Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 26

Day 26 – Your Week, in great detail


That topic would take forever. Did you see my day in detail yesterday??!!

Why write about that when I can do something way more fun:

Day 26 – Your Week, in great detail
Day 26 – Nora's First Time Trick or Treating!

This also works for me since it's a mostly picture entry. :) Enjoy!

Grammie Cheri made Nora a duck costume! It was great. We just zippered her in, loaded up the wagon, and took off for 15 minutes of Trick-or-Treating.

Yeah right, 15 minutes!! It took us more like 45 with all the stops we made to chat. This is Nora talking to one of her BFF's, Tally the dog.

We broke out the milk cup so she would sit down in the wagon without us strapping her in . . .

. . . it was a good thought. :)

On one stop she enjoyed some marshmallows from our neighbors Susan and Joe.

When we got back we all enjoyed some candy (the rest we put in the bowl to hand out. We are all on diets here folks!!) Nora enjoyed her first sucker.

She also helped hand out candy by taking a whole bunch of pieces out of the bowl and putting them on the ground. Because that's how we roll.

Nora played outside while we encouraged Trick-or-Treaters to "just take handfuls". It was almost bedtime for sleepy duckies.

And that's that! :) All in all, it was a seriously fun family night. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 25

Day 25 - Your Day, In Great Detail

Woke up at 7:45 (BLISS!) Took a shower. Got out of shower and playfully asked my husband where he slept last night (he fell asleep on the couch playing video games!!) He laughed and laid down to go back to sleep on the bed.

Went to get up Nora, changed her diaper. Fed her a banana and cereal bar for breakfast, and took my pills. Made 2 eggs for Cory and I, and double fiber toast for me. Ate with the family.

Went to blow-dry my hair while Cory cleaned Nora up. Nora ran into the bathroom with her Halloween costume on and said "Heyyyy!!" Came out to the living room with Nora, took off her costume so she wouldn't ruin it before trick-or-treating, and made coffee and played with Nora. Drank the coffee while checking my email. Sat on couch for awhile and continued to drink coffee. Said bye to Cory when he left to go the firehouse and played more with Nora. Started a load of laundry and re-set what was in the dryer.

Put Nora down for a nap at 9:30. Went to fold laundry, but she was crying. Went in to see her - she had lost the binky. Gave it back to her and she went to sleep. I folded laundry and put some of it away. Called to see if my hairstylist had an appointment left for today. She did not, so I scheduled one for Tuesday. Researched possible new hairstyles online. Found out that the "virtual makeover" websites are pretty useless.

Cleaned out my purse and packed it up for running errands. Flat-ironed my hair and finished putting on make-up. Got dressed. Picked out clothes for Nora to wear today.

Sat down to update my Weight Watchers online and start writing this. Wrote all the way up until this point and saved it. :)

Nora woke up (crying and cranky) and got her ready to go run errands. We went to the bank to deposit money, and then went to Subway for lunch. Nora had a deli turkey and I had a chicken breast salad. Then we walked to Wal-Mart, Nora trying very hard to point out all the letters she saw as we went (they were all letter E). At Wal-Mart we got about a million things. :) Nora made friends with a girl at the fabric counter, and said "hi" to everyone. It was busy! We saw Ms. Marilyn on the way out and stopped to chat. Then we went to the Chef Shoppe to look for a Christmas present. After that we went to Target and walked all over looking for a Woolite rug stick, which we finally found after I gave up looking for it!

We drove through the major traffic on Main Street, due to trick or treating. Nora made it home just in time to fall asleep for a nap. I unpacked everything, went to the bathroom, updated Weight Watchers online, and updated this entry! Then I laid down to take a nap, but really ended up just getting caught up on my DVR-ed T.V.

Nora woke up after a few hours in a great mood, so we each had a snack and she played for awhile. I got her ready to go outside and play and we went outside to play. She played in the yard for a little bit, and then we walked over and talked to Kara and Brayden and Adam. Then we went and talked to Natalie and Nathan. Then we came back to our yard and played outside. I came in to make dinner and cleaned up while dinner thawed.

