Mid-Year Goal Update

We're now half-way through 2012, so I wanted to go through my goals for the year to assess where I'm at...
  • Donate to Locks of Love - DONE
    • The big cut was made on March 6th, but I didn't get around to sending the hair until the end of May.  But it's DONE! :) 



  • Finish Filling the Empty Picture Frames- IN PROGRESS
    • I've printed a few photos, but still have to actually put them in the frames and still have many more to print too.  This will probably happen in the fall.  This is one picture that I will DEFINITELY be framing!
  • Continue to Make Contributions to Help People in My Community and Beyond - ALWAYS IN PROGRESS
    • I feel like 2012 has made our entire family more involved in helping out in our community and for those in need beyond our community.  We have done some special projects for families in need, both of us have been key players in starting up community-based groups within our church, and we were blessed to be able to participate in the awarding of needs-based scholarships at the University of Alabama this spring.  We've continued to get our kid involved in sharing by picking out things to donate to other kids and collecting money for a fundraiser at our church.  Totally on her own, Annabelle has already started collecting her own money and is thinking of marketing ideas for the Nana's House Walk-a-thon that will happen in the late fall.
  • Grow Spiritually - IN PROGRESS
    • I still need to work on making daily time for prayer/devotional, but have incorporated both into my life on a regular basis.  I have read a few books on spirituality (my favorite is one that I read for the 2nd time, When Christians Get It Wrong), spent many hours reading about spiritual and religious topics online, and have watched every episode of "The Naked Archeologist"!  I have become very involved at our church with regular attendance, helping out with the preschool classes, joining in on social activities, and helping with special projects.
  • Support Keith with Pastime - IN PROGRESS
    • Pastime is progressing, and I'm right there with my cheerleading outfit on (haha!). :)
  • Help Annabelle to grow in her interests - IN PROGRESS
    • Annabelle is ALMOST able to ride a bike on her own, she has done 2 triathlons, attended a triathlon clinic, and we FINALLY finished her Fairy Forest 2 weeks ago!  As soon as I can get my computer working again, I'm planning to get Rosetta Stone going and start working with her on French (she does still remember some that I've taught her in the past, and some random words that we've worked on at bedtime, and can sing a whole song in French about being a pizza--- but I can't take credit for that last one), and hopefully we'll get her doll house done by the end of the summer!
  • Help Corgan to grow as a young man - IN PROGRESS
    • Corgan and I have been on 3 lunch dates already, but I want to incorporate a few dinner dates where we get all dressed up specifically for a special night out.  He has loved our special lunch dates, and we even found some new favorite restaurants for him thanks to it.  His math skills are still growing and I found him a math camp that he already attended this summer (it was for 1st through 3rd graders, but he did great and LOVED it too)!  The independence on getting ready is still a work in progress that I'm hoping becomes a natural thing once he starts kindergarten this fall. (Side note: Since he wants to keep up with Annabelle, Corgan also did the 2 triathlons and the triathlon clinic AND he has learned to ride his bike on his own!)  We are very proud of Corgan's "can do" attitude as he tries just about everything (except for new foods) with bravery and 100% all-in!
  • Help Juliet to grow into toddlerhood - IN PROGRESS
    • My sweet little Juliet has more love comin' at her than she knows what to do with!  Even at barely a year old, she is starting to show her own personality as well as following in her big sister's footsteps in many ways.  She's so much more cuddly than the other two were, and I LOVE to soak that up!  She does 6 signs (more, all done, food, dog, light, and cat), but I can tell that she's taking in some of the others and just waiting to start using them, and I'll continue to do signs as part of regular conversation so that she can keep learning them.
  • Help my marriage to grow - IN PROGRESS
    • We have been good at our monthly dates and have found some new favorite restaurants in the process (that's all Keith though... he's good at finding new places like that).  We have been talking about plans for our "only us" trip, and it will probably happen near our anniversary in early December.  I still need to find a good book on relationships.
  • Be a "Fit" Version of Me!
    • I'll break these down one at a time...
      • "To once again break 26 minutes in a 5K race" - WORKING
        • My fastest 5K so far this year was 26:39.  This one WILL happen though!
      • Finish the Pineappleman Triathlon in 1:42 or better and to complete at least one more sprint triathlon - HALF DONE
        • I blew away my goal in the Pineappleman by finishing in 1:37:15!  I was in the top 50% of my age group!  I am signed up for the Battle of the Bridges triathlon in October and next week I start a triathlon clinic that leads up to it.  I  hope to find one more triathlon to do in the fall too.
      • Have a respectable time in a 10K race - TO DO
        • I'm having a hard time finding any 10K races... especially in the summer in Florida.  There are a few in the fall, so I'll catch one then.
      • Do something "active" an average of 4 times per week throughout the year
        • I didn't start being "active" until the spring, but after that, I definitely met this goal.  I took some time off after the triathlon too, but I'm back on track now!  I am 1 week into the TapoutXT program and I start a triathlon clinic next week, so I should be nice and "active" for the next few months!
      • Run a mile in under 7:30 - TO DO
        • My fastest recorded mile to date is about 7:50.  This WILL happen though!
  • Get through Level 1 of Rosetta Stone French - TO DO
  • Complete a "366" (not "365" since it's leap year) Photo Project for 2012 - DONE (So far)
    • My 366 project pictures are here, and I'm actually all caught up on them now!  I've had to cheat and use random pictures for a few days, but overall, I've done pretty well with at least making sure that a picture has been taken every day (and Annabelle enjoys reminding me)!
  • FINALLY complete the Media Room! - WORKING
    • I've done lots of research on audio and video equipment, purchased some furniture, have some furniture to refinish, have an inspiration board on pinterest, and have some plans in my head!  I'm REALLY hoping to finish this up this summer!

