Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Madness

Recently Sluiter Nation joined the rest of the world in the 21st century and subscribed to NetFlix.  The service is available through our Wii, and so we decided it was just too easy not to get it.  No mailing things or dropping anything off.  Just a click of the wii-mote and we have TV series and movies and documentaries right there in our living room.

Friday and/or Saturday nights are now popular popcorn and movie nights at our house.  I can’t say we’ve chosen the best things (Cort is a little famous for watching boring documentaries or stupid obscure movies just because an actor he likes is in it.  Never mind the two stars it received.), but we have watched some new things.

But this post isn’t really about new things.  It’s more about old favorites.  The movies that are on my TOP TEN list of favorites.  Movies that if I catch them on TV?  It’s all over.  I will watch them until they are done–even if that is 2:00am on a random Wednesday night.

10. When Harry Met Sally

I am not usually a big “chick flick” fan, but this movie is funny and sweet and did I mention funny?  I love Meg Ryan.

9. The Breakfast Club-

Shut up.  John Hughes is a genius.  I could really just list his movies here and be done, but this is by FAR my favorite of all of them.

8. Apollo 13 –

I can’t NOT watch this movie when it’s on.  For some reason I am totally addicted to it.  I like the Grandma the best.  You know, the lady who plays Tom Hank’s mom.  “Are you afraid?  Don’t be.  My Jimmy could land a washing machine on the moon if it could fly.”  Love it.

7. The Godfather movies (1 & 2 specifically)-

I could watch mafia movies all day and all night, but these are my favorite.  The first one is clearly a classic (“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” and “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday…”) but I LOVE the flashbacks of the second one…the way we get the story of Don Corleone and of course how different Michael is now that he is the Don (“I don’t feel like I have to wipe out everybody, Tom.  Just my enemies.”) .

6. The Big Lebowski –

This movie comes in second as the movie I could watch on repeat for the rest of my life.  I love it that much.  Pretty much anything in life can be responded to with a quote from The Dude, however most are not for my mom’s eyes, so I can’t quote them here.

5. Anchorman –

This movie is hilarious.  Totally dumb, but hilarious.  Again, the quotes from this one are endless, but probably not appropriate for my mother…or Cort’s grandmother…to read.  When I am sad or down or just feeling blah, The Legend of Ron Burgundy will make me smile.

4. Pulp Fiction-

Of all the Tarantino flicks, this one is by far my favorite.  I first saw it when it came out on video when I was in high school. Everything about it was interesting to me.  The non-linear structure, the various stories all going on at once, the swearing.  Oh the swearing.  I felt like this movie made me realize that there was more out there than just Disney and Tom Hanks.

3. Dazed and Confused-

The last summer that I lived at home when I was in college, I watched this movie EVERY DAY.  My parents didn’t have cable and the TV reception in my bedroom was terrible, so every day that I got home from work, I would collapse into bed and watch the coolest version of the 1970’s that I knew.

2. Forrest Gump-

Do I really need to say why this is awesome?  I mean, does anyone (other than Cort) pass this up when it’s on TV?  No, I didn’t think so.

1. The Back to The Future Trilogy-

Choosing one is impossible.  They are one fantastic adventure.  I don’t know how else to prove to you my love of all things B to the F other than with this short story:

My parents took my brothers, Cort, and me to Detroit to see a Tigers ball game.  My dad rented a van so we could all ride together for the 3 hour ride there and back.  As we were pulling out of the driveway, Cort notices the van has a DVD player.  He immediately regretted pointing out that fact.

My brothers and I yelled, “B to the F!” (Why yes, we are all adults.  Why do you ask?)

We watched Part I and half of Part II on our way to the game and the end of Part II and all of Part III on our way home.  Reciting every. single. line. verbatim.

My dad chuckled.  My mom read her book.  Cort died a little.

So what are YOUR favorite movies of all time?  What could you loaf out on the couch and watch hours and hours of?

**Please note that due to the demands on my time with work and my leadership involvement at The Red Dress Club, after next week, my Top Ten Tuesday meme will put on hiatus until summer–when I get my life back a better handle on my schedule.**

If you have a facebook account, please don’t forget to vote for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant money!  You can vote once every 24 hours!

Oh and…I may have entered another contest:

It’s the picture of Eddie wearing sunglasses.  Please “like” his picture in this contest.

Top Ten Tuesday: small business love

Lately I have noticed that I have a bit of an addiction to shopping online, specifically small businesses.  Even more specifically, handmade products.

