Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beten Sie bitte um uns.

Einschnitt wird nach Deutschland Morgen seit zehn Tagen angeführt. Er reist mit 18 anderen Leuten von unserer Kirche, und die Gruppe wird ein Baseball-Lager für die Jugend und ihre Eltern führen. Das ist sein erstes Mal, um international sein erstes Mal zu reisen, um weg von Olivia, und natürlich mein erstes Mal zu sein, um einzelnen Elternteil zwei kleinen Kindern seit zehn Tagen gerade zu spielen. Also, wie der Titel anzeigt: Beten Sie bitte um uns.

Now, now, before you go thinking that Blogger has seriously flown the coup and jacked up my blog, that was just a little snipit, for fun's sake, of the lingo my hubby is about to encounter. Not up to par on your German these days? Me either. Here's what I said, in English.

Nick is headed to Germany tomorrow for ten days. He is traveling with 18 other folks from our church, and the group will be leading a baseball camp for youth and their parents. This is his first time to travel internationally, his first time to be away from Olivia, and, naturally, my first time to play single parent to two small children for ten days straight. So, as the title indicates: Please pray for us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's not exactly Cannon in D

If I could go back and re-do one thing in my wedding, I think the processional would go a little something like this...

Okay, maybe not really, but it's still great to watch. I've always admired people who had guts to do something like this. The same thing goes for couples on that TLC show Rock the Reception. Love them!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Showing You My Life - My Wedding Dress

I decided to participate in Kelly's blog carnival this week and show you my wedding dress. It's funny because I was looking through old pictures this week for my 10 year high school reunion and came across the pictures of me trying on all the wrong dresses - there was even one with pants! Maybe I'll get the courage to show you those on another day. Also, because I was scanning pictures for my reunion, I actually happen to have all my wedding pictures here at the office with me, so you're in luck! Here we go:

Nick and I got married on May 17, 2002. Like Kelly, all we have are prints, no digital photos. Funny how things have changed in only seven years.

I wanted a really simple dress and couldn't bring myself to spend thousands of dollars on something I'd only wear once. We found it at a bridal shop/outlet in Denton, and I was super happy that it was WAY cheaper than all the others we'd seen. It had beading on the top half of the dress and the bottom was plain.

The Pièce de résistance was definitely the veil. It was chapel length and had a fingertip length blusher on top. It transformed the dress from simple white dress to elegant bridal gown.

I wish I had a picture to show you where my mom embroidered my (new) initials on the edge. It's the little, finishing touches that make things special, right?

And a post about my dress would not be complete without mentioning my shoes. The last thing I wanted on my wedding day was to have uncomfortable shoes that I knew I'd be standing in all day & night. So, I wore Keds. Not like the ugly flat ones that we all wore in the eighties, but a newer style that were super-comfortable. My mom even made me some laces out of organza to dress them up a bit. If there is such a thing as "dressing up" a pair of Keds.

Currently, the dress is hanging in the guest room closet at my parents house. While I know I'll never wear it again (nor will I pressure Olivia to wear it), but I think it will be fun to show her what things were like "back in the olden days." Although, I have to admit, my girl Andrea certainly had the right idea by selling hers on eBay (for a profit no less!).

Thursday, July 23, 2009


What do you do when your two year old flails about and throws a huge tantrum any time a salon professional attempts to cut his hair?

Well, you whip out your clippers, set-up on the back patio and do it yourself!

And if that two year old's father is complaining about also needing a haircut?

Well, you buzz his too.

I realize there is no skill involved here and there may be a few stray hairs, but seriously? In twenty minutes, I saved myself $50 bucks. Well worth it, if you asked me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Free Gift

A couple of months ago, Nick and I were looking to buy a swing set for the kids to enjoy in our backyard. I asked around to see if my friends had any recommendations, and my friend Michelle certainly had one. And it was free!

Let me explain. Two years ago, Michelle & her husband bought this nice, wooden swing set from Home Depot and assembled it in their backyard. Eight months later, Michelle's husband decided that he wanted a swimming pool in their backyard instead, so they gave the swing set to some friends/neighbors. These neighbors are now moving to Minnesota and decided not to take the swing set with them. So Michelle told me that if we wanted it, we were free to take it. We just had to get it out of their backyard before they moved. Well, time went by and we kept putting it off, and then this past week, I found out that they had sold their house and were closing in two days... which meant we had one day to get the set out of their backyard. After some fumbling around and finding a couple of awesome friends and a brother-in-law that were able to help at the last minute, the set was able to be broken down and transported to our backyard. But not without a whole lot of grunting, cursing and male bonding, as I'm told. Apparently, screws can rust and fall apart while being removed from wood. Who knew?

Here's a shot of how to transport a disassembled play set:

And getting it into your backyard? Just take down a section of the fence!

Two days later after the guys got it into our backyard, JaJa came over to help us put it back together. Because he's smart. And has tools. And because he loves his grandkids. And really, just because he's really awesome at building stuff. What can I say, it's his M.O.

I didn't get any "before" photos, because Nick and Dave worked so quickly and whipped that thing into shape before I could document the pile of wood and rubble it was just before assembly. But here she is in all her glory only moments after being declared complete.

What are those white bags on the ground, you ask? Here, I'll show you:

Even though Lowe's suggested 16 bags of play sand, I'm here to tell you that it only takes 10 bags to turn a 4' x 4' x 6" square into one slammin sandbox. Nick quickly busted them open and transformed the bottom of the fort into a new hiding place for our son.

And we couldn't leave Olivia out. We ran up to Tar-jay and purchased her very own swing. She's only been in it once so far, but she loved it so much it (almost) put her to sleep, so I'd say it's a keeper.

We look forward to many years of fun and even though this free gift cost us about $300*, the fun times right out our back door will prove to be well worth it.

*Story for another time. But let's just say that my husband may or may not have bought himself a new drill at Lowe's while he was there to buy wood screws and sand. Not really sure how something like that may or may not have happened, but I'm sure as heck not going to take any more grief when I come home over budget from Target or Walmart with a new shirt or new decoration for the house.

**(Not that he ever really does give me grief, I'm just saying. This one's going in my bag of tricks for later. "Remember that time you went to Lowe's buy screws & sand...")

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

80 years!

Patsy Lynn Cox Drake, my Mammaw, turned 80 last week. I absolutely adore this woman. She is my lifetime Rangers buddy (seriously, watches every game, knows all the players, etc.). She is responsible for teaching me how to make the absolute best turkey dressing at Thanksgiving, and although I'm not a fan of pea salad, I hear hers is the best around. And of course, she shares my love for all things of the accessory variety. Her lifetime jewelry, shoe and handbag collection is enough to put even Sam Moon to shame.

Anyway, we celebrated her birthday on Sunday with a small party and lots of pink cake and punch, her favorite color of course.

Mammaw and her beautiful granddaughters:
(my cousin) Becky, (my sister) Mindi, and yours truly

Pretty good snapshot of two sisters, courtesy of my 8 year old nephew.

Carter didn't want to pose for the camera, but here's three generations nonetheless.

And just for fun, here's a picture of me & Mammaw ten years ago at my high school graduation:

Happy 80th Birthday Mammaw! I love you.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

16 and Pregnant 16 nor pregnant. And even though I'm pretty sure I am no longer in MTVs target demographic, I have found myself sucked into this tv show, and tonight, it even made me cry. Alot.

I have caught the show a few times here and there, but tonight after I put the kids to bed and found myself flipping through the channel guide, I saw a preview for the season finale of this show and knew I had to watch. The couple on tonight's episode was unlike any of the others I've seen. They were going to give the baby up for adoption.

At 16 years old, these two kids recognized their less than perfect childhood and current lifestyle and knew that they wanted better than that for their baby. They gave her up for adoption because they loved her and wanted the best for her. When they gave her over to the adoptive couple they had chosen, I was so happy for the couple. And I found myself admiring two Michigan teenagers that I don't even know all through the fishbowl that is reality tv.

Maybe it's just that weepy time of the month for me. Or maybe it's because I read one too many adoption and/or infertility blogs (for no reason at all). Or maybe it's the fact that I'm nostalgic about my own childbirth experiences with Olivia's first birthday right around the corner. Whatever the case, it was really neat to see a true REALITY show that made a difference in two couple's lives. For the better. Thanks MTV.*

*NOTE TO MTV: don't think that this means I'll be coming back to your pre-teen network to watch any of your other shows about going on dates with exes, going on dates with moms, or "seven complete strangers living together under one roof" (seriously, after 22 seasons?... give it up already).

P.S. When does The Hills new season start?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An attempt at an incredibly adorable photo of two small children...

The gift of a [truly] great picture is so hard to come by these days, especially for one child that hates grass and another one that is generally petrified of the camera. But I bought these cute tees for $5 bucks from Gap and gosh darnit, somebody was going to give me my Kodak moment this Independence Day.

Take One:
It's okay bay-bee. Ssshhh... It's okay. Look at Mommy.

Take two:
Okay, look at Aunt Melynda. And smile!

Take six:
Okay Carter, go sit down by sissy. And everybody look at Mommy!

Take twelve:
Carter, what's the matter son? What are you doing with your hands? Look up!

Take twenty-five:
Okay Carter, give sissy a kiss. No, not on the hands, on the face!

Take twenty-six:
There you go. Sissy, look here! No crying...

Take thirty-nine:
Okay, that's sort of looking. Now say CHEESE!

Take fifty-four:
What in the world are y'all looking at? Look HERE.

Take sixty-five:
Wait, no... Olivia, why are you crying again? Alright, forget the grass. Let's go down by the pond and sit on the bench.

Take seventy-one:
Olivia. Seriously. What is that face? Get your tongue back in your mouth.

Take seventy-five:
Carter! Get your finger OUT OF YOUR NOSE!

Take eighty-nine:
What are you guys doing with your legs? Oh who cares... LOOK RIGHT HERE!!!!

Take one hundred four:
Perfect, I'll take it. Did somebody say margarita?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Red, White & Whieu - another great weekend!

Well, here I am. Late with the blog again. I try to be one of those people who posts about fun and exciting stuff the day it happens, but I think I've come to terms with the fact that I'm pretty much a 3 days later kind of gal. Ah well, such is life.

We had a great holiday weekend spent with family and friends. Nick's sister and brother-in-law and family are moving from San Diego to Maine, due to a Navy relocation. They happened to be passing through (and dropping their kids off) at Nick's parents' house this weekend, so it was great to spend time with them. In fact, it was James' (Nick's BIL) first time to meet either one of our children. They quickly learned what a joker he is but fell in love with him anyway. And who can't love Aunt Melynda? (especially after she saves you from drowning - story for another day.)

Then on Saturday, Nick's brother and sister-in-law drove in from Arkansas, so the family reunion was complete. I honestly can't remember the last time all three siblings AND their spouses were in the same place all at once. And I had EVERY intention of getting a picture of all six of us, but that didn't happen. There's always Christmas. Maybe.

Carter had a blast at Nana & Jaja's house as usual. There was LOTS of swimming & jumping in the pool unassisted, four-wheeler rides, golf cart rides, fishing & playing with "my cuz-uns" as Carter calls them. Olivia had a blast too and, would you believe it?, this girl knows how to climb up stairs while you're not looking (talk about a heart-attack!). We quickly learned that the stair barrier had to go up and it won't be too much longer before she's getting into as much trouble as her brother.

"Uncle" Michael & "Aunt" Amber even came out to join us on Saturday. The guys played bean bag toss (isn't there another, more technical name for this game), we cooked out on the grill, there was more swimming and go-cart/four-wheeler/golf cart rides before some of the crew went into Rockwall to watch some professional fireworks display while others of us stayed behind. Then we had a blast with midnight swimming & driveway fireworks courtesy of James & the older boys, Benjamin & Zachary.

By the time Sunday rolled around, Carter made it extremely evident that it was time to leave and head back to a more familiar (aka childproofed) setting, so we headed home for some staycation detox. We were sad to see Melynda & James drive off to their newest adventure (and farthest to date), but in all honesty, it's what they do. Hopefully in a few years they can retire somewhere close and we can actually hang out more. A girl can dream.

(Usually I like to intertwine my pictures throughout my writing, but this is already long enough & I need to get back to work, so you're getting a photo-pallooza at the end of the post today. You're welcome.)

Helping Nana give ALL the dogs their annual shots (and by ALL, I mean, all 18 or so of theirs, plus all six of the grand-dogs that were there).

Hanging poolside, tongue out, as usual

Dakota just had puppies; these are three of the four, all boys.
Anybody in the market for a bullie?*

Golf cart rides with Jaja & cousin Grant, one of many.
(Just realized that had an unintentional double meaning:
one of many rides and one of many cousins, actually)

Carter would not, and I mean, WOULD NOT pose for a picture with his cousins. So we took it without him. Here, I'll show you:

See? I told you. WOULD NOT POSE. Wouldn't even stand still, actually.

*Yes, I realized most of you probably think I misspelled the word "bully", but I didn't. I'm referring to an English Bulldog "bullie", not the large kid in seventh grade that wants to steal your lunch money. Because, let's face it, who would want one of those?