The year in pictures

While going through my reader the other day (Yes, I do go through it on occasion) I happened upon a post from Ashley from My Front Porch Swing and then the same one from Jessica over at Four Plus an Angel and decided to play along! I mean 12 pictures or my favorite posts from the year… how much easier can it get?


January brought Andrew’s first birthday! It seems so long ago but it was only a year…. and what a difference a year makes.


February brings Valentine’s Day… need I say  more?


March and my little girl turned 9 and brought Flat Lauren to the party!


April at my parents house for Easter and the girls were on a scavenger hunt that their grandma puts together every year for them.


May! And my first ever blogging conference! I made the trip…. all2 hrous of it to Holland Michigan for Gleek Retreat where I met some incredible women all from Michigan! That’s me along with Elena from Mommy’s in Timeout and Katie from Sluiter Nation!


In June all three of my girls took part in one of the parades that take place every year during the Curwood Festival. I was a proud mama watching all of them march!


The heat of July is only intensified by sitting by the ball field while you watch your kids play for what seems like hours on end.


August brought another conference for me and this time it was Bloggy Bootcamp. If you ever have a chance to go to one of these GO! Seriously it was incredible! Here I am with so great friends from Michigan! Dutch Being Me, Mommy is in Time Out, Daily Dribbles, and Buried with Children.


First day of school for September of course.


October was warm… on occasion and the day we carved pumpkins the kids all made their way outside and spent the afternoon playing together and carving pumpkins.


Every year in November the high school marching band puts on one final performance of the marching season indoors. Yes, indoors! Where it’s warm & we can enjoy it. It is truly one of the best events during the year.


And that brings us to December. And with it being the holidays and all I bet you’re tired of seeing all those happy holiday type pictures so instead of that I’ve decided to grace you with the Pimp of Greek Town. Now, I have no idea what his name is or if he really is a pimp but I HAD to take a picture of this. We took a trip to Detroit for my daughter’s 16th birthday and I have to say that this was probably the highlight of the day!

So there you have it folks…12 pictures from the past year. I do have to say that I loved going through all the pictures from the year and seeing how the kids have changed and grown, the places we’ve been, and all the fun we had. Picking just one picture for each month was hard because I wanted to share so much more with you all.

How was your year? Have you had time to sit and look back at all your pictures yet?

On being a mom

Before I was a mom there were very few things that I worried about. I was young, carefree, and was enjoying my life from one minute to the next without pondering the future too much. I wandered the mall with friends, shopped, and ate lunch where ever we wanted while evenings were spent bar hopping or at the movies. Summers at the beach and winters hitting the slopes.

As a mom my life changed considerably. Carefree wasn’t part of who I was anymore and the way I thought, acted, and who I was as a whole changed.

There were feelings that would wash over me like no other and they still do. As a mom you are full of joy, love, fear, worry, concern, happiness, and your head will spin in circles as each day passes. It’s a roller coaster ride and one that I never thought that I would be on and one that I am enjoying every minute of.


My days and nights are filled with my children, the little loves of my life.

There are times though that I find myself day dreaming of free time. Time to do whatever I want and whenever I would like to do it and I can’t imagine that I am the only mom that has ever felt that way. But I find a few stolen moments here and there to call my own where I can simple be me again. A few moments to center myself and start again as mom.


I find myself hoping that I’ve done all that I can to show my children how much I love them. I hope that I have taught them well. I hope that I’ve been a good mom. I have so many hopes & dreams for them …. as well as fears, which I think is all part of being a mom.

Being a mom can be the most challenging job out there without a doubt, but it can also be the most rewarding thing that you ever do. I promise!


There are days I wonder if I have even done anything right…. between the fighting, back talking, and the spitting toddler  I find myself wondering where in the world I went wrong. I wonder if I’m cut out for this job of being mom sometimes.


Then it’s the  simple things can brighten a moms day and make her heart swell with joy…. a smile from their baby, laughter from a toddler, an achievement at school, and just about everything in between. From an infant all the way through teenage years there is always something that my children can do or say that makes me smile everyday. It’s the little joys that get me through to the next day.

Without children I don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing. Honestly, it’s something that I haven’t even considered!

Is being a mom everything you thought it would be?

Wordless Wednesday ~ 1 year old

Tomorrow my little guy will be one year old and sometimes it’s hard to believe how fast the first year went by. It feels like I’ve missed something and that it can’t be a year already.

Andrew - 1 yr

Andrew & Cake

Andrew & His Hat

Andrew & His Hat

He didn’t want to really wear the hat! He liked playing with it a lot more so I didn’t get the pictures of him in it that I wanted, but that’s fine. Wrangling a busy 1 year old was a challenge all it’s own!

Making “Me Time” Happen

Single Mom on a Budget Jill is a single mother living in Colorado with her three sons. She works full time, functions as CFO, maid, psychologist, chauffeur and coach, and specializes in maximizing her income through smart, careful budgeting and cost-saving strategies. Her humor and fixation on frugality play out at Single Mom on a Budget.

