Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Halloween is always one of those holidays I tend to forget about. True I have little man's costume-or should I say costumes as he can't decide which to be. They are both ready to go and waiting for us at the door the moment we get in.

He at the moment is saying he wants to be Wolverine, we have a rocket ship on standby in case he wants to, after all this was his originally idea.

But it wasn't until last night that wet even thought about getting candy. And as for decorations? Yea, yo can count that out as a big fat no this year. Including a pumpkin. Yes, count me in as a bad mom I forgot to get one of the most essential things for Halloween.

Anderson assured me this would all be alright, that it wouldn't matter in the end because really what kids want is the candy. But still a bit of me couldn't help but fill like I should file this in a never do again drawer.

'He won't even notice!'  He even said.

But we forget who we are talking about. Logan, remembers everything. Notice's everything. Including the lack of stuff.  And how do I know this? He came downstairs this morning and looked around. 'We didn't decorate or anything mommy!!!' In my mind I wrote a big fat F across my forehead.

'I know sweetie.'

'Why?'

Why because we were busy, because we were out of town. One weekend rolled in to the next and before I knew it the date read October 30th, and there was no way pumpkins were still available. We looked. But I couldn't say this to a four year old. I wanted to cry right along with him.

'Do you forgive mommy?'
'Yeah, it is alright. I will still share my candy with you.'

Maybe Anderson had a point....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blogember: November's daily challenge.





Its the beginning of a new month, as I was searching the Twitter world last night, I came across a new challenge. To blog everyday of the month, or rather blogember as they are calling it. I don't know about you but there are times when I have so much to say, that I don't need topics. And yet sometimes I sit thinking, I want to write, I will write something. And  yet have nothing to talk about. I came across the list below...

November 1: One of the best lessons life has shown you
November 2: Favorite inspiring quote
November 3: 5 favorite blogs
November 4: Write for 5 minutes on the prompt: Freedom
November 5: Share a favorite recipe (can be yours or someone else's just make sure to give credit)
November 6: 5 favorite apps
November 7: A day in your life
November 8: 5 minutes on the prompt: Time
November 9: 5 favorite places to shop online
November 10: A time when you felt unstoppable
November 11: 3 albums you would take in a deserted island
November 12: Your first pet
November 13: An epiphany you had this summer
November 14: 10 photos on 10 past the hour
November 15: Favorite Halloween costume of yours
November 16: 6 word memoir
November 17: Favorite year in elementary school and why
November 18: Happiest moment of your life
November 19: First job
November 20: Your first concert
November 21: 5 unique facts about you
November 22: 10 places you would love to visit (or have visited)
November 23: Reverse bucket list
November 24: 20 things you are grateful for
November 25: A love letter to yourself
November 26: Favorite teacher in your life
November 27: A book that honestly changed your life
November 28: Your life's soundtrack
November 29: Your take on the prompt Be Ridiculous
November 30: If you wrote your memoir, what would the title be and why

It is unclear if I will use all of these, as I am sure things will be brought up to discuss, but I am up for the challenge none the less....so here goes nothing...November, you are going to be used writing I think.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ pumpkin spiced cream cheese frosting: An allergy free review

My results.
By now many know my household is filled with allergies. Beef, pork and dairy for me. Little man has unfortunately inherited the dairy allergy. While it is a pain, it is manageable and we make the most out of living with and around them. This also means we eat a lot of chicken, turkey and fish.

What we don't eat a lot of are sweets. Mainly because its hard to find dairy free options that actually taste halfway decent. Believe me we have tried our fair share.

But allergy issues are making themselves known more and more these days-thankfully neither of us are allergic to peanuts.-I do not know if the world is just catching up to the fact allergies exist, or if they truly are on the rise. For whatever reason that they are, means you have a lot more people trying to come up with allergy friendly recipes for those us who would have never been able to come up with it on our own own. I came across Skinnytaste by pure accident one afternoon last fall, and since then, the family hasn't turned back. We use it for everything from a weekend meal, to holiday goodies. Everything on there is either healthy, allergy friendly or diet friendly but none of it lacks the bland taste that offers little to be desired. Believe me, we have yet to find a recipe that has disappointed us. Including my very skeptic husband. And he likes it, well you know its a winner.

A couple of weekends ago, in attempt to get into the festive mood I came across the recipe for Pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin spiced frosting and decided to give it a try.

