Wednesday, July 31, 2013

52 weeks of blogging with a purpose - Turn Back Time

We all live with regrets, it is human nature.  At some point in our life we have thought I wish I could have done that different, or have a do over.  How I wish I could go back in time and do this or do that.
When I first saw this topic I was thinking oh man I have so many thing I would change, I would have done this different or that.  So here are the things I would do.

* I would go back and tell my 16 year old self, enjoy things and don't sweat the small stuff.  I was always worried about pleasing other and what they thought.  (Ok I still do that to be honest)

* I would tell my 18 year old self, go to college!  Life will be so much easier to do it then than at 23.  I would tell my 25 year old self, finish college!  Life would be so much easier with that degree.  Your parents are smarter than you think and they do know what they are talking about.

* I would tell my 29 year old self, 30 really isn't that bad.  In fact your 30's will be the best years of your life.  I would most positively tell my 32 year old self even though this feels like rock bottom and your life will never be complete it isn't.  That the longing you heart feels for the love of a child your own will come true in just a few short years.  That the most giving and selfless woman will come into your life and she will make you a mom to the most amazing little boy your heart could ever love.

* I would try to be kinder to the people I love the most.  Because the heart and soul doesn't really ever  forget those things.

But then I really sat and thought and realized everything  most things that happened in my life that I would change, would have changed the course of my life and I wouldn't be where I am right now.  And I don't think I would ever want that to happen.  I know my life isn't perfect right now but it is my life and I love it.


Be sure to head over to From Mrs to Mama to check out the other entries by some other great moms!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

52 weeks of blogging with a purpose - Who I am

Be sure to head over to From Mrs to Mama to check out the other entries by some other great moms!

I am a little late in joining in the 52 weeks of blogging with a purpose.  So I am going to be playing catch up over the next few weeks with it.  I have to admit that the first topic made me want to run the other direction and not look back.  For some reason this one was a tough one for me.  I can tell you what everyone knows, I am a daughter, wife and mother.  But beyond that I don't know anymore and that sort of makes me sad.
I will tell anyone who asks me that I feel the adoption process killed my self confidence and self assurance.  Ten years ago I was a self assured confident hear me roar woman.  I picked up my belonging and moved to a city where I knew no one after a failed relationship and tried to start over.  Did I stumble and fall flat on my face, maybe in some ways I did, but I still did it.  But in others I learned so much about myself and knew I could do anything I wanted and set my mind to.

I am a daughter to the most amazing parents!  They have been there for the best of the best and the worse of the worse.  My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders, even when they didn't agree with my choices.  They have always been there to pick me up when I fell without to many I told you so comments.  They were there when I was at my lowest point before my son Noah was brought to our family.  They were there for the joy the day he was born and when his adoption was finalized and my greatest wish came true.  My relationship with my parents has changes so much over the past few years and I look forward to the day I get to have the same type of relationship with Noah.  They were always parent first and friend later.  Now they are just the best grand parents in the world.

My amazing parents on my wedding day

I am a wife.  I married one of my best friends 5 years ago.  Do we have a perfect relationship, heaven's no!  We fight and argue.  We don't always like each other at times, BUT we do love each other all the time.  I am high strung, like things done when they need done and people who take initiative in things.  Joe is very laid back, things get done when they get done and you pretty much have to give him a list of instructions to do things.  We have been through alot in our marriage.  Medical issues with Joe, myself and both of my parents, alot of family issues with Joe's family.   The lose of a job and the financial struggle that comes with it.  We have also be through the best of the best!  The adoption of our amazing son and so much more.  So the work we put into our marriage is worth the work to me.  I had the best example of what a marriage should be with my parents and not working things out is never an option.  Are there days I want to through my hands up and walk away, you have no idea.  But I am sure there are days he feels that way to.

