Thursday, July 31, 2008

15 Minutes of Pure JOY

When for the last month, your very sunny forecast looks like this:

How can you sit inside when an actual RAIN hits the house? You can't :)

Sadly, it took longer to clean up then the actual storm. But it was worth it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Great way to Start the Week!

It's time for some blog love! How do I share my love? Why in JPEGs of course ;)

First I'd like thank my local bloggie buddy, Elaine for this 'sharing the love' award. She has some of the cutest stories (and the kids are pretty adorable too!)

And now I would like to share the love! 

I'd like to present this loving award to Just Jamie who has a fantastic outlook on life and always manages to say something that makes my day that much better. Jamie--hope this makes your day that much better :)

Also, Kendra. Sweet Kendra is living the good life with her three kids in the midwest. She has such a love for her kids--you can see it on every post!

And then there's Amy. Amy has been my blog buddy since almost the beginning. She shares my love of healthy eating and even though she is an OU fan, she's a great person!

I also got the very Brillante award from both Photomama  and EatPlayLove (she also gave this award to my healthy eating blog--thank you so much!) . I am so honored by this one. Both these bloggers are in my mind very brilliant and it makes me 'glow' with pride that they thought of me for this.

Auds at Barking Mad is brillante! Really truly, she is! If you are ever glum, check out her posts for everything from dogs eating pubic hair to 'human' warnings.

JCK at Motherscribe is brillante! Talk about a wild woman--she has a love a fish nets and bright red offices. She is anything but dull.

Jennifer at Thursday Drive is brillante! Think if Hemingway was a girl who played poker and had a thing for cowboys--that my friends is Jennifer.

I hope everyone has a wonder, brillante, loving week :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Sunday Story This Week

This week has gotten away from  me--is it really Sunday? 
Tune in next week as we see what type of people actually join  European tour groups.....

Thank you!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scarring him for life

The kids needed a haircut. Seriously, you could not see their eyes. Now usually I take them to my hairdresser at my foo-foo 'natural' salon--I have had little success with the places that specialize in kids' cuts.   Sadly, getting appointments for 4 young children is something you don't just walk in and do the same day. It was going to be two weeks before they could be seen. And well, if I waited that long, my boys would not be able to see them at all.

After getting off the phone, I spied a 20% off coupon for a haircut at the place Sarah had her birthday party. It was a very sweet place--you know the girlie place with lots of sparkles, fairy dust and manicures. And they cut hair. 

I picked up the phone and called. They could cut all the kids' hair and they had a stylist that specialized in boy cuts. She could took care of both boys the same time the girls got their hair done the next morning and did I mention it was next to a coffee shop, a Barnes and Noble, AND an Origins ( I was low on moisturizer ;) ). 

So the next day I piled them into the car to the girlie girl hair salon. They started on the girls right away and did a very quick cut for Spanky--he is not into the whole hair cutting thing ;)
Dino was next and donned a cool dude cape. Now if you missed some posts on Dino, here's the deal. Dino is very into personal care, neatness, matching (down to the underwear) and overall looking good. He watched his reflection very careful with each cut and smiled at the haridresser as she went on and on about how cute he was. He loved it.

Once it was over for he and the girls, he noticed the girls got glitter and sparkle 'tatoos' on their faces. Well, honestly what is better than some glitter sparkle, right?! Dino had to have it and he loved it. He's four--what is better than sparkles on your head. It is cool, right?

Later that day, daddy came home and complimented the new dos.

"I thought you couldn't get in," he commented.

"Oh we went to (insert name foo-foo girly girl store). They had a blast," I smiled.

My husband turned a lovely shade of red. "What? You can't take a BOY to get his hair cut there."

"Well why?"

"Because he'll get his butt beat on the playground."

"Uh, he's four and I am betting they don't discuss who does their hair and if they did they should go to the girly girl place."

"Next time I take him to get his haircut at the mens' place."

The mens' place is this decked out wood paneled barber shop type thing with plasmas, pool tables, beer and big boobed hairdressers (or so the ad shows). I don't think Dino (or Spanky for that matter) really need to go to a place like this yet but I caved. If they hate it, they can go back to the glitter store.

So now it is time for haircuts again and I am patiently waiting for the daddy to make appointments and get the boys' hair done. I give him one more week and if he has not done it, they join me and the girls at the foo-foo girly girl salon. 

Honey, you have been warned.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Feel Good Friday--the Wedding Addition

It's Feel Good Friday. Stop by Elizabeth's and join the fun.

