Hate: A Note to My Boys

My heart is aching for you. I never thought that you would be growing up in a time where our country would be so divided. We live in the best country there is. Unfortunately, over the last few years our country has been on a slow decline and I believe the election was just too much for us all to handle.

Its terribly sad it had to come to this and I truly hope we can pull ourselves out of this mess. When I say mess, I don’t mean Trump or bans, I mean hate. Our country has been consumed by hate for one another.

People are choosing to be purposefully hateful and to hurt others. People that I love and care about have become hostile with their opinions.  Some friends and family are falling silent as to not become victim of losing friends or coworkers because of differing opinions. The others are just spewing hate from their mouths, no matter who it hurts or the damage it’s causing to friends, family and our Nation. 

I have tried to stay silent, I have tried to stay off of social media and the news channels, but it’s hard. I’ve been defeated by the hate and right now I want it gone. I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to feel hate. I also don’t want to feel like my voice doesn’t matter and I mostly don’t want you boys to suffer.

We have tried to raise you with love, an open mind, an open heart, without hate or discrimination against others. I have tried to wait this out. I have not spoken to you lately about all the evil in the world today but I fear you are hearing much worse from your friends, social media and the news.  Please form your own opinions and not those of others, even me. You are strong enough to ask questions, let’s talk about the good and the bad. We can have an adult conversation about what is going on. I won’t judge or be bias. I just want you happy, to love and to be loved.

Please:

Treat ALL people with respect, men, women, children, elderly, ALL people.

We are all different! We are unique and that should be celebrated. Race, culture, shape/size, sexual orientation,  religion. We are all just people. We are human. The person inside, the heart, the love, that’s what matters. Be good to everyone. 

Don’t judge. Not everyone was raised like you. Some people are rich, some are poor. Some kids grow up in houses without both parents or any parents. Some live in a place full of hate.  We do the best we can to provide for you emotionally and financially. What we can provide to you doesn’t make us better or worse than anyone else. It’s just our situation. 

Be responsible, take responsibility for your actions and your words.

Apologize if you are wrong.

Stand up for yourself and be strong

There are sore losers as well as winners. I’m not really sure which is worse at the moment

Everyone has an opinion and its ok for people to share them.

Protesting is a way for you to voice your opinion, but remember rioting and protesting are two completely different efforts.

Not everyone is going to agree with your opinion and you don’t have to agree with theirs. Be nice, you don’t have to be mean or hateful to get your point across.

Don’t be a bully, don’t bully a bully. It is ok to walk away, take the high road. Sometimes less words are better.

Don’t believe everything you are told, read, or see. Do your research before you take action.

Do what you can to help. Help your community, volunteer, donate. Help a neighbor.

You don’t have to pick a side

You always have a choice.

Most of all. LOVE. If we keep an open heart and an open mind, we treat others with respect and love, the world will come around. Do you part. LOVE

For all others reading this, I have an opinion, and just because it may not align with yours, doesn’t make it wrong. It doesn’t mean I’m against you or what you stand for. It also doesn’t mean that I am cheering for the other team. It’s just how I feel. This is not a reason to fight or to spread hate.

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I’m not ready

I hated school growing up. I especially hated middle school. Middle school is a tough transition year that most of us forget about. It was an awkward and confusing time in my life.  Body changes and hormones, friend’s vs bullies, upper-classman. I think most of us forget that period in our lives once we get older.

Unfortunately, I have been forced to think and relive some of that time now that I have a middle schooler. I had forgotten how horrible and embarrassing school life was.

Ethan has been having his struggles, it’s been a hard transition for him. He has had a hard time adjusting to having 7 classes, 7 folders, 7 homework assignments, etc. Ethan was overwhelmed in the beginning. He was forgetful with assignments and what to bring home in the afternoon. We worked on it together. He was missing homework but after sometime he turned everything in and got his grades back up.

I thought this Quarter would be easier, I thought he had a routine down…wrong. He is now doing all of the work, (for the most part) but now he isn’t turning it in. He states that he left it in his locker or that he just forgot to turn it in. You are putting in the time and effort and not getting rewarded for it. Doesn’t make sense to me, turn it in.

Then comes life… (I’ll get back to the grades in a minute)

He is changing, he is growing up. He’s still a momma’s boy, he loves me, and he still loves to hang out, watch movies, play, and hold my hand.  But it is getting to be limited. I understand.For example, there is a holiday lunch at the school today and Ethan asked me not to come…I understood and I know he wasn’t trying to be mean but I was still heartbroken.