Joe and I on our wedding day

I am a mother!  My life long dream, the only thing I have ever wanted to be.  The best title I have ever had, the best job I have ever had.  I would give up every other great thing in my life for this.  Being a mother is more than I ever thought it would be.  It has brought new meaning to my life, and my complete being.  I am able to see the world through different eyes when I look at it through the eyes of my son.  I can look at him and know miracles happen and prayers get answered.  I can have the worse possible day and as soon as I see his smiling face when I pick him up at daycare it all melts away.  My every thought and breath is about Noah or for Noah.  The feeling to know he loves me so unconditionally is the best feeling, and that he needs me as much as I need him!  He is the most loving child, he truly is, he will stop what he is doing and just walk over to you and give you a big hug and kiss.  He is a snugly baby always ready for lap time and cuddles.  I take every chance I get for those bedtime cuddles and hold him way after I need to because I know someday he won't want to do that, and that breaks my heart!

Noah and I when he was 10 days old

I guess being a daughter, wife and mother isn't as bad as I made it sound.  But as for who I am and what I start for, that is harder for me to define.  After thinking about it, I think that is something that is forever changing in your life.  Who I was 15 years ago, then 10 years ago and even 5 years ago is complete different than who I am today.  

Terrific Tuesday

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

52 weeks of blogging with a purpose - If I were to win the lottery

Be sure to head over to From Mrs to Mama to check out the other entries by some other great moms!

Wow I don't even know where to even start with this!  I have always said I would love to win just enough to pay some bills.  You know the usual stuff pay off my house, get Joe and I each new cars, have a nice vacation, bank some and help my parents a little bit.  I didn't need to be able to quit my job I was ok working.

BUT IF I were to win the big time lottery there is so many things that come to mind for me.   I have to say as much as I love the people I work with I would quit my job.  I feel like I miss out on so much of Noah's life working.  I know it is something I have to do and I do it, but if I didn't have to I wouldn't.

The very first thing I would do is pay our adoption loan off.  It would so great to have that off our shoulders.  I can't express how much I want to adopt a sibling for Noah and having the money would make it possible.  But money cannot change 1 big factor age.  So just paying the loan off would be at the top of the list.  I would get more involved with adoptive family groups and birth families.  To show them both how amazing adoption can be if you work together.  

Noah's college would be taken care of hands down.  He will have the opportunity to go to college no matter what, he has a fund started now.  But it would not be a worry with loans left to take of for him or us to pay on the rest of our lives.  I tell Noah to dream big that he can be anything he wants to be, and he can.  But having the money to do it would make it so much easier.

I also love my neighbors and the street we live on.  It is so quiet and most everyone gets along, BUT I would LOVE to live in the county in a 1 story house, not a 3 story one in the middle of town.  I would love a piece of property big enough to have to strain to see my neighbors house.   For Noah to have a nice play area now with a juggle gym.  Then when he gets older a yard big enough to play football in with his friends.  It would have a pool for those hot humid summers.  The most amazing outdoor patio area with a fireplace for us to be able to have all our friends and family over for parties.  

I would buy myself that new Chevy Tahoe I have been dreaming of since we had one when we were in Vegas as a rental.  It was comfy and had lots of space for Noah's friends, or sports equipment.  I would get Joe a new car too.  He definitely  deserves one he has sacrificed so I could always get the one I wanted.  I don't need a big fancy sports car that you can't drive 4 or 5 months out of the year here in PA, something practical and useful.

I can't say I would buy my parents a new house because I am pretty sure they love the one they live in, but if they wanted I would do that for them.  I can't say I would pay it off because it already is.  I would however buy them that new camper they want.  My parents love to camp and go often so having a new camper would be great for them.  I would also pay off their truck.  I would get my dad that Harley he really wants too.  I want my parents to enjoy retirement and travel.  My parents have worked so hard to give my brother and I a great life and now they do the same with their grandchildren.  I want them to be able to retire and enjoy the kids while they can.  Life is short and you are never given tomorrow and I want them to enjoy today.  I would even help my brother to get a few things that I know he and his family would enjoy.

