Poking my Head Out

There is no other way to start this again besides just seeing what is out there and what I have missed during my blogging sabbatical. I know some of you will be completely shocked that I am entering the blogging world again after being gone for nearly two years, but life has come full circle again and I have found my peace. No worries, I will not be updating the last two years in this one re-introductory post, I will probably be backdating a lot of things that have happened during my time off, so if you occasionally want to check the archives you will find some updates there on my family, and in particular what is going on with Regan and her cerebral palsy journey.
Otherwise, the backlog of companies emailing me to please partner with them has never stopped while I was gone, so you will continue to see plenty of product reviews, giveaways, and in general information and my take on things. To anyone who is new to my site, feel free to read the articles in my archives to see what goes on in my corner of the world. I have missed my blog and I look forward to growing with it again.

Addicted to Sap…Who Knew?

At this time of year I find for some strange reason all my typical logic, and sensibilities go right out the window, and I find myself with very alien feelings of being sentimental, and a little weepy……which is soooo not me. I have found the cause so that many of you can avoid the weeping pit I have fallen into. The den of sobbing uncontrollably for complete nonsense can be found every evening…..

At the Hallmark Channel

The girls and I find ourselves home from the gym in the evenings for the last two weeks and we turn on the Hallmark channel and watch every single one of those Christmas movies. I am touched by “A grandpa For Christmas”. I laughed along with “Meet the Santas”. Regan had me Tivo “Moonlight and Mistletoe”, and “Searching for John Christmas”.

We also talk in the car of some of our previous year’s favorites, looking for them to make an appearance like The Snowglobe Christmas movie, and my favorite “A boyfriend for Christmas”. I am not a sappy movie person but every year these play in the background while I work on my computer, and I laugh, cry, Tivo the weekend marathons, and scare the life out of my girls who are not used to seeing an emotional mom.

Of course I could cure it quickly by just turning the darn thing off, but I find myself powerless against the almighty Hallmark Channel.

Is there an addict group for weird people like me?

Some Cookbooks should Not be Made

I am (as always) in awe of all things Disney….ummm until now that is. This little treasure has made the list of fifteen worst book covers ever made. This was one of the cleanest (trust me). As much as the girls love to cook I guarantee poo(pooh) will never be an ingredient found in my kitchen.

Body Shop Estimates from Home

Now here is a genius little idea I came across today. My Honda Odyssey is a perfect vehicle for transporting my children. Regan can even get in and out by herself! That being said, because I drive a Honda in a town that only has a Ford and Chevy dealership….it is sometimes difficult to figure out who I should call for checkups. collision repair experts is a website that can give you maps, reviews, and ratings of local body shops in your area. This makes it a lot easier to find someone who can specialize in what you need.

Can you feel the love tonight?

I am channeling my inner Lion King tonight, which of course sounds nothing like Elton John when sung by this southern belle. Anyway, I am thrilled to be the recipient of the incredibly awesome “I love you Blog award”! I want to give credit to those who actually enjoy my silliness, and who also think I have cute kids.
Thank you very much to Piece of Me, A Peek Inside Our Life, and It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere for making me smile, and continuing to comment on my crazy life. I will be blessing more blogs with this award real soon.

Character Flaw #1: High Energy

I know that by any means I am not all that I can be. There are plenty of faults I have and I admit too. What I have a hard time with is is deciding if a character trait is a flaw or just part of the unique make up of me, and if it is a flaw….should I try and fix it? Would it better my life at all? So here I go into one of my character flaws that I am criticized for.

“Christine is high energy”

ummmmmmm Yes,
Yes I am.

I am sometimes energizer bunny high energy. I bounce, flit, and move quickly from one thing to another. I find it hard to focus and easily bore. I like new and different and embrace everything life throws out at me with a lot of energy. I am still the bouncy high school cheerleader that is in a great mood, and greets everyone that way.

