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What I’m Thankful For Link Up

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!  Tonight is meal #2 of 3, this one is at my parent’s house. It’s a small gathering, just my folks, my sister’s family of 4 and our family of 4 1/2.  I am taking dessert (pumpkin pie and cherry crisp), plus some other odds and ends to help round out the meal.  We are having the basics – turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy, veggies, and rolls.  Throw in some jellied cranberry sauce from the can, olives, cheese, and who knows what else and none of us will walk away hungry!
Tomorrow I am hosting Andy’s family for dinner (that’s lunch for those of you who are non-country folk!).  It’s a small group this year, Andy’s folks, his brother’s family of 4, our family of 4 1/2 and a late edition to the group – Andy’s cousin and his girlfriend.  The more the merrier, but that just means I need to rethink my seating arrangement and I might need to run to Wal-Mart and buy some cheap plates so we have enough.  We used to be able to use the ‘little’ plates for the kids, but they’re all big enough to eat a big plate full of goodies so I believe I may be short by 1 – we had a casualty a couple of weeks ago in the plate department!  And Andy won’t let me use our fancy wedding china, he’s afraid other’s won’t respect them like we would.  Silly guy!  Love him for watching out for me, he knows there would be tears if one were to get broken or scratched!  As for the meal, I am cooking the turkey, ham, potatoes and gravy, rolls, veggies and a pumpkin pie.  The other’s are bringing the rest of the meal and pies.  I’m getting hungry just typing about all of that good food!
Now to the link up!
What I’m Thankful For
  • my husband – he is the most fun I ever have and he takes such great care of me
  • Aiden – he is such a neat, fun, smart, unique guy and I am so blessed to call him ‘mine’
  • Brennan – this boy keeps me laughing, keeps me guessing, and keeps me on my toes
  • Baby – what a blessing this baby is to our family. Every single kick, stretch and hiccup I am thankful for
  • The baby we lost – no, I am NOT thankful we lost him, but I am so thankful I had him with me for the short time I did
  • My dear friend, Shauna – she is my angel on earth.  She helped me through the most difficult time of my life, she is so generous with her friendship, and I always have an amazing time with her
  • My ‘bank’ friends group: Jenny, Molly, Bri, Jackie and Nici – these girls always make getting together a fun time
  • Our ‘CR’ friends – this group!  Ugh, so so fun!!!  There is never a dull moment when we are all together
  • My blogging friends – always there supporting and encouraging me, that’s priceless!
  • Andy’s job – it allows me to stay home with our boys and it makes my husband happy
There is always so much to be thankful for every year, this is a very short list but hits some of the major things I’m most thankful for this year.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! 

This or That Thanksgiving

This or That Link Up

Thanksgiving Edition

Stuffing, mashed potatoes?

Mashed potatoes covered in my MIL’s noodles

Homemade cranberry sauce, store bought cranberry sauce?

Store bought, jellied cranberry sauce with a side of mayo

Pumpkin pie, pecan pie?


Cooking all day, cleaning up all night?

Cooking all day, let the guys do the cleaning up!

Thanksgiving Day parade, Football game?

Hmm, that one’s a toss up!  I love when Santa comes riding in at the end of the parade, but I also love the tradition of football all afternoon (plus that means I can doze off for a quick nap!)

Another fun This or That link up!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

I posted my 28 week Bump-date yesterday, you can read it HERE if you missed it.

See you back here tomorrow for the What I’m Thankful For link up!  I’m going informal with this one so don’t have a fancy button made.  Just put a link to my blog on your post so people know where to find the link up. There will be a spot to link your post, tho.


28 Week Bump Update


I say it all the time, but seriously, how fast is this pregnancy going?!?  Only 12 weeks to go (which means only 13 1/2 weeks to my birthday, holla!!).  I just can’t believe how quickly this pregnancy is going.  It’ll really be over before I know it!

I think this picture and outfit are deceiving (and I’m going to wear this outfit every single day!!) because I think I look MUCH bigger than this picture shows.  I can really see how much my back is curving because it looks like I’m really popping (not pooping) my butt out.  I think it’s usually more tucked ‘under’ than this.  When I am doing a lot of walking, like for shopping, I can feel how my body is counteracting all that weight out front by pushing my butt out and trying to hold my bump back.  I bet I look funny walking!

Here are the answers to my monthly Q & A:

Baby:  Super active at night!  Andy and I joke that it’s an alien because of how crazy it’s movements are at night when laying down to go to bed.  It is much ‘kickier’ than the boys were.  They were busy little guys but not quite so … weird!  Baby is about 14.8” long, weighing in around 2 1/2 pounds.  It can blink and react to sounds and light now. 

