Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 New Year's Goals

Appreciating More of the simple moments in daily life

A refined list of my New Year's goals:

1. Eat better (less sweets and red meats, more veggies and fish)

2. Drink less (caffeinated drinks and wine!)

3. Exercise more (I know blah, blah, blah, this is starting to sound like every one's list of resolutions every year!)

4. Do more yoga

5. Read 15-20 novels- Any suggestions?

6. Finish my THESIS!!

7. Implement more Montessori methods into the kid's at home learning/create a specific learning spot for them in the house and only use it for the above mentioned

8. S-L-O-W down (and enjoy more of the simple, smaller moments in every day life)

9. Get more sleep/rest

10. Be more forgiving with myself

11. Pay more attention to my food allergies/sensitivities

12. Finish and print both kid's FIRST year photo albums (yes, I am such a slacker!)

13. Get back to a cleaning/housework weekly schedule

14. Customize our at home daily routine/RHYTHM

15. Play with the dogs more

16. Simplify my gardening expectations (instead of planting 15 different kinds of seeds, and having mediocre results, narrow it down to 3-5 kinds and really do it well!)

17. Read the manual that came with our awesome camera (a year ago!) and start learning how to really USE the amazing documentary tool!

18. Take more pictures

19. Organize and delete unwanted digital photos at the end of each month

20. Begin work on 2010 annual family photo album, this January, not next December!

21. Direct more energy into a few solid friendships with people here, instead of trying to make a whole heap of new acquaintances.

22. More importantly, spend more time nurturing EXISTING friendships!

23. Send mail once a week to Nana

24. Post here more often- resume Today's Memories

25. Apply for, and write more online reviews

Okay, I think that is good for now...I want to stay realistic! I hope I can accomplish all of these goals, I'll do my best to let you know how I do!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Promises

As the New Year fast approaches, I am beginning to focus my thoughts on the age old idea of New Year's Resolutions!

It's easy for me to want to fall into this frame of mind because of our family's current position. After having just moved into a new house, in a new state, and after the past year of Pete's crazy travel schedule and the ups and downs associated with it, I can honestly say that it feels good to want to focus on making positive changes.

I remember writing about all of the resolutions I wanted to make for 2009 and of course, as usual, I had great intentions (I usually always do!). But intentions are just that, intentions-not promises. And as 2010 comes into sight, I commit, and I promise to make the changes I seek.

I am starting by promising myself to dedicate a certain amount of time each week to reading, understanding and embedding into my daily life all that I learn from a book I received from my sister, Krista, The Simple Abundance Companion.

This book (really a workbook of sorts) focuses on learning to accept yourself for all that you are and strives to get you to take a good solid look at how your choosing to live your life. Are you filling your days with work, errands, volunteering, grocery shopping, tending to your children, but never to yourself?

I am promising myself a slower new year, a more accomplished new year, and a more fullfilled new year.

Where do your 2010 New Year resolutions begin?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nate's Power Washer

Christmas To Us....

Making Cookies with friends

Unpacking the Christmas Spode China

Decorating our NEW house!

A little something in between here and there!

Spending time with visiting family

Smiles, smiles, and more smiles

Grandparent's visits via the computer w/ SKYPE

Seeing what Santa brought

The kids discovering filled stockings at the foot of their beds

Dogs freaking out over fast moving new cars

Spending family time playing with new toys

Being grateful for all that we have, all that we are and all that we can be!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Getting Settled

We have been busy, busy, busy...unpacking, driving back and forth to preschool, Christmas decorating, shopping, painting rooms, and trying to eat well and get lots of sleep in between to help keep our bodies healthy and full of that good old energy!

Yesterday Pete and I spent about two hours flattening out all of the packing paper from the moving boxes, so that we could fit it all in the back of Pete's truck to bring to the recycling center...what a crazy insane amount of paper!

At least the kids had fun jumping in the pile...can you see Juliana in there somewhere?!

All else is well with us, I know I haven't been posting as often I usually do, and I hope you understand my absence and keep checking back whenever you can. Once things start to settle down and routine is re-established, I'll be back to my regular old blogging priorities!

Hope all is well with you and you are enjoying all that the holidays should represent!

Monday, December 14, 2009


In my efforts to focus on more of the positives in life, I want to share with you some of what I am grateful for today....

1. Two children who are finally getting over the flu!
2. A wonderful new house, with plenty of room for us to spread out
3. Cleared bathroom counter tops (I finally unpacked and semi-organized the master bath)
4. A new dishwasher
5. A dryer that works
6. A Christmas tree with lights (no ornaments yet)
7. Stockings hanging from the mantle
8. Having the opportunity to spend an hour by myself in reflection during yesterday's mass
9. Juliana walking happily into her preschool classroom today- instead of with tears!
10. Finally feeling a lot less exhausted after all of the last month's moving and hard work

Today's Memory:
Last night after getting into bed and saying prayers, Nate asked me, "where does God live, does he live in Heaven?"

