Monday, February 4, 2013

Crazy, Beautiful Life....

I will blog more.  I will blog more.  I will blog more.  I keep thinking if I say it, it'll happen.  You remember, "If you build it, they will come"? The title of this post basically sums up my surroundings.  At the moment, I'm trying to mother and wife (I can use that as a verb, right?), friend, daughter, sister, teach and study, all while maintaining some level of cleanliness and sanity in my home.  Piece of cake, right?  I understand that, most of the time, I seem to be turning these blog posts into A. bitch sessions or B. "woe is me" sessions.  Here's the deal.  No one has time to hear me bitch or complain around here.  You are a captive audience.  So there.  And, yes, I understand that I just used the "B" word twice.  I searched for other options but couldn't find any that quite fit the bill.  Apologies in advance.  Enough with the "B" attitude.  How about some pictures of my precious girls to lighten the mood?

I've been back on the "healthy cooking" kick around here.  Hanna hates my guts, but everyone else is cooperating.  My Chlo is literally the "world's best eater". She had a wonderful babysitter, who cooked and fed her real food every day.  Hence the love of broccoli. 

We spent some real time with Bill's best friend and his girls.  Seriously, how many people can say they have the same best friend after 35 years? (More on that topic later).  His sweeties, Langley and Lillian, are stair steps in the middle of my girls and they all had the best time together.  
One of those heart smiling moments for sure.  

This is Chloe with her buddy, Molly.  Long story short, Chloe went to the bathroom with Molly AND helped her get cleaned up.  You can complete the rest of the story on your own.  Molly's mom, Becky, and I were laughing SO hard we had tears.  In Becky's words "Chloe is a REALLY, REALLY good friend!"

Chloe went to her buddy, Emma's, Princess Tea Party a few weeks ago.  It was really one of the cutest things I've ever seen.  Ten 6-year old girls, princess dresses, finger sandwiches.  However, the zillions of dollars of antiques surrounding them sent me into palpitations a time or two.  You've met my girl, right?

We cheered on the Herd against ECU.  We won.  Chlo walked in the door and began to make her concession stand check list.  Blue snow cone was obviously at the top.  

On MLK Day, Chloe announced that she wanted to go "hit some balls".  Daddy jumped straight up to head outside.  She seriously drove this ball at least 50 yards.  Finished her swing.  
Bill looked like the cat that ate the canary.  

I turned 34 last weekend.  Yep, I said it.  And survived it.  I've shed the typical "I'm looking old and fat" tears, but I'm basically over it now.  Sweet friends took me to dinner Saturday night to celebrate.  We had an old women date which consisted of my favorite things:  dinner, book store and Starbucks.  I came home to find my entire family down for the count, so these little gems made up the remainder of my evening.  Side note:  "Beautiful Disaster" is one of my favorite books from the past 10 years.  It's not very academic, but man, is it fun to read! I seriously started it on Thursday (home with a sick Chlo) and read ALL day until the evening.  I think it made me feel young.  Whatever the case, I'm counting the days until the sequel comes out. 

Driving to Hanna's game the other evening, this little gem came on 90's on 9.  Yep, Color Me Badd.  I took this pic for my BFF, Sara.  We both had this cassette, most likely purchased from Hill's.  Mine broke I played it so much.  She and I actually had a lengthy text convo the other evening about Boys II Men and how many members they had.  She text me yesterday morning to tell me "Motownphilly" was playing in her gym locker room.  Little things make my day. 

We got a little snow.  Chloe was ready to head outside.  I could eat her up.  

Trying to redeem my Mommy love, I made homemade cinnamon sugar doughnuts for above mentioned snowy morning.  They loved me a little bit extra.  I do whatever I can around here. 

Upon inserting these photos, I realized that my Hanna seems to be left out in the cold in the photo area.  Let me clear things up:  She's almost a teenager and hates to have a picture taken.  Period.  Refuses to smile, most times, when I do talk her into it.  So there.  I'm not a Mama that plays favorites.  I don't think Chloe is cuter.  She's just more accepting of my photo taking madness.