Symptoms: Oddly enough, my heartburn over the last week has been MUCH less. Some days I’ve not had any at all!  I’ve been sleeping a lot better, actually sleeping straight through from when I go to sleep (9:30/10) until about 4a.m. every morning. Then I wake up to use the bathroom and then can’t fall back asleep when I get to bed.  I usually do go back to sleep but then I wake up more tired because it felt like a weird cat nap at night.  I’m not ever hungry because the baby is taking up so much room in there.  I’m back to taking frequent bathroom breaks, again, because the baby is squishing everything in there.

Weight Gain: Add another 5lbs to to the tally – that makes 17lbs total so far. Guess I’m going to blow my 20lb limit out of the water! 

Highs: Feeling all of those crazy kicks!  And knowing I’m in the last trimester, which means only 12 short weeks until I finally get to hold this sweet little bundle!

Cravings/Aversions:  None on either front.

Excited for: Having a pass on eating as much as I want at Thanksgiving!  Although I don’t have hardly any room in there to stuff myself so I won’t eat as much as I think I want to. 

My appointment was uneventful, which is a good thing.  Baby’s heartbeat is perfect, I’m measuring ‘fine’ (his words), and I go back in 2 weeks.  My glucose drink went down the hatch without too much trouble.  I did good chugging the first half of the bottle down in no time, the 2nd half I slowed down, which was a mistake, so it was harder to get down.  But in under 4 minutes I had it in the old system and was off to my appointment. Went back an hour later for my blood to be drawn, they took 2 vials and I didn’t get woozy at all, that’s a huge success for me!  I’ve finally figured out if I just talk a lot to the tech it helps keep my mind off what she’s doing and it goes much smoother and faster.  Hoping tomorrow they call me with the results.  Will let you know if I have to go back for the longer test.


All Kinds of Things

Happy Thanksgiving Week, friends!!!  Yay, it’s here!!!!!  Bring on the pumpkin pie!!!  I decided last night while trying to sleep that I’d throw together a last minute link up for Wednesday all about what you’re thankful for!  I hope you’ll join me!!!  Please share the info on your blog, tweet about it, whatever!  I want to hear what you’re all thankful for this year!

I am 28 weeks pregnant now.  I have my baby check up this morning and also my glucose test.  Ick.  The drink isn’t THAT bad but for some reason I’m nervous I’m going to puke it all up.  I can feel the anxiety building inside me, it’s making me feel sick.  Taking deep breaths!  Not sure why I’m working myself up over this!  Maybe it’s the blood draws, those bother me.  Oh well, I’ll make it through and be just fine!  Tomorrow I’ll have my 28 week bump-date and picture of just how big I’ve gotten!

We had a great weekend. Andy took Friday off and we went Christmas shopping.  We got both boys completely done and crossed a couple of other names off the list, too.  This Saturday I go shopping with my mom and sister, I’ll be able to knock everyone else out then and be 90% done!  The last 10% is for Andy, who I’ll go shopping for by myself some day in December. 

Saturday was my mom, sister and my annual cookie/candy baking day.  We made haystacks, sugar cookies, buckeyes, Oreo truffles, peanut butter pretzel balls, peanut brittle, peanut butter fudge and peanut clusters.  Treadmill here I come!  Saturday night we took my in-laws out to supper to celebrate their 40th anniversary next month.  We went to this great family-owned steakhouse where you grill your own steaks.  The food there is AMAZING!!!  Everyone got steak but me, I got the marinated chicken breast that melted in my mouth!  I had the best salad from a salad bar EVER, must have been their house dressing. I think it had buttermilk in it, yum!  The baked potatoes were done to perfection, and it was all the Texas toast you could eat!  I definitely gained a few pounds that night!

Yesterday we picked up a Christmas gift then came home and watched football, cleaned out the fridge so it’d be sparkly clean for all of the Thanksgiving leftovers and lounged around.

The most exciting thing about the weekend, though, was that Dynamite left the boys a letter Saturday night!  We found it in the fireplace yesterday when getting ready to start a fire.  They were so excited!  Here are some pics.


I love how he signed his letter with a stick of dynamite!  Ha ha!  Here’s what the letter said:

Yippee Skippee Aiden and Brennan!

I’m so excited to visit your home again and watch all the shenanigans that happen in your great family!  It won’t be long so keep a watchful eye out for me.  My hiding places will be real doozies, Oh boy!  Hee hee!  I can hardly wait!

Brennan – Santa told me that telling your mom and dad ‘no’ was weighing on his mind and wants you to be very good and try hard not to say this!!!  If you can, and listen hard to your parents, he said a special treat is waiting for you on Christmas Eve. OH BOY! Hee hee!!