Lastly I would travel, travel, travel.  I have always dreamed of seeing places you only get to see in pictures or even movies.  Places that seem so amazing they don't seem real but you know they are.  Places like the city of love.  To stand under the Eiffel tower in the rain and fall in love all over again.    To be able to sit at the sidewalk cafes and enjoy lunch and the local culture.  To enjoy some of the best shopping in the world.  I think I would have to travel there for at least every season to experience it at it's best.  I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Paris.

Or Venice Italy and take a Gondola ride and see all the amazing building and lights.

To go to a place where the sand is so white and the water is so blue you just know it can't be for real and true.  The ocean is the 1 place my soul is at complete peace.  Where my heart is so happy and my mind is at rest.  To me the beach is the closest thing to heaven on this earth.  I can't explain the calming effect it has on me.  I have to say that I would spring for the beach house big enough for my entire family to enjoy together.  Family is everything and spending time with them is the most important thing.  So to have a place we can all come together and enjoy it would be priceless and what better place than the beach.

I wouldn't spend all our money our course, if we win the amount that I need to do all the above, there would be plenty left over.  I would invest alot to so Joe & I would be ok for the rest of our life.  And also so Noah and his future family would be ok.  It might not be enough that he would never have to work, because I do think he needs to do that in life.  But enough he and his wife and children can go on vacations and have nice things too.

Yea I guess I dream big, maybe to big at times.  But look at what happened last time I dreamed big.  You can't get any more amazing that that smile!


I know all this is based on winning ALOT of money and that is possible, for someone who plays the lottery.  However I do not, so these really are nothing but dreams.  But a girl can still dream right!?


Monday, July 15, 2013

On the Go snacks

Our summers life's are always packed full of something, like most people.  My family loves to camp in the summers and we are always on the go doing something all year long.  I have really been trying to watch what I am eating and lose some weight.  So I am always looking for some ideas and new things to keep if fresh for me.  I not only want to have healthy things for me but for Noah as well.  He is already wanting what Joe and I are eating and it is only going to get worse when he can ask for the stuff himself.  So I want to be setting a good example for him as well.  I a few years these will be great to take for after school activities for Noah.  Evenings at the ball field, football field or where ever he chooses to have us drag him!
Joe and I have different approaches to how we feel Noah should eat.  Yes we agree it needs to be healthy and we don't give him alot of junk.  But Joe feels he needs to eat everything on his plate and I feel as long as he eats all his protein and some veggies that is ok.  My parents never made us sit until our plates were clean,. Yes we did need to eat onur dinners but were not made to clean our plates.  Where as Joe came from a generation where you do that, in fact most of the time he will eat what is left over just because.  I don't think that is a healthy way of doing things.  I will say he has gotten much better about that sort of stuff.
I have heard all the rage about Pinterest, my cousins, my friends, people on facebook, everyone.  I set up an account months ago but never really bothered with it.  In having a conservation with my friend Meg she was telling me about all the things she cooks from there and other ideas she has gotten.  So one night she sat and texted me thorough a Pinterest crash course.  So thanks Meg for the lesson and the new addiction.
Here are a few snack ideas I saw and modified to help me stay healthy and not grab that candy bar and sugar.

For all of these snacks you will need two containers, a smaller one and a larger one.  The small one needs to fit inside the larger one with room left. So you can put your snacks in around them.

You use the smaller bowl for your dip and have your snack around it in the bigger bowl, so you have it all in one.  The nice thing is you can but a lid on both of them and take them pretty much anywhere.  You can pretty much use this for any type of snack you can imagine.

I like Ranch dressing with my veggies, but dressing can be pretty unhealthy, so I have started to make my own.  I get the Hidden Valley Ranch Packs.
I use the fat free mayo and 1% milk.  I haven't tried the skim milk  yet because I don't know if taking that much fat out of it would leave it with any flavor.  I like it for two reasons this way, first is it alot lower calorie and second it is alot thinner so you don't need as much, especially on a salad.   So I put the serving size I want in the smaller bowl and put the veggies around it.  You can use carrots, green peppers, celery or even broccoli.  Now that it is summer and we have a few cherry tomato plants in our yard I can't wait until those are ripe and ready to eat.

