Friday, April 30, 2010

New Blog!

Monday, April 12, 2010

328 Days!!!!!

I can't even believe it!  I earned Mexico last week! God thing.

The trip is for next March, and Sean and I are taking K1 and K2 with us!  It is an all exclusive resort, and something we wouldn't have been able to afford without Uppercase!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It is official...

 I will never have another child.

About 6 months ago, I would have told you that I wanted one more.  That was a short 6 months ago.  And then, I prayed.  I literally asked God to take the desire to have another child from me if he wanted.  Basically I was giving up my desire to have another to replace my desire with whatever God's desire for our family is.  I knew that if he wanted another child to bless our lives, he would stregnthen the desire in our lives.  And I believed that he could take the desire away from us as well.  And...he did.

I feel fully content with the fact that we will not have another child.  And a new chapter has begun.  And because I know that God is happy with this decision, I am having an easier time embracing this chapter. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

exhausted...but blown away

I had a great time in Tampa with my fellow Uppercase Living Leaders.  But MAN!  I am tired!  I don't know what I can blame....the not sleeping, the jet lag, the excitement, the brain overload???  Who knows! :)

All I know is that this company never fails me.  Once again I have been given more than I even wanted and have an AWESOME new mini catalog with tons of great celebration decor', a new fundraising program that will offer lots of profits for those organizations who choose to use it and a great new consistency program for my team!  I am STOKED!  This is going to be a great stretch!  I can't wait for convention in July.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adios Amigos!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Sunny Side Saturday

I may be tired, but I am tired because God has given me an abundance of work and a quiver full of children!

My house may be messy, but it is messy because we have enough
clothes, food and money to buy toys for the kids

My husband may be injured but his injury brought him to a company
that gave him a work vehicle, salary and a 401k.

My daughter may be having surgery, but she is having surgery because we could afford to go to the orthodontist and have insurance that will cover nearly all of the cost of the surgery.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Three Things Thursday...ok I am a copycat

1. Words I am sure you never thought I would write...I am tired of working!  I love UL, love our products, love my customers but I am tired.  I have 14 parties to close this month and it seems that everyone in our house is having surgery.  I actually have to work the night of one of those surgeries and I am rather heartbroken that I have a prior commitment.

2.  I officially hate ISAT's.  I think that schools put undue pressure on our children, teachers and quite  I don't like being told that I "should make sure my kids have a good night of sleep", or "are well fed in the morning".  Jeesh!  DUH!  Why is this week more important to their education than the other weeks? 

3. If I had a day off this weekend I would be doing TONS of house stuff.  Painting the rec room, planting my seedlings, re-arranging, cleaning...etc.  I am actually bummed out that these things are being put on the back burner.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kyla's 7 year old photos

An award...for me???? :)

Thanks go to Erin, over at "yes our hands are full" for this Over the Top award!  Truthfully, I think she was just checking to see if I was still alive!  I apoligize...I have been SO busy at work and appreciate this WAKE UP!!!!

Here are the rules for the Over the Top award:
-Answer the questions below.

-Pass it on to five people.
1. Where is your cell phone? To my left.

2. Your hair? is going grey more and more each day.

3. Your mother? a saint!  Married to my dad with 5 crazy children!  Seriously...a saint! and does NOT have more grey hair than me...jeesh.

4. Your father? has more grey hair than me, and is in the west for half of each month.

5. Your favorite food? mexican

6. Your dream last night? I don't remember my dreams too often

7. Your favorite drink? coffee

8. Your dream/goal? to be able to stand at the finish line and know that the words "well done" could be applied to my life.

9. What room are you in? living room

10. Your hobby? working...I serilously love my work.

11. Your fear? drowning

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? I want to have this house finished!  And wow...6 years means the twins are 15 so...I guess I want to be sane still?

13. Where were you last night? out with a friend

14. Something that you aren't? calm

15. Muffins? banana

16. Wish list item? SPRING!!!!!!!!!

17. Where did you grow up? Canada until 4, Wheaton, Illinois until 7, Woodstock, Illinois!

18. Last thing you did? went to the bathroom(AND THE PHONE DIDN'T RING!!!!)

19. What are you wearing? workout capri's and a tank top

20. Your TV? not a flat screen

21. Your Pets? 2 dogs, 7 guinea pigs, 6 fish

22. Friends? I LOVE MY FRIENDS!!!!!!

23. Your life? insane

24. Your mood? geting more and more amped up as I move furthur into my week and closer to another 5 day work stretch.

25. Missing Someone?  my brothers.  I don't see them often enough.

26. vehicle? mini-van

27. Something you're not wearing? socks

28. Your favorite store? JC Penney

29. Your favorite color? blue

30. When was the last time you laughed? last night

31. Last time you cried? at the dentist a week ago

32. Your best friend? Sean, April, Mom

33. One place that I go to over and over? to the coffee maker :)

34. Facebook? yep!  LOVE IT!

35. Favorite place to eat? with the family
Here are my 5 blogs:

1. Our daily blessing.....Life!
2. Something to talk about
3. Sweat and Make Up
4. Chad and Nikki
5. A stirring life

Thanks again Erin!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Almost a week wearing a bugg!