To update you on my new year's resolutions:  Eating healthier, hitting treadmill when I can, and haven't bitten my fingernails in a month.  That's right.  Peeps who know me know this is HUGE.  I must say that I am super proud of my hub.  He's been "treadmilling" every evening.  This is major.  Not complaining about my baked, not fried, dinners.  I think he's actually on board.  I could kiss him when I think of his lack of complaining lately.

Also, crazy cleaned out my closet, my kitchen cabinets and my living room tables just this weekend.  It's amazing what makes me crazy happy.

Here's to a week filled with two hour delays for school, treadmill time, healthy eating, lots of hugs and smooches and little to no "B" time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A little, baby update...

Only my friends from Genoa will get the title of this post.  No, no babies here.  Just a little inside joke between some of the BEST friends a girl could ask for.

Short and sweet.  No soda for a full week.  Watching every bite I put in my mouth.  Not dead yet.  They say that doing it my way is the wrong way and that you have to ease into diets, don't over analyze.  Not me.  Balls to the wall or nothing at all.  Yep, I really just said that.  Anyhow, ran yesterday.  Again, still alive.  I've also inspired something in Bill to hit the treadmill.  He's taking 40 a tad harder than I ever imagined, so I think his treadmill time is helping a little.  Thank goodness.  A pouting man is a tough thing to handle.

After my non-PC styling above, I can't believe I'm talking about God and church in the next breath.  Let me just say that this resolution has been a wonderful choice.  Reading every morning and evening have been key.  Starting and ending the day with God.  Making time to meditate.  Texting my church girls everyday for a little boost (both ways).  Praying with my girls on the way to school every morning.  All is well with my soul.

My house is still reasonably clean and my laundry is caught up.  This is HUGE.  Usually, I'll kill myself and within 3 days it looks like we live in a condemned building.  Instead, I've been taking 20 minutes every evening and doing a clean sweep.  Loading and running the dishwasher in the morning is keeping my kitchen cleaner than ever.  Praying that I keep this up--I'm a happier person when I don't live in filth.

Promising pics next post...I know you're sick of hearing from me 
and not seeing the faces of my mostly sweet girls....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year....

It's officially the beginning of 2013.  When 2012 began, I embarked on what I decided was going to be the "year of Amanda", most pointedly getting healthy.  I quit pop, started eating healthy and started running....religiously.  And, then, like the best laid plans, it started to fizzle.  But, not without a heck of a fight.  I completed Couch to 5K TWICE, didn't drink a sip of Diet Coke until July and continued healthy eating for most of the year.  Then, I started a new job.  It all quickly fell apart.  I was drinking 2 huge Diet Cokes a day just to survive.  Working out never.  Eating whatever I could shove in my mouth in the 5 free minutes I had for a "lunch".  I did have some success.  I lost 30 pounds overall, but have since gained back 20 of it.  My body does a good job of hiding the fat (I credit big boobs), but it's definitely there.  As I'm getting older, I see it sagging and bagging in new spots, too.  So, to begin 2013, I'm making new resolutions.  People say the worst times to make them are at the new year, but not for me.  I look at January 1 as a new beginning, clean slate, get out of jail free card.  So, as a back up plan, to hold me accountable when times get tough, I'm baring it all.  Putting it all out there.  I'm doing this in hopes that you'll back me up.  Be my cheering section.  I'm taking before pics tomorrow, however, I'm not comfortable in posting those just yet.  Baby steps.  But, I hope to do that before too long.  When I do, I'll know that I've made progress.  Again, baby steps.

My second goal is to grow in my relationship with God.  I have to read my Bible more.  I have to pray more.  I have to study more.  These are not ideas to be taken lightly.  I feel that my relationship with the Lord grows each day, each year.  It's a maturing relationship.  I am blessed to have the BEST church and church family that a girl could ask for guiding my path.  I have a mother in law who is one of the best Christian women that I've had the opportunity to know, who could not be more supportive.  I see this goal being an easily attainable one.

