Chronicles of a Selfish Mommy

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As I sit here listening to our contractor talk about everything that needs to be repaired in our home. I am simultaneously excited, upset, energized, and grateful. As I scour the sites (ok, pinterest) for ideas on remodels, I can’t help but think we were actually very fortunate this year. What a way to head into 2014! Talk about leaving 2013 with a BANG! It’s really been one pretty great year, though.

Let’s start with the latest event. To put it bluntly, our home flooded. That’s right, FLOODED. While I was off running my marathon, a pipe connection leading to an upstairs bathroom decided it would be the perfect time to crack. And crack it did, sending water spraying through the entire bathroom & soaking my daughter’s room, playroom, and some of the guest bedroom. We don’t know how long it ran for, we suspect btw 12-24 hrs which was enough time for the entire downstairs to flood. It was so bad, neighbors called to tell us it was coming out of our front door and DOWN the OUTSIDE of our home. Neighbors were kind enough to kill water and power to the home as soon as they noticed. All the downstairs floors were covered with at least a 1/2 inch of water. Suffice it to say, all floors were considered trashed. The downstairs ceilings & most walls in the office, laundry, hallway & living rooms were also ruined. This means all crown molding and baseboards downstairs had to come off as well. Oddly enough, only a few pieces of furniture & electronics were damaged.

I chose to see this as an opportunity to update our home. So, I am excited that HECK YEA, ALL NEW floors both up and downstairs, baseboards, crown molding, paint! Upset because the water damage has burdened and stressed our lives with the state of our home & the management & work it will take to get it fixed. The place where we come to relax and recharge is in shambles. The time & the process of reinstating it will be frustrating. But, it’s like we are gonna have a brand new home without moving!

Working backwards from this point, I mentioned a marathon. You read this right, a marathon. This was my 3rd marathon attempt & the 2nd I completed. It was better than my 2nd attempt which I didn’t complete, but not quite as good as my first. Let’s just say that I finished & I am not that eager to do another one anytime soon. The marathon kick I was on may be a post for another day….

We went to Tucson to visit the Cox family over Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful time while there.  Even had the chance to take some much-needed family pictures!  The getting to Tucson was another incident all together.  En route, my brand new car’s sunroof decided to explode.  And by explode, I mean just that.  It shattered into millions of pieces.  THE. ENTIRE. ROOF.  Thank goodness the mesh covering was closed and no one was injured.  We drove 4 hours in cold weather with the sun roof covered in cardboard taped to my car.  It was mostly just annoyingly loud.  It was fixed (mostly) in Tucson, but not in time for Connor to make school and my to make an important meeting.  Hence, C & I got to FLY back home!  Unfortunately, the sun visors weren’t screwed in or something like that.  I had to go into the Austin dealer to get that corrected.

I went to Brazil for a week for a work conference.  I wish I could say that I saw a bunch of sites; alas, I did not.  However, I DID meet some amazing, wonderful people, went to a football (soccer) game, & ate some Brazilian food.  I got to run the streets of Porto Alegre and along the banks of the beautiful Guaiba River (lake).  Those memories shall stay with me.  I am so fortunate!

In September Jeff & I went to London with the Mills.  2013 concluded 10 yrs of marriage and this was our celebration.  I do not have enough good things to say about the experience.  It was AMAZING!  It was WONDERFUL!  There was SO MUCH to see & do.  We had SO MUCH FUN!  We spent about a week there & I think we covered all the main attractions and sights.  This probably deserves its own post (which I will most likely never do).  Brooke started full-time Pre-K which she LOVES!  Connor started 2nd grade which to date has been a breeze for him.

The summer months were a blast as well!  I got promoted at work.  It’s been a real mental challenge for me to switch gears & become someone who our mgmt team wants me to become.  It’s a stressful gig that I still sometimes feel like I am not cut out for.  I do enjoy my new role & continue to rise up (I hope) to the expectations laid out for me.  Our family took a South Padre Beach vacation with the Mills & Maleks.  With so many people you might think it would be cumbersome; surprisingly, it went AWESOME!  We spent almost a week in SP and it was the perfect amount of  time.  Being from south Texas one would have expected me to have been there before.  I had not, so it was a good first experience for me as well!  Looking forward summer 2014!