I found the recipe easy enough to follow, simple enough to understand for beginners. I would recommend definitely  using the brands that is mentioned as they worked well and we didn't have an issue at all. After mixing, pouring  them into the pan-make sure to fill only about 2/3's no more than halfway up- we slide them in, it calls for between 20-25 minutes, we went with 22 minutes and found it to be just right.

Before to long the kitchen was smelling amazing. You could smell the pumpkin right away.  We then worked on the icing, which is optional and clearly not dairy free but we wanted to have the option for those that weren't allergic.

And when we pulled them out, they looked amazing. When cooled off we began to ice them, I would recommend using only a minimal amount on each, enough to have a taste. It became overpowering and to much if there was a lot. I however enjoyed them without the icing a little more, but either way I don't think you will go wrong.

If I did have any criticism it would be this, you can't eat just one. Seriously they were to good to just let sitting. And if you are wanting to put the candy corn on them, wait until the icing and the cupcake have definitely cooled off as they melted the candy before too long.

And as for Logan's review this is what you get: 'Mommy they taste like pumpkin pie almost! Delicious!!!'

Whether you have a specific allergy or looking for a new fall favorite, these are definitely worth the effort and sure to be a hit.

Monday, October 28, 2013

While we wait, there is always a trip to plan.

Image is not my own. I do not take credit for it.
While I wait to hear any sort of news regarding round 3 of the Disney Parks Moms Panel selection I have been attempting to keep my mind off of it. It hasn't worked out well. But of course what better way to not think about it than to plan the next trip  right? Absolutely. Especially with the surprises I have in store for the next go around.

Two years ago when we realized little man was growing up before our eyes, Anderson and I got this plan to celebrate his last birthday before Kindergarten at his favorite place in the world. Like we needed a specific reason to go, because let’s face it, it's his mom's and dad's favorite as well.

Now usually, we try to involve him as much as a 4 year old can be involved in the planning aspects of our trips back ‘home.’ We let him help with which restaurants to choose, where we all want to stay. He even helps pack. And when it comes down to it, he gets just as excited as we are to see those magical numbers inch closer and closer to zero.
But how cool would it be to surprise him? And so with the thought in mind, Anderson and I got to work.  

The plan is simply to build a long weekend-thankfully his birthday actually falls on a weekend-fulfilling a little boys dream, and making it truly all about him. Arriving at the end of January we will be staying at the Beach Club Villas for four fabulous nights. As this is the last DVC resort we have yet to stay at, this was Andy’s and I only contribution to the surprise. The rest is all of his favorites.

Pulling off a surprise for a kid that goes at least once a year may not seem possible, but I assure you it most definitely is. Thanks in part to parents owning a 2nd house in NC, the unexpected trip won't seem so out of place. I am sure he will get the hint when we wake him at oh dark thirty in the morning. Then again, he is up before 6 on a normal basis. So...maybe not?

And even if so, we will have plenty of surprises in store:

Food:

I was able to schedule  some sweet reservations at 'Ohana- that 'special' Logan allergy free dessert says it all. Whispering Canyon-I can't think of a better way to say happy birthday than receiving 5,000 bottles of ketchup, Coral Reef-he is in love with the Seas at Epcot. And then there was the matter of his his actual birthday breakfast. I wanted something special, something I know for a fact he will love. There was no second guessing, the kid loves Chef Mickeys. And thankfully, they had availability. I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday morning than with the fab five themselves! What a party.

Rides:

As this is his show for the five days, no going with what mom and dad want, but rather what he wants. He want to do Star Tours ninety times, so be it! He wants to hop over to do Buzz, well hey that is OK with us too. Ultimately we just want to make the most of the time, and the days because you only turn five once. And let's face it, the whole point is for this weekend to be all about him. So enjoy little man, enjoy.

That being said, if the kid wants to do the Jedi training session and forgo the rides all together, daddy just may be happy with that as well...he has always wanted to have an official Jedi for a son

The birthday surprise.

Photo Credit: Disneyflorist.com
Maybe the trip seems like enough, but then again what is a birthday without a present? Thanks to Disneyflorist.com they came up with the perfect answer a couple of months back. Anyone that knows my son, knows he is a Star Wars fanatic, fanatic may be an underestimate here. But he is.

