Monday, January 20, 2014

Surviving Winter

Today I received my first, "Are you alive? You haven't blogged in FOREVER," texts. I knew it was coming…it has been almost 10 days since my last post and even though I said I was going to be so much better about posting, 2014 isn't off to a great start. Ha! But I swear I have so many good excuses.

For starters, I have been working hard on my Jillian Michael's DVD challenge and trying my damnedest to get back into my groove with running.

After all, one of my biggest resolutions this was year was:

But when your hubby leaves you home alone with the kids for 7 days while he hunts, it's hard to worry less and run more. I was basically just in survival mode that whole week, praying that none of us got this nasty flu that is going around. I must say…the three of us did pretty well! But, we also had help from our families. If I would have known how many dinner invites the kids and I would get, I would have sent Eric hunting for two weeks :-)

But in all seriousness, it was nice to have him home this weekend. The kids were missing him like crazy and so was I. Also, I was DYING to go for a run and get in just one uninterrupted workout. I finally got my wish on Sunday and it felt SO GOOD…even on the treadmill. Then Jillian kicked my abs.

In addition to trying to work out and get back into fighting shape, I've also been working hard to do some organizing!!! I've got Spring Cleaning Fever a little early, but it will take me at least that long to get through my project list. I basically want to redo every cabinet, drawer, closet and BINDER in my house.

But one thing that I really wanted to start from the beginning this year was a Budget Planner {which I posted about here on our shop blog}.

Last year I tried so hard to follow a budget with some software I purchased online but by March…I was already over it and back to my half-ass ways of tracking expenses. But this year I wanted to do so much better and I knew I needed to move to a paper and pencil system. I have only been using this binder for a few weeks but I have to say, I am loving it!!!

As I said above, my project list is about a mile long at this point, but I am excited to tackle each one and share them with all of you!! In fact, it is going to be a new segment on our shop blog!!

Photo: Did you know that ThePolkaDotPosie has a blog? We have BIG things planned for in 2014 and we hope you will all follow along :)

My mom and I have so many exciting things in the works…I hope you will all follow along :-)

So speaking of my shop…it turns out that once you become a part of the "Planner Biz," you can kiss your January goodbye. Ha! It seems that everyone is in organization/planner mode and my shop has been on fire. Words cannot express how truly grateful I am for all the incredible feedback I have received about my planner pages. Creating these and having people love them the way I do is just a freaking dream come true!! I could cry. Seriously. It's been such a fantastic start to the year…I only hope and pray it continues :-)

So…when I am not squeezing in Jillian Michael's workouts or making planner pages, I've just been spending lots of quality time with the fam and trying desperately to survive winter.

Winter has been pretty rough this year. We got all the beautiful snow we wished for {and then some} but it's been too cold to enjoy it. We've had lots of movie nights by the fire, lots of Wii marathons and more Lego building and crafting than I can even process. We are all struggling with cabin fever a bit, but it is nice to be back to school and in a routine.

So now we wait for good old Punxsutawney Phil. That furry little shit better not see a shadow :-)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Surviving ChiBeria & Getting Back in the Groove

The first week of 2014 is barely behind us and we've already survived a kiddie New Years Eve party, an Arctic Vortex that turned ChiTown into ChiBeria, and the first day back to school after a very loooooong winter break. It's been a crazy week and getting back to normal with school and schedules today felt SO GOOD!! But that's not to say that I didn't enjoy our time off because I truly did.

As crazy as our New Year's Eve was entertaining 5 kids for a sleepover, it was a blast. We popped balloons on the hour, we chowed on snacks and drank sparkling grape juice {that no one liked} and played Skylanders until our hands were ready to fall off. The kids did their countdown at 9:00 and were asleep before 10. They said it was the best NYE party ever :-)

After New Years was over, we knew our days of playdates and staying in our jammies till noon were numbered.  So we filled our calendar with as many last minute get togethers as we could. 

Addie and I got to have a girls date with our buddies Kennedy and Linsey :-)

And my cousins Jill, Krissy and Diane were able to get the kids together for another play date and do some celebrating!!!! This little mimosa cheers right here was for my cousin Diane, who had just told us that she is PREGNANT!!!!!! Diane and Bill adopted their little Christmas Miracle, Logan, two years ago and this pregnancy was a LONG awaited surprise. I couldn't be more happy for them :-)

And because a morning was just not enough time with her bestie Gracie, Addie begged me to let her stay for the day and do some snowmobiling. I mean really…how could I resist those smiles?

This little snowmobile got a LOT of use that day and it's a good thing too because the Arctic Vortex was just around the corner.

The day after this picture was taken, we got another foot of snow. It was a beautiful snow…and the perfect opportunity to stay in our jammies and wind down after a crazy busy holiday. We played games, did crafts and sat by the fire.

Photo: Just got the is closed tomorrow AND Tuesday due to snow and sub-zero temps. Looks like two more days of crafts, Skylanders and HEAVY coffee/wine drinking ❄️⛄️

And then the storm rolled in and temperatures dropped to about -50 below. Social media went crazy with some of the most hilarious hashtags I've seen.

Photo: 835 PM: Latest graphic update on #ChiBeria!

***Steady light/moderate to locally heavy snow tonight into Sunday gradually shifting southeastward***
***Blizzard conditions possible in east central Illinois and northwest Indiana later Sunday***
***Life threatening, record challenging #coldoutbreak Sunday evening through early Tuesday***

Check out the graphic for more details and go to for specific information for your area.

Keep helping us spread the word about the dangerous winter weather for our area by liking or SHARING this graphic with all your family and friends. Stay safe!


As you can imagine, we did not leave the house for a few days. School was called off for Monday AND Tuesday this week…and for good reason. It was straight up miserable out there! Today's temperature of 10 degrees felt like Spring. And when it get's back into the 30s around here in a few days, we are going to be breaking out the t-shirts.

The only benefit to being stuck in the house for a few days is finally having the chance to get some things done. I decided to join in on a 30-Day Jillian Michael's DVD Challenge and I am happy to say that I have been getting ALL of my workouts in!!

I've also been SUPER busy in our shop! It's clear that all the other Organization Junkies out there like me are busy putting together their 2014 planners and I've got some great new printables to help! We launched both a Budget Planner and a Health & Fitness Planner at ThePolkaDotPosie{Printables} this week and I am SO excited to start using them myself :-)

2014 is off to a GREAT start and I can only hope and pray that it continues :-)