Monday, July 26, 2010

377 Peace Sign Poster

I placed a new print in my etsy shop last night. I created this painting for my daughter's friend. Her mother said she wanted one like I had made Katie for her birthday, but I couldn't manipulate the colors on that one quite to my liking for Kaitlyn's room, so I created an all new painting. I of course waited for the last possible moment because I am Queen Procrastinator.
I love how this turned out. Hopefully you will love it, too. It is listed as a 20x30, but it can be printed at any size that is of the same ratio. I can even turn them into party invitations on request. The possibilities are endless. Just want a single peace sign? Pick your color.
I was hesitant about pricing my first poster print. I am offering this first at only $30 plus shipping.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

376 Girls Weekend 2010

Okay, so it has been a week since we loaded up the van and headed back from Destin, but I just had to share my Girls Weekend with everyone. Well, most of my Girls Weekend. You understand that inside jokes were created and confidences revealed that are locked up tight. And as long as you are satisfied with checking out some pics and hearing about what I am comfortable sharing then keep on reading.

Thursday. July 15th.
I didn't leave out until 3PM. I stayed until Chip left for work and then headed out. Jumped in the van, and Chip pointed out that my Inspection Sticker was expired ... And then he asked what my mileage was .... So, in other words I didn't really hit the road until 4PM. Freshly inspected (in Mississippi this means that all my lights and my horn works) and with new lifeblood in my car I headed south for my first pickup. I gathered up Tracy and Julie just north of Jackson, MS, and we headed on out again for our next stop.

(yes, I was at a stoplight when I took this pic)
A little impromptu karaoke in the car of Brick House and Total Eclipse of the Heart as we looked for Andrea's parents' house and then we were finally settled in for the night. Sitting around the kitchen table, eating some homemade ice cream and laughing our rears off. A great beginning to Girls Weekend for sure.

Friday. July 16th.

We started out bright and early for Destin. I must have been excited because I woke up at 5AM, and just lay in bed surfing the internet on my phone. (Have I mentioned how much I love my phone - and its not even an iphone *GASP*) We all managed showers and we hit the road. We had a quick detour in Mobile, AL to pick up a hitchhiker (kidding, a work friend of Andrea's), Tracy closed her eyes and prayed while we drove through the tunnel, and it was back on the road. Beach Bound!We would of course choose a weekend when there was a 60% chance of rain each day. The main point to our weekend was to visit though, and even had it poured the entire time we would have been just as happy. We talked and talked, and we laughed and laughed. It was truly wonderful to be surrounded by a group that really loves each other. We met in college and bonded over frat parties and beer (well, I didn't drink beer ... I mean, yeah Mom, I didn't drink in college) and we have shared years of our lives together. Some of those frat boys are still around, some are not, but we have gone so far past hanging in the frat house. We have bonded over weddings and babies and even loss. We may not see each other often, but I know that I have a group I can lean on. I have people who will catch me when I fall. And I have people who will laugh their asses off with me when they tumble down beside me.

Sorry, off on a tangent there, just wanted to put forth how much my girls mean to me.

The skies were stormy and it was hot and muggy, but we loaded up a cooler (overloaded a cooler as it turns out) and headed for the beach. Destin is on the Gulf so we weren't sure what to expect, but the water was clear enough. We only got in to our knees the first day, but my legs didn't rot and fall off, so SCORE!

It started to rain after we had been out for about an hour, so we dragged (and I do mean dragged, leaving a deep gouge in the sand) our cooler back to the car and headed home. We had talked about getting out on the town, but the truth of the matter is that we are getting old. We opted to hang out at the house, and barely managed to gather ourselves to go have dinner at a Mexican restaurant nearby. If I am not mistaken it was a restaurant called Fajitas. Pretty yummy. More time spent on the screened in porch of Amy's bungalow, and we wandered off to bed.

Saturday. July 17th.