This week, Feel Good Friday is all about remembering one of the most important day's of our lives--our wedding day.

I married the most wonderful man in the world, September 1997, almost 11 years ago.

We worked together to plan the wedding. Since we lived in Dallas, we had access to some of the most awesome wedding stuff in the nation. The South knows weddings ;)

I had a dress done that mimicked the dress Scarlett O'Hara wore in Gone with the Wind. It was not the sleeveless tulle that was and still is widely popular. It was a lovely raw silk with sleeves, lots of buttons and a very very very large hoop bottom. Totally not the fashion but a total nod to the Southern grace of days gone by.

My theme was white roses--white roses were everywhere. I think they smell beautiful and the church smelled lovely as I walked down the aisle on the white runner we had.

The church was the church I began to attend when I moved to Dallas. I brought Mike to the church and he converted to my religion after a series of classes at the church. Mike admired the pastor who taught the class so much, he asked if he could marry us. He said yes, even though it meant cutting his trip to Europe short. I am forever grateful for that as his sermon at our wedding was awe-inspiring. I had many guests tell me it was the best they ever heard.

I remember being so happy walking down the aisle to join Mike. Mike still talks about the giant smile on my face. I felt like a princess off to meet her price charming.

Our reception was at the Hotel Adolphus, the best hotel in Dallas--I feel the best hotel in the world. We had the most amazing food anyone could ask for. I beyond thrilled we know visit the hotel's restaurant on special anniversaries and can relive the food and thus reliving the night.

The rest I have to say is truly a blur. It is true--your wedding day lasts a blink of an eye. The one thing I remember is the new joy I felt. A joy that continues everyday I look at Mike. I am blessed to have him as a husband.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coming Out

Since this is apparently confession week for me, I am debating on showing my real self to my 'flesh and blood' friends. For years they have seen me as a busy, kind of dingy mommy who dotes on her kids and loves her husband. But last December, something happened and I have changed. 

I started a blog.

My original and current intent of blogging is to work out emotions, creativity and have a a record of my days as a mom with young children--I know there are things I have already forgotten with my kids, I don't want to forget anymore. I made a very conscience to decision to keep the people I hung out with, conversed with and prayed with out of my new world. I continued life as usual but always thinking in the back of my head, I am so blogging about this heehee.

I did not expect to meet people on my bog. To be honest, I didn't even get the whole commenting thing until I started getting comments from people I never met and then, then I would read these new blogs and I felt a peculiar closeness and bond with the words and the author. The blogging community became more than text and photos but 'flesh and blood'.

A few months ago, I even met some bloggers in our area and it was fun. They were real breathing women, not lonely ax murders looking for their next victim. I liked them and I hope they liked me. The line of bloggy friends and 'face' friends was permanently blurred.

Now I cannot imagine going more than couple days with reaching out to the blogging world. It has become a part of my life. A much bigger part than I ever expected. I feel your joy and sadness, your laughter and tears with every bit of my heart--just like friends I see on a daily basis.

I have opened my heart and shared with my new friends almost as much as my 'face' friends. And now I feel like I am betraying my face friends. How can I tell the whole world via posts about how I  but can't talk to my friends and family? it just doesn't feel right. It feels like I am hiding a part of myself to some of the greatest people out there--my friends and family.

So I want to share my blog with my 'real' world. I know in my heart they will always accept me. I guess my biggest fear is that I worry what they might think of certain things and I might begin to edit my blog to make myself look good always, no matter what. And that is not my blog.

But I do want to share with my 'face' friends. I will never forget a conversation I had with a friend and we discovered with both felt the same about a political topic (politics are not something I will discuss on this blog as I have bloggy friends from both sides of the aisle, and well I am not writing a political blog). In a weird way, this issue brought us closer. So maybe my writing can open and share some issues with both my bloggy friends and my 'face' friends.

And now I'd like to ask bloggy friends--do you share your blog with friends? How did you tell them? Has your writing changed since the 'real world' found out? This inquiring blogger wants to know.

Thank you!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is this karma?

Note: If you see me as a confident, caring, sweet, mom and want to continue to see me this way--skip this post and read one of my older ones. This post shows what a true nutcase I can be.

Our sermon yesterday was about lying--and this includes false flattery, gossip and just not being completely honest. I have to confess. I hold occasional grudges against some moms. Moms who bring snotty kids out in public. I even left a play group because of one mom who managed to bring a constant snotty son to our group every week. I was sick of being rude and snatching my daughter away from her son and I was not comfortable with the smugness I felt as I got a desperate call from the mom whose child played with the boy asking what natural things helped a horrible cough. I do not like that side of me and as a past post explains, I am trying hard to fight this.

