Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 27

Today is my Mom's birthday...so what better thing to be thankful for than HER?

 Thank you Mom -- for bringing me into this world...

Thank you, Mom.  For guiding me while still letting me make my own independent choices.  I know I got a little 'over-independent' during my teens.  Thank you for putting up with me.  As a Mom now, I really appreciate that.

Thank you for being the best Granna my boys could hope for.  They are blessed with two wonderful Grandmothers in their lives.  Thanks for taking the time to slow down with them and to be a part of their busy lives!

Thanks for giving my boys experiences that I couldn't do on my own.

Thanks for being the beautiful, smart, independent and sassy woman you are.  I love you.

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 26

On a Monday morning after a long holiday weekend....I am more thankful for coffee than ever before!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 25

I am thankful for polite, well-mannered kids who aren't picky eaters.  That means I can take them on a surprise lunch date ANYWHERE and not have to worry if they'll be too crazy or won't eat the food.

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 24

I am thankful for this little stinker...because sometimes he really IS a stinker...but most of the time he is a sweetie.

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 23

Thankful for leftovers that make pretty turkey pot pies... Mmmmmm....

Thirty Days of Thanfulness: Day 22

We wrote one thing each night on a rock that we were thankful for and then we went through them and re-read them on Thanksgiving Day....

Thankful to spend the holiday with my family and friends.  And the delicious meal didn't hurt either!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 21

I was extra thankful to see this number on the scale...because it meant I could indulge guilt free over Thanksgiving and allow myself that extra glass of wine AND extra slice of pie!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 20

I am thankful I can see beauty every day -- whether it be through a foggy sunrise or a colorful sunset.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 19

I am thankful to have two working legs, a new-found passion for running, kids that sit in the double stroller (mostly) contently while I run anywhere from 3-5 miles -- and the ability to now run anywhere from 3-7 miles.

Sam was my running partner on Saturday -- and even though he asked me a few times 'you running, Mom?' -- I am going to pretend that wasn't a criticism of my pace or speed.  :)

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 18

I am sitting here trying to actually believe that I have a FIVE year old under my roof.  Whaa?  When the heck did that happen????  

So much has happened in the past five years -- and yet it feels like it is not possible that five years have passed since that eventful 2.5 hrs of my life...

And now we have a little boy who is turning 5 going on 15.  He loves outerspace and rocket ships -- he knows all the planets by name and wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.

He's starting to read sight words well and I am finding him with his nose in a book more and more lately.  He also loves doing math ('plusing' as he calls it) and he likes it when I make the equations really difficult -- more than 2 numbers at a time and really big numbers.

He's been very polite as of late and I am hearing tons of pleases and thank yous and lots of  'Yes Mom' which really makes me happy!

We had our first Parent/Teacher conference last night and it was a good confirmation of what we know already about this stellar little man.  He is well-advanced academically (needs to be challenged more), plays well with other kids, needs to be constantly moving, and needs to work a little better on his listening (especially when he gets excited).  He was one of the few kids in his class that could not only identify and write all his letters, but also make the appropriate noises/sounds that they make.  He can draw all his shapes really well -- has a great differentiation between his squares and rectangles even.  We couldn't be prouder of our little man -- and it is a reminder to us that we can continue to work with him and challenge him at home (only while it's fun though, of course).

I can't believe he is 5.  This morning when he put on some of his new 5T clothes I said to him "Oh Max!  You are getting so big! I can't believe you are wearing size 5 clothes already!  I am so sad!!"  And he responded "Don't worry Mom, even though I am getting bigger, I will always love you and hug you and kiss you.  I'll always be your baby."  

You are right little man, you are right.  And you are wise beyond your years already.  LOVE YOU.

Monday, November 19, 2012


If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I am a big fan of Shutterfly already.  But have you seen Treat yet?

Greeting Cards at Treat

Treat is owned by Shutterfly and it is an online home for making, sending and putting some real love and personality back into greeting cards. With Treat you can completely 
customize and personalize your cards to make a one-of-a-kind kickass creations that could only come from you. 

You can add your own words and pictures so your cards stand out from the crowd.  These aren't your typical boring greeting cards from the drugstore— you can make one that actually has thought and meaning behind it. 

What's really cool is that if you are at a loss for exactly the right words, Treat has a Message Library to help inspire you.   Forgot a gift and need one at the last minute?  Treat has you covered with integrated gift cards printed right inside the card you create!  How cool is that?

