the joy of love: 01

look what I'm doing ...

was one of your new years resolution to use your camera more, like me?
this is a great way to explore and learn what your camera can do.
its not too late to join!

day 01: what they do

this IS what Elliott does ... everyday

most winter days in Hawaii is still the perfect summer day ... and you would think it is summer until you go to the beach.  it is the rhythm of the ocean that will tell you what season it is.  the waves are rockin'!!  there are lots of surfing competitions, which are so fun to watch.  on Oahu, they're all (or mostly) done on the North Shore ... add that to your to-do this if you come out during the winter time.

but when I say rockin' I don't mean its so awesome and I had a great time.  NO.  I mean, those waves are HUGE and get ready to be thrown around ... if you can handle it.

I am not a strong swimmer.  I know how to swim but I don't have much experience, especially in the ocean.  my swimming lessons were done in a lake, where its caaaaaaaalm.  the only think I worried about what was possibly swimming in there with me - think river monster.

there is usually a spot on the beach where its calmer; a place where its still ok to take the kids to chase the waves around.  today there was a calmer entry point, but still, not for kids.  I was with a new-to-Hawaii neighbor, and of course she wanted to go in.  so we did.

the first few set of waves, we did good.  Sam even came in, but he got tossed around a little too much and left.   then the big ones came ... I don't know how big, but from my perspective, they were huge.

I thought if I went under deep enough, I wouldn't get slammed hardly at all ... SO. NOT. TRUE.

look at these pictures.  can you imagine being in that?!  try to image this wave coming down on you.

so glad I made it out alive.  writing this, 6 hours later, I can still feel it.  I didn't get physically hurt - thank you God - but I feel that crashing wave on/in my body the same way I can feel those nicer, softer, just-hang-out-swimming waves that are during the summer.  you know what I mean?

it only takes one wave ... I am so much smaller than the power of that water.  it demands respect.

lesson learned.

Avon Review: Nailwear Pro

living in Hawaii, I'm always in sandals, slippers (aka - flip flops), or anything open-toed.  that means toes can be prettied up 365 days a year here.  well, ok, during the winter storms, not so much, so we'll say 300+ days per year!  that said, it makes sense that Avon's nail polish is first up for review.

for the record, I'm not a nail professional of any kind, nor do I go get my nails done regularly.  I'm too cheap for that!  I will treat myself to a pedicure every now and again, but otherwise, I'm a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to my nails.

I never paint my fingernails.  never.  for a couple of reasons ....
- being a mom and using my hands all the time, it chips way too easily.  the upkeep on fingernails is much more demanding, and I don't need one more thing to keep up with.
- also, you know how every woman has that one thing (ok, those few things) that they don't really like about their bodies?  my number 1 "thing" is my hands.  and I don't really want to draw attention to them.
but I digress ...

in my opinion, feet in general is just an ugly part of the body.  am I alone here?!
however, colorful nails (along with a cute toe ring or 2) will make them much, MUCH cuter.

look at all these FUN colors!!  available colors do change with current style/colors, just like the fashion trends in clothing.  being an Avon Representative you'd think I'd have quite the collection, but sadly, I have just 2.   I have lagoon blue & tropical punch.  both are bright, bold & cheery ... and both I found in the clearance section!

the regular price is $5.  if you can hold out for a sale, its usually 2 for $6 (I think).  you'll typically see this when open-toe season comes around in the spring and summer.  if you're a bargain shopper (or just cheap like me), always check clearance.  they usually have 1 or 2 hiding in there.