So late last week, Spanky had his first major illness after joining the gym. He was throwing up, everywhere. I reeked, our bed sheets reeked, the house. reeked. badly. I did the 'right' thing; the thing I expect every mom to do. I stayed home. I say I do it because 1. I don't want to get other kids sick and 2. When a child is sick, they catch just about anything they come into contact with because immunity is busy fighting their current virus (see how much thought I put into this). But wait--let's be honest, there is a reason number 3. I do not want other moms to judge me the  way I have judged them. I don't want to be that mommy with the sick kids. I'd rather be the mommy who was once a Hooters girl and poised for Playboy (hey, at least we'd have a solid savings account). 

Fast forward to this morning--Miley has ballet workshop--her very pricey $45 a day ballet intensive workshop. She has a sore throat. She is tired. I have already skipped the gym--don't want her to catch something else or share it with the other kids--right?! But I am sitting her thinking, she needs to go to workshop. It is not every day--just a few days a week for three weeks. I also need to get out of this house. If I spend one more moment on this slightly reeking couch watching Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew (and pausing every other minute for a 'funny' pose), I am may very well stat pulling out my toenails. 

Overall Miley seems OK--she is eating, talking, laughing. She just isn't moving around as much. She gives me sad looks and tells me she can barely talk. No fever, no snot, no cough. Just a sore throat. I am telling myself, she will be fine. But what if she has the nasty sore throat I had a few weeks back. It was terrible and I would be terrible to send her out. And then there's the whole karma thing--what if she catches something even worse or gets all her friends ill? 

It's my sanity versus my illness fears. I don't know what I am going to do at this point. 

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Story--Beyond the Velvet Rope

Martin Miller greeted us at the door. Inside, we saw a small yet tastefully decorated hall. A young girl appeared out of of nowhere and offered to get our bags. 

"Welcome," began the girl. "I'm afraid our suites are taken so you will need to stay at the Byron room.  It's right on the second level."

I was holding tight to Mike's hand. The out of the way bed and breakfast without a sign was small and looked more like a humble home than a place that provided accommedations for strangers.

Martin broke in, "We have cocktails in the main room tonight at seven."

We glanced to out left and saw the main room and pretty much gasped. I am not sure how I would describe this room. It was like looking at a well preserved room from the seventeenth century in a museum but without the velvet rope to keep you out. It turned out Martin Miller was involved in the world of beautiful antiques. My fear of being robbed or kidnapped was quickly replaced with the fear of breaking a hundred year old vase.

Martin quickly disappeared as the young girl checked us and filled us with the details of the bed and breakfast. She also asked how we found the bed and breakfast--we mentioned Captain Bucko, and we climbed the tiny stairs to our room.

The Byron room was yellow and blue and once again, tiny. The difference, just about every item in the room was a lovely antique. Even the giant quilt on the bed looked different. The one weird thing--the bathtub was also antique. Clawfooted and stand-alone, the tub was beautiful  but I was more concerned as to how I was going to shower--dragging bags through the Tube is a workout, trust me.

When the girl left the room, we began to unload our bags.

"See, "Mike grinned. "I told you."

"Yeah, yeah," I smiled and gave him a kiss.

After finding a way to clean up in the tub, we got dressed and decided to check out the cocktails downstairs. We were expecting one or two people, but let me tell you the place was packed. And these folks were dressed. We walked in and were handed wine. Really, really really, good French wine. 

My ever social new husband began to introduce himself to the various guests, almost all good friends of Martin stopping by before hitting the town. In about 20 minutes, we met a publisher, author, artist, professor and other incredibly interesting people. At moments I felt like we were in a different world, sitting on a chair more than likely 200 years old, drinking some awesome wine and speaking with truly successful Londoners. We were beyond the infamous velvet rope. There was no other place we wanted to be but then we were hungry.

We ended up bidding farewell to the guests as checked out the Brazillian Meat restaurant next to the b and b. When we arrived, we were a bit nervous. The place was fairly empty and it was 7:30 pm. Our fears were reduced when we saw the food. Maybe Britain wasn't into the big stick of meat. But by nine, the place was standing room only with a line out the door. Again, we noticed the lingering diners that were engrossed in their conversations-not their plates. We decided to do as they did and lingered at our table soaking in the atmosphere and our own conversation.

Back at the b and b, cocktail hour was still going strong with new guests. After our long trk through London and knowing we wanted to hit lots of sights the following day, we opted to head to our room. 