Missing Each Other

Tonight Annabelle and Keith went out for a special date to the Melting Pot, so Corgan and Juliet stayed home with me.  Corgan had to go to bed before they got home. After he said his prayers, he began to cry, not because he thought it wasn't fair because he had to go to bed before Annabelle, but because he was sad that he wasn't going to get to kiss Annabelle and Daddy goodnight!  Once I promised him that I would have both of them come in and kiss him when they got home, he was able to calm down and go to sleep.

By the time that Annabelle and Keith arrived home, Corgan was well asleep.  I told Annabelle he wanted her to come kiss him goodnight.  She did that, then told me she wanted to sleep on the floor in his room.  She NEVER asks to do that.  We made her a palette on the floor, and she curled up and went to sleep.

I love when they miss each other!


This morning I was explaining to Corgan what "details" are, then I asked him what details he would use to describe me to someone. He said "You have brown hair, good helper, tall, and you have strong legs." I'll take it. :)

Corgan Multiplies 4 x 44

A conversation on the way to the airport to return our car...

Keri: This car was only $44/day at Enterprise.  It would have been $88/day with Hertz.
Keith: Not bad.  How many days did we have it?
Keri: 4.
Keith: (not wanting to calculate it himself, but half-kidding by asking the following question) Corgan, what's 4 times 44?
Corgan: (not missing a beat) Well... 44 times 2 is... 88.  And 88 + 88 is... hmmm... 88 plus 100 is 188, but you take away 12 to get back down to 88 so it's... 176!

THAT'S RIGHT!  By the way, the whole time he was calculating it, I was hurriedly trying to figure it out myself so that I could tell him if he was correct or not.  And it probably took him about 10 seconds to come up with the answer.  AND he's still 4 months away from turning 5!


Annabelle and I are working on her "homework" for their "100th Day of School" celebration.  She has to count 100 of something.  We picked dinosaur shaped sprinkles.  As we were starting to count them, I said, "There are 5 different colors of sprinkles.  Why don't we sort them by color equally.  If there are 5 colors, how many do you think we'd need of each color?"  I was fully expecting to go over the counting with her to figure this out, but instead she immediately (seriously, like within 2 seconds) replied "20!"  I said, "That's right, how did you know that?" (thinking may she had just guessed, but nope...) She replied "Because 20 5 times is 100!"
That's right!

Lunch Date with My Corgan

On Our Lunch Date
This morning I dropped Juliet off with my mom and I got to go with Corgan's class on their field trip.  The field trip went late enough that he missed lunchtime at school, so I decided to take the free time before we had to pick up Annabelle to go on a Lunch Date with my boy!
When I asked Corgan where he wanted to go on our date, his first answer was Chick-fil-A.  I told him I wanted to go on a real date so we needed to go somewhere fancier than Chick-fil-A, a real restaurant.  He said "Okay... Can we go somewhere with smoothies for dessert?"  So we went to Longhorns. :)
On the way there, I prepped Corgan with how a gentleman should act on a date.  I told him he should open doors for me, hold my hand, be sweet, order for himself, and that I'd even let him pay (with my money, of course).  He was excited to try it!
When we got there, Corgan immediately grabbed my hand to hold it crossing the parking lot, then when we were safely out of the street, he ran ahead of open the door for me.  I thanked him as I entered the doors.  When we sat down, we immediately looked at the menus so he would know what he wanted to order.  When the waiter came to take our orders, Corgan proudly asked for "Chicken fingers and broccoli, please" but he kept his eyes down when he said it.  I told him to say it again and look at the waiter, and he happily did it.  During the meal, he was sweet and offered me his oranges ("You can have my oranges because I know you like them."), talked to me about his field trip, and we played some of the games on his menu.  The only "gentleman" thing he wouldn't do is sit down and put his napkin on his lap ("I'm not going to spill anything, Mommy.").  He was a wonderful date!
On the way out, I accidentally started to open the door for myself.  He gave me a big "Mommy!" and I stepped back and closed the door when I realized what I'd done.  He then held the door for me, and even held it for someone else to come inside (without me asking) before he closed it.  Then, he held my hand on the way back out to the car, and the cherry on top was that he ran to open my car door for me!  I never even mentioned the car door!
I can't wait to see what a little gentleman my little guy is going to be, and I'm so thankful to our pastor, Nicole Olinski, for this idea!  I'm going to have no problem exceeding my "dates with Corgan" goal!

