It’s officially Autumn….well for me, anyway…

August 29, 2011

Well…my baby started back to school today.  Fourth grade!!  Wow! So for her that means she gets to see her friends every day…but for me…that is the OFFICIAL start of the Fall season, which happens to also be the official start to my holiday season!  We got a great early start to our Holiday Grand Plan cleaning because of DD’s birthday party, so tonight the real preparations begin!  I am trying to make a list of what needs done in EVERY room, so I can plan what to do each day.  I love the FlyLady website!  She is so right, you can do anything for 15 minutes, and that is what I’m going to try to remember as my list grows and grows!  One thing at a time, right?  Anyway, like I said I got a great headstart on it, the carpets all got cleaned, wood floors got cleaned and all of the  main rooms have been pretty well cleaned up.  I can’t wait to go home and get my fall decorations out and put my tablecloth on my table with my pumpkin and the candle in it….yiy, I’m excited already! 

So I tried to get Lakeside to send me the 2011 Christmas catalog…but I got the Fall one instead!  Boo!  It’s just not as fun to look at that stuff online as to have it in your hands to browse through leisurely.  Sigh….maybe it will come soon.  So anyway, we went to Costco on Friday to shop for DD’s birthday party, and Holy COW they already have ribbon and lights out, along with TONS of children’s toys for the holiday season!  So early, do you believe it?!  I was major excited!  But I tried to not let it show!  Most people think that is so weird this time of year.  I just love to extend the holiday as much as possible!  Why not?!  It’s such a happy, fun time!  A lot of people groan when they think about Christmas, because the first thing that comes to mind for them is how much it costs.  That is absolutely the last thing I think about when I think of Christmas. The first think I think of is joy, and beauty, family and friends, celebrations, delicious smells, Advent celebrations at church, the giving nature of everyone, and just the general sense of kindness, cheer, joy, faith, and giving.  Christmas would still be Christmas, even without all of the gifts. Of course, I LOVE the shopping, even if I don’t buy ANYTHING!  I never miss Black Friday shopping!  My SIL and I always have so much fun!  My DH likes to go for a little bit, but he is too impatient with people. SIL and I are content to stand in a long line to get in a store, or a long checkout line, we don’t mind a bit.  We just love the excitement of all of the people out rush rush rushing, and we are just leisurely, and laid back!  We ALWAYS go to Kohl’s to get the Big One Throws each year.  LOVE them!  Anyway, enough about that. I just can’t understand why so many people have such a negative attitude toward the holidays.  If I even mention that Costco had Christmas stuff out, it’s “ughhhh…already?!”  I’m like “Heck, yeah, I’m ready to go look at ALL of it!” Just waiting now for all of the other retailers to start putting it out!

This year, I think I’m going to seriously go traditional with my decorations, and especially my tree!  No modern fancy glass balls of bright green and bright red!  No fancy colored lights!  We are going with all white lights this year, and lots of handmade and old-fashioned ornaments, some homemade cranberry garland, pine cones, woodsy type of stuff!  This will be my first time trying to go really traditional with my tree.  I’ve always been into the modern looking stuff, but I guess as I get older I am more nostalgic about my childhood, and back-to-basics kind of stuff.  So I’m super excited about that!  Guess I’ll end this with a “Happy Holidays 2011!”  Woohoo!!!!

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

August 11, 2011

So first off, I just have to say today is my AWESOME daughter’s 9th birthday!  She is away at Girl Scout camp this week and we miss her so much, especially today, but I know she is having a SUPER birthday at camp, packed with a special cake, and a party in the dining hall, how FUN!  To top off this very special day, it is a BEAUTIFUL cool 78 degrees outside.  A precursor to what is soon to come I hope!  The highest forecast temp for the next 10 days is 87! Exciting!

