Mar 23, 2017

Thinking Out Loud Thursday- Reaching the End of My 30's

I am linking up with the blog Penny's Passion called "Thinking Out Loud Thursday". What I'm thinking about lately is that I am going to be entering the last days of my 30's in less than 27 days. Holy shit! I certainly do not feel 39 and know for a fact I'm not ready to start a new decade as a 40 something. In the interest of documenting the what I have learned over last 3 decades of my life, I have been compiling a list. Here are some highlights.

1) I've learned to shut up and listen! In my younger I would shoot from the hip. React first and think later. I think this lesson comes with maturity but in my profession and in my personal life I have found that it is better to take it in and put some thought into your words before you react.

2) My face will not always look so youthful and be wrinkle free(and that is OK). It's kind of a reality check when you stopped getting carded when you order a drink at dinner. I hope to age gracefully and not kicking and screaming.

3) Saying sorry and excepting an apology isn't so hard and doesn't make you weak. My lifelong friends and family will tell you I was the grudge holder. I hate to admit it but I have some times gone years without talking to a friend or family member because of an argument. I have lost years with important people that I will never get back because of it. As I have gotten older I realize to resolve a conflict with someone I love is more important than being right.

4) Don't push your opinions and judgement on your friends and how they live their lives. I used to be that friend that if you told me something I didn't agree about your life I would be all over you with judgement and my opinions on what I think YOU should do. I have learned to offer my advice when asked and to just be there to listen. Don't get me wrong, if you are doing something that is detrimental to your health or your children's health you will hear it from me but I have learned that your path is yours and I would rather build you up and support you in your path than tear you down.

5) Being happily Divorced is so much better than being unhappily married. I might someday share my experience as an unhappily married woman and now a blissfully happy divorced woman but for now I will just say. Don't settle for less!

 So there is my short list. Stay tuned for more as I creep closer to the my 39th year finish line and embark on my new adventure as a 40 something.

What are you "Thinking Out Loud"? Link Up and share.

Mar 22, 2017

40 Questions To Ask If You Really Want To Get To Know Someone

I have recently rejoined the world of blogging and joined up with a pretty amazing blog support group. I thought now is a good time to let you all know a little bit about me. 

1. What’s your philosophy in life? Don't judge people for the choices they make when you don't know the options they had to choose from. 
2. What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself? I am a HUGE procrastinator! I hate that about myself. 
3. Are you religious or spiritual? Spiritual 
4. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? I am definitely an extrovert to a fault 
5. Which parent are you closer to and why? I plead the fifth 
6. What was the best phase in your life? I would say that it was when my son was born but I feel like I'm currently in the best phase of my life. I feel like I am finally where I was meant to be. 
7. What was the worst phase in your life? I feel like to pick one is difficult. I've had quite the journey. I will say that my 20's were difficult for me.  I was lost and searching for something in all the wrong places.  When Jake was born visually impaired and I didn't know what his future looked like and also when I went through my separation and divorce. 
8. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? When I was little I wanted to be either a photographer or a zoologist. I am a Human Resources Manager. Lol. I love what I do though. I still love photography. 
9. What makes you feel accomplished? I feel accomplished when I effectively complete what I set out to do. Especially since I am a huge procrastinator. 
10. What’s your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much? Too many to name. This would be a topic of a post all by itself. 
11. What is a relationship deal breaker for you? Dishonesty. If you lie to me you don't respect me. 
12. Are you more into looks or brains?  Brains but I was lucky to find someone with both. Playing trivia crack with Mr. J is not always fun for me. 
13. Would you ever take back someone who cheated? Nope
14. How do you feel about sharing your password with your partner? Of course! No secrets. 
15. When do you think a person is ready for marriage? What works for one doesn't work for the other so I can't say. 
16. What kind of parent do you think you will be? I am a parent and I am better at it than I ever thought I would be. I come off as an over protective Mama Bear but I am my sons advocate. Until he is able to advocate for himself I am his voice. 
17. What would you do if your parents didn’t like your partner? My parents are non judgmental people so if they do not like them there is a good reason. 
18. Who is that one person you can talk to about just anything? Mr. J of course. I also have a lot of very close friends that I trust with deepest secrets. 
19. Do you usually stay friends with your exes? Nope. They are exes for a reason. 
20. Have you ever lost someone close to you? Way too many times. 
21. If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up? I prefer to be cheered up. 
22. What’s an ideal weekend for you? I spend my weekend in my Happy Place
23. What do you think of best friends of the opposite sex? I will be honest. I am not cool with it. Sorry. 
24. Do you judge a book by its cover? I am the least judgmental person I know. I think that comes from experience because I will say I used to be the most judgmental person I know.  
25. Are you confrontational? Yes, but I like to think for just cause. 
26. When was the last time you broke someone’s heart? I will only say one word. Divorced!
27. Would you relocate for love? Yes, I am in a little over a month. 
28. Did you ever write a journal? No
29. What are you most thankful for? My son. He is my bright light on my darkest days. 
30. Do you believe in second chances? Depends on the situation.
31. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you? Resting bitch face doesn't mean I am a bitch.  
32. What is your idea of a perfect vacation? Hawaii is my favorite place in the world. You step off the plane and smell flowers. 
33. What did your past relationship teach you? Don't settle for less than you deserve. 
34. What are your thoughts on online dating or tinder? I have a confession that I am not ready to disclose. Stay tuned. 
35. What’s on your bucket list this year? Don't laugh but I want to get a couple goats. I also want to finish the kitchen, go on a vacation with Mr. J and plant a vegetable garden. 
36. When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush? I love rock climbing. I don't do it that often but when I do I get a huge adrenaline rush.
37. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again? I have a checkered past. Can I plead the fifth again??
38. If a genie granted you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for? 1. For my son to live a happy life despite his challenges with his visual impairment. 2. To live a long healthy life with Mr. J 3. For my parents to live a long and healthy life. 
39. What’s your biggest regret in life? Not getting my 4 year degree. I have my 2 year and I have had to fight pretty hard to get into the position I am in in my career.  I will get it! It is a goal I have set for myself. 
40. What do you think about when you’re by yourself? Honestly, when I am alone I think about how I want to be with Jake and Mr. J. They both bring me such happiness. 

Mar 21, 2017

March Lately

Reading Lately:

I decided to learn everything I can about the Ketogenic Diet to see if it's for me. I have a family member that has had great success and also a fellow blogger. I am not jumping into this blindly. I want to make sure I do all my research. I understand this way of eating might cause some people to judge me but what works for one person doesn't always work for another. For now I will describe the way I eat as low carb/no sugar. I will blog more about it in the future success or failure. No bullshitting.

Watching Lately:

I know I have found "The One" because I am completely ok with watching Sports Center with my sports obsessed boyfriend. Last weekend we spent the night watching Super Cross and I didn't mind at all as long as we were spending time together.

Playing Lately:

Watching my boys (and my baby girl Cooper) playing is something that brings me such happiness. Jake loves Mr. J and we are very lucky to start this new chapter of our life with him

Eating Lately:

Easing into a low carb/no sugar way of eating. I'm 3 weeks in and down 8lbs. I feel great. Stay tuned.

Drinking Lately:

My usual drink of choice is prosecco but since it has too much sugar in it I have switched to La Croix and Vodka. It is Yummy and refreshing.

Craving Lately:

French fries and ketchup seems to be the only thing I miss. I used to be a girl that put ketchup on everything. Eggs, Pizza, Mac and Cheese. I never realized how much sugar it has in it. Oh how I miss you, sweet Ketchup.

I got this great idea for March Lately from Divya at Eat Teach Blog. Link up here. 

Mar 20, 2017

5 Day Goal Challenge!

With our move a little more than a month away you would think we would be spending our weekends packing and getting organized. NOPE!! I have this fear that we are going to come up on a week or two before the move and nothing will be done. I guess it is hard for me to want to do anything other than spend every minute of the weekend with my boys doing fun stuff. This is because enough though Jake and I are moving to our Happy Place soon, we still only get to see Mr. J on the weekends.
To say that I need to set some goals is an understatement. I clearly can't be trusted to spend my time wisely.
To help me with this task I decided to participate in Trish's 5 Day Goals Challenge.

 My 5 day goal is to pick a room or area of my house each night to focus on packing. Tonight I will work packing up my living room. I need accountability. Check back next week to see how I did. I will make sure that I take pictures. If you want to set some goals and participate in Trish's 5 Day Goals Challenge click the link.

Happy Spring Everyone!!!

Mar 17, 2017

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week!!

1. This week I was invited to join two blog groups on facebook. I am excited to meet new friends and to learn from some pretty awesome ladies.

2. If you read my blog post yesterday you will know that Jake and I rocked his IEP.

3. My homemade AMAZING salad (buffalo chicken)

4. Jake was on spring break this week so he spent 2 days at Grandma's house. That meant that I got to spend 2 days at my Happy Place with Mr.J.

5. My cat Rosa. Enough said.

6. My Sweet Boy wrote a letter to his new classmates.

7. People are actually reading my blog! I love that!!

8. People don't understand my new way of eating but it works for me and I am losing weight and feel great. I love me some buffalo wings!!

9. Jake's new school

10. I thought this was funny and it made me happy!! 

Mar 16, 2017

The Tale of an IEP Meeting Gone Right!!

An IEP(Indivualized Education Program) is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet the child's individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP.
Parents that have had this experience can probably relate to the anxiety that can go into having one of these meetings. I have heard of several tales of IEP meetings from hell from other parents and I have also had my share. In Jake's short 8 years of life, I have attended many IEP meetings. I usually go into each meeting with my guard up and am prepared for a fight and it is a time where my assertive out spoken personality comes in handy.

