Friday, December 31, 2010

Guest Blogger Week: Meet Elizabeth @ The Writer Revived

Please Welcome Elizabeth from The Writer Revived
She is a writer and currently working and editing on a book. She has a cute daughter SB and she lives in Florida. If you want to hear her brag about florida, her daughter and her book. Follow her tweets and blog.


Hello! I’m Elizabeth. I live in Florida with my husband and our two year-old
daughter. After she was born, I made the surprising (to me anyway) decision to
become a stay-at-home mom. In that first year, I was immersed in motherhood.
But as my daughter grew from an infant to an increasingly independent toddler, I

realized I had neglected to nurture myself. Most importantly, I needed to get back
in touch with my creative side.

Shortly after my daughter’s first birthday, following a long hiatus, I rediscovered
my passion for writing and jumped in headfirst. I developed an idea for a
nonfiction book (about motherhood), wrote a proposal and began querying
literary agents. That proposal is currently with two agents for consideration.
My blog, The Writer Revived originally started out as a way to detail my writing

As the blog evolved, I also began to write about motherhood. It became a great
release for me to share about my experiences as a new mom. It also connected
me with tons of other moms and enabled me to develop a strong support
system. And it is the subject of my book, so it made sense to take the blog in that
direction. At this point, about half my posts are about being a mom, and half are
about being a writer. Please stop on by if you’d like get to know me a little better.
And help me get to know you! I love making new connections!

Let it Snow?

I moved to Florida to get away from snow. After 30 years in the Midwest, I'd
had enough. However, 80 degrees year round did not particularly appeal to me,
either. So I settled in Northeast Florida, where we do have a change of seasons.
It goes a little something like this:

December = Fall
January = Winter
February = Spring
March - November = Summer

OK, I may be exaggerating a little. But I like that it can get cold here, albeit for a
short time. I get to wear sweaters and build fires in the fireplace. It can even get
really cold. But I don't ever have to worry about the white stuff. Or its very nasty
cousin, ice. Which is more than fine by me.

As much as I do not enjoy snow as an adult, I can appreciate how much fun it
is for a child. Now that I have a daughter, who turned two yesterday, I want her
to be able to experience it. When she's a little older, we will plan a trip around
seeing some snow (perhaps we will visit Kristina and her family in Tahoe!). For
now, we had the opportunity to witness it right here in the Sunshine State.

Don't get too excited. I'm talking about the machine-generated kind. America's
oldest city, St. Augustine, plays hosts to Winter Wonderland Florida, where you
can count on snow every night at 7:00 during the holiday season. Earlier this
month, we took the String Bean (SB for short) there to get in the Christmas spirit.
I'm not so sure she did...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Guest Blogger Week: Meet Jessica @ Straight Take Jess

Please welcome Jessica from Straightalkjess.
She has an awesome blog, and needs Mountain Mum readers support. Please go and check out her blog and leave her some love.

I'm started blogging almost three years ago and since then my blog has evolved to be a little piece of me.  I use it as a sounding board, I complain, I talk about my kid, work, fashion victims, and anything else that strikes my fancy at the moment.  I've been married 8 years and we've got a 5 year old daughter and another baby due June 2011.

December is a busy month in the "Straight Talk Jess" house.  To be fair, being a lawyer, with a {now} 5 year old Princess and a baby on the way {coming June 2011},  2 stinky dogs that always seem to be hungry, and a partridge in a pear tree, things are always busy in our house (you can check out the random craziness and my two cents on anything and everything at my blog).  We have the celebration of our sweet baby girl (who was born early and saved us from spending Christmas in the hospital 5 years ago).  We also fill our December with decorations, Christmas parties, cookie baking, and the trek home to spend the holidays with our family.
Here are a couple highlights of our busy month:

1)  Christmas decorations!  Now that my sweet girl can fully appreciate them (more than just staring at the lights in awe as a baby), I love having her help decorate the tree. It's so sweet and something I remember being such a special thing for me and my family when I was younger.  We put the Christmas music on and I let her go to town on the ornaments.  Of course she gets a little help from mom and daddy to make sure that there are some ornaments towards the top of the tree too.

2) Santa!  We have  to visit Santa.  It's tradition!  It's awesome to watch her grow from year to year and see her go from cautious, to crying, to bribed, to more-than-happy to see her with Santa.

3)  Birthday time!!! It's hard having a birthday in December.  So we don't let hers get lost in the shuffle.  This year we celebrated "Ava Day" with a couple celebrations that started with these delicious cupcakes at school and ended with a day spent doing what she wanted over the weekend. I think it's definitely a new December tradition in our house!

