The Cake That Wasn’t

Today is a big day for somebody! It’s my dad’s birthday!


We celebrated with a barbecue yesterday at my youngest brother’s house. I was in charge of the dessert and had plans for a traditional round, 2-layer cake. Unfortunately, the cake was too moist and crumbled coming out of the pans. No problem! With a few additions, I re-purposed the cake into a scrumptious trifle.

We also had party hats. It’s not a party in this family with out party hats.

Oh my, Myo. She wears it well, don’t you think?

Friday night, I met up with a few co-workers for pedicures and dinner. For the first time ever, I got a little design on my big toe. Verdict? I don’t like it and it’s driving me nuts. And now I know better.

Saturday was the usual half day of work at my parent’s office. Then I had to drop Sassy off at my oldest brother’s house to spend the night. We were surprised to see a boat out on his lake.

boat on lake

It was not the warmest of days.

And then the girls and I started this week out with a hike tonight. Stella insisted on rolling in the leaves often.

And OMG Becky insisted on brushing her off every single time.

Those two are a lot of fun to hike with. If you don’t mind stopping every few yards…

This little scene below freaked non-bird-loving OMG Becky out.

Birds, birds everywhere! Ha!

Tell me about your weekend!


Sunday Social

Good Morning Sunshine! Well, it’s actually not sunny here. I woke up to a surprise snow shower covering everything outside. I was really hoping we were over that white stuff. Maybe a little Sunday Social will cheer me up.

1. Top 3 things you cant go a day without doing. Drink coffee as soon as I get up. Talking to my mom. Hugging my girls. One of those hugs is more an attempt vs actually getting a real hug in. OMG Becky is not a hugger. At all. I have to sneak attack.



2. 3 things that scare you the most. Dying before my girls are adults and leaving them to be raised by someone else. I have a fear of things too close or tight on my neck. Hate that feeling! I also don’t like small spaces. I could never go on one of those cave explorations where you have to squeeze through tight spaces. That makes my heart pound just thinking of it!

3. 3 places you want to see before you kick the bucket. Greece, Fiji, and Rome. If you need help deciding check out this amazing list from National Geographic. It breaks down places to see by what you want to do or type of area you want to be in.

4. 3 movies you will always love. Breakfast Club, Pitch Perfect, and Napoleon Dynamite. I have watched all of these movies within the last month!

5. 3 favorite current songs.


How is your weekend going?

Answer any of the questions above!

Sweet Shoes and Make it Stop

We had the most amazing weekend weather here!

Too bad I didn’t get to get out and enjoy it. Friday I woke up with a head cold. Lots of congestion, but not too bad thank goodness, because we had Sassy’s birthday party planned for later that night.

But Saturday. Saturday was a different story. My head felt like it had exploded. I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all. And to add more fun to that, my nose would then suddenly feel like someone had turned the snot faucet on full force. TMI?


As luck would have it, I got a call that morning saying a massage appointment that I had been trying to get finally opened up. Could I be there in two hours? Sure, but too bad I couldn’t leave my nose at home.

Nope, I had to take my nose with me. And while the massage was awesome, my need to blow my nose no less than 15 times during the hour was beyond annoying. I hope my massage therapist doesn’t ban me after that mess.


I stayed in the rest of the weekend, resting, taking a decongestant, drinking water, sipping mugs hot mint & chamomile tea with honey & lemon, using Vicks vapor rub and taking long, hot showers with effervescent vapor tablets. Today I started added Emergen-C to the mix. I only made it through 3/4 of my workday today. Now it’s Monday night and I don’t feel a bit better. I can only sleep with my head elevated and on my back with my head facing straight up. I can’t stop sneezing. My ears are plugged and ringing. My nose faucet doesn’t appear to be coming to an end anytime soon and is basically raw. And I just found out I have to be part of a photo shoot at work tomorrow. Apparently it’s a Christmas theme featuring me as Rudolph. Awesome.

Okay enough about me and my throbbing head. Saturday was someone’s first day of work! OMG Becky just got her first job and Saturday was her first day of on-the-job training.

