Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

THE Conference.....Evo '10

A while back (oh, about 3 months....) I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Evo Conference. Since then I have been trying to come up with the most amazing post that would convey to you how awesome that experience was. Unfortunately, I still haven't. So you'll get this post instead. Might I offer my condolences now.

I had been hearing lots of information about Evo '10 and it sounded so far beyond amazing that I was just dripping with envy hearing about people going. Shortly before the big event, the lovely Jyl of Mom It Forward fame emailed a few lucky people to see if they would be interested in volunteering. I was in shock that I was even included in that email. Actually, I'm still in shock that I got that email. Of course I emailed back right away, perhaps the fastest I've ever returned an email, to say that I was interested. And from there everything fell into place. But when I got up to The Canyons resort in Park City, everything fell into place even more.

The workshops were amazing. The people were amazing. Everyone was so very kind and it was fun! Lots of fun! There were even manicures! (By the way, if anyone knows the brand of base/top coat they used I NEED to know. That manicure stayed perfect for a week...until I did my girls nails.) The workshops that I was able to attend impressed me beyond words. They covered subjects including running a small business, the influence of social media on business, blogging basics, monetizing, creating an ad package, search engine optimization and more! It really was the most amazing event. My mind is still sorting through and implementing all the information that I was given there. The conference is the Evolution of Women in Social Media and I truly doubt that a single person left that conference without having evolved personally or professionally.

There was much socializing and meeting of new friends. There was even a particularly excruciating conversation between Stephanie and myself regarding the Scandinavian Child suite. She was talking about visiting Lauren in the Scandinavian Child suite and I kept asking her why she didn't just say she was going to go visit Lauren's kids because I think they're Scandinavian and she kept insisting that it was one of the sponsors suites. I did finally figure it out and Stephanie is still my friend. It was truly that painful though. I blame the altitude. But aren't my girls cute in these shirts?!
One of the closing speakers shared something that has stuck with me and I think about it often. Karen of Chookooloonks said "Authenticity is the courage to be imperfect, set boundaries and be vulnerable." That is something that I needed to hear. And needed to share.

There was even a family friendly closing social that my family got to come up and attend with me. It was hosted by Bush's Beans and was so much fun. My girls called it The Cowboy Party and we talk of it often. The lovely Lolly was the dancing star of the night and I have this video thanks to Marlynn of Urban Bliss Design. You have to watch seeing as it's the most adorable dancing you've ever seen. Clearly she did not get her dancing abilities from me. I wanted to add it to the You Tube Evo '10 group but I don't have a You Tube account. Maybe someday....
But until then just watch this. You will not regret it!
video

They are currently selling early bird tickets to Evo '11 right now and if you're thinking about going to this conference go get a ticket now! No really, right now. Just do it. The early bird price only lasts through the end of September. You will not be disappointed. And maybe, if we're both lucky, I'll see you at the conference. I'm pretty sure I owe some more volunteering hours from last year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lucy

I got Lucy when I was 15 years old. I am now 31. I'll make it easy for you and do the math.....Lucy was 16 years old. I have had Lucy for over half of my life.

I got Lucy just before a rather difficult time in my life. I was a sophomore in high school. After a series of unfortunate events, the kind only I am capable of really, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia the following summer. It would be nice to tell a magnificent story about rising above tribulation, a Phoenix rising from the dust if you will. But I can't. I was just a young girl, sorting through the pieces of my old life, looking for shards big enough to put together to create a new life, a new normal.

But I always had Lucy. He was my friend when I felt like I had none. He was always there...with a meow, a purr, a snuggle. And the occasional biting of toes in the middle of the night. Always there.

I miss his beautiful blue eyes and his fur the color of a roasting marshmallow. I miss the way he loved to sleep on grocery bags on the floor. I miss the purring and snuggling. I miss the way he used to play with the red and gold gift bows that I would staple together for him. He followed me from room to room and I miss my shadow. I miss having him jump up in the middle of the night and curl up to sleep on my back. Even though he was sick and Dexter is about 10 times his size, I miss the spunk he had to go up to Dex and smack him up side the head when he thought he had hurt my little girl. And I am so grateful that my little girls got to have him as their kitty as well.
I was his person and he was my kitty. The tiny part of my brain that functions as an adult realizes that he is not a person, he is just a cat. But he was my cat. I loved him. And I am sad.
Rest In Peace Lucy Belle. You were so very loved.
September 1994-September 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Over The Course of 48 Hours

Our family room was transformed.
We're not quite finished yet. There are still toys that need sorting and putting away and an entertainment center that will go on the wall where the boxes are.

But I have to say that things are SIGNIFICANTLY better than they were on Monday. Can I get an amen?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What My Life Looks Like Right Now

First of all, it must be said that these are the two cutest girls, EVER!
That was the upstairs. Below is the downstairs.

