Real family knows no distance

Posted on October 15, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , , , |

It occurred to me this week as it has in the past that my family knows no distance. The family that raised me and the family I am helping raise. At this very moment in time everyone is my immediate family is in a different state. Yes, 6 states. Well actually 5 states in 1 country, and 1 in another country.

Yet I feel just as close to them as if I had them all sitting around the dinner table. Now don’t get me wrong– I would love the have the latter. And I am counting down the days, hours, minutes until the 3 lovebugs are back at the table together.

But it doesn’t change how I feel. They could be anywhere in the world but they are right there beside me and I know it.

Over the past couple years that concept of family knowing no distance has been challenged. Challenged by the likes of those that don’t know what real family and love are all about. Real family doesn’t mean being there for the birthday party show. Real family doesn’t mean showering with gifts. Real family doesn’t mean talking every day.

Real family can be all of those things, but it is also more.

Real family is knowing that you might not talk for weeks or months but if in the middle of the night you need to talk you can call them. You can count on them to be there in whatever way you need them. Real family is constant, loving, dependable, and fufilling.

Real family can live on memories and moments when you are apart. When you are apart you miss but you know soon again you will all be under the same roof and wether it has been 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, or 1 year nothing will have changed. You will all fall into the same routine that you had the last time you were together.

You can laugh, cry, hope, dream, and hurt together.

I was blessed with a wonderful family that showed me family knows no distance.

And as I said good night to my little lovebug over the phone and she pinky promises she will look at the stars tonight before she goes to bed I know my little family knows no distance either. For MB those stars in the sky are the reminder that we are there with her always no matter where she is…one day she won’t need the stars to remind her.

Real family knows no distance.

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Secretariat and Strong Moms

Posted on October 13, 2010. Filed under: Good Finds | Tags: , , , , , , , |

MB and I had a date night this weekend. Dinner, a movie, and ice cream. Can’t beat that…we had a blast.

MB got to choose the dinner and movie for the evening. Instead of going with the wolf cartoon I was happy to see her choose Secretariat. We are still all about horses in the house…more riding lessons are in the works.

The movie was packed and in MB’s words “wow there are a lot of grandma and grandpa’s here”

I know it has gotten mixed reviews but we enjoyed it. During the races you are on the edge of your seat rooting on Big Red. I loved having MB on my lap clapping and getting so excited for Big Red. Tooo cute.

However I wasn’t expecting the underlying storyline in the movie and it was a good one. Diane Lane as Penny Chenery was great. A daughter, wife, and mother that has to make some difficult choices. She balances the farm and her family in 2 different states. She misses some events in her kid’s lives due to “work” and has those meltdown moments like we all do.

Her husband is not the most understanding at times and her “work” looks like it might put her marriage on the line as well as her kids….the balancing act all working moms have to deal with when the pendulum swings a little more on the work side.

Yet without giving away too much of the movie…there is a moment. A moment when the daughters are so proud of their mom. So proud she had a passion and a dream and she made it happen. This moment is worth the entire movie. The daughters recognize all their mother sacrified and love her even more for it. The husband witnesses this and realizes he too had been blind to what lessons were being tought- what his wife by living and doing had taught their family. This is a story for every working mom out there (and even those that don’t). We may think we don’t do enough, we aren’t there enough, but the truth is our children learn just as much from us when we are there as when we aren’t. They learn by seeing who we are. What we believe. What we succeed in.

I want my daughter to have the same realization that those daughters did. That she can do anything she wants to. She should follow her passion. She should take risks she believes in. And you can have it all. The wonderful family, great friends around the world, all while making your dreams come true no matter who or what might try to stand in your way.

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Clean up, clean up

Posted on October 5, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I, What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , |

So today we decided it was time to do a little room clean up and organization. With MB’s birthday and Christmas coming seemed like a good time to go through her room and so some “spring cleaning”.

This year I enlisted her to work with me and I have to say she did awesome and it was fun. For a little over 2 hours went through bucket and bucket of stuff. We had a bag for trash and a bag to give to charity. I was surprised at what a good job she did of deciding things were better off for charity for other kids to play with more than she does.

At times things went a little slower than it would have been if it was just me but we learned a couple of things from this so I think it will be a twice a year cleaning we do together.

Here is the short list of what we learned:

– things she had looked for were in her room but in the wrong spot..she started to realize the reason you put things back in their right spot so it is easier to find in the future

– we put all the small things in little baggies (accessories) for the barbies etc but put them in the same bucket. She loved having everything in one spot so she can grab a basket and bring it out to the living room and she had all her stuff, plus she said it was easier to clean up that way

– Having her make the decisions on what to keep and what to giveaway wasn’t really as hard as I expected. She was able to reason that out and got really excited to be giving things to charity. Makes all the times I hear I want that I want that not so bad, she does understand giving back to others

– We managed to get 4 large paper grocery bags full of stuff to get rid of. We spent 2 hours together, she was entertained, I got the chore done…and rid of so much JUNK!!!!