She is a hostess at a local restaurant. Lucky girl gets to wear jeans, an employer-provided t-shirt and a hair bun. (She found out later she has to tuck in her shirt and wear a brown or black belt.) And some sweet all-black shoes.

all-black shoes

Ha! She hates the shoes. But this pair was much better than the only other pair at the store. All black shoes are hard to come by and she needed them ASAP.  She worked all weekend and really seems to like it so far. Not bad for her first after-school job!

What was your first after-school job? I worked at McDonald’s because they were the only ones that would hire a 15-year-old.

Any suggestions to help me get over this horrible cold?

Friday Fit Fix

Happy Friday Sunday!

  • Saturday – Gym time with OMG Becky. She was a machine-hopping mood! We hit the bikes, treadmill and elliptical. She also forgot her headphones. #gymfail

  • Sunday – Hiking with these posers.

  • Monday – Treadmill run at the gym with my mom. I’m finally not totally sucking air during my run/walk intervals. I have been running five minutes and then walking three for 30+ minutes. Sort of my own Couch to 5K. I imagine I will start doing the actual training program this week, hoping to up my actual running time. (Monday also included a haircut, hence the back of my head in the collage!)

  • Tuesday – I felt the need for an elliptical workout at the gym with my mom. Can’t remember why now. But happy to have The Big Bang Theory as a distraction on the TV!

  • Thursday – A little recumbent bike at work and then a treadmill run at the gym with my mom. Can we talk about Timbaland for a minute? Love, love, love his music!


I’m happy to say I got my goal of working out five days a week in last week! I am hoping that tread continues.  Also, can we talk about my mom for a hot minute? She is still kicking butt with her commitment to working out! And having someone else to work out with makes it so much easier for me to get motivated to do it myself. Workout partners are the best!

Do you have a workout partner or do you prefer solo workouts?

What was your favorite workout last week?

Who is your favorite artist on your workout playlist?

Helpful Competitors

Last night we went to my youngest brother’s house to celebrate his wife’s birthday. And I discovered how helpful my family members are!

There was cake and candles. So many candles, my sister-in-law needed help blowing them out!  ;)

blow out candles

My niece was happy to help her.

There was assistance cleaning the dishes.

lick the spoon

Thanks, Dad!

I spent some time snuggling with my youngest niece and taking pictures of her. Look how good she is at posing for the camera! So helpful!

OMG Becky helped me out and took this picture.

And then things got ugly. We tried to play a little, friendly game of Apples to Apples.

apples to apples

Some of us are much too competitive even at this. And loud. Good night, I am never sitting next to my brother during a game again. I think I lose partial hearing last night!

What’s your favorite board game? 

My Favorite Gym Equipment

Yesterday, I drug myself out of bed at 4:35 AM. So hard to do when it’s completely black outside! But I am trying to get my workouts in before the girls leave for school so I don’t miss out on seeing them in the mornings. This was my first morning to actually do it.

The key to making this happen? A warm, ride in a chauffeured vehicle. What? Your gym doesn’t offer that service? Oh well, mine doesn’t either. But how great would that be? (If a gym steals my idea, I totally expect payment for this!!) This ride was from my mom. She joined a gym with me! As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, she exclaimed, “Look at all the other crazy people here this early!” Ha! Not crazy, just motivated!

We found side by side treadmills to get our walk/run/wog on.


My run/walk intervals aren’t pretty. I am still sucking air, but that’s what I get for basically taking December off. Santa did not deliver on my wish for runner’s lungs!

You might notice the treadmill is a different color than my past treadmill posts. Yep, I changed gyms. More on that to come.

I will share something about my new gym I am loving…


Free hydromassage!

hydromassage controls

Ah! Seven minutes of awesome.


Santa also did not deliver on new running shoes. Guess I wasn’t as good last year as I thought I was…  ;)

What’s your favorite thing about your gym/home gym?

The Christmas Tree That Almost Wasn’t

I know I promised this post to be up yesterday, but Sassy is to blame for its delay.  Seriously. Little Miss told me on Sunday night she had to perform in a Christmas concert the following evening.  Yes, less than 24 hours notice. Thanks Sassy. She, of course, had been given the information to bring home to us five days earlier, but failed to do so.  Great.