I think it’s because with my crazy schedule, I don’t get out to do any shopping anymore.  I used to at least do the grocery shopping once a week and get to throw in a fun pen or notepad or cookies.  But now?  I don’t even do that anymore.

So I have turned to the internet.

I will admit that I may have a bit of a problem (although none of the shop owners have complained about it).

This week I am sharing with you my favorite shops to stalk shop.  There are in no particular order…I love them ALL!

10. Sarah Bee Creations:

mmm...smells so yummy!

Sarah of Sarah Bee Creations is one of Sluiter Nation’s sponsors (see her pretty soaps over there on the right?) because not only is she an awesome person?  But she makes some of the richest, creamiest soaps ever!  I have her French Vanilla soap in the shower right now, and her lemongrass is on deck making my bathroom drawer smell delicious.   I cannot get over how soft my skin is after using this.  Horribly dry elbows?  Totally gone!

9. Pink Bow Bath Boutique:

pampering in a jar

Along with Sarah’s soaps?  I have become completely addicted to Amy’s body butters from Pink Bow Bath Boutique. I won a tiny jar from a giveaway and I was HOOKED!  I have never smelled so yummy in all my life.  Really.  Right now I am loving the buttercream frosting and the strawberry cream, but the pear vanilla is way tasty smelling too.  The body butter is thick, but not too thick, and the body frosting is silky and a bit lighter–can’t wait to get that for the summer!

8. The Vintage Pearl:

personalized lovliness

I don’t think there are many people out there who DON’T know about Erin at The Vintage Pearl. I have the “you are my sunshine” necklace and I have given quite a few gifts from TVP–and they are ALWAYS loved.  I think it’s the personalization and uniqueness that makes these pieces so special.

7. Peggy Ann Design:

the cutest frame in my house

Another one of my lovely sponsors, Hannah of Peggy Ann Designs, makes a variety of some of the loveliest items on the internet.  I have one of her cute frames, but I have my eye on her unique cuffs.  I think one would look super cute with my work shirts that are 3/4 length.  (See…I have a problem).  Also how cute would those mini-poms look in little girl hair?  Adorable!  And Hannah is the sweetest friend ever.  I think that makes the addiction worse.  Not only do these shop-owners sell the best stuff, but they are so nice and wonderful…I make up reasons I need their product!

6. The Sunshine Stitch:

self get the cuteness of the hat though

This is my newest find.  Alysha of The Sunshine Stitch made that SUPER cute hat for me (because of COURSE I needed a new hat.  Duh.), but mostly she makes the sweetest little baby hats and booties I have ever seen.  Is it bad that after seeing her stuff I told Cort I thought we needed a baby?  Cuz he gave me the side-eye.  Huh.  It’s a good thing I have friends who are pregnant, so I can justify some serious spending here…SOON!

5. Gussy:

all gussy-ed up!

Who doesn’t love Maggie aka Gussy?  Her stuff is legendary out there in online shopping fame.  Those ruffles?  Forget it.  I have a laptop bag, a small pouch for my Droid, and a medium pouch for all the little stuff in my purse.  I showed you two of those things in my vlog a few weeks ago. So you think I would be set, right?  Oh no.  Now that I am going to BlogHer?  I really want a tote or a market bag as my carry on for the plane ride.

4. Bird E Studios

diaper clutch for mom to look good; bib for Eddie to look good!

Erika of Bird E Studios is another lovely friend of mine and an awesome shop owner AND another sponsor here on the old blog.  Erika has been the craftiness behind many of Eddie’s cute goodies…and is working on a little project for me right now for a lovely friend who has twin girls in her belly.  She also makes the cutest dog collars!  All four of my puppy nieces got pretty new “necklaces” from Erika for Christmas this past year.  She is another reason my uterus twitches for a baby…bibs and burp clothes!

3. Funky Mama Bird:

pretty an unique

Betsy of Funky Mama Bird is one of my favorite jewelry shops. Her stuff is so unique; I constantly get compliments on my bracelet.  Right now I have my eye on her birds nest earrings and I LOVE her birds next necklaces too.  Seriously, so cute.

2. Twenty Five Design:

my obession

Anyone who sees me regularly knows about my obsession love of all things Twenty Five Design by the lovely Torie.  My friendship with Torie began when she saved my hair style for a wedding by custom-making my very first Twenty Five Design headband.  Since then? I can’t stop myself!  Currently on my wish list from Torie’s crafty hands is the Spring is Here headband, the Chloe hairclip, and Carol cuff bracelet.  And yes, I already have three headbands, three hair pins, a necklace, and a ring.  What?

