Monday, September 30, 2013


Yesterday I had one of those days where I walked out the door with a slight strut in my step because our darling neighbor girl said my boys were "the best kids she has ever babysat for."  Always eager to accept a compliment on behalf of my children, I smiled and thanked her for her kind words, patted my cherubs on the head and wished them farewell and Evan and I headed out on a short date.

Later, I found out our babysitter was actually running a fever and likely has a nasty sinus infection so I figure she was likely operating in a state of mild delirium, which makes a lot of sense in hindsight.

By 7:30, we had returned from our date and a couple minutes later they were racing around the house naked and screaming. that's more like it.

Today I was reminded again of why I try to avoid going into public, populated areas with all three of my children. I mean, I love them to pieces and they are cute and all, but they are just so much WORK just to get some of the simplest tasks done!  All I wanted to do was to go to Target to get flour, face wipes, and a birthday gift for a friend.  Instead, I ended up with flour, face wipes, some Star Wars napkins and a headache.  Oh, and a pumpkin spice candle.  I'm hoping it helps with the headache.  Most likely, it will just make me crave pumpkin pie which will lead me to baking something sinful which will lead to me eating something terrible which will compound the guilt I already feel from the beer, pizza, tiramisu, and gelato I consumed on last night's date which will remind me of the number on the scale this morning which will induce the feelings of disgust I felt and remind me that I need to get my butt out there for a run and to the gym to lift weights which will lead me to make the usual excuses about how I am too busy for such nonsense which will make me feel dumb for paying for a gym membership I'm too busy to use which will inspire me to look for other areas in the budget to trim down which will stress me out because there's not enough money to go around so I will instead start thinking of ways to work harder which will freak me out because I start a new job this week so the income is going to be down for a while so I will start to regret my decision and worry about how we're going to pay the bills in this transition time and I will end up digging out the bag of chocolate chips to get a sweet fix because that's what I do when I'm being completely irrational.

I just remembered I need to call my doctor to talk about trying some different anti-anxiety medication. 

Isaiah has decided that he wants ALL these Lego mini-figures for his birthday and I told him he was nuts.  He reminded me to just "put them on my list and we'll wait and see!"  Well played, kid.  Well played. 

Know what makes me feel better?  Watching Clay Matthews and his fake mustache in this Fathead commercial.  Works like a charm.

See what I mean?  Now I just need a cup of coffee, a little quiet time, and a new attitude to turn this whole day around.  On it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why I Quit My Job

Last week, while my husband was working on the other side of the planet, I decided to quit my job.  It wasn't a spur of the moment decision, but rather something that we had been considering as a family for quite some time. 

Our time is valuable.  Every one of us on the earth has the same number of hours in the day, but how we choose to spend it is up to us.  I still kick myself when I think of how much time I wasted watching Gone With the Wind.  Seriously?  Four hours of watching Scarlett O'Hara and her 18 inch waist whining and complaining only to hear her shout into the sky about a new diet plan?  I can never get that time back. 

But I digress.

I've been thinking a lot about my time.  I constantly feel tired and stressed and I have known for a while now that I needed to do something about it.  Identifying the source of the frustration and stress became of paramount importance.  As I mentioned back in August, I realized that I was starting to use alcohol as a way of decompressing or dealing with the difficult situations in my life.  More and more often, I was deciding to stay late after work to have a cocktail or a beer....or two....and I found myself complaining more, whining more, blaming more, and just behaving in a way I wasn't proud of.  My marriage suffered and I realized I had to do something about it.  So, I went totally sober for 30 days.

I could go on and on about the things I learned over that time, but for the sake of this post I'm only going to focus on one:  I needed to find a new job.

I love what I do and I'm really pretty good at it.  Believe it or not, it takes more than a pulse to be a good server.  My customers are awesome and I love the opportunity I get to engage in witty banter with people and to make their otherwise normal dinner out into something unique and memorable.  Unfortunately, it takes more than great regular clientele to keep a great server around.  I grew increasingly frustrated with the other aspects of my job and found myself indulging in my "shift drink" to wash away my exasperation or to give me an excuse to commiserate with my co-workers.  I didn't like what I saw myself doing.

