Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cyber Monday: Do's and Don'ts

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.

If you already know me well, you know I have a thing about shopping online. That thing is, I don't. I have been slowly branching out this year, and I have actually done some of my Christmas shopping online. I have to admit, I kind of like all the fun packages in the mail. 

I am looking forward to Cyber Monday now that I am brave enough to shop online, and I needed {and loved} this list of tips and tricks to help me get the best deals.

Minted {dot} com

Now that we are a couple of days past Thanksgiving, I am safe to talk about Christmas, right? Even though my Christmas tree was up long before Thanksgiving, and the Christmas music has been playing for just as long...I know some of my friends have a strict rule of "no Christmas anything, until after Thanksgiving!".

First thing on my agenda, Christmas cards!
Last year we sent out Valentine cards, and Thanksgiving cards with the idea we wouldn't send out Christmas ones. But there is just something about a fabulous Christmas card, and when December rolled around...I couldn't help myself, and ended up sending out some anyways. What can I say, I am a sucker for snail mail!
how true this is in our house!
This year I am excited to try a new place for our cards, Minted. Anyone tried this site before? They have over 600 designs {just in their holiday line}, so obviously I am having a hard time deciding what to send out. 
Do you have certain requirements when sending out your cards? My sister says you have to do a family picture {not just kids}, some people add the letter, and some people like to personalize each one with something handwritten.

PS I may have ended up browsing a little too much on Minted, and found some adorable have been warned.

Monday, November 25, 2013

thankful thoughts about our son.

Every night that I sit down to write my thankful posts it really has been easy to see the joy, happy, and good things about my life. Then Friday hit, oh and Saturday, and then Sunday...and I really struggled. I desperately tried to see positive, but my negativity was too powerful.

On Saturday night after putting the kids to bed, and I was not so patient with Devin, I cried. I have lots to learn {especially from our boy}, and so much about myself I wish I could change overnight. 

Devin is a free spirit, a lover, and such a happy kid. I can snap at him, get frustrated by him, punish him, and within minutes {sometimes even seconds} he has already forgotten and moved on. What a fabulous characteristic to have, to forgive and forget easily. I hope that it is one thing he won't ever grow out of. I am thankful for his example, because I need to be reminded of this a lot.

I went to church wanting and really just needing to be uplifted. Luckily I got what my spirit was truly in need of. The lesson was based off of the talk by President Uchtdorf called "The Hope of God's Light". It is a good one, I promise. I cried through most of it. The teacher delivered it so perfectly discussing when you are in the midst of darkness, thinking that God is trying to break your spirit with trials...find the light, God's light. It was also mentioned that we are surrounded by angels, and not just the angels we can't see. I was reminded of the day I felt so alone, so unloved, and felt like my spirit was broken. There really are angels in my life, ones that help me every single day to be a happier Evonne.
photo cred - Kim Orlandini Photography
After yesterday I realized it may not be easy to find those things in the midst of darkness to be thankful for, but they are there.

It doesn't seem like enough to say I am thankful for those angels in my life, but I am. I wouldn't be the same without Paul, my children, and those people who take the time out of their busy lives to check on me, save me when I am drowning, and make me genuinely happy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

this day, I dread.

Last night I stayed out late, the kids didn't sleep, I had early dentist appointments for the kids, and Paul had to go to Idaho this morning. I was really dreading today, and then guess what happened? It was more awesome than I could handle. Sometimes I find when I have a good attitude, roll with the punches, and stay kids can sense it, and really do act different.
I am thankful my kids think I am ridiculously cool for making them a hot dog in the microwave, and letting them have a picnic. Easy to please, sometimes. Should I even mention that Savannah eats the same lunch every single day, and loves it?!
I am thankful my babies took epic naps today. 3+ hours of complete silence does a Mommy good.
I am thankful we have credit card points, because all the perks are helping make Christmas a little easier.

I am thankful every time Paul comes home safely from Idaho.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday is my favorite.

Wednesday is the one day I really look forward to, almost more than a Friday. Weird? Maybe a little.
photo cred ~ Jerilee
I have to pack a sack lunch every day for Savannah, they don't offer a "hot lunch" plan at her school. On Wednesday you can pay for your student to eat Little Caesar's pizza, and we do! So, Wednesday is my one day a week I get my break from lunch making. Super thankful.
Devin hasn't figured out that Summer is over, and refuses to wear a jacket.
Wednesday is also our grocery shopping day, which doesn't seem like something to be thankful for. I love it though, because we are down to slim pickin' when it comes to what we eat at the end of the week.
Survivor is on. We have been watching since season 1, and I still look forward to it every week.
I am thankful my friends plan fun things to keep me sane.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

thank you very much.

I am thankful for the afternoon nap. It was the perfect gloomy weather to curl up in a ball on my bed, and sleep the hours away.
I am thankful Paul is willing to do late night gas station runs. I love even more when he calls and says "I don't know how to make a dirty Coke, but I can make you a clean Pepsi!" That guy makes me smile, lots.
Today I had to take Sabrina to get shots, and while I was sitting in the room waiting I could hear the Dr talking to her nurse..."Oh, Sabrina is here today! She is my favorite baby, I am so excited to see how much she has grown!" I am thankful for people like this in my kids' life, makes me smile!

Monday, November 18, 2013

thankfuls for today.

 I am thankful Paul took Devin to work with him today. I forgot how easy it is to only have 1 kid around the house to watch.