But wait, it gets better! She then told me she had an extra practice to prepare for the concert. The extra practice required I drive her to school at 7:00 AM. Fantastic.  So please send all complaints for the lack of post to the attention of Sassy.

Thank you. ;)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday we went with my parents to pick out their real Christmas tree.  I’m sure you are asking yourself, why did they wait so long to do this.  Not sure about other weekends, but the weekend prior was bitter cold.  As in single digits.  No thank you.  No way I was marching around a Christmas Tree farm in search of that perfect tree.  Thankfully, they didn’t want to either.  So this past weekend it was!

We arrived with high hopes of the perfect tree in our heads.  We were excited to see the parking lot was almost empty.  Sweet!  And then this young man asked us if we had already marked our tree.  Nope.  Is that a problem?…

Christmas tree farm

He then informed us the farm had reached its limit for chopping down trees for the year.  Um, what?  He then showed us the pre-cut “Cadillac of Christmas trees” they had available.  They had been cut down the week before and shipped in from three states away.  This Cadillac also carried a Cadillac price.  And more importantly, it had needles and branches my parents didn’t care for.  The tree guy then showed us the last two pre-cut trees remaining from this actual farm.

Christmas tree farm

Wow.  Decisions, decisions.  My mom made a huge production of posing with the tree she picked and showing it off all Price-is-Right-model style.

Christmas tree

After picking THE tree, we wondered inside the gift shop in hopes of seeing Santa.  We discovered no tree cutting also means no Santa.  Scrooged again.

The tree guy did offer us a hayride around the farm.  We had the whole ride to ourselves.  Imagine that!


On the way home, it was Sassy’s turn to sit in the back row.  It was also the location for the largest part of the tree! Can you see her back there?

I can’t decide if she is thinking, “I hope there are no animals in this tree!” or “Now my fingers are sticky from sap”…

Back at my parents’, OMG Becky’s friend joined us for dinner and then we got to decorating the tree.

After my dad and OMG Becky got the tree standing, I had the pleasure of cutting away the wrap/sleeve/net from the tree.  All was going well until a rogue needle shot off a branch and headed straight for my eye. I saw it coming in what felt like slow motion and did an overly dramatic dive to the floor in order to avoid sure injury while yelling, “My eye!” “My eye!” It was all so funny, but the darn sharp little projectile did hit me right below the eye. So glad my cat-like reflexes saved me and my vision!

Amid the decorating, there was a brief pause for dessert I had brought. Chocolate pudding cake with peppermint ice cream. Have you tried this combo? You must! They are so good together!

Back to the tree. It was looking great! And then seconds after this picture was taken…

It fell over!  Luckily, my mom caught it and only a few ornaments fell off.  Yikes!  But don’t worry, it is now secure and looking strong.  And will hopefully remain so for another week and a half!

And that my friends, was our Christmas Tree adventure for this year.  Another funny to share with you. Have you seen the #XmasJammies video yet?

Did you send out your Christmas cards/video yet? I’m still working on mine…

Scariest Day Ever

Yesterday was the worst day of my life, hands down.

But let’s back up.  My girls spent the Saturday evening with my parents and their cousins (Telly and Guy) visiting Santa.

(photo credit to my mom)

The cousins were spending the night with my parents and Sassy ended up staying over, too.  After church, Sassy wanted to go with her grandparents and cousins again for the afternoon.  OMG Becky and I headed to World Market to do a little shopping.  And coffee sampling.

coffee sample

The Chocolate Peppermint coffee was yummy!

We had made our way to the back of the store when I took out my phone/camera to take another picture.  I noticed I had missed two calls from my mom and a text, “Emergency call.”  My heart stopped.  I called her assuming the call had something to do with someone else, maybe my elderly great-aunt or great-uncle.  When I got her on the phone, I couldn’t understand at first what she was saying.  “She has blood all over her head!”  “She cracked her head open!”  “She needs to go to the hospital!” “Should we call an ambulance?”  Things were moving in slow motion, but I know I was moving towards the front of the store.  I asked, “Who?!”  My world stopped when she replied, “Sassy!”

