It’s 2014 Already

Wow. It’s already a new year. 2013 happened so fast, it seems. In the last week, I’ve pondered over goals, and resolutions, and themes for the year, and a word for the year, and here’s what I’ve come up with: I hate those things. Not because they are inherently bad, they are quite the opposite actually, but because I have this inherent ability to let them slip. To just sort of fade into the February oblivion.

But I’ve decided to try anyway. So here’s my New Year, New You! (said with all the sarcasm that stupid phrase evokes) list of things I’d like to accomplish for 2014, God willing.

1. Blog more. Like once a week or so. Or at least once a month. Last year, I posted 31 new posts, up from 25 in 2012, but still down from a high in 2011 of 90. I feel like once a week might actually be doable. I don’t know. We’ll see. I mean, it’s already Saturday of the first week of 2014 so I’m really pushing it already.

In trying to decide how to accomplish this, I started brainstorming ideas and coming up with all these catchy little blog topics I could cover, like Mommy Mondays, or Toddler Tuesdays or Feel Good Friday, but I decided that as cute as those little organized ideas are, it’s really diverging from the heart of this blog, which is complete and utter randomness from the depths of my brain.

So I’ve decided I want to blog more and continue to cover such topics as Love: my kids and family and relationships and faith; Life: Parenting, motherhood, health, wellness; and Chocolate: the random stuff that doesn’t fit into any other category. I really want to give my kids more space on here, too. It’s such a precious time in their lives and I want to be able to look back and remember. And I really want to discuss the challenges and struggles we are facing as a family, along with the joys and triumphs of life.

2. I want to take off this last 20 – 25 pounds. And I really want people to understand that I lost 80 pounds out of sheer determination. I changed my diet (went vegan) and added exercise to my life. Things that actually work. I would really love it if people would stop questioning me and acting like they don’t believe me when I tell them how I did it. No, I didn’t do Medifast. No, I didn’t do Weight Watchers. And for the love of all that is good and holy, No, I did not have weight loss surgery!!

Now, don’t get me wrong, all those things are not bad, I’m not condemning anyone for using those methods of weight loss. But for goodness sake, if you’re gonna be bold enough to ask me what I did and drill me into describing exactly what and how I eat and feed my family, then please be willing to accept the answer I give you as truth. Don’t look at me like you don’t believe me. That just makes me mad because at the heart of it, it’s rude and condescending. You may think I’m crazy, and that’s fine. But it works, and you asked.

One day back in October of 2012, I decided I was done being fat. Done feeling sick. Done feeling tired. So I made up my mind, changed my diet, read a lot, researched a lot, prayed a lot, cooked a lot, exercised a lot, and it changed my life. The end.

3. Now this one is bold for me, but I’d like to really look into becoming a certified personal trainer. I have no idea exactly what’s involved, but I think it would be challenging and I love a good challenge. It’s something I would mainly do for myself, not necessarily to actually have clients and become a personal trainer to others, just really more of a personal goal.

4. Unplug. Man, that phone of mine takes up so much head space between the Facebook and the games and the emails, and the texts, and, and, and. I know I’m not alone in this desire. I’ve started by instituting a No Phone policy at the dinner table, and that goes for me and my husband.  I just need to get my face outta my phone and talk with my kids more. They’re pretty funny characters these days and sometimes I feel like I’m missing it. I need to take advantage of the time I have with them now, because I may not always have this luxury.

5. Spend time with friends. Deepen relationships and develop new ones.

6. Finally, and most importantly, study the Word. Delve into His presence. Worship and really connect with Jesus. Remember that He is my lifeblood. My sustainer. My provider. Without Him, I am nothing. (John 15:5)

And that about covers it, I think.

So happy new year, friends!

What are some of your goals or resolutions or words or themes for the year and how do you hope to accomplish them? I’d love to hear what others are planning for the new year.


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Potty Training…or something?

Okay, so I thought about making this a Facebook status update. But then I thought it’s just too momentous, it really deserves a blog post.

Because Aubin is doing something very strange, y’all. I think she’s potty training herself…Or something. If that’s even possible. I mean, she’s not even two yet.