Aiden – Santa also knows that at times you have been fussing (arguing) with your parents and when asked to do homework or a chore sometimes you don’t cooperate.  Listening to your parents is an important way of growing up being a loving son.  Please work hard on these special problems and a very special treat on Christmas Eve is waiting for you!!!  Hee hee, oh boy!  I’m soooooooo excited I can hardly wait!

Aiden and Brennan, you are very good boys and I know your parents love you very much!  I’ll be there to see you soon!



Brennan was asked to do something last night and he said no, then caught himself and ran to do it right away! Ha ha,it’s working already!

I hope you’ll link up with me on Wednesday!  Spread the news, let all your blogging friends know of the link up!

Have a great day,


Out Of The Office

Happy Friday!  I’m out of the office today, going shopping with my amazing husband!  See if we can’t get some Christmas gifts for the boys finally. 

I thought I’d share a few fun quotes with you in my absence.  Have a great weekend!  See you back here on Monday!

  Neryl Walker

It is no shave November...

Yeah I laughed out loud for real!

No joke.

...cause it's true.

perks of not having a thigh gap


He’s Dynamite!

Wow, Thursday already!?!  YES!!!  Finally, this week is flying by!  Which means week 27 of my pregnancy is flying by! 

I’ve never really advertised that I’m on Twitter, but I am in fact on there. I don’t do too much with it, which is why I’ve not shared my username, but I’m hoping to ‘tweet’ more so look me up at ‘Homemadehappen’.  I’d love to follow you, too, so leave me a comment with your username!

For those of you who were reading my blog last December you might remember our little elf friend, Dynamite.  I decided to make a calendar this year of what Dynamite would be up to every night so at 9:37 p.m. I wouldn’t have to try to hurry up and come up with some fun/funny/fantastic idea.  I thought I’d share it with you in case any of you with elf friends needs an idea or two.  These were mostly found on Pinterest so I cannot take credit for most of these ideas. And I couldn’t get the actual calendar to load onto here clearly so this is what I could do.  If you want the word doc. of this leave me your email in the comments and I’ll send it to you.

December 2013 Elf Ideas








Elf Arrives! Hanging from hook outside window

Elf hides in Christmas tree.

Elf is thirsty, gets out supplies to make hot chocolate

Elf shows up in knife section of silverware drawer

Elf is in Nativity holding baby Jesus

Elf makes snowflake out of Q-tips

Elf draws faces on pictures in frames with dry erase marker








Elf hangs boys’ underwear from stocking holders

Elf t-p’s the boys’ rooms

Elf plays Wii with stuffed animals

Elf turns the milk in the fridge green

Elf wraps the toilet in wrapping paper

Elf gets stuck hanging from the chandelier

Elf gets caught snacking on Christmas cookies in container








Elf reads a Christmas book to some ‘friends’

Elf makes a snow angel in flour and glitter on counter

Elf gets into the game cabinet and makes a mess setting one up

Elf switches the cars around in the garage

Elf leaves a ‘countdown’ note on toilet paper

Elf rolls down the stairs inside a tp roll leaving tp behind him

Elf gets all the Christmas movies out








Elf has a snowball fight (cotton balls) with the toys

Elf snuggles up under a blanket with boy’s stuffed animal

Elf leaves a goodbye note and special treats for boys




As for the logistics of The Elf On A Shelf, some first-timers have asked me a few q’s about how it works.  Well, if you buy what I call the ‘real’ EOAS it comes with a story book to read with your kids so they understand the why’s and what-for’s.  It’s a great tool for you as the parent, too, so I recommend you read it first!  But the general gist is that the Elf shows up, with the box and book,  and you CANNOT touch the Elf or it loses it’s magic powers.  Now, if this does happen, go to Pinterest and look up the ‘magic remedy’ so your poor Elf doesn’t die and your kids don’t get super upset. 

The family of the elf is who names it, so after reading the book talk with your kids about what they think it should be named.  Aiden, who I believe is brilliant, came up with Dynamite’s name.  He said he’s red and has to fly to the North Pole really fast like dynamite so Dynamite should be his name.  GENIOUS!!  We loved it right away so went with it.  Try to be creative!  Or use a ‘regular’ name like George.  Just have fun with it. Once your elf is named you’re set for the fun to begin.

Every night you MUST move the elf.  Don’t feel like you need to come up with some crazy idea and activity for him to be doing every night.  Just moving him from the shelf to the tree to the light fixture is enough, especially with little kids.  As they get older challenge them (and yourself) by hiding it somewhere a little tougher.  We have hit that stage this year so Dynamite will not just be out in the open every morning. 