* steps to take for a good do-it-yourself pedicure *

step 1: take off any old polish.  I just use your generic, stinky, eye-watering nail polish remover.  Avon does have THESE, but I have not tried them as of yet.

step 2: since I don't use a pumice stone regularly in the shower, I have a Ped Egg Pro.  I LOVE this thing!  (I scored it as a Linens N Things was going out of business for cheap!) I use the "cheese grater" side for my heels, then the sandpaper.  of course Avon carries something similar, which you can find HERE.

step 3: I'll do a foot soak then use some lotion from Avon's Footworks line and do my best to give myself a non-tickling foot massage.  the foot soak softens and the lotion moisturizes.  I make a point to rub the lotion into each cuticle real good.  Avon carries THIS and THIS for your cuticles, but again, I haven't tried it yet.  ps. Footworks has everything from lotion, to overnight cremes, to masks, to scrubs. I'll do a review on some of that another time.

step 4: with my "cuticle pusher backer" (see how professional I am?) I do, well, just that.  a metal one works much better than any plastic one I've had.

step 5: trim with cuticle cutters.  do not be distracted when doing this.  these cutters are usually nice and sharp.  I usually do pedicure after my kids are in bed.

optional step: base coat - some people swear by it, and if that's you, check out THIS and THIS.  and then there is everyone else that don't seem to care, which is me.

step 6: color nail polish coat #1, let mostly dry

step 7: same color nail polish coat #2, let dry

step 8: clear polish.  it really is a good "sealant" to the color, as in, it will keep your color lasting longer without chipping.  also, it gives your colorful toenails some extra shine.  Avon explains how THIS will protect your color from UVA/UVB rays, another good point to completing through step 8.

Avon's Nailwear Pro gets a thumbs up from me!  here's what I like:

  • the polish brush is smooth and easy to maneuver.  not too big, not to little.
  • you never need more than 2 coats
  • I love all the fun colors available ... although I'm pretty confident I won't be buying the yellow
  • I think the pricing is good, but if you find it in the clearance, the pricing is GREAT!

what other features do you look for in a nail polish?
did I miss something?
a picture of my painted toes?  I thought of that, but really, who wants to see my feet?!
 tell me what other aspects I can cover in reviewing a product.  your feedback is important!

no matter where you live, I can be your Avon Lady!
visit my online store:
current coupon codes to use: FSC03 on orders $30 +

it was a crafty kind of day

everyday most days I allow for a free choice session in our homeschool day.  this could be writing to our pen pal, arts & crafts, baking, or science experiments.  I do hope to take pictures and post on this stuff more regularly.

now when I say free choice I don't actually say it out loud, because if I did, Sam would think he has the choice.  in actuality, its my choice.  ok, well, sometimes Sam does get to choose, but only if I choose to let him choose.  if I don't care what we get into, then its his choice.   * hahahaha *  that's just how I do it and it goes much smoother that way!

we hadn't done arts & crafts for awhile.  when we do this, I try to start before Elliott's naptime so he can participate too.  this is why I get to choose.  having Elliott participate is a great learning experience for him, but some days, I'm simply not up for the challenge if you know what I'm sayin' ... and I think you do.

I have been using Abeka's 1st grade curriculum, and so far, I like it.  I wanted to have something that made the schedule for me.  I am better at cutting what needs to be cut & adding what I feel like we ought to add when there is an existing system.  I did my research and was able to get 3/4 of our stuff off of ebay.  in doing that I got a few extras, one being an arts & crafts book.

the project for January was better than most of the others, so I thought I'd share it with you.  your welcome :)

they suggest to make pictures out of toothpicks.  assemble your toothpicks on construction paper (a darker color will get the toothpicks to stand out a bit more), and you can make anything ... things with straight edges are easier of course.  a few ideas they gave - house, tree, toy, car, building, letters, numbers ... on and on you could go.  after you get a layout, glue them on.

there are toothpicks that have a flat edge, which makes this process easier.  I have also seen colored toothpicks ... such a thing as colored AND flat edged??  a crafter can only hope.

and of course when I decided to do this one, I discovered I didn't have any toothpicks whatsoever.  that happens to me a lot.  but I did have spaghetti!  and that worked just as well.  in fact, maybe a bit better for a couple of reasons.
1. you can break them to create various sizes
2. Elliott can eat them!  if it were toothpicks, I'm sure he'd try to eat those too ... so maybe this is more for my peace of mind than anything

and here is Sam's masterpiece.  excuse his psycho look, I think I just snapped the picture at the wrong milisecond :)  but he was awfully happy to do crafts today.  I guess its been awhile since we got into it.

he made a house and then got his name in there at the top.  he loved it.
2 thumbs up from us!

sweet or pervert?