Then I cooked dinner for everyone. I thought I ruined it because I broiled fish for the first time. Usually I fry it in a pan or bake it in the oven, but broiling it seemed to be the option of choice on all the recipe sites. It ended up being pretty good! I also steamed some broccoli, made Nora a grilled ham and cheese, and thawed some home-made chili for Cory and I that I froze about a month ago. YUM!

We cleaned up and got ready to go Trick-or-Treating! Nora was a duck this year. :) She was VERY cute - although at first she was kind of warm in her outfit because who expected Halloween to be so warm?? Anyway, we got her loaded up in the wagon and took her around to all the neighbors that we know and went “around the block” visiting other folks we know and some we didn’t. Then we came back to the house and Nora had her first sucker and “helped” us hand out candy. She almost got trampled by a hoard of kids at one point, but it was OK. We came in when we ran out of candy and helped her get ready for bed. Then we snuggled on the couch for a little bit.

Nora and daddy went to bed at about 8:30 (Cory has to work tomorrow). I went next door to have a few beers with the neighbors. I think I must be up to about 20 Weight Watchers points since Trick-or-Treating started . . .

And that’s my day. GOOD NIGHT!

Until next time . . .

Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 24

Day 24 - Where We Live

We live in a little lake community. Say what you will about it - out in the country, not next to any highways, takes you forever to get anywhere - I love it. I love where I live.

This is our house a few months after we moved in. On the outside it doesn't look all that different today. If you want the rundown - it's a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with a full unfinished basement, cathedral ceilings, 2 car-garage, nice fenced backyard, and upstairs laundry room. Typical house really.

The inside we have made a LOT of changes, and it really took looking at the old pictures for me to see how much things have changed. This was the way the old owners had the living room:

And this is a photo from the exact same spot today. (When I am babysitting. Be kind in your judgment about the mess!):

Pretty different! That's just a sample of the change - I could do many MANY before and after photos. Maybe someday I will do a few more. :)

Anyway, that's our house. Our neighborhood is the perfect fit for us as well. We were looking for a place where "everyone knows your name", and we found it. People here were so welcoming form the get-go. Love, LOVE our neighbors!!

I guess that's about it! Until next time . . .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 23

Day 23 - A YouTube Video

I don't really like this entry. A YouTube Video?? Really??!!

In order to come up with something, I went to my email inbox(es) and searched "YouTube". This is what came up:

Evolution of Dance
Jadrien sent us this so we could watch it for her wedding . . . because the whole wedding party (including my big old preggo butt) danced to it for the wedding party dance at the reception.

Also this came up:

The Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody
Enjoy! I know I did. :)

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 22

Day 22 - A Website

For your enjoyment, Whitaker recommended websites:

Cory recommends He says its a technology website where they test and rate different new technology. Never used it myself, but something to check out. Cory is always on top of new technology!

I recommend LOVE this site so stinking much. It has tons of folks on it selling handmade items of all kinds. Someday I should be a seller on it. Yes I should. No idea what I will sell. Knowing me it will not be just one thing. :)

Have a great one!

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 21

Day 21 - A Recipe

I love Paula Deen. I want to be her when I grow up. :) The woman is so funny and charismatic and fantastic cook. Living in the shadow of my mom and sister (who are both excellent cooks naturally) I have had to practice in order to get somewhat good at cooking. I now consider myself to be fairly decent, thanks to practice.

I started Weight Watchers for the first time this week, and I have had to re-vamp a lot of the things I cook already to make them healthier. Paula Deen is famous for "loving her some butter". I love me some sugar. Well, we have heart issues and diabetes in the Bennett and Whitaker families folks. So that has to change. Cory and I are pretty committed (at the moment) to getting healthier. We are each on different diets, and I am planning a side-by-side gym/play area downstairs so Cory and I can work out while watching the kids (hopefully!) Anyway, Paula Deen's sons (the Deen brothers, Jamie and Bobby) were on Dr. Oz yesterday and they had some great healthy recipes on the show.

This is their recipe that I am cooking for tonight. It is between 7 and 9 points according to Weight Watchers. The point value will depend on how many servings it makes - I am only using 1 lb. of turkey. I am also not eating the burger with bread, and I am using homemade tortillas chips that I made myself with low-carb tortillas last night (they are only about half a point per tortilla!) I am pretty excited about this meal. :) Check it out, maybe it's up your alley. I will definitely let you all know how it turns out.