4) Home for the holidays.  Another big part of our December is family, of course.  We don't live close to family so we make the trek home to share our Christmas every year.  Luckily, both of our families are in the same city so we don't have to worry about visiting families in alternating years or spending one weekend here and the next there.  It's a lot of visiting {we have THREE big celebrations in one day.  And that doesn't even count what Santa brings on Christmas morning!}, a lot of family and a lot of food, but we couldn't imagine it any other way.

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek into our whirlwind holiday month.  Thank you Mountain Mum for letting me join you!
From the "Straight Talk Jess" house to yours, I wish you a beautiful month and a very MERRY CHRISTMAS filled with joy, love and family.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guest Blogger Week: Meet Rebekah @ Country Mouse Tales

Meet Rebekah from Country Mouse Tales
Check out her uber cute blog, and her cute family. All you Mountain Mum followers, please leave her some love!

I am a 20-something Pennsylvania girl, wife to a handsome teacher, and stay-at-home mom to a one year old boy.  I am learning to cherish the little joys that life can bring as I see the world through the eyes of a child once again.  I have been chronicling my successes, failures, and kitchen disasters at since 2008.

Reclaiming the Ordinary Day

-'Mama' he cries.  His little hands tangle in my hair as he clutches my neck, his eyes still heavy with sleep.  We slowly make our way down the stairs to being our morning routine.  

-Coffee percolates and I prepare his bowl of oatmeal as he sips apple juice from his favorite blue cup.

-Laundry to the left, last night's dishes to left, and a laughing boy chases the dog around the kitchen, leaving a trail of juice behind him.  

-We bundle in our coats and run to the car.  'Dog!' he yells excitedly as he sees the neighbors pet looking out the window.  'Woof, woof' he proudly barks, showing off his newest skill.  I strap him in and he gives me a smile before we head out.  

-Hours later, the turn of the key in the door.  A smiling face, handsome eyes, and a squeal of 'Dada!' as he toddles as fast as his legs can carry him to the entryway.

It's not perfect, but it's mine, and now that the hustle and bustle of the season is quickly dying down, I can finally take a look around and appreciate the gifts (not the presents, although those are nice too!) that I have been given over the last year.  The life, the love, the laughter, not so much the laundry but I'll take the good with the bad.  

It is so easy to feel down at the end of the holiday season.  The parties, the glitter, the lights, it's all gone - basically overnight.  January 1st rolls around, and the discarded Christmas trees at the curb mark the end of another year.  Three months of winter are staring us dead in the eye.  Three months of 'Ugh it's so cold' and 'I miss my flip-flops' as we trudge through another snowstorm.  I know I tend to wallow, to get stuck in the misery of the everyday instead of choosing to see it's beauty.  This winter, reclaim your day.  See the beauty in the ordinary.  It doesn't come naturally to me, but this is what I have learned in the last year - we don't get these days back.  We will only have their memory to cherish through the years to come.  I want to remember the beauty of now, the laugh of my toddler, the faint beginnings of smile lines on my husbands face.  There is beauty here. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Guest Blogger Week: Meet Jami @ Boy Crazed Momma

Please welcome the first guest blogger this week. Jami from Boycrazedmomma.  
She is a hoot on twitter and check out her blog and let her know that you are visiting from I have asked some of my favorite tweeters and bloggers to guest post for me this week, while I'm in Seattle, Washington visiting family. 

I am a SAHM mom to two adorable, young boys--Sweetie Pie is almost 4 

and Boogaboo is 19 months. I spend my days trying to keep the chaos to a minimum while not losing my mind. I get way too little sleep and drink way too much caffeine. You can find me on Twitter (@boycrazedmomma) where I will have you captivated with my wisdom on raising boys, being the perfect wife, and just life in general. Did you sense the sarcasm? My momma motto is “Sometimes a momma’s got to do whatever it takes to survive the day and make it to tomorrow.”

I grew up with many Christmas traditions. My aunt’s fudge. The mantel display
my mom put up from the time I was itty bitty that has now become a Christmas
fixture on my mantel. But of all our family’s Christmas traditions, the one that is
the most special to me is Christmas at Mimi & Papa’s house. (Now just Mimi’s
because Papa has been gone for 11 years.)

My extended family on my mom’s side is huge. I think we are up to around 60
people now. My Mimi & Papa had 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and I’m not
even counting up the number of great-grandchildren. And you can’t forget the
poor souls lucky ones who married into this chaos. For years our family met for
Christmas at Mimi & Papa’s the evening of Christmas Eve. Papa was adamant
about it. ADAMANT. Everyone was just expected to be there. No one questioned
it or even minded that it was more of a requirement than an option. When it was
Christmas Eve, we were there. Growing up the grandkids would always put on a
skit. And me being the bossy one meant I always put myself in charge. We’d sing
Christmas carols for the adults. The tree at their house was always decorated with
apples with all of our names on them. (Most of the apples have been lost now,
but some of the apples are still around. We still look to see whose name is on
the tree every year.) We’d open gifts. We’d eat way too much food, mainly Aunt
Gloria’s fudge. (One Christmas the fudge disappeared. We found it in Papa’s room
with him. He was rationing it out!)

