Saturday, January 31, 2009

5th Catholic Wedding Anniversary

Today marks 5 years since Chris and I were married in the Catholic Church. I woke to flowers, a beautiful card, and a big bag of my favorite: Peanut M&Ms (which I will eat today, seriously!). Who could ask for more! I am giving Chris Flashden (don't ask...because I don't know!).

Now & Always...
                               ...The only 2 times I want to be with you!

Happy Anniversary, Christopher!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Ready or Not...

Ready or not...we may be putting our house up for sale! The process has at least begun. We have it clean and organized and the appraisals are trickling in, at or near where we thought we should start to sell it at. This is a new experience for Chris and I. It is quite scary to market our home and hopefully sell our home, not knowing if we will be able to find a home that will meet our needs and long list of requirements. What if our home sells and we have not found a home by the closing of the sale. Then what? Well, I don't know...we take a vacation with all of our stuff? Seriously, we will have to figure that out if and when it happens. We can not possibly worry about that now. We will casually look at homes so we can rule some out and rule some in. What we have decided (or we think we have decided) is that we are going to market our home for sale by owner from mid February until maybe late March or early April. At that time, if we have not sold through the Austin Marketing Plan :), we will hire an agent. We have already picked her out (or at least think we have), but we have one more to meet with next week. We want to have all our homework thoroughly done so that people can not say that we did not do our homework. We have extensive market research with 3 separate real estate agents to come up with a competitive price somewhere in the middle. We realize, however, that our home would sell MUCH faster with an agent...but at an extensive cost. I, for one, am willing to give it a shot since the house selling "season" is a month or two away, officially. Chris and I know what we are willing to sell our home for, and it is not less than what homes similar to ours have sold for in the last 6-12 months. I will post pictures when the sign goes in the yard, hopefully in a week or so! And, we will have an open house to family and friends on the day we officially put it on the market, sign and all.
So, know anyone interested in our HOME?

"Beautiful, 2-story home, located in the lovely Elk Creek Crossing subdivision on a large corner lot. Priced to sell! This well maintained home has it all! Dramatic 18 foot entry way, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, wood floors, new furnace, new A/C, security system, sprinkler system, vaulted ceilings, plantation shutters, full fenced backyard, landscaping, large patio, new roof, new carpet, new exterior paint, finished basement, the list goes on and on. Great location! Convenient to all - close to schools, churches, parks and shopping. Offered at $214,900. Contact Chris and Krista at and check out our website for more details: .

Read and post comments

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Things About Me...

25 things random things, facts, habits or goals about me. Please feel free to comment with your 25!