Turkey Black Bean Burger With Zucchini Fries by the Deen Brothers

Serves 6-8


1 1/4 lbs ground turkey

1 (15-oz) can black beans

1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

1 tsp The Lady’s House Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup prepared salsa

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 avocado

Zucchini fries:

1 medium-sized zucchini, julienned

1/4 cup olive oil (for frying)

Salt & ground black pepper


In a large bowl, combine the turkey, beans, tortilla chips, house seasoning, chili powder, and cumin. Use your hands to form the mixture into 8 equal-size patties. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook the patties for 4-5 minutes per side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Transfer the patties to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. In a small bowl, mix together the salsa, corn, and avocado. Spoon the salsa mixture over the burgers.

For the fries, preheat oven to 350 ° F. Spray a cookie sheet or large baking pan with olive oil. Season the julienned zucchinis with salt, and peppers. Let rest for 15 minutes. Lay each piece of coated zucchini on the tray. Do not overlap. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the fries cool slightly before eating.

Recipe courtesy of the Deen Brothers.

EDIT: These turned out OK. I think next time I will halve the beans and put in some more seasoning of some kind. Cory said there was "not much to them" and I kind of agree. Oh well. I still had three points left for an awesome snack tonight! :) WOOT!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 20

Day 20 - A Hobby of Yours

My hobbies are pretty straightforward: being crafty, making jewelry, reading, cooking. I don't always have time to do all these, but they all get done to some degree at some point.

Cory's hobby is playing video games. I would also say working out and looking into being healthy is a hobby for him. He wants to be as healthy as possible, but his will power gets the best of him sometimes. However, I would also say, his willpower is stubborn as heck sometimes! Take mowing the lawn for example:

The guy will not buy a riding lawnmower, or even take a used one when it's offered to him for free. He wants to get the exercise from push-mowing. He's nuts like that. :) lol

Nora's hobbies? . . . The same as any toddler's hobbies really. Reading books with mommy, testing her limits, dancing to music, etc.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 - A Talent of Yours

Hmmmm, toughie.

I would say my talent is being creative. I am not very good at anything, however I am pretty good at a lot of things because of this. Also, I am a decent cook, most of the time. :)

Cory says his talent is that he can wiggle his ears. I disagree with him that this is a talent. You decide.

Nora is a fairly decent drummer, and a great dancer! I would say those are her talents, but it's a little early to tell.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 18

Day 18 - My Wedding/Future Wedding/Past Wedding

Easy peasy:

Our wedding say was AH-MAZE-ING. Up until the day Nora was born it was truly the best day of my life, and now it is tied for the best day in my life. There are few words that would do this day true justice - plus I don't exactly have the time today that that would require - so let me just say that it was a very meaningful, special day and I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Until next time . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 17

Day 17 - An Art Piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc.)

i do create nice things from time to time. lately, this is all the "art" i have been able to muster. in fact, it's not exactly "art" but . . .

I have taken up doodling. :) it's something that I did all throughout college to keep my sanity, and now I do it at Tri-Cor. This, dear folks, was created just for YOU on my last shift.

I know. You are moved to tears.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 16

Day 16 - A Song That Makes You Cry (Or Nearly)

Funny that this journal entry would come up now. About a month ago, I don't think I would have been able to answer it very well (although "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" gets me a little weepy, as does "Wish You Were Here". Also "This is a Call" by Thousand Foot Krutch. There is also one that comes to mind that played after my great-grandpa's funeral and made me cry and cry, but for the life of me I cannot remember what song it was. I wish I could because it would fit this category well.)

The first time I heard the following song, I could not listen to it all the way, and I still cannot do it. The other songs listed above, I can listen to. This one I have to turn off. Well, OK, I listen to the intro because I like it, but then I CHANGE. THE. STATION. It's impossible for me to listen to a song about a daughter dying and shining down on her mother. I simply cannot hear it. Maybe before Nora was born, but definitely not now.