As Most of you know, there is a school dance this Friday. Ethan has had a crush on this one girl since the end of last school year. Well, he decided to ask her to the dance and she said “yes”. I’m happy he had the courage to ask her but I’m torn. He asked if we could drop him off at the school and then come back later…whattttt. My first reaction was to scream HELL NO! But I didn’t, I choked back my tears and I told him that I understood why he was asking and I didn’t mind but I had to talk to Dad first. What is happening? Where is my baby?

So…to merge all of this together, Ethan had made a promise to me to get all of his missing assignments turned in this week. When I picked him up from school yesterday, I asked if he turned in his work. He told me that he had turned in some but didn’t have all of his classes today (they had a run/event for half of the day). I understood and offered to wait while he runs in and turns in his work, he said “no” and we went home. After we got home, we were talking about homework and I asked what he did and didn’t get turned in today, he then got caught in a lie and said “nothing, I didn’t get anything turned in today, I forgot”

I stayed calmed, I reminded him of the promise he made; he shrugged his shoulders, I then said “NO DANCE!” Oh no, what have I done, why did I say that. I want him to go to the dance. In comes Shawn. He asked why I had the look on my face, (the oh no, what have I done look) I calmly told him about Ethan lying and not turning in his homework. Shawn immediately said “NO DANCE”.

Ok, I am extremely happy that Shawn and I were on the same page but I wasn’t happy with the outcome. Skip ahead a few hours, the boys were at baseball. I confided in Shawn that I thought our decision was a mistake.  I hated the feeling I now had in my heart and I was crushed.

I believe it’s a mistake for several reasons, some are selfish reasons.

  • I don’t want him to miss out on this experience, this is his first real crush/girlfriend. As much as I hate he is growing up, I want him to have this moment.
  • The girl will also be upset with the outcome.
  • I saw the pain and embarrassment when we said those two awful words. We crushed him.

I somehow convinced Shawn to give him another shot. Ethan has until today to get all of the work turned in and everything cleaned up…he can go to the dance.

I still don’t know if it’s the right decision to make but we made it together.

Opinions please. Anyone else been through this? What did you do?

Plane

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Daily Update

This working out thing isn’t going according to plan. Since I posted last, I have worked out everyday except for this past weekend. I started 21 day fix workouts, not the diet. The workouts really kicked my butt for the first few days but have been getting easier. The boys have also been working out with me, they are great motivators. I am a little disappointed though. I worked out, cut out the junk and the beer and I’m not noticing any changes. The scale was actually up a few pounds from where I started and I swear my clothes are even tighter. What’s a girl gotta do to get fit…discouraged.

I know there is no quick fix to getting healthy but I did expect to see some change, even something slight. I’ll keep pushing on. I have to. I can’t let my weight beat me. I’m so sick of feeling like crap and being fat.

On a happier note, Ruby and Johnny are flying out to watch the boys so Shawn and I can get away for a weekend. I’m so excited to spend some alone time with him. We have both been busy and stressed with work lately and it’s taking a toll on us as a family. It will be great to just relax and reconnect with my best friend.  I am nervous to leave the boys. I hate leaving them, they are my whole world. But, I’m sure they need a break from us too and they will enjoy their time without us.

In other news, yesterday was Ethan’s Birthday. I love that he so low key about his Birthday. He loves his it but just wants to celebrate with family. He doesn’t like to have parties and isn’t big on all the in-your-face attention! He used to cry when people sang Happy Birthday to him! It was the cutest, yet saddest thing ever! so instead we enjoyed a perfect family dinner, ate some delicious cake and opened gifts. Moments like these I will cherish forever.

Looking back through Ethan’s baby pictures really hit home. Our babies are growing up. It’s sad, yet, I’m happy for them. I’m excited for them to keep growing and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

Hope everyone is enjoying their week!

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Raising Boys

I am a mom of 2 boys. Two preteen, smelly, obnoxious, farting boys. I have heard the words balls and butt more than I care to count. Boys are gross and hard to raise. More times than not, I feel like I’m doing it all wrong.

For the past 11 years I have been stating “It’s just a phase” for everything my boys do. It’s a phase when they stick peas up their nose. It’s just a phase when they explain what their poop looks like. It’s just a phase when they talk back. It’s a phase when they hit each other and it’s a phase when they don’t listen. When is life not a phase?

Right now we are in the not listening and not giving a F*@& phase. I’m going to lose my mind if this continues. The fighting, the lying, the yelling. Ugh! It’s absolutely exhausting.

