My New Year's Resolutions

Monday, December 31, 2012

I've never really been one to set a New Year's Resolution. I mean, of course I've said things in passing like "I want to exercise and eat better this year." Haven't we all? But I've never really thought about it in depth...until now.

1. Be more active. So cliche, right? Oh well. This is a big one for me. I hate exercise. I loathe working out. It's just so boring and repetitive. However, I think if I were to exercise it would really help out my mood and energy level (which are severely suffering right now!) I can't afford a gym, nor do I think I'd enjoy going if I could. Workout DVDs are always OK at first, but I quickly grow bored with them and end up quitting after about 2 weeks of exercising at home. I'd love to go for a bike ride or a nice long walk, but unfortunately I live in an area that pretty much gets rained on 24/7, so it makes biking & walking (especially with kids in tow) not so fun. The whole "being more active" thing is definitely going to be a tricky one, but I'm going to explore all of my options carefully, from possibly purchasing a used elliptical or something to maybe joining my local YMCA.

2. Make date night a priority. This is an area that needs some serious work for us.We hardly ever get date nights. We don't have anyone who will help us with babysitting...ever. (which is annoying, because I'm always offering to help people out whenever they need a sitter!) Anyway, yeah, I did the math and our last date night was over 6 months ago. 6 months since I spent a few hours with my husband outside of my own house and away from my kids. Sad huh? I'm hoping to make it a monthly thing, and I'd like to get creative with our date ideas. I want to try some new things and have some fun!

3. Be a better wife. With a little help from #2, I'm hoping to be a better wife to my husband in 2013. When you have kids, work, laundry, dishes, bedtimes, baths, school work, errands, bills, and about a billion other things going on in our daily lives, it's really easy to turn on the auto-pilot mode where you're just kind of making it through the day. It's not to say that we aren't spending time together or anything, but the routine starts to get old real quick and I realize we both require more sometimes. I'm going to really try to figure out what exactly it is that he needs and focus on that for him. Find a way to make his day better or make his life a little bit easier. This might prove to be a challenge, but I'm up for it!

4. Be a better mom.  This one could always use some work, right? I could definitely cut loose a little more & let things go. The dishes can wait, my kids can't. They are growing right before my eyes so I know I should really cherish this time. Once you get out of the baby & toddler stages you get into kid mode and things start taking off at lightening speed. You blink and the next thing you know your cute little toddler is a an 8 year old who now comes up to your shoulder. The role of maid, cook, and babysitter becomes your main focus as your babies grow up before your eyes and become more independent. At the end of the day I'm drained from all of the "stuff" I have to get done and I sometimes forget to just be mom. I want to get back to that!

5. Read more, watch less. Clearly, the fact that I didn't meet my reading goal this year means that I probably spent too much time in front of the TV. My GoodReads goal for 2012 was 50 books, and I only read 42. My goal for 2013 is going to be another 50 books, PLUS the 8 I missed from this year. So that's 58 books! I'm thinking if I utilize my DVR a little more wisely I could probably get more reading done and still catch my favorite shows (and spend less time watching commercials!)

6. Craft more. Now that I have my craft area back again I need to get to sewing and creating. I'm hoping my gorgeous baby niece will be motivation enough to get me sewing again. This might also help me to spend less time staring at the television screen. Plus, crafting = blogging material!

7. Be a better friend. I feel like I've been so wrapped up in my own crap that I might be neglecting some friendships. I don't live near any of my friends anymore and I guess a random text or two here or there probably doesn't cut it as a friend. I'm really going to work on it and try to be there for some of my favorite ladies like I should be!

8. Stay positive.  Sounds easy enough but it can be tricky. It's easy to be sarcastic and bitchy as a defense mechanism or as a way of coping with insecurities. I'm really trying to be more positive and upbeat. I want to be more of a "glass is half full" kind of gal.

I'm also going to be participating in my bloggy BFF Amber's new linky party called 52 Weeks of Kindness. I'm even co-hosting her first week!!! So come back on Friday to see my first link up for that.
Manic Mother

 Any big plans for New Year's Eve? Mine will be the same as home with the husband and kids! I might have a glass or two of champagne and try to talk my husband into playing some Kinect with me.

 Hope you all have a happy and safe New Year!

Weekend Wrap Up

It's time for my weekend wrap up! Normally I'd be discussing our top 3 for this week's The Pinspiration Project, but we didn't have a linky this week with the holidays and whatnot. The Pinspiration Project will be back on Tuesday for our first link up of 2013. Are you excited?! I sure am!

So this week...

It was Christmas! This is what my readers saw on Lulu & Sweet Pea if you happen to check my blog on Christmas. I'm sure most didn't and that's OK :)

I got some cute new glasses from Firmoo!!!
{Stay tuned for a review of these glasses as well as a promo code for a great deal from Firmoo to my blog readers!}

I dusted off a great old Christmas picture of my kids. This is my absolute favorite!
Lily was barely a year old here and she always did this weird "Cheeeeeese" face when you'd take her picture. After about 100 frames of the same exact smile from her and I guess Ayden was sick of it too. I snapped this picture & this was the one that went out on the Christmas cards. Everyone loved it!

