Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

Hip hip hooray! Friday is here & everyone is always nicer on the Friday before a 3-day weekend, right? I have a gajillion half posts that I never finish so these 5 on Friday posts are great for getting them out.

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
.one. 
Divorce (or maybe it's the marriage part) is not unlike an addiction. It's hard to quit. It's hard to let go & move forward. I went through the 5 stages of grief and y'all, I swear, I'm now working my way through the 12 step program. I'm on step 8. I think it's the hardest because my pride doesn't want to admit that I may have played a role or brought some of my greatest hurt on myself. I have been stuck on step 8 for a while, actually. I hate it! It is very humbling though, especially when I have to accept that some of those apologies are going ignored. I have to say it, mean it, move forward, and hope that my words help the other person move forward too. This time around, I'm making a real effort to do what feels good instead of looks good. That goes for every aspect in my life. And it doesn't FEEL good to have all this anger, grudges & hurt on my shoulders. 


.two.
Miss Priss begs everyday to go dancing. I don't know why or where it came from, but I guess I better find the girl some classes. She enjoys gymnastics a lot & I love watching her jump & flip; but I won't lie- I dream of being a dance mom. I can't help it. I loved dancing and I really hope she does too! 

.three.
Since my mom's incident, I've had to take a leave of absence from work to be here with her. I bathe dogs, scoop poop, shovel holes, field train, you name it. Oh, did I mention I'M ALLERGIC TO DOGS! Multiply that by 8... And the pregnant one is now in the house and will soon be multiplied by, like, a dozen. I am loaded up on Zyrtec and Benadryl like a boss! 

.four. 
My sweet friend sends me daily happies. Some days it's funny, some days it's inspirational & on my favorite days, it's a little of both. On one particularly weird day she sent this. Girlfriend has good timing. 

.five.
It is painful watching Big Brother this season. Amanda is just awful. If she wins, I swear I'm going to actually cry. And in my audition tapes, there's no doubt I will be informing production how much I HATE her. Though I shocked myself this week when I was actually hoping *gulp* Aaryn would stay & Andy would be voted out. I've wanted her out from week 1 and hated myself for hoping the house would flip. I did love the audiences reaction to her though. You know she's thinking "oh shit, what have I done" and will cry all the way to jury! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blogging Made Me Do It

We have all fallen victim to the social media peer pressure. Crystal is hosting a fun link-up confessional. I feel like I should start this post with "Hi, my name is Julianne and I'm a social-media-shopaholic." And you all say in unison "welcome, Julianne". 

I think the most obvious purchase to start this one with are the damn gold polka dot pajamas that social media bought out at Target last year. Target probably just sat back laughing their asses off tossing hundred dollar bills in the air watching us empty their inventory every time they restocked these things. If they put these back on the racks this year and slap a label on it stating "limited edition re-release" people would probably camp out for days. Y'all, we are just crazy. Plain ole crazy. I even joined the crowd that then took them to be monogrammed. Yeah, you heard me. Then instagrammed the shit out of them. 

For what it's worth though... I never bought a bubble necklace. So there's that. 
 
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

iPhone beloved iPhone

When I was 2 years old, we were military and stationed across the country from my granny & grandpa. My mom would video me singing to them or saying hello, blowing kisses or just playing. She would then take the tape out of the camera, pack it in bubble wrap & a small box, head to the post office, and a week later, my grandparents could watch what I was up to. Oh man, how they would look forward to getting that ole VHS in the mail. We still have those tapes and I know they wouldn't trade anything for them.
 
But times, they are a'changing. My granny recently upgraded her trusty old flip phone for an iPhone. Aubrey Jo looooves her granny and grandpa; she used to see them all the time when we lived in FL and since moving to GA a year ago, she asks at least twice a week for them. Now she gets to "see" them any time she wants!
 
This morning, I propped the phone up on the other side of the table and she got to have a little tea party with her great-granny. She would pour a cup and could barely contain herself when granny would then take a sip out of her coffee cup. Twenty years ago, this was not something my granny even considered would be possible... And yet here we are. They get to be part of her life in "real-time" anytime!
 
 
Long gone are the days of mailing VHS tapes. Now the only delay is waiting for granny to find her phone when she hears us calling...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The King Would Approve

I think The King would approve of today's lunch. It's based on a favorite he & I share...

Elvis Presley has been rumored to love a PB & banana sandwich. I hope that's true because I do too!

My dad has been getting bored with his usual protein shakes so I have been gifted with the task of trying different variations for him. 

This is my favorite:
Mix basic protein shake as directed then just toss in a banana, spoonful of peanut butter & for fun, a dash of sugar free chocolate pudding powder. 