I am thankful for a drive thru at McDonald's. After a horrendous night of sleep, I totally needed a fountain Coke...without having to put on a bra.
I am thankful that Sabrina has learned to say "Daaadddyyyy!" It is way cuter than hearing Mommy over and over again times 3. 
I thankful that Savannah got in to the after school art program. I get extra time on Monday afternoon, she loves it, and I don't have to worry about all the carpool madness. Totally winning.
I am thankful I didn't have to go to work today. Getting dressed wasn't in my plans.

I am thankful for giveaways. It never gets old when you win. Thank you Traveling Mom for my Shutterfly goodness. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

thankfuls {weekend edition}

Everyone either loves that their Facebook feed fills up with thankful posts all month, or they get annoyed. I am sitting on the fence about it. I don't feel the need to tell people on Facebook how thankful I am for Paul or my kids, I try to show them daily. I do love reading when people say how thankful they are for sweat pants, heaters, cozy beds, etc. I like seeing the little things people are thankful for that you don't always think about. 

I decided that I wanted to keep track of the little thankfuls I have all day, and come up with a post at the end of every day until Thanksgiving. I am also going to be "unplugging" from the Internet more during the day to try to "live in the moment" as Cathy and I put it. 
I am thankful for a vacuum. Sabrina decided to dump an entire bowl of popcorn on the carpet, and dance in it. Gah, can you imagine how hard the clean up would have been without a vacuum?

I am thankful for OnDemand. Devin barks out his order for shows, and I can fulfill his requests easily.
I am thankful for drugs. Drugs for pain, drugs for depression, drugs for has helped us out a lot lately.

I am thankful for my camera. I really do love that I can capture all these little moments with my kids. I am definitely not a photographer, but until I convince Paul to hire someone to follow us around and do it for me...I will have to do my best.
I am thankful every day for early bedtimes. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

we celebrated.

Since Paul's birthday is on the 27th, and Savannah's is on the kind of feels like we celebrate for a really long time. Add Halloween in the mix and all of those parties, it makes for a busy week or so. When I asked Savannah if she wanted a friend party she said no, and that she just wanted to hang out with her family. Easy enough.
Uncle Jackie sent me this over text, and it made my night! :)
A month or so ago, Paul and Savannah kicked off their birthdays with a trip to Lagoon for Frightmares with Uncle Shane and Uncle Jackie. I wanted to go, but it didn't sound nearly as fun with a 1 year old that has an early bed time. They all had fun, and I was glad that Savannah has understanding Uncles...because it turns out she doesn't like the really big rides.
photo cred - Vanessa...except Savannah took the one of us, and couldn't seem to get a non-blurry photo
Savannah has a few little friends that she really likes to hang out with. I decided to let her invite each one individually to do fun things with her. Even though she didn't want a party, I thought this would be something she would like...and she did. We went to the movies, roller skating, and played really hard!
We invited family to go out to lunch and Boondocks to celebrate Paul's birthday. I love watching Paul with his brothers. They can really make him laugh, and I like seeing him so happy. Of course we celebrated Savannah's too, but that Saturday was mostly for Paul.
Savannah wanted to go to the Jump 'N Bounce with Devin on her actual birthday. We went right after school, and the place was empty. I realized how much I love playing right along side of them, and acting like a kid. I even remembered how to do front flips, and almost peed my pants jumping. It is the best watching your kids grow up, and be old enough to do crazy fun things together. 
I love that these birthdays kick off our holiday season. It is something I really look forward to, almost more than my own birthday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

halloween stories.

One about Savannah...
Savannah was invited to a few Halloween parties {and even though it was a lot of work}, I tried to look at it as the opportunity to get the most out of that expensive costume.

One night I decided to try to sway her in to staying home with Paul and I, and we would do something fabulously fun! It wasn't my finer moments, I realize she needs to grow up and go have fun with friends. Sob. So, after lots of discussion she decided to still go to the party, and may have told me only popular kids were invited to this party {it begins already}. She was even okay with Paul and I taking the little ones to do something super fun without her.

After I dropped her off, and saw how ridiculously cool the party was, I was glad she decided to go. It will just be the first of many times she will choose friends over her lame parents.

One about Devin...
I had bought some crafting stuff the other day, and Devin is always my sidekick. He loves expressing himself, and making presents for people. While he was making one of his creations, he kept telling me it was for Grandpa, and then Grandma, and then Uncle Jackie. He wrapped it up, and put it in a special spot. Well, last night on our way out to trick or treat Devin decided to bring the present along in his bag. When I asked him who he was going to give it to, he told me "some guy". 

I was secretly hoping he would forget he had it in his bag, and that the candy would cover it up quickly. No such luck. We went to quite a few houses, and finally on the way down the drive way he pulled the present out and ran back to give it to my friend Staci. It was really sweet, and I was thrilled we actually knew the "some guy" so it wasn't totally embarrassing to explain. He does have such a tender little personality. 

One about Sabrina...
Sabrina loved Halloween! I never knew a baby could be so in to it, but she was. Anything we passed that was spooky, she was growling. When we put her in the stroller to go trick or treating, she knew she was missing out on candy. But the thing she liked the most? Passing out the candy. It was so fun to watch her look out our side window to see if she had trick or treaters. She was excited to open the door, and even got the toys in their bags. It made the perfect end to our Halloween.