Our tradition is that Dynamite leaves a note for the boys a few nights before he starts arriving.  The note is usually just a ‘Hello, I’ve missed you and can’t wait to see you’ thing, but this year we’re adding something that Santa wants them to work on for the month of December. This is our sneaky way of getting them to stop with a certain bad behavior.  Then our elf starts to show up AFTER our Christmas decorations are up, which is always the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I have him scheduled to show up Sunday morning, December 1st this year. 

On Christmas Eve Dynamite always leaves the boys a note saying goodbye, telling them how good they were and that he’ll miss them until next year.  We are adding a small treat with the note if the boys can take care of their ‘bad behavior clean up’.  If need be we’ll have D bring a note with a reminder mid-month.

As for the notes, we have my dad write them out for us.  I send him an email with what it needs to say, he adds his little ‘elf’ talk to it (hee hee, etc) and writes it out on fun/fancy Christmas printer paper.  My dad has really unique handwriting which screams ‘ELF’ to me!  I’ll show you next week, our first letter should show up in the fireplace either Sunday or Monday morning.  I always ‘North Pole’ it up, which means adding some glitter or shiny ribbon to tie it up.  Last year the first letter arrived folded up like a paper airplane. The boys thought it was the coolest thing EVER! 

Basically, just have fun with this and be creative.  Think like an elf!  And for gosh-sake, don’t forget to move that little guy!!!  If you don’t think you can remember for an entire month just bring him out the week or 2 before Xmas, make it easy on yourself (also a good tip for really little ones, they won’t get bored with it as easily if it’s for a shorter period of time)!  Or set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes after the kiddos are in bed.  Whatever it takes!  And if you have girls at home there are female EOAS, fyi.

Hope this helps!  Let me know of any q’s or if I didn’t explain something clearly.  And then get on Pinterest and pin pin pin those ideas!

Happy Elfing!


My New Favorites And An Old One

A couple of my new favorite songs.

(Skip ahead to the 2:00 mark where the actual music starts.  This is a racy video, beware!)

Uh, yes!  I’d be alright making love like gorillas with Bruno!  Yummy!  But holy crap is that a racy video!!!  Yowsa.

This one is much more tame. 

Aw, Miss Miranda, you can do no wrong in my eyes!  Love that girl!  That is one of those ‘crank it up’ songs! 

If you aren’t ready for Christmas songs yet then skip this one, but I had to share it because I just love it!

I’ve always loved Neil Diamond and I love most of his versions of Christmas songs but I love this one the most because he actually wrote it himself and it just captures what Christmas is about with the ones you love.  Super great song!

Happy listening (and viewing)!


This Or That


Linking up with Jodi and the gals for my newest favorite link up!

This week’s ‘This or That’ topic is Fears.

This or That Link Up

Heights, Deep water: I’ve recently discovered a fear of heights, but if I was in really deep water, like at the bottom of the ocean, I’d be more afraid of the deep water.  At least at a height I can still breathe!

Snakes, Spiders:  Ew to both!! But having a snake in the house is much scarier than having a spider in the house!  And I don’t shriek when I see a spider outside, but I definitely do if I see a snake outside! Ick!  I guess ‘snake’ is my answer.

Losing all your teeth, losing all your hair:  Losing all of my hair for sure.  You can always get dentures and no one is the wiser, wigs are much harder to make look real and natural.

No voice, no hearing: I’d rather not have a voice because you can still communicate with people.  With no hearing you’d never hear a song or your kid’s voices or your amazing husband telling you ‘I love you’, that’d be horrendous!

Eating a bug, eating intestines:  O! M! G!!!!  I can’t even answer this!  Neither of them are fathomable (is that a word?).  Just EW!!!

I believe next week is the Thanksgiving Food edition, can’t wait!  The answer to all of my questions is PUMPKIN PIE, ha ha!!!


Baby Update And Some Of Our Weekend

Hey hey!  Happy 3rd trimester to you all!  Wow, can you believe it?  27 weeks, 3rd trimester!!!  Overall my pregnancy is going super fast, but it feels like these last couple of weeks have gone really slow.  February seems like forever away!  I know, I know, it’ll be here before I know it.  Ugh.  Hurry up!!!  I’m so ready to hold this little one in my arms instead of my belly.  BUT, it can keep on cooking in there for the next 13 weeks, I am fine with that! 

This past week I have been so uncomfortable at times.  Sleeping is getting really hard.  Last night I stood by my bed and just looked at it like it was a torture device.  I didn’t want to crawl in and snuggle under the blankets at all because I knew I was in for a night of tossing and turning and not being comfy.  That part is so frustrating.  But during the day I am, for the most part, fine and still loving being pregnant.  It’s all worth it in the end, just praying for a healthy baby.