We have tried to raise two respectful, caring and loving boys but right now I’m not seeing it. I see, the “you can’t tell me what to do”, “whatever”, “uh, Mom” kids. It’s a constant fight with these two. Homework, chores, showers, be nice to each other, stop hitting each other.

I know there are going to be struggles with raising children but sometimes I feel like my boys are in a league of crazy all of their own.

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Most days I question if I’m a good mom. Am I the one that is causing this? Am I not teaching them correctly? Why do my kids not act like ‘normal’ kids?

When does it become normal or not normal to see a hole in the door or a curtain pulled out of the wall? Eli still eats and spills his drinks like he is a toddler. The dogs sit under his spot at the table and just wait for the food to start dropping. I can ask Ethan to do a task such as set the table. Sometimes he will come back 20 seconds later and ask what was he is supposed to be doing but most of the time he will just start doing something else. I have to repeat all statements at least 3-5 times and my voice grows louder with each time. AHHH. Enough already.

I hate yelling at my kids but I feel like that is all I do. Why do I have to yell at my kids because they just made a bodily function joke at the dinner table for the tenth time? I feel like I yell all the time. I don’t want to yell at my kids, but I do want them to listen and be respectful.

I have tried parenting books, taking advice from friends, allowance and good behavior systems. Nothing seems to work on these two. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have bad kids. I don’t think they are going to knock off a liquor store, but I do think they will spend a lot of time grounded!

They have their moments. They have incredible sweet moments where they hug, love, and want to spend time with each other or us. I just wish I could see more of those moments.

They are respectful and terrific at school. All of their teachers praise us about how well behaved they are. I wish they would bring some of that home with them. I guess we are doing something right if they realize that school is not the place to act like an idiot.

Is this normal? My husband reassures me that he and his brother were doing much worse at this age. Geez, really? At what point do I ignore the behavior and say “hey, they are just boys”? #FRUSTRATED

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It’s not just a number

I have struggled with my weight since I was pregnant with my first born (12 years ago). Still trying to lose my baby weight! The scale has been up and down but mostly on a slow rise. I would work out here and there but nothing consistent, well at least no more than 90 days at a time. Shawn and I did P90x and we did great. We looked good, felt amazing, but didn’t stick with it. We went on a vacation shortly after the 90 days and fell of the wagon. We are great at making it 30, 60 or 90 days but can never make it last.

We both love food and love alcohol. What better way to unwind than to enjoy a carb filled pasta dinner and big glass of wine? and don’t forget dessert. I love sweets!

My body is slowly giving out on me. I have a constant back ache, I’m tired all the time. I don’t run and play with the boys as much I would like to. I know my big girl jeans are a little snug and I don’t feel sexy. I hate to see myself in pictures. The belly, the double chin. YUK!

Knowing I have a problem and that I am getting lazier by the day. I decided to see just how bad it really was. I stepped on the scale. Ahhhh. I hit a number I thought I would never see. Upon seeing this number, I felt numb. How could I let myself go like this, what kind of example am I setting for my children, what kind of wife have I become? All of these questions raced through my mind. Now the big question, what do I do about it?

Let me start by being truthful with myself first.

Why am I unhealthy?

  • I love sweets and chips
  • I love beer and wine
  • I hate to exercise
  • I have no time to exercise (terrible excuse)

What do I want?

  • To be healthy
  • To be fit
  • To be a good example for my kids
  • To be a sexy wife

Ok, time to plan. I will start off slow. I feel like if I go too hard-core than I will fail faster.

  1. I will start by eliminating one bad thing a week from my diet/lifestyle.
  2. I will do at least 3o mins of exercise daily. I can commit to 30 mins.
  3. I will write about it and hold myself accountable.

I can do this. I have to be healthy for myself and my family. I don’t want my kids to grow up with parents that are too tired and lazy to do things with them.

Please, if you have any ideas or suggestions, comment below!

I added in some pics, every blog post need a least a few pictures!

Then and Now:

THEN:

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NOW:

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Heavy Heart

I have a heavy heart today, I’m sad and frustrated. I’m so sick of seeing all of the negativity in this country. The fighting, the racism, the judging. From the National Anthem to judging people on their parenting skills, who are we to judge?

We live in a fantastic country, one where we are free to express ourselves, however, no one is actually free to express themselves without being judged.