I haven't walked in 2 weeks.  I've been feeling very blah, for lack of a better word, and so,  I decided THIS IS THE DAY to get to it again.  it was hard to get up at 5am, but it does so much for me mentally, so I know its worth it.  it will hit me later today how tired I am!

my walk is 2 1/2 miles, downhill first.  this means as I'm coming back into my complex, I have just climbed what feels like Mt Everest, and I have to walk by everyone who is all clean, showered, & dressed waiting for the bus.  and then there are those still in their jammies, just waking up and have to take the dog out to pee.  and of course the security guards, who, all they do is people watch.  I'm a sweaty mess coming back from that hill.

side note: this is Hawaii, so wherever you may live there are always places that are exclusively vacation rentals.  since I'm in more or less an apartment complex with many units, there are always people around that no one has ever seen before.

so as I'm turning my corner to come home, there this old man.  I'd say 70-ish; he going out for a morning stroll, all alone.

him: "you look like the hiking type" with a big 'ol grin on his wrinkly face
me: "I try!"
him: "are you a resident here, or are you visiting?"
me: "I live here"
him: "resident or are you visiting?" ... like I didn't understand
me: "I LIVE HERE" ... a bit louder than normal
him: "ahhhh, so glad there are some nice looking girls here" still, with that big 'ol grin
me: "oh, thank you.  can you be here every morning to tell me that?"

with that I kept on walking, not totally sure if he was a pervert (which all old men are, aren't they?) or maybe he was just a sweet old man, trying to make me smile.  it was a good laugh none-the-less, and even though it came from a 70-ish year old man, it was a good way to start the day.

Fingerprint Friday

From the inspirational - The Rusted Chain.

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

so it's Sunday, not Friday ... but I'm pretty sure we're still ok.  So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints.  Go HERE for inspiration, and also, link up!

* click on any picture for bigger image *

These photos were taken at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu.  This place is amazing & so beautiful.
I was just driving by one day and caught a few shots.

Hawaii's nature, the animals on the ranch, the smell of the ocean breeze (which was literally across the street!) made these moments something to remember.  

I feel the most close to God when I am outside in nature
... and I always try to remember my camera!

YOU Capture - Circles

I was not at home a few days this week.  we were able to stay at a condo in downtown Waikiki, which was a fun change of pace for the kids & I.

it was here that I was in search of circles ...

Sam couldn't stop laughing.  then I couldn't stop laughing.
this was the best either of us could do!
but I do LOVE these baby blue circles.

your typical hawaiian decor.

what's a vacation rental without the gaudy golden fruit?!

1/2 the reason I came was for these circles.
the laundry was free to do, so EVERYTHING came along to get clean.

it's me ... and a circle, my Nikon D40
what kind of camera do you use?

Sam actually won this in the usual rip-off grabby-game in the arcade
... that's what I call it anyway.

and tonight we're home in time for this circle.
sunsets never get old.  never.

in case you missed all the links, visit HERE for this:

the good samaritan

I've been driving 1985 Mazda GLC ... you know you want one!
hubby paid $240 for it.  for real.

I have to say, I do miss having a clean, non-rusted car with leather seats, along with a working air conditioning, and also a working CD player.  sigh. 
its FAR from pretty but it works, and that's what really matters.  
its actually been a great car to us, until today.

we've been driving it for a couple of months now.  we typically don't drive it all over the island, but then again, we don't typically do that.  its been a stay-in-town/beach car.
but today we did drive it to downtown Honolulu; about an hour drive from where we live.  its all freeway so nothing crazy, but today on even the small hills, it was struggling.  I was pushing through.  none of the dashboard lights were coming on and the temp stayed in the normal range, so I pressed on.

