Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let's talk work.

I hope you all know by now (and if you don't, shout out! You must be new around here! :)) that I  own a dance studio called "Studio K." Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've used my studio name on here very much. Well here you go. I own a dance studio called Studio K in the middle of the forest. It's a small studio, if you think of it nationally, but the largest one in the county. Holla! :) We are about as opposite from Dance Moms as one can get. I don't yell in anger ever. EVER As in I only remember yelling from a place of anger less than 5 times in over 10 years of teaching. I'm not a screamer. I raise my voice or give a good "HEY TOO LOUD!" every now and then but nothing that hurts anyones feelings. I'm much more Michelle Duggar in my discipline than Abby Lee Miller.

Side note about Dance Moms. Abby Lee Miller's studio is 2.5 hours away from us. We've competed against them several times. Her dancers are *amazing* in person, even better than on tv. Yes, she is yeller just like she is there. Unfortunately, that's the face of most major competition studios in the country. Expecting ridiculous things from young children and letting them know when they don't deliver is all too common. Another post for another day though. :)

Anyways! I own a dance studio. One of my favorite things about my studio is our themed recitals every year. I try to pick interesting themes that encourage kids to think creatively about a certain topic each year. I enjoy the research and the hours of brainstorming that go in to picking songs.

This is our 7th season at Studio K. Our themes have been:
1. Take Me to Broadway (obvs a Broadway theme :))
2. Life's a Party (different parties: birthday, dinner, search party, get well soon, etc)
3. Destination Vacation (places to go on trips, divided by continent)
4. True Colors (songs about colors! Black Velvet, The Ketchup Song, Brown Eyed Girl, etc)
5. Tribute (A show set to songs I danced to growing up, in tribute to my teacher)
6. The Great Adventure (books!!)
7. Celebrate! (All Disney music)

So my question to you is this. I have lots of ideas for recitals floating around in my head. But I need help narrowing them down. I won't post my ideas on here because unfortunately there are lots of idea poachers in this world, and quite a few in my area. What do you think would make an interesting recital theme? Any you were in that you thought were neat? Share please! And thank you! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Rory Moment.

So early Sunday morning, I was sleeping peacefully in my bed. I heard my bedroom door open and immediately I knew. I sat up and there she was, little green eyes peering over the bed at me. "Rory?" I said and that woke Dave up. She had made her first official trip in to mom and dad's room in the middle of the night. I hadn't heard her over the monitor crying or anything so I was curious what was going on. I put her bed with us but that didn't work. Lasted about 2 minutes before we headed out to the living room.

I asked her why she was awake and she said:

"I had a fight with my monster (her version of an imaginary friend) so he scared me in the night time."


This monster has been giving us issues for a year and a half! First he lived in the closet and Rory wouldn't sleep in her big girl bed because he was in there. Finally they became friends and all was happy in Rory-land. Lately, though, Monster has developed a little attitude when he's out on trips with us. Rory has had to yell at him and even put him in time out once or twice. Monster is a rascal, I tell you what!

Back to Sunday morning. I get Rory settled on the couch and I curl up on the other, thinking she'll be back to sleep 20 minutes in to a movie. Not the case. We end up having to have a chat with Monster, asking him to apologize. Then we prayed for Monster, that he wouldn't scare Rory anymore. Then we watched 9 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. By this time, it's 8 am.

I'm ready for Monster to go. How do I get rid of an imaginary friend? ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

90 Days of Jillian

Well I've started! I'm 4 days in to my 90 Day Challenge (for details, see the post below this one!) and it's going great! I've successfully completed all 4 of my workouts thus far and stayed well within my Diet Coke/coffee limits. I've drank more than my required water each day. I've spent ZERO dollars frivolously. Not even a quick lunch out or anything!  The only thing I spent money on this week that wasn't a bill or a grocery item was 2 $5 bouquets of tulip for 2 of my students participating in a pageant at school. Not frivolous, but not "necessary" I suppose. I'm not counting it though, because it was a good thing to do. :) I'm feeling pretty good about how it's gone so far. I know, I know. It's just the beginning and the excitement might wear off. But I'm going to persevere and push through.