Easy breezy & delicious! The King would approve... I just hope the daddy does too ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday

Friday already? We have had a really good week, which lately seems to be a rare thing around these parts. I just put Miss Priss down for the night & when I sat down to my DVR realized it was Friday. It crept up on me so quickly I almost missed to post my five...

.one.
Most mornings, I barely get the sleep out of my eyes before she is tugging my arm to rush off to school, so when Prissy woke up & said she didn't want to go to school I was surprised. When she pushed my head back down on the pillow though & said she just wanted to cuddle a little bit longer, I won't lie, I fell for it hook line & sinker. You got it babe, we can play hookey, no argument!

.two.
Every evening, Aubrey Jo helps me feed the bunnies and kitties. One evening, it was sprinkling a little & the wind was really going so it was nice and cool. We were both walking a little slower to enjoy it a little, I think. I tried showing her how to catch rain drops on her mouth but as soon as she tilted her head back, something in her said "TWIRL! TWIRL! TWIRL!" We quite literally took time to dance in the rain... it was really nice.




















Isn't it funny though, I let her dress herself & she chose an underarmor shirt & tutu without a bow.. or shoes. Had I dressed her though, drug her out into the same day under the same sky & said "twirl for the camera" she would have ran from me and pouted. Typical toddler behavior...

.three.
Darci posted this one on her 5 on Friday post and I just loved it. Yes, exactly. This.


















 
 

.four.
Do you remember how you functioned before pinterest? How did you get dressed, meal plan, or- God forbid- party plan? Well, I was searching for some old contacts recently and had to pull up my old email account. I was reminded how I did it... I emailed links to things that I liked to myself.


And, oh! Look! We even managed a first day of school photo. Say what?


 .five.
I don't know how I have managed to skip the gym mom talk around here. Aubrey Jo takes tumbling classes twice a week and she loooooves it! I feel like a legit dance mom up in the rafters looking down on the class, but I think she does better not being able to lay her eyes on me so easily. She is a tiny tumbling rock star, Olympics 2024 here she comes!

Not the greatest photo but it cracks me up.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Being Her Example

Solo parenting comes with many challenges. It's a trial & error constant teaching experience. The most important thing though is remembering 2 little eyes are watching. She is always watching me & one day she will remember the example I set. My primary job is to make sure that example is a good one.

I never want my daughter to view me as a victim; to pity me. I want her to see a strong, capable, brave woman. In every sense; literally & figuratively. I don't want her to feel like she "needs a man"... Not even for the heavy lifting. 

Today she watched her mama move & load a living room set right by herself. She even stopped picking flowers & chasing butterflies to carry the cushions for me. After she dropped them, she made me feel her muscles & clap. I was pretty proud of us both. 


This has a double significance to me though. You see, I was formally introduced to my husband when he delivered the furniture I bought from his brother. When I met him, his profession was manager at a moving company. He moved furniture all day every day. He moved our furniture each time we moved or bought a new set. That was "his job" while I carried pillows & clothes. So this really felt awesome moving out the old couches by myself. I did it. I figured it out. I lifted, tilted, loaded and hauled. Would he have done it differently? I'm sure. Those couches filled the bed of a truck that I'm sure he could have packed twice as much in. But that's ok. I did the job. It's done. And I did it by myself. With my daughter watching every step.


 
Treat 25% Off All Greeting Cards

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Delight in Weakness

But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2Corinthians  12:9

I have a friend that is the most beautiful person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, from the inside out. She is so giving and compassionate. She is silly and smart. She is gorgeous and not afraid of a good cupcake. (ha!) But for some reason, nothing comes easy to her. I have watched her struggle and fight for everything it seems- from professional life to romance and starting her family. My heart hurts. I often thought "why does she have such a hard time and here I am, so undeserving, with a happy marriage and this beautiful healthy child conceived after less than 20 days of 'trying'?"

Well, then my marriage fell apart. My daughter had some speech delays & hearing issues. My mother had a stroke & possibly has a brain tumor now. My sister had a terribly rough pregnancy & my sweet nephew has already had 2 surgeries in less than 9 months of life. My job often feels dead end. My home is not mine. My easy come easy go, laid back life was changed. Every month it seems comes with new surprises.

Through all of this, I often look to her and wonder "how would she handle this"? And I pray for her when I pray for myself, and I text her (maybe too often) and ask her to please pray for me. I watch her. I feel God nudging me and saying "Hey, watch this. Watch how she faces this problem; I nearly let her break, and then I bring her through it even better than she went in." I want to be like her. I want my tests to turn into testimonies as she recently told me. I want someone to see me walking through this valley, coming out of this hole, and maybe have hope that they too will come out on the other side better than when they walked in.