They even have an awesome reminder service to help make sure you never miss a birthday, anniversary or important milestone. 

So, of course with all this information, you KNOW I have a giveaway coming, RIGHT?  

First, with the holidays fast approaching, Treat wants to help make your holiday checklist shorter.  Right now, you can create and send a totally personalized greeting card from Treat


Whether you are saying thanks for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday, or simply sharing the holiday cheer with a 'just because' card, Treat lets you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress!!

But HURRY!!!  This offer for one free Treat card is good only on Monday 11/19 and Tuesday 11/20!!!

Just use code:  TREATBLOGR at www.treat.com for a completely FREE card!!

After you're done making your card, please come back and leave me a comment letting me know who you made a card for....

Friday morning, I will select at random from the comments, a winner for a code worth



Thank you to Treat for offering this wonderful promotion! 
***note I am compensated by Treat for this post**

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 17

On Friday, the K4 class at St. Dominic's had their Thanksgiving celebration...so we got to hear about all the things that 4-5 year olds are thankful for...

I am thankful that little Max did so well in the play.  He was focused, paid attention, participated and even did his lines well!  We're super proud of our little pilgrim!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 16

Sam has a very original way of showing that he is excited about something.  From an early age, he has made it pretty obvious for even the casual observer to know that he is keen on something.

Usually, his mouth opens wide and his hands start twitching wildly in the air as he stares at whatever has gotten him so excited.  It is pretty cute...and pretty hilarious.

He has been pretty obsessed with Mickey Mouse lately, so it was easy to catch his 'jazz hands' in action.  LOL.  A part of me hope he outgrows this soon...and another part of me thinks it is so cute and funny and original that I don't want him to.  Although...I am sure if he continues this into his school age years the other kids will probably be making fun of him.

It's still cute to watch.

So today, I am thankful for the little excited moments in our house -- and the laughter that usually accompanies them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 15

For a new haircut.

And a husband who helps me take goofy photos :)

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 14


You're probably thinking -- who in their right mind is thankful for snow!  Well, I am thankful that I live in a place where I truly get to experience all four seasons.  I can't wait for snowmen, cross-country skiing, crackling fires and hot cocoa!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 13

I am thankful for peaceful mornings and pancakes.

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 12

I have the BEST best friend in the world.

Seriously, I do.

My best friend is sweet, funny, crazy, sincere, kind, generous, full of empathy, beautiful, gracious, classy, silly, and loyal.  I could probably come up with a LOT more adjectives, but then it would seem insincere.  She really REALLY is the best.

Shannon Wucherer Photography: Amanda & Steve

She's also Max's godmother and the boys' 'Auntie'.  I can't think of a better Auntie!

Shannon Wucherer Photography: Amanda & Steve

So many times, I wished for a sister.  And even though she may not be my sister in blood or true relation -- she was also be my soul sista.

Love you Manda!!

**all photos courtesy Shannon Wucherer Photography**

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 11

I wasn't always this way, but since having kids family photos have been an obsession of mine.  I love watching our beautiful family grow every year.

Family photos ARE an investment.  But they are investment that will last you YEARS to come -- provided you don't just have photos taken and then do nothing with them.  If you actually display this wonderful art throughout your house -- it can be enjoyed for your entire lifetime.  Talk about a good use of your money!

I LOVE our photographer, Shannon Wucherer Photography.  We first used her in 2008 -- right around Max's first birthday.  She came over to our house and took some wonderful pictures of our family.  She captured Max's personality PERFECTLY.

A year later, pregnant with Sam, I treated myself to a maternity photo session.  Shannon once again amazed me with her talent and her ability to capture the moment.  I really adore this picture she took of me.  I had a great pregnancy with Sam and this one just really nails it on the head...

And here we are again, last fall -- having our family photos done at our new house.

 Shannon was such a good sport -- haha.  I can never top the lederhosen of 2011.

Today we had our photos taken again by Shannon.  I can't wait to see the final product again.  She does SUCH an amazing job -- if you are looking for a great photographer in the Milwaukee area who shoots children, maternity, weddings or family photography - PLEASE check out Shannon Wucherer Photography. She truly is amazing and wonderful and sweet and kind -- you won't be disappointed.  I promise!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 10

This past weekend was jam packed. We had something going on in just about every spare moment of our time.  Swimming lessons, zoo class, family duties, family photo shoots, playdates with classmates, mommy crafting time, etc.  