By midnight, I am pretty sure every actor and actress who performed on London's West Side was in the main room. There was singing (incredible singing even if I was tired), laughing and crashing of empty bottles dumped in the trash. We both fell asleep to the sounds, almost like a lullaby.

In the morning, we saw empty bottles everywhere as I young boy was setting up for breakfast. The breakfast room was sadly nothing special but they had some quick meals and we were pleased. (Side note--the website shows a breakfast room now--we did not have this; guess we need to go back). Our breakfast companion was a younger man from Colorado. He was on business regarding an internet start up he was working on.

"Can you believe you found this place?" he began as he took a swig of his coffee (the coffee was in beautiful tea cups).

"No, "Mike laughed. "how did you hear about it?"

"My boss has a friend who knows the guy. And you?"

So we told our new friend the tale of Captain Bucko. He listened and then stood up, grinning.

"That's so cool," he shook our hands and left. He was in a hurry to get to a flight.

I looked over at Mike and noticed he had yellow streaks in his hair. Apparently, antique pillows should not be laid on after a shower. 

After cleaning off some fabric bleeds, we headed off for a day of site seeing. We had to see as much as possible--we would be joining our tour in Zurich tomorrow. And who knows who else we might meet?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

10 Years?! Are you sure?

It was ten years ago, my life changed forever. Everything that happened before those ten years is a blur, seriously. It was ten years ago my first child, the beat of my heart, Miley was born.

I honestly am in shock even writing these words. Can my little baby, the result of the shocking two lines, be ten? Was it really ten years ago when we were faced with an emergency caesarean? Ten years ago that we learned what colic really was? Ten years ago I learned I could love someone as much as my soul mate? Ten years that I truly learned what it was like to feel the unconditional love of something so small yet so powerful?

Yes, the smiling face next to me nods, TEN YEARS.

Here's your letter butternut!


You are growing so fast now. I have to admit the days have passed more quickly than when you were a very loud baby but I'm sure not quick enough for you! You have been counting down to this day for months. Two digits--wow--you've graced the world with your sunshine for ten years. Our world has never been brighter :)

You still have an earnest desire to be a fashion designer. Your sketch book is overflowing with dresses, swatches and various designs. You have your sights set on going to the Savannah School of Art and Design. You want to live in Italy and design the world's greatest fashions. And I know if this is what you really want, nothing will stop you.

Your second passion is reading. You are hooked on your Nancy Drew books (the theme of your slumber party) and love watching Nancy Drew shows with your sister. You love a good mystery!

Ever the social butterfly, you are almost always with a friend, talking on the phone to a friend or on your way to see a friend. And you are a good friend. You always think of their happiness when making plans--you are a joy to all you meet! Currently your favorite friends are Claire, Hope, Paige and Hannah. 

You are still in dance. You love jazz and are sick of ballet. You don't care for math but love your literature. School can be a challenge but when you try and do your best, you always succeed.

And of course, you are a great sister! The boys adore you and Sarah wants to be just like you. Dino calls you his 'best friend'. You are blessed to have three great siblings and they are pretty darn lucky to have you as their big sister :)

I am so happy to be your mom. I love watching you grow and I cannot wait to see what this new decade of life will bring to you. The next time your age ends in a zero, you will be in college. I am continually amazed in all you do and I am forever crazy about you :)


PS- I love that you still call me mommy and cuddle with me some nights--try not to grow up too fast :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Ten Year Old Girl's Slumber Party

9 pm
The Mystery has been solved, the pizza devoured and the decorations ripped down.
The delicate, sweet angels discover you can make little holes in the balloons and make 'tooting' noises. Next hour is spent with very obnoxious sounds, giggles, sreams and yep, the smell of the real thing added in the mix with everyone swearing they didn't make the stink bomb. I am betting they ALL did it ;)

10 pm
Time to relax with some '70s TV featuring the theme of the party, Nancy Drew mixed in with some Hardy Boys.

"Does she kiss Frank?"
"I want to see her kiss Frank."
"Did I miss them kissing?"
"I thought they kissed in this one."
"Is there any more cake left?"
"We all want more cake. Please."

After finishing off the rest of the cake......

"Can I fix your hair?"
"Only if I can fix yours."
"Can you do mine too?"
"Who tooted now?"
"Shhhhh...I think they are going to kiss."

11 pm
The only light is coming from the TV. The hair accessories are put away. Mommy and daddy are t-i-r-e-d.

