Thursday, January 26, 2012

An Explination

I suppose I owe you, my oh, so loyal readers, an explanation on my 3 month absence. Not really just a 3 month absence, but an absence pretty much the majority of 2011. I can sum it up for you pretty easily...
2011 sucked for us.
I mean bad. Sure, the first few months went by and everything was fine, but by the time April arrived, it all went downhill.
Coincidentally, April was when I stopped blogging. I tried to rally in July, but at that point, I had a bad case of the attitudes and no one wants to read a bad attitude.
When October rolled around, I was in such a funk, I quit. Literally quit. I quit blogging. I quit doing things. I quit talking to people. I just quit.
And here's the reason...
On May 28, 2011, we lost my Mother-in-law to ovarian cancer.
She was a kind, brave, incredibly strong woman that fought this awful disease for 13 years.
13 YEARS!!
Losing someone is never easy. Receiving a phone call, telling you that a loved one has passed away is painful.
Watching someone you love wither away, in front of your eyes is excruciating.
For several weeks the family sat by her side, spending every waking moment, taking in the fabulous person that she was, knowing that she didn't have much more time.
At night, we would go home, never really getting any rest, always waiting for that phone call.
My job was to make everyone comfortable. I cleaned, cooked and tried to do the daily monotonous duties that shouldn't bother a family during such a time. I kept my kids on a schedule, while still spending as much time with their Grammy as they could, so they could hold on to happy memories.
When it was evident that she was slipping away, my boys were able to give her a hug and a kiss and tell her goodbye. That was her last conscious day.
Some people have said watching someone die is a beautiful experience.
It's not.
It's awful.
It's painful.
It's disturbing.
It's a life changing experience.
This is how I feel. My husband and his siblings might have a different experience. All I know is how it changed me.
After getting through an obviously difficult May and June, we were rocked by the news that my mother then had to start chemotherapy.
Needless to say, things were not going well around the Cates' house.
Then I realized something that shocked me.
During this entire, tumultuous time in our lives, I didn't hear from my friends. Or those I thought were my good friends.
I heard from a couple, but when they found out about our devastating news, they didn't know how to respond or what to do. At least, that's what I think happened. Why else would people not call? Why would they not be concerned? Why would they not offer help?
Not that I wanted anything from anyone, but knowing that someone is there for you, in your time of need, is comfort enough.
The year was getting worse. I felt like I was drowning and couldn't get my head above water.
You'll be glad to know that my addiction to Pinterest is still in full effect. Over the past nine months, I've pinned many "Words to Live By", which was like therapy for me.
Here are just a few...
With all of that being said, I've really tried to look within this past year. I've tried to figure out a lot of different things about myself. One thing I know for sure (nothing new) is that I am a private person, not willing (able) to share my feelings. I'm trying to get past that. By posting this, I'm revealing a lot about what I've been through and what I'm feeling, which is a BIG step for me.
I wanted you to know why I've been gone, why I haven't blogged. Again, it has been a tough year for us. 2012 was the start of a New Year and for me, a new attitude. I need to get back to my positive, happy self and surround myself with people and things that I love. I'm hoping to get back into full blogging mode as well because that is something I both love and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Nominations

Well, it's been exactly 3 months since I've last blogged. More on the reason for that later. I thought Oscar nominations would be the PERFECT reason to start blogging again!! I love movies. I love the Oscars. So this is a win-win. Here are the 2011 Oscar nominations for Best Picture...
The Artist~ Hollywood, 1927: As silent movie star George Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break.
Set in the 20's? Black and white? I think this is going to be good. If for nothing else, go see it just for the costumes and cinematography.
>The Descendants~ A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.
This movie does not excite me. I am not a Clooney fan and it sounds boring, but of course, I'll probably see it.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close~ A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
This movie makes me nervous. I don't like anything dealing with 9-11. Too painful. However, it seems like 9-11 is just the reason the boys father is gone. Skeptical, but intrigued.
The Help~ An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Read it. Seen it. Loved it. It's truly a must see.
Hugo~ Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.
Umm, hello? Paris? 1930's? Does this movie SCREAM me or what?! The fact that the boy lives in a train station is making me HAVE to take the kids to see this, which I'm not very excited about because it's in 3D = a million dollars
Midnight in Paris~ A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.
It's a Woody Allen picture. That could go either way. I hope I can rent it.
Moneyball~ The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.
Just watched this movie. Loved it. Not gripping. Not a lot of action, but oh so good. The fact that Robin Wright-Penn gets to go to the Oscars for her roll in this movie pisses me off. She was in it for two seconds. End rant.
War Horse~Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.
I have no desire to see this because I know it's not going to end well. Riley read the book and wants to see it. Thankfully his Grandfather wants to see it too. Maybe they can go together and I'll just tell myself the horse doesn't die in the end.
SO looking forward to seeing (most of) these movies!! Just researched, Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life are available at Redbox!! I'll be checking those movies out today!! Have you seen any of these movies? What are your predictions for the Oscars?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun With Our Phones Monday

Another Monday morning (Ugh! Needed one more day of weekend!) and I'm joining in on Fun With Our Phones Monday, hosted by Savannah Smiles! We had a fun weekend, not too much planned, but still a good weekend! Here's some of the things we did...

Coop had his last football game. Bittersweet really. He had a great time, we loved watching him play, we met some great new people, but the weather was starting to turn it was getting REALLY REALLY wet and cold!!
Looking forward to next year when he moved up to Mighty Mites!!
Helped with Ry's robotics league. It's an international program, created by the genius minds at Lego, call First Lego League. Pretty amazing watching a bunch of 6th graders build and program robots. This years theme is food safety. Their goal is for teams to build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT to solve a set of food safety missions as well as research, develop, and share their innovative food safety solutions.