1. Eleri Designs

{Ok, I don’t have a picture of this…yet!  It’s on it’s way!}

Stacey of Eleri Designs is another new love of mine.  I came across Stacey’s shop through Miranda (of not super…just mom).  I entered a giveaway, but did not win.  Her shop was on my mind ever since.  Recently I decided it was time I retired my old Pittsburgh Steelers throw to the basement family room and got myself something cozy and girly for my big brown chair upstairs.  Immediately I contacted Stacey to find out if she did custom “adult size” blankets.  She does!  I am so excited to put on my jammies and curl up under my new blanket!  And I might just have my eye on her super cute coffee cozies next…

Now don’t get me wrong…these are not the only shops where I spend all my allowance frequent, but they are the ones I have currently stalked stared at the most in the past couple weeks.

And of course I HAVE to know…what are your favorite shops?  Do you have online favorites too, or do you frequent local small businesses in your area?  Where do you spend your “fun” money?

Don’t forget to vote every 24 hours for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant!

And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party!  Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).

Top Ten Tuesday: Guilty Pleasures

Again you can blame the crowd over on twitter for this week’s Top Ten Topic…although this one was on my idea list.  I just wasn’t sure I wanted to spill all my guilty pleasures for all the world to know.

But it is time.  Time for me to come clean about my addictions entertainment.

10. Diet Coke – this one is a huge one.  I had my first swig of the lovely nectar in 8th grade.  My math teacher LOVED the stuff and collected cans in her room.  In pyramids.  I wanted to know what was so great about it.  I was never really able to drink sugary sodas, so this was perfect.

I have been hooked ever since.  My only hiatus was during my pregnancy with Eddie.  I tried to do caffeine free, but it tasted weird and I had the worst reflux known to man.

I have been told to cut out soda to help weight loss.  and I have cut way back, but I just can’t give up the good stuff completely.

9. The Red Carpet – almost any red carpet will do.  Award season is my favorite sport season.  And don’t say it’s not a sport.  It’s totally brutal

8. Fashion Police – Not the show that is now on weekly (although I do not mind that either in fact “bitch stole my look” is my favorite segment on that show), but the actual fashion police after the awards.  For instance tonight?  It will be the Oscars Fashion Police.  You know I will not be missing this.

7. Popcorn – and not healthy, low fat, nothing added popcorn.  No, my favorite?  Movie theater popcorn with TONS of extra butter.  I read somewhere that in a large tub?  You get all the calories you need for one day.  I would so sacrifice the rest of my day’s calories just to sit and mow down on a huge tub of greasy goodness.

6. America’s Next Top Model – admittedly I hate almost all reality shows.  But this one?  I love.  I haven’t watched it that much (I missed the end of the last cycle and I have the first episode of this season on Tivo that I haven’t watched yet), but if there is a marathon on a Sunday?  My day is DONE.

5. Mc Donalds – who am I kidding…it’s really the filet-o-fish from Micky D’s.  And now that it’s the magical season of lent?  You KNOW I get my nom on with the double filet.  My head knows it’s disgusting, my my heart?  Oh my heart is so in love.

4. Facebook – this one IS really guilty because I HATE that I am so addicted to it.  I don’t post all over it like I used to–I use it mainly to keep in touch with people and for my fan pages, but I do enjoy creeping looking at everyone’s pictures and reading their profiles.  It is a bit silly how easy it is to know what people are up to…and also completely addictive.

3. online shopping – specifically etsy.  Oh Mah Lawd how I can get stuck on etsy…for HOURS!  Mostly just browsing, but not always.  Let’s just say my email inbox?  Always has one or two receipts hanging out waiting for shipping info.

2. Peanut Butter M&Ms – Oh how I love you.  And oh how I love that my husband does not buy them every week with groceries or I would be about 72345098 pounds.

1. Twitter – It’s like I can’t be away from it!  I have tweetdeck open on my laptop ALWAYS, I have it on my phone, and I check in at work on the web.  I completely get sucked into EVERY conversation.  It’s probably the same reason I was always up until all hours chatting in real life back in college.  Now I am all over it online.  Sometimes?  It’s a problem. (by the way?  I am @ksluiter if you want to feed my addiction tweet with me).

And now you all know my dirty little secrets…you know why I can’t let the weight go and why when it seems like I am ALWAYS around on twitter?  It’s because I am.

