Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Resolutions for a New Year

As the new year approaches, I can't help but think about my resolutions and/or goals for 2009. My list is always a mile long, but I thought I would narrow it down to my top 5. So here goes..

Be the Best Me I Can Be
I know this sounds silly, but what I mean is that I want to continue to be the best wife, daughter, sister, friend and mommy I can be. That means learning to be more patient, spending more time having fun, nagging less and encouraging more, teaching as much at home as I do at school, continue learning to cook since this makes my baby and hubby very happy (and secretly makes me happy too) and start visiting some of my out-of-town friends like I promised. This is an ongoing resolution but every new year gives me a chance to start fresh :-)
Learn To Be As Crafty As My Mom
This may take some time, but she has been dying to teach me how to knit or sew. It will be a long time before I can make hats like the ones Addie and I are wearing in this picture, but I am willing to give it a try. My mom is an excellent teacher so I know that if anyone can teach me these things...she can. Alright mama...what do I need first?
Get More Organized
Like I said...I say this EVERY year. But I am serious this time. I NEED to get more organized. My kitchen, my closets, my purse, my planner...all of it. I have actually been searching for the perfect planner for years. I have used Franklin Covey since I was in college but I just came across this new planner designer. Her name is Jan and she is from Janlynn Designs. Oh...did I mention she is my mom??? I know...she is so ridiculous. But look at this freaking planner she made me? It is PERFECT. Now I really do have to get organized. Damn.
Get In Shape!
Yes...that is me...if you can believe it. That picture was taken on our honeymoon 2 1/2 years ago. All I did to get this body was eat right, exercise and become tanerexic. But...since I can't tan anymore and can't find time to exercise, I guess eating right is my only option. Damn again!! But seriously, I need to try and get back in shape. There is absolutely no excuse for the eating I have been doing (I love carbs) and there is no reason why I can't hop on my elliptical machine a few times a week. I mean...it is in my freaking bedroom for God's sake! So while I may not have a slammin bod by the end of this year, I would at least like to shave off some of my muffin top.
Finish Some Scrapbooking!!!
I just don't know what to say. I have tried so hard to get caught up on scrapbooking this year but it just hasn't happened. I have all the stuff I need...I just have to sit down and do it. I would at least like to finish our wedding by the end of 2009 :-)
Well there you have it...my top 5 resolutions for 2009. As I said, I have a list a mile long but these are things I really want to accomplish first. We will see how many of these are on my top 5 next year. Haha.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not Goodbye...Just See Ya Later

When my BFF Tiffany told me she was moving away, I tried really hard to block it out of my mind. After all...she wasn't going to be moving away for 6 months. We had plenty of time. But that 6 months has already come and gone. So today...I had to say goodbye to my girl :-( Actually...not goodbye...just see ya later. Goodbyes are too sad and this isn't a sad thing. Tiff is moving away to be with her boyfriend Jake, who is a WONDERFUL guy. I know he is going to take great care of her and their baby girl Sophie. Tiff and I had our farewell dinner a week ago and as we talked, we realized that things really aren't going to change that much. For starters, we LOVE to talk on the phone and we can do that whenever we want, for as long as we want. Also, because of our busy schedules, we only see each other every other month or so and that doesn't have to change either. Tiff already has a few planned trips home this year and hopefully Eric and Addie and I can get down to Louisiana to see her too. It will all be fine (at least that is what I keep telling myself).
You see...the funny thing about true friendship is that it doesn't matter how far apart you are, how long you go without seeing each other, or even how long you go without talking to one another. If someone is a true best friend, time and distance don't matter. You always know you can pick up right where you left off. And that has always been the case for Tiff and I. We have been there for each other during the good times and bad. We have gone months without getting the chance to talk to one another and we have also gone months where we have talked 5 times a day. It is amazing to think about how much we have grown up in the 15 years we have known each other. I remember trying out for Poms together, driving in my first car together (and getting in my first accident together...I didn't even see that mailbox by the way), getting in trouble together, leaving for college together, vacationing on Spring Break together, getting our hearts broken together, finding true love together and most recently...becoming moms together. I think that last one is the most special of all. Tiff has been and always will be one of my dearest friends and as sad as I am for her to leave, I am so happy that her and Jake will finally get to be a family. I will miss you Tiff! Play a little Footloose in the car on the drive down and call me when you get there. XOXOXOXO

Monday, December 29, 2008

Spring Cleaning in December

I don't know about anyone else, but I have a serious problem with holding on to things I know I will never use again. I can already see that I am going to be the same way with the baby. I sometimes can't even bring myself to pack things away in the basement because I think "what if I realize I need this and I am in a hurry and I don't have time to dig through a box downstairs??" I know it is silly, but that is the way my mind works. In case you didn't know, I have just a touch of OCD...which doesn't help matters either. The problem is, even though I have the urge to keep a perfectly clean and organized house free of any clutter or crap...I can't seem to get there. I am truly the most disorganized wanna-be-organized person you will ever meet. 