Jillian says in the Phase 1, Day 1 workout: If you have a why, you can put up with any how.

And she's so right. I can put up with anything. I can do this. 90 days is nothing.

Want to read about my progress? Check out my new 90 Days is Nothing blog here! I'm keeping daily journals of how each day goes! I'll also be posting progress pictures. It's a little ugly right now, but that's my nap time goal today, to get that fixed up. Hey my workout's done, I've got time to myself! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Changes.

Today is a good day. I actually woke up with my alarm, which means I slept last night. I've been having a hard time sleeping lately and have been sleeping through my alarm(s) unintentionally. Thankfully, my mom calls me each morning on her way to work and that wakes me up when I oversleep. But I digress.

Today is the first day on my 90 day Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. I'm so excited! I wanted to start yesterday, but ended up with a horrible sore throat, fever and ear ache by the time I got home from work. Blah. I didn't have the energy the work out. But today, I do. I woke up early, did some Pilates before the kids woke up. Then I actually. ate. breakfast. I know, take a minute to digest that news. I had strawberry yogurt and a big glass of water. Then for lunch I had quesadillas, with whole wheat tortillas, low fat cheese and salsa. (Which by the way, is the best lunch I've had in a long time. Seriously, delish and easy)

I'm going to do my day 1 work out as soon as Pretty Little Liars is over. ;) I'll let you know how hard it is...I hope it's really hard and kicks my butt. I love feeling sore after a good work out. :)

In addition to a Body Revolution, I'm making a lot of other changes in my life as well.

1. I'm giving up red meat. I don't really like it anyways. I much prefer chicken and seafood. Technically, it's my "lent" give up, but I'm Methodist so it's not required. :) I'm also going to do Meatless Mondays and Meatless Fridays.

2. I'm doing 90 days of NO frivolous spending. Actually, it'll be 94 days since this change started on Friday. It's day 5 and going great. I love love love budgeting and watching my savings/bank accounts grow. It's a great feeling. We've got some big expenses coming up and I'm excited to be completely prepared.

3. I'm limiting my caffeine intake to 1 coffee and 1 diet coke a day. That's cutting WAY back for me. I'm also not drinking any caffeine after 7 pm. I'd like to cut out Diet Coke all together by the end of June. I'm not giving up coffee though. ;)

4. I'm pledging to read 7 new books. I get in ruts with my reading and I end up rereading books I know I like. I'm open for suggestions! (Not Hunger Games, for some reason I just couldn't get in to them!)

5. I'm going to do 3 activities per week with the kids. I want to be one of those awesome mom that you see all over the internet, inventing awesome home learning games for their kids. Well I'm going to do it too. Today we used shaving cream and bathtub paint in the tub. The kids played happily for 45 minutes. We talked about colors, textures, making new colors, pattern...it was easy. It was fun. We'll do it again!

Are you making any changes this time of year? It's going to be a good spring!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's 11:11 pm on Sunday night. Rory is still awake. She hasn't been up this late, with the exception of the Super Bowl or the time she had the stomach flu, since she was a baby baby, as in newborn days. She'll be 3 in May. She's just...not sleeping. All Rory wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch The Princess and the Frog and snuggle the dog.

You know what. I'm letting her.

She's curled up on the couch with her beloved Dora blanket and one of her Minnie stuffies. The dog is at her feet. It's dark in our house, just the friendly and familiar image of New Orleans and Mama Odie dancing across our tv screen. She's quiet, the music is peaceful and comforting and I'm okay.

You see the hard thing about post partum depression is you can't always tell what your triggers will be. Tonight, as I sat on Rory's bed, consciously choosing a happy tone of voice while reading her 9th story, the tears started flowing. No, not because I was so emotionally moved by Eric Carle's Grouchy Caterpillar or the latest Fancy Nancy tale. The tears came tonight, quickly and earnestly, because I'm exhausted and selfishly I want to sleep. I need to sleep, but my girl needs me more.

