Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011--My New Normal

I've Been Thinking...........
A while back I changed the title of our blog. To tell you the absolute truth I really can't remember what it was before. Now it's titled, "The New Normal" That phrase has become a favorite mantra for me as I maneuver my way through the "hoods" as in Motherhood, Parenthood, Wifehood and every other "hood" possible to the imagination.
I've slowly began to realize that I may never be exactly what I was when I was 20 years old. And slowly, but surely, but really slowwwwwlllllyyyy....I am becoming okay with that. I'm understanding that having three kids will never be like it was to have one, and I'm fine with that. "The New Normal" helps me to understand that the craziness that most times exists within my world is not so different than that of anyone else.
We are all figuring out our "New Normal." (Especially me)
And that segways into the following. I am not a big New Year's Resolutions person. I never have been. I've tried to be, believe me, I have. I would describe anything I try to change in my life in the following analogy. Picture me as one large rubber band. I can be pulled, stretched and expanded in many different directions at once. And then, just as a rubber band would do, I either bound back to my original, comfortable, safe self, or I break and snap others in the process. Either way it's not a pretty process. So this year I'm looking at 2011 as my year to slowly stretch myself.
So here are the ways I WILL do that
1. I will participate in my wonderful friend's challenge titled, The Balanced Life (Can't wait, Thanks Chris!)
2. I will make nutrition a priority and will exercise 4-6 times a week.
3. I will stop drinking Diet Coke
4. I will treat my family with the love they all deserve
5. I will read one book to my girls each night before bed and take time to cuddle, hug, encourage and cry with them. The dishes can wait, the laundry will always be dirty, but little hearts are growing and they need me more!
6. I will severely limit my Internet time. I mean really, it's pretty ridiculous lately =/

So far, this is my list. It's enough for me right now. There are some little things and there are some BIG things. But most importantly there are "things" =).

Happy Goal Setting!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Turkey Did It, A True Christmas Eve Miracle

I LOVE this picture. More than any other family picture we've had in a while. It only took 5 tries, It's only the from the chest up and I think my wrists look pretty and thin (can't say the same for my hips/thighs), the girls were happy, Christmas was fast approaching, Brandon wore polar bear jammies and I was about to prep our Christmas Dinner Turkey....*insert scream* Okay, so truthfully the Turkey has nothing to do with the reasons why I LOVE this picture, but it is sadly connecting to those fleece polar bear jammies.
A little background....and an embarrassing truth to be told, I've never cooked a turkey. How could that be after 10 years of marriage, three children, a million ward parties and twice as many Holidays? I've been avoiding Mr. Turkey like the plague. I was intimidated, nervous and quite honestly a little grossed out. So this year I decided to face my fears and stuff the bird.
It started out innocent enough...I even remembered to defrost Mr. T several days before, and had read up on all the latest T cooking ideas. I decided on the brining method, but lack a pan large enough to drown Mr. T in the amount of salt water required. EVERYONE said a turkey bag would have the same desired effect. So, I washed Mr. T, cleaned his innards (we got to be fast friends...) and delicately brushed his surface with butter and sea salt. Then I prepped the bag, introduced Mr. T to his new abode and filled it with water. I had a roasting pan prepared to house the bag and the bird, and then, out of nowhere Mr. T threw me out like an old gold necklace. As I gingerly picked up the bag and began the delicate transfer to the roasting pan, the bag BURST. Now I don't mean sprung a little leak, yada yada yada. No, it exploded! And I, and said fuzzy polar bears were drenched in salmonella juices. The kitchen was truly flooded and the counter tops were swimming. And Mr. T, well Mr. T took pity on me and plopped right back into the clean kitchen sink, and that my folks is why this is a true Christmas Eve Miracle.
Eventually Mr. T and I made up through the rewashing, rebuttering and rebagging (trash bags are much sturdier, but not food safe my mother tells me...too late), and 13 hr brining. And then just moments before our guests rang the door bell Mr. T performed yet another miracle and released the timer. Hallelujah, I could hear the choir singing. Mr. T was quite beautiful and juicy if I do say so myself. I rather enjoyed him. And so, in the future and the Holidays to come I'll never forget this Christmas Eve Miracle or Mr. T., or washing my Christmas Eve Jammies on Christmas Eve so they can really be worn when they were meant to be.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The James Island Light Display

The happy faces say it all. We had just spent the previous evening at the light display at James Island Park in Charleston, SC. It's become a favorite tradition, up to see the lights, a night over in a fun hotel (more fun for the kids....less fun for the parents trying to force the kids to finally fall asleep), and an exciting drive home full of anticipation for Christmas the next morning.
The light festival is absolutely amazing, a child's holiday paradise. You can just drive all the way through the park and enjoy the light displays. But no visit is complete without a trip to Winter Wonderland and Santa's Village. While there you can roast marshmellows over numerous fire pits, brave scaling the climbing wall, visit Santa, ride a carousel, and take a journey through the lit-up forest in the Santa Train. So fun!

Waiting to see Santa. Notice Ellie's "worried" expression....and then.....

Santa!!! So okay, this picture is actually a few weeks prior to our Charleston Santa encounter. Yes, we made the poor child do it more than once. Three times to be exact and each time came with the same response. But I thought this one was classic, just look closer at Santa's expression. "What did I get myself into...."