Friday, April 5, 2013

The Challenge

52 week money challenge. Are you in? It is essentially a dollar to correspond to each week of the year. As in $1 for week of January 1st and $52 for week of December 31st- and by that last week, you have over $1300 of your own money, saved, stress free.

It is not too late either- we are only in the $14 week, so to catch up, all you need to put in is $76 or so. I know people who are doing this in reverse too, which is BRILLIANT- so they started with putting in $52 at week one, so that come Christmas time, when we are all chasing that paper- lol- all they have to put on is like $2. Oh- and you can't borrow from the money EVER. It doesn't exist until December 31st. Go on, I challenge you!

To all my ballin' pradists out there, you can double or even triple your weekly amount. Big things poppin'.

Wealth not riches,

A day late, but...

Nine years ago, yesterday, this happened. The renewal of our vows, in a beautiful, old quaint castle. It doesn't feel quite like nine years and three kids ago, and some days we both don't know if 'congratulations' or sympathies are in order, but it happened. And we are happy it did.

Happy Anniversary to us,


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


We choose what to focus on. In life, in blogging -wait- blogging IS life. :)
But seriously, I could choose to focus on the things that aren't going so well in my life, but like a skilled photographer ( not yet one), I crop a little, shoot at angles, blur, brighten and remove red eye, and violá! Focus chosen. Is it a form of denial? No, but it is a surefire way to remain sane. Have you ever hung around an incessant whiner or pessimist? I have. And I hated every minute. So focus I must. Click, whir, crop- instagrammed happiness. I find it in everything, and anything, if I look hard enough.

So when I somehow ended up with a spontaneous burst blood vessel in my eye on Friday, I refocused and did my hair. The eye was something that would pass in two weeks and over which I had no control. Funny thing is, people noticed my hair and my smile before they noticed my blood shot eye.

Except of course, Principessa.

Principessa: You scary, mama. Your eye red.

Prada Principal: I know, baby.

Principessa: You chubby.

Um... Principessa - one, Prada - zero

I won't let her break me. Focused.


Friday, March 15, 2013


Waking up in Heaven by Crystal McVea ~ a preview.

I met God when I read this book. You know the way most people who have had this experience cannot really put it into words? The joy, the light? Her description was the same, yet different and somehow, I understood exactly what she was trying to say. God jumped right from those pages into my heart, and I felt chills. No fancy writing, no extra righteous testimony- far from it, just raw honesty and truth. I see alot of me in her, minus a few wrong turns and bad choices along the way, but more than that, I recognize the grace of God in both our lives, the guiding hand and presence of God through it all, the wooing, the chasing, the promptings of the Holy spirit, the love and mercy of this great God that neither of us deserves. And if God loved the author that much, then maybe, just maybe he loves us all that much too. If I didn't know this before, I do believe it for a certainty now. He is jealous for me. For us.

I loved this book. Before this book my ultimate goal was to make it to heaven, but sometimes I had secretly wondered if I'd be a tad bit bored there. I can barely take three hour church services anymore- could I really hang with a lifetime of 'church'? But now I get it. God is not just church- God encompasses church, worship, love, fulfillment, joy and all that good stuff. God is not a chore. We have not known pleasure like we will know it when we get there.
I am going to have the best time in heaven and I can hardly wait.

Post Script: this book is unlike any other 'died and went to heaven' tales you have ever read, I promise you. And I have read them ALL. It is so much more than the usual and I can honestly say that it is the most real account I have ever read. It comes out April this year. Get yourself a copy- I urge you.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Heaven bound, pp

Friday, March 8, 2013

Full Circle

I was gonna save this post for next month, when the anniversary of the 1 year renewal of our vows would occur and then it would be more fitting. More suited to the occasion, more apt.

Then all of a sudden, I couldn't wait. Or more like, didn't want to wait. Maybe I thought of all the other posts I have sat on, waiting for the perfect timing, that never came. Or the perfect words I had that I totally forgot when the 'perfect time' came, and I thought, "Nah, today is good enough for me."

So, nine years ago, my sister read an excerpt from 'The Velveteen Rabbit' at my ceremony. I love that book, and the excerpt about what it means to be loved and how it feels to be loved. I've always loved the book, even as a child, when my understanding of it was superficial at best. It touched my core.

Now, to see my seven year old reading it, and getting it, albeit on his level? It touches my core. Yes it does. One day he'll get it on the level I get it NOW.

But for today? Well, today is good enough. :)

Be well, pp

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines day

I used to consider myself a romantic.  Maybe because I love certain things that are considered 'romantic'.  Older and wiser now, I have realized that I just enjoy being treated well.  Other than that, I am not particularly romantic.  Not celebrating valentine's day is not grounds for divorce at our house.  Most times, a card and simple 'Happy valentine's day' will suffice.  I often forget our anniversary, and am reminded by my dear hubby.   I don't expect (or want) flowers. Or chocolates. Since I kill every plant I've ever been given, and I am more of a chips and salsa girl- no sweet tooth here, sorry.