As I sat crying on Rory's bed, she looked at me and said "Don't worry, Mommy. I'll give you a big hug! It will be just okay!" She wrapped those little jammie clad arms around me and squeezed. She patted my back and rubbed my hair, just like I do to her when she's upset, when she needs me. Rory crawled right up on my lap and consoled me, her mommy. We reversed role for a minute and it felt good. In that moment, I knew I was doing something right. Rory had empathy, sympathy and compassion. She knew a hug helps heal hearts. She knew tears meant someone was sad. She felt for me. A valuable lesson, a silver lining to a ppd episode.

Being a parent is hard. Really hard. I've done some incredibly difficult things in my life and nothing compares to being a parent. I learned business tax laws and still, easier. Tonight I cried out of frustration. I didn't know how to get my daughter to go to sleep. I didn't know how to soothe her, how to reassure her, how to calm her enough to get her to sleep. I was confused, it's never been this hard. Even as a newborn, she'd wake up,eat and then drift back in to a milk induced slumber. Sure there were nights where she woke up more often to eat, but the falling to sleep part has never been the issue. I didn't know what to do and usually, I know. Or at least I can guess a solution, even if it's not a permanent fix. Trace is throwing a fit in Wal Mart? Got it covered. Rory won't put on her shoes? No biggie, give her 2 pair to choose from. Trace won't eat lunch? Fine, he'll just have lunch food for a snack.

But tonight?

I was empty. Completely out of ideas. Triggered and worn out.

We'd done books, prayers, songs, quiet rocking, story time. I'd let her cry for 20 minutes two separate times. But with a sleeping baby who is NOT usually a good sleeper...I'm not taking any chances.

Then Rory said the word that made my tear flow even harder. Gaga. (That's my mom) Rory loves her grandparent. Gaga, Baba (my parents), Gramma and Grammpa (Dave's parents) She talks about them all the time and always wants to be with them. Tonight, it was Gaga. My mom.

I wanted my mom too. So we called her. It was 10:50 at night and I knew she was sleeping but I didn't care. Just like Rory didn't care that I was tired and she was keeping me up, she needed me. I needed my mom. I needed reassurance, comfort and connection. And guess what? My mom didn't mind. She comforted Rory, calmed me down and told us both it'd be okay.

So hear I sit. Waiting patiently for Rory to fall asleep so I can fall asleep. Hoping she falls asleep deep enough that I can carry her into bed. Thankful for blogging. Grateful that a new day dawns in 26 minutes and the promise of sleep comes with it. It will be okay.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why the hate?

I've been researching ideas for Rory's 3rd birthday party today. She'll be 3 in May and I love toying around with ideas for months leading up to parties. (I love to plan parties in general, honestly.) Rory's birthday is going to be "ALL THE PRINCESSES!" this year, as she tells everyone we come in contact with. First birthday was owls, second birthday was Princess Tiana and this year is all the princesses. Great! Easy! Lots of pink and purple, fluffy stuff, glitter, some tiaras. All easy to find and fun to make.

I've been looking up cute ideas today and I am shocked by the hate I see for the Disney princesses. I am seriously flabbergasted. I don't get it. One article stated something along the lines of embedding age older gender roles and traditions in girls by allowing them to desire to be a Disney princess. The general consensus of all the hate I've come across boils down to the idea that princesses, but specifically the Disney princesses, sell themselves short for love and forgo family, friends and a fulfilling life to be a happy, royal wife.

Excuse me.

Let's talk about these princesses.

There are TEN recognized Disney Princesses. (Trust me, I'm an expert. ;))

Mulan. Chose to take her father's place in the army, trained herself in the ways of war, fought valiantly for her country and didn't want any recognition for her deeds. Wow. What a doormat.

Jasmine. Stood against the marriage law that was forcing her father to chose a husband FOR her and instead set out to find someone of her own choosing.

Cinderella. Dutifully worked in her own home, even though it was unfair and unjust.

Snow White. Yeah, okay. She is kinda lame.

Belle: Took her father's punishment for him, forsaking her own freedom, and learned to appreciate the man behind the beast.

Pocahontas: Bridge the racial barrier and befriended a "white man"

Tiana: Worked her way from having nothing to having enough to buy her own restaurant. Worked 3 jobs to achieve her dreams and didn't allow herself to be distracted.