The earlier parts of the year are somewhat of a blur.  Lots of races for me, some I even placed in my age groups! We kicked off 2013 with a lil trip to Disneyland & we are heading out of 2013 with a nice uneventful night at home.

Welcome 2014, the Cox family is gonna OWN you!


It’s been a LONG, LONG while…. I haven’t felt any real need to blog. It’s been hard enough getting THROUGH our life much less chronicling it!

This post is not an update. While to some this would be good, most who might read this little post would not be interested at all. We do all the same stuff as most middle class American families do….. no need for me to blog about it.

I was asked awhile back how I tackle everything that comes my way. The proverbial, “how do you do it all?” Honestly, my first thought was, “I DON’T! Please help!” Then I thought, “HOT DAMN, what am I portraying that someone would think I have my shit together?” Over the course of the year, I have thought about this concept of having and doing it all. Trying to compare my life to lives of my friends or those that social media shouts at us is so exhausting! I have been struggling with this. The outside pressures we ALLOW into our lives. Just recently I heard myself saying & yes I actually posted on Facebook…. “I HAVE TO DO ALL THE THINGS!” When & why did it come to this?!

I needed a new perspective. Who could help me find it? How did I go about finding someone with a good perspective? Blogs, friends, family? Then it hit me. Why do I need someone to lead me?! What makes what they are doing or saying any more important or beneficial than my OWN take? We’re all so diverse about what is important for us. And therein lies the key. Did you catch it?

The only way to have it “all” is to prioritize what is important to YOU & YOUR FAMILY. The rest is just noise meant to enjoy, entertain, or (gasp) glean tips & tricks from. There is no right way, there is only the way that works for you.

I challenge each of you to reflect on not the minutia or the everyday, but the core principles & values you want to define your life by. Make sure that what you do everyday can relate in some small way to one of those core principles/values. We get so bogged down by competition, envy, one upmanship that we forget our own paths & values. Being able to do it all is one thing, but wanting to may be another. Sometimes, when we focus on what’s important to us…..we feel like we are doing and having it all!

Feel free to add the additional lyric & giggle, I would….but, this is a very true line.  Today was so much fun and wonderful family day!

It started off rather early (5:50am) with a, oh,  12 mile jog ( if you call running 9:15s a jog).  I opened the door expecting to get hit with a wall of humid, heat; instead, I get a cool almost chilly blast of air.  HEAVEN to a runner!  The temps, slight breeze, and late sunrise made this run “easy” and it literally “breezed” by.

We had lunch at Rudy’s around 11:15, then made it out to Lake Austin about 12:30ish for Super Air Nautique 210’s (Nauti’s) maiden voyage.  Man, she is sure different from the Supras and the Mastercraft X-Star.  She has more power, handles completely differently, the bimini rules, her fat sacks make for a killer wake.  We hung out in the cove, Jeff did some wakeboarding, and Connor even gave it a go!  I am SUPER PROUD of CONNOR!

There were no meltdowns from the kids nor parents; even though, we didn’t get off the lake until close to 5pm.  We completed the day with dinner at Jersey Mike’s (our fave sandwich shop).  I got a touch red from the boat and sore from the run, but everyone else seems to be unscathed.

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For the month of October, I am taking another “shot” at the whole picture a day thing.  I totally forgot today was the 1st of the month…..gah!

We didn’t do anything exciting today.  Jeff rode his bike for about 60 miles this morning, while I got to sleep in because my parents decided that the kids could spend the night at their house on Friday (totally last-minute, was kinda pissed bc we are too old to recover or make plans last-minute, so I was asleep by 10:30 – LAME).  After I picked them up, we went shopping, I worked the concession stand at soccer, we had Connor’s soccer game, I met his best friend’s Mom (which I am pretty sure I gave the WRONG phone # to), I went grocery shopping, I made dinner (ground beef tacos w/homemade guac), we went to Wal-Mart where I completed the kids Halloween outfits. Finally, I prepared my gear for tomorrow’s 12 mile run.

