31 December 2011

Well, here we are. Another new year is upon us, which means another chance to make some serious changes. I have high hopes for 2012. And PLENTY of things to obtain, maintain and do away with. 2011 taught me a lot about life. Much of which was in the hardest way possible. I've got a backbone this time and I'm ready to take life by the horns and start making some serious strides. On that note, I've got the top eight of my New Year's resolutions for ya. Granted, the list'll probably climb to 1000 of the most unattainable ones possible, BUT! you know.

  1. Health: Since my pregnancy with Kiri, it's news to no one that I've had a zillion health problems and the most ridiculous problems with my weight. Well, this year, that's all going to change. I'm going to make it a point to go to the gym regularly---not only to rid myself of this much (not) needed baby weight, but to feel healthy again! I was a grass-only eating skinny minnie in the old days and that's where I plan to be again. I want to do more yoga, meditation and pamper myself a LOT more than I do now. I deserve to be taken care of just as much as anybody else and I realize now that it's not selfish to remember that fact every now and then. This year, I WILL get down to 120lbs and I will feel good every day I wake up.
  2. Happiness: Often I forget that life is about more than just the daily grind. We need to get out more, see more places and make more memories. Even though we're all super tired after working an insane week at work, we need -so desperately- to get up and do something, rather than sleep or waste the day away on the couch watching Law and Order SVU. We need variety to be happy. This year, we WILL travel more and try a new thing every once in a while.
  3. Love: Going on three years of marriage, Papa and I still haven't celebrated our honeymoon. Such a sad case we are. I know I said last year that I wanted to take it last year (and the year before and blah, blah, blah!) and I've finally given up on the idea---at least until we get married FOR REAL. (That's the exact reason I refuse to wear -or show off- my wedding ring!) SO, in place of said honeymoon, we're gonna make sure we take Mama&Papa Only weekend trips a couple times out of the year to get some much needed a-loneeeeee time. Plus, it wouldn't kill us to have some date nights every now and then. You know what I mean?! This year, I will become a better wife.
  4. Parenting: A lot of things are gonna be different, once Kiri starts growing up. I'm not going to have this insane closeness with her, that I have now. Since I began working, it's as though I've tightened my grasp on her little hand, trying to savor every millisecond we are able to have together. And I realize that it's probably just the beginning. I need to start the letting-go process soon, or else I'm going to have a nervous break down the day she starts school. I need to put her into some sort of social activity, on a sports team or enrichment class so that she can start interacting with kids her own age. I don't want to hinder her growth socially, you know? She NEEDS to be around other kids. This year, I'm going to be a better mother.
  5. Finances: 2011 put us in a really bad situation financially. For months, the police academy had Papa driving hundreds of miles a day JUST to and from class (not counting work!) so our credit cards, gas cards and pockets were stretched super thin! Plus, we had to take out a loan to pay for the police academy, so we had debts to the roof! Once I moved over to Saint Augustine, I started making good money, which helped some, but even now, we're still catching up. 2012 is going to be different. We are going to budget WEEKLY. I'm gonna become a lot more strict on what we do/don't purchase and how we go about eating out. There are more important things in life than shopping sprees and last minute drive thru runs. We need to start saving money. We need to have a support system. We opened a savings account through USAA like two years ago and we depleted the entire thing when we went to buy our car and it's been at $25 ever since. HA! Not after tonight though! It's gonna keep increasing until we get a good hunk of change in it. We have a goal in mind already, but I don't think we should even set one. Let it keep growing! I also need to focus on making sure Ki has what she needs financially for the rest of her life. Like a car and eventually, a home. Beginning the process early will only benefit her in the long run. And that doesn't only mean LONG term. I need to start putting away Christmas and birthday money on January 1. Not mere weeks before a holiday! Also, 2014 is right around the corner, so I NEED to start putting together a wedding fund for Robert and I. I don't want TOO big of a wedding, just something simple and sweet, but I also don't want to have to go without on the nuptials jsut because I run out of money either. This year, we WILL become money makers and penny pinchers.
  6. Charity: Consignment shops, homeless shelters, WWF (where I will adopt a panda bear!), Habitat for Humanity, Save A Tree, St. Jude's Hospital....you name it, we plan to donate to it. We plan to make this next year ALL about giving back to the community and lending a helping hand. We're purging our closets and our pockets like you wouldn't believe. This year, we WILL put others first.
  7. Social Ties: Out with the old and in with the new. That is my social goal for the year. A lot of people let me down these past few months and I think it's time for a break up of our friendships. I need only healthy souls in my life anymore. It is just too damn busy in my brain to have people weighing me down. It's time to be a grown up and learn to say "No". And though this will be no easy feat for me, it has to be done---one way or another. Because despite how much I try to ignore it, I KNOW there are some really unhealthy relationships in my life. Toxic even. And with all this extra space coming available in this big old heart of mine, I need to fill it with some new mama friends. I wanna meet ladies just like me, in my new home. I need a new coffee buddy. Hell, I need a new best friend to gossip with. This year, I'm gonna make friends.
  8. Living: Even after living our apartment for six months, it still lacks the cozy feeling of "home". I need to find the time to fully settle us in and decorate, decorate, decorate! I haven't had a single Ikea trip since being here, so I need to pencil one in stat. This year, our apartment is going to become our HOME.
Though those are no where near ALL of my resolutions, you probably get the idea where I'm going this time around. Life's too short to be making tall mistakes, so I'm cracking down on even the little things and opting to make a serious change in my life. What things are you planning to change this next year? Anything wild or outrageous. Remember to not set your goals TOO high. After all, it IS only a 365 day period. And things take time. BUT! On that same note, don't let those couple hundred days pass you by. Take advantage of your life today. Because tomorrow isn't always guaranteed to come.

