Friday, November 30, 2012

The End & Goal #83

With this post I will have officially completed a NaBloPoMo.  My very first in fact.  I will also have completed Goal #83:  Blog every day for a month.  The questions is, what did I gain from this experience?  Well, let me start by telling you what I didn't get.

First of all, I didn't win any prizes.  I guess when you officially sign up for nablopomo, those that successfully complete the challenge can be "drawn" to win prizes???  As far as I know, I didn't win.  And that's okay, because I didn't do this to win stuff.

Second of all, I didn't really get more "page views" just because I was on a list somewhere.  I guess page views are important to some bloggers?  Yeah, not me so much.  Sure, it's cool to know that people are reading my stuff, but it's not why I do this.  And technically, I guess I did get more page views total for the month, but it was because I had more pages to view since I was blogging every day! 

This leads me to the third thing I didn't get:  more readers.  I guess for some bloggers it's all about how many followers you can get?  Yeah, that's not me either.  I haven't checked my stats page in awhile, but all of my readers were the usual ones as far as I can tell meaning that signing up for noblopomo didn't bring in newbies.

So, if I didn't do this whole blog-every-day-for-a-month thing for prizes, page views, or readers than why do it?  That's an easy one.

I did it because I like to write.  I like to share.  I come here as an outlet for my feelings.  I come here to store the stories of my life so I don't forget them.  And sometimes I simply come here to keep my family updated on our lives. 

But there's been a problem lately.  I haven't been making much time for this space.  I haven't been making much time for me, to do what I love.  This challenge was about me reconnecting with myself and my blog.  By forcing myself to write every day, I reminded myself how much I love to do it!  I'm hoping that my now that my love for writing has been rekindled, that maybe I won't let myself drift so far away from it again, away from myself and who I am. 

The past thirty days have been an amazing experience.  It hasn't been easy.  There were nights I barely squeezed in a post.  Turns out that I actually prefer to write when I have something to write about.  And it turns out that my life doesn't offer up interesting material every single day.  But, here I am at the end of thirty days of posts, and I couldn't be happier with what I have done and what I have achieved!

And to you faithful readers out there...Thank you for coming on this journey with me!  Feel free to keep stopping in - I plan to be writing quite a bit even if it's not every day anymore!  And leave comments - I love hearing what you all have to say! 

Happy end of November everyone!  Hope to see you in December!

Gift #101 - Time to write here, my blog

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Check out my new digs!

Look what I learned to do!!!!  Finally!!!!  I love that my blog is all decorated for Christmas now!  I love even more that I leraned how to do it all! by! myself! 

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It wasn't that hard.  I went to a website ( and copied some code and followed the directions on where to paste it in my layout and voila!  Pretty cool though, huh?

Okay, okay.  I'm done patting myself on the back now, and I'm going back to work!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Gifts

71.  Safe travels to Iowa
72.  Car seats to keep my boys safe
73.  Portable DVD players to entertain my boys on a long car ride
74.  Laughter from the backseat as Logan entertains Gavin
75.  My boys' love for their grandma and grandpa...
76.  ...and vice versa!
77.  A trip to the movie theater with my sister, Dannielle (Twilight!)
78.  Movie theater popcorn with big cups of Dr. Pepper
79.  Wine shopping with my sister
80.  Drinking wine with my dad and sister
81.  Thanksgiving dinner with family
82.  Gavin's naps - especially the hard won ones
83.  Playing a board game with my family
84.  Laughter so hard your sides ache
85.  Snuggling in bed with Gavin
86.  Family pictures

87.  Breakfast omlets made fresh by Dad
88.  8 million rounds of "Perfection" with Gavin
89.  Watching Logan play Mouse Trap with Grandpa
90.  8 million more round of "Perfection" between Gavin and Grandma
91.  Watching Logan bond with Grandpa
92.  Watching Gavin bond with Grandpa
93.  Mom and Dad's kitchen island perfect for blogging and reading
94.  Quiet time to myself
95.  Listening to Gavin "play" Mouse Trap by himself
96.  Talks with my mom
97.  A broken car fixed by Dad
98.  Tight hugs good-bye
99.  Amazingly well behaved boys on a long drive home
100.  Being home again after our trip

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

elastic waist bands and family pictures

Yesterday I talked about lunch - you know, the big Thanksgiving kind of lunch.  Today, I want to talk about what happens after lunch - you know, the part where everyone has to change into pants with stretchy waist bands because we've all eaten too much.

Anyway, I had this big, awesome idea of taking some pictures of me and the boys together outside in the field behind my parents house.  I even bought the boys cute coordinated shirts and picked out an outfit for myself (this one from my existing wardrobe).  I thought I'd take the pictures in the morning - you know, before lunch and the ineveitable pot belly that I would eat myself into.  But, Gavin didn't want to get dressed.  He was much happier running around in his diaper.  I thought about wrestling him into his clothes and then forcing my kids outside for pictures, but then I thought Hey!  This is Thanksgiving!  Forget it!  I'll do it later! 

