Christmas 2011

We ate, we opened, we played, we laughed, we bitched, we moaned, we drank, and we be merry.  Typical family gathering.

{1}  Christmas love from family & friends.
{2}  Favorite candle around the holidays.
{3}  Fully adorned Christmas tree.

The Thursday night before Christmas involved our little family Christmas celebration: opening gifts, cruising around looking at Christmas lights and out for dinner.

Christmas Eve: church, a Mexican Christmas feast (because that's what every Irish Catholic family should be eating on complaints here), gift opening, lots of pictures and an intense game of Rummy (in which my mom won...typical).

Looks like a couple of little girls who are going to get into a lot of trouble!

Quinn's first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family of three.

Wait, how'd that get in there? And where is Superman??

On Christmas Day, we spent the morning hanging out at home and then headed over to my Grandma M's for lunch and socializing with my dad's side of the family.  Quinn definitely felt the love as she was being passed around.  My favorite photo of the day is of my grandma and two of her great grandchildren (Quinn & Raegan).  The expression on her face is priceless.

Christmas night was spent with my mom's side of the family eating, hanging out, poking fun at each other and of course opening gifts.

We played another intense game of Rummy later that evening.  I didn't win that one either (pretty sure my cocky, littlest brother did though.  I shall knock him down to size some day and show him whose the Rummy bitch!  I kid.  Sort of.).  We left during another game in which my brother Pat was playing.  He cheats at everything.

All in all a pretty great Christmas.

This post was brought to you by:

Stop yelling at me.

Daddy Is Screwed

B: {walking around the house, room to room} "....24, 25, 26....."

R: "Are you walking around the house counting my shoes?"

B: "Yep."

R: "Don't forget to add in the two I bought today."

B: "Already did.  Where are your summer shoes?"

R: " Under the bed.  You might want to start down here.  HAHAHA."  {Evil laugh and pointing towards the end of the bed where I have neatly lined up 5 or 6 pairs of wedges alongside a container filled with shoes.}

Time passes.  Counting continues.

B: "Rachel, you have at least 65 pairs of shoes in this house."

R: "Well in my defense a lot of those are from before I was pregnant and became a mom.  While 5 inch heels are fun to wear, they're not the most practical shoes to cart a baby around in."

R:  "Why don't you walk around the house and count Quinn's shoes?"

B:  {Big, deep sigh}  "I don't want to.  Daddy is screwed."

You're right.  Sometimes it just sucks being a girl!

I'm In A Funny Mood Today

I am in a better mood today than I have been in long while.

Maybe it's because Christmas is this weekend.

Maybe because I have approximately 9 hours of work left this week, a three day week next week and a three day week the following week.

Yep, that's probably it.

Need a mood booster?

We Met Santa & A Little Pre-Christmas Fun

On Friday night, we headed over to our local legion.  Santa just happened to be stopping by so we thought this was a good chance for Quinn to meet the big guy for the first time. 

As you can see, Quinn could have given two shits about him.  She was more entertained by the tree sitting to Santa's right (or the cold beer can daddy let her chew on).  At least she didn't scream bloody murder.

I can definitely see why a lot of the little kiddos didn't want to sit on Santa and were running away scared.  He was just slightly creepy.


Christmas is less than a week away which means I have less than a week to finish making goodies, to finish Quinn's Christmas headband and to finish buying, making and wrapping gifts.  Plus going to look at Christmas lights on top of working Monday through Thursday this week and fitting a little running in there.  It looks to be a pretty busy week.
I'm the best procrastinator.  Seriously, I could make a career out of it (and being late...thankfully my ass is always attached).

Anywhoodle, I've seen this a little bit in the blogosphere and thought I would do it.  It's fun and you should know all of this about me, right?  After all, Christmas is one of my favorites.

1.      Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate always.  Anything that is a drink with the word egg in it, makes me want to vom-nasty all over.

2.      Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Santa always wraps his presents.

3.      Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored.  We don't discriminate.

4.      Do you hang mistletoe?
No.  I don't linger around mistletoe either. 

5.      When do you put your decorations up?
It depends on how motivated I am.  This year, it was the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It's always after Thanksgiving.  That is a rule that should never be broken.  One holiday at a time peeps!