Through it all, my kids are SUCH good sports.  Like seriously good sports.

I probably should knock on some pretty large pieces of wood, but I have seriously never worried about my kids when I take them with me shopping.

Sure, there have been times that they've been whiny or a little crazy -- but I've never had to leave a store, they've never thrown a screaming fit/tantrum in a store, and I'm never unsure or worried when I have to take them along on a shopping trip -- that goes for either one kid or two.

My boys are pretty much the perfect shopping companions.  They are good helpers and we enjoy spending the time together.

So, today, I am thankful for my good little helpers -- in particular today, my little man, Sam -- who accompanied me to the mall on Saturday to get a gift for Daddy.  We enjoyed a little lunch together in the mall food court  (this was his 'biggerest' smile).  After lunch, we visited Santa Claus because Sam insisted that he needed to let him know that he ate all his food, LOL.  What a character this one is.  I  love every new thing that comes out of his mouth.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 9

In life, we don't always get what we want.  But it is our job to speak up for ourselves and to let our voice be heard.  

Whether or not you are happy with the election results on Tuesday, I hope you made your voice heard by voting (and if you didn't, don't complain).   

On Tuesday, this family voted (even little Max voted at school for cats vs dogs....dogs won, BTW).

And today, I will say that I am thankful for the results of the election.  And whether you agree with me or not, it happened.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 8 - teaming up with Shutterfly to THANK our VETERANS

Sunday, November 11th is Veteran's Day. Veteran's day honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.  With Veteran's Day coming up, and thanks to Shutterfly, today’s thankful post is easy:
I am thankful for everyone who has served our country in the armed forces. I am proud to count so many people in my life as veterans.  Thank you for your selflessness, thank you for your sacrifices, thank you for your commitment, thank you for your bravery.
If you don't know the history of Veteran's Day, it is fascinating:  On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. (www.history.com)

Now, I realize this post is a little early...but that's because I want to help YOU take advantage of a wonderful offer from Shutterfly to help us thank our veterans:

From now through Veteran's Day, you can send a card to our troops overseas at NO COST TO YOU.  "It’s more than a card, it’s thank you for our freedom.

Over 1.5 million troops serve our great nation. Many of them will be overseas, in harm’s way, and away from their families over this holiday season.  This mission is simple—to send a thank you card to every American hero. To succeed we need your support. Just select a card from our 4 different designs, add a personal message (or photo) and click send.  Shutterfly will print and ship your card to the troops at no cost to you."

All you have to do is click on one of the links in the post and create your own card.  It couldn't be simpler!! Please PLEASE make  a card for the troops... and if you can please share this with your Facebook family and friends (There is a share option when you complete your card)!!!

Let's reach out and spread the thankfulness this year!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 7

I am thankful that I have kids that are willing to do chores and do them happily....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 6

Election Day 2012 -- I am thankful for many MANY things today. 

1.  I am thankful that I have the right to vote.   This is our one civic duty that makes us a democracy! People in some other countries would die for this right. People in our country HAVE died so we (especially women and minorities) could have this right.

2.  Living in a swing state, I am thankful that today will mark the end of all the relentless, never-ending political phone calls.  I will be thankful for peace in my own house....

Let's hope I will still be thankful tonight after all is said and done :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day Five

I am thankful that I see this out my back window most every morning.  It is a great way to wake up....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 4

My husband is pretty darn sexy.

There, I said it.  

And he's probably going to make me change this blog post (if he sees it ). 

But seriously, besides his hobbies of hockey, rock climbing, running and Tae Kwon Do, he is SUPER smart (even if he does like MICRObiology instead of MACRObiology), he is a great father to our two little boys, and he is an A-Mazing husband (most of the time, LOL).  

I could go on and on about how wonderful this man is....but then you all would get jealous and try to steal him from me (not gonna happen, my friends...he's ALL MINE).

So today, I am thankful for MY ROCKSTAR HUSBAND.

And isn't this just the sweetest picture?  Little Max is finally old enough to start Tae Kwon Do, so the two of them have been enjoying some father-son time together.  Look at my little peanut!  I can't believe in two weeks he is going to be 5!!  Holy cow!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 3

Today I did one of the stupidest things of my adult life.  It wasn't stupid in that it was harmful to anyone (except perhaps myself).  It was just stupid because I am so darn stubborn.  