A safe and Merry New Year, bloggers! See you on the flip side.

With love,

the Sawyer Family.

30 December 2011



So many things happened and so many things changed, that I don't even know where to begin.

We hit a few milestones this year. I hit the double 2's, Papa made it to legal drinking age, Kiri had a lucky 11-11-11 birthday, we visited Paris (birthday party-style), another anniversary down. Kiri officially agraduated her tomboy stage and accepted Barbie dolls and has INSISTED we start calling her "Princess Kiwi"! We donated to charity, shopped locally (for the most part), I started working full-time (after a three year hiatus!) and we bought a hybrid car. PLUS, the whopper, we relocated two hundred miles across Florida to the beautiful history-packed tourist favorite, Saint Augustine Beach!

2011, you brought craziness, drama and an uphill battle that even I didn't think I'd overcome. But while bringing a whole load of chaos, you seemed to unknowingly point me in a new direction, where I ended up finding my place of happiness. Both physically and emotionally. You really found the ugly in a lot of people. Especially when it came to family and close friends. People let us down, screwed us over and showed their true colors in the absolute worst way possible. It's truly a shame to admit, but a lot of ties were cut and bridges burnt. You also brought truth; something I reluctantly accepted and moved forward from. Even when you slapped a hand of reality across my face, it somehow worked itself out for the better. Plus, you taught me to be one tough bitch. And to not accept anything less than what I deserve. Two thumbs up for that, no doubt.

And despite the hundred of bitches and complaints I've probably issued over the past 365 days, I can honestly say, it hasn't been too bad of a year. And I definitely think I lived up to the goals I set for myself this time last year (here); which leaves me extremely excited to see what 2012 has in store for us.

Meanwhile, back to writing my new year's resolutions....

Pinterest-ing Wednesday {v.4}



Hey, y'all! I'm a little late, I know! I suck so bad. But you know, with the holidays and family visiting, plus work being so hectic, I haven't had time to rest...even for a millisecond. But as promised, here are my top six pins of the week! Enjoy.


For Mama: This is basically the entirety of my closet, as of late. Over-sized sweaters, tee-shirts and black leggings. I don't know what I'm gonna do once Spring comes! 

