Sunday, April 29, 2012

Unplugged and Itching to Sell

The last four days have been spent checking and un-checking boxes in the Control Panel of my computer, unplugging, moving and resetting my modem in the hopes of re-establishing our Internet connection.  I sat on the phone with three different customer service reps over the course of no less than four phone calls.  Two different techs visited our home and replaced our modem twice.

But I think we might finally have our Internet back.

Granny Smith apples make a really pretty centerpiece on our table.

The other good news is that there is some activity to report on the house!  Last Sunday, we had a showing at noon followed by an open house in the afternoon.  We had three buyers come through and the one who requested the showing gave us some good feedback.  They said the home was in "Excellent" showing condition and that it suited their needs.  As to whether they were considering putting in an offer, the response was "Maybe."  As much as I appreciate that a "Maybe" is a heck of a lot better than a "No," it just left me with more questions than answers.  Our agent followed up with the buyer and found out they definitely had "some interest" in our house!  Of course, this turned me into a rabid obsessive constant email-checking freak of nature.  I was convinced that an offer was going to come at any moment.  Alas, it turned out that the buyers had accepted an offer on their house that still had some contingencies to work out, so they are currently unable to place an offer on another house until those are settled.

Dangit.

So, it's back to the waiting game.  Who knows?  Perhaps these folks will get those loose ends tied up quickly and will be itching to buy our house soon. 

In even better news, we just got an email tonight requesting another showing for tomorrow morning!  I've already scrubbed the floors, cleaned the kitchen, wiped down the bathroom, washed three loads of laundry, and dusted and vacuumed the whole main level.  Just a few things to finish up in the morning and we'll be making ourselves scarce in the hopes that we can pique the interest of another lucky house hunter.  I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. 

Say a prayer for us, ok?

Off to change over the laundry....again.





Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Baby is a Ninja

Every mama thinks her baby is amazing.  But not every baby is a ninja.



Just sayin'.



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thomas has Two Teeth!

Try saying that title ten times fast.  Yikes!

I know I never got around to writing a 7 month post for Thomas and I feel like such a slacker mommy for it. Thank goodness I have Project Life to be able to remember all this stuff!  The highlight for the little guy right now is that he has two teeth on the bottom that have busted through and and ready to play!  You can always tell when he's working on teeth because his cheeks get super-red and irritated.  Poor boy.

Enjoy this video of my little man showing off his chompers!





Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Project Life Tuesday - Week 16

The Mom CreativeHello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! This is my third year of doing Project Life and I have found it to be so beneficial to have this post planned every Tuesday because then I have a standing deadline to get my photos done!  I'm doing things a little different this year and instead of the Photo a Day approach I've done for the last 2 years, I am approaching this year on more of a Layout Per Week basis.  This means that some weeks might have more photos than others, some weeks will be missing days, but the goal remains the same: To provide a glimpse of our life and preserve it.  This isn't meant to be stressful.  It's a wonderful way to simplify scrapbooking and memory keeping.

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

(Click on any photo to see it larger.)




I was pretty occupied with trying to get our house staged for our Open House (I wrote about this on the journal card with the Instagram photo), so my photo volume was pretty light this week.  Still, I love how this project still allows me to give a good glimpse into what we were up to.

Left Page:




Nothing too fancy here.  I used my trusty Ali Edwards day stamps, some Tim Holz journaling stickers, and some letter stickers for the "Micah" card.  If you have a moment, read that little gem about my Micah.  It's a hoot.

Right Page:

I love the photo of my Sesame Street Zombies in the top right corner.  Cracks me up.




There you have it!  Like I said, I was way too busy with working on the house to really do anything too overly exciting, but I love that still ended up with a need spread in my album for this week.  Be sure to check out The Mom Creative for fabulous Project Life ideas!



Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Pizzas - My New Go-To Meal

When I first started Weight Watchers Online at the beginning of 2012, I was under the wrong impression that it meant I couldn't eat some of my favorite foods.  The beauty of WW is that you CAN eat the things you love!  I've since learned how to experiment with recipes and lighten them up and also how to put together my own healthy meals.  Now, I'm no expert and I certainly don't have a ton of time to mess around in the kitchen.  I do have three small boys demanding my attention all day, after all.

But this little gem.  This easy peasy, quick and simple, delicious mini-meal just begs to be shared.  It's a no-brainer, so I really don't know why it took me so long to figure out how to do this.

Mini Pizzas - Points Plus Value: 5


Ingredients:
1 whole wheat English Muffin
2 Tablespoons pizza sauce
6 slices of Hormel Turkey Pepperoni
1/4 cup Fat Free shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Oregano or Italian Seasoning

Turn on the broiler on the oven.  Cut the English muffin in half and toast in the toaster. Smear 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce on each half and the sprinkle the cheese on top.  Add three pepperonis to each half (I used only two on each when I took the photo, but I changed it because I like pepperoni.).  Sprinkle oregano or Italian Seasoning on top.  Place mini pizzas on a baking sheet and cook under the broiler until cheese is melted and sauce is hot, about 3-4 minutes.