We recently started a new sermon series at my church entitled "Called" that is all about listening for God's voice and responding to the summons he gives us for our lives.  When I really got honest about why I was sticking around at my current job, I realized it was because it would be difficult to leave.  I didn't want to start over as the new girl at another job and I was well-liked by most of my co-workers and my customers!  Why would I leave?  The short answer....because God was telling me to.

It wasn't right for me anymore.  I usually worked my shift feeling more like I was walking on eggshells than walking with my head held high.  I finally realized the only thing that had kept me around was my fear of what others would think of me if I left. 

I was being summoned somewhere I quit.  My boss wasn't happy.  My co-workers were blind-sided and upset.  So I started to worry.  Did I make the right decision?  Would I regret leaving a loyal clientele of customer for a crop of new faces?  What if the co-workers at my new job didn't like me?  What if I wasn't able to make the same kind of money somewhere else? 

Then I listened to this sermon by Mel Lawrenz and I realized that my time and my schedule are as much Holy Ground as the dust where Moses stood when the Lord spoke to him from the burning bush.  At the end of the sermon notes in the bulletin was written this sentence: 

How might God be asking you to separate yourself from something, and then devote yourself to something else?

Am I saying that I had to quit my job because I thought my current place of employment was "unholy?"  Certainly not.  What I am saying is that I felt convicted to be more intentional about my time and what I was choosing to spend it on.  I work five nights a week, folks.  Add up the hours and that is a LOT of time that I am spending away from my family, on my feet, working hard. If I wasn't comfortable or happy, why should I continue to stay?  I wasn't doing myself any favors and I certainly wasn't honoring the God who had gifted me with the time to work, a desire to work hard, and blessed me with a skill set that can easily find me employment elsewhere.  My reasons to stay put were selfish and I needed to think more about viewing my time as Holy Ground. 

I'm not sure that made any sense at all and I know that any of my co-workers who read this hoping for an explanation for why I'm leaving are are likely going to be left feeling disappointed.  But it's done and I'm praying that God will bless this transition and give me the patience I need! 

P.S.  I highly recommend this series entitled "Called" from Elmbrook Church.  Check it out and join us! 

P.P.S.  I apologize to any of you who are die-hard fans of "Gone With the Wind."  I'm sure I just lost you as a subscriber, so thank you for reading to the end of this post.  I just have this weird thing with endings and I feel like a disappointing ending can ruin the entire movie for me, especially if that movie is four hours long.  Forgive me?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


"I don't know how you do it all when Evan is gone, Sarah."

I hear it nearly every time I'm in the middle of navigating one of Evan's long business trips to China.  Somebody, always meaning well, says something like this as I slowly blink back my frustration and my exhaustion and kick the dust bunnies and toys out of the way to smile in welcome.  The truth of it is that I just CAN'T do it all when he is gone.  We work so well as a team, he and I.  We compliment one another so well that I feel like I just can't even operate as all of me without him here.  Plus, he's the one who drags my butt out of bed in the morning and right now the five alarms I have going off every day just are not cutting it.

I cried over Skype to him the other morning, letting go of some of the fatigue and expressing how it feels like my whole aim when he is gone is just to keep my head above water and avoid drowning. 

He told me to go to bed.

But what about all the chores that need to be done?
What about the blog?
I have to do my Bible study at night!
When am I supposed to work on my scrapbooking that's already months behind?

What about all the THINGS?!

His simple answer was, "Later."

And he's right.  Sure, there are commitments I have that must be adhered to, but the stuff that can be juggled is just going to get pushed to "later."

Sit tight with me for a little while friends.  I'll be back....LATER.

Monday, September 16, 2013

What He's Been Missing

There's just no easy way for me to manage life in general when Evan is away in China.  Nothing makes me more aware of what a huge role he plays as when he's gone.  So while I watch some football without the loudest fan in the house, I want to review some what has been going on around here so he can get a bit of an update.

Our first chance to Skype with Evan came while the boys were in the bathtub.  I was able to keep them contained, but the iPad got a little damp.  When I realized this setup was bound to be more problematic than it was worth, I sat on the toilet and held the iPad so the kids could see it.  We're all about keeping it classy here, folks.