I leave you with my 2 favorite purchases today……

Who could pass up these?

We’ve been living it up!  KINDA…

Sorry we’ve been away so long!  Not that anyone really missed me in the blog world….

I’ll try to catch everyone up.  Honestly, it hasn’t been anything too awesome.

Here we go….

The month of February zoomed by. 

We headed into February with a SNOW DAY!  Yes, our warm state got some cold weather and a lil’ “snow” to boot.  Connor had a great time playing in it.  Brooke; on the other hand, took a couple of steps out and told me firmly – NOOOOOOO, then immediately headed inside.

My Snow Angel

My Snow Angel

 A few days after the snow, we had wonderful weather which was awesome since we celebrated Brooke’s 2nd birthday!  It was a fabulous flowers & butterflies themed birthday party!  Our little darling turned 2 on Feb 9th & we had some friends and family over to celebrate.  It was a really fun time with cake, games, crafts, pinata, and presents!

Birthday Brooke

Connor competed in his first true Karate Tournament called the Lone Star Open.  If you’ve never been to one of these, all I can say is WOW!  People from all over the country came to compete.  They had all levels and skills represented.  It was really fun to watch some of the weapons performances.  Connor did well in his sparring competition, coming in 3rd out of 12.  His trophy was bigger than him and boy were we proud of him!

Karate Connor

 Selfish Mom headed into what is called monster month which is the month leading up to the marathon.  On Sunday, February 20th I completed my first Half Marathon!  I ran in the Livestrong Austin Half Marathon.  It was torture!  The course was tough!  Hills, wind, heat – OH MY!  I did less than 10 min miles, but I didn’t hit mile goal of 9:30s or less….. I am still proud of myself and would totally do another one!  You can read up on my update on dailymile.

Selfish Mom Half Marathon

All in all, it was a nice month.  Selfish Mom’s work got crazy, but I am still totally digging the gig.

I suppose the Selfish Family has just been living life to the fullest with very little time to document it!  I’m sorry that we have been MIA.  There has been SO MUCH going on!  2011 has been pretty darn good to us thus far!

When we last left off it was the cold, dreary January…man, time seriously flies…

January in the Selfish Household was all about refreshing our home.  We’ve lived here for 4 yrs and it needed a small facelift.  We painted the entire interior of our home & I do mean entire.  Half was done by “professionals” the other half was completed by Selfish Dad in an attempt to save us some moola.  Not only did it save us some green, he totally rocked it!  The rooms look great!  We are still working on the playroom and master bedroom, but that is it.  I need to get colors finalized…. The majority of our home (living, kitchen, & all bathrooms) is a color called Kenya by Behr.  It’s a color that kinda looks like the color of sand with all its multi-faceted hues.  Sometimes it looks brownish, sometimes yellowish, sometimes orangish.  Sounds odd, but it actually is really warming and relaxing.  The entry & formal dining color is another by Behr called Antique Copper.  I was shocked when it looked kinda burnt orange (GASP!), but I really do like it.  It looks inviting, yet bold and dramatic.  The office is (you guessed it) Behr Eco Green, a nice calming, soothing hue.  The kids’ rooms are slap you in the face BOLD – Selfish Brother has another green called Hidden Meadow (BRIGHT!) & Selfish Sister is a purple shade called Lavender Sparkle.  For pics head to our website, jeffnjenny.

We pulled up almost all the carpeting and tile in the home and laid down some fantastic wood floors.  Only the kids’ rooms & play room have carpet and the remaining tile lies only in the bathrooms.  As per previous post, we went with Virgina Mill Works 3/8″ x 4-3/4″  Handscraped Tobacco Road Teak which is really Acacia wood.  I love it now; however, shoes & even bare feet on it seem to make lots of noise.

Also from a previous post; before painting and flooring, we had our entire home (sans kids’ bed & bathrooms) outfitted with crown molding.

Since we don’t plan to move again until maybe Selfish Brother is moving into Jr High….. we are seriously thinking of making these improvements as well:

  • Upgrade ceiling fan & add pot lights in living room
  • Kitchen cabinet door handles
  • Upgrade all light fixtures
  • Upgrade Master bathroom: tile shower & tub area, granite/silestone countertops
  • extension of back porch (prolly a long shot)
  • playscape

Then, of course, the decorating & organizing must be taken seriously:

  • curtains
  • bathroom accessories
  • entryway station
  • mudroom type area

Enough about the home, what did the Selfish Family actually do this past January?!  Well, the kids didn’t really do much.  Selfish Mommy was still training for the Austin Half Marathon, though.  For a speed workout, A & I ran the 3M Half Marathon Relay.  I ran the first half which came to 6.4m in 8min 29sec avg miles!  Our team, Runnin’ from the Kids, came in FIRST PLACE in the open division!  For winning, we received a really sweet plaque with our pictures on it.  You can read my running blog at dailymile.

101 in 1001 – Ongoing

6. Workout 3x per week
7. Keep weight below 130lbs
8. Use Teeth Whitening Trays
10. Volunteer 1x per quarter (3/11)
11. Prepare 1 new recipe a month (15/33)
18. Professional Family Photo once per yr (2/3)
19. Date night every other month (12/18)
32. Keep my sites updated (Facebook, Wordpress, and personal)
33. Family Vacations once per yr (1/3)
34. Monthly Pedicures and Manicures
37. Donate Blood once per quarter (3/11)
38. Spring and Fall Cleanings (3/6)
39. Donate items from those cleanings to Goodwill (3/6)
40. Use all my gift cards
43. Use cloth bags for shopping every chance I get
44. Read one book every other month (31/20)
46. Decorate Home for the Holidays/Seasons
51. Clean out fridge twice a year (3/6)
52. Clean out pantry twice a year (3/6)
53. Take photos at important events
54. Learn and keep tabs on personal and home finances
55. Monthly work performance plan updates (5/33)
56. Update resume yearly or with every job change (2/3)
64. Say a one positive thing for every one negative
92. Give Jeff and kids kisses EVERY day
94. Adhere to my anti-aging cream ritual
99. Wear something OTHER than jeans once a week (144/143)

No Longer Interested:
2. Attend said Church 2x per month (2/66)
47. Event Planner courses or readings
83. Spend at least once a every OTHER week on boat during warm weather (May-Sept)

101 in 1001 – One Time Event

High Motivation:
12. Landscape Front Yard
13. Landscape Back Yard
16. Remove Spider Veins
17. Update Driver’s License restrictions
26. PGMP Certification
30. Green Belt Certification
31. Repair Acura Leather
35. Participate in an Adventure Race
36. Start kids' College Fund
41. Update my phone and address excel spreadsheet
45. Appraise and insure Rings and earrings
48. Clean out jewelry box
61. Travel outside the US
62. Update MP3 player songs
66. Buy a safe
68. Sift thru mementos to either keep, sale, or donate
71. Try Snowboarding
77. Write will
81. Own a Louis Vuitton Purse
86. Actually catch some air wakeboarding
87. Bunny Hop Switch on wakeboard
88. Give Microdermabrasion a try
90. Beat 5k PR - 28:15 Completed: 7/03/10 28:09
91. Beat 5 Miler PR - 47:13
95. Get back to VEGAS!
98. Come up w/new Morning Shift Plan

Low Motivation:
9. Start Side Business (House Flipping, Event Planner, Book, Vending, Duplex/Apt)
15. Take a Spanish Language Course
27. Resize and Wear Aggie Ring
28. Attend an Aggie Bonfire
29. Attend an Austin Midnight Yell Practice
65. Organize my body & mind by buying & using a treadmill
72. Be an extra in a movie or TV show
80. Wii & Wii Fit
84. Play in Poker tourney that doesn’t include friends nor family
85. Poker moratorium for 3 mths
96. Get someone else to start a list
101. Visit Holly’s place when baby comes

101 in 1001 – Completed

1. Register for a Church Completed: 6/06/08
3. Laser hair removal Completed: 2/24/10
4. Baby #2 Completed: 2/09/09
5. Run a 10k Completed: 4/26/08
14. Take a Creative Arts Class (writing, painting, photography) Completed: 2/12/10 at Painting with a Twist
20. Register Connor for a sport when he’s able Completed: 8/12/09
21. Promotion or Job Change to do so Completed: 5/14/10
23. Find and hire a housekeeper completed: 2/8/08
24. Potty & Bed train Connor
25. Wean Connor from pacifier complete 6/1/09
42. Buy and use a PDA Completed: 6/16/08
49. Crown Molding in dining, living, and master bedroom Completed: 4/2010
50. Built in shoe storage in master closet Completed: Dec 09 as Jeff built them for me!
57. Visit a historical site Completed: 9/5/08
58. Visit a museum Completed: 9/6/08
59. Visit a zoo completed:12/24/07
60. Ride a train Completed: 10/11/09 Riding Thomas the Train & 12/20/09 riding the North Pole Flyer
63. New MP3 headphones Complete: July 09
67. Obtain concealed handgun license completed: 1/27/08
69. New pots and pans completed: 2/28/08
70. Frame Family photo completed: 11/08
73. Pay off one of our vehicles Completed: January '09
74. See a Play Completed: Disney Live 12/19/08, Dora Live 7/22/09, Wicked 8/25/09
75. Vote in the next presidential and local elections completed 10/08
76. Become CPR and First Aid Certified Completed: 4/12/08
78. Ride the Zilker Zephyr Completed: 5/28/08
79. Go on a cruise Completed: 9/14 thru 9/19
89. Get a Facial Completed: 6/4/10
93. Have 2nd Baby’s room finished BEFORE she is born Completed: 2/3/09
97. Get a massage Completed: 6/4/10
100. Visit my brother’s new condo Completed: 3/22/08

Supplemental List

102. Watch 1 Netflix Movie a week (53/143)
103. a canopy tour Completed: 11/14/09 for Amanda's 30th
104. Join the Capital City A&M Club Completed: 4/13/08
105. Attend 2 A&M Club events a year (0/6)
106. Have Jeff hang curtains
107. New bedding for Master Bedroom completed: 1/11/09
108. Kitchen Organization System
109. Be a mentor to someone
110. Do a family year end blog every yr end (1/3)
111. APICS Classes
112. Migrate Connor to new room Completed: 8/21/08
113. Update Workout to a Guest room Completed: 1/14/09
114. Office Furniture: desks, chairs, bookcases Complete: 8/09
115. Visit a Chiropractor
116. Get Moles checked out Completed: 4/29/08
117. ITIL Certification
118. Attend a circus, rodeo, or fair Completed: 8/24/08 circus
119. Create photo books once a year for great-grandparents and grandparents (2/3)
120. Update and organize personal cookbook
121. Fall &/or Holiday Festivals (0/2)
122. Renaissance Faire

The Bucket List

Things I want to do before I die
1. Ride the tallest Roller Coaster, Kingda Ka, in Jackson, NJ at Six Flags Great Adventure
2. Visit Redwood National Park to view the oldest and tallest trees in the world
3. Camp Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to see the tallest geyser eruptions
4. Florida Everglades
5. Smithsonsian Museum in Washington, DC
6. Grand Canyon
7. Pyramids of Giza - Egypt
8. Paris, France and all it's relevant sites
9. Great Wall of China
10. Taj Mahal, India
11. Petra, Jordan
12. Greece & Italy and all their relevant sites
13. Chicchen Itza, Mexico Completed: 9/16/09
14. Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, Niegra Falls, Empire State Bldg
15. Britain/England and all it's relevant sites

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