Yesterday was our first of 3 Thanksgiving meals.  We had the basics – turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, green bean casserole, peas, a relish tray and a fruit salad, YUM!  Dessert was a pumpkin cheesecake.  Something about not having a slice of pumpkin pie to top it all off made it feel not-quite like Tgiving. Luckily I’m in charge of dessert for the next 2 so we’ll be having pie!  The family and conversations were fun, it was a great way to kick off the holiday celebrations!  Next one is the Wednesday night of Tgiving. 




I finished a book this weekend that was really good called ‘It Happened At The Fair’ by Deeanne Gist.  It’s set in the late 1890’s at the World’s Fair in Chicago.  It’s a sweet, subtle love story, really nice.  I’m going to have to find some more of Deeanne Gist’s books. 







This weekend Brennan wanted to tackle learning how to tie shoes.  He put on one of mine and started working on it.  It took him almost no time at all to learn!  I was lazy and let the Kindergarten teacher teach Aiden because I wasn’t sure how to.  With Brennan I broke it down into 2 parts.  First he had to master just making the first knot.  Once he had that down pat (2 minutes flat) we moved on to the ‘loop, pull it around and through’ part.  Again, caught on super quick and just practiced and practiced.  He’s not quite ready to wear shoes with ties that he’s tied himself, needs to work on getting it tighter, but we’re super close!  And just in time, I can barely tie my own shoes already!




Anyone else making plans for their Elf to make it’s grand appearance?  Our Elf, Dynamite, doesn’t come until our Christmas decorations are all up but I’m thinking he’ll drop a letter down the chimney again this year letting the boys know he’s excited to come see them and to tell them what Santa is expecting of them this year.  Brennan has been having problems telling us ‘no’ a lot, and Aiden needs a reminder to do as told, WHEN told and not to argue about it.  We’ll see how that goes.  We have my dad write the letters for us because he has the neatest handwriting of anyone I know.  I’ll snap a picture and share it with you after Dynamite drops it off. 

Have a great Monday and wonderful (fast) week!


Cara Box Reveal

Today I stepped outside to find my Cara Box waiting for me!  What a great way to start the day! 

If you don’t know what the Cara Box is, it’s an exchange between bloggers and non-bloggers that Wiffessionals hosts quarterly.  It’s so much fun getting to know new people and shopping for them.  I love buying gifts for people! 

Cara Box

Pictures of my goodies.


Heather picked some awesome things for me, and I love it all, but my favorite thing in the whole box is this scarf!  OMG, GREEN!!!!  I am already planning my outfit to wear to our first Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, and this is definitely part of it!  I can’t stop looking at it! 

That caramel corn looks dangerous, I might be nice and share it with the boys. Might!

Happy Friday, friends!  Hope you have a great weekend!


A Few Things

Why oh why isn’t there a link up to do today?  I’m totally at a loss for what to write about today.  Guess I’ll go random and see where it takes me.

I found these Oreo’s Monday while shopping with Andy and Brennan.  DANGER DANGER!!!  They are pretty darn good! They taste like the red Andes mints, which are so delicious too!  Buy with caution (and not at all if you’re on a diet!)!  This will be my one and only purchase of these this season, promise!


Monday we got our first snowfall.  It was beautiful!  And felt so Christmassy, especially with the Christmas tunes playing on the radio!  Up in the big big city, where we were when I took this picture, they received about an inch of snow.  Here at home, about a half inch.  There are a few traces of it left but the temps warmed up and the sun came out and melted most of it already.  I’m hoping there’s more where that came from!


I found this awesome burlap star tree topper at our cute little church gift shop last week at their open house.  I love it, but didn’t buy it.  Still thinking about going back and getting it, though. 


I made a couple of cards a week or so ago.  One for Aspen’s 1st birthday and the other for Andy’s parent’s 40th anniversary.  I’m pretty happy with how they both turned out.


That’s all I have for you today.  Have a great Thursday!


My Guest Post–All About Hair!

Well, I was going to be guest posting over at Brew Mama’s great blog but we couldn’t figure out how to get the pics of the hair products to show up on her blog, it just wasn’t working. Boo!  So, I deleted the garb about myself and the rest of this is my post for Alicia. 

Which leads me to today’s topic. It’s all about HAIR! And a quick PSA (Public Service Announcement). YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ALWAYS PUT SOME PRODUCT IN YOUR HAIR BEFORE DRYING IT OR LETTING IT AIR DRY. Not only does the product you use help hold the style you give it, more importantly it helps protect your strands! Everything from your blow dryer and flat iron, to the wind, sun and you running your fingers through your hair can damage it, so put some sort of defense on there to help keep it healthy.