So as we approach the new year, I am starting to compose my list of resolutions. I always have the same #1 on my list...GET ORGANIZED. But I realize that in order to do that, I need to finally get rid of some of the "just in case" crap I have tucked away in my closet, kitchen cabinets, drawers and basement. Here is a list of just a few things I know must go:

My Size 4 Abercrombie Jeans
Lets face it...size 4 is never going to happen again for me. I am okay with it too. I have come to accept my new post-baby body and I am proud of the bootyliciousness that I have acquired. And if by some miracle I become allergic to chocolate and actually get back down to a 4...I know I will NEVER wear jeans as low rise as these. Butt cracks hanging out of jeans are only cute on Giselle Bunchin.

My Lighthouse Bathroom
I love lighthouses. I absolutely love looking at pictures of lighthouses and I have seen some gorgeous rooms decorated in this theme. But when I decided to decorate my bathroom in lighthouses a few years ago, I realized that it just wasn't the decor for me. I was sick of it after two weeks. But I felt bad about buying the shower curtain, towels, rugs, wall decor, etc. and then getting rid of it. I have tried offering it to friends who were moving and I even offered it to my cousin who was getting her own apartment at school. But apparently no one else thinks lighthouses are a good idea either because I can't get rid of the stuff. I may attempt to eBay it...but if that doesn't work...Good Will here I come!

My Collection of Useless Memorabilia 
Now...let me explain that by "useless" I mean items that will never be used again. There are some items that fall under this category that are priceless: like my wedding gown, Addison's baptism dress, etc. and I refuse to get rid of any of those things. But there are some things that fall under this category that are just plain ridiculous. For example: my collection of Mardi Gras beads from various parades, bars, etc., my collection of casino coin buckets from my trip to Vegas 6 years ago, old keychains, a Carbondale phone book from 1998 (the year I started college), copies of Clueless and Drop Dead Fred in VHS (we don't even have a VCR anymore), the case to my Ace of Base CD (I don't even know where the actual CD is...but hey...it was one of my first CDs!) You see...these items, while they meant something to me at one point, are completely useless and taking up good space in my basement. So...I realize it is time to part ways with them. Farewell light-up Bud Light pin...I will miss you!!

My George Foreman Grill
Considering I didn't even use the damn thing in college means there is a pretty good chance I am not going to be using it as an adult. I think I made a few grilled cheeses on it in my dorm, but that was about it. And even though I never used it, I still brought that grill with me when I moved into my first apartment, then my second, then my third, I moved it back home with me after college, I moved it into my first townhouse as an adult, I moved it with me when Eric and I moved in together AND I moved it with me to the house we are in now. I have had this little blue George Foreman for 10 years!!! That is INSANE!! And since I haven't used it once in almost 10 years, I think it is time to pass it on to another deserving college student. Farewell George...it's been a good run. Thanks for always being the lean, mean grilling machine you claimed to be.

My Half-Naked Boy Posters
Okay...perhaps I should explain this one. When I was in school, I worked at Abercrombie on holiday breaks and during the summer. Anyone who has ever been in this store knows that they have HUGE posters of half-naked guys hanging on the walls. Well, whenever we did a floor change, a set of posters would come down, and a new set would go up. Those old posters would then go to the trash (or the trunk of my car). So when my girlfriends and I got our first apartment together junior year, we needed things to hand on our huge blank walls. So that is how our first apartment was decorated...posters of Monet's Starry Night and Abercrombie boys with their shirts off. I don't think it is appropriate for me to have these anymore...but I should probably look at them one more time to be sure ;-)

So there you have it. A running list of some of the things I KNOW I must part ways with. Is anyone else a pack rat? Is anyone else doing a little spring cleaning in December? I would love to know what you can't seem to part ways with...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Time For A Play Room!

