Sunday, December 19, 2010

Check out these adorable Sutton family photos...taken at the annual Christmas party at the Stern's home. Their house is I always try to take our family photos there.

My beautiful little girl. Obviously, we all can see where she gets her striking good looks.

 Helloooooo, handsome!
 Our little family
 Melanie, me, Megan and Gracie. I LOVE this picture because Meg and Mel have always been such an important part of my life!
 Gracie and Wilhelm...she loved holding him!
 Getting my baby fix!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

*bed at 11:15, alarm at 4am.
*one load of laundry this morning, a few papers sorted
* this afternoon's"To Do" list made and a busy workday ahead
*working on my second cup of peppermint coffee
*reading my devotional, watching the Christmas tree lights
*Cole sleeping snuggled up with both dogs
*Gracie, who yet again has managed to sneak her way into Mom and Dad's bed for the night
*she's having another "snore-off" with her Daddy
*this morning, she wins

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ahhhh, my Christmas shopping is DONE! I'm still waiting for a few things from Amazon....oh how I love online Christmas shopping! I already have most of the gifts wrapped and under the tree, just have to address and mail the Christmas cards tonight and then I can call it good. I kept things within a reasonable budget this feels good to know my kids won't get buried in "stuff", and lose sight of the real reason of Christmas.

Gearing up for a busy day today. We're moving the bulk of my mom's stuff into storage, and then she will move in with us for a few months until she can get to feeling better and start a new chapter in her life. I am so hopeful that staying here for a bit will help turn her health (and life!) around.

 Afterwards, the kids and I are off to a birthday party and some laser tag! Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to Polka Dot Pottery to paint our Christmas ornaments, and to enjoy some family down-time. It's one of my favorite things to do. We have done this with the kids since the years they were born. The first few years, we just had their handprints put on the ornaments, and then when they got older they got to paint their own. My hope is that sometime in the future (weddings, first Christmas in their own place, etc), I will be able to take all of their ornaments and give them to the kids for their own trees. That is, IF I can part with them...sniff. Here are a few from over the years. The top two are from the years they were born...aren't they SO sweet?
Here is Gracie last Christmas with her ornament....she always does such a nice job and spends lots of time getting it "just right"...
Paco's sister took Gracie to Polka Dot Pottery and helped her create this beautiful Christmas plate to give me for my birthday! Isn't it wonderful? I love it!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I know that this has been around for a few years, but my kids LOVE watching it!


These days, I am just feeling so grateful that nothing horrible has happened to our family, as it seems to be happening to everyone around us. Numerous broken bones, job losses, cancer, deaths. Heartbreaking at any time, but especially around this time of year. I think of my friends and family and hope I am doing enough for them, when I know I'm probably not. I miss the carefree days of childhood when you don't feel other's pain as much. Now, with family and friends, it's all so vivid and I want nothing more than to have the time, energy and money to do everything I can for them. Instead, the best I can do is try and be a better friend, sister, daughter, wife and mother.

The last few years, I will admit that I've been less than enthused with my career. Not because I work for a bad company, I have just felt so...unfulfilled. I've been at the same location for 15 years, and have always been thankful for my job. The past few years I have had an amazing mentor who I loved working for. This week that all changed and everything was turned upside down. Shortly before this, I was approached about a possible transfer to a location closer to home. I declined, because I really enjoyed working for my boss, and really felt a loyalty towards him. After the "shake-up", I was approached again, and accepted the position.

Now, usually I am the type of person who constantly second-guesses my decisions. I've just always been that way. This time, it felt right and I haven't really had any second thoughts that this is the direction God is leading me in. I really feel everything happens for a reason and God's timing is perfect for me. I'm starting to feel excited about my job again, and I'm hopeful that my move will make room for others to have their chances for change.

Hoping everyone is well and enjoying this season. Remember to count your blessings and be thankful for those that are dearest to you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wow, we have had a BUSY month! Lots has happened and I'm hoping to catch this blog up this evening. Until then, here is a photo of the kiddos...they're getting sooooo big!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