Santa made me an Aunt on Christmas Eve!

I was a co-host for the "I Love My Post" link up!
There's still time to link up your favorite post from this week!

I finished a book & then talked about not meeting my GoodReads goal this year :(
I'm only at 42 out of 50 books for 2012.

My little Lulu showed off her pretty Princess manicure.
 Did you know they made teeny tiny Disney Princess press on nails? Santa knew!
{click to enlarge}

And of course, there's the Christmas post where you can see all the goodies the little ones got.

We're still in total "Christmas Break" mode here with toys strewn about the living room, everyone has been staying in their PJs most days, and we're kind of just going with the flow! No real schedule here (well, except for daddy...someone has to work, right?) For now we are just loving our time at home with all of our new Christmas toys! I'm sure it will be back to reality sometime this week.

Christmas 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Forgive me for being so late on this one, but I figured I should probably mention Christmas in here somewhere! We've been having such a fun week home together that I've been seriously slacking on my blogging.

It was just the four of us at our house this year. We don't have any family super close and we live in an area with a pretty gnarly winter pass at times, so we opted to keep it simple and stay home. 

We had plenty of presents!

On Christmas Eve the kids get to open one present
 Usually it's mom's choice. And as you can see I always pick something on the smaller side that will keep them busy and happy until Christmas morning. Lily got a Monster High sketch book and Ayden got a do-it-yourself Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. Both of my little artists were very pleased with their Christmas Eve gifts!

On Christmas morning I was woken up at about 5:45 by a text from my mom saying that my sister in law had gone into labor the night before and that I had a niece! {more on that here}.
What a Christmas blessing! Sierra CheyEnne Walker made me a first time Auntie, my husband a first time uncle, and my children first time cousins! It was very exciting to wake up to.

Ayden was already awake in his bedroom and was playing XBOX, quietly waiting for everyone else to wake up. What a sweet boy he is! I joined him for a bit while I sipped some coffee and checked my email. Finally 7:00am rolled around and it was safe to wake up Lily and Daddy. Santa had come and it was time to get up!

My little sleepy-heads first thing in the morning.
Merry Christmas!

Lily looked through her stocking {Ayden pretended to since he'd already stolen a few peeks while everyone else was still sleeping}
Santa brought the usual stocking stuffers...M&M filled candy canes, chocolates, stickers, temporary tattoos, coloring books, a slinky, chapstick, electric toothbrushes, toy microphones, socks, gloves, etc.

Santa presents!

Santa brought Ayden an XBOX udraw tablet and he brought Lily a pink Nintendo DSi XL.

These were all of the pictures I took because after the Santa presents it was pretty much a free for all. Everyone went crazy and no one would listen to me or slow down. All of a sudden everything was unwrapped except for my presents...they were the only thing left under the tree! I hadn't opened anything at all and the kids had ripped open every single one of their presents in less than five minutes. 

They made out pretty well though! These were a few of Ayden's favorites:

And a few of Lily's favorites:

Despite my OCDness when it comes to cleaning, I've managed to actually let it go {a little} for Christmas break and just let the toys and presents stay out. Not everything has to be organized right this second and not everything has to have it's own place just yet. We have another week left before Ayden has to go back to school and then it will be back to the daily grind, so I'm trying to really take this time to just play and have fun with the kids. We're playing a lot of Lego Batman together and yesterday Lily and I put together 3 puzzles. It was the most fun I've had in a long time and they kept saying I was the coolest mom in the world. I think the mess can definitely wait!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas with their family and friends! Did Santa bring you everything you wanted? I think he got just about everything on my list this year.

I'm guest hosting! I Love My Post- a linky

Friday, December 28, 2012

Welcome to the I Love My Post blog hop where we invite you to link up your favourite post of the week, to show it off and hopefully receive some love from the others partaking in the hop!
If you are yet to participate in a hop they are really simple to get the hang of all you need to do is 'hop' around, hopefully finding some new great reads! 
The Rules are simple.
1. Check out and follow the hosts (Number 1 2 3 4 and 5) Leave them a comment if you would like them to follow back.
2. Choose at least 3 other blogs and hop on over and leave them some love, plus let them know how you found them - I'm sure they would love it if you followed as well!
3. Have Fun and come back next Saturday.
Please just don't link up and click off to make this successful everyone needs to hop around!
Your Host’s this week are:
Sarah from Life in a Break Down
Bex from Futures
and our lovely co-host’s are:
Ashlea from Ashlea with an A
Emily from Newlywed Moments
 Melissa from Lulu and Sweet Pea
If you would like to be a future co-host please get in touch with Sarah by emailing her at:
I would love it if you would tweet, share on facebook or place our button on your blog, the more sharing we can get happening the bigger this hop can become!

