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Archive for January, 2012

Staycation Austin

Before we had Livy, traveling was relatively easy. Afterall, we could take Avery along or Nene would keep her. Now that we have two, it’s a little more challenging. Taking a vacation with both of them really isn’t a vacation and Nayely, our nanny, has school in the evenings. With fast-paced and busy careers, Scott and I really need the time to decompress so we decided a staycation was in order for us. We were able to stay close to home to give us peace of mind while getting a mini-break.

Our weekend consisted of some really fun activities including a culinary course (so yummy), the spa for relaxation, and a heart-pounding course taking us high in the sky while we were tethered to a wire (literally) and climbed a very tall rope net, walked across wire and logs and zipped down on a zip line. I started out brave and ended up shaking like a leaf by the end. It was fun but I was glad to be back on the ground 🙂 Travaasa is an “experiential resort” who prides themselves on eco-friendly everything and fresh farm-to-table food that was outstanding! We met some great people, too. Short and sweet!

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Girls Weekend Getaway

This past year, my parents gave the “boys” a fishing trip and the “girls” got a shopping getaway for birthdays. I think this is the best idea as it makes for a truly memorable experience that can be cherished for a lifetime. Mom, Dawn, Hillary, and I went to San Antonio for a weekend of shopping at La Cantera and eating at the Riverwalk. The weather on Saturday couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor shopping day. Being that I’m so over winter (the day after Christmas I’m always dreaming of springtime), I had spring and summer on my mind, but unfortunately, spring collections have only started trickling in.

Saturday evening we went to our hotel to unwind and get ready for dinner. We stayed at the Westin on the Riverwalk and we walked in right after the Phoenix Suns basketball team walked in. I am clueless when it comes to NFL, NBA, NHL, MBA, and who’s who. I only knew that they were extraordinarily tall. My mom on the other hand was like a school girl! Apparently, everyone else knew who they were as well. We rode on the elevator with them and Steve Nash stayed in the adjoining room to ours. My mom proceeded to make us laugh a lot because she was acting quite funny.

It’s so great to spend a quiet weekend away with my mom and sisters. I wish we could do it more often!
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Lovey Came To Town

I certainly have some catching up to do!   The weekend before last, Lovey came to town to help me with the girls while Scott was out of town.    It was so nice to have Lovey come help me.   When he is gone for a few days out of the week, my balance completely goes out of whack.   Scott really does help me a lot with the girls and we do a lot of things together so doing things on my own can be quite exhausting.   I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

The girls had a great time with Lovey and I’m glad she came because we don’t get to see her very often.    She got to see Livy hone her walking skills and make all her funny little words.   Lovey brought a little ballerina figurine for Avery and she broke it within two minutes, much like the Cinderella ornament my mom bought Avery and broke shortly after.   I’m like Miss Fix It with all my handy glues (Liquid Nail, Gorilla glue, and Hot glue).    Unfortunately, most of these things I fix often get broken over and over again.

While Lovey was here, we did a little shopping at Hancock Fabric’s and another fabric store in town that had higher-end fabrics.   She likes to sew!   I used to love to embroider pillows and sew doll clothes when I was a little girl.  I can remember my grandmother teaching me different techniques and my Aunt Delores taught me how to sew on a machine.   I actually find I really miss it.   I miss being creative.  When I force myself (and I say force because it’s easy after a days work to just sit on the couch and watch the Housewives after the girls have gone to bed) to be creative, I feel so much more balanced, fulfilled, and proud of myself!   I decided that for Olivia’s first birthday, I’m going to do something extra special for her and make her a handmade birthday gift.   With an older sister, Livy gets  a lot of hand-me-down clothes and toys and lucky for her, she doesn’t know any differently.    I started researching through Pinterest and online and found a great idea….something hopefully that she will possibly be able to give to her children one day that will be extra special because Mommy made it!

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In the New Year 2012

I am sitting here wondering why we wait until January 1st to attempt to make real changes in our lives. Perhaps there is something very exciting about it….starting fresh! I, too, like to make changes. In fact, I have several I’m committing myself to and I’m very excited about them. I have accomplished all of my goals in my career and my personal life, but the hardest one is an ongoing goal and that is simplifying. In fact, I’ve learned through my recent readings that letting go of goals can really help simplify, especially if you are super goal-oriented like me. I constantly set new and higher standards. This year, I really want to reign it in and besides getting into our new home, set less goals for myself!! I want to smell the roses, cherish each day, spend a lot of time outside in this beautiful city with my family, sign up for a fun craft or sewing class and embrace life. Rather than having these as goals, I want to make it my lifestyle, not something to accomplish but rather a way of life.

