web analytics

2015 Monthly Goals: December


I can’t believe this is the last month of 2015. It feels like the year just flew by so fast! I did good with my goals from November. I sorted quite a few of the unread books on my Kindle but that goal will be rolling over to this month. I planned and hosted Thanksgiving. We started our master bathroom renovation. We pulled the nasty gold shower door off and that’s as far as we got. The shower is functional and honestly right now that’s all I care about. I added a bunch of new recipes to my Key Ingredient app. We kind of celebrated Ty and Maia’s birthdays. Both were sick on their actual birthdays so we did small celebrations when they felt better. 

December Goals:

1- Stick to my Christmas budget- I’m the worst at sticking to a Christmas budget. I always find more stuff to buy. This year I’m determined to stick to both my list and my budget. 

2- Slow down and enjoy the season- I’ve already turned down several invitations and I plan to turn down some more. I want to enjoy the Christmas season and not stress out about my social awkwardness at various parties and events.

3- Finish sorting the books on my Kindle- I had no idea just how many unread books I have on my Kindle. It’s alarming. I sorted a good many of them but I still have some left to do.

4- Have at least 2 family movie nights- Christmas movies are my favorite and I can’t wait to make some delicious Grinch popcorn and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with the family!

5- Clean out & donate old toys and books before Christmas- I donated a lot earlier this year but I want to take one more pass through the kids’ rooms and weed out anything else I can before Santa shows up with more toys.


Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all are having a fabulous Thanksiving celebration with family and friends. We are knee deep in relatives and wine and football, just like I like it on Thanksgiving. In my normal tradition of holiday celebrations I have chosen a few awesome cards for you on Thanksgiving. Enjoy!


Savoring Every Family Moment With Marie Callender’s

We are in a season of life that is extremely busy. With 5 kids in 4 different schools, all playing various sports, and every weekend jam packed with errands and social commitments…well it just never seems to slow down around here. I feel like I blink and the month is already over. The kids are adding activities to our family calendar at an alarming rate and I just want it all to slow down so I can savor this season. I swear I spend half of my life in the car, either driving kids somewhere or waiting for them to finish practices. 


My kids are at great ages. They are all over the age of 5, they are all relatively independent, and they are all really fun. This is the stage of life that we dreamed about when we were in the trenches of diapers, bottles, and tantrums. But now that we are here, it’s going by too fast. Pretty soon the kids won’t have time for us anymore and the house will be quiet. I want to enjoy this short time in our lives. I want to my kids to leave home with great memories of our family. For me, this means being very intentional with how we spend family time. Recently we have been shopping at the outlets, attended our neighborhoods movie night in the park, had a puppet show at the local library, and even made a scavenger hunt out of an errand to the home improvement store. 


One of the things I have become passionate about is family dinners. Life is just so busy and I feel like we never get a chance to really sit and talk to our kids. I want to know the details of how their day was at school, who they are playing with at recess, how they like their teachers, if they have any issues they need help resolving….things that sometimes fall through the cracks when we are racing from one activity to another. We made a commitment to do a sit down family dinner at least 4 nights a week. It’s been amazing for our family. We’ve learned things about our kids that we didn’t know before because we have time to really listen. It’s amazing how much kids will talk when there are no phones, tablets, or television at dinner time! 


As part of our commitment to family dinners I made a decision to include a delicious dessert for our Saturday night dinner. It’s something to look forward to all week long and it helps appease the kids when their friends have to leave so we can sit down to eat dinner. My kids would invite the whole neighborhood to eat with us if I let them. While I appreciate their generosity, my wallet cannot support that endeavor. One of my favorite go-to desserts for Family Saturday Dinner are Marie Callender’s pies. Have you tried them? Oh they are so delicious! Matt and Ty love the baked to perfection Dutch Apple Pie with its Made-from-Scratch crust, 100% fresh Fuji apples, and brown sugar streusel. Maia and I are partial to the Coconut Cream Pie with creamy coconut custard, Made-from-Scratch crust, and hand garnished with real toasted coconut. Mase and Zoey can devour the Chocolate Satin Pie with the rich chocolate filling, Made-from-Scratch crust, and real chocolate curl topping all by themselves! Only Marie Callender’s pies are made without compromise and deliver homemade quality with highest quality ingredients and signature special touches that give us a reason to celebrate every day. 