I have been utterly exhausted this entire week.  I can't really explain what's got me so rocked, but I feel like I simply cannot recharge.  Combining the late nights, the early mornings, work and the stress of solo parenting has left me completely spent.

Micah John turned FOUR.

After school on his birthday, he got to go to the office to pick out a "birthday duck."  He chose the one dressed like a cowboy.

He loved the little Lego kit I gave him at his birthday breakfast and we spent a while putting it together step by step after his little brother went down for a nap.  An hour later, Captain America's new motorcycle was left in a smashed heap o' Legos and I was left wondering why the heck I even bother to follow those blasted instructions to create masterpieces out of those infuriating little hunks of plastic vacuum fodder.

I brought the boys to Chili's to celebrate Micah's birthday on Tuesday so the kids' meals were free.  Our server was very patient and kind to us despite the fact that my boys were acting like absolutely maniacs.  I had drilled the "out in public" rules to them in the van on the way over, but they were still being difficult.  I took the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for quite some time - leave a 100% tip. 

Micah had his 4 year well-child checkup and it came as no surprise that he is still above the 100% for both height and weight.  My little trooper was so brave for his 3 shots though!

Isaiah scored the final goal at his soccer game Saturday morning and when I asked him to give me his best "I scored a goal" smile for Daddy, this is what I got.  Really, there are no other words I can give for this one.

Thomas gave me a similar pose when he finally came to the blissful realization that the doughnut holes Grandma had brought to the game were...get this....covered in SUGAR!!! 

Mind.  Blown.

Missing you so much, Evan.  Be safe, stay healthy, and know that we are praying for your swift and safe return home!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Miller Park Part Deux

Every once in while, the planets align just perfectly and you end up being able to do something that borders on the miraculous.  For us, that happened when we took all three of our kids to a Brewers game where we experienced fantastic weather, uncharacteristic calm behavior from our boys, and then there was the whole thing where the guy sitting in front of us bought Isaiah a baseball, leading to the viral phenomenon that was "The Mystery Man at Miller Park."

To get caught up on what I'm talking about, you can read the original post HERE and then see some of the media fallout from the following days HERE.

It turns out the the stories are true - lightning rarely strikes twice.  The Brewers were kind enough to invite us back for another game where Isaiah and Chad could be reunited and I could offer him the proper thank you that I had missed out on the first time around.  We returned to Miller Park on Sunday, September 1st and we once again brought our entire brood.  Right out of the gate, I'd like to thank the folks at the Milwaukee Brewers for not only making it possible for us to take in another game this season, but also for making the extra accommodations that created a fantastic memory for my family.

There is little that thrills a five year old boy more than being able to walk out right onto a major league baseball field and being handed a jersey with your name on it.  Except maybe walking out onto Lambeau Field and having Aaron Rodgers hand you an autographed football.  Sorry, folks.  Just telling the truth - we are hardcore football people around here!

But Isaiah was still pretty flippin' stoked.  We walked over into the Brewers dugout and got to greet Chad once again, giving me the opportunity to return the hug that he gave me at our first meeting.  As the players emerged for a little batting practice, Isaiah threw on his new jersey....after we convinced him that he didn't have to be embarrassed about taking his shirt off.

Despite the attention being mostly on Isaiah and his reaction to all this, I was really struck by the child-like glee on Chad's face as he leaned on the dugout fence and really took in the experience.  More than once, I heard him exclaim, "I'm just excited to be here!  And all because of a BLOG!"  Believe me, Chad.  I've had several moments where I have shook my head and marveled at the incredible things that have developed from this little corner of the Internet that I call my home.  

Since Isaiah is practically a professional at being on TV now (not really), his interview with the gorgeous reporter from Fox Sports didn't seem to phase him at all.

After our dugout party wrapped up, we headed to our seats and settled in to enjoy the game.

Only, the sun was blazing down on us and within minutes my kids were sweaty and cranky.  Thomas was screaming so badly he would not even chill out when Evan took him on a walk in the concourse.  Micah was sitting in his seat for a grand total of 4.2 minutes before asking, "Can we go home now?" followed by laments of his terrible thirst, gnawing hunger, and other such ailments.  Apparently he didn't take the ginormous bag of popcorn he held in his lap into account before claiming to be starving.

Evan returned from trying to calm Thomas down and proclaimed that it was a lost cause.  He was over-tired, hot, and in absolutely no mood to sit through a baseball game for even 2 minutes, let alone 2 hours.  He decided it would be best if he took the younger two boys home and I stayed for the game with Isaiah.

It was kind of a bummer that we didn't get to experience this game as a whole family, but it really served as a reminder of how these things usually go and it made me appreciate even more what a blessing our August game was.  Really, to have everyone behave so well and enjoy the entire game from start to finish was a very improbable outcome that we were just lucky enough to experience.  For it to happen twice was probably as unlikely as having the face of Kim Kardshian show up in the butter pattern on my grilled cheese sandwich. 

At the same time, Isaiah really got to take in the game in a different way this time.  The two of us spent some quality time together, talked a lot, and he chatted it up with Chad like they were old friends.  In fact, every time Chad got up to go up the concourse, Isaiah hopped right up to follow him out!  I had to remind him more than once to let Chad do his own thing, but he "just really wanted to go with him!"

Isaiah used his Daddy's old iPhone to take photos and videos throughout the game, saying he was going to put them in his scrapbook.  Now that makes for one proud mama.

Speaking of scrapbooking, I made a little gift for Isaiah to give to Chad using some of my Project Life supplies!  I used a card from the digital Rad Dad edition for the left side and then added a 3x4 crop of the original photo from Miller Park.  I mounted it on a piece of cardstock from the Seafoam edition and put it in a picture frame.  Then I gave Isaiah a wet erase marker so he could sign his name.

Image source -

 Thank you again to Chad, Maggie, the members of the media community who reached out to us, and to the folks with the Milwaukee Brewers who went out of their way to bring attention to our story and make this day possible.  It made us all so proud and grateful to be involved with a story that spread generosity of spirit and kindness all over the globe through the power of the Internet.

Now I just have to figure out how to put it in my scrapbook so I do it justice.  :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Butterfly Effect of a Marching Band

The windows and patio door are open and I'm listening to the sounds of a high school marching band as I type this post.  That has absolutely nothing to do with the topic today, but it just put a smile on my face to imagine my children possibly growing up to participate and then I was thinking about when I was in marching band in middle school and high school and then I was thinking about the uniform we had to wear when we marched in the Memorial Day parade and how they were made in the year 1942 out of 100% wool so they were hotter than all get-out so we would sweat our ever loving heads off as we tromped past the cemetery playing a mediocre version of "God Bless America" and then I was thinking about how I really really wanted to be first chair flute because I simply had to be the best at everything because I was a compulsive over-achiever but I just plain didn't stand a chance up against Beth Theuch (Theusch?) who was the best at everything including being an absolute smartie pants because she went off to California for college and I think has become a molecular biologist or bio geneticist or something ridiculously smart like that and then I was on Facebook trying to look up Beth but realized I didn't know her married name because I'm pretty sure she got married so my moment of hearing the marching band blew up into a twenty minute time suck that culminated in my writing the longest run on sentence in recent memory for your reading displeasure.

In completely unrelated news, I caught Micah dumping out the leftover coffee this afternoon so my 2:00 cuppa was sabotaged because I'm too lazy cheap busy to make more.

Ok, we're focusing now.  No more nonsense about flutes.

Seriously, for how hard I worked on the blasted thing I doubt I could even summon a coherent note out of one if someone shoved it in my hands right now.  And there is absolutely no way I would have a prayer if someone told me to "play a D-sharp."  Is that even a real note?  Did I seriously go to high school this long ago that the things that were so important to me then are now nothing more than phantom D-sharps?

And now I'm thinking about the time I got the boy I had a crush on to go out with me by leaving a ginormous bag of Skittles in his locker.  We made out while watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail and then he dumped me for a gymnast.  I had the last laugh though because my senior year I taught myself to do the splits and ended up making the poms squad, although that boy had already graduated and gone off to pilot school in Florida so I guess it didn't really matter. 

 You'll never leave me for a gymnast, right son?  (Curious George has some pull though.)

Would you believe that I sat down to write this post about a pretty legitimate epiphany I had while in the worship service at church on Sunday?  I can hardly believe I actually got to SIT DOWN to write this post within minutes of putting the boys down to bed!  I said "Catch ya later laundry!" and "Dishes?  We don't need no stinking dishes!" and pretty much decided to blow off all the domestic duties I should be doing because my husband is in China so really, I don't have anyone to impress.  I do have a couple dear girlfriends coming over within the next day, but they both already know I'm a slob, so it's all good.  Oh, and my mom is coming to babysit, but she gets bored when the kids are sleeping and usually cleans my house for me.  So blogging sounded like the better option.

I'm pretty sure if I attempted to do the splits right now, I'd have to call an ambulance.

It's Hard to Compete with a Gymnast,


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WIWW - Pattern Mixing Edition

Mere days ago, the high temperature was about 70 degrees.  Yesterday it was about 90 before I had even made lunch and Friday is supposed to barely surpass 60 degrees.  How on earth am I supposed to dress for this stuff?

(P.S.  If you are a member of my iMoms group at church who came here to check out the website of your crazy group leader, please know that I don't just post about my clothes all the time.  It's just a Wednesday thing I like to do.  I recommend you start with the About Us and Faith tabs at the top and then explore from there.  I swear, I spend most of my days in yoga pants.)

Earrings - Kendra Scott (gift), Striped top - Stitch Fix, White tank top - Target, Bracelet - Stitch Fix, Polka Dot pants - Target, Shoes - Payless (old)

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about.  Too warm for pants, but too cool for shorts.  Just enough wind that I needed to keep the arms from getting all goose-bumpy so I went with a tank top and a sheer layering top that I got in my last Stitch Fix box.  Stripes with polka dots?  Why not?!

 Striped top - LOFT, Jeans - Maurices, Shoes - Payless (old), Necklace - Lisa Leonard Designs

Coral stripes are apparently a thing with me.  This is a completely different outfit, but it's like the colder weather version of the first one. I have a real love affair going with 3/4 sleeve lengths.  They are awesome when it comes to these ridiculous temperatures.

 Zig Zag Top - Stitch Fix, Hudson Jeans - Nordstrom Rack, Sandals - Target

This is one of those outfits where I felt like I gave it the old college try, but I'm really not sure if it worked our not.  I think it's the sandals that bugged me.  Too teal?  To loopy when paired with the zig zags?  Honestly, I'm at a loss when it comes to what's wrong here, but I know that something is off with this ensemble.  I doubt I'll wear this combo again.

I know you can only see my top in this photo, but I completely forgot to take a full on outfit photo on Haircut Day, so this will just have to suffice.  I wore this embroidered tank from Old Navy with the same Hudson jeans (now with the massive rip in the knee) you see above and topped it all off with a sassy new haircut and flat iron job courtesy of my lovely stylist, Haley.  It's my favorite part of Haircut Day!  :)

Here's to hoping you have a fantastic Wednesday!  Make sure you check in over at The Pleated Poppy for plenty of women who know way more about dressing themselves than I do.

Linking up once again over at The Pleated Poppy for some amazing fashion inspiration!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Week 28

The Mom Creative

Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  Every week I share photos of a layout I've been working on, either in my family's weekly book or my son's baby book.  I started using the Project Life system in 2010, so this will be my fourth full year!  I used to be a very traditional scrapbooker who would spend hours on a single layout to document one or two photos.  Thanks to Project Life, I have become much more practical and I'm able to record a multitude more memories.

I don't use a lot of fancy tricks or complicated techniques.  I would define my style as "hybrid scrapbooking" - a combination of simple digital and a few old school techniques that creates a unique product that reflects our eclectic life. To me, it's more important to keep the memories than it is to make them look like they came out of a magazine.  I'm totally fine with it if my layouts feature more iPhone photos than DSLR shots and Instagram is my friend.

And it's a whole lot of fun.

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!

Week 28 - Seafoam, Jade, and the Seasons mini kit working in combination here this week.

What do you do when you screw up the date stamp on the first card of the week?  You slap on a Martha Stewart label from STAPLES and start over, that's what.

The "speleo cave" card is a digital card and the blue summer card is from the Seasons mini kit.

The "Gone Fishing" card was also all digital - I used two Instagram photos and a 4x6 card from the Jade Kit.

Thickers are wonderful things.

This week was when Cory Monteith died suddenly and it really shocked me and left me bummed out.  As a loyal fan of Glee, I wanted to document it in my album.  I used a digital card from the Jade Kit along with a screen shot I found on Instagram.

For this one, I used a 4x6 grid card and some washi tape.

Ohmigosh I am so incredibly tired, but I finished typing this post before midnight so I'm calling it a win.  I'm about to go crash into my comfy bed.  Hope Tuesday is good to ya.  By the time you are reading this, my Micah John will be celebrating his 4th birthday!!  Woot!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Perils of Popcorn

Big milestones happening around here.  Micah turns FOUR this week and last week the Bigs completed their first week of school.  The good news is that Isaiah got to choose prizes out of the "treasure box" three times, which means that he probably didn't drive his teacher too crazy.  As for Micah, his first two days of preschool went about as well as can be expected on his end.  Unfortunately, my report card didn't come out as clean.

Yup, I got a lunch citation on the first day of school.  Now, I'm not turning up my nose one iota at the seriousness of food as choking hazards because I have certainly heard the very real horror stories of kids choking on whole grapes.  What I can't help but giggle at a bit is that this little wrist-slapping came on account of the bag of popcorn I sent with Micah's lunch.

Micah.  As in, the kid who shoves popcorn by the handful into his face when we have family movie night.  Micah.  As in, the boy who can cram an entire cupcake in his mouth in about 4 seconds flat.
Micah.  As in, the son who routinely eats Play Doh and random crud he picks up from the Target parking lot.

This is how my conversation with him went when I picked him up from school that first day:

Me:  Micah!  How was your first day of school?
Micah:  Teacher take my popcorn away.
Me:  Yeah, I see the note that was left in your folder.  I'm sorry buddy.  I made a mistake.
Micah:  Teacher take my popcorn away.
Me:  Yes honey, I know.  Was there anything else fun you did today?  Did you get to practice letters or go play on the playground?
Micah:  Teacher take my popcorn away because you make a mistake.  Don't do it again.

I swear, it was like a scene straight out of "Convos With My 2 Year Old."

On the bright side, he didn't tackle anyone for playing with the train table, so I'm going to call this one a win.  And now I know not to send popcorn in his lunch.

In the name of full disclosure, I'm just going to admit right now that I gave him that popcorn the second he was safely strapped in the van.  The hysterical sobbing quit pretty much immediately, but he has continued to remind me of my first day failure every day since.

The way I figure it, if this is the worse moment of his school year, I'm doing pretty well.

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Why I Can't be a Cavewoman

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the new diet fad sweeping the nation - the "Paleo" diet.  Since I carry Instagram on my phone with me everywhere I go, I see photos all day long of meals my online pals are eating that adhere to this paleolithic (get it? Paleo?) way of approaching food.  It's very basic to basics, no artificial junk, natural proteins, no refined junk, and makes a lot of sense.

 (Our very non-paleo breakfast buffet before a Brewers game)

But I could never do it.

My knowledge of the Paleo diet is very limited, but thanks to the good folks at Wikipedia I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that I would have to quit trying to eat this way within mere days of trying it out.  Here's why.

1.  No grains.

As in, no pasta.  No rice.  No bread.  No Stella's Spicy Cheese Bread from the Farmer's Market in Madison, WI.  And I'm sorry....but that is unacceptable.  Have you ever had Stella's bread?  It makes life worth living, folks.  Also out?  My mother-in-law's Party Mix.  And no popcorn.  Wait, is popcorn a grain?  Now I'm going to have to Google it.

Yup, popcorn is considered a whole grain.  I'm out.

2.  I may or may not have just eaten the last two frozen balls of chocolate chip cookie dough with the justification that it was the most efficient way to "just get rid of them."

3.  No beer.

I suppose this kind of ties in with the "no grains" thing, but I think beer deserves its own category.  Granted, I haven't had any alcohol at all since August 15th and I really haven't missed it all that much.  But I have realized that I just really, really like my beer.  It would be tough to say goodbye to it forever.

4.  No dairy.

I am a Wisconsin girl, people.  Milk and cheese are in our blood.  I go to the grocery store and there is an entire aisle of cheese.  As in, not a couple cases, but a full-length aisle of nothing but cheese.  Soft cheeses, hard cheeses, local cheeses, goat's milk cheeses, sheep's milk cheeses, cheddars, goudas, mozzarellas, colby jack, brie, spicy cheese, string cheese....and cheese curds.  Please, I beg of you.  If you have never experienced the joy of a Wisconsin cheese curd, put it on your bucket list.  Long live cheese.

5.  No refined sugars.

Yes, of course we should try to limit our intake of refined sugars as much as possible.  Remember, you're talking to a gal who lost nearly 75 pounds last year!  I know as well as anyone the kind of damage sugar can do to your body.  All I'm saying is that there is no way I could personally ever cut it out completely.  My mother-in-law decided a few years ago that she was just done with sugar.  And she was.  Just like that.  It still amazed me because my desire for sugar is so incredibly strong that I know I couldn't just be DONE.  When it comes to sugars, I just try to rely on small portions and moderation as best I can.

Except when there are cookie dough balls in the freezer that need to be disposed of.

6.  Too expensive

The info I have found suggests consuming only meats from grass-fed animals which I have found translates to big buckaroonies at the grocery store.  I looked at a pound of grass-fed ground beef at the grocery store the other night and it was about $7 for a single pound.  I am all for eating organic, human, non-genetically altered in any way and such and such, but I struggle enough right now to keep our grocery bill under control.  I certainly can't be tossing these in my cart:

Yeesh!  The majority of our grocery money currently goes toward fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.  I'm going to put that in the WIN column and move on.

7.  Ice Cream

See my explanation for #4 and #5.

Have you ever done the Paleo Diet?  Any feedback or experiences you have to share? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Is This Our New Normal?

It's been a real quiet few days around here.

Isaiah was interviewed by FOX Sports from the Brewers dugout....

Thomas turned TWO.....

And my big boys went off to their first days of school....

Yup.  Just same old, same old.  *yawn*

Ok, so I seriously owe you people some posts.  Like, some significant posts complete with the full details, lots of photos and what-not.  But here's the skinny.  This is one of the busiest weeks in recent memory and I'm just trying to keep my head above water at the moment.  Our first day of school ended up being a big ball 'o stress due to an unexpected vehicle situation that we are still in the midst of resolving (Yes, I will blog about this) and I'm also focused right now on preparing for the kickoff of our iMoms ministry next week by taking some leadership classes and working on gathering my materials and my sanity before I am introduced to the women God has placed in my group.

Oh yeah.  And Evan's about to leave on another trip to China and I have three nights worth of work/childcare that I still need to figure out....and I'm trying not to panic about it.

And it's Micah's birthday in a week!

So, bear with me.  By the grace of God and a whole lot of coffee, I'm going to try really hard to stay on top of everything!  Now, I'm going to go eat the last birthday cupcake, meet Isaiah as he disembarks the school bus, prep dinner for Evan, pack the kids' snacks for soccer practice, get ready for work, mix up a large glass of iced coffee, and finish the grocery list before I head out to work, possibly pick up our new-to-us car (long story.....) and then go to the grocery store at 11:00 pm so I can pack the kids' lunches when I get home.  If I'm still able to keep my eyelids open after all that, I'll work on writing you a charming blog post for you to enjoy over your coffee cup tomorrow morning while I'm frantically trying to get my kids out the door so I'm on time for mom's ministry training!  Whew.  I need a nap.

If all this fails and I can't pull it off, just check out these incredible blogs for content that is satisfaction guaranteed.  I aim to please!
See you soon.  I hope.

Stitch Fix Review - You Had Me at "Mint Blazer"

My stylist is on to me.

I'm a little reluctant to even write this Stitch Fix review because I would hate for it to go to Jennifer's head!  Bah, she deserves the kudos because she ROCKED this box of stuff for me! 

(P.S.  If you're reading this and wondering what the heck this whole Stitch Fix thing is that I'm talking about, I invite you to check out my previous reviews for the more detailed run-down.)

