Currently.

me, right now.

My sweet friend Megan shared this fun post this morning, so I thought I'd play along while I wait for Henry to wake up from his nap!

Obsessing over: Movies. I think winter always gets me into movie-mode, and this year I've been really into re-watching old favorites via Netflix Instant Play during Henry's naptime while I get things done. Today was the black and white Miracle on 34th Street. So good.  And right now Netflix has so many great films to stream including two of my most favorites- Death Becomes Her and Edward Scissorhands. They also have some newer ones I really enjoyed, like Morning Glory.

Working on: I'm currently in the middle of a couple of new blog-related and writing projects, but what I am working on right now is making it through the day without indulging in sweets! I do great all day long, but around 4 or 5pm I find myself making the same not-so-good choices. And every day I tell myself that I'm not going to do it again, but for the past few days I've ignored my better judgment and had that cookie (or cookies), that caramel corn, or whatever other nutrient-free mindless snack is available. Ugh. I'm all for treats and enjoying delicious food...but when I'm grabbing these snacks I'm not even hungry. So today I'm just trying to get back on track from our holiday weekend, and holiday weekend leftovers!


Thinking about: going to Henry's 1-year appointment in a few hours. Honestly, it feels like yesterday when we brought him in for the first time. I was fresh from my c-section and all of those days seem like the biggest blur...except certain distinct moments with Henry. I remember that first appointment vividly, and I'll admit I'm a little teary thinking about bringing him in today for his big one-year-later check-up. I'm also thinking about how truly lucky and grateful I feel to have a healthy one-year old.


Anticipating: Christmas, of course! I can't wait for all of the fun events coming up. Outside of family stuff think I'm most looking forward to the party Natalie and I are having at my house- an old-fashioned girls' sleepover for our girlfriends. We're doing a potluck, ornament exchange, and heading downtown to enjoy the lights and winter sights. Very excited.

Listening to: the white noise via Henry's noise machine in his room. He's due to wake up from his nap any minute, so pretty soon the sounds will be interrupted by babbling and sweet little "ma ma ma ma mas." I'm also having a text conversation with Autumn so every minute or so the little notification goes off. If only all of my friend who are stay-at-home Moms lived in the same place!

Drinking: water. It's pretty much all I ever drink, with the occasional green tea or almond milk in my rare bowl of cereal.

Wishing: that I could slow down time, just a little. 2012 in just about a month? I feel like it's 1998 and I'm still 16. Where did the time go?

How about you? What are you up to today?

A Generous Lawyer

A local United Way office realized that the organization had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute.

"Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $500,000, you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?"

The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, "First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?"

Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, "Um ... no."

The lawyer interrupts, "or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?"

The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology, but was interrupted again.

"or that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident," the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless with three children?!"

The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea..."

On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again, "So if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?"

Tattoo Tuesday V.98


Name/blog name: Julia at http://weliveoutloud.wordpress.com/
Age: 31
Occupation: Full time mommy. Part time hair stylist/makeup artist
Age of first tattoo: 18
Favorite tattoo: Boombox on my left shin. It is from the album Subliminal Plastic Motives by my favorite band, self
Featured tattoo/location: Mary Poppins sleeve on my left arm
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Ahmed at Trader Bobs Tattoo in St. Louis, MO


1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?

I get asked this a lot. Understandably so. I used to watch Mary Poppins A LOT when I was a child. It quickly became my favorite movie. Then a few years after high school, I packed up and headed east to New York City where I became a nanny. I sent out to be a Mary Poppins. I try to live my life with the motto "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"



2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

I have a bunch of random ones. Boombox on left shin, rose on right shin, stars around my right wrist, butterfly on center of back, nautical star on back of neck.



3) Do you plan on getting more?

Absolutely. I intend on doing my right arm eventually. I have many ideas as to what I'd like. I would like to do something for my daughter, Zalyn. It's just a matter of time. My brother in law is a tattoo artist and I have many plans for him to do plenty of my upcoming work.




4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?