(feel the drama?)

all of a sudden, the car slowed way down and white smoke billowed out from under the hood.  the car died as I was pulling over.
and I was so close to getting there.  

now I'm your typical girl; I know nothing about cars ... aaaaaaaand I've seen too many movies where cars just randomly blow up from something like that, so I grabbed my stuff fast and practically ran away.  I was really glad that hubby had the kids and not me.  what a headache that would have been.  so I found a spot in the shade (like 50 yards away!) and I was waiting for hubby to come get me on the side of the freeway.

about 5 minutes later, I'm hearing a fire truck.  it past me, then it past the car, but then backed up to the car ... it was kind of funny.  they thought it was already abandoned at first and didn't see me since I was so far away.
there were never any flames, and the fire fighters seemed kind of bummed it was all so uneventful.  sorry guys!!  but they checked out the car and said they think its an oil leak or a blown gasket.  it might be time for this car to officially die, but hey whatever, we've definitely gotten our money's worth out of it.

someone driving by must have called the fire department; that's how much smoke there was.  THANK YOU whoever you are!!
 I was unnecessarily rescued ... it all could have been much worse and that phone call could have saved my life.

lesson of the day: be a good samaritan.  it will make a difference!

this kind of drinking is good

WATER: something all living things need to survive.  it seems to me, we need it just as much as oxygen. 

water comes to us in our food and other drinks, which seem to have become the substitute for many of us.  me included.  it wasn't until I was living at 9,000 feet last year, where the oxygen was lacking and everything was soooooooo dry.  my hair, my skin, not to mention all the static electricity in the house.  ouch!  as much as I loved living in the mountains of Colorado, I won't be going back to 9,000 feet.  ever. 

funny to think we're made up of mostly water ... but it makes sense that we need to always be adding to it and replacing it.  even the oceans are added to.  (God's design is always amazing to me)

I started getting headaches, and it took me awhile to figure out what it was.  I was dehydrated.  for me, once I get a headache from lack of water, drinking a whole bunch at once doesn't fix it.  its like a migraine, and yes, I need water, but I also need an medication, a dark room, and quiet ... having kids, the quiet part doesn't usually happen.

I don't remember having to drink water as a kid.  I wasn't "raised" on it ... if that makes sense.  I can go through an entire meal without a drink.  occasionally, I will even come home from walking and still wait awhile to take a drink.
its funny, because I like water.  I'm not hooked on soda or coffee.  if I have juice, I always drink it 1/2 juice, 1/2 water; its just too sweet otherwise.  

I've been told if you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated.  well, great.

Sam also got dehydrated when we were in Colorado.  and sometimes, when something happens to your kids, THAT'S when you change things.   having a headache is no fun, and when you see your 5 year old suffer from one, is more like heartbreaking.  so water water water for everyone.  all the time.  well, as much as we can stand it anyway.

so with our "water issues," I have turned to CAMELBAK for my solution.  one word: awesome!

I have a big bottle that holds 32oz.  my goal is to drink at least 1 of those per day.  at least.  the kids' bottle is 16oz.  I did have 2 bottles, but they would just want what the other had, so instead, I fill the 1 a couple times per day.  seems to work out better that way.

they are on the expensive side.  a water bottle for $20?!  c'mon!  HOWEVER ...
1. I get no backwash from my kids.  I can share without the worry of  floaties surprising me later on.  don't you HATE that?!  so gross.
2. its all BPA-free. yay!
3. think green.  stop buying bottles and reuse what you have.
4. you can buy new mouthpieces when needed - say you have a toddler that's teething and you keep finding him just chewing on it ... ugh, Elliott!
5. no spills.  you know how every single baby/toddler cup claims to be spill free ... and you spend too much money to find out none of them are 100%?  well, I can't lie.  I've had a few drops when it got tossed on the floor, but nothing compared to those stupid cups.  I only wish I made this discovery years ago!  for me, its been revolutionary.