So I’ve been thinking a lot today about how I want to decorate my tree this year.  I am REALLY in need of some old-fashioned Christmas.  I think I might just use all white lights on my tree this year.  I have NEVER used white lights on my tree before, I’ve always been really into the pretty colored lights, especially the strands that have the pink lights on them.  But I just LOVE the look of the old-fashioned trees with all white lights, and holly branches and berries on them, raffia bows, ribbon, popcorn and cranberry garland, homemade ornaments, etc.  Old-fashioned is definitely the theme this year.  I can’t wait for Costco to put their Christmas stuff out, especially the wrapping paper!  I’m definitely going to be looking for the vintage look in my wrapping paper to go with the look of my tree.  Also, Walgreens always has a sale around November/December  on Hallmark wrapping paper, usually buy 1 get 2 free!  What a deal!  I always stock up on that!  Wish anyone I actually knew was as into Christmas as I am…I have nobody except my friends at Christmasallyear.org to share my early holiday joy with!  Well and any readers here as well, I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings!  Must get back to work now, though!  Seasons greetings!

Musings of an inattentive worker…or blogging while I’m working.

July 21, 2011

So here it is, 7 a.m., and I’m at work again.  But today, I have a renewed sense of excitement!  Even through all of this oppressive, nearly unbearable heat, my holiday spirits are quickly building!  I am so excited for that first cool day that really signifies the start of Autumn.  I’m ready to see jackets and trainers, as opposed to the flip-flops and bikinis everyone is sporting as of late.  I can’t wait to visit the apple orchard and have a nice warm glass of freshly made sweet apple cider, and to hear the crunch of fallen leaves under foot as we go for our evening walk. I’m pondering Halloween costumes and which pumpkin farms to visit this year, and whether I should use my orange tablecloth for my Thanksgiving table or the yellow one.  All of the excitement at this time of year makes the rest of the year seem so DULL!  There’s just so much coming up to look forward to! DH, DD and I have decided to lead a healthier lifestyle, so we are eating much healthier and getting tons of exercise!  No more lounging in front of the tv in the evenings for us!  I haven’t told them yet, but starting soon, much of their “evening exercise/activities” are going to consist of HOLIDAY GRAND PLAN CLEANING!  *Insert evil laugh here*  I can’t wait to start this year, and since my house is EXTRA bad, we are going to start ahead of schedule!  Goodbye clutter, rolling-toy-waiting-to-break-your-neck-when-you-step-on-it, too-lazy-to-do-dishes-every-night mess!!  Hello sparkling, holiday scented, straight-from-the-pages-of-a-magazine house!  Well, ok, maybe not that super-spectacular clean, but nevertheless, CLEAN.  I’ve been preparing to paint the dining room (which is the entry room to the house) and connected computer room lately.  I think I’m going to tackle that this weekend.  There are a million over-the-top things I would LOVE to do to my house, but I guess for now I’ll just stick to getting it clean and prepared for the holiday season.  Until next time!

 

 

Holy Crow, it’s been 2 years! And it’s July, and I’m Christsmas Dreaming already! ;)

July 20, 2011

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t been on here in 2 years!  So much has changed! Well, my babies are now 3 and (almost) 9! I’m back to work…boo….! DH and I said “I do!” on the planned day, December 11, 2009.  My baby brother (well not such a baby anymore, he’s 23!) enlisted in the Army and left for boot camp last October.  He is stationed in New York right now, and is working on training to be a sniper.  He will be leaving to go back to Georgia for Sniper School in September, and is scheduled to go to Iraq next April (yikes!!!).  He’s coming home for a week long visit next week and I can’t wait!  Anyhow, I got to thinking about the time of year it is today (July, 95 degrees, humid as hell!)  and started wishing for Autumn….and whaddayaknow here I am back at my Christmas Dreaming blog that I abandoned, and there I was at the Christmas All Year Community website….and here I sit again, just as I do every year (well usually not this early in the year), dreaming about the holidays and how I’m going to decorate, and what I’m going to buy for the kids, and STARTING MY CHRISTMAS CLEANING! Ha!  I guess it’s a good time to start, get an early pick on it this year and maybe it will actually all happen, right?!  Right?!  Anyway, I’ll be back again soon, I have lots of Christmas musings to prattle on about, but it’s almost time to go home now!  Until later!