I remember the first year someone missed Christmas Eve at Mimi & Papa’s. It
was my cousin. I can’t recall now why he and his wife couldn’t be there. What
I do remember is all the flack he got for missing Christmas with us. It was all
in good fun, but let me put it this way: He and his family have not missed a
single Christmas at Mimi’s since & that was 13 years ago. We are serious about
EVERYONE being there. One year we had to miss the gathering because my
family lived in another state at the time and a blizzard blew through on the 23rd.
We finally had our “own” Christmas in our own house and, although it was fun
and relaxing, we missed our extended family greatly. I still remember calling to
talk to my cousins and the bitter-sweet feeling it was because I wanted to be
there with everyone.

As years have passed & our family has grown larger, this tradition as morphed
a bit. We no longer have Christmas at Mimi’s on Christmas Eve. It’s now the
Saturday before Christmas Eve. This year for the first time EVER, our Christmas
get together will not be at Mimi & Papa’s house. Our family has just gotten too
large, so we’re meeting in a community center. We’ve gotten a little more lax
with letting people off the hook if they can’t make it—a little. (I mean come on.
I can tell you the date for Christmas at Mimi’s in 2014 right now—December
20th. Plan around it folks. But things do come up—like the year I was 38 weeks
preggers and my OB told me I had to stay in town. I missed it that year.)

As extended families go, mine is extremely close. I never realize how lucky I was
to have this growing up. I just thought everyone did. But now I realize that we
are the exception, rather than the rule. There’s something special about knowing
if you need help or just a kind word, there are at least 59 other family members
who will provide that!

We know the celebration is a success when someone laughs so hard they pee
their pants. (And that doesn’t include anyone wearing Depends.)

We in the third generation get a kick out listening to the 1st and 2nd generations
discussing their health and surgeries of the year….each one trying to top the other

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas

I'm working today, which is ok. I'm off at 3pm and the office is going to be nice and quiet. The best part of being a parent is being Santa. I can't wait for Mackenna to wake up and open up all her gifts. This year we are doing Christmas eve at my house and Christmas morning.

** The family is having a rib cook off ** 
Everyone in the family is getting their ribs prepped and we are going to have a rib cook off and see who has the best ribs. This is going to be awesome. 

My uncle Jeremy from New Zealand, " That's awesome, I will be a judge!"

So, this evening the rib cook off will commence. I will update with photos another time with the racks stacked up to each other.

This Christmas I'm really Thankful:

- We had money to get gifts this year
- Surrounded by love
- My family is here from New Zealand
- Partaking in lot's of food and egg nog
- Having time off of work to visit family in Seattle
- 6 awesome guest bloggers that will be featured on my blog next week. 

I'm so thankful that we are still very fortunate to partake in Christmas and be surrounded by family.

Merry Christmas Bloggers & Followers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blog Redo

Lindsay from Happy Housewife Designs, was running a special for blogs that she has already designed a redo with the same kit you picked out for $20. So I sent her some photos for my new header and she redesigned it for me. I really love how it came out and its a fresh look for the new year.

If you already have a design done by Happy Housewife Designs, email her at if you would like a redo with the same kit for $20.

Or you can have her redesign your whole blog for $40 with her New Years Special. She is so easy to work with and she has the best designs. Plus, if you have any questions for her she is always willing to answer them. 

Grab my button or my new button --> is located on the top right of my side bar.

Mountain Mum

Mountain Mum

This is my old design... 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Family from down unda

I'm been slacking on the ol blog this week due to family in this week. 
** Stay tuned next week, I have 5 awesome bloggers that are taking the stage **

So, thus far I've been staying up pretty late, since I have to work this week to hang out with family. 

Their America bucket list
* try a twinkie --> my uncle thought they were awesome. He even tried a Ho Ho
* Drink our Local Beer
* Tour Lake Tahoe --> I heard the hubs was a really good tour guide
* Watch NFL football
* My cousin Jade wanted an American Hot Dog --> she ate the whole thing
* My Aunty calls potato salad, freakish looking salad
* My Aunty doesn't like tater tots

Today, I believe they are headed up to the ski resorts to go snow tubing and check out the villages at Squaw and NorthStar. I'm having lot's of fun with my 4 year old cousin Jade. So damn cute. 

* Christmas Update * 
I've actually pretty much finished my christmas shopping. Just need to wrap up and print some photos from the family photo shoot. 

Are you ready for Christmas?