So, if God is nudging you and pointing my way, just watch... I'm going to do you proud. I promise. I may not do it with as much grace and fabulousity as my sweet friend. But I'm going to come out of this. I'm going to be better. I'm going to learn and grow. And I'm going to remember to thank Him the whole way... even especially in my weaknesses.



If you too are going through some tests, remember 2Cor 12:9 and be an inspiration to someone that might be watching you as I have watched my friend.

Old Navy

I have mentioned a little bit that all of my clothes are too big now & I have nothing to wear. Which is why you see me in the same old things all.the.time. So I went to Old Navy yesterday while I was in town to hopefully stock up on some of those $19 jeans and grab a few basic tops for myself. Before I walked in, I warned my mom "do NOT let me even venture to the toddler section!"

We all know shopping for the littles is WAY more fun than shopping for ourselves. So I have to prepare myself before even walking into a store. Shop for you. Not her. She needs nothing. You are teetering on the edge of having to go out naked. Shop for you. Shop for you. Shop for you. Not her.

But, what had happened was.... I grabbed a couple jeans in my new size & because I still doubt myself, I had to try them on. You guys... Old Navy has the dressing room right smack dab in the middle of the black hole of toddler shopping death. It wasn't my fault.

I have been able to avoid shopping for her lately because stores still have summer stuff out & she really doesn't need more summer clothes. But leave it to ON to be dropping in a few fall pieces - including leggings for only $5, yes please! - like this super cute peplum top that she can wear right now & well into the coming months since we are in GA and short sleeves will carry her right through probably November. I couldn't find it online, but my store had one that was white with gold dots. Yes, I searched high and low for a matching one in my size; no such luck. But Miss Priss did get this, some new leggings & maybe another sweater dress that, no matter how hard we tried, my mom just couldn't leave the store without it.

Oh, and I did walk out with 2 pair of jeans that were on sale for $14!! But I was half way home still on my toddler-clothes-high before I realized I forgot to even walk back and find some tops for myself. So you can find me with the extremely well dressed toddler in my fitted jeans & my dad's work t-shirt. Sexy...

Are you still buying for summer or are you waiting for some of the fall/winter items to hit the stores? Or have they already started popping up where you live?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Choose Your Battles

My mama has always said "choose your battles" when I would vent to her. I've interpreted this advice differently over the years. Mama should have been more specific. 

Choose only the battles that won't turn violent. My (little) sister could, without question, "take me" if we traveled that path. Embarrassing. Not worth explaining to my friends. 

Choose only the battles that don't make you look like the mean girl. Is it really worth losing your friends to tell that one girl in the lunch room that she is a disgusting skank? And that your little sister will "take her" if she looks at you like that again? 

Choose only the battles that make you look cool. Because after a few drinks, that skank needs to be told. And your friends are just drunk enough that it's funny instead of mean. Obviously this is not a battle for the lunch room. Administration frowns upon red solo cups at school...

Choose only battles that won't cause your awesome roommates to move out & quit speaking to you. Actually, this is a hindsight lesson. I totally chose to fight that battle. I speak to all my former roomies now though. 

Choose only battles that won't cause your fiancĂ© to run before the ink is dry.  You can say & do a lot of things. But you may wanna tread carefully when name calling your future in-laws. Sensitive little buggars. 

Choose only battles when you know you're right. For a wife this is exhausting since, ya know, we are ALWAYS right. I had to narrow this one down quickly to choose only battles when you know you're right, you will convince him you're right, AND it will matter to either of you tomorrow. 

Now, though, I'm a mama. And my opponent is SO.DAMN.CUTE! She almost always wins. Or at the very least, gives me a coy look & nose kisses until I forget the battle I chose. Which I guess constitutes a toddler win. 

One battle I always choose (and win) though is her wardrobe. I let her dress however her wild heart desires at home... 


But if we are to be seen in public, mama lays it down. 
Like the time she wanted to wear her Christmas outfit & rain boots for school picture day... in April. No, child, just no. Keep crying. Still no. 

Sometimes though, mamas get tired. Mamas get sick, and our energy depleted. I'm going to let you in on a secret though... Toddlers? They're sneaky, manipulating, intuitive little things. They can smell our weakness. They crouch, waiting for the right moment, then they ATTACK!