Max and I were both signed up to do the Tyranena Beer run .  Max was signed up to do the half marathon, and I was signed up to do the 1/6 (4.37 mile) run.  When the kids came down with the plague stomach flu, we decided that one of us needed to stay home with them so that we didn't get our sitter sick.  Since my running partner, Laura, was signed up to do the run with us, I decided that Max should stay home and I would go.  

Saturday morning I woke up not feeling 100%.  After a few bouts in the bathroom, I figured I was 'cleaned out' and felt good enough to run.  And, truth be told, I did feel *mostly* fine until after the run.

We didn't end up running the whole thing.  We walked for maybe 0.25-0.5 miles of the total.  That's ok -- we both know we can run the distance easily under *normal* circumstances.  Laura said her hip hurt...but I don't know if she just said that to make me feel better.  ;)  All I know is the course was hilly.  And it smelled like COW MANURE the.entire.time.  Not good when you have a sensitive tummy in the first place, eh?

I ended up vomiting on the car ride home (thank goodness we had plastic bags).  I then took a nap and sat on the couch the rest of the day (to big Max's dismay).  I even went to bed at 7 pm right after we put the boys to bed.  Luckily, I woke up on Sunday feeling MUCH better (i.e. I could actually keep food down!)

So, where is the thankfulness in all of this?

Right HERE:

Today I am thankful for my running partner, Laura.  Without her I would not push myself as hard or be as motivated to continue running.  She really has helped me reach all my running goals this year -- a 10K, and even one run further than that!  Our tentative goal for next year is to do a half marathon -- that's 13.1 miles, folks!  CRAZY!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness: Day 2

The plague stomach flu has stuck our house, so I have been out of commission for the last two days.  Well, mostly out of commission, but enough that I wasn't able to update the blog.

While there is not a lot to be thankful for during times of sickness, I am always a little thankful that I can sneak in a few extra snuggles when my kids are sick....

But today's thankfulness is non-flu related.  I have a video clip to share of little Max from his Auntie Amanda's wedding in early October.  We still are not sure where he learned these awesome dance moves or what possessed him to find his inner Michael Jackson, but if you are in need of a smile, WATCH THIS.  It makes me laugh EVERY.TIME!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness....Day 1

Just what I need to commit to, right?  Another "xx days" of something...especially when I am so far behind on my photo a day project.  I WILL get caught up -- and I promise that will be something to be thankful for -- FOR SURE!

But this is a little something different.  With Thanksgiving at the end of the month, November is a month to be


So with that in mind, I am going to try to post once a day for the entire month with either  a picture, a quote, or even just a little bit of writing to say what I am thankful for.  If nothing else, it will keep me mindful on how many WONDERFUL things I have in my life -- there are a lot...but sometimes I get caught up on the stuff I DON'T have in my life and that clouds up all the things I should be thankful for.

Time to refocus.

So today, on Day 1 of the Thankfulness Project, am I thankful for:

...two wonderful boys who delight in the joys of the holidays and get so genuinely excited over the smallest things.  For little Max and his unwavering desire to be 'Mr. Incredible' this year -- he wore his costume the ENTIRE DAY at school (how he went to the bathroom is beyond me); he also INSISTED that I dress up -- so I did to his delight.  For Sam and his indecisiveness on what to be -- first a pirate, then a puppy, then a puppy-pirate, and finally a lion (he's ROARING in this photo).  Add to that a plastic pumpkin basket (thank you Target) and you've got yourself some trick o treaters!  Thank goodness for our Step 2 wagon also -- this thing is always a godsend when we go trick or treating (or the zoo, or the park, etc.)  

Little Max gave T-O-T'ing his all and hit EVERY house in a 0.5 mile loop.  His energy was unwavering as he ran from house to house.  His little cheeks were flushed red and his eyes were sparkling with excitement after EVERY house.  When Sam and Nina got too tired to continue and sat in the wagon resting, he started asking for extras to give to his 'friend and wittle bwother".  After every house he would run back to me so excited saying "Look, Mom!  Look what I GOT!"  And every time I would answer with feigned excitement "What did you get!?  Show me!" Because as annoying as it got after the bazillionth time, I didn't want to do anything to rain on his happy parade.  He was IN HIS ELEMENT.

Love these boys.  So blessed to have them in my life.  I am thankful for the smiles they bring me (even amidst the grimacing)...they make my days!