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh, uh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She'll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

And I’ll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little, cold finger, I’ve
Never known the lovin' of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand, there’s a
Boy here in town says he’ll, love my forever
Who would have thought forever could be severed by
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I’ll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when your dead how people start listenin’

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ‘em in your pocket
Save them for a time when your really gonna need them, oh

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls

Now, tell me you mommas out there aren't sad.

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 - Your Dream House

We live in it. :)

OK, seriously, our house and neighborhood are fantastic (and become a little more fantastic every year) but this is not our dream home. We haven't really given a whole lot of thought to it, if you want the truth, because it's likely WAYYYY far down the line. But, if we could have what we wanted here and now . . .

Our dream home goes something like this:

*TREES (as opposed to one gigantic tree!)
*Log Cabin-style
*4 bedrooms or so
*a few big dogs
*rustic-style with lots of big windows and cedar and a fireplace
*Probably on some water
*Cory says: "a big-ass game room with lots of arcade cabinets" :)
*I say "Tons of built-in shelves, LARGE closets, cute decor, lots of things from Pottery Barn, a big ass kitchen with lots of lighting and a HUGE SINK, a mommy-only art studio, a wrap-around screened-in porch, a nice outside area for the kids, a pool, and a FREAKIN' PLAYROOM, among other things" :) not hard to please, am I??
*Nora agrees with me on the playroom thing. :)

That's about it really.

I only very recently started keeping pictures that I really like on my computer of cute homes. The funny thing is that they are all labeled "WANT". The other funny thing is that they are all pictures of in-the-wall storage. :) These are the ones I have:

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 - A Non-Fictional Book

Being a history major, I've read a lot of non-fictional books (well, I guess they are mostly categorized as non-fiction. It's hard for anyone to report history and remain completely unbiased.)

Having said that, the non-fiction book I am writing on today is . . .
"Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Lowen.

The subtitle of this book is: "Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong". This book explains how a lot of textbooks gloss over the truth to make Americans look better. Meaning we didn't "discover a New World" - rather it existed and we destroyed it. Meaning most Americans couldn't tell you a thing about the Vietnam War because it is almost written out of most textbooks due to the controversy surrounding it (and indeed none of the textbooks profiled in this book showed any Americans doing anything wrong in Vietnam). This book puts a lot of "unmentionable" truth out there that many textbook writers just gloss over.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how to objectively look at American History. It's tough for any American to do, but we're better because of it.

"He is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins." --Frederick Douglass

Until next time . . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 13

Day 13 - A Fictional Book

The Lord of the Rings (all three parts)

"Tolkien's stories take place against a background of measureless depth . . . That background is ever-present in the creator's mind, and it gives Frodo and company a three-dimensional reality that is seldom found in this kind of writing." --Washington Post Book World

"J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy remains the ultimate quest, the ultimate battle between good and evil, the ultimate chronicle of stewardship of the earth. Endlessly imitated, it never has been surpassed." --Kansas City Star

I mentioned awhile ago on Facebook that I was reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy (LOR), starting with "The Hobbit". I picked these to mention today because usually the task of giving book opinions in this family falls to me. :)

As far as books go, I am a fast reader. Very fast. That is because I usually end up skimming books quite a bit to get through all the stuff that some would call "good descriptive writing", but in reality it's just unimportant crap that does nothing to further the storyline. LOR has a lot of text, but it is generally important, or at the very least interesting. It took me a LONG time to read these books - no only because there is over a thousand pages of tiny print, but because I was fascinated and had to read every word.

This is one of the most intensely creative and depth-filled series I have ever read. Is it confusing here and there? Yes. Some of the characters and places have more than one name. I had to constantly look in the back of the third book at the more than 100 pages of appendixes to clarify something, or look at the map to determine where the characters were, or re-read to make sure that i understood what exactly a passage meant. But the story was interesting enough that those things didn't matter - those things made the story better. Had I known in advance that I would be doing all of that, I may not have read these books - and I would have robbed myself of an excellent story.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, October 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 - Something You Are OCD About

I define this as: something you MUST do over and over again. Here are our answers:

I (Leah) absolutely must buy and use the 99 cent bottles of Dawn dish soap. If you are not sure which ones I am talking about, it's this one:

Best. Deal. Ever. I am a Dawn dish soap fan in general, but the 99 cent bottle goes a long way. Not only do I use it to do my dishes, but I also use it when I - the Chapstick ADDICT - occasionally dry a tube of Chapstick in the dryer. Takes the spots right out of our clothes. I asked my mom to get me dish soap one time, and she brought over this bottle of Joy, or something like that. It was not the same. I purposefully used it up fast so that I could go buy my Dawn dish soap.