My family is amazing. At first, my parents weren't too hip to the idea of their little girl "decorating her body." But they have grown to love it. I've even been introduced to some of my mothers friends, siblings friends etc and they'll say, "OOH, you're the one with the Mary Poppins tattoo." I suppose that means they brag about me? As far as adversity is concerned, yes, I get some negative feedback. But only from strangers. My husband (who is heavily tattooed as well) and I were in the store one time and a gentleman walked passed us and shouted, "It's not Halloween, kids. Trick or treat, freaks!" We just brush it off our shoulder. Yes, we get stared at from time to time and yes people say things of the sorts, "What are you going to do when you get older?" or "Are you going to let your child get tattooed?" and the ever so popular, "Why would you do something like that?" There's some close minded people out there that just don't quite understand the nature of why people get tattoos. And that's ok. We just make the world a little more colorful!





5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? This can be something someone said to you, a weird tattooing experience, whatever.

My favorite story involving my tattoo's was when I came to visit my grandparents after being gone for awhile. My sleeve was close to being done. The last time I saw my grandparents, I only had the top of my shoulder. So, needless to say, they were shocked. My grandfather looked at me and said, "My oh my, every time we see you, you are more and more decorated." Then my grandmother chimed in and said with a smile, "Yes, and we love you more and more." My grandmother passed away almost 3 years ago and I'm constantly reminded of her strength, beauty and wit. Just the way she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and the way she said that, makes my heart melt each time I think about it. My grandfather was right, we really truly are "decorated."



 
6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

Think it through. Don't rush into it. Do research on who you're going to have do your tattoo. If you see someone with a tattoo you like, ask them who did it for them. Then check out said artists portfolio. Once you found the right person and decided on the perfect piece, be prepared. Bring a bottle of water or gatorade. I resort to sucking on lollipops while getting tattoo'd. And I focus on my breathing. Whether you are getting a large piece that will take some time, or something small, just remind yourself that the pain only lasts a little while and when it's all said and done, you'll have a pretty awesome reminder of your strength that you sat through a pretty painful experience. That's how I look at it and it's gotten me this far.

Chilli joke laugh out loud

WARNING : ONLY Read This Once You Are About To LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Hysterics might set in. The writer of this piece paints a very vivid picture... funny stuff.

You will laugh - guaranteed! ENJOY!!

I went to Bunnings recently while not being altogether sure that course of action was a wise one. You see, the previous evening I had prepared and consumed a massive quantity of my patented 'you're definitely going to s**t yourself' road-kill chilli. Tasty stuff, albeit hot to the point of being painful, which comes with a written guarantee from me that if you eat it, the next day both of your butt cheeks WILL fall off.

Here's the thing. I had awakened that morning, and even after two cups of coffee (and all of you know what I mean) nothing happened. No 'Watson's Movement 2'. Despite habanera peppers swimming their way through my intestinal tract, I was unable to create the usual morning symphony referred to by my dear wife as 'thunder and lightning'.

Knowing that a time of reckoning had to come, yet not sure of just when, I bravely set off for Bunnings, my quest being paint and supplies to refinish the den. Upon entering the store at first all seemed normal. I selected a cart and began pushing it about dropping items in for purchase. It wasn't until I was at the opposite end of the store from the toilets that the pain hit me.

Oh, don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm referring to that 'Uh, Oh, ~ Bad Word ~, gotta go' pain that always seems to hit us at the wrong time.. The thing is, this pain was different. The habaneras in the chilli from the night before were staging a revolt.

In a mad rush for freedom they bullied their way through the small intestines, forcing their way into the large intestines, and before I could take one step in the direction of the toilets which would bring sweet relief, it happened. The peppers fired a warning shot.

There I stood, alone in the paint and stain section, suddenly enveloped in a noxious cloud the likes of which has never before been recorded. I was afraid to move for fear that more of this vile odor might escape me.

Slowly, oh so slowly, the pressure seemed to leave the lower part of my body, and I began to move up the aisle and out of it, just as a red aproned clerk turned the corner and asked if I needed any help.

I don't know what made me do it, but I stopped to see what his reaction would be to the malodorous effluvium that refused to dissipate.. Have you ever been torn in two different directions emotionally? Here's what I mean, and I'm sure some of you at least will be able to relate.
I could've warned that poor clerk, but didn't. I simply watched as he walked into an invisible, and apparently indestructible, wall of odour so terrible that all he could do before gathering his senses and running, was to stand there blinking and waving his arms about his head as though trying to ward off angry bees.

