Monthly Archives: August 2012

Thankful Thursday- Glorifying God

One of my Facebook friends, my daughter’s best friend’s mom, posted something that sums up everything I believe in. “Yes I’m a Christian. Yes I can be the biggest hypocrite ever. I backslide. I stumble. I fall. I stray onto the wrong path. But God is working in me. I may be a mess, but I’m His mess. And He is slowly straightening me out. And the day will come when I will be on His side, His work in me completed. And until that day I will take His hand, and let Him do in me whatever needs to be done, no matter how painful it will be for me. When He is finished, it will all be worth it.”

How can I add to that? That sums it up beautifully. Talking about it has been hard for me. I have a ton of agnostic and even atheist friends. How do I talk about the Way, Truth, and Life? How do I tell them that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ? How do I maintain a friendship with someone with polar opposite views than mine? I am accepting of their beliefs, but so afraid to share mine. I am so afraid of being judged. I am afraid of losing that friendship. But, I should be afraid of losing them forever.

I’m no crazy, and I’m no zealot. My friends know my religious background and that my dad and stepmom were very forceful with their beliefs. They were extremely religious and a little frightening, at times. I don’t want that stigma. I admit it! I don’t want to be judged or put in a situation that doesn’t feel good.

But I feel a calling. I feel that it is time for me to share what is true to me. And, I feel that I should not only tolerate it, but like it. I have been given certain gifts and talents. I doubt God gave them to me just to make me feel good. Or just to do as a hobby. I am pretty certain that God gives us gifts and talents to glorify Him. To spread His word. To better His world.

I have always struggled to find my “calling” and talents. I can easily see everyone else’s gifts and think they are silly for not using them more. But, it is hard to look at myself and see what mine are. It is hard for me to admit mine. What if I am not as good as I think? What if I am blind to my true calling? What if, what if, what if. I am called to write. So, I write. I am called to bake. So, I bake. I am called to go into work Monday through Friday. I go and try to have a good attitude. Sometimes I fall down with complaints and envy that I am not a stay at home mom, full time baker or writer. Sometimes, I am a hypocrite by telling others to have a good attitude and just decide to live in the moment like it’s your last, but then my attitude sucks. Sometimes, I don’t try. Sometimes, I give up. But, I always try again. I realize all of this. And I get scared that I am a hypocrite and an awful person. But, then I am reminded of God’s grace and that tomorrow is another day to live in a way worthy of His grace and love. I’ve heard that all my life, but it never really registered. Now it has. I will never be perfect, but I can keep trying to live in a way that glorifies God. And by accepting His love, that is all I need.

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for my gifts and talents. Thank you for using me in a way to glorify You. Thank you for forgiveness and perseverance. AMEN!

My Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful someone even reads this.

When I have Kardashian Kash: I will bake with Martha Stewart, just cause.

Tomorrow: Family Friday, first week of school!

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week: Amish Paradise- like an Oreo, but not.

Want an I Heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker? Leave me a comment in the blog post and you can win!



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Whatever Wednesday- Whatever

I’m normally pretty inspired when I write.  Tonight I was inspired to create a new whoopie flavor, work on a recipe, and bake.  I was inspired to play with babies.  I was inspired to fill in for our temporary nanny.  Man, it would be cool to be the nanny.  But, God knows where I need to be.  I don’t have the self discipline to be home all day, and not in an office environment.  But you can teach this old dog new tricks and I get better and better everyday.  I am not inspired to write, so I’ll cut it short.  Happy Wednesday, y’all!

My Daily Prayer:  Thank you God for perseverance even when I don’t wanna.  AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving:  I am thankful for a gentle dog that doesn’t snap when my babies use her to learn how to walk.

When I have Kardashian Kash:  I’ll still cook, the kids will still clean their rooms and do chores, but I will not hesitate to pay to have my base boards kept clean and blinds dust-free.  I’ll have a staff window washer.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week:  Amish paradise.  Simple. Classic.  Delicious.

   Message me for I heart Making Whoopie bumper sticker info!