Which products, you ask? Here’s a run down of some of my favorites. And no, they aren’t all professional products!

Let’s start with something else you should be doing to your hair – Deep Conditioning. You should be deep conditioning your hair weekly. Most people don’t do this! Gasp!!! Everyone should do this, but especially anyone who has a chemical process done to their hair (highlights, colors, perms, etc). There are quite a few DC’s to choose from, and it all depends on your hair type and the amount of damage you are trying to correct. It’s best to ask your stylist for some suggestions. Here are a couple of options.

clip_image001Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Conditioner

clip_image002Biolage by Matrix, Conditioning Balm

Now, how do you DC your hair? Wash it with your shampoo, then apply the DC (roots to ends) completely covering each strand. An easy way to make sure of this is to use a wide tooth comb to comb it through your hair. Then put your hair up in a shower cap (super cheap, you can get these at WalMart/Target/Drug Stores) and finish up your shower. Dry off then wrap your head, cap and all, up in your warm towel. Leave it on at least 20 minutes, but you can leave it on even longer if you want (up to an hour). Rinse it out and style your hair as usual. Again, do this weekly.

A natural way to DC your hair is to use Coconut Oil. I have done this and it makes your hair super soft! Instead of reinventing the wheel follow this link to see a tutorial. One thing she forgets to mention is to apply your daily conditioner after you shampoo the coconut oil out.

Now, you’ve deep conditioned your hair, what products should you put in that mane of yours now? Here is a list of some of my favorites.

clip_image003Chi Pearl Complex – oil that you put in your hair before everything else, makes it super soft and smooth! A little goes a long way!

clip_image004Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Leave In Conditioner. No, not a professional product but I love it all the same! I put it in almost every day, especially those days I am using my flat iron to straighten my hair. If you want soft hair, use this!

clip_image005Big Sexy Hair Root Pump – love this stuff for giving me some volume up top!

clip_image006Suave Professionals Mousse – Ok, again with Suave, but I swear this is the best mousse I’ve ever used!!! When you rub it between your hands it stays puffy, doesn’t deflate! I love this stuff!

clip_image007Chi Straight Guard – this is a smoothing cream you put in to, well, smooth! It makes your flat iron sail through your hair and your hair is super smooth and soft. My hair holds curl very well but doesn’t stand a chance holding one when this stuff is in. You’ve been warned!

clip_image008Chi Infra Texture Action Spray – this is versatile. You can use it as a light-weight hairspray or as a thermal spray, meaning to spray it on your hair before you use a heat tool on it (curling iron, flat iron).

clip_image009Kenra Volume Spray 25 – This is, hands down, the best hair spray ever! It has great hold but doesn’t build up on your hair! Love it!

I hope you give a couple of these products a try, I love them all!

Thanks to Alicia for handing the reigns of her blog over to me for a day! I hope you stop by Homemade Happenings and say hello to me soon!


Hair Care Guest Post

Hey all!  Today I’m guest posting over at Brew Mama’s, sharing all of my fav (for the time being!) hair products!  Go check it out!


26 Week Bump Update/I Dreamed A Dream

Hey there! Sorry to have been MIA lately!  Busy busy around here, although not really busy doing anything.  Yesterday Andy had the day off for Veteran’s Day so we had big plans to make a dent in our Christmas shopping.  Well, those plans got changed when poor little Brennie got sick.  Just a bad cold, but boy was it bad!  Sunday night we were making plans on who was taking him to the ER if in the middle of the night it got worse.  I hate that feeling, so scary!  Luckily all the tricks we pulled out of our sleeves helped him and he slept great all night.  But yesterday he woke up still really congested and full of phlegm (I love that word!) so it was a stay home day from school for him.  We took him with us to take Andy’s deer meat in to the locker to get processed and then hit up a couple of stores with Brennie in tow.  I’m not a terrible mother, stop thinking badly of me, he was just fine and felt good enough to go out and about, just not good enough to sit in a classroom all day.  It was fun to have him all to ourselves for the day and to spoil him a bit.

As for my 26 week update, I can sum it up in one sentence: I’m as big as a tank!  And before you jump in with comments about how I am not, etc, you just wait till the 28 week picture I post!  I have totally grown OUT over the past week or so!  Andy even noticed but was nice enough not to say anything until I brought it up.  It’s hard to imagine getting bigger and bigger over the next 14 weeks, that’s a long time to grow!  But this month the baby was supposed to double in weight from 1 pound to 2, and I guess it did!  It’s about 15” long already, which is crazy when you think that’s only another 6” it has to grow to be as long as the boys were when they were born.  I’m almost to my 3rd trimester, which is also hard to believe!  I absolutely love being pregnant, LOVE IT!!! But there are definitely moments that make me a little anxious for February to arrive!  Such as trying to get out of bed.  I should have Andy tape me trying to get out of bed sometime just to give you a good laugh.  It’s even harder when it’s 12:30 a.m. and I’m in a hurry to get out of bed to get to the bathroom and there’s a big body pillow blocking me and the side of the bed! LOL, sheesh, it’s not pretty!  But somehow Andy sleeps through it!