And last week, my little toddler predator attacked in the form of public footwear. I laid out her precious little fall transition legging set the night before like I always do. I set her bow & shoes next to it like I always do. I woke up, got her breakfast (served in bed- such a princess) and told her to finish up & get dressed like I always do. She tried to sneak her hat & gloves (like she always does) and without even removing my toothbrush from my mouth I shook my head, like I always do & she didn't argue. She was choosing to save that battle. I was obviously tired because when I saw her march out in these shoes, I shook my head & decided we were already late so I went back to her room & grabbed the shoes I laid out to switch on the way. Well, I'm not sure what I did when I got to the room but when I got 1/2 way to school, I discovered they were NOT in my purse. Well, damn. She's going to actually wear these freaking shoes. 

Her teacher is going to think I'm drinking. Or neglecting her. She will call DCF... Or my husband's attorney. The kids will tease her. The parents will stare at us walking down the hall. She will tell a therapist one day that her absent minded mama ruined her life at the ripe age of 2. 

I clearly have a flair for the dramatics. None of those things happened. I did, however, laugh at a rolling tear as I left her classroom. 

She marched right into that classroom & showed her teacher her shoes Vanna White style. I cringed, expecting the worse, and immediately launched into the explanation. Her teacher just laughed & said "Oh I see your pretty shoes. Can I wear them?" Kid turned to give me an enthusiastic thumbs up. She then walked straight to the rug where her classmates were playing & before she even could show them, 2 little girls jumped up "I love your shoes, Aubrey Jo!!"

Was it really that important that she wear the little Mary Janes I laid out? More important than the confident smile on her face? Nah. 

I'm not ready to hand over the reigns completely yet. But maybe I won't choose the shoe battle every time. Who knows, you may even see me give in & let her wear her favorite red bow even when her outfit isn't red ... Or not. The shoes are far enough. 

What battles are you choosing? What battles could you stand to pass? As a parent, I think I'm learning to choose fewer & fewer battles. It's a constant battle walking that line. Especially as a solo parent, I hate always being the bad guy. But more importantly, I have to remember there are some battles that WILL really matter and I don't want my fussing to start sounding like white noise to her. I want her to understand if I put my foot down, it matters, not just because I want her stupid shoes to match. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

I have been kinda slack lately in the blogger department. Everything else in my life seems to have flipped upside down lately. But the Five on Friday posts are easy because I can work on them all week. And, believe me, I do. You would think they would be more put together with a week of prep. You would be wrong.


.one.
When my sister and I were really little, my dad was in the military. This couple was very good friends of my parents. In fact, Rebecca was our nanny. Thanks to facebook, we all found each other again a few years ago. So this was really special for them to be able to see Aubrey Jo. They live relatively close to us now so I am excited to re-build that relationship now as an adult & share my sweet girl with people who had such a love for us. Not to mention being reunited with Lo, who was my mom's 1st Golden Retriever that kind of kick started her whole business. She has changed so much in appearance, but still my sweet (lazy ha!) girl.



 
.two.
Prissy had an accident the other day. Recently our mattress cover was ruined (I'm not happy about this still, I was super careful with cleaning but one day, it just quit working. The waterproof layer was worthless.) Since it has been so long since she was having accidents, I was lazy about getting a new one. Well, lesson learned. Because she soaked herself. I don't have "real life" photos of this event because anyone with a toddler knows exactly what the mattress looked like when I stripped the sheets. So I immediately took to the trusty internet as usual and found TONS of ideas for cleaning mattresses. However, only one that didn't involve a trip to the store. I had all ingredients on hand so I gave this one a try. Umm, it worked. Literally, almost immediately I saw it start to come up. It removed the stain AND there was no smell at all.
Mattress Pee Stain Removal
 
.three.
These things are life changing. Do you hear me? Life changing. I am not paid to say this. These have changed the way we do bath. Aubrey Jo gets SO excited when I tell her it's bath time and let her choose a color. We even get to have fun with color mixing, which only helps convince me that it's totally necessary... Educational, duh! She begs me all day to color the water. She used to love bath time but recently started connecting that bath time was just the starting line & bed time was the finish line. So she started crying & fighting baths. Even if I tried doing it in the morning or earlier in the evenings. Color Dropz totally put a stop to that. Go get them... now.

Sweet Baby Anderson is a fan too!
 