It’s almost time!!!

October 30, 2008

Hey everyone…sorry I haven’t been very forthcoming with my posts lately…I’ve been busy busy busy!  My baby is almost 7 months old now and CRAWLING EVERYWHERE and teething again!  He has been keeping me so busy!  Also, my daughter has been cheerleading (playoffs are next week!!!  wish us luck!) and she’s just started Brownies, and tonight just starting back at Gymnastics.  Woo…as I said…busy!

Anyway, I’m so excited, Halloween is tomorrow night!  I’m not so much excited about Halloween as I am the fact that the day after Halloween is when my Christmas decorations are COMING OUT!  DH agreed to that pretty easily (although he nixed my suggestion of two Christmas trees this year!), and he also agreed that we could rearrange the living room this year so that the tree could go in there in front of our big picture window.  That was when I suggested getting a second tree so we could still have one in the dining room (which is where our entry to our house is), but he gave me a firm “NO” on that idea.  Bummer.  Oh well, I’ll wait until he goes and does the after-Christmas shopping and convince him then that we need 2 new trees for next year, lol.  He gets high on all of the great deals he can wrangle up after Christmas, lol.  So the house is pretty clean (except my scrapbooking room/dining room, which will be dealt with tomorrow night) and DH has been helping out much more lately.  Things are going pretty well for us!  (knock on wood)

I just read today on the local weather forum that I follow (and which is amazingly accurate) that by Thanksgiving we should have some measurable snow!  How exciting!  Snow in Cincinnati for Thanksgiving!!  That rarely happens.  So the only un-exciting thing about that is going to be Black Friday shopping…yiy!  Oh well, it’ll just add to the craziness!  I’m still excited about it!

I really can’t wait to have my Christmas tree in the living room this year, though.  I’ve always had it in my dining room before now, but now I really will be able to cozy up on the couch this year with a book and read by the light of the tree; or just sit and gaze at the pretty twinkling lights reflected in the tinsel and shiny new ornaments I will have after this weekend.  I can just picture the whole room bathed in the soft glow of the thousands of tiny colored bulbs, offset by the dark green of the pine needles, the beautiful tree skirt my MIL made me and all of the cheerfully bright wrapping paper adorning all of the lovingly chosen gifts under our tree.  And how AWESOME is it going to be to sit in that peaceful setting and hear someone walking by with snow crunching under their feet, or to watch some gently falling snow right outside of my window as I read by the light of the Christmas tree as my children and DH are sleeping peacefully in the next room?  I just live for Christmas, every year, and I really come alive around this time…I am more excited than I could ever describe!  I can’t wait to share my excitement with my DD and DH and now our new baby boy, I hope he grows to love the Season as much as I do!  Well, it’s time for me to go home (from work…hee hee) and schlepp DD off to her first night of Gymnastics as a Level 2!  I hope you all have a fun and scary (well, fun scary, you know…) Halloween night!  I’ll probably not be on here again until after the weekend, and then I can tell you all about my adventures in decorating!  Yay!  Have a great weekend!!

Life as of late

October 16, 2008

Whew!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these!  Well, let me give you an update on what has been happening in my life.  Last I posted was right near the end of the “Great Power Outage of ’08″…lol…Sounds so much more dramatic than it really was.  Thinking back, though, it was so strange how “cut-off” we felt from the rest of the world.  No tv, no radio, no internet.  We didn’t even venture out away from our house for 3 days.  We were relying on news coming in from our neighbors and such.  It was just so strange, and oddly satisfying…hmm.  Well, anyway, during the windstorm we lost half of the shingles off our roof, so just this past weekend, we finally had the roof redone.  Now, lucky for us my dad is a roofing contractor.  What that meant for us was that my dad, brother, uncle-in-law, friends and DH were around all weekend, up on the roof, in and out of my house, drinking bottle after bottle of Gatorade, eating tons of food and traipsing black, 100-year-old-third-layer-of-shingles residue through my house.  My kitchen and dining room wood floors are BLACK,my couches are black because, at the end of a long day, they decided to take a rest on my TAN couches; I have a pile of BLACK clothes from DH waiting to be washed (I’m trying to finish all of my other clothes first so they don’t end up with residue from his clothes), and on top of all that, life goes on, so DD still has Girl Scouts, Cheerleading practice, football games, gymnastics and school.  OH, and my DS (6 months old) has just started to get into the attachment phase, so now when I leave him with my Mom in the mornings, he cries when he realizes that I’m leaving…ugh.  I’m feeling pretty run down right now.  But, I have a nice new roof now, the money finally came from the insurance company (although they almost DOUBLED our rates now (time to switch companies!)), and aside from the Saturday morning football game that DD has to cheer at, my weekend is free to spend it all cleaning up and catching up on housework.  Yay!  Now, I’m ready to get my house ready for Christmas.  I’m going to try to convince DH to let me start bringing up all of the Christmas decorations soon…but we’re wanting to do a bunch of painting before we decorate, so that may have to be put off a little longer… 😦  So now, trying to hurry things along, I’m trying to decide on paint colors for my living room…auughhhh…so many choices.  So much to do…so little time (to me it’s not much time anyway, DH would argue that 2 months is FOREVER!) lol  Well, I’m off to try to pick a paint color…till next time!

Windstorm Wonderland…

September 17, 2008

Well, as you may know, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio.  On Sunday, we caught the after-effects of Ike.  The winds that Ike brought were so wild!  Our neighbor’s aluminum shed blew OVER THE FENCE and into our yard!  We had many, many, many downed trees in our neighborhood and all over the tri-state area.  Power has been out at our house since about 1:15PM (EST) on Sunday.  Therefore, we have had the chance to experience a little “primitive” living.  Well…primitive for today’s lifestyle.  We’ve been grocery shopping day-to-day, buying just what we can eat in the next 24 hours, and everyone in the city has been scrounging for ice and milk.  So far, the closest place we have found milk that a store will actually sell (most won’t sell what they have because their power had been out for too long)…is an hour away!  For a gallon of milk!  So, in the spirit of being frugal, we and our neighbors have been getting together lists of what each person needs from the store so that only one trip is made each day instead of each family making the trip.  I’m choosing to look on the upside and opportunity of this temporary “hardship”.  For one, we and our neighbors have really banded together for support…something we’ve never quite done before now.  We have always been friendly with our neighbors, and closer to some than others; but now we are really supporting and uplifting each other.  We sit together around one another’s firepit each night just talking and speculating about how much longer it will be, how it used to be when each of us was younger (we have a very varied age group among us), all of the good things that have come out of it, and how much worse it could have been.  My daughter has not seen the blue of a computer screen for four days now, nor the entrancing light and sounds of a television.  Instead, she has spent her entire days outside finding things to do, making friends, just like we did when we were little.  What a blessing, just when I felt like all the hustle and bustle of my daily life was becoming too overwhelming, now in the evenings, we just eat dinner we cooked on the grill and clean up a bit, and then relax with the neighbors out in the quiet evening around the fire.  I’ll be back on here tomorrow (at work again) to tell a little more.  Hope to see you then!

It’s official!