I told you a couple weeks ago that Andy had ‘The Dream’ about the baby and sex of the baby (boy).  I don’t remember having any gender-reveal dreams with the boys but I had one with this baby end of last week!!!  It was so bizarre, and I really don’t remember all the details, but there was a lady in it who read people just by their auras.  She started telling me all kinds of things, none of which I can remember now, but the last thing she told me I do remember. She told me “That baby you’re carrying is a girl.”  Eek!  Now, I am not counting on anything or getting my hopes up or even believing that it was my inner self telling me what this baby is.  Yes, I believe a person ‘just knows’ things, like with our last baby, I just KNEW something was wrong with it, for most of the pregnancy, it was just a feeling, a thought I couldn’t get past.  But with this baby I don’t have a ‘feeling’ about it’s gender at all.  I don’t want to put a lot of stock in this dream and never think of it as a girl.  Just the opposite, actually, I think of it as a boy because I am sure with my track record that is what we are having (still not a feeling, just common sense!).  I even sometimes call the baby the boy names we have picked out, just to try them on for size.  But I’ve never done that with the girl names because it’s too hard to know I will never have a little girly girl to dress up, play with and call my best friend one day.  I look forward to daughter-in-laws. Smile

Tomorrow I will be guest posting over at Brew Mama’s, talking all about my favorite hair products!  I hope you stop over there and check it out!


Holiday Cards For Heroes

I saw this on Facebook last night and reposted it with a status of “I hope this is for real, sounds really great if it is!”  A friend of mine responded with “I checked it out on, it is real!!!”  I was ecstatic!  Please please PLEASE take a minute to send JUST ONE holiday card to this address this year.  THEY MUST BE POSTMARKED BY DECEMBER 6TH!!! The rest of the guidelines are below.

The Red Cross provides these additional guidelines for sending cards to service members:

Ensure that all cards are signed.
Use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.
Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

Also please note that the "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program is for the delivery of holiday cards only. 

Thank you in advance!  I know it would mean so much to every single person who receives one of these cards.  I’m mailing mine out today!


Marriage Isn’t For Me

Happy Tuesday!  Don’t let the title of this post freak you out – I love being married and in that sense it is for me!  There is a blog post floating around FB written by a Seth Adam Smith and I want you all to read it.  Here’s the link: , and if you don’t like visiting weird websites here is the text that I copied and pasted from his blog.  All credit goes to Seth Adam Smith, I didn’t write a word of what’s in Italics below.

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

Marriage is about family.

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

So, what do you think?  I totally agree with this.  I also love the bit about marriage not being 50/50.  Some days it’s 90/10, 30/70, others it’s 100/0.  You give and ‘take’ in different combos, it changes from day to day.  Some days you are giving much more than your spouse because they need you to give more those days. Sometimes those days turn into weeks, but you do it for the one you love. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share what Seth had to say, I think it’s pretty awesome and I’m going to remember this and pass it on to our kids when they are getting married. 

On a much different note, today I am linking up with one of my best girls, Jodi!  I love this link up idea, it’s going to be weekly on Tuesdays (starting today!) so hopefully you’ll join in and answer the q’s too!
This or That Link Up

~A night without the kids, or a night with well behaved kids?

A night with well behaved kids – if they’re being well behaved then there’s no reason to get rid of them, right?

~Full on tantrum in the grocery store, or tantrum in the movie theatre?

Grocery store – I can leave my full cart behind but hate to leave in the middle of a movie I’ve already paid for.

~Runny nose, or runny bum?

Runny nose, hands down!

~Self done haircut, or self done sharpie tattoo?

Sharpie Tattoo – it goes away much quicker than a big old snip out of the bangs!


Have a great Tuesday!


Craft Show/Kitchen/Painting Kind Of Weekend

Good Monday to you!  How was your weekend?  We were busy working on the dining room and kitchen again, but did get a little time to have some fun too. 

Saturday morning Brennan and I met my mom and went to a little craft show the next town over from my hometown.  Unfortunately it was pretty lame, but we made the most of it and had a nice time.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Andy and Aiden started working on the upper cabinets for the kitchen.  That afternoon I started painting the dining room.  Didn’t take long, wasn’t too much to paint.  The color we went with wasn’t one from the swatches we picked out – hated all of those colors once we painted samples on the wall.  Instead, Andy found a full gallon of paint from our previous house in the basement.  It’s a light beige/tan color. We decided that since we already had it we might as well use it, then maybe in a year try to find a color we like then.  Well, we painted that color on the walls and love it!  So we saved money on paint and used up something we already had.  Score! 

