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We get so caught up in the almighty dollar. It dictates whether we can eat, or clothe ourselves, what kind of education (if any) we get, and just about everything in between. So many people, myself included, have been too busy “earning a living” to just live. How much time is wasted while waiting for “a better time”. There is no better time than now and tomorrow is not promised. 

I didn’t come to this easily. In fact, it took some really harsh smacks by reality to get here. My husband suffered a severe accident at work several years ago. He survived, but he’s not the same. We’ve been mourning that loss ever since. Then my dad developed cancer, I lost 2 grandmothers–one to cancer and one to old age, another family member developed cancer, and an old friend disclosed that she’s now struggling with cancer again. While I have my own health issues, I’ve never had cancer. I cannot possibly begin to understand the personal hell each of these individuals has walked through in their journey. What I can understand is that time keeps moving, and while my job will be there tomorrow, my loved ones may not be. And spending time with friends and family enriches me beyond words.

So here’s a list of things I will not regret:

  1. Taking time to visit old friends
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. Instituting regular family activities with my kids
  4. Indulging my passion for a good book (or twenty)
  5. Allowing myself to just be
  6. Increasing the family musical instrument collection
  7. Prioritizing down time for both myself and my husband
  8. All the hours spent holding my babies 
  9. Finding the beauty in every day
  10. Anything done that brings some joy to someone else.

Instead of focusing solely on survival, I started focusing on the memories. I cannot regret that. 

NOLA Cuppa

That first cup of coffee in New Orleans! Can’t wait to get back!

Coffee a'la Dipity

Or breakfast last Saturday.

ImageWhile we didn’t quite welcome it in with a bang, our low-key family celebration was just what we needed. With 4 kids, including one newborn, “going out” on any night is a ton of work. When you add in a holiday and let’s just say that’s not happening in my world. Luckily, we decided that New Year’s Eve was a “stay in” holiday several years ago. Generally we have a fancy supper (prime rib anyone?), and invite friends and family over. This year due to various health issues and the new baby, it was just us. We really didn’t mind. 

As usual, I made way too much food. (Wait, is there such a thing as “too much food”–with growing boys in the house I don’t think so!) We had cheese/crackers, fruit, nuts, pizza dip, antipasto kabobs, chips, pretzels. Then for dinner we had glazed ham and cheesy potatoes. And dessert–chocolate strawberry cream cheese strudel. Yum!

The kids really enjoyed playing with some new games including my personal favorite–The Hobbit Scrabble. That’s right–it’s Scrabble with a twist! It was so much fun watching them try to make Hobbit words to get extra points. The New Year managed to sneak right up when we weren’t looking and before we knew it midnight had passed. I have to say a nice quiet ending to the prior year and a quiet beginning to this year suits me just fine! 

 

raspberryJust wandered over here to see how long it’s been. Wow! Over 2 years since I’ve posted. Not that it’s been over 2 years since I’ve had a “little indulgence” but I’ve been so busy living that I didn’t bother to write about it.

However, I recently found myself struggling to find ways to pamper myself without breaking the bank (especially with another baby on the way). It really is the simple things–an ice-cold glass of iced tea on a hot day. Walking in the rain. Sitting down to supper with your family. These are what keep you going through the hard times.

Since we bought our house last year, we were able to put a small garden in this year and have been enjoying the fruits of our labors. Fresh sugar snap peas, yellow beans, and my personal favorites–big fat black raspberries right off the vine!! That’s what summer’s all about.

ATS represent! Durrah tells us what to buy and where to buy it.

HippyMom says you are your own soul mate. You complete… you. Dig it?

Ladyhawk manifests her latest huaca.

A different kind of shimmy hits Kozmique.

Melia takes a break from Debauchery week to snuggle with her Blankee!

Moving forward is MamaBirdie’s next step. Get it?

Nefertitties is the luckiest beach around, tetanus and all.

The Bean is a budding evil mastermind. Really.

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MamaBirdie reunites, and it feels so good!

LadyHawk reveals a secret.

Destination: Maine! Nefertitties trips out!

When it doubt, gradmama books it to the coast.

Melia spends some QT with her favorite Zombie hunter.

Koz joins the Digit@l Pros(e) ranks, and comes out with style!

FunkyBlueLovin’ imagines me and you, and you and me… no, wait, she’s just manifesting her perfect life.

Got Tribal? Nefertitties does, and now has a piece of paper to prove it. She also just turned 31, and desperately needs a party… with spankings!

