Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Autumn!

Good morning friends,

It's been a crazy busy weekend that slipped over into my week. If you recall, I noted last week that my weekend was slated for cleaning, yep, that's exactly what I did. I went through Mason's clothes, shoes, toys, much of my stuff and every single little Post-It of paper. It was painstaking and as is the case, produced more work. I found the paperwork for the Miata that never got submitted to the DMV, insurance notifications from my knee surgery in June that when I read more closely stated they denied the claim, and just when I thought I would be on the hook for over $6,000, I found all of the preauthorizations for said knee surgery. All of this leads me to why I'm writing the Monday Motivator on Tuesday at 6:00 AM - I was at the DMV and on the phone with the insurance company much of the day yesterday. And when I wasn't tied up with all of that, I was taking a test for my Business 85 class and studying for a Physiology of Fitness test I have today.

The best part about all of this is that my house is clean and it feels, at least for the moment, like the clutter is back under control. When it starts to creep back in, I go back to what worked before, give away 10 a day, I walk through the house and I find 10 things that can go in the garbage, to Goodwill or be given to one of Mason's friends (as in shoes and clothes he's not wearing any longer). What do you do when you feel like the piles are taking over? Is it hard to let go of stuff that for some reason or another you think you need to keep? It's way easier for me, the hard part is making the time to actually go through it to see why I thought I needed to keep it to begin with.

Let me leave you this morning to start your day with Happy Autumn! I love this time of year and this one is especially exciting as we are going to New England for our 10th wedding anniversary! I can't wait! Dave has been planning this for more than a year. We will be renewing our vows at an Inn in Vermont with all the fall color for a backdrop. With that said, I have a request. If you feel so inclined, I would love to get a message from our friends and family to include in a box that we will open on our 20th anniversary. It would be best if it were sealed and noted on the outside, do not open until 2021. Anything you think would be fun to read about after 20 years of marriage. They can come anytime in the next few months but we will seal the box up at the end of the year and put it away until it's time to open it in 2021. What do you think, are you in? If so, e-mail me and I'll send you our address.

Have the best week ever!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Iron Chef at the Honey Festival

It's Monday and I'm a studying fool! Well, maybe not a fool if I'm studying, oh, I don't know! I'm seeing double having read so much today but not really up for yoga this afternoon. I'm not sure if my belly is knotted because I have two tests and a presentation tomorrow or maybe something else - just not feeling up to par.

This weekend was a usual Partak whirlwind. Mason played soccer on Saturday and his team won! Hooray! Last week they gave the cheering-rights to the other team so it was a good morale booster for the Lightning Balls. I spent the remainder of Saturday prepping food for an Iron Chef challenge in Granite Bay on Sunday. The contest was at the Honey Festival and boy was it a good time. Mason and Dante raced pinewood derby cars and Heather, TJ and I cooked in the challenge. Truly, the secret was in organizing my dishes with ingredients all pre-cut, chopped, sliced, diced, and measured. Even with the failure of one of my grills, I had a gorgeous plate of an appetizer, main course, and dessert ready in just 45 minutes! Add to that a honey themed cocktail and my garnish was actually a side dish. Yeah, I know, I'm a bit of an over achiever! Laughing. The only down side to the day is that the other team did not show up. I'm confident that we would have won had the other team showed up because I met the people (Yes! They were there!) and when they saw what I prepared, they came over and admitted their plan was not nearly in the same ballpark. Who knows. I know it was a lot of work, lots more fun, and team Red Headed Honey Bees won the hundred bucks. That's our team in the photo.

It's not uncommon for some of you to comment at how much we cram into a single weekend, but let me share with you, when we are all in bed asleep before 9 PM, it was a full weekend! Now I'm gearing up for a very busy school week and trying to find a way to get my house cleaned. Reading the calendar for next weekend, it says, "Don't write on me, Kathy has to clean house!"

If you are on facebook, will you check out Mason's video and vote? It's super easy and we only have 10 days left to vote - you can vote once each day. My competition got a plug from a blogger with a facebook page full of 12,000 + friends. We are still ahead, but they are closing the gap. here's the link if you're willing. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Already Tuesday!

How the heck does this happen? It's already Tuesday night and I'm just now writing my Monday Motivator. I can remember when I NEVER put a MM out late, yes, I said never. Well, I can also remember being responsible only for myself, going out until 2 AM dancing on a weeknight, and wearing smaller and cuter clothes! Today my life is all about Mason and his activities, our household and all the duties that fall under that header, and a full time school schedule. With that said, some things get done later than I would like and others don't get done at all. So be it.

Last weekend was full of fun. Friday Mason had a friend sleep over and what started out as a cam pout on the front deck turned in to being scared of ghosts and the two of them sleeping in Mason's room. Saturday Mason played his first soccer game and let's just say, it's all about having fun, right? " 'Nuff said. We took the boys to the Gold Country Fair here in town and they had lots of fun seeing their friends and riding the rides. Saturday night we met up with a group of friends and danced and sang along with Tainted Love, a great 80s cover band. I bet you are thinking, Wow! What a fun weekend. But we're not done. Mason and I got up really early on Sunday morning and each made a batch of cupcakes for the contest at the fair. Mason made a chocolate cupcake from a mix to which he added all kinds of candy bar pieces and then decorated with guess what? More candy! He called his entry "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" Pirate Booty Cupcakes. I made a spicy fig cupcake with honey cinnamon frosting. There were 14 entries in the youth category and 28 entries in the adult category. Mason took 2nd place and I took 1st place*. It was especially fun because Mason is old enough now to do all the steps. I posted the pictures below so you can see what a wonderful journey it was for him. If' you've been with me since the beginning, you'll recall photos of Mason decorating cookies as young as three years old. He's come a long way and I'm especially proud of him.

While we were having all this fun, Mother Nature has been going crazy with lightening and flash floods. Luckily, it's mostly at higher elevations, but the light shows have been wonderful! Now we're all back to work and school (some of us, both) and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done. I know you understand, your life is equally busy. Happy Tuesday and welcome to almost fall!

Mason's Cupcake Baking Journey to 2nd Place!

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Long Lazy Weekend

Happy Labor Day weekend! As tradition has it, Dave is usually at his Pacificon game convention while I am home with Mason. This year we broke the mold and Mason and I went with Dave. The convention provided us with a gorgeous suite that we used to visit, relax and just have a really great time. Mason and I spent some time at the pool, but he spent most of his time learning the games Dave loves to play and even finding a few of his own interests. I did homework and met Lisa A. in San Mateo for lunch and some window shopping. Other than missing my mornings at the river, we had a really nice, low key weekend.

On the contest front, I am currently in two that I have a really great chance of winning. If you are on Facebook and wouldn't mind "checking a box," (one just says vote and the other is clicking on thumbs up), I would sure appreciate your votes. There is no registration for either contest, all you need to do is click the box - once each day. Thank you for helping. Here are the links to the facebook pages or you can find the links to Mason's video's from my wall.

Video is titled "Rafting Fun."

Video is called "Cartwheeling for a Klondike"

Again, SUPER easy!

I will post pictures of the convention on my blog for anyone who wants to see just what it is Dave does with these little figures Dave paints and plays games with. I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day and are headed into a productive new week!


I don't know what many of these games and figures are, but it was sure fun looking around. Oh, and did I mention all these little figures are 15mm to 25mm in size and hand painted? Yes!