Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New home.

I bought my domain and am in the processes of setting up a new blog (one where hopefully pictures will load better.) I'm going to be moving files and changing names, but for now....



Thursday, November 19, 2009

waiting is the hardest part. PART 1

so, most of you know, my husband is a film producer. my husband dreams of making good films, quality films...better said, he wants to make films that the whole family can watch and he wants them to be made well.

when i first met chad he said, "i'm a producer." and i swooned at the thought of him working hard "producing" although i had no real idea of what that meant. i thought he was living the life "producing" these equestrian shows. he said it was God's calling on his life, um ok? (i was living a life full of sin, i didn't really care at that time what God's calling was on anyones life).

turns out producing isn't so much glamorous. in fact, those equestrian shows ended up screwing chad and leaving him jobless right after we met. he always talked these big dreams....i talked to him about finding a J-O-B so he could marry me. (no seriously, that honestly was my only motive).

to clear something up, a producer is the ring leader so to speak. there are many types of producers: line producers, executive producers.... but bottom line, my husbands job is to hire crew, makes sure said crew is working hard and happy, make the budget and make sure he's staying in that budget. of course, every job is different. sometimes he may be more the line (budget) guy. other times he's needed more on set. but you get the idea right... okay..i'll go on.

may 03 chad gets to be a PA on a short film, Cliche. agrees to fly himself out there and work for cheap--realllllllly cheap. say what? i could not understand this at all. why would anyone do such a stupid thing? and what is a PA? oh, a production assistant, that sounds important.... it really isn't. seriously, its like the lowest job. but, he reminded me, "it's my calling" i remember chad working so hard. a lot of nights. he was exhausted but so happy--fulfilled. i flew out to visit him on set....i think he was only gone 2 weeks, but we were young and in love. :) it was my first film set, so that was cool. but when all was said and done, he was back home and looking for work.

in the meantime, chad got his personal trainer certification and put film on the back burner. we got married and in oct 04 he was asked to produce Midnight Clear the short in AZ. the pay was small and he'd have to take time off from his training job, but hey, why not....besides, it's his calling. again, i watched the man work his tail off. he was gone only two weeks. i could not understand WHY this man kept doing this work for so little money. but he was SO happy.

2005 came and went. i was working at SWA and Chad as a personal trainer. he was unhappy and i knew it. he didn't hate personal training, but his passion was film. i got pregnant at the beginning of 05 so most of the year was spent preparing for our sons arrival. he talked a lot about film, but i wasn't listening...besides, we had bills to pay. chad lost a lot of clients moving gyms right after kai was born, so we were struggling so to say (ok, a lot to say...).

March 2006. they decide to make Midnight Clear the short into Midnight Clear the feature. i was home with a six month old baby. we are finally feeling on top of our bills again. i've started a new job.... and my husband comes in and asks me if he can leave for 3 months.

this was a defining moment in my marriage. i had the choice. i could have said no. but this is really what he wanted to do. i knew that he had prayed on it. i understood he thought (yes, HE, not me) this was God's calling. so, i stepped out, in faith...i shouldn't say stepped out, i maybe poked a toe out the door. i hugged my baby and told him to go to New Mexico. I cried A LOT...how was I going to make it!? luckily the film got move to our hometown, so he was only really gone a few weeks...dodged a bullet there. :)

another dry spell through the remainder of the year....back to training. he kept pursuing film and i kept wondering why. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


okay, confession, i'm OBSESSED with healthy food blogs. i read them before gossip! gasp!! in fact, the last few days, i've used, "mark all read" for my gossip!

i'm reading these blogs for several reasons, first and foremost they inspire me. these gals eat well, and i'm not talking pick a 100 cal pack over a ice cream, i'm talking LOTS of veggies, whole grains, natural cheeses. but these bloggers also demonstrate another thing, balance. they go out to eat just like the rest of us, but they always order these amazing healthy dishes. sure, sometimes i wonder how high the calories have become for the day, but it always balances out!