This, of course, made me feel terrible, but then made me laugh........BIG mistake!!!!!

Here's the thing. When you laugh, it's hard to keep things 'clamped down', if you know what I mean. With each new guffaw an explosive issue burst forth from my nether region. Some were so loud and echoing that I was later told a few folks in other aisles had ducked, fearing that someone was robbing the store and firing off a shotgun.

Suddenly things were no longer funny. 'It' was coming, and I raced off through the store towards the toilets, laying down a cloud the whole way, praying that I'd make it before the grand mal assplosion took place.

Luck was on my side. Just in the nick of time I got to the dunny, began the inevitable 'Oh my God', floating above the toilet seat because my ass is burning SO BAD, purging. One poor fellow walked in while I was in the middle of what is the true meaning of 'Shock and Awe'.

He made a gagging sound, and disgustedly said, 'Son-of-a-~ Bad Word ~!, did it smell that bad when you ate it?', then quickly left.

Once finished and I left the toilet, reacquired my partially filled cart intending to carry on with my shopping when a store employee approached me and said, 'Sir, you might want to step outside for a few minutes. It appears some prankster set off a stink bomb in the store. The manager is going to run the vent fans on high for a minute or two which ought to take care of the problem.'

My smirking of course set me off again, causing residual gases to escape me. The employee took one sniff, jumped back pulling his shirt up to cover his nose and, pointing at me in an accusing manner shouted, 'IT'S YOU!', then ran off returning moments later with the manager. I was unceremoniously escorted from the premises and asked none too kindly not to return.

Home again without my supplies, I realized that there was nothing to eat but leftover chilli, so I consumed two more bowls.

The next day I went to shop at Woolies. I can't say anymore about that because we are in court over the whole matter.

Bas tar ds claim they're going to have to repaint the store.

It's Time.

I saw this beautiful video this morning, and knew I had to share it here too. xoxo

Monday links


a bit of pretty sunlight on an evening run with Henry this past week.

Hello and happy Monday! I'm excited about this post because I have SO many fun things to show you today. It's already been a great day and after a long organizing session last night I feel really good about getting a lot checked off of my list. It was a fun weekend and I finally got to see Breaking Dawn. I wouldn't say I'm a die-hard Twilight fan- I'm more of an Anne Rice vampire kinda gal- but at the base of Stephenie Meyer's just-okay writing lies such a great story that I can't help but love the series. The movie was good too, and I found myself totally riveted and only giggled out loud a few times. ;) Some other great things this weekend: a 6-mile hike Saturday morning, a visit from our friend Paco, and making homemade vegan "chicken" pot pie (I'll share that recipe later this week).

And now somehow, it's Monday! I took a little break over the long weekend so my typical Friday links post was moved to today. I hope you enjoy them! Let me know which one you loved best. xo!

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First of all, did you know that you can now turn your Instagrams into canvases?! Yet another fabulous IG add-on. And right now, Canvas Pop is offering a great deal too- a 12x12 for $29.95 and a 20x20 for $59.95. Awesome, right? Thanks to my friend Alana for sharing this with me via Mashable.

Angela reminded me that I really need to take a hot air balloon ride sometime this year- it's absolutely one of my "must-do" things in life.

After following this couple's journey to adopting their daughter, this video pretty much made my day.

Does a perfect childhood make you soft? I really, really enjoyed this article.

Confessions of a Hipster Mom- too funny! Have you done this before? Love this post on one of my fave blogs.

There aren't many male bloggers around these parts, but Steven Andrew sure holds his own. Go say hi!

Rachel's tips on creating a cheap meal plan are spot on. Super inspiring.

This post was a great reminder to "date my husband."

This stop-motion wedding video is way too cute!

Here's Lesley's second part to her "Surviving the Holidays" series. It's all about managing stress, something most of us can relate to I'm sure!

Interesting post about "eating yourself fertile."

How adorable is this print? It makes me want to bundle up for a winter walk with Hank.

This family's story broke my heart. I can't even imagine how this would feel...sending as much love as I can their way.

