Tuesday, June 30, 2009
***Side note: There is nothing like the smell of fresh fruit and vegetables, after years of managing a produce market, I can always pick out fresh fruit and veggies by the smell, look, feel or even sound! (ever learn how to thump a watermelon or cantaloupe?) Fresh produce always gets me very excited! :)***
So back to the story, when we were leaving the strawberries, we noticed a sign to pick your own Sweet Queen Anne cherries! We had to stop! At the end of the day we ended up picking everything they had available to pick, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, sugar snap peas and English peas, it was incredibly fun! We will definitely be going back often. We plan to go back for more blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches this summer and then apples and pumpkins in the fall. Another neat thing about the orchard is that they really cater to families. They have mazes and waterslides, a playground, tractor rides and even a petting zoo! Everything is free (except the produce), so you can bet it will become a family tradition and we will be taking our kids there a lot!
Here is a partial picture of the haul, (sorry the lighting is poor we were in the midst of thunderstorms) I couldn't even get all the buckets in the shot!
The delicious strawberries! They had such a fragrant scent, it was irresistible! I ended up making loaves of strawberry breads, strawberry banana muffins, strawberry cupcakes, strawberry chocolate rice krispy treats and I still had leftovers! I'm thinking of making a strawberry sauce with the rest of it and freezing it, it'll be delicious on pancakes, waffles, ice cream and even yogurt this winter when I'm craving fresh berries!
Friday, June 26, 2009
It’s scary standing on the brink of so many changes, but comforting to be standing there with you. I’m so proud of you for all that you’ve accomplished professionally and I’m excited for a future where I know we will excel as a team. Thank you for taking the time to understand my passions and get involved with my dreams. Thank you for working so hard to understand me and my needs. Thank you for always looking out for my needs, even when I forget to look after myself. Thank you for forgiving me when I’m a brat. Thank you for dealing with the hassle that I am in the morning, even if that means calling me and waking me up over the course of an hour when you are out of town. :)
You are so sweet and caring, I couldn’t ever imagine God creating a more perfect man for me. You are my other half and I love you infinity mostest, (me!)
Sigh, they are all so fabulous! Anyone else out there purchased any fun knit items off of Etsy or from one of these sellers?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I learned from an early age on putting everyone else’s needs before my own. Growing up with seven other siblings meant I was caring for children at a very young age. Given that all my siblings homeschooled added the extra bonus in that they were ALWAYS home. This meant I taught many of them how to read & write, helped them with their other schooling, did the naps, the bathes, staying up at night with them, cleaned the house, made many of the meals, did a lot of errands, ran them all around to activities, attended their events and functions etc. All my life I’ve experienced most of the gamut’s of parenting other than the physical part of pregnancy and giving birth.
The blessings in this is that it has given me wonderful insight into how to raise children and deal with a multitude of personalities; I’m much closer with my siblings then most people; I learned responsibility and maturity at a young age; I was fully versed in the art of running a household by the time I was 12, and I learned many virtues/skills early on, such as patience, multi-tasking and how to correct a child with a single glance (best skill ever!!!) :)
One of the challenges I’ve come to face though is, taking the time to focus on myself. My lifestyle is so jammed packed now that I often sacrifice my “me” time in favor of another item on the to-do list. Between being a good wife; running a household; caring for and being involved with my large family; working a job & running my own business; remodeling a house; living in a single room with everything else in storage during the remodeling process (going on ten months for this one) and all the other minute details of life….it doesn’t leave much spare time for anything, much less “me” time.