"Yes, he does, but he also lives all around us too," I told him.

Nate reached his arm up into the air and said, but I don't feel him."

So, I said, well, you can feel his love all around you, can't you?"

"Yes! I can!" he said....

It was really awesome!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Twas The Night Before....

The Big Move!

Wow, tomorrow is coming fast, and soon, before we know it, the movers will be unloading all of our belongings off of the enormous truck and carrying them into our new home here in Birmingham, AL.

After a week spent painting multiple rooms and deep cleaning (I take this opportunity to remind each one of you to please clean your dishwashers annually!) I am actually getting really excited about our move into the new house! I have spent too much time feeling sad and disappointed and woe is me about this move, and really, I am done....I promise!

In our few weeks here in Birmingham, the city has welcomed us with strong, beautiful, and kind arms. What we've explored so far has been wonderful, and I look forward to the possibility of spending many more years (that's right, I said years) continuing that exploration!

So, all in all, it's not so bad, in fact, it's pretty good. Welcome to Birmingham, welcome to our life here, welcome to our new HOME.

See you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Thanksgiving was :
-An early morning trip to Savannah, GA to visit with my sisters, Kara, Krista, Michael, my dad, his wife Fawn, and my mom

-A chance to slow down amidst the transitioning...and be grateful for all that we have

-A day spent playing in downtown Savannah, going aboard a tall ship, and visiting a huge gingerbread village

-Getting creative with new gifts!

We closed on the new house a few days ago and have spent the last few days painting and repairing a few feels good to be getting closer to the move in date next week! I am ready to unpack, decorate for Christmas and begin making our house a HOME....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Heading to Savannah GA for the Thanksgiving holiday...may your week be full of remembering what YOU are thankful for these day!

Enjoy, I'll be back soon!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stop. Take Note. Make Necessary Changes

With all the craziness spanning the last few months, including, putting our house on the market, cleaning, decluttering, showings, selling our house, new house hunting, packing, moving temp. apartment living and closing on a new house in 2 weeks (just to name a few) I have become a lot more lenient with letting things slide.

Some things have been good for me; I have learned that my friends will still like me despite a messy kitchen...

But when it comes to the kids, there are some things that have to change; time for the ropes to be reigned in...

1. TV- I never in a million years imagined that I would let this one slide, but I have.
I am so ashamed, really. It's not that I let them sit in front of it for hours upon hours every day, but....the once firm limit of one -two 30 minute shows a day, has easily transpired to sometimes 3-4 shows over the last few months...ugh. It's hard to look at it and see the numbers add up to a possible 2 hours of TV in a single day! There is going to be some tough backtracking here, but from today on, TV shows will be back to the limit of 1-2 shows per day, and will be the result of their accomplishing some educational work or household chores.

2. Bedtime- Don't even get me started talking about all of the frustrating years of sleep deprived nights due to the constant arrival of little bodies into our room, begging, pleading to sleep with us-countless times a night. Amazingly, here and there we have actually had periods where we prevailed over this and I have thought, wow, could this be? Could we actually be on a path to healthy and fruitful sleeping habits?! But, no, instead, disruption in our routine and lives has once again prevailed, not all of my hard work. Yet, thankfully, along with our move, also came a one hour time difference, and the amazing gift of sleepy children at 7 pm! Now, we just need to work on keeping them in their OWN beds!

3. Home Learning- Oh, this is a hard one...I really prided myself on my desire and motivation in making this a huge priority in our home. Sure my kids go to preschool a few mornings a week, but I am lucky enough to stay at home with them right now. I am honored to hold the huge responsibility of supplementing their learning process. Over the last few months though, with everything else going on, a portion of this has also fallen to the wayside.

But now that the chaos is lessening, I am taking some time to re-focus, take note, and prioritize. My children are my number one priority and I am making some changes for them around here...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Location, Location!

We've hit the one week mark of living in Birmingham, and so far, so good! Although we all really miss SC, and everything and everyone we knew there, it's also exciting to explore this neat new community of ours!

As we get to know the area better, we are continually surprised and excited about the close proximity of everything to our new home. We are now realizing that we not only got an unbelievable deal on our new house, but along with it we are getting unbelievable convenience to everything we could need.

So far, we've discovered:

1. The North Shelby County Library is only 0.5 miles from the house

2. Our new church, Our Lady of the Valley, is less than 5 miles from the house

3. Publix grocery store is 1.4 miles and Fresh Market is 4 miles from the house

4. A post office is less than 2 miles from the house

5. Edgars Bakery and other fun little restaurants and cafes are only 1.2 miles away

6. The elementary and middle schools that the kids will attend (if we're still here) are both less than 2 miles away

7. Home Depot, Lowes, Tuesday Morning, Stein Mart, Petco, Starbucks, Barnes and Nobel, fun thrift stores, fabric stores, hair salons, etc, etc... are all within a few miles as well!
8. The Summit, (shopping extraordinaire) including stores and restaurants such as, J. Crew, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Banana Republic, P.F. Changs, The Cheesecake Factory, and more, is only 5 miles away.