For Papa: Oldsmobile forever. 

For Kiri: Super cute Parisian inspired block set. So she can really construct the Eiffel Tower!

For the Home: WANT, WANT, WANT!

For Celebration: Yep, you guessed it. I've started the wedding planning process. Two years in advance. When all I want is a tiny (SIMPLE) beach wedding! 

For Inspiration: I want this photograph framed on my wall! Enough said.

Follow my boards here.

22 December 2011

It Ain't Easy Being Cheesy


Oh, the hilarity of this one.

I ask for a picture, to send a friend of mine, and I get this. Pure and utter cheesiness. I just can't believe how sassy (but cute!) she's gotten lately. Calling me out on my mistakes, saying "C'mon, Mommy, you know better!", like when I forget to put the milk back in the refrigerator, haha! Or when Bop forgets to put the seat down in the bathroom and she comes stomping out, hands on her hips and all, saying "Dahhh-ee! You have to put the seat down, you know!" It kills me. It kills Robert. And anyone that meets her falls in love with her.

But hey, who wouldn't?!

21 December 2011

'Pinterest'-ing Wednesday {v.3}




''Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la!'

For Mama: May I even begin to comment on the fact that I've been OBSESSED with mustard this season. The color, that is! Just the way it looks against the fallen leaves....it's perfect to me.

For Papa: Men. Suspenders. Dress pants. I'M IN LOVE.

For Kiri: This just breathes Kiri. All the way. Major diva status right hurr.

For the Home: In the spirit of Christmas, being merry is a major plus. Just the word 'merry' makes me wanna get up and sway to and fro, while dreaming of the smell of pine and a white Christmas.

For Celebration: What a wonderful time of year. Bare trees, reindeer, snow. (Well, not in Florida, BOO!) but you know!

For Inspiration: Need I say more? I've been falling out of my organized ways and letting life (and the cleanliness of my home!) slide by. Not cool, Amanda. Not cool. I need to get back on track: Start doing yoga again, start working out, get on a routine and right a strict budget. 2012, here I come!

Follow my boards here.

20 December 2011

Sweetest Chuckle


You know what I love most about being a mother? The simple sound of my child's laugh. Like a coo, mixed with a high pitched giggle, it just eats me up inside every time I hear it.

This morning, she woke me up with it. Seven in the morning and all I hear is that silly laugh. 'Wake up, mahhh-me. Wake up Dahhhh-eeee!" [Cue laughter] Little things like that can SURELY help me wake up with a smile.

And you know that degree of absolute, utter love for this tiny being that couldn't possibly grow any more? Yeah, it's been surpassed. Again. Who-da-thunk it?!


14 December 2011

Lucky Numbers

1, 2, 9…..

And for good reason to! See, I believe in things like numerology. I feel that numbers, like fate, can draw people and things together. For example, my parents had four children, all of which aged apart by 18 months, 2 years and 5 years (1989, 1990, 1992, 1997). Robert’s parents had four children, all of which aged apart by 18 months, 2 years and 5 years. (1982, 1983, 1985, 1990). 

Still don’t think it’s weird? Here’s a bit more. Robert and I became an (official) couple on November 3rd 2006, (11/03/06). Then, on Valentine’s Day 2007, I texted him a message (at 06:30pm) saying: “I’m gonna marry you one day!”  (Two years later, on a whim, Robert and I got married….on June 30th, 2009--06/30.). Robert’s father, Richard, was born January 29th, 01/29---also my sister’s birthday!) at 11:11am. The 1 in his birthday is the common number in Kiri’s birth date, the 2 is the common number in mine and the 9 is the common number in Robert’s. He was also born at 11:11 am which is Kiri’s birth date. He also died on Valentine's Day 2008, the day he was supposed to tell his father about the fact that he was supposed to propose to me, a week before my 19th birthday (1-9). I was born at 9 o’clock, Robert was born at 11 o’clock. Kiri, was also born at 11:03:06 am signifying the morning of November 3rd, 2006, when Robert asked me to be his girlfriend. Kiri’s birthday is also Veteran’s Day, which is cool because HER FATHER is in the military, as well as my grandfather, father, brother and uncle and Robert’s father and many of his male (and some female) relatives.

