The Holidays:

What a wonderful time of the year! The crisp air, the delicious treats, family traveling far and wide to spend quality time together. Let’s not forget, Uncle Frank’s traditional, “carve the turkey” ceremony! Now, I don’t have an uncle named Frank and I’ve never experienced a turkey ceremony, but something tells me that you may have. All of the children making their wish lists for Santa and dreaming of the night they can bake those warm; sweet and sometimes overcooked sugar cookies. Ah, the magic!

Let’s talk lights, trees and cozy blankets. Personally, I’m a fan of the fake trees. Call me untraditional and part of the crazy people that don’t want their dog to lift a leg, but that is exactly why I enjoy the plastic. Not to mention, now a days they have “pre-lit” trees!! I don’t understand how Christmas lights can go into a box so perfectly bound and tight, to be unraveled and end up in knots where you have to re-purchase them every year. It may sound like I’m being negative, but truly… who really wants to go through that hassle? Not this girl! (or her family)

How about those blankets and scarfs? Yes, by the bundles! Have you seen the Hallmark channel?! They always have the most beautiful arrangements and everyone in the movies has these perfect coats with these super cozy scarves and they always manage to wrap themselves up in these soft; thick blankets in front of a burning fireplace. They really know how to get us in the spirit of Christmas!

Kids! Put that down or no presents from Santa!

How many of us can say that we have tried this every December? For some reason, it’s the only time of year that we can’t threaten to take away their iPad or phones because they feel that they will be gifted with something of equal value under the tree. I figure that I could enlighten some of those that may have infants this year, or possibly expecting and looking forward to the day that their little ones will be able to open up their first gift. Now that experience is really one for the books! Enjoy those days, for when the toddlers become teens… if I’m being honest, its not as fun. The gifts become overly expensive and some kids now a days just don’t deserve anything but a good meal and early bedtime. Most days, mine included.

No, you come see me!

Raise your hand if you have this argument EVERY YEAR with your family members! As of this week, I have asked my little brother and his family to visit us for Thanksgiving. We live 3 hours a part and to be honest, his car has better gas mileage. (I do happen to love the drive to his house though.)

 I’d love to discuss the feelings of deciding when to go see family, or when they need to come see you. Of course, it’s mostly circumstantial- finances, drive or fly times, physical or mental attributes, but there are also other things that come into play like previous fights in the year, custom traditional values and the idea that everyone feels more important than anyone else in the family.

Again, I don’t want to make this a negative post, but I feel it should be addressed in some way. Maybe I can help you understand why it’s important to make the sacrifices to see those irritating family members that happen to never leave their house for any festivities, let alone the biggest day of the year.

Mark and I have always had to travel to be with our family members. We made a pact this year that if anyone would like to see us, then they should come to be with us in Texas. For one, the climate seems to be a little warmer and two, we have a big family of our own to travel with. So, it makes more sense for our families who have a little less baggage to come to us. As for my little brother, he has the same size family but for us to visit him and his wife and children, we would need a hotel for 3 days and we drive a truck that gets 13 miles to the gallon. And for him he just needs $25 in gas and time off of work.

Balance is key though. There shouldn’t be a scale as to how many times you would like to see your family. It shouldn’t be “counted” on your hands as to the number of visits you’ve made per year to see a certain someone that is on your mind. That’s why there is a phone or a letter you can use to start a conversation. If you try to wait on other people, you may be disappointed…but it doesn’t mean that those members of the family that you adore mean any less to you in your heart. Love is the gift that keeps on giving, ALL year round.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!

This has proven to be 100% true. Not everyone shares the same view and that’s perfectly fine. Often times people find it difficult for many reasons that I won’t get into discussing because this isn’t meant to bring you down, its meant to help you realize why this day is so special as a whole. December 25th is and always will be a remarkable and most reflected day of all time to the human race. Jesus’ birthday! By his birth and triumph through his life span, he has been able to place peace, love and kindness inside of all of us. Yes, he is THE man that has been put through the worst pain possible but he walks among us and shows us just how much we mean to him by allowing us to celebrate his birthday here on earth with our loved ones and strangers alike.

Some feel that Christmas itself is just a way to market and gain more income. Some believe that it’s about the gifts we can give to others and some truly just feel its just another day on the calendar. All of the glitz and glamour that society has painted for our children on this holy day, has given them reason to believe that it’s all about how big the gift will be under the tree. Or how about that crazy elf that sits everywhere in your house to monitor your children’s behavior. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun idea to play small pranks and have a good laugh- but its not what Christmas is about)

Our family, while blended – still have the conversations about the magic that the day brings. The reason and the life behind not only our own lives, but giving the glory to our creator. Without Jesus, without God, without the Holy Spirit- we are nothing! Having our Heavenly Father by our side every day, giving us breathe every morning and creating lessons in our lives to understand and recognize that we are human, is the reason of Christmas! Let’s honor these months to come – lets celebrate our one true King, Jesus!!!

The Borino Family

Sitting pool-side with a little rain….

Here I am at our local resort and after a good work out, I’m taking 30 minutes to tan. Is it ideal? Knowing that there are clouds hovering and some of them seem a little darker than others? Absolutely!! Because that sun is still shining through those clouds and I am going to get a tan without adding extra $tress to our budget.

Relax- is that a thing?

Yeah it is! Up until 3 weeks ago, I would have argued countless times that it would be impossible to do. Laundry needs to be folded, dishes need to be washed, kids need food. You name it, the task was more important than my sanity. Until my husband and I decided to join a resort/country club that has everything you need to be yourself. How can I “adult” when there are little people that need my attention every waking moment of the day? Join the gym that has this 2 and a half hour block of Kids Academy!! Not only do they have classes to keep our kids happy and full of excitement, they have everything this mommy needs to understand just what “relaxing” means.

I’m not saying you have to go out and seek this type of place to be happy and be able to unwind. I’m not even saying that we deserve this place ourselves. I still pinch myself every time I pull into the parking lot and see the building. I thank God everyday, every meal and probably about ten times a day just for being able to breathe. What I am saying is that I have come to the realization that no matter how many kids we have, how many husbands there will be and no matter what job we take on in this world….YOU MATTER! Your body, your mind, your soul matters. Take a look at the things you can do to pamper yourself on a daily basis and some on occasion –

  • Hair – Either set up an appointment at a salon and spend 2 hours with your favorite beautician. Or you can do what I do and buy the stuff from Sally’s and spend time with the radio and the mirror, dancing and praying that the color turns out!
  • Nails – Even if you have a toddler, this one may be easy to do. Since nail polish seems to be sky rocketing into prices that I never want to pay to do it at home ( and screw up by touching everything) I would choose to get them done with a professional. If you prefer to do it at home, then I say…go for it! My talents are closer to baking than sitting still long enough to have my nails dry on their own.
  • Exercise – I know, believe me…its not something I would have said was “relaxing” until now. But honestly, I feel so much better knowing that my blood is pumping and I can lift my youngest if she needs help. Not to mention, just being able to spring out of bed in the morning is enough to get me to the gym.
  • Coffee, Tea or Milk – Just being able to spend 10 quiet minutes alone with a cup of your favorite beverage may be enough to help you relax. Whether its before the kids wake up in the morning, during a nap midday or at night when you say, ” goodnight, angel.”
  • Read or write – Picking up a good book or reading a few select articles on how to be a better parent on Pinterest may be an outlet you may have thought about but have yet to pursue. Or maybe you feel better by writing your daily routine into a journal.

Regardless of where you like to hang out or whom you like to spend your time with, it all starts with YOU! Take the time to wander. One day, the kids will be grown. Your husband will be filled with nights at the office and all you will have is yourself to be with. If you find out what you enjoy now, then by the time you find time to do the things you love, you won’t feel like I did and fight the idea of being yourself. I’ve always been a mom first, wife second and just surviving the days. Now….I have a different perspective. Now is the time that I find myself and I hope someday that I help you find yourself. Maybe we can share that cup of tea or good book together. Who knows? All I know is that making time for yourself is a very important role in your life and you should start as soon as possible.

Live, laugh, organize!

How many of us have the mentality to keep things perfectly organized but find it easier to just leave stuff where they lay? I do! My mind says, ” a clean life is a happy life.” My time managing self says, ” get it in as fast as you can, no matter what the fridge looks like! ” In our household we live organized, make sure we put things away after we use them and trash is always to go out by 6pm. Did I mention we have kids?! So, that makes it a little harder most days.

” Throw out this stuff!”

Late night fridge cleanings are sometimes the funniest events you could imagine being a part of at our house. I will never forget the first time my husband had enough of my misplacement of the cheese and sodas. I still chuckle thinking about it.