1.      1. Chris and I met in 1996 at the Clarkson 850 Intensive Care Unit where we were both working at the time. I wrote him a note and left it in his mailbox asking if he would want to do something sometime. He called the next day & the rest is history!
2. When Chris & I got married, I told him I did not want any kids. He wanted 2, so we compromised on having one. We now have 3, Alivia, 4 years, Addison, 2 years, and Asher, 1 year old.
3. I am a devote Catholic, but I was not born Catholic. I went through classes (RCIA) to become Catholic in 2004.
4. Chris and I have been married twice. I loved him so much…I just had to marry him 2 times! The first time was in the Methodist Church (August 28, 1999), the second time (January 31, 2004) was in the Catholic Church and I was pregnant with Alivia!
5. I mow the lawn and shovel the walks (but I will not use the snow blower). I do this because Chris works hard all day, and that is the least I can do for him!
6. I want to move, preferably somewhere warm, but that is probably not going to happen. I try to love the neighbor, but I am not at all good at it. Sometimes love just is not enough.
7. I am a wife to Chris first and then a Mommy. I try to keep things in that order because I have my kids because of my Love for Topher! I love being a wife & a Mommy.
8. I can never say I am done having kids. As a devote Catholic, we leave that answer in God’s hands. We are done to the point where I have sold most of the baby things. So, I guess if we are not done, we get to go shopping!
9. My husband is the love of my life. He saved my life and does so every day. I think I had my heart broken many time before Chris so that I would appreciate Chris and know he was my sole mate.
10. I am a type A personality and have a really difficult time just sitting for too long without doing something.
11. I am a very picky eater. I eat meat (chicken) maybe once a year. My favorite foods are Mama’s cheese pizza & peanut M&Ms!
12. I love to run and am quite insane about it! I run at 4:45 AM or at 8PM at night just so I can run outside before Chris goes to work and/or while the kids are sleeping. I have run in rain, snow, sleet, & tornatic activity. I am crazy. I am signed up to run my first ½ marathon this spring in Lincoln & I can’t wait!
13. I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in business administration.
14. I have just started playing in the stock market. Buy low ya know.
15. I am the money management queen. We do not have cable or a home phone & have no plans on changing that.
16. I had all 3 of my kiddos early: Alivia at 36 weeks, Addison at 36 ½ weeks and Asher at 36 weeks (although I think he was really term). Alivia was 4lb 15oz!
17. My middle name is Allene, named after Allan Pittman who died over Laos during Vietnam War. He was my Dad’s friend during high school. If I were a boy they were going to name me Ross Allen! Oh, thank goodness I am all girl!
18. Our kids all have special names: Alivia’s middle name, Grace, is by the grace of God we were gifted Alivia. Addison’s middle name, Rose, is after my mom’s Dad who called my Mom Rosie. Now Asher is a biblical name meaning fortunate, blessed, happy and was our table name when I became Catholic. Asher was a 3rd little surprise that God blessed us with. His middle name, Wade is after my cousin Wade Hursey who died at the young age of 33.
19. I am pro-life and believe life begins at conception. If life began later than that, pregnancy tests would not say positive until 12-20 weeks or something…
20. I am a night owl. I worked nights as a nurse and loved it!
21. Being a stay at home mommy is a lot more work than my full time job was and way noisier!
22. I had 2 major accidents growing up: One in a wagon full of corn (any farm kid would understand) and another in my car that I rolled several times totaling it on a rock road on the way to tanning, of all things. I am lucky to have lived to tell about both of them. Oh, and my sister Nikki saved my life from the corn.
23. I spent almost my entire freshman year of high school in the hospital.
24. I can drink, but I now chose not to. Yes, I used to (the century club in college was one of the dumber things I have done and somehow lived to tell about it).
25. I tend to say too much & am a blogger:

And that's 25...Looking forward to your 25 too!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crazy Runner

One of my goals for 2009 is to run my first 1/2 marathon. I began "training" right after the first of the year. Mind you, I run all the time anyway. This just give me something to run towards and gives me a little extra motivation. Winter weather is not fun. I run outside 90% of the time during the winter. The long runs I try to do on "nicer" days whenever possible (I am up to 10 1/2 miles now). On the way home from our outing today, I asked Chris how cold it was. It was a whole 12 degrees. Oh great, I should run on the treadmill (I can only run 5 miles on the treadmill before I seriously lose it with boredom). Chris, being the concerned husband that he is, said that it was such a nice and sunny day and I should run outside (not mentioning that it was freezing!). So, I put on my cuddleduds, t-shirt, hoodie, ear wrap, stocking cap, lined running pants, gloves, Chris' thick socks, etc, and I was off. I was cold for about a mile or two. Then, I got feeling back in my hands and they actually got hot. My face never warmed up. However, I only went 4.3 miles, according to my Garmin's previous recording - it is currently not working and not my friend. (having ran the long run on a nicer day earlier in the week). I call myself a crazy runner, but at least my kids were at home napping all snug in their beds (I saw a lady in our neighborhood speed walking with her 2 kids in the stroller during a day when the van said it was 20 degrees and the wind gusts were 35 miles/hr...THAT IS CRAZY!). Now, if I can just get all these Nebraskans to shovel and de-ice their sidewalks, I would be in great shape!

* Oh, & by the way, Chris went for a run after I did, & outside!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Get Ready, Set, Play!


Going up?Knee deep in balls?Alivia WAY up high!No way out!

When you have 3 kiddos to put in winter gear and to load up to go tend to condense. So, we try to do more than one thing while we are already out. So, first, we got ready.

Next, we got set. To get "set" we went and looked at our first potential home of the year. Let's just say: LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! This home was fabulous online. It offered more than 4200 finished square feet with 3 bedrooms, an office, a workout room (that we were hoping to convert into another bedroom), a nice finished basement, 4 fire places, and a pool in the backyard that backed to trees. It was new to the I just wanted to check it out while we were out anyway. We arrived early, so drove through the neighborhood a bit. Chris' thoughts.."No, let's leave." Okay, the builder of our current home had started to build in this neighborhood before the end. The home we looked at was not one of their homes and did not fit in with them really. However, Benchmark made some obvious mistakes that were not corrected. ALL of the electrical boxes were in the front yard! This home had 2 electrical boxes (and I mean big ones) in the front yard! Yuck! Next we drove around a bit. The backyard was tree'd all right, then had a big river on the other side of the fence at the bottom of a big ravine. On the other side of the 50 foot drop to this ravine was a cultisac with one house and some empty plots, and acrossed from that was...CHOOOO CHOOO (check out the pictures below for a better look)!! Yes, nice big train tracks! Seriously! Who would spend that kind of money building a nice home with THAT like 200 yards away. Not us! I quickly called the agent and told him to turn back around, we were not interested. Our home is looking better and better all the time!