Now it’s your turn to spill.  What are YOUR guilty pleasures?

psst…if you are on facebook and you are feeling generous with your clicking finger?  Please click here and vote for Sluiter Nation.  This grant could help fund my trip to BlogHer!!  You can vote once a day!

Top Ten Tuesday: The Stuff I Carry With Me

For this week’s Top Ten, I decided to combine the countdown with something else that has been requested:  a new vlog.

So not only am I counting down what it is that carry around with me in my purse?  But I am doing it on video.  And yes, I made my bed just for this video so you guys wouldn’t see my inner slob.  You’re welcome.

What do you carry everywhere?

Top Ten Tuesday: Causes

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is way important to me.  Way.  This week I am choosing to tell you about the causes that are most important to Sluiter Nation.  The ones we spend our money, our time, and our prayers on.

10. Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure: Cort and I have had friends and family who have been touched by breast cancer.  This past fall we chose to raise money for and participate in the Grand Rapids Area 5K.  It was one of the biggest blessings to me to be so close to so many survivors and family/friends of survivors.  Reading the names of who people were racing for made my heart swell.  If you would like more information or to donate, please go here.

9. Hospice: Hospice of Holland has been specifically close to our hearts. They came in the final moments of Cort’s dad’s life.  Cort’s grandpa was also blessed by one of their nurses to guide him and grandma through his final days.  Hospice does everything from make patients comfortable in the last moments, to helping the family understand each step, to helping pay for meds.  They are truly a blessing.  To learn more or make a donation, please go here.

8. JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation): My very best friend since middle school, Tonya, got the news eleven years ago–just before getting married–that she had JD.  I read up on it and was devastated for her.  I pledged to her that I would do anything I could to help her stay healthy and alive.  I need her and love her.  Each year that she has participated in the walk, I have pledged.  I hope to walk with her some day.  If you would like to pledge to a walker or donate, please go here.

7. The American Cancer Society: As I said before, many of the women in our lives have battled breast cancer.  We have also had members of our family battle other types of cancer, particularly lung cancer. Six years ago, Cort’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Five and a half years ago that lung cancer claimed his life.  I hate cancer.  HATE it.  It was by far the most devastating thing I have ever had to witness.  Not just what it did to my father-in-law (which was ugly and evil), but what it did the family and friends who had to witness it.  If you hate cancer?  Please consider donating.

6. Alzheimer’s Association: A decade ago Alzheimer’s stole my grandmother.  Alzheimer’s may as well be a cancer of the brain.  I forced my beautiful, lively grandma jo to forget the year, what she was doing, how to live on her own, how to care for herself, who her family was, and finally?  how to live.  I can’t bear to think of anyone else having their mind taken this way.  Please consider donating.

5. American Heart Association: Heart disease runs in Cort’s side of the family.  Both his dad and his grandpa were going to cardio-rehab before they died of other things.  OTHER THINGS!  Heart attacks did NOT claim their lives–even though they both lived through them!  This is because of the amazing strides in heart care!  But there is more work to be done!  Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in women?  It so is!  Please help!

4. Postpartum Depression (and other postpartum mental illness): This one is extremely important to me.  It’s not a donation thing this time…it’s more of an advocacy thing.  Someone recently said to me that she thinks PPD is over-diagnosed.  After repressing the need to smack her, I calmly told her it’s not OVER-diagnosed, it’s just more common because women are finally speaking up when something isn’t right rather than thinking they can just get through it.  Amen to that.  Want more resources?  Here is my favorite list.

3. Project: Purse and Boots (the American Stroke Association): My lovely friend, Lori, has launched a crusade against strokes.  Yet another evil thing that has affected people we love.  I raised my hand HIGH when she asked for volunteers to host “pursey” and try to raise some money to fight strokes.  If you want to read more about Pursey’s travels all over the country?  Go here.  If you want to donate?  Click this button:

2. Blankets For Hope: My lovely sponsor, Erika, from Bird E Studios has started the most beautiful charity.  After her wee cousin, Cullen, was diagnosed with cancer, she knew she had to use her talents to make him something that would help him feel safe and loved.   So she made him a fleece blanket.  After finding out what a comfort it was to him, she decided to dedicate 15% of all her shops sales to materials to make more blankets for more children with cancer.  Cancer is evil enough attacking adults, but children?  It breaks my heart to think of the little ones having to battle such pain.  Purchasing goods from Bird E Studios is one way to donate to Erika’s cause, but if you would like to donate directly, you can do so here:

1. Heroes for Holden: Anyone who is on twitter knows Jen (@thenextmartha) and her blog The Martha Project. Most of the time her blog is so funny I have to make sure I am not drinking any liquids for fear or spitting them on my computer screen.   But this weekend, Jen posted about Holden, a little boy who had his genitalia mutilated at only 5 weeks old by his drug addicted mother. (you can read the entire story on Jen’s blog). She could not NOT do something, so she started a crusade.  Heroes for Holden was an established cause to donate to, but Jen decided she could advocate and raise money for this sweet little boy who is now two years old and facing years of surgeries, hormone treatments, and psychological sessions.  Please…PLEASE help this little boy.

There you have it.  The Top Ten causes that are important to Sluiter Nation.  We have more (we have been known to help Habitat for Humanity and donate to GoodWill, local food pantries, and missions), but these are the top that hit closest to home for us.

Please consider doing Top Ten Tuesdays this week and link up your causes, and maybe if each of us donated to ONE of someone else’s we could be making a real difference. (plus I have a nifty new button you can grab over on the right side of the blog!  Yay!)
Oh and?  Don’t forget to go out and donate blood.  It will save three lives and it’s easy.

For The Love…Of Blogging Top Ten Tuesday


Usually Tuesdays in Sluiter Nation are Top Ten Tuesday…and today is no different!  However today, since it’s our blogging love week, I am going to focus on the Top Ten Reasons I Love to Blog.

Make sure to go check out Miranda‘s Top Ten today too and then link of your own Top Ten Reasons to Blog!

So here I go…

10. My friends and family know what the heck we are up to. I know this one sounds lame, but it is the reason I started the blog back in 2007…so the people I love would know about our lives.  In fact, I always had to email the link once every couple weeks to everyone because I had NO idea how to do RSS or email subscriptions let alone tell people about them.

9. This is MY house. I know it’s been said before, but your blog is your house.  You can have your opinion (not that I do very opinionated stuff, really, but the OPTION is there).   I like that one day I can write a letter to my son and the next day I can talk about my depression.  And I can say what I want because it is MY space in this world.

8. Blogging it out. Time and time again I have come here or to twitter to just pound my feelings out onto my keyboard…into my screen…and out into the interwebs.  And you know what?  You can read or not read, but I feel better getting it out of my head.  That is something I didn’t know my blog could be when I first started it.

7. The Other Blogs. Part of my love of blogging is YOU.  reading YOUR blogs.  Finding women people who I can relate to…whose words touch me.

6. Community. This one is going to be on here twice…because there are two kinds I have found.  There is the community right here…in Sluiter Nation.  You.  You who come here and support me and love me and converse with me (and those of you who don’t, you’ll notice that your comments do not show up…see reason #9: MY HOUSE).

5. Community. I love blogging for the communities that have been formed here.  I have found PPD communities here and here (amongst others).  I have found writing communities like this. And I have found places to safely publish stories that are very sensitive to me with the security that only positive, loving comments will be let through.

4. A Creative Outlet. I had NO idea…NO IDEA…i could write.  I mean, I knew I could write essays and teach the basics of grammar, but to actually put something together with voice?  that could move someone?  No idea.  Blogging has challenged me to be a better writer…something I love.

3. Friends. If you told me a year ago that by February 2011, I would have a whole slew of new best friends…and that i would have only met a teeny tiny few of them in real life?  I would have laughed at you and called you ridiculous.  No one meets people online (no one that isn’t a little weird).  But it’s true.  I have met women here who I consider extremely close friends.  And I have never met them. well, in real life.

2. Showing Off. I have made a point of always being honest.  And honestly?  I like to be the center of attention (just ask my mom).  Blogging is like my own personal spotlight.

1. My Life: In Writing. Someday?  I will be old and not so typey typey on the computer.  My children will be grown and gone.  Some day I will be gone.  And my children, my grandchildren…they will have my words.  They will have pictures of us.  They will know what life was like through my eyes.  Think of how precious of a gift that is.  Can you imagine if you had a book handed to you of what your great great grandmother had written?  For the good and the bad?  These are my words.  My experiences.

Now it’s your turn!  What are your Top Ten Reasons to blog or to love blogging?  Share with  us!  Link up!

ps. since this is a blog hop and we are loving on blogging, please try to comment on as many people in the hop as you can…even if it’s just the person ahead of you and after you in the lineup!  WE LOVE BLOGGING!

Top Ten Tuesdays: 2011 To Do’s

This week’s Top Ten clearly had to be about the lovely new year we have just entered, but I do not do resolutions.