These yummy pies are the best way to end our family dinners and being able to grab one from the freezer means I can spend more time sitting around the table enjoying my family. Check out Marie Callender’s on Facebook and Pinterest for all kinds of great ideas to help feed your family.

What family quality time could you do with your family while enjoying a Marie Callender’s pie?

For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, leave a note in the comments. 


Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/23/2015 – 2/29/2016

Be sure to visit Marie Callender’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


You Might Be The Mom of 5 Kids If…


You might be the mom of 5 kids if….

1.You show up to an appointment with the youngest kid wearing a tutu over her pajamas, snow boots, and a tiara because it is no longer possible for you to feel embarrassment. 

2. You let the 7 year old eat a doughnut, 3 grapes, and a chocolate chip cookie for dinner.

3. You pay the teenager to help the 11 year old with her homework. 

4. You avoid calls from the PTA like they’re the IRS.

5. You feel weird if there’s nobody in the bathroom with you when nature calls.

6. Loading the dishwasher is like a game of Tetris.

7. You’ve learned that the best way to remove a Kool-Aid stain from white carpet is to cover it with an area rug.

8. You hide the good snacks behind the cleaning supplies because nobody will ever find them there.

9. Your monthly grocery bill is almost double the mortgage on your house.

10. You consider the car your office because you spend most of your waking hours in it chauffeuring your kids around.


5 Ways We Brought The Spark Back To Our Marriage

Matt and I have been married for 19 years. That’s a long time and add in raising 5 small humans and our marriage has taken a backseat for lots of years. It’s a hard balance to master- raising the kids and nurturing a marriage. I tend to be an all-in type of person, which in most situations is an asset but once we added baby number 5 to our lives that aspect of my personality really took a toll on my marriage. Every second of the day became about the kids- feeding them, playing with them, homework, sports, etc. By the time the end of the day rolled around and the kids were in bed, I was too exhausted to do anything other than fall asleep on the couch. That routine became a habit over the years and Matt and I grew further and further apart. The last couple of years have not been the best in our marriage. We weren’t fighting or even arguing, but we also weren’t really connecting anymore. So this year I’ve been on a mission to bring our marriage back to life.


1. Date Nights- We were guilty of rarely going out just as a couple. It’s such a hassle to find a babysitter (and pay for a babysitter) so we fell into the habit of taking the kids out with us and making it a family outing. When my sister’s family moved back close to us earlier this year we formed a date night babysitting co-op. Once a month we take their son for a night so they can have a date night and then they take our kids for a night. It’s worked out so nicely. 

2. Be Affectionate- It seems like such a small thing but being affectionate is a great way to reconnect. It can be as simple as holding hands while we watch a movie, or kissing hello when Matt arrives home. But it’s an important part of intimacy. 

3. Schedule Time Together- For us that meant altering the bedtime schedules in our home. All of our kids are in their bedrooms by 9pm. The older kids don’t have to go to sleep at 9pm but they do have to be in their rooms. This gives Matt and I time to talk, or watch a movie together, or take a dip in the hot tub. 

4. Practice Small Acts of Kindness- If you haven’t read the 5 Love Languages book I highly recommend it. Figuring out your love language as well as your spouse’s love language can make such a big difference in your marriage. Matt and I have very different love languages and now that we know we make a real effort to show our love in ways that the other will appreciate.

5. Bring The Spark Back To The Bedroom- This was a big one for us because if we’re not connecting in the bedroom then we’re not connecting out of the bedroom. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was the one who was not holding up my end of the marital deal. After dealing with the kids all day and running the household, I’m just exhausted and all I want to do in bed is sleep. But that’s not fair to our marriage. So I needed a little help to bring back the mood in the bedroom. 


Fiera® is a new class of product that’s for “before-play,” using a unique combination of soft suction and stimulating vibration to bring back that feeling of wanting to have sex. I know I’m not the only woman who lets the responsibilities of being a mom overwhelm the needs of her marriage. Women’s sexual wellness is not addressed as often as it should be. As we all face times that we lack desire, time or effort to engage with our loved ones, we should not be embarrassed about our sexual drive (or lack thereof!). Fiera® recognizes that women may need an extra touch to help get your mind and body in the mood and this small, fast acting, hands-free product is designed to encourage blood flow and lubrication, warming up women’s body for a more satisfying intimate experience. 


I encourage you to learn more about the Fiera® experience and women’s sexual wellness by going to the Fiera website because we all can use a little extra help switching from mom mode to wife mode. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.