So quick and simple and so yummy!  It satisfies my craving for pizza without socking me a boat-load of points and the kids just LOVE them.  Talk about an easy lunch for the boys!






Designed to Sell

Guess what?  It's quiet in my house right now.  And you know what?  I'm not feeling pressured to utilize that quiet to scrub a floor, paint a wall, pack a couple boxes, or clean a closet.  It's kind of nice!  Sure, I still have photos to edit, emails to reply to, and numerous other things I "should" be doing, but at the moment I am kind of enjoying being able to finally sit down and blog for a couple minutes.  Be warned, however.  Micah was still messing around in his room when he's supposed to be sleeping when I checked on him about five minutes ago, so goodness knows how long this little venture into sanity will last.

What's been going on?  The short answer - A LOT.  

Basically, I spent the majority of last week whipping my house into shape in preparation for our first Open House with our new Realtor.  As you recall, a stager came by and walked me through a whole litany of things I could do to make the house more "sellable" to the average buyer.  Considering we've been on the market for a grand total of 299 days now, Evan and I were willing to give pretty much anything a go.  We rented a storage unit and have moved numerous van loads of stuff out of our house.  I've made three trips to St. Vinnie's to donate things we didn't really need.  We painted our entire living room and the dining room accent wall.  We changed out a light fixture, most of our lightbulbs, replaced a closet door, bought patio furniture, and cleaned and scrubbed and cleaned some more.  I felt like Cinderella by the time Friday rolled around (before she got to wear the fancy dress and go to the party, that is) and I got an email that someone had requested a showing for Saturday at noon!  Yahoo!!!

But drat.  That meant one less day to finish everything.  

A frenzy ensued.  Dusting, vacuuming, boxing, spraying of Febreeze.  And then they rescheduled for an hour before our Open House on Sunday.  Okidoke.

So, Sunday rolls around and I'm on pins and needles at work while Evan took the boys (and the dog) to Madison to leave the house vacant.  The good news?  We had three prospective buyers with Realtors come through the house yesterday.  The feedback was positive and one said the house was in "Excellent" showing condition and that it met his buyers' needs.  As to whether they were considering an offer, the response was "Maybe."

Maybe is not a No.  I'll take it.  

So, we wait.  We wait to see if an offer is indeed going to come from our hard work and patience.  Really, all the patience is coming from Evan's end.  I'm really struggling not to freak out about this whole thing, to be quite honest.  Thank goodness he's got enough patience for the both of us.  

Just so you can get a sense of what we've been up to, here are some before and after shots of our living room:

BEFORE - 


AFTER - 

BEFORE - 


AFTER - 



Quite the difference, huh?  Sure, I do miss my blue wall.  It's very "blah" right now, but it does look brighter and bigger and those are two things we need our buyers to see when they walk in the door.  I do still need to get some new shots of the dining room since we replaced the light fixture and painted the accent wall in there too, but that just hasn't happened yet.  I can show you these little teasers though:



So, that's the house update.  I also have videos to share with you of Thomas and his new teeth, a story to tell you about Micah and a nun, and of course some Project Life goodies on tap.  I promise to try to get it all in this week.  See ya later!

P.S.  Here is the link to the official listing for our home.  If anyone reading this happens to know someone who is looking for a home in the area (Arena, Spring Green, Mazomanie, Sauk Prairie), would you consider passing this along to them?  Anything we can do to drive some traffic to our home would be a good thing.  Share on Facebook, pin it on Pinterest, send it in an email.  Whatever!  It's all good and I would be so grateful.  And hey, if you just want to check it out and send me some happy "sell that house" happy brain waves, that would be nice too!  



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ultimate Toddler Frisbee!

Oh, this just kills me.  It's amazing how something as simple as going outside with Daddy can bring out the totally opposite personalities in my big boys.  Observe.  I'll narrate for Isaiah and just let Micah's body language speak for itself.

Hey Daddy!  Let's throw the Frisbee!!

Ok, son.  Here's how it's done.  Just a flick of the wrist and away it goes! 


Like this, Daddy?


Ummm.....no.  Not really, boy.  Try again.


But, I DON'T WANNNNTTTT to do it DAATTT WAAAAY!!!!


Dis is too HARD, Daddy.


Here, Isaiah.  Let Daddy help you, ok?




Nailed it.


Then they spent another 30 minutes throwing the Frisbee back and forth because Isaiah had the technique down.  Meanwhile, Micah spent another 30 minutes playing fetch with the green one better than any golden retriever.  And he was happy as a clam.