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Tuesday Book (and More) Club- Writing My Own Books

I have tons of ideas, limited time, and a new whoopie business, but my ultimate dream is to write.  And  I want to write more than just a casual Monday through Friday blog.  But I’m a wife, mommy, taxi, cook, baker, tutor, acting coach, accountant, producer, and work full-time.  My tween is asking about boys, my boy is telling butt jokes, and my baby is eating almost exclusively solid food.  What do I do?  One part says don’t be too hard on yourself, they’ll be big enough to give you some writing time soon.  The other part says to get up earlier, stay up later, find some time, and just do it.

So, I’m going to just do it.  I am working on self-publishing a Making Whoopie cookbook.  I am just going to do a little cookbook with the recipes that I’ve developed.  If someone wants to make them themself, go for it.  I’m here for big orders and custom jobs.  So keep your eyes open for Making Whoopie the Woopie Pie Cookbook!

After I tackle that, I am working on a pregnancy funny book and a book on lactation.  It is a more limited audience, but I hope for it to be comical enough to appeal to more than the human dairy population.  We’ll see!  After my two non-fiction pieces (three if you count the cookbook), I want to work on my novel.  I have a great idea about true love, what if you made a different choice in your life, and having it all and not even knowing it.

I am taking my own advice and writing it down and then doing it!  I want nothing more than to be with my kids for field trips, soccer games, recitals, PTA, room mother, and everything in between.  I want to bake and write to help support my family.  Here is my problem, I have an awesome job.  I work close to home.  I have a boss who is pretty flexible.  I have amazing benefits and great pay.  I can’t just walk away from that.  I can’t be ungrateful for something that has been so great.  Dilemma.  So, either I win the lotto and start my business, or I take it one whoopie order at a time.  One page at a time, one blog post at a time.

I am a part of the “I want it now” generation, but I am trying not to feel entitled or succomb to my need for instant gratification.  God is great and has done amazing things in my life.  I trust Him that I am where I need to be right this second.  All I can do is my part.  I can push a little harder to write one recipe, fill one order, try a new icing, get this blog post out.  But, first I have to cook dinner, wipe hineys, help with homework, drive to choir.  Then I can take advantatge of Jeff’s love of sports on TV and use that time to write instead of watching some show.

My Daily Prayer:  God, please remind me that I am exactly where You want me to be.  Instead of wishing I were somewhere else, thank you for letting me see why I am here right now.  AMEN!

My Daily Thanksgiving:  I am thankful to have a real job that affords me to dream about where I want to be.

When I have Kardashian Kash:  Bookclub will be about my books.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week:  Amish Paradise- chocolate cookies, vanilla creme center.  Simple, delicious, and made fresh and delivered to your home or office.


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Manic Monday- Mercy Wine Bar, Part II

We had a pretty good date night.  Dinner and car shopping (that is a story for another day).  Yee-haw.  I know you’re jealous!  We went to Mercy Wine Bar in Addison.  I had a book club meeting there and enjoyed it so much I thought I’d bring good ol’ Jeffro back.

Although I enjoyed my experience, it was a rocky start.  I called to see if there was a waiting list I could get on.  The guy kept asking someone else what kind of wait there was and told me there was no wait, then there was a wait, then that there was room outside, then proceeded to tell me that if someone came in before me there may or may not be a wait.  I didn’t know how that worked.  Thanks man, dude.

We arrive after driving in circles through two incorrect shopping centers.  Jeff was very hungry and threatening to take me to El Fenix if I didn’t find the place ASAP.  I did.  We parked and proceeded to the door.  We were greeted by a girl in a neon green Aeropostale shirt.  Didn’t scream “hostess” attire to me, but hey.  There were several open tables, but we were told that there was a wait and we could have some wine out on the porch.  We did, and got on the list.  We stared at the menu for about fifteen minutes and looked over every single bottle of wine.  There were hundreds.  We finally were greeted.  We ordered a bottle and an appetizer.


After another five or so minutes, we received our wine.  Our spinach artichoke dip came out fairly quickly after that.  The patio wasn’t bad, except it opened to the entry of the restaurant and the sidewalk.  It was like a sidewalk café in Paris.  But, I live in Texas.  I like my patio secluded.  Unless I am in Paris.