This month I spent a little of my Uppercase money on a Bodybugg.  What is a bodybugg???  A bodybugg is a high tech calorie/step/activity monitor that you wear on your left arm.  It has been used on The Biggest Loser and uses a process to count these different things.

The process is based on:

Motion: The armband contains an accelerometer that measures motion from multiple perspectives.

Steps: The accelerometer counts steps by measuring the distinct patterns created by running or walking.

Galvanic skin response: When you sweat, your skin becomes more electrically conductive. This measurement helps the device understand how active you are.

Skin temperature: There’s an electronic thermometer inside your armband that monitors how hot you are.

Heat flux: When you move, your muscles produce heat. Your armband measures the heat that’s flowing from your body into the environment.

I have been thinking of buying one of these bugg's for over a year now.  I have thought of it, forgot it, lost weight, gained weight, worked out, sat on my booty and overall...the yo-yo'ing that I am doing is taking a toll on my self esteem and health. 

So, here I am...week 1.  And I could be that it is a "new" thing, but at the moment...I don't feel like I am on a diet at all.

 I wear the bugg, enter my food for the day as I go(or at the end of the day...depending on the day).  My target burn according to bodybugg is 2400.  And my target calorie consumption is 1400.  Neither of those have been hard at all.  HOWEVER...the goal is to put 1000 calories between the consumption and burn.  I have noticed that I am burning alot more on some days than others.  On days that I hit the gym AND go to work, I have seen burns around 3400.  On these days I could "technically" eat 1000 more calories without going off my program.  The goal is to have a defecit of 7000 calories per week which is equal to 2 pounds.  Make sense? 

The bottom line for me is that I am not feeling "food guilt" which can de-rail all of my progress.  If I want a snickers bar...I eat it and enter it into the program!  I know that my goal is a 1000 calorie defecit for the day and as long as I get there I am "on program!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Growing on the mind...

I am SO excited to get started with my garden this excited in fact that we have
-growing system(for seedling)
-three new plants growing in the house(money tree, sunflower, and paperwhites)
-and...a few new books and magazines!

(photo from last year..grill is now g.o.n.e!!!!)
If you remember last year, Sean built me two 3' x 12' raised planter beds(measurements are measured while looking out the window).  Well as you can tell from the photo, I had a plan that I thought was going to work out well.  I am glad that I walked blindly into last years planting...I learned alot about what grows well here and what I want to plant more of because I didn't have enough of a harvest.

So...enter the next great idea...Square Foot Gardening!!  It is a book dedicated to helping you grow more vegetables and flowers in less space all the while saving you money(on wasted seeds) and time weeding.  I am thrilled to try this method and will take pictures along the way to document the process.  I think with any luck, and some educated guidance...I will be happier with this years garden!

Now to pray for the warm weather to come quicker :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What a gift!

Monday, February 8, 2010

2 years ago today...

I had no idea what Uppercase Living was.  I was and still am a stay at home mom who was up to her armpits with a 10 month old and 2 year old at home.  I had no idea what getting out of the house to share a passion that I didn't know I had, would do for my self esteem.  I didn't know whether I could succeed or not at anything outside of being a mom.  Really...I am dead serious.  I didn't know that there was a life for me outside of breastfeeding and diapering.

So on February 11th, 2008 I took a leap of faith.  I didn't have any Uppercase in my home, I hadn't applied a piece of vinyl to anything, and I had no idea if people were going to "get" what Uppercase was.

The day that my starter kit came, I signed up my first recruit.  A woman called me out of the blue and wanted to know all about Uppercase and how she could sell it...I literally had to go outside to get my starter kit off my porch to talk to this woman.  I STILL hadn't applied any vinyl...

The rest is history.  God has moved me from one place to another with this company that I have been nothing but impressed with.  Since I started I have had over 160 parties, been promoted twice, made the 35K sales circle last year, earned the FREE eastern caribbean cruise with the upgrade, earned more prizes,  been to Anaheim for convention and had the priveledge of working with an amazing team of people.  My goals have all been met, and I am pushing towards some new ones!

Above all, I love helping women create the atmosphere that they are looking for in their spaces.  Paint can change a mood in a room but the words can make it yours.  Don't ever underestimate the power of words!

As I write this I can glance up and remind myself that God has been faithful to us!  It is written on my wall.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our birthday traditions!