That being said I would like to backup a minute. I have made the decision to move Jake and myself to our happy place. Moving Jake from one school to the next takes a lot of planning and preparation. Being that he is visually impaired there are a lot of moving parts that go into the process of making sure his needs are met. I have also decided to move him before the school year is over which is added pressure on him, me and the IEP team. This was a difficult decision but one that I thought long and hard over. I am confident this is what is best for Jake and me in our new chapter.

So, as I walked into Jake's IEP meeting(5 minutes late-not a very good impression). I felt very nervous. Jake was with me this time because I wanted them to get to know him. I just want to say that this was the first time I have brought Jake with me. I do not like talking about him like he isn't there but I am so happy he was there. It was an intimidating room for an 8 year old. 8 adults with notebooks and laptops all asking questions about him and talking about him. I will say this was my Most proud MAMA moment. Jake rocked it!!! He was articulate with his words and explained to everyone what his day looks like and what his needs are. He explained to them what he likes and what he doesn't and what is hard for him. He explained his vision and why things are hard for him. As he spoke I surveyed the room to see reactions, facial expressions and body language(something I do a lot at work-habit). I could see that they were all just as floored by this little 8 year old as I was.

This group of educators really impressed me with their caring and compassion for Jake and the desire to meet his needs. I have never left a meeting feeling as confident as I did and that they are genuinely going help my son get the best education they can provide. They helped put this Mama Bear at ease with my nervousness about switching his school. Let the adventure begin

Stay tuned for more tales of our Happy Place and Jake's new adventures in his new school.

Mar 10, 2017

10 things That Made Me Happy This Week!

1. Down 8lbs in 13 days!!

2. My sweet child

3. My new Cookbook

4. Cooking with my favorite person over 8.

5. Sam's club

6. Cooper coming home. Finally!!

7. Vodka and La Croix. Guilt free

8. Games with the fam. 

9. Homemade Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana. Low carb version. Yummy!!

10. Fat cats!!

Feb 17, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday Jake!!

Happy 8th Birthday to my not so little boy. Being your Mom is the greatest gift I could ever receive. I am so proud of all the obstacles you have overcome. You are a happy, funny, bright, sweet, beautifully unique and amazingly original child. You march to the beat of your own drum and are an inspiration. I love you my sweet boy!!

Favorite foods
Mac & cheese mixed with green beans, peas and hot dogs

Favorite Color

Favorite Toy
Your Tablet

Favorite Show

Favorite Saying

Favorite subject in school
Art and music

Favorite kind of music
Anything Kidz Bop

Feb 10, 2017

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week!!

The past couple weeks have been pretty crazy. I thought since I didn't share my 10 favorites last Friday I would do my 10 favorites from the past 2 weeks.

1. Family game night with my two favorite guys. J drove an hour to meet Jake and me at his school for Jake's school event which lasted only an hour. That was after working a really long day. We love him.

2. Watching Jake with his cat Rosa is pretty awesome!! They are best friends. It helps that she is the sweetest kitty. 

3. I think that I have mastered the art of making J breakfast. He's spoiled! But so am I!!

4. Relaxing at my happy place with my favorite humans and animals.

5. Sunday morning baking with my favorite 7 year old. 

6. I still love to watch him sleep. Especially when I find him in the hat he begged me to wear to school and I said no. 

7. Car rides aren't always fun but these two make me happy and make it better. 

8. These two!!

9. Crafts at our happy place

10. I decided it was time to get back in shape. I am determined to lose the weight I gained in the past 3 years. This week was a good week. I am very happy and motivated. 

Hosts. Lindsay @ The Flynnigans, Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird and Charlotte @ My Pixie Blog

Jan 26, 2017

Minnesota NAPVI- Cookies with Santa

When my son was born, almost 8 years ago with a rare eye disease that caused him to be legally blind, I wasn't sure what his future was going to look like for him. I was lost and unsure where to turn. Jake's eye surgeon introduced us fellow  mom Casey who also had a child the same age with the same rare eye disease. Through Casey, I was introduced to MN NAPVI (Minnesota National Association of Parents with Visually Impaired Children). 
This organization brings our kids together in an environment where they not only get to play with kids just like them but they also get to do activities that are blind and visually impaired friendly.  
Each year one of the main events is Cookies with Santa.
Not only do the kids get to meet Sparkles the Elf but they also get to meet Santa and go on reindeer rides. 

Jake and Santa

Jake and Sparkles

Jake and Emily have been friends since they were babies

Smaller Group than usual but the kids all had a blast
Jake and Em taking a ride

I just have to share a side by side of Jake and Em at a past Cookies with Santa. Top one was when they were toddlers and the bottom one was from last year. 
Friends Forever!!