To Do:
  • rake the leaves
  • finally pull the enormous corn stalks out of the garden and finish winterizing it
  • drool endlessly over husband's new phone
  • rake more leaves. Oh boy we have lots of leaves.
  • make caramel apples with Gracie. She has reminded me that I promised to do this a month ago
  • swoon over my little girl who voluntary cleans her room and organizes her sock basket
  • secretly steal my husband's new phone when he's in another room
  • catch up on filing, sorting, organizing
  • quit complaining and feeling sorry for myself
  • compliment my son when he makes great choices
  • celebrate my blessings!
  • get my tail back in gear on my weight loss plan....slacker!
  • got those leaves raked yet?
  • snuggle with my husband
  • insult my brother-in-law
  • hug my kids
  • clean up the HUGE mess in the basement
  • return a million phone calls
  • get off the computer and get ready for work!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm home. Oh, and so, so tired. Trying to adjust back into the swing of things. My trip was amazing, fantastic, remarkable. Can't wait for next time! For now, I'm focusing on settling back into the family and work routine. Looking forward to sharing some pictures and stories of my trip...soon!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Virginia bound's been awhile. It's also been a whirlwind month or so. Work has been busy, I've had my Mom in the hospital....and then throw in our regular hectic life and well, you can imagine. There's been a certain eight NINE year old's birthday sleepover, another birthday party with family, Halloween and so on. However, there's no time for all that stuff now (although I WILL eventually get the blog caught up with pictures!), because tomorrow morning I fly out for Virginia!

Since I've been so busy trying to wrap up every possible loose end for the past week, such as:
  • making sure bills are paid
  • picking up prescriptions
  • organizing the kids' school stuff for the coming week
  • leaving multiple obsessive notes for my husband about pretty much everything
  • returning almost-overdue library books
  • schooling myself on the new rules of airline travel (it's been TEN years!)
  • trying to squeeze in a haircut (NOT gonna happen)
  • tracking down ipods, chargers, etc. (am I the only one that has a million of these piled sky high?)
  • attempting to print out boarding passes and itineraries, only to discover the printer is out of ink
  • worrying about how my Mom will do for the week
  • getting audited at work (GREAT timing)
  • putting on a taco feed for my co-workers
  • not letting myself slack off at the gym
Oh, I could keep going...but I always feel like I'm whining so I won't.

My point is, I've been so busy going, going, going that I haven't had the time to think about the fact that I will be away from my family for 5 days. This is big. The kids spent a week with my Dad at the cabin last summer, but that was different since Paco and I were home together. This time....I'll be on my own without my "people" as I like to call them. Of course, I will be with some of my other favorite people....Kelly and my brand-spanking new brother in law, Brian! Yep, my sis is an old married gal now. Also, my "Mom" Sandy is meeting me there too, so it will be quite a fun week!

A few things on our agenda:
  • helping Kelly out in her new yoga studio, Bend
  • going with Kelly to a Bikram yoga class (think: yoga in a room heated to 105 degrees)
  • hopefully a day trip to Washington, D.C!! WOOT!
  • plenty of time to banter with Brian, my FAVORITE brother, and drink wine with my "mom" and sis.
I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who surprised me with this trip!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where have I been and what have I been doing you may (or may not?) be asking? Well, I've been:
  • winterizing the yard
  • going to a little place I like to ew.
  • hanging out with my favorite little people
  • talking on the phone with the school counselor. ugh. She's really sweet though.
  • going on hot dates with a handsome 8 (almost 9!) year old
  • sharing a small pumpkin pie blizzard with my date
  • feeling extremely guilty about that pumpkin pie blizzard afterwards
  • experiencing an awkward ultrasound appointment with a hot ultrasound guy, complete with jazz music.
  • living a (mostly) vegan lifestyle...just for fun
  • eating mashed sweet potatoes. Oh, yum.
  • making plans for Cole's upcoming birthday. 9 already? sniff.
  • enjoying a night out with friends
  • picking on Amanda. poor girl. She deserves better.
  • cracking up at my husband's talented dance moves at the nightclub
  • trying out new recipes
  • discovering tofutti sour cream. who knew?
  • worrying about my mom
  • trying to figure out 3rd grade math. Really, I thought I was smarter than this.
  • making lists of all the crap that needs to be done around the house. paint, paint, paint!
  • taking Gracie to get her hair cut. SO cute!
  • thinking about Kelly and Brian, they're getting married next week!
  • forgetting to return a "crucial" piece of paper to school so my kids could get a tiny rubber duck. Please.
  • making smoothies for my co-workers. Cause I'm the nurturing type.
  • sewing patches galore
  • longing to get back to the gym, missing yoga and the elliptical.
  • counting down the days (16!) until my trip to Virginia to see the newlyweds. Love them so much.
That about sums it up for the past week or so! Aren't I soooooo exciting? You're jealous.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This girl rocks!