Let me explain.

For a few months now, I’ve been saying this girl could probably potty train. She’s been telling me for a long time when she has pee or poop in her diaper. And she’s usually right. Lately, she’s been taking naps without any wet diapers, and within just the last few weeks, she’s started taking her diaper off, which on the surface is super annoying, and I figured it was just a phase. But maybe on a deeper level she just wants out of the dirty thing. She usually takes them off when they’re wet or dirty. Which is super gross, but whatever. It’s what mommies deal with.

So this morning, while I was getting her dressed to go to the gym, she took her jeans off and said she had to go to the bathroom. No kidding. She said she had to poop. And I was like, um, okay. So we did the sitting on the potty thing and while she clearly tried, nothing happened. So after fighting with her to get a diaper on, we went to the gym.

Fast forward to lunch. When we got back from the gym and were at the table eating lunch, she suddenly got down from her chair and said she had to poop on the potty and started taking her jeans off again. So I helped her get her diaper off and she ran to the bathroom. By the time I finished my bite of food and made it to the bathroom behind her, she had already climbed onto the toilet and peed. Next thing I know, she’s doing her business.

There was poop in the toilet people.

Then she said she was done and after I wiped her, she flushed the toilet and we washed her hands. Then we repeated this little exercise about ten more times over the next twenty minutes until she finished pooping. Which would have been funny if it wasn’t so annoying.

But seriously. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It took so much effort with her brother that even though she has shown the signs that she wanted to toilet train, I’ve just ignored it because I really didn’t think she was ready. Heck, I wasn’t ready. It’s a heck of a lot of work and I just haven’t wanted to deal with it. Diapers are easy. Dirty panties and messy, wet floors are not.

But now I’m thinking I just need to go with it. Especially since she basically fights me when I put a diaper on her anymore anyway. So when she gets up from her nap today, I think I’ll put panties on her.

So, yeah, maybe we’re potty training now.

Or something.


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Random Musings

Considering the fact that Thanksgiving is a couple of days away, you might think this is a post about all that I’m thankful for. But it’s not. Instead, this is a post of completely unrelated randomness. I could flood my facebook wall with these thoughts, but I decided to just throw it all into one stupid, weird post. So please forgive me, it’s just where my brain is right now.

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I cut and chop and measure and pour and boil and steam and bake. Every single day. I’ve got three sets of measuring cups and spoons in addition to my Pyrex glass measuring tools. And even then, sometimes it’s not enough. Because my brain has to work properly, too. The other day, I was measuring stuff into my food processor for a totally decadent healthy chocolate chip cookie dough dip and the recipe called for 1/8 tsp of baking soda. So I pulled out the 1/4 tsp and proceeded to measure out two of those and dump it in. Because 1/4 plus 1/4 equals 1/8 when you’re in a hurry. It’s okay, you can laugh at my expense.

I often listen to 24/7 Comedy on my iHeart Radio app when I’m at the gym. So I laugh out loud. A lot. The other day, my husband was there and he said every time I laughed, it kinda gave him a complex because he kept thinking I was laughing at him.  I bet he’s not the only one.  So if you see me in the gym with a big smile on my face or I’m absolutely guffawing, check my ears. If I’m wearing the ear buds, I’m not laughing at you. I’m probably laughing at Louis C.K. or Gabriel Iglesias.  If I’m not wearing the ear buds, well, draw your own conclusion.

I’m addicted to apple and peanut butter. Smucker’s natural peanut butter with Honeycrisp apples to be exact.

I think in the last two years, I’ve made no less than 2,347 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s their favorite.

My daughter is becoming a bully. She pushes kids that are littler than her just to watch them fall. If I weren’t slightly horrified, I might actually think it’s funny. Actually, I do kinda think it’s funny. No, I don’t. Yes, I do. That’s terrible.

My son has taken imaginary play to a whole new level. It’s getting really fun to watch. Plus it keeps him occupied which is kind of a bonus when I need to get stuff done.

I really want to see Mary Poppins again.