But the best part, is that our neighborhood does NOT feel like we right in the middle of all of this modern fact, also within a mile or two is a horse farm, and Alabama's largest state park, Oak Mountain State Park!

Not such a shabby location after all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On My Plate...

1. Sorting through piles of paperwork: Things are starting to get out of hand in this area!

2. Organization methods: After starting to feel like my world, thoughts, calendars, lists, etc...were spinning out of control, I began a search for some better organization tools.

I found this great color coded notebook and have divided the sections into areas of life, including:

-Important Local Info. (ie. Kid's school phone, Kennel # etc...)

3. Stress free holiday preparation: Oh, how I struggle with this, every. single. year. And of course what better a time to try and reduce the holiday stress in my life then the year that we move into a new house 3 weeks before Christmas! I almost HAVE to get a head start in order to save my sanity!

4. Creating contentment with whatever circumstances life offers me: After what I have started referring to as The Year of Complaining, I am turning over a new leaf...focusing on the positive, the fortunate aspects, the good in my days, the love, friendship, support and gifts that are easily available in my every day.

What's on YOUR plate this week?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Early Moring Rambling

I can't seem to stop myself from waking up at 5 or 6 am! I wouldn't think that the one hour time difference would really matter all that much, but apparently my body feels otherwise! Oh well, it's kind of nice. I get to take a few extra minutes for myself and a few with the dogs out for their morning "walk." This is the 6 am view outside of our temp. apartment that I get to soak in...

Not bad, right? Pete and I are on a mission to find out if that house is a residence or otherwise, it'sabsurdly HUGE...but enchanting as well.

Well, we made it through our first weekend in Birmingham. We filled Saturday with hours spent at Oakwood State Park fishing, hiking, swinging, driving and dreaming together as a family (dogs included!). We also found and attended a new Catholic church, Our Lady of the Valley, just a few miles from our new house! The mellow weekend was exactly what we all needed after last week's chaotic and slightly overwhelming days filled with packing, cleaning, emotional goodbyes and more.

Saying goodbye to friends was really difficult, but I know that the friendships we made are strong enough to withstand some distance. Thanks fCarolyn for all of your amazing help last week!

Today marks the kids (second) first day of school this year! We are off to an early start, and hopefully a smooth transition for them. Nate role played last night (without any prompting!) and walked up to me, lunch box in tote, and asked, " excuse me, do you know where my music class is?" I thought it was really sweet that he wanted to practice and prepare for today. When I asked him whether he was scared or just a little nervous about today, I was relieved to hear him reply, "just a little nervous mom..."

Wish us luck today!

Friday, November 13, 2009

We're Moved!

What a week! We made the move to Birmingham Wednesday night and are currently in the temp. apartment for the next three weeks until we move into the new house. We are doing well, regrouping and trying to explore the area a bit.

I'll be back soon with some more updates!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Six days...

SIX days left here....

We are doing well. I'm still fighting some congestion left from this never ending cold, but my energy level is back, thank God for that!

Last night I met up for some cerveza and chips and salsa with my good, no, wonderful friend Gwen for one last hurrah before Pete and I and the kids leave town. The few, but awesome friendships I've formed since living here have definitely been the highlight of my time in Columbia SC!

I am in this weird phase where I don't know what to do with myself half the time. I have about ten lists, pages long, but so much of it can't be done until the last few days of being here...I feel like I am one step out the door and am almost wishing the process to just hurry up already, if it has to happen anyway.
We'll be headed to a corporate apartment in Birmingham next Wednesday and will stay there for a few weeks before closing on the new house Nov. 30th. We gave ourselves a week in between the closing and the mover's arrival to the new house so that we could paint and make some small repairs.

Here a few pictures of the new house in Birmingham:

Finished basement- will be play room/office space

Juliana's new room

Nate's room

Guest bedroom and bath

View of the living room from upstairs hallway

Upstairs hallway

Monday, November 2, 2009

Counting Down

The Count Down is on...only nine (9) more days until we move...

Pete is out of town and I have a cold that just won't go away! Despite feeling crummy, I am working hard to squeeze in visits with friends, pack up what we'll need for the temp. apartment, and all of the other stuff that the movers won't pack and take. You won't believe the list of stuff we'll have to take in our car with us: paint, propane tank, gasoline tanks, cleaning supplies, other chemicals, lighters, matches, all of our plants, any opened pantry food/spices, food from the fridge etc....just to name a few....not to mention ourselves, the kids, and the dogs...should be a fun ride from here to Birmingham, hoping and praying that we don't spontaneously combust!

We had a great weekend visit with my sister, Krista! Saturday we took the kids to the South Carolina State Museum for some special Halloween fun. Later that night, Pete and Krista took the kids out trick or treating while I stayed home to hand out candy. It's hard to believe we only have one more weekend in South Carolina....