Another thing I have fallen in love with recently is the whipped Jif peanut butter.

I have to be honest I am not a big peanut butter eater, but I really love this stuff.  It is nice and fluffy.  As you can see on the picture you can use apples or even celery with it.  The top has a recipe to add honey and cinnamon to make a flavored type dip.

I am not a big mustard fan but you could do mustard and pretzels, chips and dip.  I could go on and on.  Not only can these ideas save you in calories but it will also save you in money, especially on a road trip or from vending machines.

I would love to hear what types of on the go snacks everyone else makes and would love to share.

Happy snacking.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Saving Money

Who doesn't love the idea of saving money!  Everyone always likes to have extra money in their pockets no matter what they choose to use it for.  For us it has become almost a necessity.  About 9 months before Noah was born Joe lost his job due to down sizing at the company he worked at.  A lot of people ask why we continued with the adoption because of it, but we were so far into the process and already had the finances in place and paying the loans from it why wouldn't we.  So for many months he was out of work and once he did find a job it was part-time making very minimal pay.  Having a baby is expensive no matter how you look at it, but we have the added expense of the adoption on top of it, our choice in a way I know.  So I have tried to become crafty with saving money.  I am no where close to being one of those extreme coupon people, and to be honest I don’t really know if I want to be.  They border being hoarders if you ask me buying stuff they will never even use and so much of it they could never use it all.  I am happy to just save a few bucks on the stuff I do buy and will use.  And then spend it on things for Noah!  I haven’t gotten the save part down pat yet, but I guess it equals out. 
So I thought I would share a few of the things I use to help save a little bit of money in our house.  I do the normal Sunday coupons, sometimes.  I have to say I do need to be better about those, but we don’t get the paper at home and I never think to stop and get one while I am out and about on Sundays.
I use the on my computer to print the coupons for items we use.  They have a great selection of items and you can really get some good coupons on there.  The program will let you print 2 sets from each computer you have.  So say you have a laptop you can print 2 sets and if your spouse has one you can print 2 sets from that one too.  I try to spread them out and not print all at one time because it moves the dates they expire out.  So maybe print 1 set each week.  
About 2 weeks ago I downloaded the app to my iphone.  When it asked if it could use my location I said no and the amount of coupons that it listed was crazy!  You can look at them, highlight the ones you want, if you have a wireless connection to your printer hooked up you can print right then.  But if you don’t you can email them to yourself and you get them in a link on your email and can print them from there.  So it was an easy way to get another set of coupons, but a better selection of them.  You can also do a coupon exchange with a friend.  My mom will print the coupons for wipes and diapers and give her set to me.  

 This is another app you can download to your phone.  It has dollar amounts set for certain items they have listed, and you get cash back on it.  For example they have CLEAR Scalp & Hair Therapy hair oil.  You get $1.25 cash back on the item.  And if you have a paper coupon you can use that as well and it won’t affect the cash back amount.  So if you have a $1.00 coupon you save a $1.00 right away and then get the $1.25 cash back for a savings of $2.25.  You have to take a picture of your receipt and then scan the items and submit it via your phone.  It will tell you when you scan the item if it isn't a match to their item, so you have to be very careful you get the exact item they have listed or you won’t get the cash back.  The only thing I don’t really like about the site is there isn’t a large selection of items at a time maybe like 16 to 20, but it is still cash back on what you use.  Usually within a few minutes you get a message the money has been added to your account.  You can leave it in the “bank” until you want to transfer it and then you send it to your PayPal account and use it how you want from there.  Here is an easy link to if you would like to sign up