Oh, I love the vintage library baby shower ideas in this post.

WHOA. You can receive all three of my favorite magazines for $20?!

Have I mentioned how much I love Amber? This post totally made me smile.

I didn't make these sweet potato and marshmallow biscuits this year, but I've bookmarked them for next!

And finally, a few blogs I've been loving: one and two.

Have a good week!

Favorite Calendars for 2012

If you're anything like me, you probably love how the new year offers promises of so many new opportunities, new plans...and new ways to be organized. There are few things that make me happier than a fresh, crisp-paged planner, and even better, a brand-new calendar to hang on the wall. The best kind of calendars are part functional, part beautiful, but I'd say that each of the calendars below are all beautiful! Which one is your favorite?





Light Parade 2011

Everything is so much more fun with Henry around, and that goes double for the holidays.  Even though we still have a month until Christmas, we've been having a great time adopting new traditions, and making old ones our own. Every year our town has a light parade, and it's a lot of fun to get bundled up, get some hot chocolate, and watch all the floats go by. One of the things I love most about living in a small town is all of the tradition and fun the holidays bring, and our town really seems to come even more alive this time of the year. We had a great time at the parade, and I think Henry did too (minus the fire engines' sirens- he HATED those). It was a fun night though- cold but not too cold, crowded downtown but not too bad- and a good time was had by all!

Happy almost-December, everyone!

Light Parade 2011
Picnik collage11
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011

Light Parade 2011
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Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Light Parade 2011
Picnik collage1111

Pain of Married Men


A woman awakes in the middle of the night to find her husband was not in bed.

She goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in his hand.

The husband appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

"What's the matter, dear?" she whispers as she steps into the room. "Why are you down here at this time of night?"

The husband looks up from his coffee, "Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 18?" he asks solemnly. "Yes I do" she replies.

The husband pauses; the words were not coming easily. "Do you remember when your father caught us in the garden?"

"Yes, I remember" said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued.. "Do you remember when he showed the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I'll send you to jail for 20 years?"

"I remember that too" she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said, "I would have been released today” !!!!!!!!!!!

So my question is, Are you man enough to bear the pain ? :) I hope you liked this funny jokes on marriage

today on Hello Giggles...


 Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm over on Hello Giggles today talking about "instant BFFs." Are you mine?

Happy Thanksgiving Quotes and Photos


It was the night of HAPPY THANKSGIVING, but I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, i tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned - the dark meat and white,
but i fought the temptation with all of my mighty.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
thought of a snack became infatuation.
So, I went to the kitchen flung the door open,
gazed at the refrigerator, GOODIES galore complete.

Gobbled up turkey and potatoes with butter, pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so complete and so round,
"Til suddenly got off the ground.

I stumbled through the ceiling, floating into the sky,
With mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
BUT, I managed to yell as I have risen to over TREES ....
Happy eating to all - pass cranberries, please.

May your stuffing be tasty.
May your potatoes and Sauce have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious.
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.


Wish you all have a Wonderful Happy Thanksgiving from Its All Humor

What really matters.

A lot of the time I am blown away with the number of you who make Sometimes Sweet a daily stop, and it's amazing to me that you take the time out of your day to come here and share in my world. I often think though that with all of the readers and friends I have met over the past few years, there has to be something more I can do with this gift of an audience.

Outside of this bubble we live in, there is so much more going on in the world. It's easy to get caught up in your daily life and forget this- I know I am guilty of often having a one-track "me me me" mindset, and not looking or thinking outside of where I very comfortably sit. But one of my biggest goals for this next year (and now) is to make a difference, and that's where this blog comes in.

Today I'm going to be telling you all about my sweet friend Kristin and the work she is doing over in India. And in the months to come, I'll be sharing different charities, organizations, or individuals that I am personally familiar with that are doing amazing things. Sometimes it's hard for me to just send donations off- I wonder if the money is really going where they say it is, or I'm concerned about the way it's handled. I'm not sure if everyone is like that (maybe I'm just crazy), but if I can't physically help out myself, it's comforting to me to know the person who is, and to see the good they are doing with the donations.