As soon as we devoured our spin dip, we were told a table was ready.  Neon Aeropostale told us we had to cash out with our server before we could move inside.  But then she sat us in the same server’s section, but inside.  Guess what- it was one of those open tables we saw forty-five minutes ago!  Fortunately, they did not make us cash out after all, but continued our tab.

I had a lovely four cheese, pear and walnut pasta.  I was served a risotto first, but is was so dark that I had to poke at it a bit with my fork to see if it was pasta or rice.  The waiter realized he had switched the order, and quickly exchanged the plates.  Fortunately my fork was unused!  Jeff had a steak that could be cut with a fork.  Caramelized onion goodness and perfectly cooked asparagus!  Tasty and delisious.  We were so stuffed, we had no room for dessert.  Next time.

Once Ms. Neon was out of the picture, it was a lovely experience.  The place is clean, nicely decorated, and kind of romantic/trendy all in one.   I’ll go back.  It is perfect for girls’ night, couples’ night or dinner with friends.  I don’t recommend two dudes going, but hey- to each his own.

My Daily Prayer:  God, thank you for keeping my eyes on you and your plan.  AMEN!

My Daily Thanksgiving:  I am thankful for  a smooth first day back to school.

When I have Kardashian Kash:  I will be the taxi for my children, and volunteer with activities, sports, school, PTA, church and every other volunteer opportunity out there.  I won’t have to say no!

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week:  Amish Paradise- our original and traditional flavor.  It isn’t named after our favorite Weird Al song (is there such thing?), but after the traditional treat made up in Amish country.  Chocolate cookies married with vanilla crème.  Yummo.

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Family Friday- Date Night

This week has been about making choices and just doing it. In all of my previous relationships, I got to a point where we’d bicker worse than my brother, Nathan, and I would when stuck in the backseat of a tiny Hyundai together. Stupid, petty and nonstop bickering until the relationship fizzled out. It is really easy to go there even now. So I don’t. If I get snappy or sarcastic it just leads to Jeff doing the same. So first and foremost, talk kindly to each other. My worst habit is probably being so comfortable that I can tell him anything. I can’t tell anyone anything, but I sure can tell Jeff what I think and sometimes it isn’t kind. I have to make a real effort to talk to him like my best friend, because he is. If we’re in that mode of not being able to say anything nice, we walk away until we can. Not only talk nicely, but tell each other nice things. It is so easy to take someone for granted. When I hear that dinner is good, or that he notices my efforts to clean up after marathon midnight baking, I try really hard to continue. He is the best lawn care person I know and pool cleaner, but I need to tell him so that he knows that I see all that he does. Actions speak louder than words, but how do we know the other person sees our actions unless they affirm them?

When we were talking to our marriage officiate, Skinny Pete from Breaking Bad- seriously, he told us that he and his wife always had a weekly date night. Just them, no kids. That may be the best advice I’ve ever gotten. That’s probably the best advice Skinny Pete has ever given, but hey. Jeff and I can’t go out weekly, but we can take time out of each week to just be together and talk, no kids. It is too easy to focus on kids or friends or family if you don’t have some alone time. And alone sleeping doesn’t count. I’ve tried. Date night gives us a chance to fall in love again. It gives us a chance to talk about the future not just about the child situation at hand. Going out reminds us of why we got together in the first place. It is a chance to laugh at inappropriate jokes, talk about things big ears shouldn’t hear, and escaping anything Disney Junior related. It is something to be dressed up for, planned and looked forward to. It should be like dating was in the beginning.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make a decision to let some stuff go. It is easy to get irritated at almost anything when you’re rushing around getting dinner ready, homework done, soccer and choir practice, auditions and baking, and then on top of it someone forgets to lock the front door or put underwear in the right hamper, or feed the dog. Is it that important? Feeding the dog is important, but not big enough of a deal to yell over. Is it important enough to put strain on a relationship, or show your children that’s how you treat your beloved? Make a choice not to let it get to you. Simple, but not easy. I pray every day for the reminder to be cool. It is not an excuse to get walked all over. But, it is the reason not to nag, and to accept that sometimes messy people can’t change into the perfectly organized person you want.