We slowly emerged from sleep, and started getting ready for the day. I think I was the last to wake up (not surprising). We bummed around the house, just enjoying the day before we headed off for another day on the beach. More time sitting on the front porch, telling stories.
We brought the cooler with us again, but this time we had Keagan from the chair rental place drive it out on his 4wheeler. And he was probably the last cute guy we saw for the rest of the day at the beach ... That is a little unfair, Destin is a family vacation spot, so most of the men were fathers and grandfathers. It still would have been nice to have some man candy to look at!
We got out in the water a few times, but most of the day was spent lounging in our chairs, reading or listening to music or chatting. Clouds rolled in and out. It even sprinkled on us for a short time. Total relaxation. Sun warmed muscles and a happy heart. After a day on the beach what else is there to do than turn all decisions over to my friends. Tracy, Julie, and I headed to CVS and I let them pick out my new hair color (my roots were growing roots, it was time). I told them they could color it whatever they wanted, and Julie picked up a box of bright purple dye. I shrugged my shoulders and told her that was fine if that is what she wanted. When you know your friends won't make you look like an idiot you can say things like that. So, this is what they picked out. And I was moments away from being a redhead. Tracy was in charge of the dying process.She was much more thorough than I have ever been when doing my own hair. And I know better than to even attempt highlights on my own again. I get bored and just glob it on anywhere, it is not a good look.As we sat there looking at the box we all commented on how cute the models hair is .... so I told them they could cut it if they wanted. (I am so not a girly girl, and there is nothing you can do to my hair that would be too bad. I could always shave it) Katy was the one with the scissors and I enjoyed everyone else's reactions to the faces she was making. At one point she was behind me crossing herself before she closed the scissors on my hair. She was freaking out, and I was perfectly calm .... though maybe if I had seen this face I might have been a bit more worried. I think my hair is cursed anyway. It refuses to change too much. But with a little extra love from my stylist Katy, it was blown dry and perfected.And as usual, about an hour later it looks like it was never touched. Humidity is not conducive to good hair. We hit The Village on the San Destin resort. First we tried Rum Runners, but it was too packed for a table downstairs, so we headed off to eat dinner at Hammerheads. There was a band playing and people on the dance floor. The food was yummy and the company spectacular. Next we headed over to The Village Door, cuz' you know how much I love to dance. (okay, you probably don't know, but the answer really is almost not at all) But who am I to argue? I just wanted to have fun with my friends. The music was good. The floor was crowded, so most "dancing" was more of a shuffle, but it was still fun. Amy suggested we check out a place called The Funky Blue Shack, so Amy, Tracy and I headed over. Now this was our kind of music. The band is called The Burnin Smyrnans and we loved them. Loved that they all rotated on the different instruments. Very Impressive. They really made our night! Amy and I bought a CD and I have been enjoying them since.I did point out that it was hot, right? And small bas with lots of people only increased the temps ... and the amount of shine. Yes, we were GLOWING!
Katy & JulieJulie & I (yeah, horrible pic, get over it)Julie, Amy, and ShannonThe whole crew:
back row: Me, Amy, Tracy, Julie
front row: Ashley (our hitchhiker), Andrea, Katy
We stayed out until the bar closed and headed home for one last chat around the table. Wandering off to bed as we couldn't take anymore.
Sunday. July 18th.
The drive home. It was sad to leave Amy and Katy, but we did have a good ride home. More talking and laughing. Reminiscing. Rehashing. Another trip back through the tunnel. Three drop offs and 13 hours later I pulled up in my own driveway. Exhausted. Happy to be home, ready to leave again. I miss my girls like crazy, and I can't wait until we can do this again. But it was good to hug my hubby and eventually my babies when we picked them up on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My best girlfriends from college and I are headed out for a girls weekend. I have overpacked as usual. I am sure I will have plenty of pictures and stories to share when I return. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! And, if I remember how I will try to blog from the road.