My friend Kristin is a nurse and is currently living in India. She blogs daily about the work she does, and shares some of the most heart-wrenching, inspiring photos and stories. Here's a little bit from her:


"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others... That is a quote by M.K. Gandhi that I stumbled upon before my first trip to India back in February 2011. Fast forward to November and I can easily tell you that I have never understood what he meant more than I do right now. I am an American nurse living life in the biggest city in North East India, Guwahati. I walked away from my simple Californian life and moved to the state of Assam in May after participating in a one week mission with a NGO that repairs cleft lips and palates free of cost. I work full time (and then some) with them now as a nurse manager at a brand new cleft care center in Guwahati.



India is what we in 'developed' countries would call 'underdeveloped.' It teems with half built infrastructure,  animals, temples, greenery, trash, and people. Oh, the people. Or more specifically, the children. I feel like it took me some time to really open my eyes to what surrounded me and in true Indian fashion, what I saw was this twisted, heartbreaking beauty. There are children all over the streets of Guwahati, beautiful children. They are dirtied, half-clothed and hungry. For a longer time than I like to admit, I walked past these children and though my heart ached deep inside my chest, I did nothing. After weeks of planning, talking with friends, going back and forth and feeling discouraged, I made a decision. It was a basic one: I was going to feed the kids. I went down to the slums that first week scared, shaking and alone. I had made 20 meals and in under five minutes they were filling the bellies of 20 hungry children. It was clear, I had to keep this going. Now I am almost two months into this project that I call Asha Guwahati, and it is growing by the day. The goal of what I do is simple, I want to show the children of this slum and street community true love. I feed them without expectation of anything in return. I am still just one person orchestrating these feedings out of my kitchen. I currently make 50 meals at a time, one to two times per week. It takes me around three hours to make the food, and less than ten minutes to pass it out. Every feeding I have different friends come and help, everyone that helps gives of their time freely. Once a month we hold a street kids day where we bathe, trim hair, and cloth 20-30 kids. I am not changing the world as a whole but very certainly, very slowly, the whole world of each child we care for is changing.



Going to the slums is still scary and overwhelming. When the children see us coming with the baskets of food they run to us with this heartbreaking mix of panic and joy. They know I am there, they know that they will not go to bed hungry that night but they are scared that I will not have enough for them. I have many plans for this project but my goal will always remain simple. I know I can feed these kids, I know I can make the food and pass it out and I will do it as much as possible. I have totally lost myself in the service of the children of Assam, India. It means more to me than I could ever express that my friends like Danielle, all the way over in Arizona support me. If it means that much to me, I can not even begin to imagine how much it might mean to these children who have stolen my heart completely."
 
 

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If you visit Kristin's blog I guarantee that you will be moved, maybe to tears like I am, every time I read about her days in India. I urge you to read back in her posts- it's heartbreaking, but also so amazing that she is able to do what she is doing. So that's where we come in. I went back and forth about whether or not I felt comfortable asking you all to donate, but when it comes down to it, I can't think of a better way to assist Kristin in her efforts.



Here's how you can help:

make a donation to Kristin's project- Asha Guwahati. To feed a child one meal costs about 25 cents (and Kristin is working on getting this cost even lower). So even if you gave a dollar, you would be providing FOUR meals. Awesome, right? 

If you can donate anything, a quarter, 
a dollar, ten dollars, you can do so 
via paypal to ashaguwahati@gmail.com.

*Kristin also wanted me to let you know that she is one person developing this feeding project out of her kitchen, and every single rupee goes to the meals and the "street girls" day. She also wanted you to know that she isn't an NGO and therefore cannot offer receipts or letters verifying donations for tax refunds, etc. 

Outside of donating, you can follow Kristin's blog and support her via correspondance, comments, or even just saying hello and letting her know you're there, supporting her. You can also share her blog with others, share this post via Facebook or twitter, or you could even blog about it in our own space, and encourage your own friends and family to help out.

The neatest part about being a part of Kristin's growing project is that you will get to see your donation (whether it be monetary or even sharing her story, reading her blog etc.), come to life as you follow along on her journey. It's truly an amazing thing.