At 6 we take them away by themselves overnight to a hotel for swimming or theatre.
At 7 we take them to American Girl for the day.
At 8 we get them pets(seriously...reconsidering this one!)

Yesterday I took K1 and K2 to Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg.  They had alot of fun and although it wasn't as big of a place as I expected(I went to Legoland in Canada when I was little), there was still alot to do!  If you haven't been there I would go!  I definatly suggest going during the week if you don't like crowds.  I can only imagine that it gets pretty busy on the weekends.

Here are a few pictures of the experience!

And just in case your wondering what we are going to do for 10.....MEXICO!!!!!!  Thanks to Uppercase, Sean and I are going to take the twins with us to Mexico next March(I am still working on earning this trip but am over 70%).  Our hope is that each year we can take a different kid with us on our FREE Uppercase trips.  K3 is waiting until July to find out where her trip will be! 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

St.Thomas - A week ago today!

Wowza!  It is FREEZING outside!  Only the kind of freezing that you get in January in Illinois...the stuff that we talk about every year.  F-R-I-G-I-D!!!!!  Which is why I had to tell you from the get go that there is heat somewhere!  It is becomming unbelieveable again.  The funny thing is that the first 48 hours of our trip Sean and I probably told each other that we couldn't believe the heat...a thousand times.  It is just unbelieveable(remember...I don't vacation)

So, a week ago today(Thursday) we docked in St.Thomas(U.S. Virgin Islands) and had a great day!  This port is known as a huge shopping port and especially known for its jewelry stores.  It was hard to find a store that wasn't selling jewelry.  It is a beautiful area.  And although the taxi cabs are insane and the drivers are mostly sane, they don't take too much away from the scenery.  There were more lizards basking on the rocks on our port.  I think they probably stay because the restaurants in that area feed them, and the rocks offer them a good source of warmth...because you can't imagine that they are laying there to "human watch".  They typically wouldn't want to be bothered...but they were pretty lazy. 

We did a barefoot sail and snorkel ride on the Kekoa which is a self made catamaran.  It was a great ride and the men who were sailing the boat actually put the boat together themselves.  They also build tree houses and seem very knowledgeable about their trade.  Something to certainly be admired...not to mention that they are brothers, which I think is great! 

The snorkel is great but takes some getting used to.  If you are a natural swimmer like my husband, then you are going to take to this quite well.  It doesn't take alot of skill and pretty quickly you can get all the skill that you need to enjoy the scenery.  If you are like myself, more of a land dweller...this might take a bit longer.  I actually found that if I held my mouthpiece in, I felt better.  I think it was the whole "getting over breathing while in the water" thing.  I keep trying to hold my breath which obviously...not smart.  So, I figured it out and before I knew it the hour of snorkel was over.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

San Juan - A week ago today!

Dare I say...San Juan was SOOOOOO hot!  91 degrees!  It is a good place to be if you enjoy shopping, senor frogs, and site seeing.  I think there was probably a beach...somewhere but we didn't visit it.  We spent our day wandering around picking up free gems from different stores.  I tried on an amazing $27000 blue diamond ring that didn't want to but did come off my finger! :)  Those blue diamonds...jeesh!  Gor-geous!

Here are a few pictures of our trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico!

this was taken from the boat on the way into port

The group that wandered together!

Lizards are everywhere in Puerto Rico!

Here is Sean...who wanted to climb this tree and every other tree he saw...I have no idea why, but I am rather used to this kind of thing :)

Some of the colors of the buildings are quite flashy!

Me outside of Senor Frogs

me with our ship the ms.eurodam

Monday, January 25, 2010

A week ago today

A week ago today we were pulling our mock-titanic into Grand Turk.  From the dock, Grand Turk is beautiful...very close to paradise but we learned more about this area than the average Margaritaville dweller.

Before we went on our trip Sean and I made a list of a few excursions that we thought we would like to do.  I figured that we may never be in these area's again and we should try to actually "do" something.  At Grand Turk we had decided to go on a clear bottom kayak and eco walk tour.  It wasn't too expensive and really wanted to do something that required movement...especially when you have felt like you were eating 24/7 on the boat.

The actual tour was AWESOME.  The tour guide was a rather large native man who you wouldn't typically see in a kayak...but he was funny and had great knowledge of the plant life, fish and other things that he happened upon during out trip.  Because the kayak was clear on the bottom we could watch the fish and vegetation which added a nice aspect to the ride(I say ride...because Sean did all the paddling)  The weather was beautiful and we got to see all kinds of things and wild flamingos, which as it turns exist outside of the zoos :)

The thing is...Grand Turk is a really poor area.  Most of the people who live there live in huts and the damage of hurricanes is ever present.  There is garbage in the streets, wild horses and donkeys and women who sit in their teeny tiny shops selling handmade trinkets for little money.  But you never once saw someone who didn't seem content.  It is unreal.  In fact as we were driving and I was watching out the window, I remember that I just kept saying "unreal", and thinking that our girls wouldn't believe the houses and land.  Unreal. 