Cory says he's OCD about how he backs his car in the driveway and I totally agree. It always has to be ready to go forward at a moment's notice.

See? That was taken just now. He's ready to go. I guess it comes from being a volunteer firefighter. He gets a page on his pager and he's gone a minute later. And of course it's always at dinnertime.

"Nora is too young to be OCD." You are saying this. You are wrong. Nora is a creature of habit, just like you and me, despite her young age.

After her bath each night, Nora HAS to go find her blankie. She knows that it's almost bedtime and she goes hunting for it.

First she goes to her bed, and if it's in there and she can reach it, she pulls it out through the bars. The girl is a mini-Linus. I dread losing this blankie.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 - A Photo Taken of You Recently

This is kind of cheating but . . .

If you would like to see photos of us recently, head on over to, click on "ordering", and scroll down to "Nora" and click on it. Do this before Monday.

Aren't we so cute? :)

Until next time . . .

Friday, October 15, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 10

Day 10 - A Photo Taken Over 10 Years Ago of You

Well, I have been searching for a few days to find some really good old photos. Unfortunately, all of Cory's photos from over 10 years ago are buried in our basement, and all of mine are likely down there somewhere too.

So, since I am trying to be productive today and NOT spend all my time doing one entry in my online blog, I am settling for a photo that is "almost" 10 years old:

I will be the first to admit that this photo was probably taken in 2001, maybe even 2002. This is Cory and I in the beginning - young, skinny, and wayyyyy cuter. :) I could have put one of our prom pictures on here, but they don't even RESEMBLE us anymore . . . lol

Also, since Nora was not even born 10 years ago, here is her a little over a year ago:

Isn't that funny? The girl hasn't changed a bit! NOT A BIT!! :)

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 9

Day 9 - A Photo You Took

HA. I have to pick ONE??

I spend a lot of time taking photos now that my daughter is here, and if you are reading this, you have likely seen all my favs. I don't keep them to myself.

Cory never EVER takes photos, and Nora would probably eat the camera and then set it to only take pictures of people when they are not smiling or something. (If it's possible, Nora could inadvertently do it. Did I mention that our surround sound remote does not work because Nora and Super Why got a hold of it one day?? It's a remote and one of them somehow made it NOT FUNCTION as a remote. What the heck . . . )

Anyway, I will take this opportunity to brag on my friends and family a bit. Here are some pics I have taken of things other people have made/designed:

My BFF Jadrien designed this bridesmaid bouquet for my sister's wedding. Even after the wedding, this bouquet was still in great shape! She has now started her own bridal bouquet business. Search for Timeless Wedding Impressions on Facebook to see more.

My mother-in-law did this above her bed in her bedroom. Isn't it unique and cute??!!

My sister is the culinary genius of the family, and she designed this cake for a friend's baby shower. Since then, she's designed a TON of cakes. This is one of my favs.

And last, but not least, some jewelry designed by . . . ME! :) This is a little hobby that I picked up this year, and would do plenty more of if it wasn't so expensive. This set I designed to compliment the dress my mom wore in my sister's wedding.

Until next time . . .

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 8

Day 8 - A Photo That Makes You Angry/Sad

This was hard for me. I usually avoid what makes me angry or sad.

I ended up picking this picture. While it makes me feel sad, it also makes me feel proud. I guess it counts anyway!

This picture is a copy of an original. I had to have a copy as soon as I saw it. It's my Grandpa Don and Great-Grandpa Jack just back from a fishing trip, likely about the time when Great-Grandpa Jack was just beginning to build the family cabin. I love it because I never really knew either of them like this - young, spry, and almost cheeky. Also I love it because of all that's unspoken in this photo: it's two of my forefathers likely returning from the cabin they built with their own hands. I can fully imagine the smell as well - these men likely haven't bathed in a few days, and the fish have likely been sitting in an unlucky container of some sort that was full of ice and will probably will never smell the same again. Also, this picture is in front of the house my great-grandpa bought for $700 and dug out a basement in. (Yes, you read that right. He dug out a basement in an existing house. And, in case you are curious, that house is STILL STANDING.) If there ever was an "Old Homestead" - this is it.