My opinion on things that are going on right now:

Law enforcement officers. People…If you are being pulled over or being questioned by the cops, don’t be belligerent. Just do what they are asking. Don’t keep walking, don’t reach for anything. Be respectful. They have a job to do and need to make it home to their families as well. I’m not saying they do everything right, there are bad seeds in every bunch and good ones have made mistakes. I do believe they are fearing for their lives right now, a lot of Americans are.

The not-so-peaceful protests. What are you doing? Points can be made without violence. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

I can admit I was really angry and put off by the athletes sitting and kneeling during the National Anthem. However, the athletes have every right to do so. This is the freedom that was given to them. My opinion? I think it’s disrespectful to the men and women that have severed and died to give them that freedom. But that is only my opinion and that’s ok.

I saw a lady on yahoo and Instagram today, a hairstylist who colored her child’s hair. This lady is receiving extremely negativity comments as far as to say she is a bad mother. Who are you to say she is a bad mother?

And…the media. What can be said about the media. I blame the media for most of our problems. The media reports and plays on peoples emotions, it spins the information and only gives partial truth. The media is feeding the hate.

What I listed are several completely different topics but it goes to show that we as a society we are being hateful over small meaningless things such as an Instagram post to something huge like unnecessary deaths of our citizens.

What has happened to our country? My heart hurts and is sad for our Nation. We have to stop the cycle. Stop the violence, stop the racism, stop judging others. Why do we think it’s ok to be ugly and disrespectful to everyone? What kind of world are we raising our children in? What are we teaching them? All I have is questions right now…no answers

I know I tell my kids to be nice to each other, be respectful, be kind, yet all they see in this world negativity.  I hope that Shawn and I are doing enough at home to keep our children from becoming hateful adults.

Please be kind to one another, do a good deed for someone, spend some time with your families. Be nice!

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A New Day

Hey everyone! Well, it’s been a few weeks since I have posted. A few weeks in the blogging world feels like years. We have been super busy with life, travels, work, and school. I was stuck in a bit of a writing slump for a few weeks so I channeled that into learning more about blogging and how to be successful. I have been doing  a lot of work behind the scenes for the webpage; writing new content, learning more about WordPress , creative writing classes, looking into sponsors and paid reviews. I have also been reaching out to other mom bloggers for advice and information. I’m excited to push out some new posts in the upcoming weeks.

As a family, going back to school and getting back into a daily routine has always been difficult for us. Bed times, Alarm Clocks, homework…save me! We thrive on a schedule which gets completely interrupted during the summer and then it’s for hard for us to bounce back.

The boys are loving school, Big E is in 6th and little E is in 5th. It took Big E had a few weeks to adjust to middle school life but he is now starting to settle in nicely. Throw in some back to school germs and we are on our way!

Peyton, our Shih Tzu, is pregnant and due to deliver her puppies at the end of the month. I can’t wait to snuggle the little bundles of fur!

We also just traveled to AZ for the weekend to visit one of my best friends and her family. I have missed them so much! It was hot as hell there. I’m not sure how anyone can survive in that heat. While in AZ, we met up with an old Navy buddy of Shawn’s. It was the first time for me to meet him and his wife. They are wonderful people and we had such a delightful afternoon.

We had a wonderful trip but I’m ready to settle in for the winter!

Sad to say, I haven’t been cooking much lately. We have been so busy around the house that we have been eating junk. Fast Food, eating out and lots of nights with breakfast for dinner. All part of that routine shift. I hope to have some new recipes to share soon.

It’s nice to be back and I’m excited to see what the next few months hold for us.

Because every blog needs a few photos…

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Jameson’s Snickerdoodles

I absolutely love Snickerdoodle cookies. Light, fluffy, sugary goodness. Well my husband decided to add a new spin to these incredible bites of heaven…Jameson’s and Bailey’s! What? That’s what I put in my coffee on the weekends, not in my cookies. Well, let me tell you, they are AMAZING!

Substitute ingredients with allergy friendly brands!

Jameson’s Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Jameson’s Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of tarter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 glugs of Jamesons
  • 1 glugs Baileys
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Depending on the size of alcohol glugs, add more flour until cookie dough consistency is reached.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. With mixer on medium speed add in eggs and vanilla and beat for another minute, Add Jameson's and Baileys next.
  3. Slowly add your dry ingredients into the mixer. Do not over mix, mix until just combined.
  4. In a separate small bowl make your Cinnamon Sugar by mixing together cinnamon and sugar, stirring until evenly combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, measure out about 2 Tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Then roll each cookie dough ball into the Cinnamon Sugar mixture.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, turning cookie sheet halfway through baking.
  7. Dust cookies with Powdered Sugar and Enjoy
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Road Trip Time

My husband calls us modern-day pioneers exploring the land and adventuring across the US in our trusty covered wagon aka the Honda Pilot. He’s so cute. He absolutely loves to travel, I think he’s part gypsy. I wish I shared in his enthusiasm more but most of the time I’m just overwhelmed and anxious with packing and making sure everyone is happy in our travels. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel but it can become super stressful at times.