This is the robot that Ry's team has built. They have a competition the first weekend of December, where their robot has to complete certain tasks in a robotic obstacle course. Ry's team chose milk as their topic. They have to demonstrate how to get milk from farm to table, while preventing contamination. I'm sure I'll be blogging about this more!!

Our temperatures have dropped, so the winter sweater was brought out, much to Chloe's chagrin!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The "C" Word

Today is all about things people say that drive me crazy. I'm hearing a lot of it lately and it's bugging me. So guess what?! I'm blogging about it so YOU can be aware if you're saying these things and you can immediately stop. Here we go...

People that say striped. And not striped like it's supposed to be said. Striped pronounced,


Yes, there are people that actually pronounce the "PED" at the end. This bugs me to no end. If you do it (and there is someone I'm related to that does this ALL the time!) please stop.

Women calling other women "dolls". Unless you're a part of the Gambino crime family, you should NEVER refer to another woman as a doll. This goes for men too.

While you're telling a story, you constantly add in "You know what I mean?" fifty million times. You MUST think I'm a complete and total idiot, that can't follow your VERY complicated story, if you repeatedly ask, "You know what I mean?" throughout the conversation. Knock. It. Off.

And the BIG one. The worst thing to be said. Yes, I'm going to say it, The "C" Word.


This word should NEVER, I repeat, NEVER be used!!

This is the C word that needs to be stricken from the English language.

It is nails on a chalkboard to me.

It will literally make the hair on the back of my neck stand upright.

I hate it.

When I Googled "Images for classy", this is one of the first images that popped up...
Not kidding. Please stop using the "C" word. It's just plain tacky.
OK. Rant over.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I Want Wednesday

Last week I told you I got myself a job at the Pier 1. So far, I'm loving it! I work 1, 2 or 3 days a week, typically from 9:15 til 2:00. Perfect schedule for when the boys are in school. While I'm at the Pier 1 (I tend to put "the" in front of every store I go to, The Target, The Wal-Mart, The Kohls. I have no idea why, I just do, so deal) I visually shop like I have a serious addiction. Well, I DO have a serious addiction to the Pier 1. Who doesn't? It's fabulous. Anyhoo, thankfully I don't actually PURCHASE what I visually shop for or I would be on Hoarders fo sho. I'm keeping my actual purchasing to a minumum (so far).

Since I showed you last week, the things that caught my eye at the Pier 1, I thought I would continue. Then I REALLY got to thinking (careful), maybe I should do a meme/link-up of

What I Want Wednesday.

I'm thinking anyone can join in (if you don't have a blog, just leave me some good ol' fashioned comments!!) and list the things that you want this Wednesday. It doesn't have to be stuff from the Pier 1, it can be ANYTHING from ANYWHERE you're wanting at the moment. With the holidays coming up, it may give some of your readers (ie: family, husband, boyfriends, girlfriends, neighbors, basically anyone that reads your blog!) gift ideas!! Pretty smart huh?!

So who's in?

If I whip up a cute little button, to add to your post, and put a fancy pants linky,

would you join in the fun?

Let's see how many of you are interested and we'll see where this goes!

Until then, this is WHAT I WANT this WEDNESDAY!!

Metallic Pumpkins
(SO much cuter in person!!)

Those are just a few things at the Pier 1 that are catching my eye right now. Wanted to let you know about the Daily Dealio too! Have you heard about this? "Like" Pier 1 on Facebook and everyday they will tell you about the Daily Dealio! All you have to do is go to the link and print the coupon. Today's Daily Dealio was $10 a $50 or more purchase! Not bad!! Go over and "Like" Pier 1 on Facebook to get the deals!

Remember, I want to know if you're interested in a What I Want Wednesday link-up party!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flat Apple Pie

I had a bunch of apples that I wanted to use up and wanted to try something new. I wanted something easy, quick and that I had all the ingredients for. I perused through some of my cookbooks and finally decided on...

The Pioneer Womans Flat Apple Pie

5 peeled and sliced granny smith apples

2 Tablespoons flour

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

Stir all of these ingredients together, until well coated.

Roll out two pie crusts (I used the PW perfect pie crust recipe)

Pour half of the apple mixture on one crust

Fold over edges

Top the pie with several Tablespoons of butter

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and bubbly (cover edges with foil if they brown too quickly)

This recipe makes TWO flat pies.

I didn't get a picture of the finished product because we scarfed it down too quickly!! This is a SUPER DUPER good recipe!! Not too sweet, rustic, different. Try it out today!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fun with our Phones Monday

Joining in again with Fun with our Phones Monday, hosted by Made some pumpkin bars. I was going to post the recipe on Friday, but never got around to it. And after thinking about it, I thought I had already shared the BEST pumpkin bar recipe EV-AH, and I did! If you want the recipe go HERE

Got my nails did. I love all the fall colors, but have always been afraid to try them. I jumped in and went steel grey!! Not quite sure how I feel about them, a little Goth-y for my taste, but I can always say they're for Halloween!!

Made sugar cookies. Decided to do fall leaves, but after baking them, I realized they look more like cannabis (ie: pot leaves). I decided to go with it and frosted them green. OH YES I DID!

We went on a MAJOR shop this weekend. Ry is getting ready to go on his 6th grade camping retreat (more about that at a later date) and we had to get some supplies. Four MILLION dollars later, I think we're set.

It was a beautiful fall weekend, here in the Pacific Northwest. We spent a lot of time outdoors, cleaning cars, winterizing the yard and playing ball. Someone got a little tuckered!

What fun things did you do this weekend?