In fact, I agree with my friend, Lynn, who said that resolutions imply that something was wrong with me that needs fixing. I am sick of feeling like I have to fix myself.

So instead of talking like I am all cracked and needing of repair, I am going to focus on Ten Things I want to do this year.  Not change about myself, but actual THINGS.

#10: Try knitting-

I’ve mentioned this on twitter and elsewhere, but I think this would be a really fun thing to try.  The funny thing is, Cortney agrees.  I like to be able to talk and be present with  my family or to watch some TV with Cort.  But I need to be DOING something.  Lately it’s jump on the computer or read a book.  But if I learn to knit, I can stay with what is going on in the room rather than be in my own world.

#9: Go away for a weekend with Cortney-

We did this last year for our anniversary.  We spent a night away in Detroit to see a Tigers game.  We can do that again and I would be happy.  Or we could go somewhere else.  Whatever we have money for, but I have come to realize that spending alone time that is AWAY is important for us.  We are together in this house a LOT due to our current situation.  We need that NOT at home time for US to be good.

#8: Go away as a family-

Again, last year we successfully did this by traveling to Indy.  We were nervous about the drive and the stay with Eddie…but everything went GREAT.  I would do it again in a heartbeat…hopefully for the State Fair this time.

# 7:  finish a crafty project-

I have one started that is for someone.  That is all i can say.  I would love to finish it.  So I am going to.

#6: Get to Chicago…twice-

I WILL do this.  Once to have a girls day with Tonya (my BFF) and once as a family for some touristy stuff.  We love that city and there really is no reason for this to NOT to happen.

#5: Drop extra-curricular duties at school-

I’ve already started this process.  They take up too much of my time and since I live so far away from school and now have a little family, it’s not fair to them.  I’ve done an extra-curricular for seven years.  It’s someone else’s turn.

#4: Finish Eddie’s big boy room –

I will do everything in my power to ensure that before this year is done?  My child has a big boy bedroom to move to when/if he should need to do so.  Until then, it will be a lovely playroom.

#3: Finish the downstairs bathroom-

Again, we are having a troupe of 12 adults and an uncountable number of children to our house this summer. One bathroom is not acceptable.  This WILL get done.  2011 is the year of the bathroom!

#2: Clean my car-

As I type this I cannot tell you the last time I cleaned out the inside of my car OR washed the outside.  I realize the outside is as easy as going through a carwash.  I have not done this.  Salt and grime has been eating my car for over a year.  I know subconsciously it’s because I want a newer, bigger vehicle.  But this car has been so good to me…I need to show her some love too.

#1: Touch my husband more-

Get your mind out of the gutter, you pervs!  This is serious.  We lost Cort’s grandpa on Christmas day and at his funeral, Cort’s grandma got up and told an entire room full of people that she can never once remember in 53 years of being married to the love of her life…cannot remember ONE time when grandpa turned her away when she needed a hug or a kiss or just a shoulder.  But at the same time, she can remember thousands of times she shoo-ed him away because she was busy, or had a toddler on her hip, or whatever.  She also recalled saying this fact in front of gramps once and he wasn’t even aware he was like this.

Cort has inherited this immediate love–this always there-ness–from his grandpa.  I want to not turn his love away.  So I guess that is sort of a resolution…something to “work on”.

What do you want to “get done” in 2011?

Top Ten Tuesday: 2010 in Review

Well hello there!  Welcome to the final Top Ten Tuesday of 2010.

To cap off the year, I thought I would count down some of Sluiter Nation’s biggest memories of 2010.  Not all of them are necessarily big or happy, but they are what make 2010 what it was.

#10: The Sluiter Family Christmas Retreat (January)

Eddie's first Sluiter Retreat

We love going up north with all 64 members of the Sluiter family!  Little did we know that this would be Eddie’s only Sluiter retreat with Grandpa Sluiter.  We weren’t able to go this year, and now Grandpa is gone.  This will always be remembered as a very special trip to us. (seriously…click on that link and go see just how bald my baby was.  seriously.)

#9  My birthday in Chicago (March)

my best friend, Tonya helped give me the best birthday EVER!

This year, my best friend (who lives in Chicago) and my husband (who lives here with me) decided that I had gotten the short end of the stick on birthdays 3 years in a row (pregnant for all three of them…only one of those pregnancies turned out).  So this year, they decided to celebrate my 29th, 30th, 31st, AND 32nd birthday!  We spent the weekend in Chicago with her and her hubby and a few more of our awesome friends.  It was a great time.