Rapunzel: (Tangled) Sacrificed her "magic hair" for her true love without hesitation.

Sleeping Beauty: Also kind of lame. If the hate was based on just Snow White and Sleeping Beauty...yeah, they might be right on.

Ariel: Desired to see the world, explore and discover things that were new to her and out of the rest of her family's comfort zone.

8 out of 10 of these female characters are strong, intelligent, hard working women who set goals and achieve them. Sure, these are fairy tales and there's always a love story, but isn't that life? Don't we all want to fall in love with our one true love? Who doesn't want that? The journey along the way is what writes our story. I have no problem with Rory watching and loving the Princesses. I would hope she would have Mulan's courage, Jasmine's desire to stand up for what's right, Cinderella and Tiana's work ethic, Rapunzel's selflessness and Ariel's adventuresome spirit. Those are some pretty qualities and if a movie sparks one in her, hey she's better off for it.

Edit! (Thanks to Micha for inspiring this edit! :)) I need to make my point clear (and this is what I get for trying to write a blog with 2 toddlers awake! ;)) There are some qualities and situations in these movies and within these princesses story lines that of course I don't want Rory to fantasize. Naturally, I wouldn't want her hanging out with a violent man, like the Beast, or smacking someone in the face with a frying pan like Rapnuzel. I'm merely pointing out that the good qualities in the princesses out weight the bad. I use the stuff I don't like as talking points with Rory, just like I do with every song, story, book, movie or tv show she watches or is exposed to. Trust me, the talks we've had about how creepy Yo Gabba Gabba is or why the Bubble Guppies have tails not legs...sigh. I'm pretty good at the "Now Rory you know..." talks. ;)

I will however draw the line at Rory wanting to move in with 7 small men and fall asleep until a Prince kisses her. That, my friends, is really creepy when you think about it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lately I've been thinking

Lately I've been thinking...
(and yeah, I haven't been sleeping much so these are kind of snarky. Take it with a grain of salt. ;))

I really don't understand the BRIGHT RED lipstick fad. Okay, maybe I'm jealous of the girls who can pull it off (ie: Kelle Hampton) and feel sorry for those who think they can but actual look like a clown. It's one of those fads that not everyone should participate in. See also: skinny jeans, leggings and bob hair cuts.

I also don't understand the hating on Valentine's Day. So what? It was nice to look forward to a sweet card and flowers from Dave on February 14. Oh you are SO IN LOVE you don't need a day to remind you of it? Right. Guaranteed if your husband hadn't at least brought home a card, you'd have been at least a little disappointed. To me, Valentine's Day is a sweet reminder in this hectic, crazy life. Something to look forward to, a nice extra way to say hey, I love you and you matter enough. I spent extra time and money running to the store, picking a card and giving it to you. It's not the make it or break it moment of any relationship, just a little extra acknowledgment. Get over it, people.

I was recently involved in my first blogger drama on Twitter! I was kind of excited. (hehe) I stumbled upon a tweet from some girl being all Negative Nancy about my toddler post and Trace only wanting chicken nuggets lately. Okay. That's wonderful. My kids are currently having kryptonite for breakfast and will be dining directly on bricks of gold for lunch. This way they will be indestructible to even SUPERMAN and their poop can be sold to make me some extra money.

I need a vacation. I'm stating to lose it. For proof, see the paragraph directly above this. I just made a joke about selling my kids' poop. Yeah.

That I know it's time for spring and warmer weather. Why? Because I'm officially sick of my kids winter clothes. I feel like we've been wearing the same shirts all winter and I'm ready to see them in cute little shorts. I love love love love chubby baby bow legs waddling around on the lawn. Adorable. Also, babies in Crocs. It's not acceptable to wear Crocs after age 5, so yeah. Gotta get that in this summer too. Love. 

I wish it was time to upgrade my cell phone. My beloved Droid2 is starting to act all weird, which is okay. I've  had it for 16 months (easy to remember, I got it 2 weeks before Trace was born! :)) and I use it constantly. I even play music off it in dance class. I'll be sad to see it go but yes, it's time. The keyboard is starting to stick, the touch screen has a line across it...it's just getting old. Sad face. Shockingly, I think I'll be getting an iPhone. Actually, I know I will. I plan to convert all the electronics in this household to Apple as my budget permits. So yeah, Neely, prepare yourself for that one. I'm coming to the dark side. ;)

And now, my children are rolling around on the floor trying to bite each other's feet so I should probably break this one up.
In 5...4....3...2....1 GO.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


At this moment...