But treat me well.  And let me never have to guess how you feel about me.  I am not coy.  I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have a terrible poker face.  I suck at 'game playing' and giving people the 'silent treatment'.  I generally like people, unless you give me a reason not to, then, it's on. :)  

On one of my favorite shows on television right now (Scandal), the heroine  Olivia Pope, described the kind of love she craved.  I am paraphrasing here, so bear with me: "Painful, tortured, complicated, hurtful, love."  To which her ex-boyfriend responded , "Love isn't supposed to hurt."  Atta boy.  I have always maintained that while I might not know what love is, I do know what it is NOT supposed to feel like.  You can keep your painful, mixed signal, up and down love.  I'll take passion, but this girl is too old not to know where she stands with the one she's in love with.  This woman knows that love should make you happy. 
In the interest of full  disclosure though, I must let you know that I do enjoy and understand a good love triangle, and all the complexities.  When I am writing about it, though.  Not in my personal life.  Or reading about it. (Cue Chris/Rihanna/Karruche saga).

And so below, a random assortment of things that made me happy yesterday, and in the days prior.

Go find your happy, uncomplicated love. Now shoo. Pp :)

My colleague's dunkin donut - she let me photograph it.  I know weird- but instagram makes me happy.
Patent leather red pumps and plaid outfit of the day. Red makes me happy. Dressing up does too. :)

Well, you already know this one.  'Happy love' though.

The Principessa makes me 'Laugh Out Loud' happy. Always.

God's love makes me happy and awed all at the same time.

Pizza made with the kids in a heart shape? Do you really have to ask, people? Trader Joes makes me cheese!
Arts and Crafts makes me happy.  Creating in general makes me happy.

He makes me happy.  Adult time is always a bonus.

Cookie from a co-worker.  Random niceties make me melt. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Love to love them

And I love that I now have more time to love them. Sounds extremely cliched, but they are growing up way too fast. And soon, they would have outgrown certain opportunities to make certain memories.

Like, for instance, totally past the naked baby in oversized etsy elf hat pictures- it would be weird, and fodder for pervs. So I took a lower paying gig with a shorter commute. Sure, I'm poor :), but I can actually come home and cook. Or think about Wednesday family game night again. Or read bedtime stories to each kid. Not my condensed mommy-is-dead-on-her feet 9 pm version, or my 'why don't you all read to each other?' suggestions, that the kids are totally not buying, but a leisurely, make all the animal sounds and funny accents kind- lying in bed and cuddling kind. And doing it without Mummy resentment. Why is it always me that has to- insert activity here.

It's no longer a chore. It's a joy. Thank God for time with family. Thank God for heart shaped, handcrafted by kids pizzas. Thank God for Trader Joes pizza dough!

Joyously, pp

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Go Ravens!

I've never been a football ( or any other sport for that matter) fan. But these past couple of years- and this year in particular, I've been awakened.
Maybe because I could finally taste it, almost. Just goes to show you, nothing succeeds like success. But to succeed at anything, you must attempt. And maybe fail a couple of times along the way. That's what I'm taking from this years Superbowl win.

Well done, champs. Lombardi in da house! :)

Victory, pp

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Life lessons

So today was a crazy day. Worked into the wee hours of the morning on some brief I had to refile. Woke up to near tsunami type winds. Nixed the A.M gym idea immediately. Finally got up, got up at 7.30am and decided that the gym was happening. Ofcourse every school bus driver seemed determined to thwart those plans. Had to do a three miler because I had Monkey boy's parent-teacher conference scheduled for 9am.

Made it to his school at 9.10- hair still dripping, no makeup, jeans and Uggs. Hey, not every day is a Prada day, okay?

At the PT conference, I'm looking over his books and the teacher points out a page where she'd asked him to write out words that sounded like 'such and such'. He had on there 'mackicow' for mexico, 'bufor' for 'before' and 'sex' for well, uh, 'sex'.

Well, my mouth hung open before I sputtered, "Well, he doesn't know what that means...", to which the teacher said "Oh, I think he has an idea." Ha!

So, at his 10.15 am well appointment ( over scheduling, maybe? Um, yeah). I decided to have a chat with MB.

Me: What's sex?
MB: Love
Me: Between who?
MB: Grown ups.
Me:(Heaving sigh of relief). Why not kids?
MB: Because it's inappropriate. ( My heart did a huge flip of pride- school word!). And it's yucky. ( Atta boy!)
Me: Is kissing sex?
MB: Yup.
Me: Who told you about sex?
Whew. So all his innocence is not lost. And T.V is, as I suspected, the devil. Parental control, an angel of light.

It's alright though. My new motto- 'No sex bufor maxicow.'

