Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Question Of The Week - Resolutions

Most of us make them.

Some of us break them.

Last year, I aimed to read 30 books. I believe I'll finish the year at 38. Happy!

This year, I'm raising the bar.

1. Lose 30 pounds. 30! I've needed to do it for several years and now I'm going to. If I don't, I'm going to have to get pregnant, because 6 months after giving birth is when I am typically at my smallest. I don't get it either, but it's true.

I've teamed up with Cate and Sarah and will be blogging about my progress and will hopefully provide you with some links to other blogs to help you reach your goals, fitness-minded or not. Here is our Facebook page. Join us! More to come......

2. Yell less. I do it. I hate it. I don't yell at Blake (eye rolling is much more effective). I yell at our kids. Doing less of this in 2011 will make me happy. Punks, too.

3. Work. I'm hoping one of the two jobs I'm shooting for will be solidified this weekend. It should be at home with occasional office visits + marketing around the San Diego area. Fingers crossed!

I will continue to read and will keep track of my books, but won't set a goal for the new year. I got a Kindle for Christmas and already have a few books loaded on it, although I am enthralled with my current "paper" read. Will start on the Kindle next and then a series Caroline gave me for Christmas after that.

What about you?

***What are your resolutions? Care to share an achievement from 2010?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Recap 2010

This Christmas was fantastic. I couldn't quite pin point why it seemed so great to me, while discussing with Blake. We were missing our family and sans Caroline, which is always tough during the holidays. Perhaps I was cherishing every moment knowing that next year would be different. This was definitely our last year with 3 children believing. I can feel it. And, it's time.

Christmas Eve actually brought me to tears as I tucked the kids in and we heard Santa & reindeer landing on the roof and bells ringing outside our house. I took a good look around the room and accepted that our family was changing. We have a 10 year old. That 10 year old will join the grown ups next year in preparation for Santa's arrival and will be assembling toys with Blake while his younger siblings sleep. I'm ready for it and I'm not.....all at the same time.

I locked eyes with Carter just before leaving the boys' room and he saw a tear roll down my cheek. We shared a little moment there.......I think he knew why I was crying.....and returned my look with his own, "It's going to be OK, Mom" smile. He's always been our old soul. Love that kid.

A few pictures from the last few days of Christmas at the Starnes house.....

We made Martha Stewart magazine trees with neighbors one morning. Vanessa brought donuts and we spent hours creating decorations and chatting. Such great people.

That's Daryl on the left and her daughter, Vanessa. She and Carter are drinking tea. Another grown up thing to do.

The Davidge family came over Eve Eve for dinner. 7 kids in an 1,100 square foot house? It actually worked!

Holly is super photogenic, which is making me question whether or not I want to expand my friendship any further with her. Love this shot of her and Ainsley.

OK, she's a keeper. I love that baby, too!

Guess who else loves the baby?

Here is Mike with Ainsley. Mike and I went to college together at LSU. So happy to be in touch again and living so close to each other in fabulous San Diego.

Inappropriate. Luckily, Ruby and Stefan left for the North Pole shortly after this dance-off. (pay no attention to the still-not-glued headless wise man)

Fast forward to Christmas Eve night.

Punks pre-mass. Lovely.

This might surprise you, but Jack didn't care for his picture being taken.

So, we threw him in and Blake started acting like an idiot. 2/3 smiles is pretty good for this group!

At the church that evening. Don't you love Carter's outfit? His jacket is from the suit he wore in the 2nd grade for his First Communion. Too small, but he insisted......and put it with his white button down and skinny jeans. So chic.

We returned home to Skype with Caroline as we opened gifts. So fun.

Blake read The Night Before Christmas, as he always does.

Punks tried to pay attention. Lainey was busy brushing her teeth with a new Hello Kitty toothbrush and Jack couldn't put "Snowy Thomas" down.

Outside to spread reindeer food and to look for Santa in the sky.

Jack found a new way to spread the treats. Our little thinker.

Back inside to prepare goodies for Santa!

Sweet Mae Mae lent us her precious Santa plates because one of the children broke the darling one she gave us 10 years ago. We will cherish them!

Santa puts bells on the kids doors just in case they want to come out and peak. You never can be too careful.

Christmas morning greeted us at 2:30am with Carter chanting something about a new phone. We rushed him back to sleep and then finally gave in at 5:00.

Carter was all smiles with his new Ipod from Pa and Mae Mae.

And, his new phone from Santa. Fair warning: If he has your number, he will be calling or texting. Be prepared. (Answer or return his text at your convenience.)