.four.
Did you guys read this article? Apparently too many selfies can damage your relationships. This made me laugh. Perhaps I should link back to this on my relationship manifesto posts. I think it's probably mostly us ladies though, right? When guys do it, we automatically label "douchebag" but when girls do it, we don't roll our eyes until about the 4,563,987,100th one. I'll say this though: snapchats don't count. What ELSE am I supposed to snap to show you that I'm gagging at my sister-in-law's snap of drinking pickle juice. Pregnant women are weird. Or how do I share with my BFF that I sound just.like.Adele. if I don't use the selfie mode while I belt it out? Exactly.... It did make me laugh though that it suggests (in bold letters) no bikini posts & to have "the social media talk" with your partner. "The Talk" has changed quite a bit since my parents got married back in the 80's.. heck, since I first started dating. Instagram, Facebook, myspace didn't exist. We only had AIM and there wasn't a selfie problem back then. I also walked to school... up hill both ways... barefoot... in the snow.
.five.
You guys. I can't even handle Big Brother this year. I really hope they make some moves & the summer heats up in these final weeks. I'm bored so far. They do exactly what I expect. Exactly what is safe. Exactly what "the house" wants. Umm, hello?! People, that is why they have HOH & Veto powers. So that individuals make decisions. Develop opinions, align yourself with a few people, and make some big moves. I mean, really! I am thinking I want to be on a future season and I promise I will vote my way, not how "the house" says I should. Also, you guys have to promise to give me America's Vote. K? Thanks.
 
 
 
 
Zulily 72 hour sale happening now. Enjoy an additional 10% off using code SCRTSALE54

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chobani Flip

A few months ago, the Internet went bat shit crazy over these chobani flip products. I had been fighting the Greek yogurt craze for a while because it's freaking disgusting. But, the popular girls, all dolled up in their bubble necklaces & skinny jeans, slammed their fists on their $80 planners and told me I HAD TO give in now.

...so obviously I did. 
And on Wednesdays I wear pink


I have mixed feelings about this. I was nervous to try it. I like all the flavors separately but mixing? Meh, not so sure. First bite, pleasantly surprised. Everything blends well & balances. Second third & fourth bites all good. Then it started going down hill. Maybe I just didn't mix it well? But suddenly the chocolate was way too rich, the pistachio was just as unwelcome as I had originally anticipated & the peach yogurt went the way of Greek. I couldn't finish it. Those last couple of bites were enough that I probably won't give it a 2nd chance. And that's coming from a woman that gave a cheating husband a 2nd... and 3rd... chance. 


There's a reason I couldn't find a fancy presentation photo for this one. It doesn't need one. It's perfect. Every bite. Every time. I was confused about the white chocolate chips but they work. It's the perfect flavor, as advertised. Not too "greeky" at all. If you don't like key lime, then you won't like this (umm, duh!) but it's sweet enough it can be a midnight dessert but not so sweet that I don't grab one for breakfast too. Perhaps there's hope for me at the popular table. 



Generally, I don't love anything "seedy". It gets in my teeth, and the tiny ones feel like chewing sand. Not so much the case here. I'm not sure if it just mixes with the yogurt or what, but no seeds in the teeth! I still wish it had more walnuts but it was good. I will buy more of this flavor. 

These are the 3 my local Kroger has that I picked up. They do carry a couple other flavors but anything coconut makes me gaggy, honey seems like it may only increase the greek yogurt, I did try the strawberry a few weeks ago but I don't remember how it was & haven't bought it again... So take that as you may. 

Side note: I had to re-type "honey" four times because my phone tried to auto correct to homie. As in "Rollin' wit my homies"... If I were a character from Clueless, that would guarantee my spot in a game of suck & blow. 

...not a sponsored post...
 all photos from google/Chobani Facebook Page

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five on Friday


.one.
I wrote Thank You cards this week. It's funny how the little things excite me. Like writing in a straight line on a blank card. I mean.. what's more annoying than getting a card where the writing is all different sizes and reads at a slant? I hope the recipients acknowledge and appreciate. I'm sure they won't. That's OK too though... I guess I shouldn't expect a thank you for a thank you, eh?


.two.
Everyone has been so supportive this week. I realized I am not as good of a friend as I should be. So many people have rallied behind my family in prayer, sending meals, sweets, cards and beautiful flowers. I am going to make more of an effort to be a good friend all the time instead of just when times are hard. So friends, brace yourself. Miss Sketchy is about to become Miss Friendly! (=

.three.
I am so deliriously sleep deprived that I laughed way too hard at this.
.four.
Aubrey Jo has been SO good about everything that is going on that she just doesn't understand. She deserves a very special afternoon just the 2 of us. What are some of your favorite "mommy and me" date ideas?
.five.
One of my very sweet friends from school that I haven't seen in YEARS came by to visit my mom this week. She brought her son who I haven't met but have watched grow up on facebook. He and Aubrey Jo hit it off right away & she boo-hoo'ed when he left. Break. My. Heart. This kid clearly needs more play dates in her life!
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