I was lucky enough to find the 2 I have at the thrift store.  yahoo!  I paid less than $10 for both.  and because of #4, its ok.  or at least, because of #4, I'm not at all grossed out by buying used water bottles.  would you buy these used?

I did pay full pop for the backpaks.  I got 1 adult size, and 1 child size.  they are perfect for our hikes.

for whatever reason, once these things are in their mouth, they drink and drink and drink and drink.  the biting, sucking, swallowing is enough action for them to be interested ... I don't know, that's my guess anyway.  but whatever the reason, they drink more water because of this bottle.  I'm convinced.

for me, this is one of those things I want to instill in my kids on purpose.  drink more water!!  how do you get your kids to do it?

wordless wednesday

I've seen these posts many times, but can't find one today of course.
if you're hosting a wordless wednesday, I'd love to link up.

happy hump day!

Xmas in Hawaii

we had planned to have a beach day on Christmas, well, because we are in Hawaii and we can ... but wouldn'tcha know it, it was a yucky day.  everyone we know on the mainland was having a real winter - cold, rainy, snowy, cold, icy, windy, did I say cold? - and I have to say, it feels good not have to deal with that this year.  I do miss it, but then again, not really.

Christmas was definitely strange without all that yuckiness outside.  I mean, if you're going to be trapped inside, I'd say Christmas day is THE perfect day for it.  presents, family, food, fireplace, cocoa ... who cares what's going on outside!

it was yucky, but not cold, so no cocoa for us.  but as a reminder of last year, we had some snow ... sort of.  we could still pick it up and throw it, but instead of just leaving it to melt, we got to vacuum it up at the end of the day. :)

we decorated a bit and this is what the boys woke up to.
snow and a parade of cars!

they LOVED it ... and didn't even notice the presents.
they played for at least an hour before opening up any other gifts.

don't you love his excitement?!

this is heaven for Eli - BALLS!

I think he loves Christmas :)


I'm still allowed to say Merry Christmas, right?

Something New: Avon Review

don'tcha love when you rhyme by accident?!

so yes, I thought I'd do something new like a product review.  why not?  Avon has changed A LOT over the years, so allow me to be the guinea pig for you.

I am currently an Independent Avon Representative, and I'd say overall, its been a good experience.  I currently don't have 100's of regular customers, but as I go along, I'm learning a lot about the business side it ... the 100's of customers will come later.

Avon has been around for so long that is practically sells itself ... which is good for me because I'm really not into pressure selling.  but still, I know that if you try to sell something you don't truly believe in yourself, you will not succeed.  your attitude, your body language, even how you promote your product will not have the excitement it needs to get others interested.  if you're not pumped up about what your selling, why in the world would anyone buy it from you, right?

well for me, I cannot lie.  I can't tell you a certain product is awesome, when in fact, I used it myself and was so disappointed with the results.

happy to say I have loved most of the Avon products I've tried, but in doing a regular review, it will help me learn even more about the product(s), try them out, and help me decide if Avon is a product I'd like to continue to promote and sell ... and along the way, you'll get the inside scoop and be able take advantage of special promos I'll get to offer you.

- ALSO -
if you have ANY QUESTIONS, pleeeeeeeeease ask!
I want to know your experience with Avon.  good & bad.
tell me what products you currently use & what products you want to try.
want me to try something for you?  I can do that too.

my first piece of advice for Avon shopping is ... check the clearance section!!
there are always good great deals in there!  Avon does a pretty good job of rotating products in & out of clearance, which makes it a great place to try out something new; be it a new shade of eyeshadow or a new fragrance.

the only coupon code out right now is: FSC02
this is good for your order of $30 and more.
shop 24/7:

thank you and goodnight!!