This photo makes me sad because my grandpa died very young (when I was 8) and all I really remember of him is his voice. It sounded a lot like my great-grandpa's voice (he died in 2003 at the age of 98 - almost 99.) The fact that Grandpa Don died so young is always overshadowed in my mind by the blessing that my great-grandpa lived to be so old. But it makes me sad in my heart. I don't remember much of how sad everyone was at my Grandpa's funeral, but I remember all too well (enough to bring me to tears as I type) the sadness at my Great-Grandpa's funeral. These men sure are missed.

I feel almost bad sometimes because my sister often refers to me as "the only one of the cousins that even remembers Grandpa Don". Wow, have I done all my cousins an injustice - only really remembering his voice! Photos help me stir those past memories a little better, but I wish I could remember more.

This journal entry is especially relevant today because I have been doing a little research into my family history this week. Someone (I think it was my mother-in-law or one of the folks on Cory's side of the family) gave me a "Family Tree" book for Christmas, and I am determined to fill it out as completely as I can with as much info as I can gather from both Cory's family and mine. This year I also have been collecting family recipes from both sides for my daughter to have when she's older.

History, and preserving it, is important to me. I didn't major in it for nothing (although I bet my dad and my husband would probably beg to differ on that point.) I have always felt like it's my unspoken duty to collect and preserve information and items from my family history. I hope I have enough history collected and in my own head to make a real dent in that book . . . hmmm. I may need a bigger book!

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 - A Photo That Makes You Happy

This photo is our very first EVER family photo. While I am a little appalled at how swollen I am in this photo (thanks to the 40 pounds of water weight I gained while pregnant PLUS the 10 pounds they pumped into me while I was in labor), this is the moment our lives changed forever.

For those who didn't know - about a year before this photo was taken (the previous August), I had a miscarriage. I can talk about it now and not feel ashamed or like I want to start crying, however that event is still a big hole in my heart to this day. I still mourn for that Child that wasn't. Also for the Absolute Silence inside my body after it happened.

That is perhaps why I feel Nora is a huge miracle. She Is. And this is the picture that to me describes how amazing that day was for me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 6

Day 5 - 20 of Our Favorite Things

Here they are roughly:

My Favs:
Books of any kind
Beauty in it's purest form (art, random acts of kindness, etc.)

Nora's Favs:
Kids books
Kitties/puppies/anything furry really

Cory's Favs:
Learning the truth.
Learning the lies.
Learning the theories.
Learning your thoughts, and understanding/changing mine.
Experiencing life as I have worked so hard to make it.
Simply put…learning. I truly hope that the day I stop learning is the day I cease to live.

Family Favs:
Being outside on a nice day
Eating out
Our Families

Sunday, October 10, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 5

Day 5 - Your favorite Quote

I have a list of favorite quotes on my Facebook page. These two mean a lot to me recently:

"He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait." --The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
I love this quote because: isn't that the truth?? Think about what goes through your mind when you are about to get a shot or get blood drawn. I don't know about you all, but I have to mentally ready myself for it. I love how this quote expresses how important mental preparedness is to any huge endeavor.

"At the end of the day, all you really own is your integrity." --One Tree Hill
I just head this the other night, and I was excited because this is something I have been trying to put into words myself for a LONG time. I usually end up saying: "At the end of the day, you have to be happy with who you are and the choices you have made." Sometimes it's hard for me to accept things the way they are in my life (admittedly to both my benefit and my detriment) and this quote helps me remember what's important. You have to be able to be happy when you look yourself in the mirror each day.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 9, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 4

Day 4 - Your Favorite Book

I don't have a favorite book really, save the Bible. I just like to read a whole lot of everything. For a long time, my favorite book was "The Handmaid's Tale", but then I rediscovered children's books. I. LOVE. KID'S. BOOKS!!! Nora and I sometimes go to Border's, and she runs around while I read books. Then I pick some and read them to her. Then she runs around some more while I talk myself out of buying about $200 worth of books. Then I remember: "oh wait! I have a coupon!" and think seriously about buying at least one book. Then I remember how much crap is usually on my living room floor, and how many books "Nora" (*snort*) already has, and the book goes back on the shelf. Seriously, we do this like twice a week.