Next we went to Mahoney State Park's Activity Center, their indoor playground, to PLAY with the "Parents with young children" group from church! This place is full of those tunnel systems, slides and ball pits that you see at those yucky pizza places, but on a grand scale. Chris, the kids and I were "trapped" in the tunnels for long periods of time with what seemed to be no escape. They are a kids' dream, if you are Alivia's age. For Addison, she was not so sure what to think most of the time, finding skipping on the ground and playing in the ball pits to be more fun that the giganic slides that picked up speed and gave you an air lifting ride! Asher liked the balls. The tunnels and the big slides he could have done without. As for Chris and I, we found we are much too old and big to be chasing babies and kids through, up and down tunnels! That is a lot of work! And, we left a bit too late. Our kids are quite scheduled and need to be in bed at 12:30 or there is a big price to pay...your hearing! I fed them on the way home, but that did not help. Addison cried most of the way home, with Asher piping in. Oh joy! But, we had fun, & that is all that is important.


The front...nothing fancy really.Back of the house...uh la la!The pool...what got me to the house!Nice finished basement


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Monday, January 19, 2009

On The Move Take 1

Well, if I have said it once I have said it a million times, we think we want to move this spring. Spring is quickly approaching (or at least we hope so), so we are getting our home ready for potentially putting it on the market. The homes in our neighborhood have vastly declined in value, however. There are only a few homes being marketed now and were put on the market in November. I realize that home values in the winter are less than during the spring (or at least the agents tell you - low ball your house so it will sell since there are less buyers during the winter). Anyway, here is the plan.

1. Clear out/Clean up: This is where we are at now. We, and by we I am mostly saying I, are cleaning every closet, cupboard and drawer. This is fun! I so like to get rid of unnecessary clutter, organize and make things look pretty. Now, if only they can stay that way! That is how I know I did a good job...if it lasts. We will soon be taking done many of our big toys and putting them into storage (the play house, the baby center, the kitchen, and the slide). Chris thinks it should all be out except the train table. The toys under the steps in the storage room will stay, so the kids can play with "something!" Chris can not help much with anything as he is working lots of overtime between now and May 1. This just ads another challence to an already overwhelming challenge!

2. Deep clean. After I get the entire house organized, I will need to go through and deep clean. By that I mean vacuum, dust, clean the windows, blinds, ceilings, fans, bathrooms, etc, etc. Oh, this will be fun, too. Especially with 3 kids trying really hard to not keep things clean.

3. Have 2 agents come out and look at the house. Why 2? We do not know these people, although they are recommended. We would like to have a couple opinions on what changes, if any, should be done to our home. They will also be giving us their opinion on a selling price. Chris and I also have what we want to sell our home for. We will see how close they are.

4. Have an open house with family and friends. This is my idea because I love to be tortured I guess. I thought...1) It gets the word out that our home is for sale, 2) Family & Friends will hopefully write on cards and tell us what we need to do or what they would not like about the home (like YUCK - that is awful! or you may want to clean your ceiling fans better...who knows! All valuable information in my opinion!).

4. Chris will build a splash sales page and build a website (hopefully with a virtual walk through of our home). I will be in charge of getting the sales page out to post wherever I can.

5. Put our home on the market FOR SALE BY OWNER. Yes, we know...YOU WILL NEVER SELL IT THAT WAY! Everyone is saying that. But, what do we have to lose? Oh yeah, $6 % of our selling price of our home if we use an agent. I told Chris, I will work REALLY HARD for him to sell it without an agent...try me! I already have some ideas up my sleeve on how to market it. I knew my MBA would come in handy some day (well, maybe). We will give this a go for 6 to 8 weeks, then reevaluate.