Speaking of birthday parties, Scarlet Mae goes from peaceful beach retreat to preschool party central, in a matter of hours… with pepsi.

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs. Melia, are you listening?

HippyMom sucks, blows and gets dirty, with the help of a PervyBird.

MamaBirdie knows she’s never really alone.

Stumbling on a cure for her ills, Yums gets all tingly.

My life: constantly on the go. Always something happening, frequently several somethings happening all at once. Until everything just stops. Or, I get sick. Like most parents, I rarely just get “sick” if I’m getting sick, I’m getting really sick. Can’t get out of bed, can’t lift my own head, my body’s done until whatever it is passes, sick. I spent the majority of last week feeling like I was breathing through a bowl of water. A trip to the Dr. at the beginning of the week confirmed that there was something starting to take hold in my lungs. Great…just what any busy working parent needs–the start of pneumonia.There went all my grand plans for the week.

My family tends toward more natural approaches first. This time, I was coming off 2 work weekends in a row with absolutely NO break on the one day off I had. There just wasn’t enough of anything left to try to fight this off on my own. So, with a prescription for antibiotics and a Dr’s note for two days off work, I tumbled into bed. There I stayed for most of the next 2 days.Luckily, I have a stay at home spouse who can take care of the rest of the family when I just stop and a job that has sick leave. I had the luxury of staying in bed those 2 days while my body worked to heal itself.

Somewhere in between begging the universe to let me rest or just take one tiny breath without coughing for an hour and restless bouts of napping, I came up with the brilliant idea to get something with eucalyptus to help ease my breathing. Better yet, since my back was hurting, why not get something I could use in the bathroom. Maybe a shower steam or something? Hmm….so, late in the evening the day before I had to return to work I made an impromptu run to the local big-box store in search of something with eucalyptus.

What I found was something that not only eased my breathing but also made all my muscles feel totally relaxed in a way that usually only comes at the hands of a masseuse. The name on the bottle read Aches & Pains, I chose it because it contained the Eucalyptus I was looking for. As I poured the salts into the water, I was enveloped in the strong smell of eucalyptus. Adding some bubbles–I love bubbles–from the same line, I just sat for a minute to enjoy the easing sensation I get from the eucalyptus oil. When the tub was full, I grabbed a book and sank into the hot sudsy water.

For the first couple minutes, it was just another bath. Slightly more fragrant than normal (man, that eucalyptus is strong, even when the lid is closed), but still just a regular bath. Then the warming started. I felt it first along the backs of my legs, this gentle warmth that penetrated deeper than just the water. It spread to my back, my belly, my hips. Every sore place on my body that was in contact with the water was warm and tingling and relaxing. Sitting there soaking in the water, I could literally feel the muscles start to relax. The tightness in my chest and back began to ease. I just felt……good and warm and sleepy.

The first rush of air on my wet skin created this penetrating coolness, as relaxing as the warmth. It was all I could do to pour myself out of the water. Wrapped in an absorbant robe, I collapsed into bed. My entire body felt loose, relaxed, and pain-free. My husband was kind enough to rub some lavender oil into my back so the skin wasn’t overly dry and with the combination of relaxed muscles, an eased chest, and the aromatherapy I collapsed into one of the best night’s sleep I have had in a very long time.

I have to admit a weakness for a good cheesecake. Normally, I’m a plain NY-style girl. Keep all the fruity, chocolaty stuff for someone else. There’s just something so comforting about a thick slice of creamy, tangy plain ole’ cheesecake. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

I love cheesecake so much, it’s my “birthday cake” of choice. Occasionally, I’ll get my cheesecake with some berry sauce on top. Tart-sweet berries are a wonderful compliment to the creaminess of cheesecake.

Today, I literally found a deal I could not pass up. I love to shop and finding a great deal is a game in my family. When I saw the fudgy-looking cheesecake sitting on the clearance rack at the grocery for a mere $3.50, I had to have it. Really, even if it was awful–for that price it’s worth a try. The flavor–chocolate covered cherry.

The pre-cut pieces are much too large for one serving. So, we cut a slice in half. The inside was bright pink–a lovely compliment for the dark topping. It was like eating chocolate covered cherries–without the liquid centers. The smooth cherry flavor paired perfectly with the semi-sweet topping. It was one of those really thick, creamy, two-bites-and-you’re-done cheesecakes.

Tomorrow, I’ll try a small slice frozen. I’ll even share a bit with my little cheesecake loving sister. Just one bite and I was in dessert heaven. That, truly, was the best $3.50 cheesecake I have ever had!

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