As for my third goal, it's still up in the air.  Come back to me on that one.

I heard today that what you do on January 1st guides the remainder of your year.  I prayed, I cooked, I cleaned like a crazy woman, I had great time with my loves and had a wonderful dinner with my in-laws.  If this is any indicator of what 2013 will bring, I'm ready.  Bring it on.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year....

Cheesy, I know.  But, the truth's the truth.  I am a Christmas lover.  I super Christmas freakazoid.  Most people tend to get overwhelmed at some point, but not this girl.  Especially now that Christmas break is in full effect at the Preece house.  I'm loving me some December.

Our elf, Darwin, made his appearance in early December.  To celebrate his arrival:  Pancakes with chocolate syrup and marshmallows for dinner. Main elf food groups, right?

Our sweet Miss Donna came by school to visit.  Donna was Hanna's KG aide when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  Last year, when she was Chlo's aide, the cancer returned.  She's such a fighter! We don't see her as much as we wish, so we savor every minute we get to spend with her.  She is #1 on Chlo's prayer list every evening, no matter what.  

Our Pioneers won the state championship for the 2nd straight year and we cheered them on in Wheeling.  Why do 12 year olds have to be so obnoxious at times?

My Dad turned 57.  I thought he was turning 54 and it felt like I had been kicked in the gut.  I'm having a little bit of a hard time with my parents getting older.  Needless to say, he's good with it.  Yes, he's modeling a one piece fleece PJ covered in beer mugs.  Because that's how he rolls.  

One of those "favorite picture ever" pictures.  I love their major discussions.  

We had a little Saturday night sleepover.  Nakayla and Hanna have been friends since Pre-K.  I love this girl.  

JamiLyn, cousin and BFF, came over to play the same evening.  They had ice cream pre-dinner. Because that's how I roll. 

Chloe's class had their Christmas celebration/PJ Day on Thursday.  How stinking cute can you get?!

This is Chloe's "boyfriend", Caleb.  He really bought her a little necklace for Christmas.  She is pumped.  
Her Daddy is not. 

And to leave you with ultimate Christmas cheer:  My daughter, full of Christmas spirit, especially when she doesn't win a game.  


Sunday, November 25, 2012

I stink.....

Alright, not literally.  But metaphorically, I'm one big pile of loserness when it comes to my blog.  My sweet little blog that I cared for so much at the beginning has been put in the backseat.  When I have to make a priorities list, unfortunately homework for my Master's (which is ALMOST finished, praise Jesus!) beats blog every time.  But not this morning.  When a sweet teenage cousin texts you and says "Update your blog! It's been a month!", that little push alone makes all of the difference.

I was going to start with what's going on lately, but I realized it really had been OVER a month, and Halloween pics never got posted.  So, this is going to be a gigantic photo album of randomness (which I'm sure you'll appreciate more than my ramblings).

Costume #1 of 3 this year....
Book Character Day at school = Junie B. Jones 
(I think the author based Junie B. on joke.  If I ever hear that there's making a movie version, I'm on a plane to LA ASAP for her audition).

Hanna's too cool to dress up (middle school and all).  However, her fantastic reading teacher held a "Reaping Day" so the kiddos got in on The Hunger Games action.  

You can't really tell how cute she looked in this picture, bow and arrow and all.  

Being the silly, ridiculous teacher that I am, I went with a book character that my kids are currently obsessed with--Fancy Nancy.  They were so tickled, that it made the red, itchy, too little wig (you'll see it again in a second on a much smaller head!) all worth it.  One of my BFF's, Ginny, came to school looking very normal.  However, she got "sick" while the kids were in computer lab, and their substitute, Viola Swamp, showed up.  She made 2 kindergarten kiddos cry.  Because that's how we roll. 

Costume #2, wig-sighting #2
Trick or Treat in Huntington (where my parents live) as Merida the Brave. 