At this point I was running and OMG Becky was running behind me asking, “Who? What?” I couldn’t answer her.  I told my mom to take her to the emergency room at the one hospital in our suburb.  I would meet them there.  I’m sure I looked ridiculous and people were wondering what my problem was as I went sprinting out of the store and across the parking lot in my church clothes.  So thankful I had worn my one and only pair of flats!

I’m also thankful World Market is right next to the interstate.  I was able to get on it very quickly and speed two exit down to the ER.  During the drive I realized I didn’t have Sassy’s insurance card on me.  I had taken a smaller purse to church.  I called the girls’ father and miracle of miracles, he answered.  When I say the man never answers my calls, I am not exaggerating.  He did this time and I asked him to please take a picture of her card and text it to me.  He asked if he needed to drive down.  (He lives two hours away.)  I didn’t know what to tell him.  I had no answers.

The drive there was the longest drive, feeling like I was moving in slow motion.  I think I was in shock, imagining the worst.  Her head, blood, brain swelling.  I was praying.  I was hyperventilating.  I had to keep telling myself to slow my breathing before I passed out while driving.

We arrived at the hospital and I rushed inside.  I asked at the desk if a 12-year-old girl with a head injury had been brought in.  Not yet.  I had beat them.  I told them what I knew and we got her intake paperwork going.  Then Sassy arrived and it felt like the world was slipping away around me.

She walked in barefoot, crying, covered in blood from her head to her waist.  My dad was walking in just his socks next to her, holding a blood-drenched, folded hand towel to her head.  God, please help us!  I immediately started crying.  And she immediately asked if she was in trouble.

The intake lady had Sassy sit down next to me with my dad still holding the compress on her head.  I did the best I could to comfort and calm both of us.

hospital bracelet


Within a minute, a nurse had come out to escort us back to a room.  OMG Becky insisted on coming back with us, while my mom stayed in the waiting room with my terrified niece and nephew.  Once inside the room, the nurse took the towel off Sassy’s head to take a quick look at it.  Blood began dripping down onto my arm that was wrapped around her.  Please don’t let me pass out!  Please don’t let me pass out!

Sassy was concerned about her hair.  She kept asking everyone if they were going to have to shave her head.  (They didn’t.  They only trimmed a few hairs.)  She was also upset that her favorite earrings might get ruined.  Such a girl!

The doctor then entered and said they would have to give her shots for the pain around the cut in order to clean it.  Shots!  In the head!  Several of them and they were horrible.  Blood was running everywhere, Sassy was screaming in pain and I could do nothing to help her.  All I could do was cry.  So I did and so did OMG Becky.  It was the longest minute I have ever experienced.  (My mom told me later that they could hear Sassy all the way out in the waiting room.  My mom thought she was going to pass out at that point.  So upsetting for all of us.)

The doctor finished the shots and then was able to get a better look at the cut and inspect it for glass.  He pulled out a pretty big piece, maybe 3/4″ across, from the gash.  He then asked Sassy if she would like to keep it as a souvenir?!  She declined his offer.  Next he felt around in the cut to make sure it was glass-free.  He decided it was and set out to stitch it up.  Sassy was finally able to relax a bit.  We all were.

After the stitches, the doctor began asking her questions to see if she had any future damage, such as a concussion.  Where are you?  What day of the week is it?  He asked her who that girl (OMG Becky) was?  When is your sister’s birthday?  Count down from 100 by 3′s.  He then asked her to hop on one foot forward and then on the other foot backwards.  She passed with flying colors.  Thankfully, he didn’t think there was any need for a CAT-scan and advised against us getting one.

Next another nurse came in to clean her up.  They laid her on her side and poured peroxide in her hair.  It was amazing how quickly the blood just released and ran off!  They even advised me to use it on her clothes when we got home.  (It worked!)  The nurse was amazing!  He was so gentle with her, washing her hair and then towel drying it.  It was a bit of peace we all needed.

We were finally released with instructions to have the stitches removed in a week at her pediatrician or an urgent care facility.  By then it was mid-afternoon and Sassy was hungry.  We stopped to pick up lunch, but OMG Becky and I didn’t have much of an appetite.  We were exhausted.  The adrenaline from this event had come and gone, leaving us ready for a nap.