Don’t play the blame game. It is really easy to get irritated at your partner’s habits and blaming them for the strain in your relationship. What can you do to alleviate that strain? Can you quit nagging? Can you pick up after yourself? Can you just decide to have a better attitude? Why are you with this person, and what is it that made you fall in love with them? Look at yourself. No matter what the problem is, and how much the other person is to blame, figure out what can you do to aid in getting back to the good ol days. And talk to your partner without using “you” in the sentence. Talk about the strain without putting all of the blame on them. Make them feel at ease and not like you are alienating them. You’re in this together, so both parties play a role in everything. EVERYTHING. Figure out your part.

Some relationships are irreparable. Some are abusive and need to be dissolved. This does not address those situations. Full time jobs, full time hobbies, mommy’s groups, fantasy foot and three children are no excuse for Jeff and me not to focus on our number one- each other. Tonight, we’re sending the kids off to anyone who will take them and we’re going to dinner and maybe some more car shopping. J Yee-haw that is what date night has become.

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for a partner who builds me up, is strong where I am weak, and pushes me creatively. Thank you for helping me step back and seeing what is truly important to us, and reminding me that our values do not have to be the same as others’. AMEN!

When I have Kardashian Kash: A private beach sounds very good right now. Wonder how my llama will feel about traveling.

Manic Monday- Mercy Wine Bar and Car Shopping

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week: Mojito! Cha-cha-cha your way into the weekend with a Mojito Whoopie or Mojito Cupcake. Keylime cake and lime, mint, rum butter cream with a hint of vanilla.

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Thankful Thursday- Come on Be Happy

My motto this week is just do it. What’s a motto? Nothing, what’s a motto with you? Ah-ha. So I was tired of being stressed and unhappy. I wanted to be happy. So just do it. And I am. It is not perfect. Jeff and I still get into it sometimes, the kids still have meltdowns, and I sometimes over cook my cupcakes that I take to my ladies’ group. While my life isn’t magically perfect, my attitude is much improved.

How do you change a bad attitude? Just do it! I have a report due on Mondays, and it stresses the crap out of me. I am always short with Jeff if he calls me in the morning, and I do not wear my perpetual smile (i.e. it causes me to frown at my computer). And I got tired of it. So what can I do? I can’t quit. Quitting usually doesn’t solve anything. I have to do the report. I tried doing it on Fridays, but that didn’t solve my problem. I tried formatting it differently, but the powers that be didn’t like my improvements. I physically tried everything. Nothing worked. I was stuck doing the same stressful steps every Monday. What can I do? Not let it get to me. It is what it is, and I can’t do anything else about it. So why stress? It takes conscience effort, but I have been able to let it go.

I am a big fan of if you don’t like something, do something to change it. But sometimes it is not practical to quit your job and run away with the circus. So, what do you do? You make a plan, and you decide to make the best of it. Sometimes you need to blow off steam, but be careful not to fall into the habit of complaining all of the time. Your words are powerful. I hate my job. My boss is a jerk. This is so stressful. All of those sayings take on a life of their own and make your job or situation worse than it actually is. What are the good things that you can focus on? My coworker is so funny. We have an awesome Thursday lunch group. I have medical insurance that is WAAAYYYY cheaper than buying it on my own. By the way, these are just examples. My boss is not a jerk. I am quite lucky there. I did have a jerk boss once, but that is for a different day. Jerk doesn’t even describe that guy, but hopefully he has decided to be a nicer person- to himself and those around him.

Kids acting like little twits and getting under your skin? Change your attitude. They feed off of you! Imagine where they will be in four years, eight, ten years from now. Now imagine yourself in those times looking back at now and how you wished you would have savored it a little more. Makes the hundreds of “why mommy” questions a little easier to swallow, huh? Spouse not emptying the dishwasher as much as you’d like? Quit letting it affect you. Just like complaining doesn’t fix work, nagging doesn’t fix a relationship. You can talk, you can ask, but is it really an issue? Sometimes it is. If so, don’t nag, talk. Nicely. Your relationship feeds off of your attitude too.