It is a character trait that I recognize as not everyone’s cup of tea. It can be difficult sometimes to be around someone who is high energy if you are not that kind of person. So I decided that I would point out the bad and good of this flaw to see if it is something I should work on or leave alone and the hell with what anyone else thinks.

The Good:

My girls do not tire me out easily, neither do the kids at school, or my darlings I coach at the gym. In fact I love kids and love them high energy and free spirited. I love the challenge of kids who others find difficult.
I am a willing party to almost anything. Need a car buddy for a road trip…I am your gal, someone who wants to shop at 3am on Black Friday…call me. Want me to drop everything and come to your house to help with a project…I am there in five mnutes.
I am always flexible and adaptable probably because I bore so easily.
Luckily I married a pretty high energy guy. He is not a still person either, and would rather be outside golfing or cooking at all times.
I am always up for a party and being social. In fact I’ll host let me know when.
Need a friend at midnight or at 7am call me, I don’t sleep a lot, and chances are I am available.

The Bad:

When I am on vacation with friends I have worn them out. In fact my last trip to Disney Rebecca said some of the other parents were complaining.
Some parents don’t like to send their kids to my house because then they always want to come here, and one mother mentioned it is hard to compete with all that I have going on.
It is hard for me to focus on things to long, so if you want a conversation with me to last more than ten minutes….you probably need me seatbelted in and on the road. Chances are I will change the conversation anyway.
I always have something going on, and juggling several projects, books, ideas, etc. People have stopped asking because it tires them out to hear all that is going on.
Good friends are few and far between, because it is can honestly be hard to keep up. The great friends I have are wonderful, but as I mature I think most people have expected me to mellow more than I have.
As the girls have gotten older they have noticed that I do not behave and do like most of their friends mothers. It does not matter if their friends like coming over and getting involved in my latest project…the girls have asked that I tone it down a bit and be just a little more normal.

There you have it.

I am a 37 year old High Energy gal. Do you know people like me? Do people who resemble Rachel Ray in persona irritate the crap out of you? It’s okay I am looking at serious character analysis and trying to decide if taking it down a decible or so would be a good thing, or do you think like a good cheese I will mellow more with age?

Weigh in I am curious and open

Branching out

Today in our mail was a lovely flyer from one of my husband’s associates addressed to me. In a few weeks we attend my husbands summer meeting that always includes the whole family. Basically he attends classes for two days and the girls and I sit around pools, and chat with the other wives and families and the token husband or two. Since John Mark works in the financial industry lately things have taken a drastic downward turn.

No longer is it a leisurely 3-4 day conference with golf, and activities along with the mandatory classes…..now it is two days of all classes and one awards banquet. Bare bones, and no longer resort areas. Cut to more budget conscious motel/conference centers. Everybody is trying hard to make it through the economic downturn, and struggle through it until hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel appears.

Which brings me to my mail I received today. His company is looking to expand more with women in the marketplace, and is wanting more females in those
investment banker jobs, but why reach out to the wives? Because I know the hell my spouse is going through. Let me get this straight….you want me to tell my friends that they should look at being a financial advisor in one of the worst financial markets in history? I choose not to sell out my fellow women in that way. It is a struggle right now for my sweetheart and he has an established office for over 15 years. I would not wish on my worst enemy to go through this right now. It is tough!!!

So I nicely ripped my letter up into little bits, and wish all my friends a stress-free life where the financial freedom, retirement, college money of your friends and family are not your responsibility. Feel free to thank me from sparing you the absolute misery we have been going through.

Annoying Phonecalls

Tonight a phone call came in that listed the caller as Private Number, and then had an unknown area code. I immediately hand the phone over to John Mark because he loves talking to telemarketers and such (I am serious). Well he hands the phone back to me after the introduction because it was a Mystery Shopping Company that needed me to do a last minute shop for them. I hate it when I can’t identify a caller, but at least I know if the phone call comes from sales or charities looking for more money, there is now Phone Number Reporting to report those kinds of calls.