Before every trip, I go out searching for tips and tricks of travel.  I always come across the same sites but I still check every time.  Maybe I’m looking for that one idea that will make our travels super easy. Most blogs out there gear travel towards having small kids but I have two preteens and on this trip a 17 year old in the car as well.

Packing

For all trips I pack everything in Shacke Bags. If you haven’t tried Shacke Bags, please give them a shot. They are great! You can pack so much stuff into these little bags, makes organizing quick and easy and even keeps the clothes wrinkle free!  You can divide clothes by person, type or by day, whatever floats your boat. The way I sort clothes depends on what type and how long of a trip we are taking. This trip is 10 days, 10 states road trip.

This trip I packed ‘go bags’ for our drive only days. We had 4 days of nothing but driving and quick overnight stays. It was super easy to grab the go bag and bathroom bag out of the car and not have to dig through the roof topper. Go bags had shirts, underwear and gym shorts (leggings for me) placed in one slim Shacke Bag per day. Dirty clothes from the day before were then placed in this bags when finished…perfection!

Outside of go bags, each person got a large 31 bag. I was able to pack all of the boys items in one bag and was able to combine Shawn and I’s clothes into a deluxe 31 tote. Ashlyn got her own bag. The car was packed according to this as well. All 31 bags went in the roof topper while the go bag, bathroom bag and electronics went in the car for easy access.

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One medium size bag had all of my shorts and leggings (8-10 pairs) and one had all of my shirts/tanks (10)
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The medium bag on the left had roughly 14 boy/teenage sized shirts. the small bag (middle) had 14 pairs of boy underwear along with about 8 pairs of boys socks (men size) the large bag had 10 men size shirts and plenty of room to add more!

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Car organization and snacks

We have learned from past experiences to pack plenty of yummy snacks, not always healthy choices and plenty of entertainment. Make sure snacks and entertainment are within reach of little hands.
Snacks include trail mix, chips, sunflower seeds, lunch meat, water, Gatorade and string cheese, oh and Famous Amos cookies. Love them!!! We make our own trail mix because we are pretty picky and we all ending up digging through the bags (peanuts, pistachios, chocolate chips, craisins, pine nuts). Everyone will get snacky after a few hours in the car. All snacks were thrown into yet another Thirty One bag (blue one in picture shown below). I also made a grab and go car sick/medical bag. The bag had paper towels, wipes, motion sick medicine, Benadryl, plastic grocery bags.

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From left to right\\camera bag, kids backpacks, laptop bag, bathroom bag, go bag, Ghirardelli Chocolate bag
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The best purchase we have ever made – the roof topper! look at all those Thirty One bags!
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grab and go puke kit!

Each child also gets their own box, like a pencil box just a little bigger.
For the boys, pocket post brain games, a book for each (Eli- who was Albert Einstein and E – Molinas), a few pencils, a new pack if baseball cards, Pokemon cards and a pack of gum.
For the teen: an adult coloring book, colored pencils and even more gum.
The boys ripped into the Pokemon and baseball cards immediately upon getting into the car.

Don’t forget electronics, iPads and movies. The pilot has a DVD player and we stock the car with dvd’s.   You can never over pack when it comes to entertainment. We have one of those old school 90’s cd/dvd books, They are perfect for the car!

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Great read~

 

 

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Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Roasted Ranch Potatoes are absolutely amazing and I have to give my husband all the credit. I wanted butter and parsley potatoes with dinner and he wanted roasted, so we compromised (sort of). We decided on Roasted Potatoes with parsley which quickly morphed into a new recipe. Check it out!

Note: I didn’t measure the herbs, I grabbed a few sprigs of each from my garden…sorry

 

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Red Potatoes - 1 small bag or or about 8 medium potatoes
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Dips dry Packet
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 400
  2. Wash Potatoes
  3. Cut Potatoes into quarters and place in bowl
  4. In a food Processor or blender mix all herbs and Olive oil
  5. Pour over potatoes
  6. Mix in Ranch packet
  7. Place in single layer on a greased baking sheet
  8. Cook for 30-45 mins or until golden brown
  9. Enjoy!!!
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