"I don't want to watch any more Nancy Drew. I am getting scared."
"My four year old brother watches this show and he's scared of Dragon Tales."
"I don't know how to take out my contacts."
"Can I call my mom to wish her a good night?"
"Could I too?"
"And me?"
"I need to too."
"Can I use your iPhone Mrs.verybusymomwith4?"
"How do we get it to play music?"
"Can I send my friend an email?"
"How do I buy songs?"

More tooting noises as the rest of the balloons are discovered complete with screams.

The TV is playing 'Camp Rock'--if it puts mommy to sleep, just maybe it work with the kids.

"If there are any more words or giggles, the TV is off," the very tired daddy warns.

Giggles, whispers, nothing. Giggles, whispers, nothing. Laughter, talking, nothing. Screams, shouting, nothing. Daddy is asleep.

1 am
Balloon races begin by letting air out (to make that great noise) and letting them fly across the floor.

"Girls, you need to get into your sleeping bags. It is late," the sweet but tired mommy enters the room.

"Mrs. Verybusy, I lost my contact. Can you help me?"
"I'm thirsty."
"Is there any more cake left?"

Mommy helps and goes back to bed unaware of the giggles and races in the other room.

2 am
Mommy and daddy are roused out of bed by louder laughter and the cries of a no longer sleeping baby (a baby that can sleep through a hurricane). 

"My record is 3 am."
"My record is 4:30."
"My record is all night."
"All right", the daddy is back in the room. "Lights out no discussion of records, no more races, no more giggling, no more smiling. Eyes shut, TV off and GO TO SLEEP."
Soft laughter as mommy and daddy drift back to sleep.

7:00 am
Knock on the door. Phone ringing. Girls destroying home.
Mommy and daddy "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........"

The rest is, obviously, a haze.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Story--How Could You Tell We Were Americans?

After being formally introduced to the entire hotel lobby, we were ushered up to our 'suite' by not one or two but three clerks. The room was the size of most small motel rooms, absolutely not the dream suite we envisioned. With five people in the room, it was a little too cozy for my big Texas taste.

The first clerk began to put up our bags on the respected stands while the 'lead' clerk began to describe the features of the room. The third clerk, a young gentleman was a male British version of a 'Price is Right' model as he would display and demonstrate the different items in the room. 

"This is your tele, "she said as clerk #3 opened the cabinet and displayed a remote. "You can see it comes with a remote control. The ON button is here and you will find a guide here."

We watched clerk #3 move seamlessly pointing out each thing she mentioned. They had to have done the routine at least 50 times a week. They had a freaky twin connection going. It was plain spooky.

Once they slowly left (unlike Americans who are fairly blunt about the tip, they just moved slower until you stopped them), I plopped on the bed wanting to catch some zzzzs since I had very little sleep on the flight.

"You can't do that, "Mike said pulling me out and grabbing my coat. "Remember we have to stay up to get out bodies used to the time change."

"A couple of hours wouldn't hurt anyone."

Mike shook his head and opened the curtains to reveal a lovely British Park.

"Look, it's London, Across that park is Buckingham Palace and the Queen of England. We can't sleep now. If we're paying this much for this room--we should at least enjoy it."

I sighed, "Well I am hungry."

He grabbed his coat and we made our way via the smallest elevator ever made to the lobby.

Our doorman, who still remembered us, suggested pub down the street for a proper British lunch.

We got there; Mike had fish and chips; I had a leek soup. We felt British until we ended our meal and made our very first discovery about Europeans.

Europeans it appeared went to restaurants to talk and be social; to enjoy people. We Americans on the other hand are more like pigs at a trough-- food, bill, pay,  home. Mike and I wolfed down the meal and waited patiently for our bill. We waited and we waited. Finally we flagged down our waiter and asked for the bill. He looked dumbfounded for a minute and then quickly brought the check. Apparently he had not waited on many Americans in his day.

Then we decided to make the quick skip across the park and see Buckingham Palace. I was worried it would a somber occasion as Princess Diana had been killed three weeks before our visit but beside a few handfuls of bouquets propped up by the gates (and a few tears from me), all was well and cheery at the palace.

We glanced around looking for where to get to tickets when we spotted the ticket counter to our left. We were amazed no one was in line. We scurried right up to the counter and asked for two tickets to the palace.

"Americans?" the lady at the counter asked.

Mike smiled, "Yes, how could you tell?"

"Line jumping for one," someone shouted behind us.

We turned and so a line of at least fifty people a good twenty feet from  the counter. We had done it again.