This is an online shopping site that also offers cash back.  To use the Ebates you need to sign up using the email that you use on the sites you order from, that is how they tie back to your Ebates account.  Each store has a cash back amount tied to it, so say you shop at Old Navy you get 2% back of what you spent.  They have Feature stores where the percent back is increased.  When you want to shop you log on to your Ebates account, then type the store name in the search box and shop from there, you HAVE to do it this way for them to track it.  It usually takes a few days for your money to be added into your account and they are very good about it if you email when it hasn’t been.  So keep your emails from the stores until it is added because you need to copy the body and send it to them.  You only get your money I think on a quarterly basis but you can get a nice chunk of money in there if you shop on line a lot.  You can either have them send it in a paper check or add it to your PayPal account.  Here is a link to their site as well

Shopular & GeoQpons
These two are app I have on my iphone that have promo codes and coupons on it.  I used the GeoQpons several times this past weekend while out shopping.  You can search for the store and see if they have any codes for discounts or even coupons.  I just pulled the coupon up on my phone and the cashier just scanned it right from there and no paper coupon needed.  It is more for retail stores and is great for those eye catching purchases you weren't planning on and may not have a coupon for. 

Those are the coupon money saving sites I use and love.  One other way I have been earning some extra money is using the local yard sale site on facebook for our area to sale some of Noah’s things he has out grown.  We also have a great consignment shop in the area for kid’s items and I have gotten a lot of great items for him there, especially clothes for play and daycare.  I have even taken the things I couldn't sale online there and made some money off of them.  They go over all the items and make sure the toys and things are in safe working order and have all the parts and the clothing is gone over to make sure it is in good shape before it is sold.  You get half of what they sold it for and the other half goes to after school programs so it is a win win for everyone.

I would love to hear of any ways you all save money or help cut costs in your household. If you would like to email them to me or even post them in the comments I can write another post of them all in the future.

Happy Saving

Terrific Tuesday

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Time is the ever elusive thing for almost everyone I know.  There is never enough hours in the day, weeks in the year, time with friends and loved ones.  I am like every other person and working mother.  My days start early and end late and I often go to bed thinking, God the house is a mess, I need to do laundry, go grocery shopping and didn't get to spend enough time doing nothing with my son. 
After a busy weekend, but one of taking time to just spend time with Noah and friends, I was rocking him to sleep in his room.  He was very snuggle and nestled right down into my shoulder and had his arms tucked under his body holding on to his stuffed puppy.  I couldn't help but sit there and rock him much longer than I needed to knowing these days would be long gone soon.  It is funny how his little body and head are a perfect fit for my shoulder and arms, it is like God measured him to make sure we fit like pieces of a puzzle.  I have thought that so many times over the past 17 months, what a perfect fit he is.  Not only just for my arms but into our family all together.  It is hard to imagine what it was like before him; it is like he has always been with us. 
I saw a friend write about where she saw her life in five years and it got me to thinking.  I think about the past 17 months and where they have gone I can't imagine where life will be in 5 years.  I look back and never in a million years would have guessed 5 years ago this is where my life would be.  So to guess what 5 years from now would be is hard to think about.  I think it is so hard to think about where things will be 5 years from now is because I NEVER imagined this is where I would be in my life 5 years ago.  Joe and I had just gotten married and were enjoying the honeymoon phase of our lives.  We were enjoying our summer and family and our niece.  We had no thoughts of having a family.  Maybe because it was something we talked about and it was like well I can't have children so that is the way it is going to be.  Then the blow came right before our 1st anniversary.  My brother and his wife were pregnant with their second child.  Time stood still for me and in that moment I knew I needed to be a mother, I had to be a mother. 
As everyone knows I have become a mother to the most amazing little boy in the entire world, or my world anyway.  Though it came with tears and struggles it was well worth it and every bit amazing if not more amazing that I ever imagined it to be.
Time is one of those funny things I guess, it keeps moving even when you want it to stand still.  In a second your life can change for good or bad.  I do know life will be crazy and busy with a 6 year old then.  I hope my house if full of laugher and chatter of all things boy!  And most of all I am sure I will be wishing then time will stand still like I did the other night and all the nights before that!



I want to apologize for all the changes going on with the blog right now.  I am working on trying to make it better and a little more organize and seem to be have problems with that. 
Please stick around and I promise I will get it worked out.