And the winner is …

I hosted a give-a-way on my birthday! I was giving away this lovely hand-embroidered sun ….

There were 15 who entered … and number four was, S. of Sassyimes! Congrats!
Don’t be too sad if you didn’t win, I frequently host give-a-ways; I’ll do another soon! Thanks for playing!

Ahhhh, nature

In honor of spring break, an early spring, and my birthday, we escaped this past weekend for a long-weekend-get-a-way trip with our camper. We went to Brown County, Indiana. Have you ever been there? It is gorgeous

I had no idea that ferns grew like this. I was enamored by their little spirals. The next day, after taking this photo, they had all uncurled. 
Lots of fun times with these two goofy kids!
I wore my boots and my favorite skirt on my birthday day and we walked around the town of Nashville, Indiana, which is my new favorite place. It’s filled with artists shops, craft shops and little boutiques. I loooooved it. 
Not a shabby way to ring in my 34th year.

A birthday give-a-way!

Today is my birthday, and, in honor of my birthday, I’m doing a give-a-way!  I embroidered this happy little sun and text and framed it – and it’s yours if you’re the lucky one! I made one for myself and I made an identical one for you.

My frame is on the wall right beside the chalkboard in our kitchen/eat-in area.
I see it as I leave out the door each morning.

The biggest and bestest gift I can give myself is the advice to sloooow down and take the time to appreciate the moment. That’s what the saying, “Now is the time to be happy” means to me. Be happy right now. Don’t be stuck waiting for something else to happen. Appreciate the here and now because it’s pretty special.
Here’s how to enter the give-a-way:
1.) Leave a comment {make sure I have your email address}
2.) For an extra entry, tweet about my give-a-way with a link to this post.
3.) For another extra entry, put a link to this post on your Facebook page.
{if you do the extra entries, please let me know in the comments so that I can count them!}
The give-a-way closes at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 2 

Some more shots of the piece:

I embroidered the sun and text onto linen fabric using yellow and black thread, stuck it to a backing board, put a mat on it and framed it. The sun and text is my own design. The frame measures 8×10 and is wood.

Good luck, and, take the time today to sit back and enjoy yourself.


Lydia made a hand puppet at school. One side is happy. One side is sad. 
She told me that she’s going to keep it by her bed so that when she wakes up, she can put it on her hand to show me if she’s happy or sad that day.
But, she said, “I’m probably always going to choose the happy side.”
I hope so, my dear, and I will try to do the same.

Lego Fest!

We went to Lego Kids Fest this weekend and it was a blast! The girls had so much fun! We had a bunch of fun too!  We’re excited the girls are into Legos because it means we get to play with them too!  Lots of exclamation points! !!  I didn’t take my regular camera because I wanted to concentrate on having fun, instead of being behind the lens, but I did capture some cute shots with my phone! 
Chewy! The big Lego statues were pretty awesome.

My favorite – Harry Potter!

The girls love the new girly Lego sets.

There were group build spots throughout the show. The girls were busy creating little scenes.

My bearded man and a bricked bearded man.

We brought Legos home with us! 

Losing it

It’s time. I’m going to do it. I’m going to go on a diet and be more active. I’m going to lose the extra weight I’ve been carrying around for years. Yesterday was the first day. 
I’m counting calories by using the Lose It app on my Iphone. I am walking around our neighborhood very briskly in the evenings. I plan to become more active once I get my energy level up. My goal? To lose 75 pounds. I hope to achieve it by the end of this calendar year. I’m giving myself nine months. I realize I may not achieve my goal and that it’s a bit lofty, but I wanted to set a high goal so that I made myself work really really hard at it. My husband is joining me in this endeavor, which helps because we can be accountable to each other for eating right and staying within our allotted calories. 
I set my goal weight of losing 75 pounds because if I do lose that much, I’ll weigh the same as I did before I got pregnant with my girls eight years ago. Look how thin I was!
This photo was taken exactly seven years ago. The girls were six months old.

I think I look rather hot in this photo. That’s how I want to look again. And isn’t my mom a cutie? She probably won’t like that I’m posting this photo, but I think we all look darling. I’m holding Lydia – she’s holding Arlene. Wee little baaaaaabies. This photo was taken two months after the previous photo. 
And this is me now:
What can I say – fat and happy?  Yup, I’m pretty much fat and happy. But, I want to be thin and happy. It’s time to work on it! I’m excited that my husband and I are doing this together. I know we can do it because when we set our minds to something we get it done. It’s time to work on this right now, to work on ourselves. These past years we’ve been so focused on selling our old house and on moving and on our jobs and the kids. It’s time to focus on us. Our jobs are going excellent, we are living in our dream home, and of course we’ll still focus on the girls. Because this is for them too. We are striving to be healthy and to have more energy to keep up with them!

Wish me luck! This here blog is also a big accountability step for me. I wasn’t sure about posting this weight loss/diet plan of mine and making it so public, but I decided it would help me really to do it. I’ll do periodic updates as I lose the weight and hopefully nine months from now I’ll be able to post a picture of myself many, many  pounds lighter! 

{And yes, I do realize this post is totally contradictory to the ice cream post from yesterday! We are going to enjoy ice cream in moderation. I’m not giving it up completely, heck no! I can’t do that. But moderation is key. Moderation.}