6. If late March to late April comes without much interest shown (if not sooner), we may market it with an agent. It all depends upon what the agent wants us to market our house for. Right now, if we marketed it for what they are listed for in our neighborhood and got exactly what we ask (and what is the likelihood of that happening??!!), after the agent's fees and commissions, we would almost end up with a wash to what we paid for our home nearly 9 years ago!! So, the finished basement, 10 big mature trees (not to mention all the shrubs) and professional landscaping, new air conditioner/furnace, new stainmaster carpeting throughout, plantation shutters, freshly painted interior and exterior, new roof, fenced in backyard,  etc, etc, would all be completely lost and a wasted investment. If this is the case, we will probably not list our home and just stay put until the market changes, unfortunately.

We are ready to move. We like our home, but need a little more room. We live in a great area, practically within walking distance of a number of places (Target, Walmart, HyVee, a couple places to get an oil changed, school, walking trail, park and sprinkle park). These will all be considerations of any potential new home. We will not be bidding on any home until our home sells. We may look, however, but will not bid (at least that is what we are saying now). We have a few homes that we like online now...but the homes on the market change weekly. The location of our home, however good, is not good for Chris who has commuted the 45 minute or more drive to Bellevue for over a decade now! Now especially, when he is working from 6AM to 5 PM, then driving home during rush hour after that long of a day! Yeah, that can be hard on a person.

So, we will see what the future holds. For now, I best get going as I have a big mess started in the kitchen...I have started to clean the cupboards! Oh, this better be worth it!  

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter Swim Class

It is January, so what else should be do but take swimming classes with a new teacher. I decided to enroll both Alivia and Addison hoping that Addison would cooperate with her sister at her side. Well, after 2 weeks, Addison said she wanted to get out and and go home and would not get into the pool further than the sitting step. So, she had to withdraw from class. Alivia is still very timid. She is the only one in her class now, so we may be switching so she can watch other kids actively participating in hopes that she will follow suit. We have had her in a number of classes without much if any signs of improvement. Swimming may just not be her thing. 

One thing I did not consider when enrolling in winter swimming...the clothes, taking off the coats & clothes, swimming then, the clothes, drying the hair, etc. takes forever!! But, it is so worth it in the end, right?


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Monday, January 12, 2009

Addison's 1/2 Birthday

Today Addison is officially 2 ½! Although Addison may be a big girl in our eyes, she plays the baby card well by asking to be carried, her eternal love for her taggie blankets, and her refusal to go #2 in the potty.  Although she is potty trained during the day, Addison saves her “woo woo” for naptime and night time.  I have refused to put a diaper on her on a couple of occasions in an effort to get her to use the potty, and that has not turned out pretty or clean.  Addison can be found skipping through the house carrying a cooler, backpack or her jewelry box stuffed full of toys and insisting on taking them everywhere with her. She loves to go to bed with all of these bags, taggies, and her name stepstool in her toddler bed with her! Sometimes I wonder how she fits her little body in amongst all of that stuff!

Addison’s favorites: Boppas, Taggie Blankets, Dolls, watching potty Elmo (Although the only thing she is learning is new words for “pee” & “poo”), watching home videos & Curious George, playing with Alivia & Asher, screaming, spaghetti dinner with garlic toast, cookies, & Addison loves our weekly outings where ever it is. She loves to color and change her clothes (by herself) numerous times a day...keeping Mommy busy with laundry. And, as you can tell from these pictures, she loves getting her picture taken!

Addison’s Dislikes: Washing her hair & having it combed, being told to go potty,  taking nap and going to bed at night, and being picked on by her sister really throws her for a loop. Although Addison used to be our best sleeper, she now plays for a long while before finally crashing during naptime. At night, she was running to Alivia’s room to read books, but now she knows that Mommy or Daddy are in the hall and stays put.  She goes to bed about 8 with Alivia and wakes around 7 (sometimes much sooner unknown to me!) and goes into Alivia’s room to read and play.

We had Addison’s favorite dinner, spaghetti, tonight and ½ Birthday Chocolate Cupcakes to celebrate her ½ Day! Happy ½ Birthday Addison!


Helping Mommy shovel!Addison with her cupcakeAddison with her taggie

Send to a friend

Friday, January 09, 2009

Mommy Can't...

Today, I loaded up the kids for an adventure. Oh, not an adventure to a new park, the museum, or even the zoo, this was a trip to the doctor. Seriously, have you ever taken 3 kids ages 4, 2, and 1 to the doctor with you. Believe me, it is an adventure. One that I was dreading for sure.

Anyone who knows me knows I either have to be really sick and/or pregnant to go to the doctor. Let me report, it is NOT the latter! So, I loaded up the crew to go to the doctor.