The End.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project Life Tuesday - Week 15

The Mom CreativeHello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! This is my third year of doing Project Life and I have found it to be so beneficial to have this post planned every Tuesday because then I have a standing deadline to get my photos done!  I'm doing things a little different this year and instead of the Photo a Day approach I've done for the last 2 years, I am approaching this year on more of a Layout Per Week basis.  This means that some weeks might have more photos than others, some weeks will be missing days, but the goal remains the same: To provide a glimpse of our life and preserve it.  This isn't meant to be stressful.  It's a wonderful way to simplify scrapbooking and memory keeping.

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

(Click on any photo to see it larger.)


This was a HUGE week for photos in my world!  Easter, two birthday celebrations, and some just crazy cute kids added up to me including 36 photos in this week's Project Life.  So, that meant two inserts - a 6x12 and a Design B.   

Left Page:

I covered Easter Sunday on this page, plus a little tidbit about how Thomas finally ate some solid foods!  I cleaned the packaging and cut it to the right size before attaching it to a 3x4 grid journaling card.

I loved this idea when Jessica did it over on The Mom Creative, so I shamelessly copied it this week.  I dug this large journaling card out of my stash and punched holes it in to place it before my inserts.  Since it was such a big week, I wanted to give a little mini-summary before sharing the photos.


6x12 Insert:
On one of the few nice afternoons this week, the boys and I were hanging out in the yard and the light was just right to take some good shots of my boy in his sweet owl hat.  I printed them as a 6x9 and two 3x3 photos and then adhered them to a 6x12 piece of cardstock.  The "BLISS" sticker didn't photography very well, but it's actually very denim-like.


On the flip side, I pasted three 4x6 photos from the same afternoon to the cardstock and added a couple dimensional stickers I found buried in a drawer.  :)


Moving right along....

Design B:
I used this insert to feature the birthdays we celebrated this week.  Evan's was first!


I love Thickers.


Next up was Lainee's first birthday party on the flip side of Design B.  I absolutely love the photo of the birthday girl staring at her hands covered in the black frosting like she's saying, "What in the name of Winnie the Pooh is this stuff??!!"


And here's the Design B next to right Design A page.


Right Page:
This page sums up the rest of our hectic week.  I made a collage of the boys playing simply because I couldn't decide which photo to use, but I love the way it turned out. 


My favorite tidbit from this week is definitely this journal card about something Isaiah said on Friday.  It was like something straight out of an episode of "Kids Say the Darndest Things."



And there you have it!  Big week for sure.  This week should be a bit more tame, but who knows! 
Have a wonderful week and be sure to check it at The Mom Creative for more Project Life inspiration!





Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Clearly, I must have an attitude problem because I find myself getting more and more riled up every time I venture over to Pinterest to check out all the cool things my peeps are pinning.  I oooohhh and ahhhhhh over the divine, decadent desserts that I will never make because they're 80% butter and heavy cream.  I repin about fifteen darling little kid crafts before I come to terms with the fact that I don't really do kid crafts.  I get really carried away with pinning Project Life layouts and those I actually do refer back to.  And don't even get me started on the eCards.  My "Giggles" board is filled with those things because they are, in a word, GENIUS.

Here's where I have my panties all in a twist.  So, you all know I'm on Weight Watchers, right?  I've been busting my butt since January 1st to get my diet under control and to get my flabby butt off the couch a couple times a week in pursuit of finding the hot wife that's buried underneath all this flab and stretch marks.  I know she's there.  She's started to peek out a bit and I like what I'm seeing.  I tweet about my journey under the hashtag #gettingmysexyback and I have a Pinterest board of the same name.  I pin things to that board that I find helpful, useful, and motivational.

I have things like easy workout routines to help work on ditching my muffin top courtesy of my three children:



Outfits that I think I'd look hot in once I reach my goal weight:



People that motivate me:

Source: tv.yahoo.com via Sarah on Pinterest


What I do not have on my Getting My Sexy Back board is a lot of the nonsense that I see littering the boards of many of those that I follow.  Usually, the pins like this are captioned with things like "Perfect Body," "Must Do This!" or "Work Harder and I can look like this."




It makes me want to vomit.

You know what?  I could work out all day, every day and eat nothing but egg whites and asparagus and I still would never look like this:




You can't even see her face!!!

I'm working at becoming the best, healthy version of me that I can be.  Sure, I might be slightly (ok VERY) jealous of Adriana Lima or whatever the heck her name is who can have two babies and still walk down the runway at the Victoria's Secret fashion show looking like THAT.  Yeah, ok.  I admit it.  But when it comes right down to it, how on earth is THIS....




...supposed to make me want to go for a run?  It makes me want to go eat a chocolate bar and curl up in the fetal position in my pajamas!