It’s hard for me to relax and take care of myself with an endless stream of to-dos and errands and persons clamoring for my attention, but I also realize I better figure this out sooner rather than later because the older you get, the harder you fall when you breakdown. I vividly remember running myself ragged on many occasions until I’d finally break down and have a good cry. If I look back on my life I can see the trail of destruction I’ve committed on myself. I followed this pattern in highschool when I worked nearly full time running a nursery program for a school while also taking community college classes full time for dual credit. It got me plenty of scholarships and experience (and also had me graduating at 17) but I distinctly remember all-nighters and a few breakdowns during highschool. I followed a similar pattern during college, which enabled me to graduate in 3.5 years with my bachelors and masters degree but also put me in the hospital for exhaustion on two separate occasions. I did this while studying for theCPA exam and working 60+ hour work weeks in public accounting, which enabled me to pass the CPA exam in 6 months but also caused me to pass out at work and be rushed to the hospital (talk about humiliating) followed by nearly a year of health problems.
I’ve definitely learned a lot during the process. I’ve also learned that it’s something women struggle with a lot more than men. What appears to be a cut and dry problem to my husband, is a lot more complex to me. How do you put it into worlds how selfish you feel going out and working out, or spending your evening (or even 15 minutes) pampering yourself, when there are little bodies clamoring for your attention and time. I’m definitely glad that this is something that my husband and I have learned about each other now and can work through it together BEFORE we have our own children because I’d probably want to pop him if he were to chide me for feeling this way when I am in a sleep-deprived, guilt-ridden, emotional and hormonal state.
No matter how feminist this country becomes, I think there are still a lot more pressures placed on woman than on men (I think the only reason for this is because most people don’t know the definition of what true manhood is anymore, but that’s a post for a different time). When it comes down to it, women are often sneered at for staying home with our kids yet judged and gossiped about for wanting/having to hold down a job at the same time. We are often expected to be accomplished at work yet be accomplished at home. I don’t know about all you other ladies out there but I’m not Superwoman and I still haven’t figured out the “keys” to getting it all done and still having my “me” time. Sigh, I guess I’ll just have to settle for mediocrity. :) Anyone else out there know what I mean?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
While we were in VT we stopped at Lake Champlain Chocolate and stocked up in their second’s section. The seconds are all the chocolates whose wrappers don’t meet their perfectionist standards but look just fine to their average consumer. Needless to say, large quantities of organic gourmet chocolates=very happy MrsLifeAccounts! We stocked up big time! We stocked up on all things maple syrup related since it’s so much cheaper up there then just about anywhere else. Lastly, we stopped at Cabot Cheese on our way down to MA for the remainder of the long weekend. Cabot cheese is quite possibly some of the best cheese I have ever tasted and their Tuscan Cheddar is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I’m pretty sure we bought several pounds, and there may or may not be less than a pound left. :)
In MA, we went to Jordan’s furniture store to pick out all the new furniture for the upcoming finished renovated house (only four more months to go!). I have to say that Jordan’s is one of the best furniture store’s I’ve ever been in. I don’t know if we will be buying it there and shipping it down or trying to source it local after picking it out there. Either way, shopping there is one of my husband’s and my favorite dates! We then spent the remainder of our time, stuffing our faces at all of our old favorite restaurants and cheering on the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Funny side story, as a surprise for the hubby on his birthday, I put a message up on the score board wishing him happy birthday. Well, wouldn’t you know that our seats ended up being right behind the score board!!! So yeah….I had to ruin the surprise and tell him so that we could move down! So ridiculous! I have yet to successfully pull off a surprise for him!
We came home loaded down with chocolate, cheese, maple syrup and pots and pans…..oh, did I forget to mention that we stopped at the outlets on the way home? Not just any old outlets mind you, but the Chelsea Premium Outlets! With a Le Creuset outlet and Williams Sonoma outlet! They had Le Creuset for up to 40% off at the Le Creuset store and all of our All Clad pots for 30-40% off at the Williams Sonoma Store! I had a little too much fun…..our bank accounts are going to be hurting for a bit. I just told the hubby it was a celebration of a new start with our new jobs!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Jon and Kate have been the most talked about couple as of recent months, last night being no exception. It was so disappointing seeing one more couple bite the dust. Coming from a large family myself, I know how hard it can be but it was still upsetting watching them take the easy way out. I know some people will say it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and point fingers and make judgments but the reality is that I’ve experienced the pains of divorce many times in my close-knit extended family and I know that the divorce is only the beginning of long-lasting pain. I was heartbroken for the family, the pain that they all must be going through, particularly the kids, as we all know that the kids are affected the most.