So in helping someone set up a surprise for their own surprise this past summer I came across the Star Wars gift pack to beat all gift packs, well in the eyes of this Jedi to be.I figured it had to be destiny, since the advertisement even had his name on it.While it may be on the high end price wise, I can't wait to see his reaction to it when it shows up in our room from mousekeeping. Happy Birthday little man, Happy Birthday indeed.

With 95 days until we arrive, things seem to be coming together quite nicely. Other than a few minor things here and there I think the hardest part is hearing him ask every morning how many days til we go-at the moment he thinks its next August-and knowing full well what is in store for him. OK maybe the hardest part is actually going to be keeping it a secret...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Who am I???

Laugh but I was asked this very question on a application. I sat there and thought. I didn't know. OK I take that back I did. But what was hard is cramming everything I wanted to say in 100 words or less.

OK. Go.

Good luck. But this did make me pause. I scribbled a thousand things down, before erasing and starting over. I wondered if everything I wanted, and needed to say fit into the word constraint. Yes I get that is exactly why they wanted it, to see what you could do. But out of all the questions I could answer.

Why did this one catch me.

Here's why. You see I have never really given much thought of who I am, a mom. A wife. A disneyholic. A hockey nut. But to put it down in writing. Funny what we think we know about ourselves.

Or how little.

It came together, it did. I figured it all out.

And in the process, well I found I am a whole lot more than 100 words could ever describe.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A lot of faith, and a little pixie dust: Round 2 here I come!


A little over 48 hours after and I still find myself grinning.

Friday started off like any other day, well except for one thing.  Pixie dust was expected sometime after 3. I tried not to think about the fact that by the end of the day my fate could be sealed. I would either be extremely happy, or would be telling myself it would be OK. There was always next year. So instead of thinking about it I went to lunch with my husband while little man was at preschool. I did a little shopping. I ignored my email, twitter. The phone. I figured the less I look at it, the better time would pass.

Yes I tried not to think to much about it. Period. But of course by trying not to think about it, made me think about it even more. I looked down and had dressed in pink, totally not planned. The only thing I had purposely done was throw on my Alex and Ani bracelets like I normally do. And when we went shopping I slid into the Salvation Army and found holiday Disney glasses...my husband kept saying it was a sign. But still I tried not to think to much about it.

I was also nervous. I can explain the feeling because I am not sure I could. I will say I knew that there were thousands of applicants, and there was a chance I would be passed by once more. I was prepared for the rejection email. I was.

Before I knew it, I was off to pick up Logan, and eying the time, I had 5 minutes til my fate would be determined. 5 minutes....I left the phone in the car, if I was going to freak, I would do so in my car. The same could be said if I needed to cry. I picked up Logan and we headed back to what must have been  the longest walk back to the car I had ever taken.

'Well should I turn it over?' I asked Anderson. This was it, this was the moment.
'Either way, you did amazing, just remember that.'
I flipped it over looked down and froze. Throwing the phone over to Andy.

'Is that, does that say what I think it does???' I couldn't believe it, I needed someone else to pinch me.
'Yes. Congratulations!!'

And just like that as of 3:03 in the afternoon  I was on to round 2! It hadn't been since 2009 that I had gotten past round 1.

My freak out did not play out like thought, it was a whole lot of squeals and shakes. It was OMG's and silence because I couldn't believe it. Truly I couldn't....

It was like a dream...it still feels like a dream. One I am not sure I want to wake up from.

Yes, 48 hours I am still in a bit of shock. I am also extremely honored, nervous and excited for the not only the next round but the possibility of what is to come.

Now, to brush off that pixie dust.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dream No.Zero


In the early morning
Just before dawn
she lays awake alone
her thoughts as her companion
unable to put her
wandering mind to rest
she wonders about this life
where it’s going and if this is it.
The woman she is now
is this truly who she is
meant to be?
All the years of trying
where has it gotten her?
She's feeling so lost, confused
and beaten.
At a game she thought she

 had figured out.
She can't remember
just how and when
it all came to be
is there still time to change?
Afraid it’s too late
and wonders just when will
these thoughts stop haunting
her at night

-Aleisha Mattice

Monday, October 14, 2013

Don't Believe Everything you read: including social media

This morning as I was settling in to my usual  routine I discovered something new. Wait, no it isn't new because I am pretty sure I have known this for awhile. But as I sat there catching up on tweets, and status updates I learned first hand that social media can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.

