Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Not Fair

The same night G fell asleep crying "It's not fair" because he wants to load all our things into the car and move back to our house, I found out where Annie's been.

A while back, through means of social media (aka twitter), I found this blogger who is not only an excellent writer, but someone whose writing I could really relate to. You may remember me sharing this post a while back.

Well, I've known for a while that something was up when she completely disappeared from twitter. She's still active on her Facebook page, though, so I'd occasionally get updates there. (Thanks, Zuckerberg, for the inconsistent newsfeed that now has only about 10 of my 200+ friends & likes showing up regularly.) Anyway, thanks to Facebook & blog updates, I've known she's been stressed over some medical testing she's had. Then, the results came. Then, she shared them with us.

Annie, who blogs at Real Mommy Chronicles, who is my age, who has two young children like me, has cancer. Cancer is cancer. There's bad and very bad. In the past month, two people I know have died from different cancers, and two other people I know are still waiting for the all-clear.

(Here is the blog post where she shares this news: http://realmommychronicles.com/?p=1929)

Cancer is not a respecter of persons. It does not only attack the weak, the poor, the unknown. And it's not fair. It shouldn't exist. Wouldn't life be great if it didn't?

There are no guarantees in life, and no guarantee in fighting cancer. Annie is as strong as they come, though. I have every confidence and hope she'll pull through this.

I am a strong believer that a positive outlook and strong hope are key in beating big illnesses (along with appropriate treatments, of course). Will you please join me, along with her readers, friends, and family? Pass along a few words of encouragement and well wishes. Most importantly, share hope. 

Blog: realmommychronicles.com
FB: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-Mommy-Chronicles/154699764579362
Twitter: http://twitter.com/RealMommyChron

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Letting the cat out of the bag...

Once upon a time, I started this blog - a secret from my husband as well as everyone else I know in real life. A few months down the road, I shared my blog with my sister-in-law (the one who had encouraged me to start this from the beginning). I enjoy the anonymity, and I REALLY enjoy not having to worry about offending or embarrassing my husband, but secrets are hard to keep. And they cause wrinkles and grey hairs. And let's face it - I'm not getting any younger.

When I told my SIL about the blog, I made a promise to her and to myself that I would proudly (if not meakly) share this blog (or at least the knowledge that it exists) with my husband once I reach 100 GFC followers. Well... we're there. As I prepare to let him in on this little secret, could you help a girl out? Share this blog with anyone and everyone you think might enjoy what I've got going on here. Encourage people that do to join the blog via GFC, like the page on Facebook, follow me on Google+, and/or follow me on Twitter. The more proof I have that people are genuinely interested in this little blog of mine, the less grief my anti-blogging husband can give me for this.

Help my marriage. Let's get this out in the open.

To show my appreciation to you, and to celebrate an end to this secret, I'm giving away a $20 Credit to my Etsy shop. And just to help sweeten the pot for DH, I've added an entry option for Facebook fans of his company, Vivid Frame Media. Maybe he'll appreciate that (maybe he won't).

Giveaway runs from November 19- November 30. Open to US & Canada! Please refer to Giveaway Rules.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful for Fluff Wrap-Up

Before I officially announce the winner of the Thankful for Fluff giveaway winner, I wanted to share what you are all thankful for. I really do believe that gratitude journals help us to be more content and appreciative of the great things we have in our lives. So here we go:

Anonymous - I'm thankful for life! 
  1. Fiddlin' Dandi - I'm so thankful for my wonderful family!
  2. evolker - I am thankful for the cooler weather :) Being pregnant in the summer is not much fun!!!
  3. Knocked Up and Nursing - Thankful for our new baby!
  4. Corinne - Thankful that we have a washer/dryer in home, finally. 
  5. Bekah Kuczenski - I'm thankful for my family :) 
  6. Tiffany Wright - I am thankful for my baby that is due in April, I am also thankful for my incredibly supportive husband and all of our family.
  7. Shannon - I'm thankful for my new little guy who is 4 months old and his big sister.
  8. KFender - I'm thankful for my family. They're amazing.
  9. Laurie - I'm thankful for supportive friends.
  10. Jill - for my family (and I REALLY hope I win this!) I need some flats to stuff in my pocket diapers!
  11. Dana - I am thankful for my three kids and one more on the way! And I am really excited about this giveaway!!
  12. Talia - I'm thankful for my supportive and loving spouse!
  13. Lindsey - I am thankful for good health and a happy family!
  14. Lacey - My wonderful husband and baby boy
  15. StephanieI am thankful for my wonderful Family.
  16. brandi - I am thankful for my husband and our little one on the way
  17. Aubree - I'm thankful for my family
  18. Ruth V. - I'm thankful for my amazing husband and healthy baby! Love the idea of this prize for the flats challenge by the way :)
  19. Linda - I'm thankful for my family's health and happiness.
  20. I wanted to include all the comments, but realized this post was getting WAY too long with over 70 individuals sharing what they're grateful for. I couldn't pick which were my favorites, either, so I just copied the first 20! If you're interested in a little "feel good" karma, head back to the original giveaway post and read through all the amazing comments! Trust me when I say it gives you a little perspective. 
And now to announce the winner! 

Congratulations Monique E.!

You have 48 hours to claim your prize before I am forced to draw again, so check your email!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Cloth Life: the shop

If you follow me on Twitter or looked very closely at my business card, you already know what I'm about to announce: I did it! I opened my very own Etsy shop. As much as I wish I could say I'm making and selling cloth diapers, I'm not. I tried my hand at that and we did not see eye to eye. (But I have gained a HUGE amount of respect for those that do make their own cloth diapers. That is a tough business.)

So far, I'm making baby blanketstaggies, and soon I'll have my very own crinkle paper as well. And if you have a baby and DON'T know what crinkle paper is - trust me, your baby wants some.

Here are some sneak peeks at the fabrics available... Don't you just want to snuggle up with these?
sweetheart whales
plaid puppies
rock star
Be sure to look for the finished products over at the shop! If you like something, buy it. Don't forget it's almost Christmas/Hanakuah/your baby's blessing/the birth of your first grandchild/the birth of your 10th grandchild/etc!

Okay, just check out the shop, and share it with anyone you think might be interested. I'd really appreciate it.

The link: A Cloth Life: the shop

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Small & Attainable: Fitness Fridays

If you've been following my Fitness Fridays posts, you've noticed the downward spiral of all things fitness in my life. This is where social media can become a motivator, or at least an aide. I reached out for some advice from my readers and one reader in particular gave me a small routine to build off of.
     Make small attainable goals that make you feel good about exercise. I set a goal to do 
     3 sets everyday of 7 push up, sit-ups, and supermans. Small but doable, then next week 
     add to it.     -Tracy O.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but I did the routine, and I feel better. We all need somewhere to start, and we're not all getting into the Biggest Loser compound. Eventually, I'll put my running shoes back on and hit the pavement. As much as I fight against running, I actually love it. I feel amazing when I'm done. There have been days when I just run and run and don't want to stop. Before getting pregnant with N, I ran my first 10k. My new goal is to run a half marathon by the end of 2013 (that's about 13.1 miles, if you're wondering). I can do that, right?

Anyone interested in joining me? Wouldn't it be fun to train together?
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PNW Blogger Party Swag

One more post on the PNWB meet-up! The sponsors were amazing, and there were so many cool prizes. I just wanted to do a quick post sharing just a few of my favorite items in the goodie bag all the attendees were given. Seriously, I took a lot more pictures and had a hard time narrowing it down.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I am a PNW Blogger

For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter (or happen to notice which badges, buttons, gadgets are in my sidebar), you may have known that I have been planning on going to the Pacific Northwest Blogger Holiday Party. (That is a mouthful.).
The Paper Mama Blogger Meet Up

Being the overly-ambitious yet quietly-unassuming blogger that I am, I snagged a ticket then went to work creating my very first, very official blogger business card. Please, no criticism of my design. It's already done. If you think it looks terrible, just remember to offer suggestions and guidance the next time around. Thanks. ;-)

The event was organized by The Paper Mama (whom many of you may recognize from that oft pinned tutorial on how to get gorgeous curls using nothing but a simple headband... okay, she's known for a LOT more, but I saw that tutorial LONG before I knew who she was and only JUST made the connection). It was catered by Whole Foods (yum) and held at West Elm. Now, if you're like me, you may think that West Elm is a home decor, etc. store that exists solely online. As it turns out, we were wrong! They really do have brick and mortar stores. They're filled with gorgeous displays of exactly how you might wish your home could be if only you could afford it and didn't have young children in the home who would destroy every material possession you love... maybe that's just me.

Anyway... about the meetup. You would think after working as a professional, successful hair stylist for several years (before having kids) I would know how to interact with complete strangers. You would be wrong again. I have such incredible social anxiety in these types of situations, it is ridiculous. As I stood in line to check in, I just kept thinking "What in the world am I doing here?"

As I approached the first group of bloggers that I felt brave enough to speak to, I'm pretty sure I was on the verge of hyperventilating. I could have brought my inhaler and made jokes about being like Mikey from The Goonies. (If you're too young to get that reference, please do not let me know.) Although, I'm not sure if that would have made things better or worse. As I spoke to these (super nice) ladies, I felt like I had lost all control of my speech. Words were just spewing out of me and I'm pretty sure I was turning a lovely shade of bright red. But then I started getting more comfortable. (THANK. GOODNESS.) I still had some moments of awkwardness throughout the night, but I had nice a time overall. And more importantly - I survived my very first REAL blogger event! Okay, for real more importantly, I met some very cool bloggers in real life.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Post-Halloween Blues: Fitness Friday

It's time like these, I realize I am a true sugar addict. Along with that, I feel like I've been doing some serious back-sliding since this move. I'm not particularly proud of my eating habits lately... mmm... but they've tasted so good!

It's probably incredibly fortunate, too, that I have no idea where my scale is. I meant to start running again this week, but it hasn't stopped raining and I hate to run in the rain. I left those days behind me with high school.

Anyway, you can imagine where my choices have led me. A path of shame.

But we should never be ashamed when we take missteps on our way to becoming healthier. After all, we're trying to create a lifestyle change, and that's easier said than done.
for just a moment, let's ignore how totally wrong my outfit is for so many reasons, and let's acknowledge that I am out and about with my kids... hunting & gathering candy... in the fresh air!
So, like everything else in my life, it's one day at a time. Eventually, I'll get back there.
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful for Fluff Giveaway (closed)

It's that time of year where we all try really hard to remember all the fabulous things we can be thankful for. For me, some of those things include my family, friends, and fluff. Obviously, I have a lot of other things to be thankful for, but let's get down to brass tacks.

I'm not just hosting a giveaway, I'm taking part in an awesome giveaway hop!

Etta (Cheerful Homemaker) and Jenny (The Cloth Diaper Revival) have organized a fun hop to celebrate all things fluff (aka cloth diaper) related. How could I not want to participate?

You may have noticed my little poll on Twitter and Facebook a week or so ago. Here is the a-mah-zing (I'm not the only one here who watches Happy Endings, right?) prize I have for one lucky reader this month:

2 - Dritz diaper pins (yellow)