Monday, July 5, 2010

374 Overeating and Blowing Stuff Up

Like all good red-blooded Americans, we spent the Fourth of July celebrating our independence by overeating and then blowing stuff up. I hate to admit it, but it has been so long since I made pancakes that I had to google a pancake recipe. However, the result was perfection. I liked this recipe because you put oil in the mix and you don't have to keep greasing the skillet to keep them from sticking. I also used self-rising flour instead of all-purpose with baking powder and salt. I even got compliments off Twitter as to the size and perfect roundness (yes, I tweeted this picture. I am boring). The kids wolfed it down like no other breakfast food (besides bacon). Of course, the fact it is drenched in sugary syrup sure helps! I still find it strange that Katie insists that there be no butter on her stack. It seems like it would be totally lacking, but she will not eat the ones that are buttered. And it just isn't the Fourth unless you fire up the grill. One of the guys that Chip works with had told him how he cooks his brats, so we decided to give it a try. Rough chop up an onion and a bell pepper and crush a few cloves of garlic, and pour a couple of beers in the pan. Judging from the picture, Chip must have cooked the brats for a minute on the grill before he added them to the pan. THEY WERE DELICIOUS!I also made a salad using my Mother-in-Law's salad dressing recipe. It is to DIE FOR! Love love love this salad! It is helped along by the fact that there are so many other veggies cut up in there that lettuce only makes up half the volume. Hmmm, I didn't even ask if this should be kept a family secret? If you are lucky I will invite you over for dinner and make some salad for you. We finally sliced into my birthday cake on Sunday as well. I am pretty sure the kids were ten times more excited than I was to taste this cake. I guess Chip didn't want to set the house on fire again, so he bought the numbered candles. Added bonus of it being much easier to blow them out for my wish. And NO I will not tell you what I wished for, you know it won't come true then! How cute is this cake?! I know, it is meant for the Fourth of July, but I love it. Chip done did good! Notice in the bottom right of the next picture there is a little hand reaching in to steal some icing. That would be Connor. Thanks to this cake I think he can now properly identify red, white, and blue. I would not let him lick the icing from his finger until he told me what color he was about to lick. And yes, I was made fun of for taking so many pictures of my cake before I ate it. Katie had totally annihilated her piece before I took my first bite. Half of my enjoyment is in taking pictures. They should know this by now ... okay, so they do know but they still think I am insane.After letting all that food settle, we got ready and loaded up the van to head out for fireworks at Snowden Grove. I think Chip had promised Katie he would take her to the firework tent. There is no other explanation for stopping in on the way to watch fireworks when we had a bunch left in our garage from forever ago! We were big buyers. The kids each got a box of Snap Pops and we bought a couple boxes of sparklers. Judging from what some other people were purchasing there are going to be a few families going without food this week. We were a little late to get a really good spot for the fireworks, so we pulled up in one of the office parks down the street from Snowden Grove. We hung out in the van, watching a movie and enjoying the air conditioning until it was almost time. Then we piled out, opened the back and flipped the seats. Its a bit of a tight fit, but it was certainly cozy.Katie wore the tutu that Aunt Julie gave her when we visited Oxford last weekend. Yes, she is wearing shorts under it. We aren't complete heathens!I know this picture is terrible, but it is only meant to illustrate our position in regards to the fireworks. We did miss some lower firework action, but we were able to see most of the big stuff. I do wish we could have heard the music that accompanied the fireworks, but we were definitely too far away for that.Still, there were some pretty coool fireworks. Katie and Chip agreed that the ones that looked like smiley faces were their favorite. Well, Katie also liked the ones that looked like "chicken feet reaching out to get her".When we got home we finally got rid of those darn fireworks that have been in our garage for about two years. I mean ... we had our own small display. Katie was very excited, but unlike when we bought them, we were worried that there might have been some problems with them so Daddy had to light them. Katie and Connor stayed on the deck and played with their sparklers. Connor did one sparkler and he was done. He didn't enjoy it at all. Katie was happy to do the rest of the box while Connor was happy to watch the reflection of Katie's sparkler in the window.Once Chip started shooting off our fireworks Connor crawled into my lap. He did NOT enjoy the noise at all. He didn't really cry, but he did cover his ears and snuggle with Mommy. We had a great family day. Great food. Good fireworks. Very little fighting and almost no tears. And hey, WE HAD CAKE! Hope everyone else had a wonderful Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

373 Thirty-three Years and a Firework Display

So, I turned 33 on Friday ... there isn't really much more to say than that. Once you become a mother birthdays just don't seem to mean as much anymore..... AS LONG AS THERE IS CAKE ....