And the part that got to me the most was that 99% of the people who came ashore that day did not see what we saw.  We would ask people what they did and the majority stayed close to shore on the beach or in the shops and restaurants that are just a few feet from the beach.  If you were to ask them what they thought of Grand Turk, they would probably tell you that it was paradise, but in reality...the people who live there live in a different type of reality.  One that doesn't revolve around tourism, but one that they have grown accustomed to.  That is something to be respected and admired.  The live with so little and yet they live.  What a lesson in the middle of what seemed like paradise from the shore.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Guess what Illinois???

80 degree weather exists during January!!!!!  I know...I hardly could believe it too...and I keep forgetting that when I get home the weather is NOT going to follow me.  I am terribly sad about this, but terribly happy to get home to my girls.

I have been blessed beyond measure yet again by a company that showers us with appreciation and I can't wait to get back in the swing of work again!  Re-fresh-ing!

Here are a few teaser pictures!  We didn't see more than 15 minutes of rain during our entire trip!

This is from our second formal night.  It is somewhere between St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

On the way into San Juan.

Lizard in San Juan.

The water at Half Moon Cay.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Week 1 - Check

I am done with week 1 "training".  Give me a break right??? Most of you could get off the couch onto the treadmill and handle this workout.  But I figure I had to start somewhere!  And I don't want to get burned out so, I just stuck with the plan and finished those three running workouts and then added an elliptical and resistance workout as well.

I do plan on running while on the boat, and from what I have read there are plenty of treadmills and beautiful scenery out the windows! 

I have to be honest...I was pretty proud of myself getting the kids out twice this week(all 5)while Sean has been gone.  It isn't easy to take 5 kids anywhere much less to the gym.  They behaved perfectly and I am pretty glad they did! 

Next week I up my length of runs.  At this point the time is more like a mind game than anything else so if I psych myself out, I will be fine!  And...I didn't have any music in my ears this week.  I need to charge the ipod(ok...more like find the charge cord), or borrow seans sweet itouch.(if I can get it out of his grubby paws)

Until then...rock it out sistas!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day #2 of training...

Yep, it Thursday...and it is SNOWING...not only is it snowing but it is a snow day!  4 of my children are out playing in the snow at the moment.

So this brings me to point 1 of my workout pitfalls.

I don't get to the gym because I have to tote 5 kids with.  Now this isn't really typically the case.  When I like to go to the gym I usually have either 1 or 2 children because the other three are in school.  Fine...perfect, that works!  BUT WAIT!!!!  How about summer's, breaks and...snowdays!  Not too mention that when it is really cold out I feel bad dragging the littles out for something that I often feel is a priveledge(me being able to work out). 

Isn't that crazy?  Isn't this a bad excuse?  Didn't you think that I was better at this parenting 5 kids thing than this post would lead you to believe???

So, for those of you who don't have this problem...I want your advice!  I know the whole "just do it" attitude and that it is "better for me", but when the rubber hits the road sometimes it is just easier to stay home.

What do you think?

**edited to add - I am still planning on getting to the gym tonight and am NOT giving up...nor will I.  When I set a goal, I am really good about seeing it through.  It's after I am done with the goal that things change.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week 1 - Crazy Idea...starting point... I have yet another crazy idea.(insert rolling eyes) *Please note that this is NOT part of any resolution.  It is just something I congered up today while on the treadmill.

I want to run a 5k non stop.

I am out of shape and want to have a goal to work towards.

I know that a 5k isn't much to many of you...but for me, it's a good start!

I want to be able to do this in a month.  Here's the schedule.

Mon Rest
Tue Run 2 mins, walk 4 mins. Do 5 times
Wed Rest
Thu Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 4 times
Fri Rest
Sat Run 3 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 4 times
Sun Rest
Mon Rest
Tue Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 3 times
Wed Rest
Thu Run 5 mins, walk 3 mins. Do 3 times
Fri Rest
Sat Run 7 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times
Sun Rest
Mon Rest
Tue Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times
Wed Rest
Thu Run 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times
Fri Rest
Sat Run 10 mins, walk 2 mins. Do twice then run for 5 mins
Sun Rest
Mon Rest
Tue 8 mins, walk 2 mins. Do 3 times
Wed Rest
Thu Run 9 mins, walk 1 min. Do 3 times
Fri Rest
Sat Run 12 mins, walk 2 mins. Do twice then run for 5 mins
Sun RUN 5K

And for my running friends-please check this schedule and give me any and all advice you would like.  I am open to your ideas!