I'm never going to be THAT girl.  And you know what?  I'm just fine with that. I'm inspired by the woman in my neighborhood with four kids (and another on the way!) who goes on regular bike rides with her kids and looks FABULOUS.  I'm encouraged by my neighbor down the street who worked her tail off to complete a triathlon....while pregnant!  I want to model myself after these women because they are choosing to live their lives in a way that keeps them healthy and honors the way God created them.  They're not modeling themselves after some unattainable, man-made version of the "perfect body."  Instead, they're more interested in maintaining a well-functioning and happy version of who they are because that's what is going to make all the difference.

I'll never weigh 115 pounds.  I'll never have abs like this:



As women, we are so susceptible to the danger of comparison.  We look to others to be the measuring tape by which we determine our value.  We think things like "I must not be working hard enough if I don't look like her."  We pin photos like this to our Pinterest board as motivation because we think "If she can do it, so can I!" Well, we can't "pin" genetics.  And why should we want to?  Oh, the enemy is a tricky one, isn't he?

You're not pretty enough.
You could never look like this.
No one will ever find you attractive.


Lies, friends.  All lies.  I am all too familiar with these lies because I hear them every single day.  I struggle deeply with negative self-talk.  I'm my own worst enemy.  Sometimes it is so much easier to believe that stuff than it is to accept the truth.

The truth is that we do have what it takes to be incredible.  We don't have to have chiseled abs and butts you can bounce a dime off of for our husbands to find us attractive.  We are really pretty amazing the way we are.  God said so.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13)
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  (Ps 139:14)
I am made perfect.  (Heb 10:14)

Every time I run, it is to help me feel better about me.  Every pound I lose is another victory against those voices in my head who told me I couldn't do it.  In essence, the pressure is off because in the eyes of the one who really counts, I am already perfect.  It's not easy to believe, but I'm working on it.  Just as hard as I'm working on eating better and hitting the pavement, I'm working on believing this truth.

So do me a favor, friends.  Stop pinning photos of celebrities and supermodels as your motivation to work out.  Just work at being you.....upgraded.  Fearfully and wonderfully made.

P.S.  I'm reading a book right now entitled You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth that is really opening my eyes to this stuff.  I highly recommend it!!






Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Love of My Life

Hey babe.


Sorry you were stuck in New Berlin last night.  I know I would have much rather had you home with me.  It would have been nice to be able to tell you Happy Birthday through my morning breath laced, slurred half asleep voice as you left for work this morning at the unholy hour that you head out the door.

Happy Birthday, my love.

Happy Birthday to the man who leads our family, rocks my socks off, and makes me do this:


You're pretty awesome, Evan.  Getting kind of old all of a sudden *ahem* but still a pretty amazing guy.  I'm incredibly blessed to call you my husband and I know those boys are pretty psyched you're their Dad.

Happy Birthday to a guy who is this close to being 50 pounds lighter than he was on his last birthday!  Woot!  Seriously, honey.  Check out your face in this photo.  It's wild.  You're really doing it! I always knew you could.


So drive home safe, my love.  I thought about making you a birthday cake, but maybe we'll just steal some of the kids' Easter candy instead.  Less WW points for both of us, after all.  We can pretend that Lainee's birthday cake on Saturday is yours too, ok?

Happy Birthday Evan!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Project Life Tuesday - Week 14

The Mom Creative
Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! This is my third year of doing Project Life and I have found it to be so beneficial to have this post planned every Tuesday because then I have a standing deadline to get my photos done!  I'm doing things a little different this year and instead of the Photo a Day approach I've done for the last 2 years, I am approaching this year on more of a Layout Per Week basis.  This means that some weeks might have more photos than others, some weeks will be missing days, but the goal remains the same: To provide a glimpse of our life and preserve it.  This isn't meant to be stressful.  It's a wonderful way to simplify scrapbooking and memory keeping.

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

(Click on any photo to see it larger.)



Quite frankly, I'm still shocked I managed to whip things together in time to have a post for today, so my layout is pretty bare-bones this week.


Left Page:
Thomas is now 7 months old, so I included his monthly photo as well as a shot from the scale at the doctor's office.  Isaiah had yet another quirky moment at preschool on Wednesday, so I copied his teacher's account of it on Facebook and included it on this 3x4 card,



Right Page:


This page is kind of split in half.  The photos of the boys are on the left side and then our "in progress" shots on the house are on the right.


I'm using Evan's iPhone now to run my Ease Into 5K app for my runs because my phone was driving me absolutely batty.  I love how I can take a screen shot so easily on his phone!  I was able to document that I averaged a 9:27 min/mile on this time out!

We had a stager come out to the house on Thursday and she walked me through a bunch of things we can do to the house to make it more "sellable."  First on the list was the living room.  We painted everything and ditched several pieces of furniture.  I have a feeling that house shots are really going to dominate my Project Life for the next week or so.  We've been busy.


I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  

Happy Tuesday.


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