As the single mom of three boys “me time” is hard to come by.  I mean, those boys are demanding.  Emotionally.   Financially.   Physically.  You name it, they want it.

I also work full-time.  Sometimes going to work is a break from the commotion of home life because at least someone else is “in charge” and I have goals that cannot be put off.  (Unless I want to be a single unemployed mom of three boys. And I really don’t.  But then again, I would prefer not to have to go to work too.  Never satisfied, am I?)

There are days where I believe that I have done more by the time I arrive at work than some do in a full day of work.  And there are also the days where I have used up every ounce of energy just to get out of bed and face the day and yet 16 hours just lie in wait for my sunshine and light.

Every day, the bills are paid and all of my commitments are met.  Okaaay, alright… most of my commitments are met.  The important ones… like feeding the kids, making sure homework is done and sweeping the floor.

It is fair to say that “me time” doesn’t just fall in my lap so commitments that I make to myself, FOR myself, are pushed aside more often than not.  There are nights where I lay in bed wide awake at 1am because my mind is putting together all of the pieces of what needs to take place over the next few days.  Trying to figure out how I’m going to get the teenagers to different places at the same time and get my 7 year old picked up from after-school care.  I can’t even find me time at bedtime.

Me time is important.  When I’m exhausted and emotionally spent I am not a good mother.  I am not a good person.  My kitten doesn’t get her treats my plants don’t get watered. It really isn’t pretty.  When I start to savor time stuck in traffic, I know it’s time.

I have to make time.  Sometimes it is just a matter of curling up on the couch and reading a book or watching a movie.  Sometimes it is treating myself to a pedicure.  Sometimes it is a massage.  Sometimes the best me time is a nap in the middle of the day!  Sometimes it is making plans with friends (and actually following through).

One time I lost my identity so badly I went back to school. It was awesome and incredibly rewarding and I found myself again.  When I was satisfied that I was accomplishing “something”; I quit.  Not quit as in gave up, but quit as in put it aside.  In hindsight I pushed me time to an extreme by going back to school, probably not something I’ll do again anytime soon (I hope).  At the same time, if I hadn’t done it I probably would have ended up in a room with white walls, crayons and 3 square meals a day.

Raising kids is an accomplishment in and of itself, but it’s hard.  It is largely a thankless journey.  And it’s a helluva lot of work!  With being a single mom and doing everything by myself it is terribly easy to get caught up in being “Mom”.  I mean I hear it 52,728 times per day so how can I be anything else?

No matter what IT is – book, movie, Vegas or a pedicure – I have to make IT happen.  After my back to school stint I recognize that balance is important.  For my own sanity.  My boys aren’t going to go off the deep-end if I leave for a few hours.  And frankly, even though I am the coolest mom ever, I think they would rather that I have me time than not.

Truthfully, even though I have spent the last few minutes whining about how hard life is, I have it pretty good. I have a good career because I made IT happen.  I have good kids because I work hard at being a good mom and that includes me time.  Thus far, I have avoided crayons and white walls although the thought of someone else feeding me three times a day does have its appeal.

Make “me time” happen, no matter what it is.  How do you get your “me time” in?


Another Bad Mom Moment….

So, needless to say I won’t be getting the Mom of the Year Award anytime soon! I seem to have these moments every now and again. And they’re more often than I’d like them.

Here’s the story….

I work full time and my day starts at 5:30 am and usually ends around 9pm when I finally get to sit down and relax. That’s a long damn day! This past week at work has been one challenge after another and more meetings then necessary! There were interruptions, changes to priorities, and confusion added to my projects. Honestly it sucked.

Today wasn’t the best day. With the holiday weekend coming up we’re planning on going camping for the weekend which adds a bit more work for me which isn’t to bad since the camper doesn’t get fully unpacked till the end of the season. This was supposed to be a family thing. Today my daughter calls and says she wants to go up north with her friend and that she really wants to go because she hasn’t been able to do anything with this friend all summer. I understand. Really I do. When I was her age I would have rather gone with a friend instead of my parents too. But it kind of upset me because I was hoping for a nice weekend with the whole family.

With all the frustration I ended up taking it out on my daughter. I snapped at her and wasn’t very nice. And it all came up before I knew it and then it was to late. I feel horrible. I tried to talk to her. I tried to apologize. But she was mad/upset with me and didn’t want much to do with me.

I have to get better at not taking my frustrations out on my kids. They don’t deserve it. They didn’t do anything wrong (ok… sometimes they do) and it isn’t fair to them.

The question is how do I do this? What can I do to change things so I don’t take my frustration out on them? I suppose that like any change that you make in your life it takes time and effort.

Wish me luck! And maybe someday I will get that Mom of the Year Award!!