September 8, 2008

I had a big excitement this weekend!!  DH and the kids and I went to Costco to do a little grocery shopping, and guess what?!  They had some Christmas stuff out already!!!  We walked into the store, and of course DH had to stop at the tv’s….anyway…I continued just slowly walking on past while he longingly gazed at the GIANT LCD screens…when lo and behold, there in front of me was an eight-foot-tall beautiful green Christmas tree decked out with hundreds of twinkling lights and pretty, shiny ornaments!!  I was so excited I almost started jumping up and down right there in the store!  So, of course, I immediately informed DH that I would be walking through all of the Christmas stuff next…whether he liked it or not!  Then quick as a flash…he took the cart and the baby and made a break for the tool aisle. Free of our “manly” burden then, DD and I proceeded to slowly mozy on through the Christmas aisles, gazing in wonder at all of the pretty lights and decorations, discussing which paper we were going to pick out for “Santa” this year, discussing our decorating plans for the tree, the outside, the living room, the dining room, etc.  All in all, it was a great time for DD and me, we are both SO excited!  So now here I am on Monday…at work…and I’m listening to my Christmas music station on Pandora.com, and it’s taking everything I’ve got to not just sing it all out loud to everyone! lol  Oh, and now, the weather is really starting to head into fall-like patterns.  It’s supposed to be in the low 80’s here today…but tomorrow, they say it may not get above 72 or so…with low’s in the morning of about 40-50!!  I’m thinking that we may even get snow by Thanksgiving this year!  It would be SO awesome to have snow on Christmas!  We hardly ever get that any more.  But it’s looking like a great possibility this year!  We were so hot here last year, that it was this temperature in the beginning of November!  But it’s quickly cooling here, and that just excites me even more!  I’ll be popping into my local Lowe’s and WalMart as often as possible to see if the Christmas stuff is out there yet! I can just picture it all now!!  Aisles and aisles of sparkling red and white and green and gold.  Quirky little brightly colored ornaments of all shapes and sizes.  Glittering strands of garland, twinkling strings of lights, giant blow up Santa’s popping in and out of chimneys, papers with shining silver stars and glistening red and green bows to adorn the precious gifts for our loved ones…is anyone else this crazily excited yet?  Is it just me?  Ah well, at least it makes ME happy, lol.

The Family Routine

September 3, 2008

Well, I am quickly learning how much more work having two kids is than having just one.  I’m trying to establish a morning and evening routine in my household to manage my two kids and my husband and school, sports, dinner, bedtime, etc.  Wow, it is a workout!  My daughter just started back to school (1st Grade) the week before last, and I have a 4 month old baby, so now I have to drive three places in the morning –school, my Mom’s and work.  Now I get up a half-hour earlier than the kids to start packing lunches (my daughter’s and mine; I’m trying to eat healthier and spend less on lunches).  Then I have to pack up my breast pump, my daughter’s bookbag, the baby’s diaper bag, etc.  I also have to work in brushing my teeth and hair, getting my daughter to brush her teeth and hair and get dressed, get her breakfast, try to eat some breakfast myself, nurse the baby, changes his diaper and clothes, and keep him happy with silly little happy dances and funny faces as I rush in and out of the living room where he lays swinging to and fro in his baby swing.  Then I pack them all up and deliver them off to school and Nanny’s and head to work.  Then at 5:30 (I go in at 8:30 because of my daughter’s school time), I leave work, drive a half hour or more home (depending on traffic), and take my daughter to Cheerleading or Gymnastics 3 nights a week, then have to go home and get dinner ready, get both kids baths/showers, clean pj’s, brushed teeth, brushed hair, bedtime reading, etc.  Phew!  Must be nice to be my husband, his morning routine consists of: Wake up, get a shower, get dressed, go to work.  In the evening, he picks the kids up from my Mom’s and has to take care of them from about 4:15 till about 6:00.  Then I get home and mostly take over.  How great that must be for him…sigh…I know I could pack all of this stuff up the night before, and that is ALWAYS my intention, but by the time 9:00 comes around and I’m laying in bed with my daughter, listening to her read before she goes to sleep, I am so exhausted myself that I usually end up just staying in there and falling asleep, myself!  And I also know I could ask my husband to help, and he would, but I don’t feel like listening to the grumbling and complaining that I know would come from that, and I also feel like I should not have to ask…so I just do the Mommy thing and take it all on my shoulders and keep on going with a smile on my face.  I’m sure eventually I will have a meltdown and that’s when he’ll realize he should have just offered a long time ago! lol  So anyway, I’m trying to find new ways to organize and smooth out my routines, and I get so excited and gung-ho about them, but they always end up falling flat in the end.  But I want my kids to have consistency, to know what to expect each day, so I’m trying out a mix of a few different organizational plans I have found on the internet, and I will try this out for a while and see how it goes.  Hopefully better than any past tries!  My main goal is to establish a daily routine for the kids and myself (and my husband!) that will allow me to keep my house clean (or fairly clean, at least), have a planned menu for a “SIT DOWN” dinner AT THE TABLE each night, have a consistent nightly bedtime for my daughter, and have some time for me to spend with her before then.  I’ll let you all know how this fiasco goes! 🙂  Anyway, I hope to have a nice clean house and have gifts, dinners, cookies and treats and all planned out for Christmastime this year.  I’m integrating parts of the Houseworks Holiday Plan and the Holiday Grand Plan into my routine and plans this year, and I’m very excited to be doing something involving my Christmas planning right now.  I’m really excited about making cookies!!  I know, silly to get so excited over something so mundane…but it’s exciting to me! lol  Anyway, I want to make cookies with my daughter this year.  In years past, my older sister and I tried to uphold a tradition that our Mom and Aunt had started with a friend of theirs.  Each year, the three of them would get together for one night and just make a HUGE amount of all different kinds of cookies.  It would be just them, no kids, and they always had so much fun.  Well, we’ve tried this a couple times, usually we just let the kids stick around (which we never minded), but she’s just not into it as much as I am, she would rather have a couple friends over and sit and drink and have fun while I do all the baking…so I decided that this year, my daughter and I are going to start a new tradition with just the two of us (and if my DS wants to when he gets older, we’ll include him, too!).  So I’ve been looking up recipes for ALL kinds of cookies, and I’m working on a plan!  Well, I’m off to Cheerleading practice!  (For my daughter, not for me, SILLY!)  And so begins my hectic evening…  🙂