Rory is hiding behind the couch praying verbatim: "God- Jesus, please help my booboo feel better. I pray for my Ellie**. I pray for me Ellie. I pray for my Ellie. I PRAY FOR MY ELLIE. Help Gaga get home. Help Baba get home. Help Aunt Chelsea get home. I pray for my princesses, the Shadowman and all these people and everybody. Thank you Jesus, Amen. HIGH FIVE!"

And that? The best Valentine's Day present ever.


**Ellie is a student of mine who is having some severe eye problems. She is blind in one eye as a result of a rare muscle/vein issue and the right eye started showing similar symptoms last week. Prayers would be much appreciated.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Welcome to my little blog!

Hey everyone! I'm linking up on Neely's blog today for her blog round up. Welcome to my little blog! I hope you'll stick around. :)

My name is Kate. I'm 27, a wife and a mom of 2. Rory is my oldest, she'll be 3 in May. Trace is the youngest, he's 16 months old. Yes, they are 17 months apart. Yes, that's insane. My husband's name is Dave. Now on to Neely's questions!
1. Tell us why you blog
I blog because I love to write. I love the outlet that writing provides, the freedom to put words out there, express things and situations. I love the friends I've made through blogging and the new, exciting products, places and experiences I've had and tried since I began blogging! I started blogging 2 years ago but just this past fall decided to make it a real "hobby." I am a mom blogger, a food blogger, a travel blogger, a DISNEY blogger...I'm a little bit of everything. :)
2. Tell us about your blog
 My blog title comes from a song by Andrew Peterson.

It's a lovely song about the struggles, tough times and ultimately the beautiful ride that marriage is. I was engaged at 21, married at 22, had Rory at 24 and Trace at 25. Dave and I have been through just about every situation you can imagine in the 5 years of marriage. This song just sums us up perfectly! 
(Shout out to Jen at Munchkinland Designs for my beautiful blog layout!)

Some of my favorite posts...
3. Tell us about you
I am 27 years old. I am married to Dave, my sweet sports obsessed, golf addict husband. He is in charge of all the grounds and sports fields at a county-wide school district half an hour away. He graduated from Penn State in 2006. We got married in 2007, had our first baby (Rory) in 2009 and #2 (Trace) in 2010.
I love all things BROADWAY. My parents owned a theater when I was in high school. I majored in theatre at Allegheny College. I am a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma (hoot hoot! Any KKGs out there?? :)) I still advise the chapter at Allegheny. I'm a Christian and a Republican, but that doesn't mean you have to be. I plan to enroll my kids in public school, we vaccinate, my kids were formula fed and I didn't co-sleep or baby wear. I also believe in crying it out. Just getting us all on the same page. I would NEVER judge you for your choice or lambaste you publicly and I ask that you do the same for me. Respect, moms. Respect.
I've danced my ENTIRE LIFE. I started tap when I was 3 and I have never stopped. This would be my 24th year of dancing. Crazy! I love Diet Coke, wine and flavored water. I watch Gilmore Girls almost every day. I also love Dance Moms, The Office and Modern Family.

4. Tell us about your job
I own my own dance studio! It's my 7th year as a business owner. (Yes, I opened when I was 20. Yes, that's insane. I also gave birth twice in 17 months. I'm obviously insane. ;)) STUDIO K is the little studio that could. We've experienced growth and change daily over the last 7 years. God really has his hand in my business. I pray constantly for the state of my studio and my students. I love my job, though it's hectic, busy and tiring. I could never imagine being anything other than "Miss Kate."