Let us all hope that we can return to "normal" soon. Very soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Favorite-Sleep

Sleep. I love sleep. There is just nothing like a good night's sleep where you actually wake up feeling rested....or so I hear.
It's a good thing they are cute.

I have NOT been getting the sleep I need. Not even close. Sleep is important. Sleep is crucial to our survival. Sleep is crucial to my children's survival. I'm accustomed to going without sleep since having children. Especially since having Babs. But this week. This week. It has been painful. They actually slept fairly well last night. Babs didn't come into our bed until 6 am so that's progress. The insanity has got to stop or we'll be dealing with my own insanity.

I'd like to say that I'll be sleeping this weekend. But I won't. We're pulling out carpet. And painting the basement. And....the list goes on. It always does.

Speaking of sleep and alarms....the nap never happened yesterday. Neither did the hash browns. But when I finally did get home I found that Dexter had run away. Again. This time I got to go pick him up at Animal Control since he had decided to go to the local elementary school. Truly ironic since he is afraid of children. AND they charge you $25 for the opportunity to pick up your Training School Drop Out. Anyway, back to what I was saying.....

I really love sleep. Maybe I'll go have a nap right now and let Babs spend some quality time with PBS Kids.

Zzzzzzzz........

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recent Nights/Cause For Alarm

Here was my very early Wednesday morning:

1:15 a.m.-Rain storm wakes up everyone. We settle the girls down and turn on some music to help them fall back to sleep.

1:30-ish a.m.-Lolly comes into my room because she can't sleep. I foolishly suggest she looks at books because that used to help her fall asleep.

2:15 a.m.-Lolly comes back in to ask if I would turn the music back on since the CD had ended. I do it.

3:15 a.m.- Lolly comes back in to ask if I would turn the music back on since the CD had ended. I do it again. Along with telling her to stop looking at books and go back to sleep already.

5:45 a.m.-In comes Babs because she wants to sleep in my bed now. I let her because I am exhausted and have to get up in 45 minutes anyway.

Yes, it was painful. Then came Thursday morning.

2:15 a.m.-Babs comes in because she doesn't want to sleep in her bed anymore. I think it's because we had turned off the Christmas lights to see if the night light would work as well. It doesn't. I tuck her back in bed and CG sleeps on her floor for a while until Babs falls back to sleep.

3:15 a.m.-CG finally gets to come back to bed and sleep like a real boy.

3:25 a.m.-Babs wakes up again. !@#$%&
I go in and sit on her floor and explain to her all the reasons she needs to go to sleep, especially the part about mommy being cranky if she doesn't get enough sleep. I also tell her that once she does fall asleep I'm going back to my bed. To avoid the aforementioned crankies.

4:15 a.m.-I finally get back into bed.

5:00 a.m.-ish-I finally fall back to sleep.

6:00 a.m.-The alarm goes off for CG.

7:00 a.m.-I finally drag my exhausted self out of bed to start the day. There are children to get dressed and lunches to pack.

**sigh**

I'm taking a nap during preschool. Hopefully. And getting some hash browns from McDonald's because I've been obsessed with them all morning. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recipe Swap Wednesday-The One Where I Send You Elsewhere

I saw this recipe on Ms. Melissa's blog and just had to try it. Ms. Melissa is Lolly's preschool teacher from last year. And even though we're both adults, I still find myself calling her Ms. Melissa like she is my teacher. I am a dork.

Anyway, I made this recipe last night for dinner and everyone LOVED it. Zesty Penne, Sausage and Peppers. And it was made even better because we used green peppers from our own garden! Technically the recipe calls for one red and one green pepper and although I have one "red" and one green pepper plant, they both make green peppers. The only other thing I changed was that I did not add the fennel seed because....I don't actually have fennel seed. Also, I left out the pinch of crushed red pepper because my family has sensitive palates and doesn't especially appreciate spicy food. Other than that, I actually followed directions. It was super yummy. I highly recommend that you try it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

I'll be honest....I'm a big fan of the Suddenly Salad. Especially the bacon ranch flavor. But a funny thing has happened....as we eat less preservatives, I'm finding that foods with preservatives taste much stronger than they used to. The last time we had the packaged salad it had a much stronger flavor and, thanks to the starting inspiration from friends, I've thrown together this recipe. It's the perfect summer BBQ salad recipe which is perfect since summer is pretty much over. But there is still one last hurrah of summer. And I recommend this!

Bacon Ranch Salad
16 oz. shell pasta, cooked
1 cup bacon ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 bag of frozen peas & carrots
bacon bits, diced tomatoes-optional
Cook pasta according to package directions. While that's cooking, combine the dressing, sour cream and mayo. After you have added the pasta to the dressing, add peas & carrots, bacon bits. tomatoes and any other thing you decided to add.
Serve and bask in the awesomeness of your creation!
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