Costume #3
Hanna's Pocahontas costume from this age, which was found in the bottom of the coat closet that very morning.  She told me she's actually "Pocahontas's sister" because she was blonde. 

Trick or Treat, round 2. 
Hannah, Chloe and Ava. 
BFD's (Best Friend Daughters) 

Since Chloe's just 6, we decided it would be a good time for her to sleep in her own bed.  This lasted a week.  As we speak, she's in the middle of my king size and Bill's on the couch.  Fun times.  

I made the mistake of trying to take a shower on Election Day and came out to this....a bowl full of sugar.  Exact words:
"You know better than to try to take a shower, Mom."

Chlo and I, rocking our vote. 

Remainder of Election Day was spent blowing, raking, hauling leaves.  The first of FIVE times. Grrr.....

Reese got in on the action, too. 

I spent last weekend chaperoning the kiddos from Hanna's BETA Club at their State Competition.  It was actually a wonderful time.  This is Hanna and her buddy, Rileigh.  You can see the kids are holding photos, etc.  BETA is an academic service organization and I was super impressed by the caliber of kids that are invited.  The kids compete in crafts (like photography and cross stitch, just to name a few), as well as academic testing.  I was super duper proud of my girl! 

The rest of the WMS crew the night of awards....

And, I really have no pictures of Thanksgiving.  Because my sister in law usually takes enough for 10 families and I just relaxed for a minute.  So, I'll leave you with this mantle pic.  My favorite time of the year. Period. 

I pinky-swear (as my blogging friend, Nicky, says) that I'll be back sooner the next time.  Two more assignments for this semester then I'm FREE until January!! Two more semesters and then I'm FREE forever! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

To Be Honest.....

To be honest, I've typed this particular post three times now.  First edition: so negative it made my stomach ache. Second edition:  no less negative, just stated in a sweeter way.  Then I started going through my photos since the last post and decided that I don't have one thing to gripe about.  OK, I actually have plenty to gripe about.  I'm exhausted, over scheduled, absolutely stressed to the point of no return.  Crying in the kitchen stressed.  Crying during my planning period alone in my classroom stressed.  My husband suggesting I take a day off this week because I "need" it stressed.  But, who isn't?  I tend to do things to myself (i.e. volunteering for whatever needs taken care of, deciding I'd rather do whatever myself than ask for help) and get myself to this point.  Something I have to work on for sure.  But, until then, I'll smile through, cry in private and deal.  It's life.  Alright, somewhat negative.  But nothing like what I was expecting you to sift through 10 minutes ago.  Thank me later.  

My Hanna Grace is growing up.  This is a whole other post all together.  We've been having a tough time lately.  I adore my child.  I promise I do.  But, I can't help but want to scream at the top of my lungs at her on a daily basis.  Please tell me I'm not the only one.  I can remember my mother and I fighting when I was her age, but for some reason, I don't think that it was anything like this (I'm sure I'm mistaken).  So, let me just end this mother of teenage girl pity party by saying she is beautiful, inside and out.  Sometimes, we just butt heads.  Life.  Period. 

She went to her Homecoming dance a few weeks ago.  I thought she was the prettiest thing there.  Biased.  Maybe.  But not really. 

I love that her dress was age appropriate, she wanted me to do her hair and makeup and she wanted to wear flats because you can "dance better".  
Can I just say I wish they made dresses with pockets when I was going to dances?

Hanna, her cousin Sabrina, and baby girl. 

Hanna has always looked like her Daddy.  Never like me.  However, I posted this pic and my best friend said "I can't believe I'm saying this.  She looks like you".  I love that we're standing the exact same way.  I guess she is her mother's daughter sometimes.  

I took Chlo on a hot date to see "Finding Nemo", which I was just as excited about as she was.  One of my all time favorites.  She lasted for most of the date.  

My kiddos have been working on looking at numbers as a group of five plus some more.  We illustrated a number to show our understanding.  They're really doing a great job!

The reason I teach.  