So, lunch came and went.  For a nanosecond during lunch I thought I could get Gavin outside right after eating for some pictures, but that thought ran away the second he melted down at the table from exhaustion.  Down for a nap he went, and out the window went the idea of an "after lunch photo opp."  I wasn't worried.  I though after nap will be fine.

I didn't take into account the drastically shifting Iowa weather.  What started out as a very nice day for Iowa in November had turned into an extremely windy and much colder day by four o'clock when Gavin got up from his nap.  Not to mention he didn't wake up in the cheeriest of moods.  And I thought Oh well.  Maybe tomorrow.  It's okay if they're indoor pictures I guess.

After that I dressed Gavin up in his footie jammies (his choice), and I changed into my pajamas (the pants have an elastic waist band - woohoo!).  And then I thought Why not now?  After all, a family picture is a family picture.  Who cares if we're not wearing color coordinated clothes in a pretty field with perfect lighting?  And Logan was more than happy to put his pajamas on, too!

And that's how I got my perfect-to-us Thanksgiving Day family photos.  It's not what I envisioned, but I think in a lot of ways these pictures turned out even better.  They capture exactly who the boys and I were on that day (and most days):  three happy people who love each other and enjoy hanging out in our pajamas together on a very special day! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

You Capture ~ Lunch

I love Thanksgiving!  The food, the family, the food, the fun, and oh, the food...  It's easy to capture "lunch" when Thanksgiving dinner is your lunch!  This year the boys and I spent Thanksgiving at my parent's house in Iowa where my mom put out quite the spread...

It looked even better on our plates...

My boys are big fans of food...

My sister and I happend to be big fans of wine with our food...

All in all, it was an amazing lunch.  In fact, it was an amazing Thanksgiving - one of the happiest I can remember!

Click for more "lunch" You Captures!

A message to the adult members of the family I love so very much:  Please notice that I posted none of those pictures I took of any of you eating.  Your welcome.  Love, Kassandra

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful ~ a post about gifts

****UPDATE****  Clearly I still don't know what day of the week this is (was?) because this post was planned for Saturday and yesterday was clearly Sunday to everyone but me...

Turns out I didn't have a post planned for yesterday (seems I was (am?) having trouble keeping track of what day it is). That makes this post right on time!

I've been working hard to not only list the gifts in my life, but also include pictures. I think there's something about pictures that say more than words - at least for me. Must be my extremely visiual nature! Today's list is another one full of pictures of all the gifts in my life!  I've actually been working on putting this one together for about a week now, so I'm excited to finally get to share it!

56.  A message of hope that greets me every morning

57.  My iPhone...
58.  ...and the entertainment it provides my children with!

59.  Learning how to hang pictures by myself!

60.  Stacks of books to read to my boys

61.  Lazy mornings spent in pajamas

62.  Walks by myself on cool fall afternoons...
63.  ...and the crisp, "fall" smell of the air.

64.  Taking my own pictures of my boys...
65.  ...and making them into Christmas cards on my own.

66.  The ability to provide my boys with gifts on Christmas Day...

67.  ...and fun, new decorations picked out with help from them!

68.  Time spent decorating the house with my boys' help.

69.  The birth of Jesus...

70.  ...and his sacrifice for all of us.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

This is not the blog post I planned for today.

First...I spent the morning packing up and getting ready to leave my patent's house only to have my car NOT start...

Second...after getting on the road a tad late (battery just needed a recharge due to stupid Iowa cold) I spent SEVEN hours traveling back to MO with my two boys BY MYSELF.

Third...when we got home Logan wanted to decorate the Christmas tree and, well, that had to take precedence...

Fourth...I just plain forgot...

Fifth...I still haven't solved that "storage issue" my blog keeps yelling at me about.

And sixth...I can't even remember what I planned to post anyway and am too lazy to go back and look now...

So much for that plan I wrote...

Oh well. I'm letting myself off the hook. After all, anyone who's ever done this blog for the month of November thing (at least the ones I've read) says that through Thanksgiving is the toughest time to get the job done, and I still consider it Thanksgiving until tomorrow night. So, see! I'm justified!


And, yes, I do intend to keep on telling myself that and completely disregard the fact that really I just almost plain forgot....

Happy Thanksgiving!

( see, I'm still playing the part!)

Friday, November 23, 2012

The plan to make it to the end of November

Today's post (like the last three posts, honestly) is kind of a cheater post.  But it still counts right?  I mean, I posted!  Isn't that what matters???  *ahem*

Anyway, we are almost to the end of November which also means I am almost to the end of NaBloPoMo.  I have to say, as much as I love blogging (and have rediscovered just how much I love blogging), I am ready for a break from blogging every. single. day.  It's dang hard to try and come up with all of that material!  I have seven more days (or posts - however you want to look at it) to go after today, and I need a plan to make it through!  So, here's what's coming:

Saturday - another post on gifts that I have been working on

Sunday - sharing some of those family pictures I took and wanted to share YESTERDAY!  (still got to figure out that storage issue)

Monday - You Capture ~ Lunch

Tuesday - I'd like to do another Just Write

Wednesday - while it may be coming almost a week after the fact, I'm working on a Thanksgiving Day post

Thursday - I've got some awesome pictures to share of my cute boys from the weekend!