Just something to get ya thinking, you know?

You Got It Dude



Kiri's new trademark? "You got it, dude!" Just like Michelle off of 'Full House'. She says it to everything.

*Also, please excuse the nip-slip. This one's been going through a phase of wearing all of mama's maternity shirts (that I will never, ever wear again!) and using them as dress up clothing. She's got a trunk of old stuff that she just loves. Makes clogging around in old heels even that much cuter.

'Pinterest'-ing Wednesday {v.2}

Ah, it's another lovely Wednesday morning here at our fort. Quite a hump day, to say the least. As this week has been super, unbelievably stressful. BUT! No matter the hurdles, I declare that this week WILL be a good one. In the mean time, here are my top favorites from my pin boards.


For Mama: Oh, the extra mile caffeine has gone for me this week. It's been a little chilly here, so just the warm feeling of the mug in my hands, the yummy French vanilla fragrance lingering through the air...can't tell ya how much I love that stuff! 

For Papa: Robert and I have been going over thoughts of some changes in the upcoming year, one of them being his wardrobe. He'd really like to find more of a 'grown up' look, as opposed to the same 'board shorts and tee shirts' look he's graced for the past six years. Can't say that I wouldn't like seeing him rock dress shirts and blazers!

For Kiri: How stinkin' cute is that elephant?! OH. MY. GOSH. I've been going over different themes for her room; she likes eiffel towers and polka dots, but I like the more calm, natural look. Something less...I don't know, busy. She really seemed to like this though. Maybe we can find a happy medium?

For the Home: You can't NOT find that room so relaxing. Plus, the sweater blanket? Super cute. I need to re-vamp our apartment and you better believe this board has given me some adorable ideas.

For Celebration: Yes. Wedding in the Woods? Natural colors, natural elements, natural light, natural love. My dream.

For Inspiration: Need I say more? 

10 December 2011

07 December 2011

'Pinterest'-ing Wednesday



Ever since my friend Sarah (at Her Sea of Love) introduced me to Pinterest a few months back, I think it's safe to say I've been obsessed. Some of the things on there are just darling---it's like someone took my imagination and splashed it all over one tiny website. So, in an effort to keep me blogging regularly, I'm gonna share my favorites, one from each board, once a week, every Wednesday, for y'all! So, to kick off 'Pinterest'-ing Wednesday, here's the first week's lineup! 



 Follow my boards over here




06 December 2011

Teeny Toesies


"Twinkle Twinkle little toes,
Back and forth and curled they go.
Flailing, wailing, all around,
In the air, or on the ground"

Never, in my twenty-two years of life, have I ever adored something more than I do those tiny little phalanges. 'Barney Rubble toes' I call 'em. So small and square shaped....like a complete replica of her Papa's. Seeing them wiggle while she giggles in unison? PERFECT. Just another reason I love her so.
Also, you've probably noticed that I'm still amidst my black and white obsession. I just don't know what it is these days. Kiri looks adorable naturally, but it's just the photos I've been taking in the 'Noir' setting have been flawless. I swear, they won't be going to waste. Each and every one of those photos is going to be put on a beautiful canvas and hung together to form a really cute piece on my wall.
Scouts honor.

05 December 2011

Manic Monday


To start the week off right. Currently, I'm.....



Obsessing over: How much Kiri is growing each day! It's like: blink, grow, blink grow some more.

Working on: Christmas shopping, because I'm a real-life procrastinator.

Thinking about: Taking a little vacation next month, we -so- deserve it.

Anticipating: CHRISTMAS, NEW YEARS, VALENTINE'S DAY AND MY BIRTHDAY!

Listening to: Adele. Who else?!

Drinking: Coffee. Which we all know is a MUST for me this early in the morning!