My 2012 Goals

I realize that I'm a week late posting my goals for 2012, but I wanted to take a little time to really think about what I wanted to do this year. I made a list of goals for 2009, and it was a great success because I accomplished every one of the goals that year. In 2010, I created another list, and although I didn't accomplish all of the goals, I was able to check off quite a few. :) The goals that I did check off include getting lasik (in July 2010), part of "be in super duper shape" (I completed the Pineappleman Triathlon in 1:43:05 and the Art Festival 5K in 25:53- beating my record of 26:20 from 2009), was VERY active with Nana's House (including collecting items for fundraisers, helping Annabelle to raise $1200 in the walk-a-thon, producing promotional materials for fundraisers, giving presentations, getting them on facebook, and more), I visited a new U.S. State (Utah- February for a Ski Trip and a day of touring Salt Lake City), I saw "Wicked" (with Carla Ely during our trip to NYC in the fall and we splurged for 6th row seats), Keith and I took an "alone" trip as a 7th Anniversary cruise in the Caribbean, hopefully Annabelle and Corgan would agree that I was the best mom that I could be, and my most significant accomplishment was becoming pregnant with Juliet in October!  Some of the goals that I wasn't able to check off, will now appear on my 2012 list (I missed making one in 2011).

So, without further ado, here is my official list of...
  • Donate to Locks of Love
    • Yes, it's 2 years later, and my hair is just NOW finally long enough to donate without leaving myself with a super-short hair cut.  Look for the new shorter "do" to be coming very soon!
  • Finish Filling the Empty Picture Frames in My House
    • During my period of bedrest in June 2011, I managed to fill most of the frames, but a few were left empty to fill them once Juliet was born and some where I just couldn't decide on the right picture.
  • Continue to Make Contributions to Help People in My Community and Beyond
  • Grow Spiritually
    • Regular Prayer/Devotional Time Daily
    • Become Active at our church (Grace Church Melbourne), including attending services and catching up on missed services online and helping out where needed
    • Read books on having a relationship with Jesus and watch tv shows that educate me on the history of the Bible
  • Support Keith with Pastime, his new creative/entrepreneurship venture!
  • Help Annabelle to grow in her interests
    • Teach her to ride a bike
    • Do a few races (running and/or kid triathlons) with her
    • Teach her at least 50 words in French
    • Finish her "Fairy Forest" and work with her on redecorating her handmade doll house
  • Help Corgan to grow as a young man
    • Keep working on his math skills as long as he's interested
    • Take him out on at least 3 "dates" to teach him all about being a gentleman
    • Help Corgan to become more independent in getting himself ready to leave the house
  • Help Juliet to grow into toddlerhood
    • Teach her sign language
    • Give her all of the love (and more) that a baby needs!
  • Help my marriage to grow
    • Go on a getaway with ONLY Keith (no kids and no other friends/family)
    • Make plans for a date night at least once a month
    • Read at least one book on getting the most out of our marriage
  • Be a "Fit" Version of Me!
    • I may have a hard time breaking my records in both the Art Festival 5K and the Pineappleman Triathlon this year, but I intend to give it my all!  My fitness goals are:
      • To once again break 26 minutes in a 5K race (this was a "life goal" that I met in 2009)
      • Finish the Pineappleman Triathlon in 1:42 or better and to complete at least one more sprint triathlon
      • Have a respectable time in a 10K race
      • Do something "active" an average of 4 times per week throughout the year
      • Run a mile in under 7:30
  • Get through Level 1 of Rosetta Stone French
  • Complete a "366" (not "365" since it's leap year) Photo Project for 2012
  • FINALLY complete the Media Room!

Here's to a successful 2012!

Juliet LOOOVES her Annabelle!

Last night I sat on my bed with Juliet chatting with 'Cole for a little bit. Annabelle stopped in to stay good night to us and to play with her baby sister for a few moments before heading to bed. Juliet was all smiles as Annabelle coo-ed and smiled at her, but as soon as Annabelle left the room, Juliet immediately burst into all-out sobbing! It was the cutest thing ever! I immediately called Annabelle back into the room to see if her presence would make Juliet happy again. As soon as Juliet got a look at her big sister, the tears stopped. Annabelle came over and gave her baby sis one last kiss, then headed out the door again and, immediately, the waterworks started again! We repeated this experiment a good few more times, all with the same results! It was SOOOO stinkin' cute!