Case in point, the Disney Moms Panel search 2014.  Yes, that's right its about this time every year that mummers of round 2 announcements going out start to swirl. I checked my friends Facebook status's and then found myself making my way on to the moms panel facebook fan page. And wouldn't you know, someone posted that you should login and check to see. If you can get through your golden. If you get stopped, well good luck for 2015.  I debated for a half second, should I go ahead and check now or wait til the official email?  I watched as one by one people I had never met posted yes or no. They are moving forward or being left to disappointment for another year.

I should wait....

But should didn't win. I clicked the leaked link, closed my eyes and signed in....and got locked out. Well there it is, for another year I will be wondering...I hid my disappointment focusing on things at work. I switched from Facebook to Twitter sharing the excitement of those, the heartbreak of the rest of us. And still no email came out. Well OK, maybe this year they aren't doing it. I mean there were a lot of us right?

And then came those, the lump of people who got word a little to late and tried to log in after a certain time. And they got error message. Before we knew it, tweets were flying around, what did this mean?? What did they do wrong?

Well it turns out social media got to us all. Leaked links meant only certain people where able to find out. Those that got the no? An official statement got out that they weren't fully ready to send out to everyone, meaning for now, until Friday that is, we are all still hopefuls.

And that's when I realized I had fallen to the old news, don't believe everything you read, tweet or status post to be true, because while yes you can get a lot of great news and can be your best friend. At the same time, not everything you read can be believed.

That is until you get that email, filled with hopefully a lot of pixie dust...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rain...

It's been a rainy couple of days here in the DC area. In fact for the better part of the week it had not only rained but has felt as though we have lived with 24 hours of darkness. I decided on my way into work yesterday that living in Alaska was not something I should pursue, to the dismay of Anderson.  But judging from the picture who really would blame me? 

There has been some relief it's cloudy this morning but it's a hell of lot better than it has been. It's the clearest it had been since Wednesday morning. 

Which means off to the cabin in the woods to spend the weekend with my in-laws. 

Somehow I don't see mulling in the schedule.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Re-Evaluating


I hit my breaking point on Tuesday. I am not proud of this, but I had had enough. While the rest of the world seemed to be swimming right along, I felt as though I was drowning, falling deeper and deeper into the invisible ocean I was in. And here I thought the end of September would see it go.
Apparently not.
I cried. A lot. In truth I don't think I have cried that much since I was pregnant, and we all know what an emotional roller coaster that is. Things needed to change. It had to. And then I got on Facebook that evening and saw a post from a woman I do not know in person, but have known in the virtual world for years now. A member of the Disney Moms Panel. She went on to post Fun's Carry On video and an inspirational post about how she never would have thought she was were she is now three years ago. Even though I had seen the video a thousand times, I found myself clicking on it. What was one more time going to hurt?
But that one time? Well that mixed with the post, well it hit something within. I do not know why it did, but it did. And so I decided from that moment on I needed to do the following.

1. Refocus
I had been focusing on five things all at one time. It was beginning to get to be a little to much. I realized I couldn't do it anymore. Somewhere along the line something was going to have to give. I was beginning to run on empty. And so maybe I needed to change course, and focus not on everything all at one time, but rather one thing at a time. Baby steps even. I sat down with Anderson that night and started talking, there has been some major talks since. It has felt good, instead of focusing on certain things, I decided to focus on things I could maybe handle. Planning another getaway, starting the holiday shopping. Focusing on a good hockey game. Could this focus change? Of course. Nothing is written in stone. But at least its progress.
And a start.

2. Do not dwell on things out of one's control
I tried so hard to get it together, to move on from things that I thought I needed to change. But I can't make things happen no matter how hard I try. Its kind of like looking for a new job, you can't make someone hire you. So maybe one shouldn't focus on getting a new position, if its meant to be, then so it shall. Its not an easy thing I must say. Because I was beginning to really get down about things I had no control over, including the weather. But I realized its absolutely absurd to do this. It wasn't going to help anyway. And just as I did with the whole refocusing thing, I knew I needed to handle and try to get through things that I could at least attempt to control. Like a surprise birthday event for my son. And other things that shall remain not mentioned at the moment.

3. Realize things happen in due time and for a reason
I had several things I was focusing on, job, school and family to name a few. I was trying to get them all resolved and answered at the same time. As mentioned it was driving me crazy. But I needed to realize that not everything can happen when we want, shit happens. Maybe I didn't graduate from college when I was supposed to? So what. The adviser I met with said there was no time line, I was doing it. Be proud of that. Maybe the position I wanted, went to someone else. The job to someone else. Maybe its not clear why at the moment, but something will come up. Something your meant to do. It wasn't for you. Things happen for a reason trust it.