6.      What is your favorite holiday dish?
I don't know that I have a favorite dish.  I like all the sweets that are available around Christmas.  My family always makes green bean casserole or broccoli casserole at every gathering so this might be my favorite.

7.      Favorite holiday memory as a child?
When we were younger, my parents used to pack all five of us kids into the mini and drive around to check out Christmas lights.  There was a farm out in the country all decked out in lights and decorations that my parents knew the owners of, so we would always go out there and play around.

My mom is obsessed with Christmas.  I say obsessed because after Thanksgiving, almost everything around the house is taken down and put away and a Christmas decoration goes in it's place.  Seriously, Christmas vomits all over their house.  I love it though and wish I had the motivation to do the same.

8.     When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was around 8 and my sister told me.

9.      Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We always have Christmas with my parents, brothers and sister and their significant others on Christmas Eve.  We go to Christmas Eve mass, eat dinner and open presents.  We then proceed to play a game (Scene It, Family Feud, etc.) which always turns into someone getting pissed and a lot of yelling.

10.   How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Like this:
You decorate it and then you add something real, real cute underneath.


11.    Snow! Love it or dread it?
Love it when it's falling and new.  Hate it when it's melting and slushy.

12.   Can you ice skate?
That's like asking if I can wipe my own butt.  Of course I can!

13.   Do you remember your favorite gift?
I received Aladdin and Jasmine Barbie's from Santa one year.  That is the present that I remember most.  Now, we always get cash and a gift card from my parents which is always a favorite.

14.   What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Spending time with family. 

15.    What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I love making Caramel Corn around the Holidays.  In fact, I made a big batch tonight.

16.   What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love to drive around and look at lights.  I also love to make Christmas goodies. 
We have a work party during the day each year (in fact we have 2).  I love that we get to have fun while on the clock instead of doing it on a weekend.

17.    What tops your tree?
A gold star.

18.   Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Receiving.  I know it's selfish but most of the time when I give, the person I'm giving to already knows what they're getting because they asked for it.  The only people I went out on a limb for was my parents, hubs parents and Quinn's godparents.  I did one DIY project as a gift so hopefully this person enjoys it.

19.   Candy canes: yuck or yum?
Yum!  My favorite growing up were the fruity ones.  I don't put candy canes on the tree because I would be the only person eating them.  I let Quinn lick on one and she seemed to enjoy it.

20.  Favorite Christmas movie?
There are so many to choose from!  White Christmas is the best classic Christmas movie hands down.  I also like Miracle on 34th Street (newer version), Home Alone, Elf, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and Polar Express.

21.   Saddest Christmas song?
Oh Holy Night always brings tears to my eyes.  I think it's only because you have to have a bad ass voice to sing it and the high notes get to me.  It's safe to say you'll never want to be around me when I try to hit these.

22.    What’s your favorite Christmas song?
I love "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" and "Oh Holy Night"!  But my favorite non-classics are "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey, "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by Nsync and "Christmas Time" by Christina Aguilera.

Book Club: The Lucky One & The Hunger Games

When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph—his lucky charm.
Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet. Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives.

A few weeks ago, I read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.  I'm a huge Nicholas Sparks fan.  I own every single book that he has written (thanks to my mom and Double Day).  I love how his books are captivating but not deep.  They flow well and are super easy and quick to read.  While this book was much the same as all his books, it was more than predictable.  There was only one part that I didn't see coming which was the very end.  But I won't give it away.  This is probably one of the books I have like the least by Mr. Sparks.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I decided to read this book because it has gotten so many good reviews.  People love this series and rave on how it's so good.  While it was good, it wasn't great.  It was sort of predictable but still suspensful enough to enjoy.  Obviously, they left the book off to where I'll have to go to the next to read to find out what happens but I'm not that excited about it.  I'm sort of excited to see the movie though.

Also, I've seen the trailor for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and am so, so exicted to see this movie!  It makes me want to read the book again! 

Advocare: What Can It Do For You?