i love to eat well, we spend a LOT of time eating healthy in the gundersen home. so seeing ways that other people eat well motivates me. i've received lots of ideas from these blogs. for example, for years i've been buying Yoplait Light yogurt. good for you right? but then i learned about greek yogurt, no fat, high protein....wow. now, i'm not a huge fan of yogurt period. i only eat it because i know its healthy for me. greek yogurt took this to a new level. i don't LOVE it just as i don't LOVE regular yogurt, but the benefits of eating it have me going back for more. and since it takes me longer to eat - i feel more full when finishing it. total plus.

one of the latest trends in food blog world in NuVal. i'm so excited about NuVal. its a scoring system that is posted in grocery stores to help you make smarter decisions about what to buy. the higher the score the better the product is for you. For instance you walk up to yogurt section: Yoplait Light is around 60 / Greek Yogurt in the 90s depending on brand...which are you going to choose?? DUH!

i'm loving the websites that are starting to quote NuVal scores because presently this isn't available in my area. that will change soon, though, as NuVal is coming to United Markets (aka. Market Street) in 2010. Market Street isn't terribly far, but it also isn't close when I'm already packing the whole family. But they price match AND now they will have NuVal scores, so I could see me going occasionally to get familiar with my food. what an awesome at - a - glance tool. i'd really love it if albertsons, kroger, or -gasp- wal-mart would pick this up!

finally, Food Inc., a movie i would probably have rented at some point anyway but did it sooner because of all the bloggers talking about it. when i picked up this film, my husband cautioned, i'd be careful before you watch that. i love to eat. i love meat. so i was afraid this movie would be like the Skinny B***h book that gets you in and then tries to get you to go vegan. (which by the way SB has a LOT of good information - i'm just not dumping the meat! :) ) ANYWAY, so i nervously watch the movie last night and i have to say it was not all what i expected. yes, they showed chicken houses, cattle farms, etc....but the real meat (eh, pun, get it?) of the movie is about what/who is driving our food industry and standards.

i was not shocked by the conditions of the cattle farms, chicken houses, the look of the pork planets, etc. i WAS shocked by most of the information regarding the treatment of farmers and factory workers. i couldn't believe how low food standards, testing and inspection of factories are.. i was amazed and the vicious cycle we are in. and not just meat, corn and soy beans. baffled. especially since chad has family in those industries up north.

one of the more astounding parts was the family who simply could not afford to eat healthy. showed them able to buy enough food at a fast food chain to feed the family, yet that exact amount barely yielded any produce. it stated what chad and i have talked about many times - it is simply cheaper in america to eat fast food than to eat healthy. period. i watch my budget every week to go shopping. we buy loads of meats and veggies, and much less on the "inside" shelves.

the movie had the same impact as supersize me. i already knew the mcdonalds wasn't good for me, i didn't need a movie to prove that point. did i stop eating mcdonalds, no. i still go on occasion, but it certainly pops in my head when we've had fast food several days in a week. similarly, i knew the products we were consuming weren't great. i knew that i didn't really want to know where they were coming from...will it stop me from eating them? no. but i will be more careful in my selections.

we are so lucky to live in a big city where fresh farmers markets are all around. i can, a will, be shopping better for my meats. in fact, it crossed my mind last night just to buy a cow! while there, why not go ahead and get some of the fruits and veggies organic....esp those on the dirty dozen. i have access to fresh eggs, why not take advantage.

knowledge is power. i choose to be informed. i urge you to see this movie.

wow. was that a rant or what??

want to know who i follow blog-wise check these gals out...i have 20, but these are the top four:

Better Bag Of Groceries

Thursday, November 12, 2009

on the road again...

wow, yall...what a trip. we just got home from three weeks in north carolina visiting Chad. i'm telling you, i know my husband needs me and all, but three full weeks in a hotel with two kids and very little access to a car...bummer. i literally let kai rot on TV.

before i go down that road, let me just point out (more for chad than anyone else reading this), Kai has flown SEVEN round trips - Chad was present one (and, puh-leazzze, it was to san antonio for the day!). That means I'm becoming a PRO at traveling alone with kids. This was Kenlee's second trip....but this was my first trip alone with both since I had people fly with me to Kentucky this summer. Really, the worst thing about flying with kids is security. don't get me wrong, i'm thankful for it, but there has to be an easier way for parents. removing everyone's shoes (yes, even kenlee), taking out electronic (which have to be in separate containers),
stroller and infant carrier both have to go through, then my bad, kai's bag and the diaper bag. Really?? it takes almost ten bins and 5 min for me to go through once its my turn....and then i have to put us all back together again. the whole day i repeated, "three bags, two kids, one stroller..."