And if none of these worked.
Well. there is always the music to remind us.

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone.
Carry on.
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground.
Carry on.

                   -FUN

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Poetry Tuesday: Cracked




Cracked

 Like a perfect vase

Once held together, now broken

The pieces put back together

But is never the same.


Cracked

 Like a wall

After an earthquake

A thick reminder

Of what was once smooth.


Cracked

 Like a doll so loved

Falling apart at the seam

Now so fragile, so worn

For the world to see.


Cracked

 Like the sidewalks

After years of being walked on

Worn down and worn out.

Leading me down an unfamiliar path.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Should I stay or should I go?-a working mom, college debate.

Sometimes I wonder if its all worth it.

I spent most of my weekend behind my computer typing and retyping a paper that I am pretty sure in the end turned out not the way I wanted it to. Around me, my son danced to the Star Wars tune pretending to be the Storm Trooper. 'Watch me mommy, watch me.'

I looked up, my head swimming with the next line of the paper and told him I was busy doing homework. The look on his face was not only heartbreaking but pulling at my every being. How could I  explain I would much rather be watching him than to be doing homework. Anderson came in then, yelling at him to get away. I watched at Logan's eyes grew wide Sorry, mommy. I am so sorry.

No, I am the one who is sorry. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to have been done by now, long done. I was supposed to be doing something I really really loved rather than simply working just to get through getting a degree.

I don't even know what I want to be anymore. I am beginning to wonder if I ever knew what I wanted, or if I ever truly will.

Is this worth it?

Maybe its not anymore. Maybe the fight is over, I lost. Maybe I should just give up on the dream to get that degree.  By this point the way things are going I don't even know if it will help me get anywhere in life as it is.

This isn't the first time I have thought about it.

Nor will it probably be the last. It happens. I am getting down in number of classes, so close I can taste it and yet the 7 remaining after this semester seems so far off. To long to wait and finish it out.

I know I should.

But this weekend, looking at my son who apologized to me for bugging me....
I really began questioning it all over again.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Five Questions Friday 10/4/2013:I.D

 Well here we are another new month is upon us. Already. Amazing to think about really. After skipping last weeks-or ok maybe a couple weeks?- I am back with another round of five question Fridays. This week theme is: I.D.

1. What was the last t-shirt you acquired because it identified you as a member of a specific group? (you know, like a faculty t-shirt if you’re a teacher, or a class t-shirt if you’re a student, or a volunteer t-shirt for some event you helped with…)

Probably my DVC (or Disney Vacation Club) t-shirt that I bought on one of my many vacations down to the world. Wear it a lot actually, which probably means I will have to get another one before to long. And yes, I do wear them out.

2. What was the last event for which you filled out a HELLO MY NAME IS nametag?

A meeting we hosted I think? Maybe?

3. Besides websites and personal computers, how many things do you have passwords or combinations for in order to prove you’re authorized?


One. I guess I am not very popular now am I??

4. What was the last thing you wrote your name on so that people would know it belonged to you?

I turned in a paper for a class, naturally it had to have my name on it...yeah besides that. My work notebook, yes I am old school and still use a notebook.

5. What was the last thing you put your name on so people would know you supported a cause, or were a member of a side?

Not sure actually, which is pretty sad if you think about it really...

And there you have it, while the calender says its the first weekend in October, you wouldn't know it by the late summer weather we are having....enjoy it while it last.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lets go Caps!


Yep....a little under 4 hours til puck drops....
Its a good night in DC my friends.
Welcome home boys, welcome home.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Hockeytober!

I have three words for you.

HOCKEY IS BACK.

Yes October may mean the government officially shutdown, summer is long gone and football season is a quarter of the way through. But aside from all of this remains the thing I have been looking forward to since the end of June.

Hockey. Is back.

And everyone is anew, divisions are different and for at least for the next few hours anyway, everyone is on equal level. There are still 82 games yet to be played. No leader, no last minute rushes to the finish line. No question whether or not we are going to sweat it out the last few games.

At least for a little while.

Yes hockey is back. Fights are back, checking is back and rivalries are back.

Let the season begin!

Sociable