Thank you guys so very much for taking the time to read this. xoxo

Thankful.

thankful

In the spirit of gratitude I thought I would share some things I'm feeling grateful for.  I try and think about what I'm thankful for everyday, and I have to admit that writing these little lists out always puts me in the best mood. It's a good exercise, and I love having these posts to look back on on a particularly down day to cheer me right up. So, without further ado, here's my list-

1. My family. I feel lucky to be married to my best friend, and even better? He's the greatest father. Everyday I wake up and feel so grateful for Hank, and now that we have sweet Henry in the picture, life just feels...right.  I love spending my days with Henry- his laughs and smiles have brought more happiness to me than anything in the world, and I feel like it's so much easier to find positivity in every aspect of life with that little guy calling me mama. Even the worst of days have that bit of goodness in them, and for that I am so thankful. Beyond us three, I'm so thankful for all of my family. We have a solid one, and I try to never, ever forget that.

2. Madeline. Before Henry was born she was the baby of the house, and even though things have completely changed, she is still the sweetest thing in the entire world. We went through a weird transitional phase when Henry first arrived but now we are all back to normal, and she truly is Henry's best friend. It's awesome to watch them play and explore together. Madeline's pretty much in heaven to have a full-time, roll-around-on-the-floor playmate.

3. The basics. A roof over our head, food in our bellies, clean water to drink.

4. My friends. Over this past year my idea of what a friend is and how to be a friend changed a bit, and in that shift I've found myself with a lot less close friends than ever. But this is a good thing. I now have the time and energy to focus on the people in my life that matter, rather than spreading myself thin with too many people. Quality over quantity, and the few that I keep close are some of the best people in the entire world. This past year I've also met and gotten quite close with a few new mama friends, and I adore them, even though they are at least a couple of hours away (and one all the way up the West Coast!). Their daily support and friendship is amazing.

5. My education. Even though I stay home with Henry now, I am so thankful to have been able to attend both college and graduate school.  I think back so fondly on my college times, and not just at all the fun my friends and I had socially- I feel like I really learned a lot in all of the classes I took in regards to English. I have such a love for writing, and although that's been a part of me for as long as I can remember, so many of my professors at NAU and so many of the classes I took really helped ignite a deeper passion for it.  It think of them every day and feel very grateful to have had that experience, and I'm excited to move forward with all of it.

6. The knowledge and ability to change anything I want. Right now I'm just taking each day for what it is, a chance to be a better wife and mother. I know that if yesterday I was in a snappy mood, today I can change my attitude and be kinder. I know that if I made poor food choices, if I was more lazy than productive, so on and so forth, then right now I can fix that through my actions. In the past I think I would let a bump in the road shake me, thus starting a cycle of more negativity. Now though I'd like to think that proactively moving forward has helped me get closer to becoming that person I want to be, and I'm thankful for this.

7. Health. Everyday I feel thankful for this, because I've seen so many people in my life deal with very hard things. From my Mom's breast cancer to my Dad's heart problems, we recently had a few years that were very difficult. And although everything is good now, going through a lot of what we did together made me really appreciate good health and to never take it for granted.

8. Technology. I love that we are all so connected and I'm able to be in touch with my faraway family and friends whenever I want. I was just emailing with my friend in India- it was 11:30pm and bedtime for her- and I had to sit back for a moment and marvel at how awesome that really is.

9. Having the luxury of being able to even type out a thankful list. Really. There's so much that goes into this little act- a happily napping baby, a computer, electricity, etc. etc. 

10. And finally, some little things, both serious and silly: the men and women who serve our country, Netflix, yoga pants, Trader Joe's coming to town, Sons of Anarchy, Oprah, cheese (Gouda and Muenster specifically), Pink Lady apples, my Kindle and getting to read any book instantly, feeling like we are getting even a little bit closer to marriage equality, Martha Stewart Living, this blog, and all of you!

And speaking of you, what are you thankful for? If you post a list on your blog, be sure to link me below so I can go check it out too. 

p.s. I have something special I'll be sharing on the blog tomorrow that has been on my mind for awhile. Until then, have a great night and a happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate!

Thirty points to note you are getting older when

I just can't drink the way I used to", replaces, "I'm never going to drink that much again".

06:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff".

A 'late night' now ends at 11 pm.

About half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief".

All you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of your age.

All your favorite music is in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.