We arrived on time. I filled out some paperwork since it had been since 2005 that I had been to my family physician (having spent so much time in my OB's office, I guess I have not felt like going to my family doctor for a check-up. After today, I will not be going again, either). We waited and waiting, the waiting room cleared, then filled up again, and we waited and waited some more. This process was repeated 3 more times until the receptionist decided to go and check on what was going on. I, at this moment, wished I was a drug rep again as 3-4 drug reps had come in, got their signatures and left while I was still sitting there trying to entertain the kids.

Finally the nurse called us back. I got into the nice attire as Addison and Alivia stared at me, asking numerous questions. The PA (No, not the Dr as she was just too busy. Seriously, I could have been a drug rep because that was the same line they gave me then!) came into the room right away and looked a little concerned about the kids being in the room. "Do you want them to leave?" she asked. Um, and go where? It is me and only me. Want me to put them in the hallway?

Anyway, as she started the exam, Asher, who was on the floor with his books and the cell phone to entertain him, seriously lost it. He was crying at the top of his lungs so that anyone in the building could have heard him. Meanwhile, my helper girl, Alivia, was sitting behind him plugging her ears and Addison was sitting in a chair with her taggie sucking her thumb. The PA called in the nurse and Asher held up his hands to her. Great, he is going to let her hold him. Um, no such luck. He cried harder with big tears rolling down his face. The nurse finally handed Asher to me as the PA finished her exam and questioning. Asher was quiet almost immediately (all he wanted was me!).

I left completed embarrassed for a few reasons that I will not get into. I decided yesterday that Mommy can't get sick (I had a bad case of the stomach flu!) , and today I learned that Mommy can't go to the doctor. And, I am sure my doctors will be relieved to hear that. My visit today probably caused the office to take an early lunch and tell a few more drug reps, "Sorry, today just is not a good day."

Send to a friend

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What's on your iPod?

I recently inherited my old iPod Nano from Chris after he got the iPod Touch for Christmas. I have had a difficult time finding tunes to put on the thing to rock my workout. With that said, here is my list. Any suggested workout tunes would be greatly appreciated!

1. Beautiful Day (U2)
2. Apologize (One Republic)
3. U and Ur Hand (Pink) (and I do not like this one!)
4. Move Along (The All American Rejects)
5. Hate My Life (Theory of a Deadman) Chris' suggestion and the song is so funny. I can relate to a couple parts. :)
6. Training Montage (Rocky IV)
7. Declaration (David Cook)
8. Light on (David Cook)
9. Rock your Body (Justin Timberlake)
10. Crush (David Archuleta)
11.The time of My LIfe (David Cook)
12 Angel (Natasha Bedingfield)
13 Say (John Mayer)
14 Pocketful of Sunshine
15. Burning Heart (Rocky IV)

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to "Normal"

Today we are back to "normal" at the Austin house after having Alivia off from preschool and Daddy off from work for 2 weeks! Alivia was super excited and talked non stop today in anticipation of her return to school. Daddy, on the other hand, was pretty quiet.
We tried to have as much fun as possible during their vacations. We went to both the Omaha and Lincoln Children's museums, the girls and Chris went to the movies, we celebrated Christmas many times over and New Years, went to Mass a lot, and played a lot with the new toys. Addison started her New Year's goal of going #2 on the potty without success. So, I am going to be potty training Addison right up until I begin potty training Asher. You would think I would be getting good at this at some point. Alivia started her goal of triyng to wear less than 4 outfits a day. I have started on my goals (and I will get to that later) and Daddy is back to working out consistantly and looking into moving more seriously (you should see all his paperwork!).
Chris and I finished his vacation with our "date night" at home with pizza and a movie (after the kiddos go to bed). The movie, Eagle Eye, was quite good and I would recommend it!

Hopefully we all have memories of this Holiday Season that will last a lifetime.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Asher walks



Seems like yesterday that Addison starting walking. Asher has taken off since turning 13 months old on Monday. He is now walking from place to place more than crawling! All of our kiddos started walking during their 13 month. Yeah, now we have 3 kids to chase after!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Problem Solved?

As we were getting ready for Mass this morning, I showed Chris that I was using the last little bit of my blush (make-up). As Chris normally does, he quickly came up with a solution to my problem.

"Just toot during Mass...that will make you blush."

 I think I will just buy some blush. But, thanks anyway Chris.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend