Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Turkey Trotting

No Turkey Trotting for me this morning. I'm so disappointed. Our local YMCA hosts an annual 5 or 10k Turkey Trot race every Thanksgiving. We ran it last year and I was looking forward to running it again this year.

And the worst part? No one wanted to do it this year but me. Gene is out of shape and hasn't done anything remotely related to exercise since the triathlon in August. So, he didn't want to do it. My parents, who were going to walk it, had decided last night not to do it. Well, I should say that my Dad didn't want to do it and my Mom wasn't doing it without him. So, I worked my magic on them all and as of last night had Gene talked into it. We were going to take the kids in the jogging stroller (which might have been the last year to do so since they're getting so big).

Before dinner last night I took a Mucinex D because I was so congested that my teeth actually hurt. I'm not a fan of cold medicine and never take it, ever. But, I was desperate last night as I wanted to run in the race today and knew I wouldn't be able to do so with the pressure in my sinuses. So, I took one. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it doesn't have the normal side effects that I typically experience with cold medicine. No crazy fast heartbeat, no dizziness or foggy head, etc. I was happy. It seemed to be helping with the pressure too so I was feeling good about being able to run today.

Unfortunately, one side effect showed its ugly face. Insomnia. I was up at 12:30, 1:45, 2:30, 3:45 and 4:30. Each time I awoke, I also needed to blow my nose, which meant getting out of bed. It was awful. So, at 6:30 when Gene woke me up to get ready for the race, I just couldn't do it. I was still congested (though not as bad) but I was/ am exhausted. Then, the phone rings at 7:30 and it's my Mom saying that they decided to go and would meet us there. How awful do you think I felt? I talked everyone into going and then I'm the one who cancels. My Mom told me not to feel bad because my Dad was just doing it out of guilt and was happy I cancelled. But, I still felt bad.

So, here it is, 15 minutes since the start of the race, and it's a gorgeous morning. Even though it's freezing, the sun is out and it's the perfect morning for a run. Ugh. I know I wouldn't enjoy it this morning as I still can't breathe. But, I can't help but wish I was there. I guess I just need to get over it and enjoy the day.

Once the weather gets colder and we turn the heat on, I suffer all winter with my sinuses. It's awful. And, it's ever since we moved into this new house with its forced hot air heat. It dries me out and all of the saline spray in the world doesn't seem to help. I told Gene I wanted to whole house humidifier for Christmas. That's how bad it is.

But, it's Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for. First, I have a house that has heat. And, I'm watching the Thanksgiving Day parade with my two beautiful children. Life is good, even with sinus congestion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Five Kernels of Corn

My birthday was in October and one of the items on my birthday wish list was a publication called Seeing the Everyday. Thankfully, my Mom gifted me with a subscription and I've been in awe ever since. To call it a magazine would almost be an insult as it's nothing short of a work of art.

First of all, it's beautiful. The pages are printed on thick paper with a matte finish. The photography is excellent, stories are well written and often tear jerking, and the layout/design of the pages is again, artful. And the best part? It is completely 100% ad free. How many magazines can say that?

Most noteworthy is its premise: "Finding poetry in the prosaic". Every story, photograph, drawing made by a five year old, all point to the same thing. Life is about those everyday moments. The little moments that happen between the four walls of our homes, with our family, are the ones that mean the most and have the most impact. This magazine reminds us to slow down even though we live in a world that is telling us to do more, spend more, have more and be more. It's refreshing to say the least.

So, where exactly am I going with the "Five Kernels of Corn" title?

In the latest edition of Seeing the Everyday is a story written by a mother telling of her Thanksgiving tradition. Every Thanksgiving, this mother places five kernels of corn at each place setting at her table. The five kernels of corn represent the daily ration given to the Pilgrims during their first winter in America. Before dinner, the mother tells the story of the five kernels and the Pilgrims' first winter. Then, a jar is passed around the table and every person drops their kernels into the jar, one by one, and tells of something for which they are thankful.

Wow. Can you imagine a daily ration of five kernels of corn? I will fully admit that while I understand the meaning of Thanksgiving, I guess I've never taken the time to fully appreciate it. It makes our failing markets and economy seem minor at the moment.

I love this tradition and will be implementing in our house. And, I love this publication for all that it is and so many things that it is not.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Out for Publication

I'm so excited to say that I have a layout being published in the November issue of Digital Artist Magazine. And, I had one in their October issue as well! Being fairly new to digital scrapbooking, I am so very honored and excited to be published in such a well respected and quality publication.

Speaking of layouts, here are a few recent ones...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Official

I'm sick. Full blown. Chills. Aches. Runny nose. Congestion. Scratchy throat. You name it. I've got it. All except for a fever, which I swore I had as well because of how awful I feel. However, no fever. I guess that's good. Although I don't know that I could feel much worse. So, despite my best efforts in halting the enemy, it won and has taken over.

I was tossing and turning and sniffling and clearly my terribly scratchy throat until 2 am last night when I decided to give up and get up. I went downstairs, turned on the fire, had a bowl of cereal and curled up on the couch. Next thing I know it's 5:15 a.m. and I'm still on the couch. So, I make my way back upstairs, feeling worse than before, and knowing that I've only got another two hours max before the kids are up. Thankfully, they slept until 8 am but I was up an hour before because Gene was getting ready for work. I so badly wanted to ask him to stay home so that he could take care of the kids today, but I didn't.

So, I got up and was never so happy to see that it was raining outside. Thankfully, this means I have a built in excuse as to why we can't go outside to play today. Nice. I really don't think I could've handled much more than I've got going on today... which is not much of anything. I mustered up enough energy to make oatmeal this morning and I had two big bowls. I've drank two cups of tea with honey and taken my vitamins, Nasonex, and am hoping this bug is as short lived for me as it was for EJ.

The kids have been so good today. Usually, they are itching for things to do and I'm constantly involved in puzzles, games, playdough, etc. Today, they've watch a lot more TV than I usually allow, but it's the best I can do. I usually take colds in stride and they don't get me down much but this one is a douzy.

Here's hoping my long list of cold remedies will do the trick.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We spent the day in Baltimore yesterday. A treat from the in-laws. They wanted to take the kids to The National Aquarium, which was fabulous by the way. I hadn't been there in years so it was nice to see it again.

Unfortunately, the day started off very early (12:45 am) and very poorly. EJ caught a bug and was up several times during the course of the night with a variety of requests... his nose blown, a drink, some love from Mama, etc. Then, was up again at 6 am crying that he was sick. He had a fever. Ugh.

The tickets had been purchased and were non-refundable. The date had been set for months as it was one of the few days that seemed to work for four busy adults. His fever was not terribly high (~100) so we decided to load him up with Motrin, bring extra doses, along with the thermometer, and give it a go. I was prepared for a very trying day full of sickness induced crankiness.

EJ called my bluff and was quite the trooper. Despite being sick, there was no crankiness (no more than normal anyway) and he loved the aquarium. His fever even stayed away until we got home last evening, just in time for an early bedtime and a Motrin dose.

Olivia, my girl with the super strong immune system who is rarely sick, had a wonderful day as well, with not a sniffle in sight. Not only does she have a super strong immune system, she also has a super strong independent streak. She is my tester and in the very crowded, sometimes dark aquarium, was difficult to keep in my sights. She is the kid who you tell to walk with you, and she'll be sure to walk five steps ahead. I love her independence and I think it will take her far... someday. Just not now.

It was an eleven hour day yesterday so we were all tired when we got home. Wednesday is my day to work but had decided last night (after EJ's fever made a another appearance) that I would stay home today so that he could catch up on his sleep. So, we all took a sick day. He seems to be feeling better and the fever is gone. However, I think he's passed it to me as I'm getting that familiar scratchy throat that usually preceeds a cold. I'm loading up on vitimins and green tea with the hope that I stop it in its tracks. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life Is Good

It's Friday, the sun is shining, it's going to be 70+ degrees today, and I filled up my gas tank this morning for UNDER $30. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Make Your Voice Count

I did! And waited in line two hours to do so. So much for going late morning thinking I would beat the "going to work" crowd and the lunch crowd. Plus, it seems there are many, many more A-L voters than there are M-Z voters. Or, the volunteers at the A-L table were much slower at processing voters and the M-Z volunteers. Either way, I was wishing today that my last name fell in the M-Z category as I was definitely in the slow line.

Now onto the next big task of the day... having the in-laws over for an Election Day dinner. Really, it's just dinner as I'm not quite sure what an election day dinner would consist of other than maybe insisting the TV or radio remain on at all times.

I am sure it will be a very intersting evening.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My latest dilemma...

ur um... obsession. Yes, obsession would probably be a much better word to describe it.

I have this good (bad??) habit of researching things to death. I guess it can be viewed as a good thing given that I rarely jump into anything uninformed or without a plan. However, the countless hours spent researching and basically obsessing over a decision is time that could probably be well spent doing something/anything else. My overzealousness is actually a joke between some of my friends. And, it seems to happen with just about anything.

Perfect example was when we bought our new home. It had a blank slate of a yard and I was therefore starting from scratch with all of the landscaping. I spent countless hours scanning the internet for garden plans (which, by the way, Better Homes and Gardens has them for free), landscaping photos, message boards, etc. You name it, I was there. My entire summer of 2007 was spent focused on our yard. Every shrub, tree, and flower was carefully researched, thought out and planned. And, this was only the front yard! :)

Same thing happened when the twins turned three in the spring. They were getting their own rooms and big kid beds. Several months prior, I was scanning design blogs, catalogs, magazines, flickr sites, etc. for design ideas for their rooms. Same can be said for their birthday cakes.