Once home, we got some Tylenol in Sassy to help with the pain we knew would be creeping in at any time.  Then it was time for a shower to really clean up and get into her pajamas.  My parents brought over a hair dryer and band-aids.  Sassy also suffered a cut on her hand that didn’t want to stop bleeding, but not severe enough to need stitches.  She can wash her hair, while trying to keep the wound as dry as possible.  ???  We wash around it the best we can and then blow dry it.

(Picture of stitches alert!)




head stitches




Sometime during our time in the ER, OMG Becky had talked to their dad.  He decided to come down to check on Sassy and arrived about an hour after we got home.  He came bearing gifts!  Well, ice cream anyway.  That made our little patient very happy!

Sassy stayed home from school with my mom today.  She still had a headache, pain and “feels like a bobble head.”  She is going back to school tomorrow, but no gym class (they’re playing dodgeball and soccer right now!).  She is also skipping basketball practice after school.  I am hoping she will feel even better tomorrow morning.

After such a scary day, I am very grateful no one else was hurt.  The other two kids were in the same area when the rack came crashing down.  They were all three barefoot.  The glass cut Sassy’s head, but missed her eye.  My daughter will have a scar, but it is hidden in her hair.  So much to be thankful this Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

Have you ever had stitches?  Why?

Thanksgiving Horsing Around

Thanksgiving welcomed warm sunshine for the first time in a few days.  We were happy to see it!  My girls and I rode with my parents out to my uncle’s ranch.  It’s an easy 30-minute drive from us.

ranchThis is the ranch we had OMG Becky’s birthday the week before.

ranchThis pasture is where the bonfire was (on the other side of the pond).  That barn is where the hayride started.

We were the first ones there and after dropping off our contribution to the meal in the kitchen, OMG Becky wanted me to join her outside.  She headed straight to the horse barn.


OMG Becky is a horse lover.  Has been her entire life.  She’s been riding since a very young age.  In Oregon, she even worked at a couple of stables in exchange for riding lessons.  She was 12-14 at the time.  She is currently looking for a similar job here.  I hope she finds one because she really does enjoy it!

Sassy quickly found us and one of the barn cats.

This picture summarizes my girls perfectly!

Then Blondie arrived and Sassy disappeared with her for the day.

OMG Becky and I went around the other side of the barn in search of more horses.  I think there are currently 12 of them.  And we found some!


Our next goal was to get them to come over to us.  It didn’t take too long.


Sunny Moon (he has a crescent moon-shaped spot on his rear) was the first horse to wander over.

Such a sweetie!

Sunny Moon is a big horse!

It’s hard to see in these photos, but he is tall.

And he also has a thing for my hair.

It was shortly after this photo that he just about got a mouthful of it!

28i (2)

Their miniature Sicilian donkey also came over to see us a couple of times.  Love that little donkey!

miniature Sicilian donkey

Back inside it was starting to fill up.  Though it was a smaller group this year.  Only 41 of us.  Many were spending the holiday with the other side of their family.

OMG Becky, my niece and I shared a love seat.  Ah family closeness!

There were photos of “the turkey shirts.”  These turkey sweatshirts have been around for years.

It’s always fun to see who is wearing theirs that year and to hear excuses from others as to why they weren’t wearing theirs.  Ha!

The men have a button-up turkey shirt.  I totally forgot to get a picture of them!

After the meal, we got down to the serious side of our event.  Black Friday ads!

black friday ads

Searching the ads is a tradition that we take very seriously.  There was even some hording of ads this year by a certain cousin who shall remain nameless.  She wanted to make sure she saw certain ads before anyone else! Ha!

We ended the day with my girls and I finally going to see The Hunger Games, Catching Fire movie.  So good!

One last photo for you.


My nieces and OMG Becky now and then.

dance class

I can’t even remember how long ago that photo was taken!  In the now photo, OMG Becky looks taller, but she’s wearing healed boots.  They are all actually 5’3.something”, wear the same size shoe and pretty much the same color of hair.  Funny how they all turned out so similar!

That is my favorite part of the holidays.  Seeing family that you may not see on a regular basis.  Touching base with everyone.  We had a cousin announce a new baby (due in June) on the way this year!  So exciting!

What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving?