Monday, August 31, 2009

Ten Things to be Happy About This Month

I love Emmy's idea for the last day of the month and hope she doesn't mind me stealing her idea. I am always looking for ways to remember to Give Thanks and refresh my short, stale memory of blessings. August is over (already in my mind) and I am in LOVE with September. But I did have all sorts of reasons to smile in August before I got tired of it.

Health Insurance

Sunday nights on HBO

An overnight date and spa day with my favorite guy

. . . and Grandparents who babysit and my kids love to be with

Bridget Grace Anderson

AMAZING friends like Tracey and Summer who take my kiddos swimming and to McDonald's and to the movies when they are just DONE with being at home.

Getting tickets to see Kenny Chesney with the GIRLS

$19 jeans at Old Navy & shopping with gift cards from my birthday!!

Ill mannered dogs that lie on the furniture and love unconditionally

Vacation Memories

Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices. ~ Thomas Fuller

Sunday, August 30, 2009


That's it.
Do you hear it?
That gigantic buzzer like it's the end of the 4th quarter at a basketball game? Summer is O.V.E.R. Bummer. Kind of. Both of my kiddos are headed to school this week and I am only this sad about it.

I am a finicky girl. I love things madly in the beginning and my interest wanes before long. Story of my life.
Summer is no different. We load up on sunscreen, grill our dinners and carve out as much time for fun as possible. We don't live on the Upper East Coast and I am not seeing the leaves turn gorgeous shades of yellow and red, but I know that summer is ending. The backpacks full of supplies and the brand new lunch boxes on the counter are proof enough for me. It doesn't take much. I'm done with summer. It was good while it lasted.

We went to the beach and played with friends.

We spent time with family and Skyped when we couldn't.
We jumped and swam
We danced
We traveled
We ate too much candy and slept too late
Summer is fun while it lasts, but now it's over. We have school this week. I'm madly in love with the idea.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Bloggy Friends

One of my favorite places these days is the blogosphere. I still love Maui and my kitchen and Ann Taylor, but I have met some of THE coolest, wittiest, most faithful and inspiring people of my life through their writing. Some of them I have other contact with ~ some of them I don't. But I love to read what's happening. Everyone's story moves me in some way. There are lots of Moms with funny stories about their kids, home improvement tips, advice on parenting or cooking and really heartfelt moving tales.

I'm still not sure what I want my own blog to be when it grows up. It used to be a photo album for my parents to see what the kids were doing on any particular day. It's grown to be more than that for me and I want to raise it tenderly and see what comes from it. No doubt, my bloggy friends are a good push towards that. I have a blog project coming up in September that will be a test for me. For now, I want to share with you what some of my favorite blogs are up to. You just won't believe the work that God is doing all over the place right now.

Kellie - Life in the Soup Bowl

This sweet Mama is not a bloggy friend to me. She is a God given friend who I admire and cherish deeply. Our paths crossed not long after she had her first child and had returned to a storm wrecked New Orleans to start her life again as a Mother. Technically we are colleagues, but she is way, way more than that to me. She has a brand new blog that I am anxiously anticipating amazing things from. Her first blog entry is moving and genuine. Just like her.

Sarah - Sarah Markley

Wow - this woman's writing leaves me breathless time after time. She is a very real example to me of an imperfect wife and mother who is working with God to make her life and others better. I have been following her writing for several months, I won a terrific book through a giveaway on her blog and have consulted with her on writing etiquette. This week she is sharing the very true tale of the almost demise of her marriage and I am positively captivated by her story. Sarah is nothing short of remarkable.

MckMama - My Charming Kids

I've posted blog entries asking you to pray for Stellan, MckMama's youngest son. Just a few weeks ago he was in the hospital struggling for his very young life and I followed them intensely for days. My affinity for small children is uncanny considering my lack of patience, but I believe that God gives us every single child for a very specific reason. I really didn't want Stellan's reason to be as a teacher about loss. Outside of the fact that MckMama is a fantastic writer, an amazing photographer and some sort of superhuman Mother I love her candor and her wit. She did an update post on Stellan this week and he is absolutely precious. Check out how big he is getting and those amazing eyes.

Jenny - Let's have a cocktail

This is a very recent obsession and this lady is one hot mess. She says all of the things that I dream about. You know, now that I have transformed into my more conservative, adult self :) I am not entirely sure that God is doing any work here, but he has give me Jenny for some serious comedic relief. There are so many days lately that I need it desperately and there she is. Saying something wildly cunning and hysterical and I am whole again. She is a gift.

Oh, I could go on and on. I love my bloggy friends and there is just so much greatness to share. Funny, charming, pregnant, organized . . . It's like my very best version of Girls Night Out and everyone is having show and tell. A dream. After you stop crying and laughing simultaneously from the links above check some of my other favorites. You'll be hooked, too!

Rita - Fighting Off Frumpy

DrewB - Momtog

Kat - Mama's Losin' It

Chris - Just A Girl

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mr. Clean

Is it wrong that I think it's HOT when a man helps with housework? My husband and I are a thoroughly modern couple, but I still don't really expect him to do housework. Maybe it's the Southern girl in me . . .

Imagine my delight when I came home from work last night to find him with granite cleaner in one hand and a sponge in the other. Can you hear the angels singing on the soundtrack in my head?

There are just a million things that I think are fantastic about the man I married, but I've always been in love with his willingness to get dirty. Besides the yardwork he does laundry, hardwood floors, unloads the the dishwasher - I love it!!! He does a ton of amazing things for me and we have grown up a lot as a couple in the last few years. I am deeply in love with who we are right now, but for the moment I really just love my super clean kitchen.

Thank you, babe! Clean or dirty I am so glad you're mine

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Just a Number

I turned 35 this weekend and didn't even flinch. It could be because I intentionally eliminated any hoopla, but I know it's mostly because my life is so full that the numbers attached to it are just that. Numbers.
I could go on and on about why I think that age doesn't matter, but I don't have the heart for it tonight. We had a long, full, fun weekend and had to spend the evening cleaning up from the neglect!!! I am done for tonight and promised to spend some time with my #1 Guy. There are at least 3 reasons why I think 3-5 has 0 impact on me.
Wanna see?

Reasons #1, 2, 3 and Me ~ No Gift Wrap Necessary

My Greatest Gifts EVER

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

Have ya heard me mention that I am excited about my upcoming Girls Weekend? If not, I am. If so you can hear it again. I am SO excited for Girls Weekend in three weeks.

I chatted with both of my DEAR friends Arden and Camille tonight and we talked about whatever it is we talk about when we start yammering, but the thing we couldn't say enough is "I can't wait to see you." These girls just mean the world to me and I am so sad when I take the time to realize that we haven't all been together since a certain someone's wedding in April 2001. That is just too ridiculous considering how much I adore them.

So, for Girls' Weekend we have organized the the most outrageous partners in crime EVER. Arden, Camille and me; along with my first love, Carrie : ) aka Ya Ya. No pix of Ya Ya here, but her time is coming. We've been friends since 2nd grade and there must be some good ones!

Flashback Friday today is in honor of Girls Weekend and how much I miss Arden and Camille. It's been a long time since Sandpiper Street, but I know we can make up for lost time with no problem at all. Can't wait to see my ladies!!!

yes, this photo IS from Bullwinkles sometime in the 90s!!!

Things I've Learned from My Toddler - So Far

The days of toddlers in our house have passed us by, but my babies taught me some gorgeous lessons about life along the way. Per MamaKat's Writing Workshop today, here are the lessons I learned from my toddlers.

The world is magical if you make the time to look beneath the surface

The most cherished gifts don't have to be expensive

Enjoy Yourself - even when things get messy

Sometimes you just need a nap

A new dress can be life changing

Life is way too short to take yourself too seriously

Thank you God for giving me toddlers. They are an extraordinary blessing to me that I might not have even known I needed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why Ask Why?

Are there a million things that boggle your mind every single day? I find myself WAAAYYY too often sitting somewhere wondering about all sorts of mysteries of life. Like these:


can she open a hermetically sealed sterling silver piggy bank, but she can't find the strawberry yogurt in the fridge?


do I make list after list and search ads for the best deals at the grocery store and leave with $200 worth of things that I didn't come for?


can I plan a black tie dinner for 200, complete with the appropriate number of ounces of meat per person, but I can NOT make a meal plan for my family for more than 2 days at a time?


does that dog bark and bark and bark, and chase the mailman, and charge after other people's dogs with wreckless abandon, but is deathly afraid of the vacuum cleaner?


is there a lowest available fare guaranteed tag on their website, but it's NEVER available?


can they watch Disney channel for HOURS on end, and recite every single word of the new Sabrina Gomez single, but cannot not focus on a three item list that I have asked them to work on?


do I even bother asking myself these questions? I should know better by now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


She's not kicking him.

He's not taunting her.

It's early morning and short lived, but it's sweet.

I love sweet

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Me, Crybaby!

Welcome to Not! Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can cruise on over to her blog to check out what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It is so NOT me to be on the verge of tears about EVERYTHING lately.

I did not cry twice last night because my precious babies had put themselves to bed and I didn't get to pray with them. I did not go into each of their rooms and lie in their beds for a minute and just touch them without regard for disturbing their peace. I did not need to watch their sleeping faces before I could go to bed.

It is not me that has cried a lot lately because I want to call my Nanny so badly. It is not me that cries every.single.time those sweet little people do something that I want to share with her. It's not me that thinks she would be so proud of Spunky Little Miss and her darling big brother. Not me, not me, not me that misses her so much it hurts.

It surely wasn't me that blew off the entire world for the weekend just to recharge and get some things done around the house. I did not cry either. Not when I was updating my blog and couldn't find enough words to express my gratitude for this life I'm living. Or when Sophia wanted to hold my hand while we were watching a movie on the couch. Nooooottt me.

And most of all I did not start work on our photo wall this weekend and BAWL over old pictures that I unpacked. No. Not. Me. Did not cry over the ones of Max as a baby with his binky permanently attached to his face. Or the ones of my dear friends little ones when they really were little. Or the ones of E and me as twenty somethings living a carefree easy life. Not once. Did not cry.

And it's definitely not me that can't wait to get out more of them and continue work on the project. The idea of getting them all on the wall does not excite me. Not me. Not at all.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So Sure

There are no less than a million things I love about my first born.

His remarkably sweet disposition.

The love he has for and gives to his family.

How aggressively he takes on the things that matter to him.

The perpetual hole where his front tooth should be.

There is one stand out trait that I genuinely admire in him. He is So Sure of himself and where he's going. I admire so much that he has no regard for the status quo and what he thinks someone else is doing or is going to think of what he's doing. He's So Sure that his way is the right way that it just doesn't matter. Case in point, remember Spirit Week? He was the ONLY kid dressed from head to toe in red and even at the end of the day it didn't matter to him that he had gone way over the top. There's a confidence there that was not inherited from me.

This week was not much different. He was at basketball camp at UCIrvine and they competed in teams for points in strategy and spirit, in addition to standard game play. He came home on Wednesday with a painted on moustache and announced that he played for the Moustache Mustangs. Oh-kay

Thursday morning finds me in the kitchen wondering why the box of markers is on the floor and I didn't have to drag Max out of bed to have breakfast before camp. Here comes my Mustang with his painted on moustache. WTF?

Honey, are you sure you're supposed to have a moustache again today?

Mom, I play for the Moustache Mustangs. Yes

Are you going to be embarrassed if no one else has a moustache?


So that's that. He strutted right into the Bren Events Center and onto the court with a Crayola washable marker in brown above his lip. No questions asked. No stolen glances to see if he was the only one.

It didn't matter, because he was So Sure of his choice. Good for you, Punky. Don't change a thing.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Friday - Early Explorations

Despite my recent cynicism I really am a sweetly sentimental gal. Today was The Princess' last day of preschool and only one of us cried. Guess who!?!?!?

Cookies for her friends at Early Ex

Our family, in some form or fashion, has been enrolled at Early Explorations Preschool for the last five years. The Athlete started just before he turned three and The Princess followed two years later. We've celebrated a lot of milestones there and my kids have nothing but happy memories from their time there. Remember The Athlete's foray into entertaining or Pia's Graduation Ceremony? At the end of the day that is all a parent can ask for, right?

Another chapter in our life has ended. I'm just not sure I'm ready for what's next, but that's not up to me. Here's our Flashback Friday from Early Explorations

2009 Graduation Day for The Princess
2008 Desert Room Christmas Program

2007 Mother's Day Tea with Nana
2007 Graduation for Max - Miss Heather was his favorite!
Father's Day 2007 with Granddaddy Christmas Program 2006 with Grandma and Grandpa

Look who turned 3 at EE!!
A fond farewell to our friends at Early Ex! Thank you for the great start for our babes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of Course I Don't Mean YOU

I am lagging on my blog this week and just had to participate in today's workshop with Mama Kat. The prompt I am choosing this week is...

List ten things you would say to ten different people in your life if you had the chutzpah.

I thought that was funny since I've been known to have lotsa chutzpah to say what's on my mind, but I HAVE been trying to lean towards the more politely conservative lately. You know being a Catholic school parent and a corporate cog and all. It just seems more appropriate. I do feel like I may be completely refreshed to say even a few of these today.

If you could stop talking for maybe like 2 minutes you would know that there are a room full of really talented people here with great ideas. Strategic, compelling ideas to help us overcome this mess. We can do this if you'll be quiet for just 2 minutes, 60 seconds, anything . . .