Well...it's official. Addie needs a play room. I knew we would need more space for toys once Santa came but I had NO idea what we were in for. For starters, Grandma and Grandpa Davis got Addie this adorable 3 piece set. She got a table for tea parties, a desk for playing school AND an art/chalkboard easel for drawing pictures. I know Addie isn't quite ready for these things yet but they are just too cute to pack away :-)
Grandma and Grandpa Mueller got Addie a few big toys as well. She got her leap-frog musical table ...
Her eco-friendly rocking caterpillar, which she LOVES to climb and be pushed around in...
Her very own lap-top so she won't try to play with mommies while she is blogging...
And a kitchen so she can bake with mama. Eric and I gave her this gift early so could play with it while we cooked Thanksgiving dinner (yes..we gave it to her very early). But honestly, I could have moved it to the family room Christmas morning and she wouldn't have known the difference:-)
These are just a few of the toys Santa brought Addie this year so I think it is safe to say that they all can't go in my living room. I mean, not if I plan to walk around in it :-) Addie's bedroom is currently in the smallest room in our house (it is right next to our bedroom) but eventually, I want to move her into the bigger bedroom down the hall. So for the time being, I am going to turn her future bedroom into a playroom. But in order to do that, I have to move my whole office out of that room and into our spare bedroom. Right now, the spare bedroom just has a bed and night stand so hopefully I will be able to add a desk, file cabinet and two book shelves in there too. Hmm...this will be a project. I will keep you posted on the progress :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Dirty Little Trick

Let me start by explaining that I LOVE scratch off lottery tickets. Everyone in my family knows this. So, when Adam and Di put a scratch off ticket in my stocking Christmas Eve, I couldn't wait to scratch it off to see if I won. I was feelin lucky...
It was a poker scratch off ticket so after I revealed all my cards, I looked at Eric and said "I have 3 queens and 2 tens...what does that mean?" He said "That's a full house babe". So I looked down at the key and saw that a full house means I won...
$1000!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I looked at Adam and Di and they both had this weird look on their face. They weren't as excited for me as I thought they would be. Then it dawned on me...they are probably SO pissed they gave me a winning ticket! It could have been their $1000! So I immediately offered to share it with them. In fact, I offered to drive down to 7 Eleven and cash it in right then and there. But before I went to go get my coat on, Eric told me I should read the back of the card to see where to cash it in.
The card reads, "Prizes may be redeemed, subject to validation, at any retailer dumb enough to think this is a real lottery ticket. All winners are subject to ridicule, mockery and laughter by any and all bystanders, friends and family".  I think I would have been mad if I weren't laughing so hard. What a dirty little trick!!! Thank God he didn't let me drive to 7 Eleven!!
Adam knew if there was anyone dumb enough to fall for this trick...it would be me. And I knew if there was anyone equally dumb to fall for this trick...it would be Dana. Unfortunately, she was smarter than me and I couldn't fool her. Shoot! I should have given her a few cocktails first. Haha! Good trick Adam...I'll get ya back :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

SANTA!!

As I suspected, Santa went WAY overboard again this morning at Grandma and Grandpa Davis' house! I mean...you know it's bad when you can't even fit all the gifts in one picture! I guess Grandma and Grandpa just couldn't resist spoiling Addie and Nia this year. After all, this is their first Christmas together!
The girls had a ball playing with each other's new toys (and raiding Grandma's toy drawer). And even though it was a tough decision, it is obvious which toys were the girls favorites.
Nia LOVED her new tricycle...
About as much as Addison LOVED her new walker! She has been walking around furniture for weeks now but we have never actually seen her take any steps forward. But as soon as Eric set up the walker and stood Addie behind it, she took off like a speeding bullet. 
She cruised all over the living room and up and down the hallway. Nia wanted to follow behind her in her new tricycle but it wouldn't quite fit down the hallway. She was pretty content just sitting on it anyway :-)
As you can see, we had a pretty fabulous start to our Christmas. I would love to post about the rest of our day but I am beat!!! I promise to share more Christmas memories with you tomorrow. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a great night!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

A few years ago, my family started the tradition of wearing our PJs to Christmas Eve. I don't even know how it started or who suggested it, but it is my favorite part of Christmas Eve. I think it is because wearing my Christmas PJs at my Mom and Dad's house makes me feel like a kid again. Addie even had her own special pair of Christmas Eve jammies to wear tonight. They say "Whatever Santa Doesn't Bring Me Grandma Will". And let me tell you...that IS the truth! About two months ago, we all decided that we needed to cut down on the spending at Christmas (my parents especially) since we always tend to go WAY over board. We set new limits on each other and swore to stick to them. Well...as you can see...no one really stuck to their promise, ESPECIALLY Grandma and Grandpa. It is ridiculous how much they got us. And I know Grandma and Grandpa Davis are going to go just as over board tomorrow. But hey...it's Christmas! I guess if there is one time of year to spoil the people you love...this is it. I am just so lucky to have such a wonderful family to share the holidays with :-) Well I guess I should get to bed before Santa comes! But before I do, I must leave him some cookies and milk. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa...Addie has a VERY special plate and mug to use every year. I just have to decide now if Santa wants 2 or 4 cookies??? 