It was hard to sit there with the recent memories of their vow renewals as well as the episode where they discussed their family mission statement. They talked about the priority of their faith in God and in each other. They talked about commitment and how Mom and Dad were always going to be together. I wonder if they look back on that and brush it off as simply being naive. In a way, we’ve all fed the monster. We’ve all tuned in to watch the train wreck that became their marriage. Most of us have read the tabloids, only making the media frenzy and paparazzi worse. Some say that maybe if they’d just canceled everything and focused on their family, they could have saved it, but I think in reality, there was a lot more going on, for a lot longer then “reality tv” exposed us to. I question whether they even cared about saving it for awhile now. In the end, responsibility lay with both Jon and Kate and they refused to accept that responsibility. While some may disagree with me, in my opinion, they took the easy(er) way out.
Jon talked about wanting to cancel the show at the end of last season and take some time off and a lot of organizations and people have laid the blame on Kate for continuing the show and destroying the marriage but I disagree. I think Jon wanted to quit the show because he was already no longer committed to his family and didn’t want the media attention to showcase that. It’s a lot harder to get away with inappropriate behavior when cameras are following you everywhere. I think that’s also why he no longer appreciates his fans, many have turned against him, abused his naivety or just used him to make some money and get a chance at the spotlight. I’m sure it hurts when people you trust turn to the media and do tell-alls. I never understood the point of Jodi and Kevin doing a media tell-all. What point did that serve? Other than to feed the rumors and gossip and media frenzy even more? I think if they had really cared, they might have spent their time on Jon and Kate and the kids and helping them out, rather than blabbing to the world for who knows how much money!
In the end I was most disgusted with Jon, his change has been much more dramatic than Kate’s. If anything, this turmoil has softened Kate’s harshness. Yes, she’s more calloused and jaded because of the experience, but you can also see the hurt too. With Jon, every passing episode has only gotten worse. He has a lot of anger and defiance and definitely demonstrates a huge lack of maturity on his part. He’s a fine example of a man (*insert sarcasm here*). Running out on his family and refusing to accept responsibility is what it really comes down to. With each episode you can see the physical transformation representing the emotional and spiritual changes within him. The hair styling and gel, the earrings, the clothes, the snowboarding trips, the motorcycle, the new car, the dogs, the need to go out with his friends…all of it screams rebellion. Rebellion from his life, from his family, and from God. One day, he will look back and regret this decision. He may not admit it, even to himself, but he will. The grass is always greener on the other side.
I’ve tuned in and watched all the episodes from the very beginning, and from the very beginning, Jon didn’t handle the responsibility well. Yes, Kate nagged and yelled and I don’t excuse her behavior one bit, but I do understand why she reacted the way she did and treated him the way he did. I’ve cared for eight kids (and more) at the same time and of the same ages, day after day, so I know what it can be like. When you have eight kids to take care of, you shouldn’t have to always tell your husband what needs to be done, he should be able to anticipate and be on the same page, however, you never saw much of that with Jon. Too much of the time, he was just another child to care for…another responsibility to handle.
Sigh, very disappointing… In my opinion, marriage is more than just a simple promise. It’s a covenant, that you make before God and your spouse. You don’t just break a covenant before God because things have gotten tough. That’s when you’re supposed to dig down deeper in your faith and show what you’re made of. Jon and Kate have had there chance to show us what they’re made of. Just once, I’d love to see a large family portrayed (OTHER THAN THE DUGGARS….*gag*), with multiples, take a solid stance for faith, marriage and family.
