Taking Out the Trash…

I was completely inspired and motivated by Caper Mom and her post about purging and cleaning out the clutter.

I am ready to take this journey to simplicity and getting rid of the clutter.  I went so far as call the local trash service and ordered a large dumpster.  So, I came home to a large container for my purging to begin.

I am so excited to begin this process.  This weekend for me will be full of simplifying my life and getting rid of things that no longer bring me joy. I’m ready for a complete overhaul of things that I are in my home.

Trust me. My work is cut out for me. I’ll be exhausted when I’m done.

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Wanted: Friendship

I have had some really good friends in my life.  However, it seems like it comes in waves.  I had a great childhood friend. I had a great young married friend, I had a great friend during my children’s younger years. I had a great friend during their high school years. They are all different individuals that have been in my life for a period of time, but as with all things, time changes you.  I consider all of them my friends still and they would be there if I needed anything.  I just don’t see them as often as I did during that season of my life.

I am beginning a new season in my life as my children are getting older. I have some really great people that I consider friends, but I don’t have that one person that I feel like I can go to if I need it.  Or someone that will go shopping with me just for fun.

I do have my mother, who will always be one of my best friends. Also, as my daughters get older, we are becoming closer friends than ever.

But, I think it is important for women to have that one great friend that understands and supports them through life. I don’t know if I have that at this time.  I’m seeking it like a treasure.

My Personal Achievements

When I first looked at the Photo Challenge this week, there were two things that popped into my mind.

1st Achievement is when I ran a half marathon.  I literally went from not being able to run a mile to running a half marathon of 13.1 miles in 4 months.  It is one of the things that I am most proud of. Another reason that I am proud of this achievement is because I ran this half marathon with two of my children, my brother, my niece, and a good friend.  I can remember hearing someone say that I wouldn’t be able to do it and I think that was one of my biggest motivators.  We ran the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville, TN.  It was amazing!

This picture isn't from the 1/2 marathon.  This picture was taken when two of my children and I ran the Color Run in K.C.  It was a blast!

This picture isn’t from the 1/2 marathon. This picture was taken when two of my children and I ran the Color Run in K.C. It was a blast!

The 2nd Achievement is getting my degrees.  I was able to get my Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree all while raising 4 children.  This is something that I felt like I was able to do for myself and feel good about it.  It was a personal achievement that no one could help me with and did myself.

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Of course, one of my other major achievements is raising this beautiful family.  I am so proud of my husband and I for raising such great kids that I kind, considerate, respectful, and fun.  They will always be considered one my greatest achievements.

My New Endeavor

For the past few months, I have been contemplating starting a new journey.  This journey involves me starting a new business.  I was introduced to this product on a random Saturday at a conference that I went to for my teaching job.

I was fortunate enough to meet a fellow educator in a district about 50 miles away that introduced me to Jamberry Nails.  Jamberry Nails are heat activated nail wraps in amazing colors and designs. She shared this product with me and gave me a free sample that day.  I was so excited to go home and try them on my own nails.

date night

I am such a girly girl in the fact that I love going to get my nails done and make them look beautiful.  However, since I am also a mother of 4, I can’t really afford the upkeep on acrylic nails.  Jamberry is way more affordable and just as attractive.  They are easy to apply myself and last like I didn’t believe.  I am very hard on nails, in the fact that I wash dishes, plant flowers in the flower beds, and clean house for a full family of 6. They do not chip.  They last 2 weeks on your fingernails and up to 5 weeks on your toes.  They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Jamberry Mani + Pedi

So, I have decided to jump in feet first as a Jamberry Independent Consultant.  If you are interested in learning more about the nail wraps, head on over to my website, www.cmackey.jamberrynails.net to learn more.  You will see all of the wonderful designs available for purchase.  One sheet of nail wraps will complete 2-3 manicures/pedicures.  So, they are very cost efficient.