Mike and I looked at each, not sure what to do. It was too late to go in line, we had  our tickets and we didn't want the world to think the 'colonists' were social morons. It was too late--they did, So we grabbed the tickets and looked down at our feet as we went inside.


Back at the hotel, the conversation came back to Captain Bucko and the bed and breakfast.

"We can't afford this Lisa, "Mike pleaded.

I sighed looking out at the park from our window. We were living across from one of the most known women in the world. It was true--we could not afford it.

Mike continued, "If we stay, we can forget about doing anything outside the tour later on and the tour only includes two meals a day. I don't want to be broke on our honeymoon."

"I'm just scared it's all a big set-up. I mean who is that nice."

"People are nice for the most part. I really trust him (Captain Bucko)."

I pulled out the number he gave us and handed it to Mike.

He spoke for a good 15 mintues and then hung up.

"He sounded great Lisa and they have a nice room we can have. He gave us directions. They are right off the tube."

The tube is the British subway system and believe it or not, very nice, as compared to ours in the States at least.

"Well let's at least enjoy this night here,"I mumbled, not too pleased with what we were about to do.

Mike smiled and then proceeded to make arrangements to leave in the morning.

After a quick goodbye to our ever helpful doorman who still called us by name, we journeyed to a whole different part of London through the Tube carrying a multitude of bags to Notting Hill. I do not recommend it. At one stop, a young lad tapped Mike on his shoulder and told him he should hide his designer watch in his pocket. I did not feel good about this.

We got to our stop and proceeded down a small street behind a Brazillian Meat Restaurant. Across from what looked like a Thai type 'dive' (trashy restaurant), was the bed and breakfast. Small and assuming, I was wishing we had one of .45s everyone seems to think Texans always carry.

Mike walked up the steps and told me, we could always leave if things did not feel right. I was ready to walk, no, sprint even before the door opened.

He knocked on the door and a middle age, well dressed but stylishly unkept man opened the door revealing a very tiny hall. Mike shock his hands and introduced himself and mentioned Captain Bucko. I bit my lip and stood beside him.

What is in the Miller's  Bed and Breakfast? Will we join our tour  later on or does danger lie ahead? Also, can we prove to Europe Americans aren't really that rude? Find out next week :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feel Good Friday on a Saturday

I'm joining the party at Elizabeth's a little late but it's all good, I hope ;)
This week, I am thankful and feel good because:

I have a roof over my head. Recently I have been dealing with the green eyed monster as I watch friends move up and up while we stay in our same home but ya know, we have a house and this is a blessing :)

My kids are wonderful and loving even if they do have their moments. If they did not have some bad moments, I would never truly appreciate the times they are beyond incredible--does that make any sense?

I finally got my car inspected and its well check complete. They found a few issues covered by the warranty that is about to expire so thank goodness I didn't hold off! Also, I got their wagon as a loaner and I loved it. This SUV mama who never wants a mini-van may be considering that wagon in her future. 

I am staying in a very good shopping budget. I still shop organic and Whole Foods but I am being more and more careful. I have found some great tips here (my tip is on  here if you can find it!) and here. (I am also so happy to have found another Whole Foods fan.)

My husband has offered to get me the 3G iPhone; my iPhone still works but the ringer only works when plugged into our sound system. I am going to hold off as long as possible but it's still nice to know he would do that for me :)

Dino is thriving in the 4 year old summer 'camp' :)

I got to go back to my spinning class after a crappy virus!

And now I hope everyone reading has an incredible, awesome, perfect week ahead!!! The blog world is filled with some of the nicest people I know--and that is something to feel good about :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Personally, I prefer the fires of Hades

Every single July, we experience triple digit tempertures here in Texas, and every single day in July, every fourteen years I have been here, someone asks 'Hot enough for ya, (ha, ha)?'.

I used to tell myself, hey she/he just wants to make conversation. So I'd smile, make a comment agreeing with them and move on. 

But it is starting to get to me. The other day I took the kids to an outdoor mall to get a few things and they ended up playing, fully clothed, in the fountains (don't worry--it's allowed and other kids do it). I sat on a bench in the full sun taking the very last swigs out of my infamous purple water bottle I always have with me and tried to rub the sweat off my upper chest so it wouldn't look like I had been diving in the fountains. Wet tee shirt contests are never cool for a mom.

So a man walks by with the same comment ,'hot enough for ya?' and I just snapped inside. I wanted to throw this complete stranger in the fountain and scream 'wet enough for ya?' but I didn't.  