Hi everyone!  If you've arrived here from Mrs. Monologues, welcome and I do hope you stick around!  If you've been around here for awhile, thank you and keep on reading!
Would you like to know how I lost all my baby weight plus a little more?

Let me introduce you to Advocare.

What is Advocare?
Advocare is a nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy, and sports performance. 

There are five lines of products that Advocare offers: trim, active, well, performance elite and definite difference.
How was I introduced?
My friend Ashley and her husband Mark actually introduced me to the Advocare world about a year and a half ago and I'm so glad they did. 

Products I love:
Once introduced to the products and after testing out a few samples, I immediately fell in love with Spark, the energy drink among many other products (the one that's being given away over at Mrs. Monologues.  Go Enter!). 

I loved the feeling I got when I drank Spark.  I loved the energy and the fact that I didn't get jittery.  I loved how easy it was to concentrate at the task at hand or the edge in my performance I received from the product.  I loved everything about it and still do. 

I take Spark on a bi-daily basis.  Once in the morning to wake up and always before any of my workouts.  I love this product because it contains nutrients that you can't get from coffee or soda with minimal calories per serving.  It works for me and can work for you too!

Another product I take on a daily basis is the Catalyst.  Catalyst is a amino acid dietary supplement.  "Catalyst™ Amino Acid Supplement is a blend of essential branched-chain amino acids and L-glutamine that supplies your body with muscle-building components and sustains your muscles during exercise and reduced calorie intake.  Whether you're trying to lose weight or gain muscle, Catalyst helps repair and protect muscles.  Other amino acids in Catalyst like L-arginine, taurine and betaine help fuel and maintain your muscles to support endurance and strength.  Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, Catalyst helps you retain muscle and reduce fat for a more toned and better defined look."

Most of the time, I do the same workouts, hitting the same groups of muscles.  After time and repetition, workouts can start to damage muscles and using Catalyst is a way to protect them and sustain.

Another group of products that many people have done are part of the 24 day challenge

The challenge is broken up into two parts, a 10 day cleanse and 14 day max pack.  After the ten day cleanse, a person should have a higher level of energy and a smaller waistline.  Then they will do a 14 day Max Pack toning and metabolic enhancing regimen.  People who have completed this challenge look and feel like new and improved self.  I have seen the before and afters and the results do not lie.  They look amazing!

Here is one of my best friends, Ashley (the one who introduced me to this awesome company!).  She completed the challenge and her results are absolutely remarkable!  She lost a total of 20 pounds and 29 inches!

Ashley before:

Ashley after:

Awesome Ash!!  Her husband's results are amazing as well!

The reason that I love these products so much is because they are filled with so many nutrients that are really good for you.  I am feeling the best that I have ever felt and am in the best shape of my life thanks to Advocare products and a workout regimen, five months after having my little girl. 

Not only do I love the products, but being a distributor, I earn a 20% discount off all products.  So, if anything the distributorship pays for itself and then some.  By becoming an advisor, you could earn up to a 40% discount on the products.  Plus, by selling the products, not only are you promoting something good, you can earn extra money doing so.  Some people have even quit their day job because they have been so successful in owning their own business! 

What can Advocare do for you?
Lead you on a path to good health. 
Shrink your waistline.
Give you an edge.
Better performance.
Create and own your own business.
Discount on all the products.
So much more!!
Please check out my website for more details and to view the assortment of products Advocare has to offer!  There really is something here for you!

Want to try Advocare Spark for free?  Run over to Mrs. Monologues place where I am giving away a packet of Advocare (14 servings).  Flavor is up to the winner.

Why wait?! Choose Advocare today.  It could literally change your life!

5 months

approximately 14 pounds.

Clothes size:
3-6 mos but still wears some 0-3 months clothes
Formula (approximately 6 oz per feeding)
rice mixed with formula and apple juice.


rolling over
holding hands
reading stories (especially Snow White and Twas the Night Before Christmas)
her jumperoo
riding in her stroller
playing with her feet
beating up her dog
the television
being awesome

tummy time
when mom leaves the room
plain rice
the Iowa State Cyclones & Chicago Bears

Happy 5 months sweet baby girl!