I'm always happy that I've spent the time and am usually always happy with my decisions/results. But, I wonder, does everyone do this? While I won't say that I'm a Type A personality (because I can be quite lazy), I guess certain parts of me could be labeled as such.

So, onto my latest obsession.

My Latest Obsession by tlheyman

A dSLR camera. I've wanted one for over a year now and after coming into some birthday money, I think I'd like to purchase one. I typically reserve said birthday money to revamp my fall/winter wardrobe. But, I do have plenty of clothes to get me through the next two seasons and while adding to my wardrobe has always been something I thoroughly enjoy, I think that activity has been trumped by a new camera.

So, last week my new obsession began. I've read just about every review I can get my hands on and been to several stores to compare how the different cameras "feel" in my hands (just as the magazines tell you to do). Problem is, I can't decide. One review tells you one thing, one tells you another. One camera has several features that the others do not but is sorely lacking in others, etc. I need to just pick one. But, when I'm dropping that kind of money, I want to be happy with my choice. I don't want to buy something to only find out later that I wished I had bought another, or from a different store because I would've saved 30%.

Then, there is the dilemma of new versus used. Should I spend half the money of a new camera on a used one to learn how to use an SLR, decide what features I like, and then upgrade once I know what I'm doing and what I want. Or, spend the money on a good one now so that I don't need to upgrade for another 5+ years.

Really, what I should do is put myself out of my misery, hand someone my money, send them into the camera shop and tell them to buy a camera. Bottom line is that I'll probably be happy with any of the SLRs out there. Coming from a point and shoot, I'm going to be impressed with anything. I just need to make a decision before I find a new pair of black boots and blow half of my money on them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Busy but relaxing weekend. Can those two things go together when describing your weekend? Well, that was mine. Let's see if I can sum it up in three photos.

All Hallow's Eve

Indian Summer

Preparing for winter

I love it when my weekends seem to go on and on and on. This was one of them. Usually, a busy weekend equals a "gone in the blink of an eye" weekend but such was not the case this time, thankfully. I'm assuming adding that extra hour in there with the end of daylight savings time had something to do with it. But, long gone are the days when that means an extra hour of sleep. I don't know about anyone else, but my kids just wake up an hour earlier. No extra sleep in this house.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day. I don't think that one day in the mid seventies counts as an Indian Summer so you can call it what you will. I will call it Heaven. We spent the entire day outside and tackled several projects. One project on the list was my vegetable garden that Gene finished for me this week. The garden looks great. Unfortuantely, the soil is another story and first on our to do list for the weekend. Gene's parents live on a property with a barn and a lot of acreage. They lease out the land to a local farmer and several years ago had also leased out the barn. Therefore, there is a lot of high grade "fertilizer" remaining in the barn from its previous tenants. So, we spent the morning loading up the "fertilizer" or as my kids call it, "gnore". Luckily, I had the job of keeping track of the kids running around the barn and yard while Gene took care of the "gnore".

While chasing after the kids, I must have said at least three times (all while deeply inhaling the warm morning air), "what a beautiful day". The fall colors, warm sun, and fresh air was so rejuvenating. I really, really dislike winter. So, to have a day like Saturday, was as I said, Heaven. After leaving Gene's parents, we hit the local garden center for pete moss and walked out with a blue spruce, two holly bushes and a blueberry muffin viburnum for $31. I love it when you stumble upon the 75% off, end of season sales. Only downside is this added to the to do list for the weekend because all of these purchases had to be planted.

Saturday night we roasted hotdogs and made smores over a fire in the backyard. It was the perfect way to end a great day. I used to love those kind of days... when the only time you stepped foot in your house was to use the bathroom. Saturday was one of those days. We walked outside at 9:30 am and didn't walk back in until 8:30 pm.

Needless to say, you can understand my disappointment when I opened the door this morning to let the dog out and was hit in the face with what was COLD air. Huh?? I had the windows wide open all day yesterday. I was going to repeat today. My weekend worth of warmth. Where did it go? Maybe it was showing up late today? Was confused by the loss of daylight savings time? I waited and waited, but it never showed. I even dressed a little too lightly for my run today thinking that I could somehow convince myself that it was warmer than it was. Fact? I froze my arse off and it wasn't just chilly, it was downright cold! I passed several runners who had winter hats on, in addition to warm clothes. Guess they're past the denial phase. I'm still waiting.

However, despite the cold, we finished all of our projects. The garden soil is tilled and looks awesome, our new trees and shrubs are planted, the ridiculous amount of bird seed my husband bought has been mixed and put into the feeders, the jack-o-lanterns have been tossed, the groceries for week have been bought, and I think I'm now ready to call it a night.