Wishing: I could be home. But work is work. At least I'm bloggin'!

Love.

04 December 2011

101 in 1001

Hello friends! Thanks to my all-time favorite blogger Angel at This Life Is Sweet, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and start a ‘101 in 1001’ bucket list!
This is a HUGE task for me. Especially since I’m the type of person who NEVER finishes something I start. Mostly because I spend 99% of my time doing things for others, so I throw whatever business I had to the side and then forgetting that it’s there altogether. It’s not entirely my fault though!
Nevertheless, after reading some of the things she had listed on there (and stealing some too!) I decided to try it! And with some serious self-motivation, I plan on finishing it. 101 things in 1001 days? I think I could do it…and you should too! List some of your favorite things or even things you dream about doing. Maybe once you have them written down, those things will stop being JUST A DREAM and actually become A REALITY!

Mission

Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.


Criteria

Tasks must be specific with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching {ie. represent some amount of work on your part}.
Start date: Sunday, December 04, 2011
End date: Saturday, September 15, 2014


Strikethrough completed goals

Mind, Body & Spirit:

1. Love who I am
2. Be completely happy with life
3. Get back to my pre-baby weight
4. Finally take our honeymoon!
5. Watch the sunrise
6. Go on a family vacation
7. Drink a cup of tea each morning
8. Take a Yoga class
9. Get more tattoos
10. Remember to meditate every day
11. Regulate my sleeping habits
12. Go to the gym five days a week
13. Do yoga five days a week
14. Remember that I’m not perfect and nobody is
15. Learn to love myself like I do others
16. Ride on the back of a Harley
17. Compliment myself each morning when I wake up
18.  Watch the sunset –romantically- with my husband
19. Mail a secret to Postsecret
20. Start going to bed before 2am
21. Spend an entire weekend without internet

Create:

22. Learn how to sew
23. Fully furnish our new apartment
24. Finish Kiri’s new room
25. Finish our master bedroom
26. Paint a picture
27. Begin making a scrapbook for Kiri
28. Build Kiri a dollhouse
29. Take out my DSLR and photograph more
30. Make a black & white photo album with my photography
31. Create something & send it to a random friend
32. Throw an amazing completely homemade party

Loved Ones:

33. Read Kiri a book every day for a month {31+/31}
34. Spend a weekend with my husband, alone
35. Take Kiri to Disney World
36. Start a new family tradition
37. Teach Kiri about different cultures
38. Make Date Nights with Papa more regular, at least once a month
39. Stop co-sleeping
40. Stop co-showering
41. Learn to say ‘No’ to people, including/especially family
42. Get Kiri into Volunteer PreK, as she asks!

Social Deeds:

43. Make some new mommy friends
44. Plan a Pinterest inspired craft party
45. Volunteer for a charitable cause
46. Donate stuff we don’t use to a homeless shelter

Fun Times:

47. Go skydiving
48. Go to a concert
49. Go camping
50. Go on a cruise
51. Fly on an airplane
52. Go white river rafting
53. Take a drive down the coast
54. Go on a picnic

Money & Stuff:

55. Save $50 per month for a whole year
56. Buy a new home
57. Start a rainy day jar

Travels & Adventures:

58. Visit a new country
59. Travel to each of the seven continents
60. Visit my family in Massachusetts
61. Take a road trip
62. Actually see the west coast
63. Climb a mountain
64. Ride on a city bus
65. Go to a flea market
66. Swim in a natural spring
67. Walk inside a real cave

Shopping:

68. Buy a MacBook!
69. Buy a Canon
70. Buy a flat screen for our room
71. Get myself some new clothing
72. Expand my shoe collection
73. Go to our local farmers market
74. Buy a new living room set
75. Buy a new dining room table
76. Get Kiri a bunk bed
77. Get some new closet storage

Food, Bev & Yummy Stuff:

78. Try sushi
79. Go a full month without drinking soda
80. Go a full month without eating any sweets
81. List 5 favorite local food joints & blog about my favorite dish
82. Make a homemade apple pie for my husband
83. Create my own dish
84. Find one recipe and make it, once a month

Other Items:

85. BLOG MORE!
86. Start writing more
87. Buy a filing system and organize all our paperwork
88. Get rid of 50 things I no longer use
89. Transfer all my photos to an external hard drive
90. Sing karaoke
91. Have a party, just because
92. Participate in a 30 day photo challenge
93. Shave my legs, every day
94. Try a new hair color
95. Learn a new language
96. Get on birth control
97. Send a postcard to someone
98. Finish my degree
99. Finish each task I start
100. Actually finish this list
101. Start a new list when this one is completed

I'm so excited to begin!

 

02 December 2011

She Bangs

I can't decide whether or not I like them this time. The lady at the salon cut them way too thick!


On the bright side, I'm happy to be back to bloggin'! Even though I HAVE been trying, my posts just haven't made it any farther than my draft list. -Hence, why I always post 'em all at once!- Life has just been moving in oober fast mode lately and I can't even begin to register everything until long after it's over with. I really want to be able to keep up with Our Humble Fort, because it IS me. Maybe I need to remember to take a few minutes and focus on myself. Because it's obvious that I don't already.

Le Artist

Many Travels


With only the best alongside me. Gosh, LIFE IS GOOD.

01 December 2011

So Photogenic


I adore so much the fact that this little girl puts up with my annoying attempts at snapshotting every single second of her life. I'm just so afraid I'm gonna miss something. Even the little things are important.

And I love even more the fact that she brings out the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. My little model, I call her. My little inspirational model, that is.

Three.




















For months and months, we planned a -super awesome- birthday party for you. You wanted a 'night time' party, with just a few friends, and during the day, you wanted to "downtown-downtown", as you call it. Lucky for us, the day of your "festivities" was the setup for Saint Augustine's nights of lights celebration. So we got to see a sneak peek of the Christmas tree and all the thousands of lights going up. It really was awesome!

The week prior, we had been walking down King Street to go to the post office and you were entranced by the Wax Museum. So that was our first stop. Papa had us rolling on the floor laughing with the way he talked to the figurines AND because every time he touched one, he broke off a finger or something. After that, we walked along the waterfront, past the Bridge of Lions.

You especially loved the Castillo de San Marco fort this time, even though it didn't interest you in the slightest the past twenty times we've gone. But you know, changing is what my little babe's all about these days. I don't mind it in the least bit though.

Since not a lot of your friends had been to Ripley's you just HAD to show them the eerie grossness of it. And you just HAD to get an airbrush tattoo there as well. Papa made sure he let you know that'd be the last tattoo you'd be getting until you were fifty. You replied with a chuckle and a "You're silly, Daddy!"

We ate at the retro-looking Dairy Queen downtown -again, your birthday, your choice- and you were in heaven. But I bet that's a moment your Auntie Cassie won't forget, since she got sprayed directly in the eye with ketchup and it made her eye balloon up. You thought this was the funniest thing in the world. It kills me how much you see the glass half full all the time....

After lunch, you decided you wanted to burn off your food by playing tag in the park with your friends. Project S.W.I.N.G is the biggest public park Mama's ever seen, so I could just imagine how it looked in your eyes. All I know is that you were out of breath from laughing so hard, the entire time.

Once we got home, other people kept you busy so Mama could set up your party. Whoever thought up the 'Cars 2 and pizza' scheme was right on the money. I didn't hear a peep out of you for an hour and a half!

Upon finishing the setup, you came out to "Paris". I didn't take a lot of pictures, but the whole living room was beautiful. Eiffel towers and glitter galore. Your face absolutely killed me. I knew, in that moment, you were happiest of all. And judging by the amount of presents and sweets, I'm pretty sure I nailed it.

And next year, you want a day-time Italian themed party, fully equipped with mustaches, meatballs and a "Leaning Tower of Pizza". Hm, yeah, I think I could handle that.

Love.