Sunday we finally got the cabinets hung up.  They look so great, Andy did an awesome job!  He’s really good with is hands (twss).  The only thing we have left to do is hang the trim.  Not very difficult, just time consuming to cut all of the angled cuts to go around the corners.  And Andy is going to build a shelf to span between two cabinets that will hang over the fridge so it’s not just wasted space up there.  It’ll look really great when he’s done.  Thanks, Love, for prettying up our kitchen!  I love it!  And you! Mwah!

No Baby Aspen today, she’s going to try out her new sitter a few days this week.  So what to do with my free day all to myself??  Well, I have some cards to make, also need to move a few things around in the cabinets to fill the ones Andy put up yesterday.  I should walk on the treadmill.  I should empty and wash out the cabinets in the kitchen then put everything back.  Going to meet my one true love for lunch.  Laundry.  I guess I’ll be busy after all!  Throw a nap in there, hee hee, and it’ll be time to pick the boys up from school. 

Friday night I was reading my Better Homes and Garden magazine, saw an ad in there for some comforters.  Liked one enough to go online to to order one and picked it up yesterday.  LOVE it!!!  It’s reversible so I can change up the look in my bedroom when I get bored.  It’s super warm and squishy, we slept good under it last night!  I almost need to take the extra blanket off the bed.  Maybe that’s because I have a built in heater in my belly these days. 

  Better Homes and Gardens Trieste Comforter Bedding Set

Another busy week in our household this week.  Tonight is Clover Kids for Aiden (the younger version of 4-H), tomorrow is Voting Day (get out there and do your civic duty!), Thursday night I’m going to a Christmas Open House at my church’s gift shop with a friend, then we’re knocking on the weekend’s door again.  Speaking of weekends, we’re to the point where I can list off something we’re doing every weekend between now and Christmas.  Only 6 weekends to go!  And I’m so behind on my shopping, I’m freaking out!  I did get some done this weekend online, felt great.  And using Ebates I’m getting $6 back from just one order!  Love that!  Also went to Goodwill and picked out some hideous coffee cups for my sister – don’t get upset, she told me to!  She wanted some cups for their camper and told me to go to Goodwill and pick out some fun/funky/ugly ones for fun.  So I did as told!  Love that about her, she’s sent me to Goodwill to get her funky crap before, it’s fun to get out of the mall and get something different.  I was so proud of them, brought them home (all 4 are different) and showed them to Andy.  Got to my last one, my fav of them all, and Andy says “OMG (ok, my words, not his)!  My parents used to have these!!”  Ha ha!  Too funny!  And it was UGLY!  So that was fun to get that checked off my list.

Welp, I think I’ve rattled on long enough this morning.  Hopefully by week’s end I’ll have the before and after’s of our kitchen and dining room done for you.

Have a great week!


Woot Woot! It’s NOVEMBER!!!

OMG, I am so beyond excited that it’s NOVEMBER!!!!  I am almost busting out of my skin with excitement!  I love love LOVE Thanksgiving!  And I am already so super excited for Christmas, I’m dying to listen to Xmas music and watch Xmas movies!!!  This year feels so different from last year.  Last year I was pregnant but hated EVERYTHING. I hated music on the radio, anything that was on TV and I was so NOT interested in decorating for the holidays.  I actually sat on the couch and just handed the boys and Andy ornaments to hang on the tree instead of actually participating.  It sucked.  This year I don’t feel like that AT ALL!!!  I am back to my normal self of sending emails out to organize holiday meals, events and get-togethers.  Yes, it’s November 1st, but with everyone’s busy schedules this time of year it’s smart to get those emails out EARLY!!! (Yes, I am a freak! Ha ha!)

The boys had a great Halloween.  This year we skipped the “random house/door to door” bit and just went to family and friends, which worked out so great!  They still ended up with plenty of candy but were also able to make the day of my dad’s aunt and uncle!  They live in the boonies (out in the country) and don’t get many trick or treaters so were thrilled when we pulled in.  That started the night off right, and from then on it was all about spending some time catching up with family and friends.  Definitely the way to go for our family! 


*The funny look on Aiden’s face is because Brennan’s horse is eating ‘him’.  Thought that needed some explanation.*

I never showed you pics of our pumpkin carving evening, so here are a few of those.


Happy Friday, and better yet, HAPPY NOVEMBER!!!