An "all nighter" means not getting up to pee!

At the breakfast table you hear snap, crackle, pop and you're not eating cereal.

Conversations with people your own age often turn into "dueling ailments."

Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

Eating a basket of buffalo wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.

Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work.

Getting a little action means you don't need to take a laxative.

Getting lucky means you find your car in the parking lot.

Grocery lists are longer than macaroni & cheese, diet Pepsi and Ho-Ho's

Happy hour is a nap.

Having sex in a twin-sized bed is absurd.

It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.

It takes twice as long to look half as good.

It takes two tries to get up from the couch.

It's tougher to lose weight, because over time your body and your fat are really good friends.

Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."

Many of your co-workers were born the same year that you got your last promotion.

MTV News is no longer your primary source for information.

You have more hair growing out of your ears than you have on your head.

You have more patience, but it is actually that you just don't care anymore.

You have to stop jogging for your health because your thighs rubbing together start your panty hose on fire.

You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

Tattoo Tuesday V.97


 Name and blog name: Kierstan Burke and I just have a tumblr.

Occupation: I work part time as a bartender and part time as a cake decorator.

Age of first tattoo: I was 16. My dad drove me to Idaho to get it. I really wish he would have just made me wait. All the tattoos I got before the age of 20 are all covered up at this point.

Favorite tattoo: I have 3 favorites! My wolf head on my thigh, my portrait of Clara Bow, and my best friend "avada kedavra" matching finger tattoo.

Featured tattoo/location: My wolf's head with a dagger! It's on my inner right thigh

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: It was done by James Fanara at Boar's Head Tattoo in Spokane, WA.



Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning? 

I really was just in the right place at the right time. I had gone into the shop to drop off a scarf that I had borrowed from the wife of one of the artists. James had drawn up the wolf's head that day, and wanted to tattoo it badly. So I got it!


Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where? 

I have two tattoos in progress, my back piece, and my left sleeve. I have a panther on my back, and a my peacock on my left arm. I have my right arm basically finished minus some stars and dots on my upper arm. On my arm I have cupcakes, roses I ha, a grandfather clock, two owls, some sailor jerry flash as filler, a phillies p, and a cupcake themed sugar skull. Several on my left leg. they are a gypsy girl, golden snitch, Hedwig holding the sorting hat, Clara Bow portrait, avocado, roses, a tea cup, a tator tot, and a boar's head. On my right leg I have a pin up girl, my wolfs head, an elephant on my kneecap and a bearded lady. My knuckles say bake cake, a couple chest tattoos, a heart on my face, a toaster on my foot, and lastly an owl on my hip.



 
 

Do you plan on getting more?

I'm actually getting my hands done next week!


How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos? 

My dad loves them, however I am from a strict religious background, so most of my family do not approve. I live in a conservative town, so the biggest issue I have had since moving here is finding a job. I have people ask me all the time if I have gone to jail. But even with the downsides there are always the good. I do have a significant other. He is actually a tattoo artist, although he hasn't tattooed me! He has his entire torso/ribs/back done and two sleeves.
What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? 

I had a woman last summer left the skirt of my dress above my waist to see my leg tattoos without asking. I was just standing in front of store on my phone.

Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet? 

Choose an artist wisely. There are so many scratcher shops around these days. Just be careful, and know that you get what you pay for. If you want to go to this shop because you can get a sleeve for $80 it will look like you got it for $80. But besides that, I love all my tattoos, and I would encourage anyone to get one!

Thirty things to avoid hearing in surgery room

Below are thirty things to avoid hearing in surgery room, god i don't want to be in this situation ever...

The left vein's connected to the...right aorta...the left brain's connected to the..stomach bone...

Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness.

I had a bad feeling about this case, but that tarot card reader made me feel much better.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some...

Alright everyone, let's dig in.

Alright, this is our first operation, we should set up some kind of system. Hmmm...I'm thinking we have a sort of good cop, bad cop thing going on...

Alright... today's surgery will be performed by an American doctor...

An instruction manual would have been nice.

And now presenting: "Trading Spaces: Hospital edition!"

And now we remove the subject's brain and place it in the body of the ape.

Anyone see where I left that scalpel?

At least he doesn't have brain damage... Wait... Now he does.