Christmas at Great Grandmas!

We had Christmas at my Grandma's boyfriend Richard's house last night. Yes...my Grandma has a boyfriend :-) Grams and Richard have been dating for several years now and I am so happy that they both found each other. My grandpa passed away many years ago, as did Richard's wife, and I know they were both equally lonely. So when Grandma introduced us to Richard a few years ago, we were all so happy. They two of them love to travel, make crafts, go to Bingo and spoil their grandchildren. I think being together keeps them young :-) So anyway, Grams and Richard decided to host Christmas this year and it was so much fun!! Richard bought Addie the adorable bib and Santa hat she is wearing. I am shocked she left it on as long as she did. She was so busy checking everything out last night she probably forgot she was even wearing it! She was mesmerized by the Christmas tree, the train, my Grandma's dog Poco...you name it! I wonder how she will react tonight and tomorrow when she sees all the prezzies her Grandmas and Grandpas surely got her :-) Only a few more hours to wait. Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!



Monday, December 22, 2008

No More Dreaming of a White Christmas...It's Here!

Every year, when we get a decent amount of snow in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I always say "It finally looks like we will have a White Christmas this year!!" But for the past 3 years or so, this statement has jinxed us. Last year we had a 50 degree day RIGHT before Christmas and it melted all the great snow we had. It looked like the coming of spring :-( And even though the weather doesn't make or break Christmas, there is always something so magical about having snow at Christmastime. So when we got our few snow storms this month, I was afraid to say anything about having a white Christmas because I didn't want to jinx us again. But now that Christmas is only 3 days away and we have a pretty decent amount of snow on the ground with the potential of another storm on the way...I think it is finally safe for me to say that we will have a WHITE CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR!!!!!! Wooohooo!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas With Uncle Joe!

Tonight was our Christmas celebration with Uncle Joe! I made a yummy holiday dinner and we enjoyed some DELICIOUS cranberry cake (recipe compliments of Giada on the Food Network). After our meal, we headed in to the living room for my favorite part of the night...opening prezzies!!! Even though he won't admit it, I think Joe had a blast shopping in Toys-R-Us this year. He got Addie the cutest rocking giraffe. I know she is going to get a lot of miles out of that thing. Uncle Joe also got her a copy of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and I know Eric can't wait to read it to her this week. And while I thought all of Joe's gifts were so thoughtful, I thought mine was the best because he got me the waffle maker I have been wanting forever!!! I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after, etc. It was such a fun night and now I REALLY can't wait for Christmas to get here. Thanks for everything Uncle Joe!!



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh What Fun It is to Ride In a One-Dog Open Sleigh!

When my Dad told me he made Addison a "little present", I was assuming it was something small. You know...since he was so nonchalant about it. But when he came over last night with a HAND MADE SLED, I couldn't believe my eyes. That's right folks...my Dad made this sled by hand just by looking at a picture online! He steamed the wood to make the skis and everything!!! I am sure I don't even need to brag about his talents anymore, since you have all heard it before, but I am just so amazed at what this man can do. This is another wonderful gift from Grandpa that Addie can treasure for the rest of her life. I just know this sled is going to make so many wonderful family memories. 
And speaking of making memories, since we have a bunch of great snow and ice on the ground right now, Eric and I thought we would take Addie and Howie out for a spin today. As you can see from the pictures, she had a BLAST!! Howie wasn't too happy we made him pull the sled, but it still made for a cute picture. I mean, have you ever seen a one-doggie open sleigh before?

Thank you for the beautiful sled Pops! I love you with all my heart! 




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Reason to Be Thankful I am a SAHM


If there is one thing I absolutely do not miss about working a full time job...it's the commute. I use to drive roughly an hour to and from work 5 days a week. No thanks. There were some days that I literally wanted to drive my car off a cliff. Road rage isn't a strong enough phrase to describe what I had, ESPECIALLY during a snow and/or ice storm. So as I watch good old Tom Skilling's weather report on WGN tonight, I realize that I need to thank God (and Eric) every day for giving me the opportunity to stay home with my babe. According to Skilling, tomorrow morning's commute is going to be a rough one with the snow and ice storm we have moving into the area. So while my poor hubby sits in his car tomorrow morning going 5 miles an hour, drinking a Monster Energy and dropping the F-bomb like its his job...I will be at home in my favorite Gap robe watching The Grinch with Addie. I guess I better "thank" him again tonight :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Old Man Winter Comes Through