Notice how when it rains, it pours? Part of it is the power of your words. The other part is your attitude. Everyone around you is feeding off of your negativity. Change your attitude and change the rest of your day. It is extremely difficult to execute, but once you put your mind to it and recognize your own negativity, it is doable. And the day gets better. The sun comes out, the traffic lights all turn green, and people open doors for you. Seriously- I dare you to try this for a week. Get positive for just one week! If you have drama in your life, choose not to. That is all it takes. Sometimes you have to examine your relationships, but your whole life doesn’t have to be dramatic. Choose not to have it. Seriously- choose to be drama free and see what happens.

It may not happen immediately, but small things will get better and better. It takes practice, and it takes consistently. Keep it up, and one day at a time and you’ll have a happier, less stressful life. It isn’t perfect or foolproof, but if you decide to have a good and less stressful life, that is the secret. Just do it!

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for giving me the ability, within myself, to be happy. You are reason alone for my joy. Thank you for showing me my blessings, and giving me the tools to spread Your joy.

When I have Kardashian Kash: Family vacay- the whole extended family. Just one big happy.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the month- Mojito! Rum, mint, lime and a fiesta in every bite. It is truly five o’clock somewhere.

Tomorrow- Family Friday

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Whatever Wednesday- Just Do It

My dad used to say that you can have anything you want.  All you have to do is pay for it.  In a sense he is right.  But if you really want something, go get it.  You can pay for it with time, effort, favors, loans, or just about anything.  If you really want it- just do it.  And, there may be set backs along the way.  Don’t give up, even when you screw up.  Just freakin do it!

It is hard for me to see people with obvious talents not pursuing them.  If you like something, find a way to do it.  There is a reason God gave you a certain talent.  Now this doesn’t mean quit your real job to go write a novel.  Or asking your spouse to get a second job while you train for a triathlon, but there are ways to achieve your dreams if they are big enough for you.  Make the dreams in your life big.  Don’t give up or become complacent.

Concretely identify your dreams.  Once you identify them, write them down.  Right now my dreams are to run Making Whoopie full time, have my kids go to preschool from 9-2 while I do the bulk of my baking and work, then have them spend the rest of the day with me at the shop, and still have time to write.  And, it may not be preschool by the time I realize my dream.  They may be in real school.  Or college.  But, I need to know my dream before I can start to work a plan.

After identifying your dream and making a concrete wish list for your dream, make a plan.  My plan is to make whoopie pies, cupcakes and cakes out of my home until I out grow my kitchen.  I have a website, business cards, and a menu.  I take samples of my creations everywhere.  I make them for birthday parties, take them to my mommies’ group meetings, bring them to work, send them as thank yous.  I am the midnight baker right now.  That is what I do- I bake and bake and bake all weekend to get it going.  And, I pray that someone helps me clean up.  So far, I can get my son to prewash my beaters, if you know what I mean.

Put your plan into action.  I am baking at night.  Tonight I am baking at midnight because I had a mommies’ meeting and two orders.  At my mommies’ group someone told me they were having an open house and that I could bring whoopies and cards.  Score.  I accidentally baked twice as much as I needed so I just packaged them up and will send them with Jeffro when he delivers another order.  I was planning on taking it to work for “marketing”, but this turned out much better!  I have been official for just a few months and am getting calls every other day.  I am getting inquiries daily.  I am making Facebook friends and getting orders that way.  My dream has sprung into action.  I am actually doing it!  I got my assumed name certificate a few months back.  Then I ordered cards, signage for my car and home, and menu/fliers.  I set up a Google Ad.  I set up a Facebook page.  I take samples everywhere I go.  I am a one man marketing machine.  And, it’s working.

This is not a “hey look at me” story.  This is an example of how someone with not so obvious talents can start up a business and do what she likes.  I am sure your talents are much more obvious.  What do people tell you that you’re good at?  What do you love to do?  How can you turn that into a career?  God gave us certain skills and talents for a reason.  How are you using yours?  Had He given me the ability to even sing in key, I’d be pursuing that.  But He didn’t.  He gave me the ability to write and create recipes.  That is what I am trying to cultivate and not waste.  What is your talent?  Are you using it or wasting it at a boring, stressful 9-5 that makes no impact on anyone’s life?  And, if you’re at that boring 9-5, what are you doing to impact those around you?