Fingerprint Friday

God's creation continuously amazes me, and in Hawaii, its so easy to see such beauty.
its a paradise, after all.

my boys and I met a new friend yesterday ... fingerprint thursday maybe?
we found him just chillin' in the corner.  poor guy.  I'm sure he was clueless his fate would have him in the hands of little boys!  
they were soooooooo excited.  my oldest especially loves all bugs, insects, animals ... anything that moves, really.  its heaven for him.

our word for the morning was OBSERVE ... but still, he was thrown, tossed, poked at, screamed at, and dropped once or twice, but know that he was unharmed and made it out alive & well.  promise.  we've had other friends that weren't so lucky.

it blows my mind not only how all things were created, but also, what was created.  and although I'm curious to the design of this life and ALL those involved (this guy included), I'm at peace here & now know that all my questions will be answered when I'm in heaven with my Creator.  I can't wait to see & understand it all the way He does.

Go visit The Rusted Chain for more inspiration.  enjoy.

Xmas humor

I know Christmas is over, but I just saw this and wanted to share.
dedicated to those who love design &/or architecture ....

if you can't read the caption, it says:
"damn contemporary, bullsh*t architecture!"

Merry Christmas!

food bank day

today I had a first ...
I went to the local food bank.

I kind of wanted to take a picture, but thought maybe it could have been offensive somehow.
it was a smaller one.  I'd say under 100 people there.  everyone had their box, bag, basket, wheelbarrow; anything to carry food home in.  it was kind of a sight to see.

you could tell the people there had been there many times before.  it was nothing new.  nothing to be ashamed of.
people saw friends, neighbors, and their other family members.  it was a kind of get together.

it was simply a way of life.

I felt funny.  a tad out of place.  I had never been before.
I never needed to go.

I always knew "the system" was there, for those who needed it.  I'm for it ... for those who NEED it.
I am also aware that there are people who take advantage of their no/low income status and get freebie after freebie after freebie.  in my opinion, its a bit discouraging.  I mean, why change anything if you get things handed to you over and over again?  and I have to say, its relatively clear that people here do just that.  sad.

Hawaii is so far, a VERY easy state to deal with.  after living in CA for so long, I now expect a thick packet of paperwork to fill out for every little thing, along with providing proof of everything.  In CA, even if you're standing in front of them, you still need proof of not just being human, but being alive too.   its beyond ridiculous!!

- here, you don't have to be here for a certain amount of time before you're a resident.  just go get a license, and when you do, there will be no line.  AND the people working there, will smile and mean it.
- when I registered Sam for homeschool, it was 1 piece of paper to fill out.  even the lady at the DOE said several times "Hawaii is a pretty hands-off state."
- at the food bank, I just gave them my ID and my current address, and that's it.

it must be all that sea air ...

the food I received is not ideal, as in, its not ever what I'd buy at the store.  I did get produce, but it is all on its way out.  the bread is all enriched white bread & rolls.  2 big bags of frozen french fries.  4 bags of frozen precooked pork patties ... there's always next week.

BUT if its this or nothing, this will do ... and I'll remind myself this is only temporary, but more importantly, I'll be thankful for it.


making some bloggy changes ... just because

something about the new year makes you want to
clean, organize, refocus, and change it up ... just me?

which would you rather have -
a change button?
an easy button?

... hhhhhmmmmmmmmm ...

sweet tooth

fresh from the oven

he cannot resist

it's ok Elliott ... we've all been there

thanks for visiting
hope you are now smiling

after Xmas but before NYE

Sam doesn't like to be referred to as a baby anymore.  not even a little boy.
he's a big boy now, and he's acting like it ... in a good way.
his body is catching up too ... again in a good way, not in a gross, smelly way.  not sure when THAT day is coming.
in fact, I'm kind of scared of that day, but I digress ...

one day, out of the blue, Sam's tooth was waaaaay loose.  if it was ever a little bit loose, Sam didn't realize. when he discovered how loose it was, he'd show EVERYONE, and of course play with it endlessly.

eventually, little by little, it was hanging by a thread.  it made him giggle all the time; you could easily hear the excitement in his laughter.

do you remember that as a kid?  I do.

one night, Matt asked him "let's just pull it out"  and to my surprise, Sam said "SURE!"