He opens the door to the fridge and looks at me as if I dropped his favorite food on the floor. He reaches in to grab a drink and then asks for the trash can. I had no idea the belly buster that was about to take place. He says, ” Throw out this stuff!!”

Now, keep in mind I just went grocery shopping and there were two of my favorite items sitting on the shelf. One jug of almond milk and my provolone cheese. MINE!

Almond milk and Butter bread! Yes, please!

My milk, my rules!

He is digging in and literally tossing out things that he truly hates. To be honest, it’s left over’s. I also feel left overs are a waste of time. Since we are trying to teach a lesson to our children about not being wasteful, I keep it around just long enough for it to bug me too. Well, on this particular day he just wasn’t going to tolerate my choices of food. He looks at me and says, ” WTF? Why do we have almond milk?!” I explain to him that its my way of being healthy. The look he gave me next is the most gratifying of the whole fridge cleaning experience. I literally can’t stop laughing at this point. Not because he was angry with how the fridge was set up or even because he doesn’t agree with my milk. I was laughing because it was our very first, intense experience as a couple.

You may notice the loaf of bread in the top image. That is also a topic of interest. He absolutely loves butter bread and the Hawaiian bread. The only two things I will never argue over (anymore.) I say anymore because I fully enjoy the whole grain, can’t get enough seeds in my teeth bread. He is 100% against it. But let me tell you the discussion that we had on bread and milk was so energetic and enlightening , I just had to tell you all about it.

Organization skills are tested, daily!

When you have children, organization can be tough. Especially when there is an age gap. One of them thinks the other is older so they should do it. Or, they constantly play the card, ” its their turn this time!” I can’t tell you how many times I have refereed arguments over the trash. Its a daily struggle! You would think that after a week of hearing mom say, ” take out the trash, it doesn’t matter who does it,” they would just get to it. Nope! I’m starting to believe that they just like messing with each other and saying each others names.

Most recently we had went through our daughters’ bedroom. The organization in that room was non existent. Toys from happy meals, gifts from friends and loved ones, blankets…you name it, we found it. ON THE FLOOR!! Now, at this point I understand my husbands frustration because I ask the girls to clean their room daily. I even made a chore chart and implemented a “star” program with them. The only one that seems to understand what a clean room looks like is our son.

I’m into clean. I actively run a vacuum, dust, mop, brush, wax and floss. My husband is more into it than I am and most days I blame the Marine in him. He spent years cleaning in a way that only our grandparents would appreciate. So, as a team we are trying to build up our children’s organizational stamina. Allow them to understand how a little hard work will help them in the future. Especially when they try to get married themselves.

Here are a few ways you can stay organized and laugh a little.

  • Make your bed every day. ( Even if you use it an hour from when you made it)
  • Always do the dishes after dinner and sometimes right after you use something.
  • Find a way to irritate your spouse and smile. (Only if it’s as harmless as buying a jug of almond milk. Anything more than that you have to do at your own risk.)
  • Always make it known that you want to have a good time, even if its something that you really don’t enjoy doing.

Life is fun! Get creative. Organizing may not be your favorite thing to do, but it is well worth it. Waking up to a clean house and making stories with your husband or wife and laughing at their organizational skills is just a bonus! Cleaning and organizing, loving and living….my idea to the main sources of enjoying a full life.

Ack! Dieting is evil

Success! Yes, that would be my first word to describe this chapter. Not because I am particularly successful, (yet) but because I have tried to lose weight about 5 times in my life and found that none of these fad “diets” are worth my time! I’d say that is a journey in itself. Let me explain how I came to the realization that every fantasy of dieting is exactly how it sounds. Are you ready for the low-down, dirty and ugly truth to the, “yo-yo?”

Need carbs!!

My first time taking diet pills was when I turned 15. I was working at a supermarket in a smallish town in California. I was always considered overweight by my friends’ standards and damn those girls that could wear the volleyball shorts and look fabulous! High school is always a fun time when you are chasing guys that chase the girls who look good in a bed sheet. So, I didn’t see any results with the pills and my mom caught me taking them. Not a fun discussion with a woman that has perfectly blonde, curled hair and makeup skills that could also wear a bed sheet and look incredible.

On to my second and third and fourth experience. Ill make it quick because I don’t expect you to be my therapist without getting paid for it. If I’m honest though, dieting is a lot like therapy. You pay crazy amounts of money an hour to a supplement store that happens to carry the worlds leading seller of proteins and greens and thermogenic powders. You leave the store feeling amazing about your purchase, just to feel that nagging buyers remorse. Not sure if it will work, not sure if it will make you crazy obsessed or next weeks Americas top model. In a nut shell, I can see why all of these fads are making headlines and lifestyle corporations have billions to spend on themselves.

who doesn’t love yoga pants?

The second time I lost a substantial amount of weight after having my first princess. I stopped eating and used Richard Simmons every morning as my cup of coffee. Also, I should mention that I was also 19 years old and my metabolism was at its peak. Third attempt, I was addicted to sweet tea and as soon as I stopped drinking it, my body shed some weight. Imagine that! Now, my fourth attempt is a bit more complicated because I was training to join the Navy. I was 34 and just had my 3rd baby girl. I had stopped eating carbs, ate a bunch of protein and ran every morning about 5 miles. Metabolism was slower but with the hills I climbed, it was no match.

Here I am, almost 40- please don’t tell anyone! I’m still trying to understand how I left my early twenties. Getting married in 10 weeks and about 30 pounds heavier than I was 6 months ago. Life handed my fiancé and I some hard balls but since we are warriors, I’m ready to work as hard as I can to get into my beautiful wedding dress. I’ve seen Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Mediterranean and juicing. I refuse to do any of those things and just be myself. Water, salad or veggies and meat! What more can a girl ask for? Oh, yea – wine and beer. But we will just save that for the bachelorette party in VEGAS!!!

Instead of looking to the stars- look inside yourself!

♥ Tab’s fast track to understanding the world for what it is ♥

Have you ever wondered where people get their dreams? Not the ones that play inside your head when you’re in this hard slumber. I’m talking about the dreams that you have when you are in kindergarten and think, ” I wanna be an astronaut!” The kind of dreams that you feel define exactly who you wanna be when you grow up. Well, I noticed that I had an idea of what I would like to become in kinder- but did I end up as a veterinarian, a police officer or a nurse? Nope. I didn’t even realize I had a dream until last year!

The people that influence our lives are who we wanna become, right? Or actually, DON’T wanna become! That’s their lives and I say, ” let them live the path they need to go down, and let me continue to circle aimlessly until I find a good spot to jump off from.” Does that sound like someone you wanna get advice from? Good! Because I’m here to tell ya that no matter how you live your life….you will be successful. You will have everything you need to find happiness and it may take ya all 100 years of your life to find that happiness, but YOU WILL FIND IT!

Here is how I know that success isn’t in the stars. I also understand that until you take yourself seriously, you won’t know what your dreams are or if you even wanna have them. I’m 38, divorcee twice over and have 3 beautiful girls that actually walk, talk and act like me. (Yes, I have my hands full and I will tell them the same thing) If you want things done, you’ve gotta get the part of you that talks yourself out of things and put them into perspective. For instance, I’M GETTING MARRIED!! And if I tell ya who it’s to, you’ll probably think exactly what he does and I don’t like carrying around the title, “stalker.” I’ll save that story for a rainy day…..

My point is – do things for yourself, have people that support you in any circumstance surround you and live your life! If you like to run naked in the woods and pretend you’re Pocahontas then I say, ” do it!” Unfortunately, there are bears out there and who wants to run into one of those? Or worse, your future husband and his friends. I mentioned we were having a conversation about dreams right? Just kidding!! I’d like to think that this world isn’t so wrapped up into the right and wrongs that we forget who we wanted to be when we were 5.

I’m actually taking a leap of faith by starting this blog. Last year, I only spoke of how I’d like to write. Now, as of 24 hours ago- I’m writing. I have been a stay at home mom for about 10 years now and I’ve loved every minute of it. My girls are growing faster and faster everyday and I hate to say it but I won’t be a very good “empty nester.” Retail therapy to me is literally shopping for coffee mugs and one can only drink a cup at a time. My poor fiance and I go rounds when it comes to my mugs! So, there it is. Instead of looking to the stars- look inside yourself! Find what makes YOU happy and roll with it. If you end up with being a teen mom with 2 ex husbands and becoming a stalker in your lifetime, then I say you’ve lived an awesome first half of your life. Here is to you- the dreamer that makes their own bed and drinks enormous mounds of coffee just to say, “Im happy!”