Better save that. We'll need it for the autopsy.

I've seen his bank balance, and my recommended treatment is euthanasia.

Heehee - that was a good one. Here try this...just give his brain a poke...riiight...there...

Check the fridge... Nope, just beer.

Could you stop that thing from beating

Death is probable... Now it's certain.

Do you see that bag?... You don't want to go in there.

Doctor Hannibal Lector, please come to the operating room, Doctor Hannibal Lector...

Doesn't this remind you of that scene from Family Guy?

God performs miracles... I don't.

Don't worry, ain't nothing a little duct tape won't cure...

FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!

Has anyone here used one of these before?

Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!

Hey! Give that back! There's no law against drinking in the operating room...

If she doesn't last, at least this picture we took will.

Is this patient really here, or is it just my Schizophrenia?

It didn't work on that guy, let's try it with this one.

Look on the bright side, at least his wife won't have to worry about getting pregnant...


Dear Henry,

Happy birthday sweet boy!

This past year has been, without a doubt, the very best year of my entire life. I've learned so much, and it's gone behind just figuring out this new role. I feel like I've really come into myself, figured out my purpose, and became who I was supposed to be all along. It's been the craziest, yet most fulfilling journey I could ever be on, and I am so thankful for each step of the way, from the sleepless nights spent rocking you back to sleep, to the early mornings full of baby laughs and cuddles.

People say that a baby changes everything. And it really does. It's changed the way I see the world. Now, instead of thinking of myself, I think of you. Instead of getting caught up in inconsequential things, being your Mom has allowed me to see the bigger picture, because really, you are the truest reminder of what really matters. Every single morning I wake up with a thankful heart. I am so grateful to be able to stay home with you and spend each day exploring, growing, and learning by your side, but most of all, I am just thankful to be your mama.

I read somewhere that a certain culture believes that the baby chooses its mother before he or she is born. That the baby knows how much its parents need him, and arrives in order to teach them all the ways of the world. I like that. One year ago today our life changed for the better, and that was all because of you. Sure, our role is to teach you everything we can, but I often think that you are teaching us far more than we could have every imagined.

Today, on your first birthday, I sit here typing as you push your cars around the kitchen, stopping to laugh at Madeline and marvel at the funny sounds the wheels make. It's hard to believe that a year ago today, almost to the minute, you arrived. That moment is a distinct marker in our life- a true defining moment. Your Dad and I grew from the two of us, to a family of three on that perfect morning, and I am so thankful for that day, for you, and for every bit of joy you've brought into our lives.

We love you so much Henry. Happy first birthday!

Love,
Mama
----------

If you'd like, you can read Henry's birth story, his birthday one year ago in photos, or more of my Dear Henry letters too.  His one-year checkup is next week, so I'll be sharing his 12-month update then, along with a look at all of his monthly photos.

Below is the video of Henry's first year that I showed at his birthday party this past Saturday (there's an option to view it larger too). Enjoy, and thank you all so very much for being such a special part of our life and specifically this past year, through this little blog. It's so neat to have you along for the ride!




Blog Spotlight V.8



I haven't done one of these posts in awhile (although I've been meaning to), but after receiving a thoughful comment from a reader today I thought I would bring it back...and today's spotlight is a blog I've been meaning to talk more about here for awhile.


CarlyKmyta.com is a new read of mine, but it's become a fast favorite. It's a beautiful place full of inspiring projects, gorgeous photos, and lots of fun features. She gives us peeks into her adorable home, shares delicious recipes, but also includes a lot of more day-to-day personal posts too. I really enjoy the space she's created, and I think you will too. Most recently I've loved reading about her Christmas decorating- and seriously, how adorable are Carly and her hubby? Oh, and if you think she looks familiar, you may remember that she was featured on Tattoo Tuesday a couple of weeks ago. Carly's husband is a tattoo artist himself, so keep your eyes peeled for his very own Tattoo Tuesday soon.

So, you're looking for a new blog to read that will add a bit of prettiness and inspiration to your daily life, seriously check out Carly's blog. It's really, really fabulous and put quite simply, it's a blog that just makes me happy whenever I read it. If you head over, tell her I sent you! Happy reading.