My Daily Prayer:  Thank you God for putting me exactly where I need to be.  Thank you for blessing my family with the knowledge of where to go and what endeavors to pursue.  Thank you for helping us to work as a family unit to glorify you.  AMEN!

When I Have Kardashian Kash:  I will give women money to start up jobs, hobbies, whatever and pursue their passions.

Whoopie of the Month:  Mojito!

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Manic Monday- Making Whoopie

I have been too busy Making Whoopie (pies) and saving up money for a down payment on a new car to have anything to review.  So, I’ll shamelessly self promote.  I am the Big Whoop of Making Whoopie.  At least that is what my business card says.

Making Whoopie is my night job.  I bake orders fresh, after work and on the weekends.  We deliver to almost anywhere in the DFW Metroplex, and scratch make everything fresh.  Have I mentioned our goodies are fresh?  I don’t have a fridge full of frosting or creme fillings.  I make everything when it is ordered.  And, I don’t use any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.  The only exceptions are things like maraschino cherries used in my pineapple upside down cakes, and lime curd has some green dye.  I am learning how to make my own.  Until then, I am trying to be okay with a trace amount of artificiality in my all natural creations.

Everyone makes cakes and cupcakes.  I wanted something different here in Texas, and I can’t frost anything to save my life.  Whoopies are common up in Amish country and inspired the name of our original chocolate and vanilla creme filling flavor, Amish Paradise.  I kept that one very traditional and use that recipe for the base of my more creative concoctions, like the Piggie Pie (Amish Paradise rolled in BACON!)

I am branching out into cakes sans frosting such as pineapple upside down cake, and a lightly iced carrot cake.  What is unique to us and soon to go up on our menu is our bite sized versions of those cakes.  I haven’t thought of anything witty or suggestive to call them, but am anxious to get a name and post them to the site.

I gave into the cupcake craze, and I created my first batch of cupcakes- Mojito.  They are a lime cupcake with a rum, mint, vanilla, lime frosting.  They are light, airy and delish.  I am expanding my cupcake repertoire, and will be bringing samples up to work as I perfect my recipes.

My ultimate dream is to combine my writing and baking with Jeff’s acting and have a Making Whoopie reality show.  I would love the opportunity to film a start up of a storefront or even a Whoopie-mobile!  How fun would that be?  Could you imagine, Jeffro, me, the kiddos all on a cross-country tour selling whoopies and having a grand adventure?  For kicks, we can bring my brother along.  He’d make great TV drama.  Not sure which sibling rivalry would be bigger, Syd and Easton or Nathan and me.  I can see it now…Any producers interested?  I have tons of ideas to pitch to someone.  Who wouldn’t want to watch me makin’ whoopie?  Apparently my neighbors think I sell adult novelties, and not baked goods.  That would make good TV…oh the possibilities with a name like Making Whoopie.

Tomorrow- Tuesday Book (and More) Club

Whatever Wednesday- Digging deeper and setting the bar higher

My Daily Prayer- Thank you God for putting me exactly where I need to be, and thank you for the reminder that I am exactly where I need to be right now.  AMEN!

When I have Kardashian Kash- Shoes.  Lots and lots of shoes.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the week:  Mojito Cupcakes- light lime cake with rum, vanilla, lime butter cream frosting.  Happy hour at any hour.

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Family Friday- Back to School Time

Back to school- just one more week.  One more glorious week!  What are your back to school traditions?  Some folks try to fit in one more vacation.  Then there’s tax free weekend.  Buying school supplies, clothes, signing up  for extracurricular activities.  What all do you do?  I always forget about the chaos and loads of dough I drop right before school starts.  The last two days have been a reminder.

Well, the Sydster is starting middle school.  She decided to play in band.  She auditioned for the top choir in the Greater Dallas Children’s Choir.  Somehow I didn’t think this through all the way.  I was excited that she was interested in trying something other than singing.  I was excited that she advanced in choir. I just got the bill.