So my brilliant reader friends, I need a snappy comment for this infamous age old question. Please advice--and soon, we are heading out to the pool today ;)

A side note--I am usually very kind to strangers but it seems the heat is getting to me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Well I never did have a nursery...

It's true. I have four children and I have never had a baby nursery. With my first Miley, we had just gotten married, were in way over our heads and moved into a new home weeks before I gave birth. With my second, Sarah, we did a room for Miley. I knew after my time with Miley as a newborn that Sarah would spend almost no time in her own room and probably never sleep in a crib.
When we found out about Dino. I started to look into making a nursery but things kept coming up--Mike switching careers, Miley in kindergarden and me constantly throwing up. It didn't happen.

I always regretted it. I remember telling Mike at Christmas 2005 my one regret was not having a nursery. Lo and behold we found out about Spanky two weeks later. I begged and pleaded for a nursery. The back room was filled with book shelves, old computers and every other piece of junk imaginable. I did my best  but alas it was not enough and Spanky came home to a chest of drawers :(

So after my successful painting of the back hall, I am wanting to really put together a bedroom for the boys (yes, they have to share at this point). They have some nice bedroom furniture but there is still an entire wall of Elfa shelving and lots of Mike's old junk, uh, marine corp foot locker and kickboxing trophies. 

I've already bought the bedding on sale a while back. I got it when we first got the furniture. It's a surfer theme and now I am looking to put the room together like a normal parent does.

My friend showed me the rate my space site on HGTV and I found this:

Quite possible the coolest thing for a boys' room ever and surprise surprise, the person who posted it makes these for a living. One problem, there no mention of prices on the website and well that is not a good sign.

So I found this:

And I am really thinking I can do it, if my husband will agree to let go of some stuff and there's the problem. So honey, if you are reading this--can you please find it in your heart to find another place for your stuff  like the attic. Remember I never ever got to do a nursery, ever.

Monday, July 7, 2008

10 Lists of 10

No, I haven't turned into a major narcissist (I think). It's my 100th post--woohooo!

10 Things I Must Have in Pantry/Refrigerator at All Times

1. Whole Coffee Beans
2.  1/2 and 1/2
3. Cane Sugar Crystals (fancy word for sugar lol)
4. Calebaut Semi-Sweet (62.5%) Chocolate in bulk
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6. Fresh Pineapple
7. Pure Maple Syrup
8. McCain's Irish Oatmeal
9. Cinnamon
10. Garlic

10 Songs I Love

1. "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkul
2. "In the City" by Stevie Wonder
3. "Fernando" by ABBA
4. "One Week" by Bare Naked Ladies
5. "My World" by Tim Kay
6. "Everything" by Michael Buble
7. "Poems, Prayers and Promises" by John  Denver
8. "My Hero" by The Foo Fighters
9. "At Last" by Etta James
10. "When the River Meets the Sea" by John  Denver

10 Stores I Love (and get all our money)

1. Whole Foods
2. Target
3. Crew Cuts
4. Hanna Andersson
5. White House Black Market
6. Sur La Table
7. Nordstroms
8. World Market
9. Lowes
10. Williams Sonoma

10 Cities I Love

1. Salzburg, Austria
2. Vienna, Austria
3. London, England
4. Dallas, Texas
5. Austin, Texas
6. Cleveland, Ohio
7. Memphis, Tennessee
8. Fort Myers Beach, Florida
9. New Orleans, Louisiana 
10. Columbus, Ohio

10 Days of the Year I love

1. Christmas
2. My kids' birthdays
3. My husband's birthday
4. My birthday
5. Our anniversary
6. First Day of School
7. Last Day of School
8. Thanksgiving
9. Easter
10. Valentine's Day

10 Things I do Everyday

1. Kiss my Children
2. Kiss my Husband
3. Make Coffee
4. Check my Email
5. Change a Dirty Diaper
6. Nurse Spanky
7. Brush my Teeth
8. Pray
9. Prepare at Least One Meal for at Least One Child
10. Make My Bed

10 Events I will Never Forget

1. My Wedding
2. My Honeymoon
3. Meeting my Husband
4. The births of my Children
5. Attending the "Hollywood" World Premier of The Christmas Story in Cleveland (met 'Ralphie')
6. My First Day of College
7. Witnessing Michael Jordan and 'the shot' firsthand in Cleveland--it was NOT a happy time
9. My Children's First Days of School
10. The Day I found out I was Pregnant with my First Child

10 Books I Love

1. The Bible
2. "Gone with the Wind"
3. "A Prayer for Owen Meany"
4. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
5. "Dubliners"
6. "Mary, Queen of Scotts"
7. "Fight Club"
8. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
9. "Oliver Twist"
10. "Rebecca"

10 Movies I Love

1. "Gone with the Wind"
2. "Casablanca"
3. "Sound of Music"
4. "Wizard of Oz"
5. "Fight Club"
6. "Super Size Me"
7. "Elf"
8. "A Christmas Story"
9. "Arsenic and Old Lace"
10. "The Godfather"

10 of My Favorite Posts thus far

10. This one (yeah, I'm cheating)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Story--Is it two pounds per one dollar or two dollars per pound?