I did wake up in a toddler bed for the first time in probably 31 years. Connor just would NOT go to sleep. He kept waking up, crying for me. Squeezing 69" into a 48" bed is just as fun and comfortable as you can imagine. In other words, I woke up on my 33rd birthday feeling closer to 83. We had a nice laid back day. Hot dogs for lunch and lazing about. That afternoon, Katie was playing at a friends, Connor was napping, and Chip had to run errands, so I attempted to lay out. IT WAS SCORCHING! I probably did not last 15 minutes and I turned over several times, hoping to find a way to persevere, but I finally admitted defeat and headed inside. I have no idea how we did this as teens. Although, one good point to laying out. I am so white that I reflect the sun. Just doing my part to stop Global Warming.
Also, as part of my relaxation I didn't take pics with the real camera, all pics of my birthday are off my phone, forgive the quality, enjoy the moments)After Chip went to work, Connor and I hit the backyard to throw the frisbee. That lasted approximately half a minute before Connor wanted to get in the water. First he played with the hose, but when his shirt got wet he stripped down completely. He found the sprinkler and threw a fit until I hooked it up. His cute little booty ran in the house and came back with his swimsuit. I guess he is shy ;) Then he must have gotten chilled because he wanted to get in the hot tub. Of course he was immensely surprised that the water was HOT ... but then most kids are. They touch the water and without thought they have to say "HOT!" every time! (yeah, so I do it too sometimes ... shhhh) Ah, Captain Obvious, how you make me laugh!It looked like I was going to have a cake-less birthday, but I loaded the kids up and headed to Schnucks. I HAD to have cake ON my birthday. I thought I would be able to pick out my own cake ... but obviously I forgot to take into account the fact I had two kids with me. Katie wanted yellow cake and white icing (my favorite). Connor was drawn to the chocolate. In order to save my sanity I opted for cupcakes, a little of each. After stuffing the kids full of sugar I attempted to get them tucked in. Connor fell asleep fairly easily, compared to the night before. Of course that was after reading all of his favorite books ... "The Night Before Christmas", "Runaway Pumpkin", and "The Little Duck". And then to get Katie tucked in. She has started reading me her bedtime story. We are bribing her to read right now by paying her a dollar when she reads certain books. The time will come when we stop paying her to read, but she still has a little room for improvement so she can earn a little more American Girl money. Although she officially spent her first real money on Silly Bands (aka the bane of my existence - damn expensive rubber bands). After I scratched her back and she dozed off, I spent a while just looking at her. Marveling at how this sweet gorgeous baby was made by me (okay, and a little help from Chip)! It continually amazes me!Chip felt like he had let me down when I told him I had bought cupcakes, so he swung into Walmart on the way home from work and picked me up this ADORABLE cake! The color is horrid in this pic, but it is so cute!And, even though my main gift (for the entire year) is my laptop, he also picked me up a little happy :) I can't wait to pull out the RockBand guitar and bust out this bad boy!We had already planned on going to the firework display on Sunday at Snowden Grove since Chip would be off work, but Katie came home from Kaitlyn's talking about the fireworks show at Latimer Lakes. She was so excited, and we didn't have any plans, so I packed some PB&J, chips, and drinks and we headed on out. The fireworks didn't start until 9 but we were there at 7. Plenty of time for the kids to play on the playground. A cell phone pic of us waiting for it to get dark enough for the fireworks to start. We met up with Katie's little buddies and laid out blankets. The kids ran around like wild things before it got dark. Luckily there was plenty of space. It was not nearly as crowded as I thought it would be.It never fails, 10 minutes before the fireworks were scheduled to start Katie had to go to the bathroom. Which of course meant that all of the kids had to go the bathroom. Weeeeeeee! We had to walk back without lights while fireworks exploded behind us. The girls were trying to check out the fireworks without falling. We made it back to our blanket safely and everyone settled in. Connor tucked himself behind my back. He wasn't crying or overly scared, he just needed the extra protection from Mom. About halfway through he scooted around and sat by himself. Well, when he wasn't sitting in Kaitlyn's Dad's lap. All in all we had a great time. The kids got to play, and they loved the fireworks. The weather wasn't sweltering. The bugs didn't eat us alive. We will be hitting the BIG show tonight at Snowden Grove! I might take a picture or two.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July!