I would love to help you with any questions that you may have and help you accessorize your look with great nail wraps.  You will be able to find a wrap that matches your mood or to go with the season/holiday.  Let me know if I can help you out with this.

santa suit and tinsel town

The possibility of earning money for my family all while using an amazing product also intrigued me.  I’m excited for the opportunities that this could bring to me and my family. If you, too, are interested in making some extra money and think Jamberry Nail Wraps could be the way to do that, let me know.  I would love to be able to help you get started on a business of your own.

If you would like to know more, I would be glad to share a free sample with you and send you a catalog.  Please contact me, if you would like to know more.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

This is the song that came to mind to me today as I was thinking about Soundtrack Saturday.

On Monday, we had a high temperature of 70 degrees and then we have had a high in the 20s and 30s the rest of the week.  So, In honor of our cold front that has moved in this week.

It was a pleasant day inside my warm home today.  I put on a pot of yummy ham and beans and snuggled under a blanket the rest of the day.  It was the best.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

I have always been a firm believer that people are as happy as they make their mind up to be.  Sometimes, we just have to make the conscience decision to make the best out of the hand we have been dealt or whatever situation we have been experienced.

When my daughter was in the midst of her teenage angst (some days it seems like it is still going on), I would tell her that she decides how happy she is going to be. She would go to bed with all of her woes and pick right back up in the morning where she left off.

Now, I would be lying if I said that I never felt the same way as that young teenage daughter of mine.  However, I really try to stay as positive as I can.  Negativity certainly has a way of overtaking your life, so it is best to keep it out.  There has a been a time in my life that I would describe as “The Dark Years.”  These were the years that I suffered from worry and anxiety about almost everything.

This week it has been a struggle to keep the positivity in my world.  Let’s just recap. A week ago, my daughter was involved in an accident that ended up not being her fault.  The good news is that she was completely fine, except for some rattled nerves.  But, now we are down a car.  So, we have been juggling get her to school, her to work, and me to work.  Now, my son’s truck is now having some troubles.  So, it is down now.

Talk about stress.  Nothing puts me in a worse mood than car problems. We are a very busy family.  So, when a car is down, it interferes with our schedules.  All of us have extremely schedules and we have places to be.

Needless to say, the week will improve for me when we get all of the car situations dealt with.  Meanwhile, we wait for the insurance companies to come through and we wait for my brother to bring over his tool that is needed. It would be very easy for me to worry about the outcomes and how terrible things could be, but I can’t let myself sink into the despair of the week.

So, I’m going to stay positive and pray that everything gets solved quickly and everything goes smoothly. I am blessed in many ways that I need to focus on.  My daughter wasn’t injured.  We have been able to get where we need to go with a little creative juggling.  My son at least has the money to get his truck fixed and I don’t have to worry about how he is going to come up with the money.

Johnny and June

Today’s song for Soundtrack Saturday is “Johnny and June” by Heidi Newfield.

I love this song.  This song was written about the iconic couple, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.  Their story was a true love story.  Their story was portrayed in the movie “Walk the Line.”  It showed how the two were there for each other throughout the years and their many hardships.  Johnny and June were married for 35 years before June died in May of 2003.  Johnny died four months later.

This kind of love is very rare and hard to find.  However, just this very week I witnessed a love of this very kind.  In our little neighborhood, there was a couple that we knew through various avenues. The wife got sick and passed away last year.  Shortly, after her passing, my husband went up to visit with him.  My husband shared their conversation with me after he returned home that day.  He shared a heart touching story of their love and told my husband that he was a broken man.  He had lost his best friend.  His wife and him had been married for 50+ years. His companion and mother of his children was gone.  This week, the man passed away.  His daughter even said that she believes that he had died of a broken heart.

These types of love stories touch the heart and makes you believe that true love stories can last.

In a Blink of an Eye

I sit here today and I’m not sure how I got to this point in my life. I am a middle age woman with adult children now. I do have a couple more that aren’t adults, if that is to make me feel any better.

This is so very hard for me for several reasons.