5. Tell us about your city
HA! I don't live in a city. Or even close to a city. I live in a tin town (4000 people tops) in the middle of the forest in Pennsylvania. It's all right here. Lots of snow. Not much sun.
6. Tell us about your favorite activities/hobbies/things to do
I dance. That's what I do.
seriously, though when I'm not at the studio and my kids don't need me....I like to blog (clearly), read anything I can get my hands, go to the movies and concerts, attempt to make crafts, cut things out on my Cricut...I'm a little bit of everything.
I guess the biggest hobby, other than dancing and reading...is my obsessive love of all things DISNEY. Specifically, Disney World. I'm kind of okay totally a huge nerd about it. I love Disney. I'll stop before I weird you all out. ;) (P.S. 128 days for those keeping track.)

7. Tell us anything you want! 
I love to blog. I love to read new blogs. I often read from my phone so commenting doesn't always happen but trust me, I read them all!! I do my best to reply to comments, but hey I've got a 2.5 year old and a 1.5 year old. My life is pretty nuts. :)

Come along for our ride! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

Linking up with my women, Amber and Neely for It's Okay Thursday, because it's my fave!

Hey, It's Okay...

to have 9,000 things to get done today and no clue how it will all get done.

to need another weekend away with your husband stat.

to guide Rory in her movie selections because I'm sick of watching the same ones over and over. ;)

to be over the moon excited that your Jillian Michaels Body  Revolution Kit shipped!!! Woop!

to already be planning the cute outfits you are going to wear when you are done with said workouts. 

to consider driving an hour just to get Starbucks...as long as I don't really do it. If gas was cheaper...

 to sometimes get mad at your dog when she won't. stop. barking. especially when babies are sleeping! 

to know that it's Thursday and that means your weekly glass of wine after work! 
to be addicted to My Fitness Pal. <3 <3 <3

to budget! and coupon! and save!

to be way too excited for your trip to Disney in June. 132 days, in case you are counting down to. ;)

What's okay with you? link up!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Love Story Link Up!

In honor of Valentine's Day being next week, I'm linking up with the cuteness over at From Mrs to Mama, Becky, for her love story link up! :)


1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
We were married in 2007 so FIVE YEARS of marriage next month! Holy moly. We started dating in December of 2005, so 6.5 years of togetherness. :)

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?} We met on MYSPACE. We're so mid-2000's. ;) Dave's cousin was dating my friend at the time and they encouraged us to hang out. Dave was at his internship at a big golf course by West Virginia and I was working at home. He was home twice all summer and BOTH TIMES he was supposed to call me and wimped out. My summer students and I started calling him Mr. Yuck because he would never follow through on plans. ;) We stopped talking, I opened my dance studio and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, right after Thanksgiving of 2005, he IM-ed me. (Again soooo 2005!) He finally initiated a meet up! He came to my house the first weekend he was home on winter break and we've been inseparable ever since. I texted my college bff during my first date with Dave and told her I knew I would marry this boy someday.

And I did. :)

3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell
We were married on March 24, 2007. Almost five years!

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?  If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?
It was BIG. 300 guests. I own a dance studio, Dave's got a giant family. It was so fun and worth it!
5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
  He doesn't have any nicknames for me. I call him Grave or Gravey more than I call him Dave, actually. I have absolutely no idea where I came up with it!

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
1. I love when Dave fights with me. That might sound weird, but I love that he stands up to me and fights for what he thinks is right about a situation or problem. He is my equal and never backs down.
2. I love when he tries to be funny. ;o)
3. I love his desire to provide a wonderful life for our little family. Financially, spiritually, lovingly, every way possible he just wants us all to be happy.

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?  Dave proposed in July, 2006. I was house sitting for my aunt and uncle and he called one Sunday to say he wanted to make me dinner that Wednesday. Then Monday morning, he called  again and said he'd rather do it that night. I was working and I told my assistant that I KNEW he would be proposing that night. She didn't believe me. ;)
Dave made me dinner (spaghetti and key lime pie. I HATE key lime pie. haha!) then told me he had one more surprise for me. He got down on one knee, right in the dining room of the house we now own, a spot we walk over 1000 times a day, where we've laughed, cried, talked, shared, fed babies, paced the floor during those long sleepless newborn nights and asked me to be his wife. Oh I'm getting teary just talking about it!