To rent a flute, it is about 20-30/mo for 30 months.  $900!  I found a flute on Craig’s List for $200.  Good thing is they are averaging $375, so if she loses interest, I can get my investment back. Then I have to get her a metronome, stand, school issued book, and a bunch of other little odds and ends.  I will be up to about $300-$400 before she even picks up the flute.  Oh, and I haven’t even looked into the private lesson costs that the school keeps hinting that I need to purchase.  Oh my gatos.  Cha-ching.  This is only middle school.  No uniform yet!

And the top choir is $500 for the season, $75 for the dress, plus shoes plus tights, plus they travel this year!  And, it is a non-profit so there is lots of fundraising, benefits, donations, auctions, and paying to see each performance.  I think there are at least five this year at $20-$30 for tickets.  I heard that they travel.  Last year they went to Paris.  Not sure if it is the whole choir or a select few.  Syd seems to always get selected.  I’d love to go to Paris, but have I mentioned the sacrifices we’ve made for our art?  But, we’ve never wanted for anything and can find a way if we ever truly want something.  Still…cha-ching.

I took Syd to her sixth grade orientation and to do a walk through of her classes.  PTA- $18, directory-$3, field trip the first week of school- $6, supplies (thank goodness I’ve always been able to just buy them from the PTA)- $30, t-shirt- $15, yearbook-$30.  Holy cow.  I didn’t get the hoodie, bling shirt, car decal, or other stuff.  I dropped $90+, but could have easily spent another $50.

Easton starts preschool.  $185 enrollment fee.  And then $$ for all of the parties, teacher appreciation days, field trips, and special projects.  We love our church preschool.  It is very reasonable and the program is amazing.  But man it adds up quickly!  Then, we signed him up for soccer.  Under 5 is free, but it was a $10 registration fee, there will be shirts, shorts, shin guards, cleats, concessions, and I’m sure fundraisers.  So it begins…

Thank goodness Syd has a summer birthday.  Everyone gets her clothes.  One of my favorite things to do is to take her shopping right before school.  After the flute, choir and school supplies, I’m tapped for awhile.  Since when is the baby the cheap one?

My Daily Prayer:  Thank you God for providing.  AMEN!

When I Have Kardashian Kash:  I will sponsor kids who want to do a pricy extracurricular activity.  All kids should have the opportunity and not have to worry about cost.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day- Key Lime Whoopies with lime curd vanilla creme filling- yumm-o.  Lite, yet satisfies a sweet tooth.

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Thankful Thursday- Choose to Be Happy

So yesterday I wrote about having a permanent smile.  It didn’t come by accident or effortlessly.  No one handed me happiness.  It is a choice.  It is something I work on.  It is something that when I have too much on my plate and a tween calling to interrupt my work flow, I have to breathe deeply and find my happy place.

How do you just be happy?  Crappy things happen everyday right?  Maybe, but what can you learn from those crappy things?  What good things came out of those crappy situations?  I am in a place where I can take almost any crappy situation in my life and find something good.  Example, I had the most overbearing, wishy-washy, rude boss.  I tried everything to make that job better.  I tried bringing goodies to the office.  I tried bringing gifts from vacation.  I tried doing more, and was told I was trying too hard.  I tried backing down and was ignored and yelled at for something else.  The dude was seriously bipolar and very unstable.  It was the only job, as an adult, that I quit without having a back up plan.  I was out of a job for three weeks and got a call out of the blue.  I was offered a contract position with a major telecommunications company and it paid way more than my management job did, had less stress, and enabled me to finish college, plan a wedding, and have Easton with relatively no stress.  I then was able to move to a different department as a real employee with benefits and yearly raises and bonuses.  That boss’ horrible treatment of employees put me in a place that I never would have gone on my own.  Talk about a silver lining.