#8 Adoption from Ethiopia

In April, Cort’s sister MacKenzie and her husband, David came over and told us that they had started the process to adopt from Ethiopia.  We were ECSTATIC! Eddie would be getting cousins on the Sluiter side!  And the gift of a child?  Nothing beats it!  They have been blogging their adventure in adoption here.

#7  Tulip Time (May)

my wee little dutch boy

Every year we go to the Holland Tulip parade. This was my 32nd year attending.  Seriously.  I don’t miss it.  And yes, I have a Dutch costume and wooden shoes.  And yes, I did the Klompen dancing when I was in high school and for a bit after.  And yes, I had a Dutch costume made for my little guy.  You can read about our adventures here, here, and here.

#6 Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (May and June)

This year we both celebrated our first Mother’s and Father’s days.  Eddie was born less than a week after Father’s day in 2009, so this was the first year we both had the little man on the OUTSIDE.  We had great days with him.  You can read about my first Mother’s Day (where I reflect on becoming a mommy) here and Cort’s first Father’s Day here (where I try to talk about father’s but sort of fail since I’m not one).

#5. My PPD/A diagnosis (March)

In March I found out that the empty, horrible, bad-mom feelings I had been having and the angry, self-hate and the lack of bonding with my son were due to a mental condition, NOT because I was a bad mom.  I came out with it on the blog in May here, and my life has never been the same.  Aside from getting the help I need, I have also met some of the best friends and awesome people.

#4 The beach (and other summery fun) (June-August)

Our summer fun memories are almost too numerous to count.  We went canoeing and to the beach and on boat rides and to the zoo and just had a great summer.

#3 INDY!!! (August)

This list would not be complete without Eddie’s first road trip.  And where did we take him?  To Indianapolis, of course!

Emily and Cort navigate the kids around the Indy zoo

Eddie had his first road trip, his first McDonald’s, his first Children’s museum, and his first hotel stay!  Plus we got to hang with great friends!  You can read about it, of course!

#2 My brother getting engaged (October)

My brother, Chris, who is 2.5 years younger than me got engaged to his six-year old son’s mom this year.  I almost burst with pride and love.

#1 My baby turning one (June)

my blue little one-year old

sigh…I can’t believe this was six months ago already!  This day was so much fun…and so much WORK!

Honorable Mentions:

1. Thanksgiving: I love seeing our friends from all over the country.  LOVE.  See?

2. Cort’s birthday: This day was so fun because we got to go on a REAL date:  the museum and dinner at Six One Six. Plus I think Cort had a pretty good weekend too.  See?

3. Grandpa going to heaven: This is not so much a happy memory, but it is part of 2010 that we will never forget.

We made many, MANY more memories than that, but as you see, I already broke the rules of this being a Top Ten, so I need to stop.  What memories make YOU Top Ten?  Link up below!

Wishlist (Top Ten Tuesdays)

I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off,

I wish I was a sacrifice that somehow still lived on,

I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on

The Christmas Tree, I wish I was the star you put on top

I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds

For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky…

I wish for a job for Cortney.  Not because we need the money, but because he needs it for himself.  He needs to be needed by adults.  He needs to do that for his family.

I wish for healthy babies from Ethiopia for MacKenzie and David and from warm wombs for so many of my friends who are expecting…and for anyway possible for the mothers out there who just need a baby in her arms to make that title official.

I wish for peace for my husband’s grandpa and the rest of the family.

I wish for wonder and magic during this season for my Eddie Bear.

I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me,

I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me,

I wish I was the messenger and all the news was good,

I wish I was the full moon shining off of Camero’s hood.

I wish for no more pain for any of the people in my life who have chronic pain from conditions beyond their control be it physical or emotional.

I wish for an upturn in the economy so many of my loved ones can go back to work, or pay ALL their bills, or give their children the “extras”.

I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun,

I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house keys on,

I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on,

I wish I was the verb “to trust” and never let you down.

I wish for bright futures for all children.

I wish for a cure to Alzheimers and cancer and juvenile diabetes and Parkinsons and multiple sclerosis and SIDS

I wish I was the radio song, the one that you turned up.

I wish for my son to learn and show love.

I wish for a growing family and for the means to provide for that family.

I wish…

I wish…

This post was inspired by the song “Wishlist” by Pearl Jam.

What do you wish for?

Top Ten Tuesdays: Holiday Food

Family, friends, decorations, peace on earth, blah , blah, BLAH!