National Security Mom Review and Giveaway

Among my holiday reading this year has been National Security Mom by Gina Bennett. It is an interesting book which discusses the similarities of guarding our country and how we deal we foreign threats and how we parent our children.

Amazon.com lists the synapses as: “National Security Mom” offers the basics of current terrorism trends and national security policy making from a parent’s perspective. Written by a mother of five and 20-year veteran of counterterrorism in the US Intelligence Community, this book de-mystifies the underworld of terrorism and offers a unique comparison of how the super-secret intelligence approach to securing our nation is surprisingly similar to how parents secure their homes and families. By comparing the expertise parents gain while running their households to the skills required to govern, “National Security Mom” empowers America’s parents to engage with confidence in the public national security debate. The simple premise, that everything we need to know about securing our nation we have learned from our family life, offers hope that no matter what security challenges America faces, our nation will be proud and secure. We need only follow the guidance we give our children, such as “clean up your own mess,” “tell the truth,” and “don’t give in to a bully,” to ensure our nation’s welfare. Moms know that the most important lessons they teach their children will last a lifetime. Who better to entrust the security of our nation than mothers?

I was very intrigued when looking through National Security Mom to see what Gina Bennett’s perspective was, and although she made some good points, It honestly was a difficult read for me. I found myself struggling to make the same comparisons on the scale that she did. For example kids needing “timeouts” to me personally are on a whole different level than a country needing a “timeout” to evaluate and make decisions following a terrorist attack. I got lost in the pages of security information, and found I really wanted some more personal references, and real mom skills that were comparable. I read the book, and recommend it to those who wonder about the trials of a working mother under such humongous duress with definitely one of the most stressful jobs I could imagine. I admire Mrs. Bennett’s ability to multitask, and handle a home life and high stress job. I did take away with it the importance of getting involved civically even on a small local scale, which is something I think is very important as well.

The wonderful people at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing have agreed to let me host a giveaway in conjunction with this review.

To five lucky winners I have links to the National Security Kid Center which has:

downloadable children’s pages
links to online activities
a printable poster
Contests to win prizes, and
a chance to be in future books

To enter this contest please leave a comment below with something you learned by visiting National Security Mom and telling me something you like about the site.

A second entry can be earned by becoming a follower of my blog and leaving me a comment

A third entry can be earned by stumbling this post and leaving your stumble ID in a comment

A fourth entry can be earned by writing a post on your blog and leaving the link in a comment.

This giveaway is offered worldwide, but the link to the security center will not be avalable til January 24th. Giveaway ends Januray 10th at midnight CST, Good Luck!

*********Edit Here*****************
This giveaway is now closed, and everyone who entered won the link to the URL. Thanks for enetering.

Medicures and Panicures

My darling husband is feeling a bit of guilt overload. He did go with us to Disney on Ice, but he is skipping town this weekend for a “boys weekend” hunting in South Texas. This would normally not be a big deal at all, but this Friday is Regan’s birthday so he asked for permission to be excused from the festivities.

I should clarify that into saying he will not be attending “New Moon” this Friday with me and several squealing girls and two other mothers. He is quite broken-up about it. To help make amends he treated the three of us on Saturday to our choice of a manicure or pedicure at a local nail salon.

Regan has gotten a manicure before when she was on vacation with us and Rebecca was off at camp. She decided again that a manicure was best because no one ever sees a pedicure with her leg braces on. She chose a pretty peach color for her nails which suited her coloring perfectly.

Rebecca was uber excited to sit in the “spa” chair and have her feet massaged. She was even more thrilled when I let her get a flower painted on each big toenail. Later that evening we went to a wedding and she spent a lot of time making sure her feet got noticed. Aren’t they cute?

And yes I realize the title is backwards. It is because the girls keep getting the words all mixed up wich just cracks me up!