the memories it's catching for me.

6. Online Photo Labs
So much better quality than Wal-Mart.

5. Kyle Matthew
He's infuriating sometimes. I want to punch him sometimes. But always? Always, he is a great man. He works hard to provide for us. He is amazing with the kids. He has a heart of gold. He treats me like a queen. He...he's just amazing.

4. Selena Ann
3. Gabriel Ryker
2. Tegan Grace
1. Myriah Lyn

I love you more than all the stars in the sky. Thank you for making my life worth living, kiddos.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Surprises, Birthdays, and a KittyKat

This past...week? weekend? weekend prior?...was busy. It was full of fun, friends, and a few beers. 
It started with a car trip to the St. Louis area for a surprise (late) birthday party for one of Kyle's aunts, Lisa.

I love her. She's such an amazing person with talent in so many things. She deserved this.

Everyone came, including my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. That was another part of the surprise. Lisa had no idea they were flying in from Washington!

Many props to Liz and Jordan, Lisa's daughters. They arranged the whole thing.

Albeit, the waiting plan changed. Gabe about ruined it with his babbling. We were in the garage for about 20 minutes or so. It was all worth it.

We stayed the night at Liz's house and left the next day to go see my Kia. :)
Kia, being the amazing person that she was, made Selena a birthday cake! How amazing is she?!

Selena was so excited. She had no idea!

The cake was deeeelicious. I could go for another piece. Or 5.

Selena had a great birthday. She didn't know Aunt Amanda and Grandma Barbie were flying in for Lisa's party. It made her birthday all that much better.

I can't believe she's 6 already. Where did the time go?! :(

Oh yeah. That baby?  THAT'S MY KITTYKAT! :D I FINALLY got to see the little gorgeous bundle!

She made her Aunt Rachel go a bit camera happy. All in all, she was a great sport.

I got to snuggle on her and love on her and changed 3 diapers (yeah, bragging about that).
Kyle says no more babies.
Gabey says "Don't want one."

And THAT, my friends, is the blanket that would never be finished. Looks great with her, if I do say so myself.

All in all, it's been a lot of running around. Trying to get back into the swing of things hasn't been all that easy, to say the least. We'll all get there, though.