Hey lady! The one with the Louis Vuitton handbag and the iPhone that you can’t stop looking at long enough to safely walk your children into the building. Just because the tank car you are driving is twice the size of everything else in the garage does not mean that you can take two parking spaces. Does. Not. Park elsewhere or get a car that fits in the garage.

Yeah sure, I would love to see you and catch up and do the things we used to. Somehow I just can’t get over the irrational, self-centered freak that you’ve turned into.

No, I don’t think that’s the cutest picture of your son I’ve ever seen. I think his nose does not fit on his face and you have got to stop dressing him like that. I am so embarrassed for him and hope that your photo albums are destroyed in a minor leak in your house (I don’t actually wish any major harm) before he is old enough to know you took him in public like that AND used a camera.

Yes, I do mind if they come. I don’t like most of them, can only tolerate some of them and genuinely enjoy none of them. I’d rather just stay here and catch up on Facebook.

That’s right. I did schedule a meeting with you a month ago to talk about something that I am passionate about and that impacts my family greatly. It still matters to me just as much and I am more than a little pissed that no one has ever gotten back to me on it. Even after I politely followed up. Twice.

Did you seriously think this was a good idea? Cause we all wondered from Day One and here we are a couple years later and it still looks like a big ol’ mess. When we gossip about you, we’re not sure if you’re oblivious or just don’t quite know what to do. We do love you and would do anything for you. Call us when you’re ready to leave. We'll be there. In a minute. With drinks and big smiles on our faces.

I know how tough a Thursday afternoon can be, but I was thinking since most of our colleagues have lost their jobs in the last 12 months and everyone walks on eggshells here maybe you could finish that nap after work!

No, summer' s not just the best ever. It’s freakin’ exhausting physically and financially to be working parents of two young children in the summer. Camp is chaotic and expensive, everyone’s expectations are too high and vacation is overrated. I am sick of playdates with their goofy friends and their boring parents. I really want them to go to bed at bedtime every single night so I could have more than 20 minutes of adult time with my husband before I lose consciousness. I am longing for the first day of school so I can drop them both off in the same place and still have time to get coffee on the way to the office.

Actually, we don’t have plans. I just don’t want to. I’m simply not interested and I don’t care about you enough to stress myself out like that.

YEAH, that one would feel really GOOD!

Please DO TELL what you're dying to say or blog it and go back to Mama Kat's for a MckLinky. You WILL feel better and I'll be looking for it

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not My Vacation Tales

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It is not me that returned from our very first ever road trip on Saturday and still have not finished all the laundry. Nooooo way could it take me three days to do a week's worth of dirty laundry and I would NEVER throw away clothes when I couldn't get the camping stains out the first time. I am way too conservative for that. Would never do it. Not me.

It's also not me that left at 5 AM in a standard SUV with my two young children, my handsome husband, our 13 year old dog and enough stuff to stock a small village. Not me. I would fly. And use rolling luggage.

It was definitely not me that woke up on the first day of vacation to find the window of our truck smashed out and camping equipment stolen. NOT ME, please. That would be a terrible way to start a vacation and it was definitely not me, or my husband that spent the first day of vacation searching for someone to replace our window and a new hotel that would accommodate our two young children, 13 year old dog and half enough stuff to stock a village. And definitely not me that happily let the dog climb on the upholstered furniture when we got there. That would be rude and I was NOT feeling hostile. Not me.

It was not me that went to my husband's high school reunion and was feeling a little feisty about how much all the ladies love him and remember what a sweetie he is from 20 years ago. Not me that stalked past him to the restroom and casually reminded him that I was his wife and I had very patiently been chatting with his friends who I'd never met for over an hour. That is NOT ME. I am far too meek for that.

It was not me that cried more than once on our Yosemite adventure because I simply could not believe that I was living those moments with a husband who I adore and children that still think we're great. To be overcome by the beauty of the location and the bounty of my blessings would be sappy and cliche. It was not me. More than once.

I am NOT charmed by a sweet girl catching minnows and a young boy with his dog

I do not think they're the cutest kids ever roasting marshmallows
I definitely did not tear up when he was sworn in as a Junior Ranger
OR when she was hanging her head out the window like the dog

and did not fall madly in love with the natural beauty of the granite cliffs, the valley vistas and melted snow that feeds breathtaking waterfalls. Didn't love it. Even a little. Not me.

and I absolutely, positively am NOT giddy about the fact that he's my husband, those are my kids and these moments are my life. No, not me.


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