Matt barely tugged at it, and it came out, so easily.  Sam was anticipating some pain because his eyes were shut tight, like he was about to get a shot or something.  he said "are you gonna do it?"  and then there was such a look of delight on his face when he saw Matt already had it in his hand.  

then he said "I'VE GOT TO GO LOOK IN THE MIRROR!!"  and we heard him screaming & giggling from the bathroom.  it was such a moment for him.

I asked him if I could keep it safe for him until bedtime ... we decided to do the tooth fairy thing with him after all ... but he insisted he could keep it safe himself, and of course come bedtime, he didn't know where it was.  he was bummed there'd be no visit from the tooth fairy, but I think he was still more excited that he lost it at all.  so no trauma.

in fact, we're all keeping an eye out since it may just turn up somewhere!

3, 2, 1, go!

goodbye 2010 ... hello 2011

do you say twenty-eleven?  or two thousand eleven?
just curious.

here's my list of resolutions, goals, and things I want to do this year ..

  • like everyone else, I'd like to drop another 20 pounds.  and the obvious ways to do it are to eat more fruits & veggies, less processed crap, more exercise, more exercise, and more exercise!  I'd like to work on my baby gut.  you know what I'm talking about ... that part of you belly that was never there before, but even 2 1/2 years after you last baby, its still there.  ugh.  I was never thin, never had a flat stomach let alone ANY muscle definition, and I don't even want that now.  well, ok, I'd take it if someone could just hand it to me!  but lately, I look in the mirror and that's all I see.   I'm going to start simple and do 50 sit ups a day ... is that too much?  25 maybe?  so nevermind the number, just make it a habit to do some everyday.
  • drink more water!  I rarely drink soda, so I'm good there.  my problem is that I just don't drink, anything.  I can eat a meal without a drink at all.  is that strange?  when I do that too often, the headaches come.  those are not fun.  plus drinking more water will help me lose weight too.
  • floss daily & wear my lovely retainer regularly ... hey, its better than having to get braces again!  almost anything would be better than that!
  • start volunteering again somewhere, this time with Sam.  if possible, with Elliott too.
  • start a garden of anything edible, on my little patio if need be
  • get some guts and go get a brazilian.  and live to tell about it. seriously.
  • take a surfing lesson.  and live to tell about that too.
  • make it or break it with Avon
  • start working again in the design world somewhere.  I still hoping for something great to come from this home-staging class I'm taking.
  • get my tattoo redone, finally.
  • I really want to go home to see my fellow cheeseheads.  I miss my cheese!  this year will be, dare I say, 15 years since I've graduated ... is there ever 15 year reunions?  or is it every 10?  well, it'd would be a good excuse to go ... of course I wasn't huge on school spirit, but still, there are a few people I'd like to see and catch up with.
  • get good at finding & using coupons, AND, taking advantage of the loop holes to save lots of money.  have you seen that show on TLC about coupons?  this guy had a total of nearly $6,000, seriously, and after using all his coupons, his total was $250.  I would not have believed it if I didn't see it myself.  good grief!  now those people just buy whatever because they can get a screaming deal, often free, but I don't have the space in my home or the time to invest to get a huge stockpile going.  I know it can be simple, and I know I can do it for items we actually use &/or need.
  • I want to learn to use my camera, like REALLY use my camera.  I know I have a nicer one (Nikon D40), the nicest one I've ever had anyway, and, I'm embarrassed to say, all I use is the automatic setting.  I have funny kid moments to catch, beautiful Hawaii to capture, and I want to be ready!

that's what I've got so far ... good list?

ok, I realize, its on the selfish side. digging deeper, I've noticed that I have made it a habit to rely on a certain someone else to make sure I'm taken care of, with things like on this list.  obviously no one can physically do most of this stuff but me, but I needed someone else to make the time so I COULD do it.  since the beginning, my schedule had revolved around someone else's ... and now its 3 someone else's.  in all honesty, to be positive, to stay positive, if mama isn't taken care of, everyone else will feel it.  if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy ... there is some truth to that!

what's on your list?