Today, Gracie went with her Daddy and brother to Trailblazer Days at Camp Cowles on Diamond lake. Look who caught the biggest fish of the day, on a little pink Barbie fishing pole!!
I know, I know, this girl is amazing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creamy corn chowder

I threw this in the slow cooker this morning for us to enjoy for dinner tonight. It was fantastic!! It is vegetarian/vegan friendly and so tasty!

Creamy Corn Chowder
*taken from "125 best vegetarian slow cooker recipes" by Judith Finlayson

1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
2 onions, finely chopped (*I used one onion, and one leek. I used the white part of the leek and sliced it thinly)
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves or poultry seasoning (*I used thyme)
1 tsp salt (*I used unrefined sea salt)
1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock (*I used 4 cups)
2 large potatoes, peeled and grated
2 cans cream-style corn
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (*I used a red pepper)
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, optional (I omitted it)
1/2 tsp ground cumin

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, leek, celery and carrots to pan and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes, until softened. Add thyme, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Stir in potatoes.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until vegetables are tender. Add corn, pepper, jalapeno, if using, and cumin. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


Friends, I am worn out. Pooped. Exhausted. I just came off an 8 day work stretch preparing for inventory. All went well but I am SO glad its over. Now I just have to figure out how to catch up on everything else at home!

On a completely seperate and unrelated note...I tried these tonight:
YUM. YUM. YUM. No, it doesn't taste as good as "real" ice cream, but I'm willing to sacrifice for my health. Try them!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Tonight I made this spinach florentine ravioli for dinner for Gracie and I (Cole refuses to touch any form of pasta).

I made a marinara sauce, doctored up with garlic, onion, chunks of tomatoes, and lots of marsala and mushrooms.

It. was. fantastic. Soooo good! The ravioli is vegan, and you would never know the difference in taste. It's made with soy ricotta. I saved a few bites for Paco to try but made him some regular ravioli on the side. Turns out he preferred the rising moon ravioli over the other stuff! SWEET!

I also checked this book out from the library...

WOW. Fantastic book and I'm not even through the first chapter!!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Last week my sister mentioned that she was going to try out a vegan lifestyle. She has been a vegetarian for several years, and even inspired me to go vegetarian myself nearly a year ago. I must admit, I feel so much better. However, I have always been skeptical about veganism...mainly because it seems so "over-the-top", and a whole heck of alot of work.

While doing some research, I came across this website, which lists 57 health benefits of going to a vegan lifestyle.  I HIGHLY recommend checking it out...what an eye opener! So, I decided to try a couple days myself and see what I thought. The first two days were so easy that I'm going for a week! I don't know that I will make a permanent switch, but could easily do it 3 days a week or so long term. To be honest, I am doing it solely for health reasons. I am also concerned about all the junk that my kids eat, and am really trying to limit the "garbage" that goes into their bodies. I've found that they like most of the healthier foods that I buy, and if I can get them headed in the right direction now, then healthy eating will be a habit for them later in life!!

 This list has been extremely helpful....I always thought it would be so hard to find things to eat that were dairy and "animal free". Here are few things I've tried over the past few days:

Good stuff....certainly doesn't taste as good as butter but a whole heck of a lot better for your heart!
I liked the wholesoy & co yogurt. My friend Amanda tried a bite of it and hated it. It does leave a bit of "beany" aftertaste, but that didn't really bother me. Last night I used the vanilla in a smoothie and couldn't tell a difference from regular yogurt...neither of my kids noticed either!
I was surprised by the Vegenaise. I had a veggie sandwich for dinner last night and used a bit of this in lieu of miracle whip light that I ususally use. Tasted great! I could easily slip this by my husband and kids without them noticing.
The Yves veggie dogs are pretty long as you have them with ketchup, mustard and relish! I don't care for the taste of them plain...but I wouldn't usually eat a plain hot dog anyway.
So far, so good! I went to Huckleberry's last night and found alot of really yummy looking new stuff to try out.....I'll keep you posted on how it goes!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love these bags!

A few years ago, I was invited to a Miche purse party, but wasn't able to attend. Now I see what all the fuss is about!! Oh how I LOVE them!! You get one bag, and choose from tons of extra "shells" (covers) that magnetically attach on to change the look of your bag in seconds! I HAD to have a party and look at the damage I've already done....(all pictures from the Miche website).

My smaller shells:

and my big bags....oh I LOVE these big bags!!!

and they even have MINI Miche' I could get Gracie a purse to match mine and we could be super-Matchy. And then I could borrow it from her. Ha! What a great idea....I'm SO glad I met my friend Becky who sells these. Of course I'm glad I met her anyway, but the fact that she sells sweet purses is simply a bonus!

Sunday, September 26, 2010