– Later in the day when she wanted to color I was able to say remember where we put all your coloring stuff. And she was like, oh yeah! Hopefully this will mean she will start to know where her stuff is as well and save all the “helping”

The question I have is how long will the room stay this way!

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Sometimes going away is a good thing

Posted on September 22, 2010. Filed under: What he said, What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I hate leaving my family. No matter what fun might lie ahead I always miss them. You might have a night or a part of time when you enjoy being a girl on the town, but at the end of the night it is always so much better to be under your own roof when the family all there with you.

However, without going away I wouldn’t feel so much love as I do right now.

I am sitting in a meeting and my phone vibrates. I look down and there is a picture of my two lovebugs beaming at the camera. All smiles which makes me smile. Then I notice the splash pad behind them and a backdrop I don’t recognize. They are someplace new….I of course want all the details but I am in a meeting.

I come back to my hotel and see some Facebook updates from TB…here they are:

‎”I think this might be a good day to smell the breeze, look around, and just have some fun.” 🙂

“I want surf champion for dinner; I want surf champion”. Took me a minute to realize she meant surf and turf. I corrected her, and she was all, “Yeah, THAT’S what I mean”.
Check that. I guess it was “surf boarding champion” she was saying. She just reverted back to that, followed by PLEASE I want some lobster.
I just smile and my heart melts. I wish I was there with them…but then I know it would have been just a normal Monday night. They are making their own memories, they are doing what best buddies too.
Sometimes going away is a good thing…
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Making the bed like a princess

Posted on September 17, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I, What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

So today I went in to help MB make her bed. Part of her daily chores that I must say she is doing really well without much pushing. As I went to help her she yelled at me to stop. I was a little taken back till she informed me that I wasn’t doing it right. I guess she had TB had discussed the proper way to make the bed for a princess and I was no longer qualified to help. My heart is not broken by this discovery…but over filled with love for my lovebugs and their bed made for a princess!

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Family Favorite- Enchiladas

Posted on September 16, 2010. Filed under: Good Eats | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A family favorite…brings back memories of Texas!

What you will need:

1lb Hamburger

Chili Powder

Cominos (Cumin Seed)

1 dozen tortillas (the thinnest you can find)- corn or flour

1 medium Onion, chopped finally

8oz Colby/Jack Cheese, grated


Chop the onion and saute with the hamburger. Add cominos, chili powder, and salt to taste. Cook together until the hamburger is browned. Drain. Add 1/3 of the grated cheese and warm slightly until the cheese is melted and makes the mixture stick together well. You can also use turkey or bison.

Warm the tortillas between 2 paper towels splashed with water in the microwave for 30 seconds

Make a gravy in a small saute pan out of chili powder, a little of the grease from the hamburger, water, and flour stirred together. Cook this on low untill it has the texture of a thin gravy. You can also use a can or substitute the grease for olive oil.

Prepare work area next to stove so you can work with the gravy in the pan, a plate for rolling the tortillas, and a baking pan for the tortillas. Take one warmed tortilla at a time and run it through the gravy to dampen and then place it on the plate. Do a few tortillas like this to stake them up with gravy between each tortilla. Using your hands, take some of the hamburger/cheese mixture, squeeze it into shape and place it in the tortilla and roll-up. Now, transfer the rolled tortilla to the baking pan.

Repeat till all the tortillas are full and baking pan is assembled. Cover with remaining grated cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20min at 350 degrees. Serve with cooked beans, sour cream, and hot sauce!


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Bento box finally

Posted on September 8, 2010. Filed under: Good Finds, Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Well the search is over.

As just after 3 weeks lunches are getting boring I have been on the lookout for a bento box so I could start getting a little more creative. And have less food come home uneaten. After searching Target, Container Store, and on and on I happened upon the prefect items at TJ Max.

We were ready for our first bento. It was a hit and this was just with leftovers. I am excited too.

MB is such an eat with your fingers girl. She is going to eat so much better this way. For example. I set out grapes, cut up strawberries she digs in. I cut up a chicken breast into bite size pieces she devours the whole thing. I leave it for her to cut herself she eats about half. Maybe it is lazy, or probably just distraction. Yet I know the bite size will be a success for the year ahead.

I also found a great blog, Bento Lunch. Everyday they post a new creation. After a few days of seeing the cute cut-out cheese slices I think I am going to have to start looking for cookie cutters. Love it.

This bento is not fancy, but it was our first! So much better than the lunchables she is always begging for too!

Anyone else bento box? What are your favorite things to put in the lunch box? Always looking for some new healthy and fun ideas!