Friday (the LAST day!) - a reflection on the experience I have had the past month blogging every! single! day!

And that will be the end of November!  Crazy to think it's almost over already, isn't it?  See ya later this week - hopefully with pictures again!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I WAS going to show you a picture of what I'm most thankful for, but it seems I have a "storage" problem here...  Guess I'll have to figure that one out now.

But guess what, storage problems aside, I'm thankful I have this blog to share my stories on!  And I'm thankful that tomorrow I can figure out my storage problem - hopefully!

But for now, what I'm most thankful for is my family - all of them.  But especially my boys, Logan and Gavin.  My life wouldn't be as full and colorful with out the two of them, and I thank God everyday for His gifts!

And maybe tomorrow there will be picutres...

For now, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The trip that almost wasn't

Well, despite being sick all day yesterday I was able to muster up the energy to make the drive to Iowa today. I mean, how could I not? Logan came into my room this morning asking, "Mommy, are you feeling better? Can we go to grandma's today?" I couldn't disappoint my very excited child!

So, we hit the road at eight this morning and made it to our destination in a record six and a half hours! I had two boys who were not only excited to be at grandma and grandpas, but also excited to be out of the car!

We are here now and ready for a food filled Thanksgiving! My prayers are that all of your holidays are filled with as much joy as ours! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A pause in our regularly scheduled program

I'm sick. Knocked flat in front of a toilet with a nasty stomach virus. Sure, I've had worse, but this little doozy is enough to screw up my holiday travel plans...and probably my eating plans. Boo!

Anyway, pray I'm feeling better soon. I have a holiday to celebrate with my babies!

Monday, November 19, 2012

You Capture ~ Yellow

It turns out that yellow is not a color I run across to often in my daily life - I know this to be a fact because I spent all week looking for it!  So, for what it's worth, here's my yellow captures for the week...

I let my kids use permanent markers to draw on the last of our pumpkins.  They really like the yellow marker...until they realized it didn't run up on orange pumpkins!

Turns out I own one yellow candle, too...

Okay, that's it for me this week.  For more (and probably more interesting) captures check out I Should Be Folding Laundry!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Look what I learned to do! (Goal #66)

My mom has cross stiched birth announcements for each of my boys that I have hung on a wall in their rooms.  For instance, here's Gavin's hanging in his nursery:

Nice, right?  Well, when Gavin was around a year old, we decided to move his crib into Logan's room and turn the nursery into a playroom.  I just kinda left Gavin's birth announcement hanging in the playroom instead of moving it to the bedroom.  I had every intention of rehanging (okay, making Justin rehang it), I (he) just never got around to it.  So, there it hung out of place by can just barely see it above the shelf in this picture...

Then came this summer.  I just cracked.  I mean, here my boys were with this huge room full of every toy imaginable (well, not really), and they were never in the playroom!  Every night we were picking up their toys and hauling them back to the "playroom."  My living room and bedroom were constantly littered with toys!  I had no space!  So, I took back the playroom and moved all their toys into their bedroom.  (Of course, there are no pictures of the new "my space" cuz I haven't exactly finished it yet...)

At this point I was determined to make rehanging Gavin's birth announcement in the bedroom part of the whole process, but yet it just laid there on top of the dresser for months.  Justin wasn't around to hang it for me anymore, and I didn't really know how to go about doing it.  A nail?  A screw?  And if I use a screw, how do I make the drill work?  And which drill bit would I need?  And how do you change a drill bit?  And how do I get the picture centered on the wall?  How do I get one picture line up with the other when one is portrait and one is landscape?  Soooo many questions and no answers.  Course, I never thought to ask anyone...

Then one afternoon at work, my boss had us start hanging up a bunch of new posters and pictures.  I learned that a nail is more than adequate for hanging a picture, so the whole drill crisis was averted.  And I learned that measuring tape can go a long way to helping someone figure out how to center a picture on the wall.  And finally, I learned the importance of just "eyeballing it" sometimes. 

That was a month ago now, and Friday night I finally got daring enough to give it a shot on my own and finally accomplish goal #66

That's Logan's birth announcement all alone up there on the wall...
I was feeling so confident in my skills at this point that I decided to move a couple of other pictures that were already hanging in the boys' room!
See those two pictures hanging above the bed?  Well, now that we have bunk beds, they were hanging above empty space and looked completely out of place!


 Doesn't that look great?  Please say it confidence can't take a kick to the face right now! 
Two things are for sure after writing this post:
  1. I can hang my own pictures now!  Woohoo!
  2. I didn't take any pictures when I moved the playroom back into the bedroom...totally bummer because it made it really hard to find any "before" pictures!
 And, I know I just said I learned only two things, but now I just realized I learned a third:  I need to do a post about my boys' bedroom/playroom and the amazing difference a set of bunk beds made in my life! 
Now, I'm talking craziness!  I think NoBloPoMo is getting to me if I'm going to resort to talking about bunk beds just to get a post up every day for the rest of the month...
Okay, back to the point!  I completed Goal #66!  And I did it by myself!  And it looks great!  Woohoo!