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Umm...neither. He's not the most romantic person on the world that way. I wish he was, but hey he's completely awesome in so many other areas. I keep hoping it will happen in time! ;)

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I'm up for any date where I don't have to feed kids first before I get to eat. For real. We saw a movie last weekend together and I can not for the life of me remember the last movie I saw with my husband that wasn't Harry Potter. It just doesn't happen much right now.
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
We were just talking about this! We're planning on Italy/Greece someday! SOON.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day. 
I'm supervising a Parents' Night Out at the dance studio so...we'll probably wait until the weekend after to go out to dinner. Maybe even a movie. FANCY. ;)

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
An afternoon to myself and a morning to sleep in. Amen.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
I got engaged at 21, married at 22, baby #1 at 24, baby #2 at 25. I've danced through the minefields of marriage and fast. The best advice I can give is this. Be honest with each other. If something is bugging you, say it right then. Don't wait. And no matter what people say, sometimes it IS okay to go to bed angry. I've been known to kiss Dave on the cheek and say we need to table the discussion and wait until morning. A lot of times a good night's sleep can help clear heads and settle emotions. Make it a point to revisit the issue, but don't stay up all night trying to solve life's problems. Relax. Let it come naturally. Budget. Save more than you spend. Take each day as it comes. It won't be easy. There will be days when it's not fun. Marriage is a marathon not a sprint. Work at it. Dog it. Commit to each other as many times as you need to. Take vacations with out the kids, even just a night away. Spend Friday nights with a glass of wine (or whatever!) and a tv show you both enjoy. Learn to laugh at and with each other. Respect each other's interests but realize you must remain true to yourself. Discover things you like to do separately and apart. Be proud of each other. Compliment each other to other people. Be conscious and try not to speak poorly to other people about your spouse. But above all else? Thank God every day for the wonderful man he has blessed you with and don't take him for granted. And kiss him when he least expects it.

14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.
At this time in my life, love to me means family. Dave, Kate, Rory and Trace. A little family with big hopes and dreams. That's love, baby. True love.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things No One Told Me About...

Things No One Told Me About...Toddlers. (Please don't take any of this as a sign of my lack of gratitude. My children are amazing and I love them more than anything else in this world. This is just a little humor. :))

When you become  mother, your life changes. You stare down at your precious baby and wonder how you were so blessed. How did God choose you to be parent of this tiny precious being. You imagine the beautiful, picturesque life you are going to lead. Perfect, tiny outfits. Precious shoes and hair bows, miniature toys and lots of book reading. Angelic sleeping infants wrapped in soft, cuddly blankets. Rocking your baby quietly, stroking their cheek and whispering promises for their future.

Yeah. Good luck with that. Eventually your perfect baby becomes a toddler.

1. Toddlers have a super human power to NOT sleep and to fight the falling asleep process. Sure, the middle of the night parties are fewer and farther between now than when they were newborn but...gone are the days of soothing them back to sleep with a bottle and 10 minutes of rocking. Sigh. As I type this, my son is crying in his crib for no reason and my daughter is watching "Little Bear" on the couch. At 3:40 am. Neither napped today. yesterday. Whatever you call their last nap time. Yeah. Sleep when you can is no joke.

2. Children, no matter how much you try, will have times where they won't eat anything. Or just chicken nuggets.

3. Becoming a mother basically means you lose all sense of what's gross. I've caught myself examining a dirty diapers for signs on infection, the flu or rogue toys. (I wish I was kidding.) 3 years ago, I would have been gagging at the thought. Now, whatever. I've had more bodily fluids from the under 3 crowd on me in the last 33 months than a cheap motel bed. I'll sniff a diaper, pluck a booger out of a nose, wipe wax from an ear, wipe sticky hands and walk around with peanut butter toast smeared on my legs every  morning. You get used to it. Do take the time to change before you go in public though...most of the time.

4. Your husband will love it when you put on jeans and a non-t-shirt. I feel like a super model when I have time and occasion to put on real clothes. Dave is always complimenting me. I do at least shower every (okay 9 out of 10) days.