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Revolving Kitchen

Posted on September 7, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , , |

Revolving door (base)

Image via Wikipedia

Revolving Kitchen.

That is how I feel.

Now I admit we eat out our fair share and I am by no means chained to the stove, but it still feels like I spend most of m day in the kitchen.

Yes, I am exaggerating, but its a vicious cycle.

Wake up.

Short order cook at your service. Cut the strawberries. Prepare the waffles, pancakes, mixed, or maybe an egg.

Feed the girl with the hollow leg. Whoops you forgot a beverage.

Ok- now make some granola and berries for yourself and TB. Coffee, no time? Ok Diet Coke.

Now clean the dishes. Wipe down the counter.

Off to the bus stop.

Now the day is full of work and that task list we talked about yesterday.

School bus arrives, back at the bus stop.

Home, maybe, or off to an activity.

Either way a snack is required. Ok maybe I am tired– just pick something out of the pantry.


Unpack the backpack. Pack the lunch. Clean the dishes. Dishwasher is full again- I swear we run it every day!!!

Wipe the counter.

Time to start dinner prep.

Think. Cut. Cook. Serve.


Time to clean up again. More dishes. Wait, have to put the clean ones away first. Now the dirty dishes.

Wipe the counter.


Enjoy the clean empty counter for 10 seconds. Then leave the kitchen. Good night my kitchen. Till tomorrow when I will visit you again as relive my Groundhog Day moments.

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AZ is a changing us

Posted on August 22, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I, What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

It dawned on me this morning that Scottsdale is making it’s mark.

Last night I had a thought of MB and I riding down to Starbucks in the morning. She could ride her bike and I could run/walk with her. It is about 2 miles each way…and full of rolling hills. TB thought I was crazy. MB wasn’t so sure. So I said ok we can just drive.

Well this morning around 7am, MB woke me up and asked when we were going on our ride to Starbucks. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to ride her bike, or if she wanted to drive. She said no lets ride, we can take it easy if we need to.

So we got ourselves dressed and off we went. First off, we are up, dressed, and out the door by 7:30? Really..previously I would have been in my PJ’s for at least another hour. But we had to do this early if we didn’t want it to be hot.

The ride was great on the way there. A few times I heard her saying “I think I can, I think I can” as we went up the hills. Every few minutes she would point to a bird, bunny, or other creature on the path. We waved and said good morning to the various bikers and walkers. Happy happy calms we were. Oh I forgot MB had her camelback on and was keeping hydrated.

We ended up skipping Starbucks and hitting up the AJ’s bakery. Fruit salad to share and muffins for us both. We ate outside and enjoyed the morning.

Now the ride back wasn’t all happy. There was a little whining and a little I can’t do this, my legs are so tired. But we pressed on and we made it. She did awesome, I felt great having had my morning workout…and we both had enough fun that she wants to go back next weekend. Plus she added that we could do it one evening for dinner too.

I must admit that riding/running 4 miles first thing in the morning was not my previous norm. I would of never even thought of that as a way to start/spend the weekend. Things are a changing…and I like it. Love it even more that it’s not just me but the whole family!

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Babysitters are so cool

Posted on August 19, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I, What she said | Tags: , , , , , |

Yes, according to my daughter babysitters are the best thing since sliced bread.

Maybe it is cause she really hasn’t had one (from me that is) other than 2 afternoons in the past 5.75 years. Not counting our 2 au pairs for her first 3 years, which she never saw as babysitters.

When I told her that she was going to have a babysitter last night so TB and I could go to parent’s night at her school you would have thought I had given her the world. She was so excited. First thing she said when she woke up was today is babysitter day! I had to laugh- are other kids out there as excited as mine? Or do I need to go out more often?

Either way once she got home from school the countdown began. With the last few minutes watching out the window for her to arrive. Well Miss. K was a hit. MB adored her and couldn’t believe she drove MB’s favorite car– a BUG. The only complaint was that it wasn’t orange.

They played games when I left and found them home with the doll house when I got home. MB was in heaven. And I have found my first local babysitter!

After she drilled us about our time at our school and what her teacher had said about her….I still can’t believe that she is playing an introvert in the classroom. Wonder how long till that stops. We read a story and climbed into bed. Right before our last goodnight hug. MB said she really liked Miss. K since Miss. M wasn’t available (our neighbor down the street) but she would like to try Miss. M next time and maybe she could switch it up with both of them. I have a feeling she thinks if she does that she can get away with more stuff longer 🙂

Anyway, MB also decided that next week TB and I should go out for a long time like to dinner (Chipotle was her pick) on a date and she could stay with Miss. K or Miss. M and when she missed us she would call us and we would come home, but of course we would need to stop and pick up ice cream for her first to bring home.

My daughter forcing us out on date nights….the price a cup of ice cream. Maybe we will have to oblige her.

How often do you use babysitters? When does the coolness wear off?

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