We all know that from Thanksgiving through New Year’s it’s really all about FOOD!  I really don’t want to know how much sugar, butter, chocolate, and cream cheese I got through in that month’s time.  It’s pretty obscene.  And it makes it VERY clear why most people throw their diet out the window this time of the year.  I mean, who can say no to these yummies?

That is why this week Sluiter Nation is counting down our Top Ten favorite holiday foods.

#10 Homemade Caramel Corn

Oh my…YUM!  This is the most buttery, yummy caramel corn I have ever had in my life!  Each year my mom would make at LEAST two batches of this treat for us.  And now that I have my own little house and family, I make it too…and boy is it a hit!

And just because I love you all so much, here is the recipe:

2 cups (or a little less) of popcorn (not microwave)

pop the popcorn and set aside in large bowls for later.

In a saucepan on the stove bring the following ingredients to a boil:

2 cups of brown sugar

1 cup of butter (or margarine)

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

1 teaspoon of salt

boil for 5 minutes while continuously stirring.

After five minutes remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

mix until fluffy

pour mixture over popcorn and mix

spread mixed popcorn on REALLY greased pans and bake for one hour at 250 degrees.  Stir every 15 minutes

cool on waxed paper and then enjoy!

#9 Christmas Cookies

I already told you guys about our Christmas cookie making extravaganza here.  It’s a great tradition we have.

#8 Banket

First of all?  I don’t like almond-flavored things, but Cort LOVES it.  Banket is a Dutch treat that my Grandmas both used to make.  In fact, I have to use my Dutch cookbook.   Mine never turns out very pretty, but Cort always says it’s yum.

#7 Peanut Butter Balls

This one is another fan favorite at our house.  Every year I hand roll the peanut butter balls and then hand dip them in chocolate and then hand shove them into my mouth.  Nom nom nom.

#6 Puppy Chow

I make about three batches of this every holiday season.  People LOVE it.  My sister-in-law could live on it, and I have seen my friend Trisha eat it until she felt sick.  It’s that delicious.  For anyone who has never had this?  I feel VERY sorry for you.  It’s yum.

#5 Tortilla Roll-ups

This one isn’t a sweet treat and I don’t have a picture since I am making them Friday for a holiday party, but they make a yummy little appetizer plus?  they are the easiest thing EVER to make.  All you do is spread a mixture of veggie cream cheese and relish on a tortilla, add dry beef, roll it up, slice it so they look like little pinwheels and stick a tooth pick in for easy eat-ability.  Yum on a stick.

#4 Buffalo Chicken Dip

Again, I don’t have a picture of this, but it’s such a great dip to bring along to your holiday parties this year.  Not only is it addictive (which means you won’t have to take leftovers home), but it makes people want to drink…um…refreshments (which means the party will be super fun and entertaining).  And yes, it has cream cheese in it.  Duh.

#3 Cream Puffs

This one was my father-in-law’s favorite treat.  I used to make them for our holiday get together with him every year upon his request.  After he passed, I didn’t make them for a couple year because I just couldn’t bring myself too.  But last year, my sis-in-law and bro-in-law requested I bring back the tradition.  So again, I busted out the Dutch cookbook and made some yummy cream puffs.

#2 Crab Dip

This one is hot demand whenever we are invited to a holiday party too.  I got this recipe from my almost-sister-in-law’s mom about six years ago.  It melts faces it’s so good.  Seriously.  It’s a warm dip (and does NOT have cream cheese in it…ok, yes it does.)  It is served with crackers and usually I don’t get any of it because it goes so fast.  Yum.

#1 My dad’s fudge

my confession here is that I have never made this correctly (clearly, by the picture of fudge poo you can tell this fact).  I have tried EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR to make this, but I always rush it and it either turns out like a nasty syrup, or it is all crumbly and crystallized and disgusting.  But my dad?  mmmm.  he makes the BEST fudge.  It is the messiest process I have ever seen, but it’s so tasty.  It just melts in your mouth.  So yes, I will be trying again this year.  Stay tuned.  I might vlog it…if you’re lucky.

Want any of the recipes I talked about here?  Let me know in the comments and maybe I will put them up on the blog if there is enough interest.

What are your favorite foods during the holiday season?  Have a Top Ten?  Link up!

ps.  all pictures were taken last year…when we could put presents and decorations on a lower level.  This can’t happen anymore.  you know, because of the toddler.

pssst.  I have also linked MY link up with my girl, Lish over at A Beautiful Mess.  Since today IS Tasty Tuesday and these treats are all quite tasty.  Click over to see more food!!!