I love that at only 4 months old, Juliet LOOOVES her Big Sister Annabelle SOOO much! I'm such a lucky Mommy!

Annabelle's 2nd Tooth Fairy Visit

Last week Keith bought some hard foam softballs that are standard softball size and started practicing with the kids on catching fly balls. He even rainbowed the balls to them at 2nd base from home plate, and they did very well at catching quite a few! So, last Friday (October 21st) when Keith took the kids outside for a little practice before our Saturday morning game, Annabelle wanted to try catching a fly ball with a real softball! Keith reluctantly popped up a few to her from about 20-30 feet away as I watched from the sidelines. She had a few misses, but then one went straight toward her glove... and into her face!
Annabelle immediately burst into tears as blood started gushing from her mouth! I saw her violently toss something from her mouth into the grass. I ran over to check on her and her bottom tooth was missing! I asked her "Did you just throw your tooth into the grass?" She realized that the thing that she had just thrown down was, in fact, her tooth, and the waterworks REALLY opened up! She refused to go inside and clean up the blood (which was GUSHING out of her mouth) until we found the tooth! I tried to explain to her that the Tooth Fairy would be able to find the tooth better than we would because of her tooth radar and that she would still get her dollar even if the tooth wasn't in her pillow, but she just wouldn't accept that. As soon as I finished explaining that, Keith miraculously spotted the teeny-tiny little baby tooth in the grass! I could not believe he found it since Annabelle had run a good 10 feet away from where she threw down the tooth before realized what had happened and went back to look for it!
With the baby tooth in hand, Annabelle and I went inside to clean her up. Once she calmed down and realized that she was going to get another visit from the Tooth Fairy, she wasn't nearly as upset. And now she has a cool "how I lost my tooth" story to tell!
For tooth #2, the Tooth Fairy left her another special dollar. She really liked how the Tooth Fairy colored and wrote on her first dollar, so the Tooth Fairy decorated this dollar too. :)
Close up:
Like with Annabelle's first dollar, The Tooth Fairy wrote her name, the date of the tooth, and the tooth number on the dollar so Annabelle would always remember it. She also circled and colored all of the 2s (for tooth number 2), colored an A (for Annabelle), and spiced up ole' George with some color (which Corgan did NOT like, for the record). Annabelle LOVES that the Tooth Fairy loves art like she does! :)

How'd We Get "Juliet"?

Long before we knew that Baby Donald 3.0 (now known as Juliet) was a girl, I had fallen in love with the name Aurora. I thought for sure that my next girl after Annabelle would be named Aurora. Keith likes the name, but isn't in love with it like I am. One day not long after we discovered that we were pregnant with baby #3, I had mentioned that I kinda liked the name Juliet. Keith immediately jumped all over that name.

I think the reasons that I feel a connection to the name "Juliet" is because I have always really liked the Romeo and Juliet story. I was a fan of the story when I was in middle school when we watched the movie in 8th grade English class. I chose a scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to act out in my 9th grade English class, and I wrote a "Verona Times" newspaper for a computer class in high school. Then many years later, when we visited Northern Italy in 2006, we made a trip to Verona, the residence of the Shakespeare's fictional Juliet. In Verona, we visited Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House) where we were able to walk through the house created for the fictional Juliet character, stand on her famous balcony, and even rub her right breast for luck (oh yeah, and Keith got pooped on by a bird while we were there, but that has nothing to do with the story)!

Fast forward a few years to 2010... Marian (Keith's sister), Annabelle, and I tagged along on a business trip that Keith had in Munich, Germany. In Munich, Verona's "twin town", we happened upon the same bronze statue of Juliet that I saw in Verona. It turns out that Munich's Juliet statue was a gift from Verona. Of course, we rubbed her breast for luck there too!

Keith's connection to Juliet, in my opinion, stems from his infatuation with another fictional Juliet, Dr. Juliet Burke from LOST. Simple as that.

Because we both really like the name Juliet, it was definitely a top choice for a possible girl name for Baby Donald 3.0. When we told the kids about it, they didn't like it at all at first. Once we showed them the trailer (and website for) the new Gnomeo & Juliet movie, they warmed up to the name a bit (but only if baby had brown hair and green eyes).

When Juliet was born, we immediately decided that she was 100% "Juliet"! She is a perfect little Juliet, and I love that we both feel a connection to her name!

One final note, when I was in the hospital after giving birth to Juliet, the movie Letters to Juliet was one of the on-demand movies available to watch. I had never even heard of the movie, but was very excited to watch it based on the name alone, and even more excited when I realized that it was set in Verona and revolved around the letters to Juliet that are left at the Casa di Giulietta!