But my whole life is like that.  When something goes terribly wrong or tragedy strikes, something great always comes out of it.  I finally went to college and just two semesters in I find out I’m pregnant.  No one in my family ever disgraced us like I did.  Oh don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of faults, but nothing anyone could see.  Mine couldn’t be hidden.  It took a lot of time and a ton of faith on my part, but my family came around.  I say this at least weekly, Sydney is the biggest thing to impact my life for the good.  She is my longest consistent relationship with anyone. She is quite literally the reason I get out of bed each morning.  I struggled with depression and had trouble with mornings.  She forced me up each day.  She is the reason I got on a career path, went back to school seriously, made up songs and verses for her, and got out of certain relationship patterns.  Syd is the ultimate silver lining.  But, I could have easily gotten depressed, and not taken motherhood seriously.  I took it as a challenge to prove to everyone that not only is this not going to close doors to my future, but make other unseen doors and windows and anything else open for me.

Today I got email after email about my group’s intranet site that I am working on at work.  I got pinged on IM for this and that, boss needing this and that for mid-year reviews, emails to post various advisories, budgets needing to be completed, checks needing to be filed and mailed, and my phone ringing off the hook from different coworkers, and the documents that I am trying to link to different pages are all giving me errors.  Then one of my children was having a meltdown type of day and kept calling me on top of it all.  I had to fit in time to pump a couple of times, time to run Syd to her middle school orientation and schedule pick up, and get my job tasks done so I could sell some tickets I had and buy a flute all via Craig’s List, and then go to my sis-in-law’s birthday dinner.  It was a day.  But instead of getting flustered like I wanted to, I thought about happiness.  I have a job.  I have a skill set that is needed.  So instead of getting freaked out about my work load, I took it one task at a time, and if there’s still some lingering, tomorrow’s another day.  I can only do so much, and my best is all I can give.  Why stress if I am doing all that I can?  Typically I would let it get to me and take it out on my loved ones.  That’s stupid.  They didn’t break the link on my Intranet page that I tried to fix all day.  They didn’t keep sending me things to upload or bug me about numbers and headcount.  So why let it bug me to the point of bringing it home?

That is step 1.  Step 2 is not getting frustrated at work so that I can truly appear and be the happy person I am.  I don’t want to vent, complain, or feel stressed or unhappy.  I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to work where I do.  I need to display that.  I normally do okay with gratitude, but occasionally the entitlement bug bites me in the ass.  Nothing is fair, nothing is right, I wish this, I want that.  Poo.  Suck it up and deal.  I have a job that pays better than any other I have had.  I have insurance for my family.  I do not have a psycho for a boss, and I enjoy my coworkers.  How about that?  A few deep breaths and I started checking off my to-do list.  I have a bigger one for tomorrow, but today’s is done.  And I am not cranky.  I didn’t go to the birthday party in a foul mood because of stress I couldn’t shake.

I realize I am where I am for a reason.  So, I need to put on a happy face and choose to be happy.  Yes, I want to either be a full time baker, writer, or reality show star, but that is not where I am right now.  I am an executive administrative assistant.  Do you know how hard that was to write?  I am a secretary.  Wow.  My pride hates that.  My pride hates that I used to be the operations manager of a credit union second only to the president, but now I’m an assistant.  But, when I really look at what’s important, I am better off financially and with benefits, and I don’t work for a psycho.  Yes, there is stress, but it is nothing like that crazy job.  And when I write down my blessings, it is powerful.  When I say how unfair something is, or it should be this or that- it takes over and a dark cloud hangs.  Why bother?  It is eight hours then I get to come hang with the coolest people ever.  Besides, Jeff told me that I get to take a couple of pump breaks a day so there is my time to relax.  If only I could hook him up to the pump to let him see what kind of break that is- that would bring me true happiness.

My Daily Prayer:  God, please guide me to being Your example to others.  Please let your light shine through me.  I am not worthy, but I truly seek to be like you more and more each day.  AMEN!

When I Have Kardashian Kash:  I will travel the world, but stay here because I love being an American.

Making Whoopie Feature of the Day:  Jeffro Pie- a birthday cake whoopie!  It is a 9in round cake, made with the traditional whoopie pie batter, but HUGE!  It is stuffed with a vanilla creme filling and available for delivery.  Check out

Whoopies make me happy 🙂


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