Yay! Old Man Winter held up his end of the bargain yesterday and dropped 4 inches of snow on us!! I know Eric wasn't too happy with his 4 hour commute home form the city, but since Addie and I were home and warm...I was excited to watch it pile up. Word on the street is that we have another storm coming in tomorrow and I am hoping it brings us a little more :-) I was thrilled to put Addie in her new snowsuit today but unfortunately, she wasn't feeling it. It was pretty damn cold old today so I can't blame her for not wanting to play. I probably shouldn't have even bundled her up but I couldn't help myself. Look how cute she is!!! Grandma made the stylish hat that not only matches the snowsuit, but also the little pink fur boots she is wearing. Man I love dressing this baby! Anyway, I hope she will be more excited about the next snow storm and maybe if she cooperates, I will get a few more action shots :-) 
On a side note...please don't make fun of my hat. It was the only one I could find.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Time To Break Out The Snow Suit!

One advantage of growing up in Chicago is that your chances of a White Christmas are pretty good. One disadvantage of growing up in Chicago is that once the snow comes...it keeps coming until March (even April in rare occasions). So if we potentially have to deal with snow for 5 months, I didn't think it was silly to purchase Addie an adorable snowsuit for the season. I bought it early because it was too cute to pass up. It has been hanging in her closet since September so I am thrilled that we will have the opportunity to pull it out this week! We have our first significant snow storm on the way. Well...technically this is our second but the first one didn't produce as much as we thought. The weather peeps are saying that this storm could drop 3-6 inches on us between this afternoon and tomorrow morning. I know 3-6 inches isn't a ton of snow, but it is certainly enough to merit a trip outside in our snowsuit :-) I also have a fabulous pair of Uggs I will be breaking out for the occasion. Lets just hope this snow storm isn't a bust like the last one. I am ready for a White Christmas! 

Monday, December 15, 2008

That's What Happens When You Have 13 Kids




I wonder if my Grandma and Grandpa Mueller are looking down from heaven right now smiling at what they created. They had 13 children. That's right...they had 13 CHILDREN!!! Can you even imagine that? And they all got married which means my grandma and grandpa gained another 13 sons and daughters in-law. 26 kids. Whew! And over the years, those 13 families produced 36 grandchildren. So needless to say, it wasn't long before our family couldn't fit in my grandparents house anymore, especially when all of us grandchildren started getting married and having kids of our own. I have truly lost count as to how many people are in our family now, but I can tell you that we literally have to rent a hall in order to get together for Christmas. I guess that's what happens when you have 13 kids! When I tell my friends about this, they always say "oh...that's too bad. Don't you miss being at someone's house sitting around a Christmas tree?" I guess maybe I would be sad if our family didn't go to great lengths to make sure the hall always feels like home. There is always a TON of great food, lots of gifts and...a Christmas tree. I think our family is just use to it now because it is all we have ever known. And I think my family would agree that we wouldn't have it any other way. 

This year was extra special for Eric and I because it was Addie's first time at the Mueller Christmas party. She of course got lots of hugs and kisses from everyone and even got to spend some time with her cousins. As you can see, her and Alli were the best of friends. Alli didn't leave her side the whole night. It was just adorable. And after all the commotion, Addie needed to take a little snooze on Grandma, which worked out great for me because I got a chance to catch up with some of my cousins. These parties always go by so fast but I am so glad that we always have them to look forward to. Here's to another wonderful year. I am sure I will be posting about next year's party before I know it :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sex and The Suburbs

My dinner with the girls last night felt like our own version of Sex and The City (or better yet...Sex and The Suburbs). Instead of exchanging Christmas presents this year, the girls and I decided it would be more fun to just plan a night out and go for a really nice meal and some cocktails. We chose The Melting Pot and let me just tell you...it was SO the right choice. Fondue is awesome because it is the only time you really have enough room for 4 courses. And since the dinner process takes about 3 hours, we had plenty of time to catch up with each other. Actually, that portion took about 5 seconds for me...Addie, Addie, my new haircut, Addie. Done! My single friends Shannon and Jill had more exciting updates for us so Dana and I just lived vicariously through them for the evening :-) Haha! We really had SUCH a nice time last night and I am so glad we all managed to find the time, considering this dinner was two months in the making. We decided to make this our Christmas tradition. No presents...just good food, good drinks and good conversation. What more can you ask for?