First, I don’t feel middle aged. I feel like I should still be in my mid 20’s.  In my mind, I am still feel like that young person that made impulsive decisions and lived in the here and now.  Now, my body is another story.  My body completely feels like the almost 40 version of myself.  I have the whole plantar fasciitis. So, when I get up from sitting for a period of time, I can barely walk. It is almost hysterical. I beginning to think that a cane could make my Christmas wish list.

Secondly, I get very sad thinking about the changes that are in my near future.  My adult children will soon be moving out of my house or trying to get married and moving away. I have devoted the last 20+ years to my children and they have been my everything.  I’m not sure how to let them spread their wings.  I can’t imagine not seeing them everyday and hearing about their day.  My heart will break.

Thirdly, I’m having a hard time remembering what it is that I enjoy doing.  Since, my last 20+ years have revolved around my kids, I don’t really remember the things that I like to do.  What are my hobbies? Do I have any hobbies? How do I figure out what my hobby should be?

Lastly, I worry about the relationship that I have with my spouse.  I love my husband and he really is my best friend, but I don’t really know if we have anything in common other than our children.  I worry that our kids will leave and we won’t know how to interact with each other anymore.  At this point, when we have alone time, our conversations always end up being about the kids.  I worry about this.  We need to find something that we can enjoy together and solidify our relationship.  We should really be starting to cultivate this renewed commitment now and not wait until the kids are gone.

Age and change alike can not be avoided.  So, I’m going to try embrace and enjoy the new eras that I’ll experience along they way.  I have wonderful memories that will go with me, but I know that more memories are to be made.

Easy Homemade Rolls

I am a bread fanatic. I love bread.  I even love crappy bread.  You know the hard to chew rolls that require water just to get it down.  With that being said, there is nothing better than smelling homemade rolls cooking in the oven.  That smell fills the house and makes my mouth water.

I have found an easy homemade rolls recipe that I use all the time.  Every time that I make these rolls, I always get rave reviews.  So, I’m going to share this with you today.

These rolls are made in a bread maker and that makes them even more easier than you could imagine.

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I start the recipe with heating 1 cup of milk in the microwave for 1:30.  I put the heated milk into the bread maker pan.  Then, I add one egg.

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I then add 3 cups of All-purpose flour.  (I’m sure that if you use bread flour, it would be better for the outcome.  However, I just use what I have on hand.

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I add in 1/2 cup of sugar into one of the corner of bread maker pan.

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Then, I put 1 tsp. of salt into the opposite corner of the sugar.

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I then put 3 TBSP of butter into one of the other two corners. Then, I take a butter knife to create a well into the center of the flour.  In that well, I put in 2 tsp. of yeast.

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Now, is when I put it in the bread maker and let it run on the dough setting on the bread maker.  Bread makers vary, but my bread maker’s dough setting runs for 1 hour and 35 mins.

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When the bread maker is finished with its cycle, I turn it out onto a floured surface. I knead the dough until it is no longer sticky.  Then, I divide the dough into 12 portions and create the rolls with my hands.

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I placed them in a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Then I cover and let them rise until doubled or a couple of hours. I then placed into a preheated oven at 350 degrees.  I cooked for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Then, I always enjoy them while they are warm with some butter on them.

Descent

This week’s photography challenge from The Daily Post is supposed to depict our view of descent.

My picture was taken in St. Louis, Missouri from the top of Gateway Arch.

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This was my second trip to the top of the arch.  However, this is the first trip that I remember. My mother tells me that she took me up when I was 3, but I do not remember that.  So, on this trip, I went to the top with 3 of my children.  It was a beautiful sight.

I thought I would share some facts about The Gateway Arch that you may not know.

  1. The Arch is 630 ft. tall and the legs of the Arch are also 630 ft. apart.
  2. The Arch is 63 stories tall.
  3. The Arch was designed to sway up to 18 inches in high winds, but it was also designed to survive an earthquake.
  4. It cost $13 Million to build the Arch.
  5. The construction of the Arch began February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965. The first tram to the top was opened to the public on July 24, 1967.
  6. The cost to ride the tram to the top of the Arch is $10 for 16 and older, while ages 3-15 costs $5.  (Very cost effective in my opinion)