Super Quick Recap of Stitch Fix:
  • Sign up and get on the Waiting List (this usually moves pretty quickly)
  • Fill out your detailed Style Profile
  • Schedule your first "Fix" and work yourself up into a frenzy as your stylist chooses some great clothes for you to try on
  • Pay your $20 styling fee and wait for the goodies to arrive on your doorstep
  • Receive a box full of items hand-picked by a personal stylist, just for you, based on your profile
  • Try everything on, keep what you want, send back what you don't. (The $20 styling fee comes off the price of anything you choose to keep and if you buy all 5 items, you get a 25% discount!)
First Impressions:
The colors. Oh my heavens, the colors.  Bright blue, red, coral, lovely mint.  Beautiful lovely things I couldn't wait to bust out of the box!

When I requested this Fix, I told my stylist to throw something a little unexpected at me and surprise me with something fun.  I think this tank definitely fit that description!  At first, I wasn't even sure how to wear it and still feel covered.  I admit I was intimidated by this one.

But when I saw it on, I really liked it a lot.  I made sure to have a cami on underneath (the back is sheer) and I paired it with a statement necklace as the styling card suggested and I admit I was digging it.  I loved how it hid my "trouble zone" and still looked stylin'!  KEEPER!

When I hung this top up to take the photo, I loved how the sheer fabric let the sun shine through a bit and made it look like the stripes criss-crossed.  The styling card recommended using this as a layering piece and I loved how soft it is.

I liked the wide band around the waist, but I do wish it wasn't quite as tight around my tummy.  I am definitely still rocking some extra pooch in that zone, so I would need to wear some SPANX to feel more locked and loaded in this top.  That being said, I thought it was super cute!  I paired it with some mint sandals and the horse bit bracelet I received in Fix #6. KEEPER!

Oh, and in case you weren't here last week for What I Wore Wednesday, this is the top I was wearing when I showcased the horrifying rip in the knee of my beloved Hudson skinnies.  Read all about the carnage HERE.

Item #3 was a mint blazer with pink striped cuffs.  I'm going to be totally honest and tell you I was saying a little prayer that this beauty would fit over my girls because it was GORGEOUS.

I took my cue from the styling card and wore it with a black and white polka dot blouse from The Limited.  This blazer is pure heaven.  I can't wait to play around with it to find more things to wear it with!!  KEEPER!!!

The only thing I questioned about this top was the color.  I could tell right away that the cut, the sleeve and the fit would be spot on.  

I wore this one with my skinny jeans, my trusty brown boots, and that lovely mint bracelet and I knew right away I had a great new outfit for fall.  Love it!!  KEEPER!!

Before I even show you Item #5, let me remind you of one of the fabulous features of Stitch Fix.  If you keep all FIVE items in your box, you get a 25% discount right off the top of everything.  So....since I already had my heart set on keeping all four items you have seen so far, I pretty much knew I'd be keeping the fifth item regardless of how it fit because the math just made so much more sense.  I'd be getting them for FREE!!!

Try giving your stylist a little free reign to throw something unexpected at you!  It allows you to try some items you might never would have picked for yourself that you end up loving.  If all else fails, she gets some great feedback on you and your style!

Case in point.  I told Jennifer to have some fun and throw something unexpected my way.  I'd say bright blue skinny pants are definitely out of my comfort zone!  

I tossed on the zig zag top I scored from Fix #2 and we had us a Stitch Fix Double Dip outfit!! Surprisingly, I really liked the pants!  I did realize I need to get my lazy self back to the gym and start working on losing some extra jiggle in my thighs because they were a teeny bit snug for my comfort, but a little work on my diet and exercise should fix that pretty quickly.  KEEPER!!

Two FIVE ITEM FIXES in a row??!!!  Have I mentioned lately how much I love Stitch Fix??!!


Ready to give Stitch Fix a try?  I have really enjoyed using this styling service as a way to mix things up in the wardrobe department.  It's so fun to see what my stylist has chosen!  My favorite part is that it is NOT a subscription service where you are charged every month.  You can get one Fix and be done or not get another one for several months if you choose. can choose to get a box of goodies every month.  It's your call!  CLICK HERE to get started!

Disclosure:  I was not paid by Stitch Fix to write this or any of my other reviews and all opinions are my own.  I do use a referral link so I get a credit to my Stitch Fix account when new folks get their Fix on!  Thank you for supporting this blog (and for helping keep my clothing budget under control)! 

Linking up once again over at The Pleated Poppy for some amazing fashion inspiration!

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