my kids rock. i get complimented every time we travel. kai behaves like a champ. (oh, but not always, let us not forget Rochester) he sits and colors or watches his DVD, never makes a peep. the flight attendant on the last flight gave kai a $5 cookie because she couldn't believe how helpful he was to me. kenlee flies great too. normally dozing off but otherwise smiling and giggling at other passengers. my only problem on the last flight was her happy scream. she loud, but happy.... humm...
(sleeping on flight to NC in the K'Tan)

the sets for this film were not close to crew hotel. about 30-60 min in each direction, so there weren't a lot of set visits. besides, who wants to take the happy screaming child on a film set...uh, not me! chad had to be on set and drive actors daily, so...we really didn't see him that much.

luckily, chad scored a great hotel. it was a doubletree suites hotel and we had two bedrooms, living room and kitchen. we still had to sleep with Kenlee...BOO!! she's so loud....even in her sleep bless her heart!

It was long but in the meantime we.....
did laundry.

watched our big brother for HOURS.
ate our toes...
ate sundays...

we did lots...but my sorry iphone photos aren't going to cut it.

while i hated that last week there because i was so ready to get home, i know these opportunities to travel with Chad are going to come to an end once Kai goes to school.

Next up: Michigan or Tulsa, then Michigan again, then ..... please be Texas....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's finally here.

Shortly after having Kenlee, I went to church just down and exhausted. I laid on the nursery floor and said, "What did I do?" LOL Oh, yes I did!! My friend, Carrie, came over and said, "Amanda, you gave me the best advice ever after I had C. You said, just look toward 6 months....then its cake. And it was....so take your own advice." So I did, I looked forward to 6 weeks, then 12 weeks, then 6 months. And, my friends, it's here. It's finally here.

I must say, its almost as though one day you wake up and your baby suddenly "gets it." You've just come out of the 4 month nap resistant child, you may or may not be beginning solids, your baby is most likely rolling and possibly sitting. And suddenly, life is easier than its been in 6 months.

Kenlee is finally predictable. 6 - 9 - 1 - 6. Wake at six, nap at nine, nap at one, bed at 6. She's the happiest baby. I don't know why but I believe she's SO much happier than Kai ever was. She smiles all the time. I can put her down almost fully awake and she'll suck her thumb to sleep...hardly ever crying. YES! She's smitten with her brother - SMITTEN! I could go on....but the point is....I survived!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


We've been getting in a much better habit around the house of cleaning
before bed. There for awhile after Kenlee was born I was just too
tired to fight the battle of cleaning with Kai. This evening after
Kenlee was put down and Cade, Nana and Chad R had left, I put on Peter
Pan and headed to clean the kitchen. I kept hearing distance noise,
but didn't check it out right away.

When I finally left the kitchen, Kai wasn't in the living room like I
thought....he wasn't in his bed room....I walk into my room to see Kai
rounding the corner of my bed with his hands full of various things.
Stuffed dog, shirt, bra...you get the idea. He goes and puts
everything on my big ugly red chair that I love. I ask, "Whatcha
doin' Kai?" "I'm cleaning your room, Mom. Because I love you and we
have to clean ALLLLLL this mess up before bed." Sure enough, anything
that had been on the floor now resided on the big ugly red chair. I
stepped back out and looked in Kai's room...everything was put away.
Looked in the living room...no toys out.

What a sweet sweet boy I have!!

(I'm trying not to think about the fact that I had sorted through some
old clothes just hours before and now I have to resort....)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I love it.

This morning Kai sat eating his oatmeal and gazing out the window as
Chad was finishing up his eggs.
Kai says, "I love it." In a soft -tender voice.
Chad smiles and says, "I love oatmeal, too Buddy!"
Kai, "No dad, I really love my trampoline."