Christmas in California.......not too shabby. Little ones ventured outside at 9am to ride their new bikes. Shortly before, they ran to the windows, asking if it snowed. Blake and I had not even considered that Jack and Lainey had never seen a Christmas without snow. We moved from Texas to Denver when Jack was 5 months old. And, Lainey was born there. So, this was a first for them.

A misty fog rolled in within the hour to remind us of what it was like.

We played and napped and cooked and then joined the Davidges for Christmas dinner with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Lovely.

Mike fried a turkey. It was delish! I learned some new recipes from Holly that I will be adding to our holiday menu in years to come.

Neighbors came out to enjoy a fire pit and the kids rode their bikes again. Here is cute Holly trying to get a picture with Mike. Sometimes, you just have to improvise. Even when there is a kid on your back!

Such an awesome couple. With 4 kids ages 5 and under!

We played games and watched the kids run all afternoon and evening. Austin ended the night by collapsing. I think we all could have joined him at this point!

This week's agenda:

*San Diego Zoo trip! My big brother gave us a family membership for Christmas. So excited!

*Visit with Melissa and kids on Coronado Island.

*Clean out kids' rooms, put away toys and organize closets - dreading all of it.

*Prepare 2011 calendar.

*Celebrate Blake's 36th birthday on Wednesday!

*New Year's Eve.

*Football on Saturday. *****I'd like to formally announce the end of an era here in the Starnes house. We are retiring Blake's 12+ year old bubble TV we've been using since living in Austin. Pa and Mae Mae bought us a flat screen! I think they felt equal parts of embarrassment and pity each time they visited. And, they knew we wouldn't buy one until the TV we had didn't work. We're thrilled!

*Thank You notes.

*Beach visit.

Can't wait to catch up on everyone's Christmas celebrations. Later!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Hate San Diego

OK, not really. But, I'm not loving it right now!

The rain won't stop. WILL NOT STOP.

I don't want to complain because there are plenty far worse off than us in neighboring counties, experiencing flooding and mudslides. But, it's been raining since Friday. All day, every day.

Sweet Carter stood out in the rain after the Nazi-esque (yes, it's a word) 5th grade crossing guard refused to let him get in our car on the residential street rather than the carpool lane. He had his hand on the door, with it open, when she scolded him. Kids were running everywhere. But, Carter got busted. And, stood, hand-made gingerbread house in hand, watching it melt with the falling rain. It was ruined.

Not as tragic as this story, but it was pretty bad. Click on the link to read about southern California's reaction to the rain, how its affecting everyone and such. Notice the people leaving Disneyland poncho-clad and drenched. Do you know how much ponchos cost at the park? $10-$15 a piece. For that reason, cloudy skies or not, we bring in the dollar store version on each trip out there.

Anyway, we're getting off subject here.

The rain has kept us inside, using our creativity to cope and we've had a lot of fun.

Sweet friends, Hann and KS from While We're Waiting, sent the punks the most thoughtful and adorable gift package recently. I allowed them to open their gifts - 2 each - to keep them busy.

Laine was READY! Two thumbs up. She's so cute sometimes, I can't stand it.

Him, too. All 3!

Lainey received Mistletoe Kitty, which she's now been calling Mr. Toe Kitty. We'll work on that. Also, 3 tubes of princess lip gloss. I assure you, there is not a chapped lip in this house right now.

Carter got a word game and a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Batman got a game day jersey. I don't know what in the hell Carter is wearing here. Those athletic UA shirts are to be worn for sports only. I'm losing control.

Fat guy in a little coat. Sing it with me.

Batsy boy has made a resolution to lose weight in 2011. Promise.

Daylight creeped in and we got busy.

Paint for everyone!

Jack received a Melissa and Doug train to paint, sticker and assemble from KS and Hann. And, a train sticker book. Kept him busy! Which, also seems like a gift to me. :)

There was paint everywhere.

This morning, we ventured outside a bit to survey the damages. Even Thomas was having a hard time.

Our chalk bucket was left out and has been overflowing for the past 2 days.

A tree limb is down. Several parts of the garden are under water.

But, the roses are blooming!

We have no view. Clouds and fog.

Yuck. It should all end tomorrow......just as Blake returns from traveling to L.A. He planned that well.

Today's agenda:

*Deliver baked goods to civil workers (trash guys, recycle guys, gardener, mail man, etc)

*Tantrum control.

*Craft and snack with neighbors. Making Martha Stewart's magazine trees.

*And, maybe.....just maybe.....if we're feeling really wild and crazy......a trip to Costco!

Happy Wednesday!