Cory's not awake right now, so I can't ask him if I was right about yesterday's guess, but I DO already know his favorite book. Are you ready? Here we go . . .

He doesn't read, except for comic books and what's on the internet, and those don't count. :)

Nora loves "The Monster at the End of This Book" and "Peek-A-Who". Honestly, when we read these books to her, her face is something like this:

Cute huh? :) Seriously, that is the look. (Side Note: You can *ALMOST* see her two front teeth in this picture. They are coming in at a SNAIL'S pace, but they are coming!!)

Until next time . . .

Friday, October 8, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 3

Day 3 - Your Favorite Television Program

Where to begin?
Glee, Scrubs, Jeopardy!, The Legend of the Seeker, Royal Pains, Avatar: The Last Airbender, One Tree Hill, and Secret Life of the American Teenager. Am I missing anything? No, I think not. :) I don't watch T.V. all the time but when I do, it's THESE shows and little else. There may be 5 or so others that I DVR and watch when I have extra time to boob-tube, but I would be alright without them.

I am giving Cory a break from asking "what's your favorite this-and-that" and taking a wild guess on his favorite show . . . "The Big Bang Theory". (I will let you all know if I guessed right!) Anyway, we both could watch that show for Sheldon alone - the guy is so funny he's about made us pee our pants several times. For example:

"Sheldon, I am just telling you a few things I think you need to know."
"I have a Master's degree and two Doctorates. Everything I should know, I *DO* know."


Nora's favorite show to watch is probably "Super Why!" on PBS Kids.

She just loves the songs. She also watches "Wheel of Fortune" with me every other night or so before bed during cuddle time.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, October 7, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 - Your Favorite Movie

My favorite movie is probably . . . The Sandlot. Granted , I have a lot of favorites, but this one is probably the BEST. I watched this movie about a billion and one times as a child - because I had a crush on the lead actor. Nowadays, I just realize how awesome it truly is. I have it completely memorized and I quote it all the time. Particularly with Nora - "You're KILLIN' me Smalls!" S'mores will never be the same again, and every year on the 4th of July when we are at GMC Stadium I think of the "one night game a year" and all those kids looking up with their mouths hanging open. Classic, classic movie.

Cory's getting annoyed with me asking him about all these questions already, but he was a good sport and did share one of his favorite movies with me: "The Game". He says it makes you think. I think it's just because it has Michael Douglas, whom Cory is a huge fan of.

Nora of course cannot sit through a movie, she's one year old. She doesn't exactly have the biggest attention span yet.

Of course, if Nora could watch kitties on T.V. all the time, that would just rock her world.

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge

What better way to start a blog then with a 30-day blog challenge?

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

I have two that fit this category:

The first is my current favorite song which is "As She's Walking Away" by the Zac Brown Band. I love the ZBB period - they have quickly become one of my all-time favorite bands. This song doesn't really have any special meaning to me, but I really enjoy the harmony and the clever lyrics. Plus, it's a song I am happy to have stuck in my head all day long. Great song.

My all-time favorite song is probably "Rain King" by Counting Crows. That song makes me feel good to sing it, plus I have happy memories that come to mind when it plays.

When I asked Cory about his favorite song, he said "Today by The Smashing Pumpkins . . . because today is always the greatest day I’ve ever known." Isn't that wonderful? I love that attitude. :) He's such a music lover, so when I say his favorite song, you know it's probably a good one.

Nora's favorite song is probably "If You're Happy and You Know It" or "3 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". But if you ask me - overall, she has excellent music taste. She moves her head and dances around to all different kinds of songs. One that comes to mind is "Birthday" by The Beatles. If she hears music playing anywhere in the house, she stops everything to listen. Particularly if it's a song she likes. She is definitely a musically-inclined kid, and it will be very interesting to see where that takes her in life.

Until next time . . .