I have no desire to see Carrie Underwood in a live version of The Sound of Music. I mean seriously, why mess with a classic?  One year for my birthday, my whole family went to see The Sound of Music Sing a long at the Grand in Galveston. It was quite a fun experience.

I’m also addicted to watching episodes of Chopped on Amazon Prime.

We finally made it to Austin for our anniversary trip and had a great time and ate lots of yummy vegan food.  The best part, though, was my husband telling me that he likes my cooking better. Swoon. 🙂 While the hotel was really nice, the bed was rock hard. So I didn’t sleep very well and we drank lots of coffee.

Speaking of cooking…this is officially our second plant-based Thanksgiving in a row. On the menu is a lot of really yummy goodness that I’m looking forward to making and then devouring.

My daughter is almost two. And she is acting like it already. She’s strong willed and stubborn and can rock a time out all in a cute tiny little pudgy package. And I feel like I’m starting all over again on the discipline. What worked for her brother doesn’t necessarily work for her. So we’re figuring this out together.

My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed this summer after a sleep study showed he had obstructive sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils. In other words, he stopped breathing when he slept. Completely. Stopped. Breathing. Up to 37 times an hour. He also coughed a lot during his sleep before his surgery and the doctor’s said it was likely due to the tonsils being so big and surgery should solve the problem. But it didn’t. I felt so awful. Like I was a bad mom that couldn’t help my baby get a decent night’s sleep. And I put him through major surgery that didn’t help the cough. Although, it did help the snoring disappear, which also helped his apnea disappear, so it wasn’t for nothing.  Anyways, my husband was sharing this with his partner one day at work and she said the same thing happened to her nephew and it turned out that after a battery of tests, they discovered he had reflux that was causing the cough. So thinking this was a good possibility for my own kid, I called his pedi and he called out a script for liquid Zantac just to see if it would help. And I am amazed at the difference. Since the very first dose, he hasn’t coughed nearly like he had been. It’s crazy to me that just two weeks ago, he would start coughing the moment his head hit the pillow. And now, nothing. And when he does cough, it’s not the same hacking cough. I’m so excited that I think we finally figured it out.

That’s parenting though, isn’t it? A lot of on the job training. It’s good to have a plan in place and be intentional, but goodness, if you can’t think on your feet and call an audible, then you have no business being a parent. It’s by far the hardest job I’ve ever had. Some days I love it. Some days I don’t. And then snuggles come and erase a day of frustration. So I’ll take it. Struggles and all.

I love my babies. I adore my husband. They are my world.

And I think that’s it. My brain is purged. Well, almost. I can’t give all my secrets away. 😉

Time for an apple and pb snack with an episode of Chopped.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!


Posted in Aubin, Complete Randomness, Eli, Family, life, Marcus, Motherhood | 2 Comments

The Halloween Post

This year for Halloween, well, we kinda skipped the whole trick or treating thing. But it’s okay, because we had parties to go to the week before, so nobody missed a thing and most importantly, everyone got to bed on time which made mama happy. So without further ado, I give you…

Halloween 2013, Finney Style.

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Seriously. Is there a better couples costume for a family of vegans? I think not. Besides, we go together like peas and carrots. Har-har

And I must give credit to my amazing husband who sewed these bad boys with his own two hands. And his surging machine. Surger? Whatever it’s called, it sews. And he can use it. Like a BOSS.  See…

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I’m the BOSS of that there glue gun. On the floor. Mm, hm.

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The only picture I managed to get with the kiddos was at the second party we attended, the annual Halloween parade at the Danes. My peas was at work, so I went incognito and figured the kids could take the attention at this one. 😉

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That, my friends, is Dusty Crophopper (from the movie Planes), and the cutest little ladybug you ever did see.  Did you know that ladybugs love bananas? Well, now you do.

The Pumpkin Patch

The day before Halloween was beautiful so we headed on down to the pumpkin patch to get the requisite pictures with these cuties. Who of course, couldn’t care less about pictures. Or, you know, pumpkins. But whatever.

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Oh my word, y’all. Her expressions…

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…crack me up.