My teaching friend, Ron Maynard, is a caving and bat expert.  He did a little presentation for the kiddos to kick off my bat unit I'm starting this week.  You can only imagine how excited they were with this! 

We've been cheering on The Herd at the Preece house.  I love this picture.  Every MU game, I make Gray, Hanna and Chlo stand and let me take their pic.  This has been a tradition since Hanna and Grayson's first MU game when they were two.  Look at the faces I get.  

This picture basically sums up their relationship.  She absolutely adores him.  And he secretly adores her.  It's the big brother, little sister relationship in a nutshell.  

My husband, the low country boil tailgate cooking king. 

Hanna has the BEST group of friends.  Can you tell she's a bit of a tomboy? 

I'll leave you with a Chloe photo bomb:) 

Wishing everyone a less stressed week.....

Saturday, September 22, 2012


My poor little blog.  It's definitely suffering from the back to school blues around here.  For the past two weeks, every morning, I've thought to myself "I need to blog".  But, then, I just do it in my head and it never makes it onto the computer.  So, here goes. A total mess, make you want to gag, too many photos, super random post.

Chloe and I are both in first grade now.  Actually, she's in the classroom next door to mine.  I've never had the opportunity to teach where my kids go to school until this year.  I must say that it makes my life 100000 times easier than I could ever imagine.  She goes to school with me, comes to my classroom after school, and I can stay late if I need to with no worries.  However, this is how we both feel about 6 o'clock each evening.  Not kidding.  Day 2 of 1st grade.  

We've been watching a lot of Pioneer football, too! We're 4-0 at the moment and heading toward another State Championship this year.  This is how Chloe travels between the car and the bleachers--by way of Grayson.  She already has these boys wrapped.

I HAD to have a girl's night or I was going to die.  Like had a little nervous breakdown the day before.  Even though Ginny, Lisa and I work in the same school, we really don't see one another at all.  And, gosh, do we miss Lara.  So, catch up was absolutely necessary.  

Listen, I know this is the WORST photo ever taken.  
But, folks, this is what true love (and too much sangria) looks like. 

OK, I could not get this to rotate.  But this is the best. picture. ever.  
Teenage girl picture in the bathroom.  We still gots it, ladies.

I've been fall decorating like a crazy girl.  It's my FAVORITE time of the year, hands down.  Found this little gem at Kroger of all places.  I'm breaking down and getting the matching cookie jar this weekend.  

The joy this new little love has brought to my life is unspeakable.  Keurig should hire me as their PR person.  

Another thing that has taken up a huge amount of life time lately.  I'm really coaching middle school volleyball...because I didn't have enough to do.  However, getting to hang out with my daughter and her buds every evening after school and teaching young ladies how to act like young ladies and good sports has really been a great thing.  

Too cute not to include.  Baby's first golf clubs.  She's so stoked, that her Daddy is the happiest he's ever been.  Exact quote from a little practice in the yard last weekend "Dad, how do you want me to finish my swing?"  I've never seen him smile so big.  

We've been cheering on the Herd the past two weekends tailgating our butts off.  Bill and I are both Marshall University alumni (and current students), so we decided that this fall, we were going to make the most of the football season.  It's been a great time! Gotta love 6-year olds that find it necessary to throw gang signs in every photo taken. 

My sisters-in-law, Deb and Kim (with a little Chlo for good measure). 

Another one of Bill's proudest moments.  A daughter who loves to watch football.  

And, a little something to think about to end with.  This past weekend, at WUMC, the message was on teaching our children to love Christ.  My friend, Kara, and I only had one study guide between us, so we snapped a photo to keep on our phones.  One thing that really stuck with me was the idea of "If we don't bring our children to the feet of Jesus, then who will they serve?"  
Obviously one of those that sticks with you. 

Gearing up for a big week! Hanna's homecoming is tonight (tons of pics to follow) and my kiddos at school are killing our apple study.  I'm so pumped with their progress!
Happy Weekend!