Thank you too all of you who made sure you actually followed the hosts and co-hosts last week!
Say hello to Tara from Live, Laugh, Love our Featured Blogger of the Week!
Her blog is filled to the brim with fabulous reviews and giveaways - I don't think it will come as a surprise to my regular readers I am loving this post from her. ~ Sarah If you fancy being next week’s featured blogger make sure you follow all the rules give you hosts and co-hosts a follow and Sarah could be calling on you next week to come and feature with us.

Santa made me an Auntie!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

That's right...a Christmas Eve niece!

 I woke up Christmas morning at 5:45am from a text from my mom: "Christina had the baby last night at home. Had to call 911 & everything."

You might remember months ago I mentioned that my brother Robert and my sister in law Christina were expecting their first baby...a girl! This is a big deal because so far, my kids have been the only grand kids on either side for both sets of grandparents. My kids have been waiting for cousins for a long time!

My amazing sis-in-law was such a bad ass!!! 
She delivered the baby at home basically by herself! 
It was supposed to be a home birth anyway, but the midwife was supposed to be there. They had called her when labor started, but after hanging up the phone I guess things started to progress very quickly. All of a sudden Christina was telling my brother it was time. My brother had to call 911. There is a fire station close to their house so a bunch of firefighters showed up right before she pushed the baby out. She said they didn't even touch her (they'd never witnessed a birth before & there was obviously no fire to put out!) She totally birthed the baby all by herself in her bedroom with all of these people just standing around watching her. She said the baby just kinda "fell" out after 10 minutes of pushing. Then they took them to the hospital to be checked out & sent them back home about 2 hours later. Mom and baby were totally healthy & perfect! 

Sierra CheyEnne
Born on Christmas Eve at 10:37pm weighing 6lbs 12oz, 19 1/2 inches long.

Mom and baby.

So beautiful!

My little brother is a daddy!

I can't believe she's here!
And I can't believe what an amazing birth story.
Definitely makes me feel like a weenie for crying at 2 cm & asking for my epidural. (though I don't regret the epidural! 2 completely pain free, easy births? Yes PLEASE!!!)

What an amazing Christmas blessing!

Hope you guys had a great Christmas with your families! More on our Christmas later :) 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Normally today I'd go over our top 3 for The Pinspiration Project, but we didn't have a linky party this week. In fact, we won't be back to do TPP until after the new year. I'm really excited too because I have a ton of fun crafty ideas in my head

So this week...

I had my December Sponsor Giveaway!
It was a huge success with almost 1300 entries! Thank you to all who entered.

I talked about greedy kids these days.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who still makes my kids go outside & play!

Tuesday all was quiet on the blog.

Things got Pinteresting.

We showed off our Secret Santa goodies.
Then revealed who we were Secret Santa to!

I did another week of Things I {don't} Love Thursday

I gave my review of Avengers Battle for Earth for XBOX Kinect.

We decoration giant gingerbread men. Then I showed you how my daughter can't stop peeking at her presents.

And these little cuties got new Christmas jammies.

Hope you guys had a great weekend & Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Ooh, and I hope Santa brings you everything you want ;)

Giant Gingies & Sneaky Kids

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I know it's a really fun tradition to decorate gingerbread houses during the Christmas season. However, these require a bit of skill. They are three dimensional after all. You run the risk of having the house tip over or collapse on itself. Then of course you have the issue of the frosting dripping down the sides and candy sliding off the walls and roof.


Wait, yours never looked like that?! Well, if you're anything like me you might enjoy the decorating, but you just can't handle how badly you suck at it. Maybe you should stick to decorating flat things...

Like these giant gingerbread men.

These were so much fun to do and they were really kid-friendly. So much so that I actually got pictures of them decorating them this year rather than me having to basically do the whole thing for them.

My kids have some serious skill!

Don't forget to lick your fingers a lot.

Our finished gingies!!!
As you can see, Lily decided to eat the legs off of her gingy before I could get a picture.

These guys were a lot of fun to decorate with the kids! And did you notice? No drippy, runny frosting or shoddily constructed houses that collapse in on themselves.

Yeah, I think we'll stick to flat things :)

Now look at these little cuties. It's tradition that their Auntie sends them warm, fuzzy pajamas for Christmas. This year was no exception! We got our package yesterday and the kids couldn't wait to put them on. Ayden's are covered in skulls & motorcycles, and Lily's have little purple owls all over it them. I had to get a shot of them in front of the tree and send it to Auntie.

Now, don't let that sweet little face on the left fool you. This little girl has already mastered the art of snooping around & peeking at presents under the tree. I noticed that a few presents has looked like they were coming open. Upon further inspection I realized they were all Lily's presents, and she had peeled the tape up and poked holes in the wrapping paper trying to get a look at her presents.

We had a little talk about the presents, but I have to admit that I wasn't too harsh on her because it was just so cute. When she was caught she totally fessed up and felt extremely guilty. I just told her no more peeking or I'd have to keep them in my room until Christmas morning. Poor girl...I do remember how hard it was seeing a huge pile of presents and not being able to open them. Good thing for her there's only a few days left!

Are you guys almost ready for Christmas?
Do you have all of your shopping done?
Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

Don't forget! Only a few hours left to enter my December Sponsor giveaway.
Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

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