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Here’s a little pumpkin patch tip: when they’ve taken the time to set up a bench in front of the cute display, sit on the bench, not the hay. You might just sit on a metal stake and rip your pants. You’re welcome.

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Getting so big!

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Seriously, mom. I’m standing here. Why do you keep insisting I look at you?

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Someone found her happy place. La la la la la laaaaa….

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Again with the fidgeting and the pictures and the pumpkins. When will it end?

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Aaannndd, that’s as good as it gets, folks. But it’s better than last year. So at least there’s that.

Happy Fall, Y’all!


Posted in Aubin, Eli, Family, life, Marcus | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Is Tim home?

Mom calls me this afternoon and she’s pretty shaken up. She starts to tell me this crazy story that I’m gonna share with you.

She’s not been feeling well since last week, so she slept in today and just kinda hung out in bed. You know how you do when you’re sick. Anyway, around 10 or 10:30, she’s lying in bed and the doorbell rings. She just ignores it at first, but it rings again. So she gets up to answer. But as she’s putting on her robe, whoever is at the door starts banging on it. Banging. On her door.

So she hollers out to let whoever it is know that she’s home and she’s coming. As she nears the door, the man behind the cut glass, whose features she can’t really distinguish, hollers back at her, “Is Tim home?” And of course, she hollers back through the glass, that no, Tim is not home, they must have the wrong house. So the man gets back into his black SUV parked IN HER DRIVEWAY and proceeds to leave.

Alarmed, and not quite sure what just happened, other than getting that creepy crawly feeling that something was amiss, she thought enough to write the license plate down, although she didn’t call the police.

Not long after, her next door neighbor comes over to inform her that his house was broken into while he was at the store this morning and the police are there and has she seen anything suspicious?

Oh. Em. Gee.

Why, yes, yes she has. So she speaks with the officer and tells them her tale and gives them the license plate and it turns out that that vehicle was actually already in custody at that very moment, for that very thing. Guess they got caught at some other poor victim’s place.


It gets crazier.

Several months ago, we bought a Groupon for a two night hotel stay near Austin. We have until the end of the year to use it, so shortly after purchasing, we booked it for this week. This trip has been on the calendar for months.


Everything was all lined up for a fun anniversary trip. Just the two of us. Our first trip alone together since our honeymoon five years ago. We are due. And I’m so ready for a break. The plan included my mom coming over here to stay with our kiddos.

And then last week, Marcus got sick. Like flu sick.

And then Saturday, my mom got sick. Like flu sick.

And then Sunday, what looked like a small bite on M’s leg developed into a terrible infection that we thought would end up with him in the hospital on IV antibiotics. Thankfully, it seems to be clearing up with Rx’s and a big ol’ shot in the butt-ocks.

Since we could only cancel the reservation up to 72 hours before the trip, we had to make the call. So Sunday afternoon, during that atrocious Texans game, we called the hotel and  cancelled the reservation without any penalty and we are free to rebook it before the end of the year.  So at least there’s that.

But even though I know we’ll still get to go, I was super disappointed. And we just kept telling ourselves there’s probably some bigger reason why we had to cancel this week.

And then it rained buckets and buckets in Austin the last couple of days.

And then my 93 year old grandma got sick and is in the hospital in Ohio. (Prayers appreciated for a speedy recovery)

And then, here’s the crazy part. My mom was supposed to be at my house today. Not hers. Not laying in her bed, sick. And certainly not there to foil a robbery.

Coincidence? Maybe.

Or maybe it’s just God’s way of taking care of us. I don’t know.

And now, I’m sort of waiting. Waiting for the next thing to happen before we were originally scheduled to be home Thursday night. I keep thinking something else is gonna go down. I sure hope not. But I can’t help it. I’m kind of creeped out by it, actually. And I’m ready for it to be Friday.

Anyway, what I do know is this…I’m really, really thankful that they left when they found out she was home and that they were caught today.

Oh, and one more thing, TIM DON’T LIVE HERE, EITHER, so don’t come knockin’!

Be safe out there, friends.


Posted in Complete Randomness, Holy Cow!, life, Marcus | 2 Comments