End of tirade.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Well, it’s been awhile since you’ve gotten one of these from me. I think this is long overdue. The last couple months have been quite arduous at times. We’ve certainly experienced A LOT of ups and downs, and it’s definitely felt like there have been more downs than ups. No matter what happens though, at the end of the day, it’s still you and me. Even if it’s you and me standing-at-opposite-ends-of-the-room-glaring-at-each-other-with-arms-crossed, it’s still you and me. I think that we will look back on this point of our lives as a time of testing and strengthening of our marriage. It’s one of those times where we get to see what we’re really made of. It’s definitely been a lot of hard work, but I’m happy that we can still come together at the end of the day and put aside our differences and realize that neither of us is going anywhere. It’s much nicer going through everything with you, standing by your side, holding onto your hand, then it is to go it on my own!
When I stood in front of God and several hundred people and made my covenant to you, to stand by your side, cherish and adore you, and hold your hand in times of stress, I meant it. While, some days I feel that I fail miserably at this promise, I know that I with practice I will become better.
Thank you for loving me in spite of myself. For waking me in the morning with kisses and thinking I’m cute when I stomp and grump around for the first hour. For encouraging and supporting me in all my hobbies and “business endeavors” even when the business man inside of you screams it’ll never make it. For putting up with my large, strong willed, somewhat-nosy, loud, sarcastic, loving family. For letting me eat three containers of French fries in a row, covering them in ketchup and hogging them from you. :) For doing all the laundry. For making my lunch every day. For sacrificing your own needs for my wants. For rubbing my back & feet and giving me scalp massages every night. For watching Jon and Kate plummet down hill with me. For tolerating HGTV, TLC, Food Network and Hallmark instead of ESPN. For being yourself.
I love you infinity mostest (me!). I only hope and pray that our children will all take after their daddy! The day I met you was the happiest day of my life, I look forward to many more happy days down the road.
Well, this has been a long time coming…. It seems like it’s been decades since I posted on this blog, almost three whole months! What was once something I looked forward to so much became just another to-do item in the long endless stream of tasks. So much has happened since I last posted, it’s hard to know where to start:
- I was laid off from work (on April Fool’s day no less)
- Took a month to regroup
- Started my own jewelry business on Etsy (http://www.purelyelegant.etsy.com/)
- Accomplished some major demo on our house renovation project with my father & husband
- Put on a new roof, all new windows and all new siding
- Jury duty
- Interviewed for a bunch of new jobs
- Started a new job
- Helped my husband switch to a new job
- Dealt with my father-in-law’s sudden heart attack
- Dealt with my grandmothers severe stroke (Easter)
- Celebrated my husband’s birthday with a road trip in New England and tickets to our beloved Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play.
And so much more…it’s been a busy couple of months. It’s definitely been a learning experience and I’m so grateful to God for all his many blessings throughout the whole experience. I feel so blessed to have actually had options for what I wanted with a new job and that I was able to find a MUCH better job then the one I had before. I am working so much less now and it is incredible to have control over my own schedule and actually be able to leave at 5pm (or even earlier!) every day! Wow! It’s so great! And it’s a shorter commute! And as an additional blessing, hubby was able to leave the same company that laid me off and find an EVEN better job than the one I found! Wow, God is amazing.
It’s nice to feel like we are finally seeing the rewards for all of our hard work and knowing that all that work is paying off. We both felt stuck in a rut, and the economy going sour definitely didn’t help the feeling. I felt when I started with the company that that was where God wanted me to be but over the course of the second half of the second year, I definitely knew in my gut I was no longer supposed to be there. God kept prompting me, and I was too chicken to pull the plug, so in the end He did it for me. Following that were about three days of major stress and tension and emotion which was then followed by IMMENSE relief. Hindsight is 20/20 but it’s often hilarious to look back and see how all your fears were completely unfounded. One day I’ll learn to just stick to trusting him in the beginning and not stressing out first.
Well, I think this is long enough for a come-back post but I’ll definitely be posting regularly going forward!