5. You can not get as much done during nap time as you think. Regardless of all these cute blog claiming to get housework done, dinner cooked and 17 crafts made...yeah it doesn't happen. Don't beat yourself up about it. Also don't get on pinterest. BOOM there goes nap time entirely.

6. You won't always know what's happening on Grey's Anatomy or who was on Ellen recently, but you know where Dora's headed on her next adventure and when the new Jake and the Neverland Pirates is going to air. You will also find yourself singing Fresh Beat Band songs in the shower. You will listen to kids cd's or Kids' Place Live when the kids aren't in the car. (Especially Mindy. That chick is hilarious.)

7. Outfits look adorable in Gymboree. On a stationary mannequin. They aren't worth it. They will be destroyed in 5 seconds. 2, if your child happens to be a boy. Somedays I think about just wrapping him in paper towels. At least that's absorbent.

8. It's 100% not fun to put kids in and take kids out of car seats. Keep your kid in the baby bucket as long as you can. They are contained in there. It's not a picnic to unhook one kid in the Wal-Mart parking lot, have them wriggle away while you unhook the other, chase the original child while holding the second one, wrestle them in to a cart but Kiddo A wants to walk and Kiddo B saw the balloon and where's the toy department and can they get a "little treat" and we need bread, milk and toilet paper today not toys but MOOOOOM. Yeah, WalMart's kind of my nightmare right now. And my kids are well behaved!

9. You will be really jealous of other moms you see with quiet toddlers. Don't worry. That mom has had the screaming crying toddler on days yours have been perfect. Trust me, every toddler throws a good grocery store fit once in a while.

10. Make friends with your pediatrician. Wine and dine him if you have to. Learn all you can about the nurses and basically, well, win them over any way necessary. The secretary too! The nicer, sweeter you are (ahem...seem) the better your appointments will go. Being on a first name basis and yes, occasionally bribing my children in to good behavior at the office, has gotten us primo appointment times with our favorite PA. Totally. Worth. It.

11. Other moms will judge you. Straight up and out loud. Don't let it bother you. And don't EVER voice your opinions to anyone except your husband and your mom. Judge in your head. Fume away, rant and rave in your head but don't bite back. Not even worth it. Plus, I've noticed that these judgey moms aren't all their cracked up to be.

12. Toddlers are stubborn little monsters at times. You will quickly learn what is and isn't worth a fight. Wearing pants to the grocery store? Worth a fight. Wearing socks with sandals? Not worth it.

13. Fighting between siblings is a natural born trait. Rory has been known to pick up Trace and toss him across the room. Trace, though not even 2 years old yet, is famous for crawling up behind her and biting her in the back. No, this behavior is not acceptable in this house. Baby, they were born this way. For real.

14. Toddlers are super fun. Babies are cute, pudgy little balls of cuddles. TODDLERS are awesome. They play, read books, color, learn everything, have preferences and personalities...I loved my kid when they were babies, of course, but I absolutely love the toddler stage. (Does that make sense?) Nobody told me how great things get once you're through with baby stuff. There's nothing to be sad about at all. Babies grow up and become really great toddlers who, in my case, like to dance around the room to Madonna, sleep with 9,000 stuffed animals (yes both of them), sing songs, say prayers before bed and just generally make my life a better one to live.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Suitcases. (Good for my Soul Sunday 2)

You can't run when you're holding suitcases
It's a new day, throw away your mistakes
Open up your heart, lay down your guard
You don't have to be afraid.
-Dara McLean, "Suitcases"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Loved my Wedding! (FVDC)

Well let's see. I got married on March 24, 2007. That's almost 5 years ago for anyone keeping track. (!!!!) Since then, we bought a house, got a dog and had 2 kids that are 17 months apart. It's been a whirlwind. In honor of my 5 year anniversary next month, I'm planning to do lots of Dave and Kate centered posts. For today, though, I'm linking up with Neely, Amber and Casey for the Valentine's Challenge.

Valentine’s Day Challenge

Yeah, my wedding was awesome. Our colors were dark purple and antique gold. I carried all white and purple flowers. The bridesmaids carried bright colored flowers, like wild flowers. It was wonderful. We had 300 guests and were married in our home church. Our reception was at a banquet hall in the next town. It was great!