A few things I really want to remember through 2012 and beyond:

  • Slow down. Rushing is rarely worth it. Life is better enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
  • Goals aren’t as important as we think. Try working without them for a week. Turns out, you can do amazing things without goals. And you don’t have to manage them, cutting out on some of the bureaucracy of your life. You’re less stressed without goals, and you’re freer to choose paths you couldn’t have foreseen without them.
  • The moment is all there is. All our worries and plans about the future, all our replaying of things that happened in the past — it’s all in our heads, and it just distracts us from fully living right now. Let go of all that, and just focus on what you’re doing, right at this moment. In this way, any activity can be meditation.
  •  When your child asks for your attention, always grant it. Give your child your full attention, and instead of being annoyed at the interruption, be grateful for the reminder to spend time with someone you love.
  • You can’t motivate people. The best you can hope for is to inspire them with your actions. People who think they can use behavioral “science” or management techniques have not spent enough time on the receiving end of either.
  •  If you find yourself swimming with all the other fish, go the other way. They don’t know where they’re going either.
  • You will miss a ton, but that’s OK. We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, not miss out on anything important … that we forget the simple fact that we cannot experience everything. That physical reality dictates we’ll miss most things. We can’t read all the good books, watch all the good films, go to all the best cities in the world, try all the best restaurants, meet all the great people. But the secret is: life is better when we don’t try to do everything. Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience, and life turns out to be wonderful.
  • Rest is more important than you think. People work too hard, forget to rest, and then begin to hate their jobs. In fitness, you see it constantly: people training for a marathon getting burned out because they don’t know how to let their straining muscles and joints recover. People who try to do too much because they don’t know that rest is where their body gets stronger, after the stress.
  • There are few joys that equal a good book, a good walk, a good hug, or a good friend. All are free.  ****Love this and YES, YES, YES, to this.
  •  The destination is just a tiny slice of the journey. We’re so worried about goals, about our future, that we miss all the great things along the way. If you’re fixated on the goal, on the end, you won’t enjoy it when you get there. You’ll be worried about the next goal, the next destination.
  • A good walk cures most problems. Want to lose weight and get fit? Walk. Want to enjoy life but spend less? Walk. Want to cure stress and clear your head? Walk. Want to meditate and live in the moment? Walk. Having trouble with a life or work problem? Walk, and your head gets clear.
  •  Let go of expectations. When you have expectations of something — a person, an experience, a vacation, a job, a book — you put it in a predetermined box that has little to do with reality. You set up an idealized version of the thing (or person) and then try to fit the reality into this ideal, and are often disappointed. Instead, try to experience reality as it is, appreciate it for what it is, and be happy that it is.
  • Gratitude is one of the best ways to find contentment. We are often discontent in our lives, desire more, because we don’t realize how much we have. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, be grateful for the amazing gifts you’ve been given: of loved ones and simple pleasures, of health and sight and the gift of music and books, of nature and beauty and the ability to create, and everything in between. Be grateful every day.
  • Create. The world is full of distractions, but very few are as important as creating.
  •  Get some perspective. Usually when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective.
  • Don’t sit too much. It kills you. Move, dance, run, play.
  •  Life is exceedingly brief. You might feel like there’s a huge mass of time ahead of you, but it passes much faster than you think. Your kids grow up so fast you get whiplash. You get gray hairs before you’re done getting your bearings on life. Appreciate every damn moment.
  • Fear will try to stop you. Doubts will try to stop you. You’ll shy away from doing great things, from going on new adventures, from creating something new and putting it out in the world, because of self-doubt and fear. It will happen in the recesses of your mind, where you don’t even know it’s happening. Become aware of these doubts and fears. Shine some light on them. Beat them with a thousand tiny cuts. Do it anyway, because they are wrong.
  • I look forward to life!  Learning, living, and loving!

These words above are from the works of Leo Babauta (only edited here and there to suit my own life and are public domain).

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To set the tone of our Christmas weekend, the weather was very wintery (cold and wet) which made for perfect Christmas weather. That is the only time I like wintery weather :)! We had a wonderful time with family, ate too much, played a lot, snuggled inside, and loved every second of it. I’m so thankful for my family! Oh, and as a very important side note, Olivia started walking over Christmas. She gets super excited when she walks! Where did my baby go? Aw, she is growing so fast.

I must admit I go overboard on picture taking at Christmas. I do this every year! When it comes time to select which ones I like best, I really like them all even the bad ones. I have about 500 pictures from this Christmas. I love how they tell our story which is great because I forget the details the very next day replaced by new details….seriously I do. Looking back at them is like reliving those precious moments. However, picking out a few is beyond overwhelming for me. Below is more than a few:

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Feeding the Reindeer so when Santa comes they have something to eat:
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These little elves were more interested in the baker’s twine than the presents:
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Looking at her princess puzzle:
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