MB at doctors. Pre-shots:)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 20, 2013

Happy Fifth birthday, Monkey boy! I love this lil guy SO much!

Here's to five year old angel-boys, ;)

Friday, January 18, 2013

All grown up

Or do I mean more childlike. Either way, today, for the first time in years, I made a decision totally unmotivated by fear. I had allowed fear of the unknown to steer my course for so long- I didn't even recognize the emotion anymore. It was disguised as being responsible, being logical, doing the adult thing, the right thing.

Creative types like myself, tend to eschew dreaming. It is a quality that comes naturally to us, so of course we despise it. And so we strive to become the opposite of what we think a dreamer is. A lawyer,, an accountant- hey, look at me, I have a real, serious job, I don't spend my time doodling on notepads, with my head in the clouds. Except we wish we did. And we spend so many years unhappy and unfulfilled- thinking that this is how life is supposed to be. Myth no 1- only dreamers are happy and being happy is irresponsible.

Myth no 2- money is the only currency. You CAN make money doing what you love, but you have got to actually DO it first, no?

I got tired of being driven by money yet not getting rich or enriched. Where does all the money go? Eighty hours, really??? And today, I had an epiphany. I have a choice. I can change location or my position. The heavens will not fall. It will be okay. I give myself permission. It is okay to dream. For someone like me to thrive, it may be the ONLY way.

It feels good. Pp

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Word of the day.

Nuff said. Go on, love on somebody today- in a way that isn't detrimental to self or someone else.

xoxo, pp

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Am I too old...

... For these booties? Because my inner 22 year old says "ohemgee, no!!". But my 30 something year old self has her doubts.

I am admittedly fashion forward, never inappropriate, I don't think, and I can and do get away with wearing some of the trendier things that my peers wouldn't. Like rompers, for instance. Or some of my less conservative patterned tights. Some people even consider skinny jeans and uggs, a college fad, but I, mother of three, beg to differ.

But these Jeffrey Campbell 'Litas' in Taupe suede though? They are EVERYTHING to me, right now. They'd be awesome with my skinnies, my flared jeans, maxi A-line skirt, short sweater dress and woolly tights. Yes, I own them in my head. I actually thought they were hideous two years ago, but they've grown on me. And I'm loving all things taupe. And suede. And chunky heeled. Plus, I hear they are very comfy to walk in- and we all know I am the queen of heels. I want. I die. Unless, of course, you tell me that I am too old. :(

(then i will buy them in secret and only wear them when i know i won't be seeing you- ms judgy mcjudgerson :))

Imsogettingthem, pp

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mother of the Bride

At least that's what I felt like today. My Principessa's first day of 'school', and I am so proud of that little girl, yet I feel like someone just ripped my uterus out. I apologize for the visual, but it's how I feel.

So I overcompensated and wore an extra sparkly beret - my nod to the extra sparkly, hideous skirt suits, MOB's wear. (Why oh why, do they do that??? We can tell who you are already- the excessive smiling or crying is a dead give away.)

But Principessa did me proud. Not a single tear, all fierce independence and misplaced toddler confidence. Is this my cubby? I'll hang my own jacket and put away my own lunchbox, thankyouverymuch. She's probably crying now, but she started well, leaving the crying to me. Silly MOB.

Tearing up, pp

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolution

The List:

1. Whiten teeth. Too much coffee is not a good look.

2. Maintain figure. Eat clean- no more wheat at all, and definitely more yoga and running.

3. Be a better wife- cook more, nag less, make more time.

4. Be a super mom - soccer, gymnastics, ballet and kumon.

5. Be a good daughter. Call my mother before she calls me.

6. Be a better child. Of God, that is. Back to 5am prayer and regular fasting.

I am exhausted already. I think I just broke three or four of these rules already, and it's only day one.
We added two new members to our family yesterday, nick and Fishie- our two new goldfish- (side story- when asked to name our elf on the shelf, numero uno and monkey boy named him Nick and Elfie, respectively- so you see the pattern here). This year I am going to live like our goldfish.

Transparently, as if I were in a fishbowl- because everything done in secret is seen by God.

Expectantly- they swim up to the top whenever they sense a human's presence, expecting a pellet, some contact, maybe? I'll be expecting my blessings and fruits of my labor, while still swimming and doing my thing.

Taking it one day at a time. Nick and Fishie's life expectancy is like what- a month if they are lucky, right? Not sure they know it, but they take each day as it comes. I mean, what else can they do? They live in a bowl with a ceramic Dora the Explorer and a fake plant. My world is so much bigger, but I still can't do it all. One day at a time.

So here is my revised list, that I add to each day and cross off things as I do them.

1. Get through Principessa's first day of school tomorrow. (gratuitous pics of principessa's 'spa day' in preparation for first day of school tomorrow. You're welcome. :))

2. Work on my book.

3. Enjoy my family and friends.

4. Be kind.

5. Keep swimming.