Planning ahead

August 28, 2008

I started thinking last night about how I want my house to look for Christmas this year and I discovered that I am REALLY in need of a good old-fashioned Christmas.  I want reds and golds and greens, everything warm and cozy and so pretty, lights and garland and candles everywhere, comically exaggerated Santa Claus figurines brightening my smile from every corner.  I have this picture in my head that I know my house will never live up to, but nevertheless, I am going to try my hardest, because I’ve been craving this for the last few years and before now I’ve not tried very hard.  I’ve decided I’m DEFINITELY going to make my own cards and REALLY send them all out this year (so I’m starting on them now, lol).  I want my house CLEAN from top to bottom.  I want all of the half-done jobs in my house FINISHED.  No unpainted exposed drywall or door frames this Christmas!! I’m also going to do the painting I’ve been wanting to do.  I have really big rooms and high ceilings and I think I could definitely get away with some darker colors in them, so I’m going to get the paint out that I picked, a really pretty dark green, and paint my scrapbooking/dining room, because that is the room my tree will be in, where we will do our presents, and I really want it to look pretty.  Sooo, that said, I’m going to let my mind wander to my Christmastime daydreams.  It’s fairly warm here today in Cincy, somewhere around 80 (not sure because I’m stuck at work behind this computer all day).  Because of that, I am loath to step outside, lest I may lose my happy musings of bitterly cold winter days where I can sit inside in my cosy nightgown watching out the window late at night as the soft snowflakes fall gently down to accumulate on every exposed surface, creating a sparkling white Wonderland.  I’ll sit in my living room, turn out the overhead lights and leave my Christmas lights on so there is a beautiful warm glow to the room, and just sit and listen.  It’s the most peaceful place in the world for me: no cars driving by, no loud neighbors, no television, computer or games; just complete silence except for the soft brushing sound of the gently falling snow, and the occasional turning of the page of whichever book I happen to be stuck in at that time.  I can’t imagine how anyone could not appreciate the beauty of such peace and serenity as a quiet world muffled by a crystalline blanket of stunning white fluff.  Oh, I simply cannot  wait!  Alas, I must get back to work and the boring repetition of an ordinary work day…at least I can still daydream…:)