We landed in London, late morning (London time). We began to walk through mazes and were truly lost puppies looking for home. Mike turned to a guy next to him that looked like he rode Harleys for a living. 

"You're new to this, aren't you, " he smiled.

"Yes, could we follow you?" Mike the ever trusting husband said.

"Sure," he nodded us through a gate and began to explain the whole customs process.

Mike, being his usual chatty self asked if our new friend would care to join us for coffee to thank him for his help. He would be delighted to.

So sitting down, I learned our friend, Captain Bucko, was a truly interesting individual. According to him, the good captain, he had been abroad several times and had visited many countries we were going to see.

"So where are you staying?" he inquired.

"This place called The Athenaeum," Mike answered as he pulled out the itineary the travel agent gave us.

The captain rubbed his chin, "Don't know anything about that place."

"According to our travel agent it's somewhere between a Hilton and say the Ritz--nice but not too nice, we're not the Trumps, "I was getting into the conversation.

"And it's really not too pricy, "Mike chimmed in. "It's only 380 pounds a night so that's what $185 or so?"

Captain Bucko started to laugh, "My friend, you are confusing your math. As you will quickly learn, two dollars is worth one pound, not two dollars per pound. "
Mike and I were speechless. He continued.

"The room is actually more like $760 a night. A bit OTT as they say here."

Mike and I both looked at each and mouthed 'Oh my goodness'.

I turned to Captain Bucko, "Maybe it's a mistake on this sheet. Maybe it's really dollars. A little too high but."

"We are staying there for four nights--that's like three grand," Mike blurted out.

"Well," Captain Bucko scratched his beard. "I do have some friends, the Millers. They are into antiques and have a little bed and breakfast. Let me write down their info for you. The guy who runs it is a great fella. I wouldn't be surprised if you called him and he came and picked you up himself in his land rover and took you about town."

"That would be great, "Mike was smiling. I was unsure.

"Well honey, "I began. "Why don't we see if it's a mixup at the hotel and take it from there?"

"But this seems..."

"I want to try the hotel, "I forced a smile. I was going to play the bride card and he knew it. Mike nodded and we got up from our chairs.

"Well the travel agent said we need to catch a train to the other airport because it's closer to our location and take a cab from there."

Captain Bucko nodded and got up. "I understand. Now when you get to the other airport, you exit to the left and find a que, that's a line, for cabs called blackies. Blackies are great cabs but they again are OTT."

"Oh great," Mike smiled.

"It was great meeting you again," I shook the captain's hand.

"Yes and thank for your help," Mike said pulling out his wallet.

Captian Bucko, pulled out his wallet and motioned Mike to put his away and paid for our coffee and pasteries. "You're own your honeymoon, allow me," he smiled. "And remember if you call the Millers, tell them Captain Bucko sent you they'll give you a good rate. And you can't get in without a referral."

Captain Bucko went back to the plane to catch his connection to France and we proceeded to take off for our train. Before boarding we exchanged our dollars for a small sum of pounds. Mike went to buy the tickets for the train, coach again.

"I don't know about that bed and breakfast, "I said as we were waiting.

"He seemed nice and come on three grand is going to kill us. We'll be broke."

"I'd rather be broke than on the British news as a serial killer victim, "I mumbled. "The whole thing seems like a scam. I mean who is really that nice?"

Mike sighed, "I guess you have a point. It did seem a bit odd that he knew about bed and breakfast. Well here's out train."

We got on the train and saw it was bumper to bumper people. I mean pressed to the glass so many people. There was no way we could even fit. I looked to my left and saw the other car was almost empty.

I grabbed Mike's sleeve. 

"Come on, looks like no one saw this side," I was very eager to sit on one of the cushy benches I saw.

We got in and sat down across from an older man, a professor at Duke we later learned, and gave each other subtle high fives. We could not understand how the people in the other car were so well stupid to be all crammed like they were.

As the train began to roll, I was mesmorized by the beautiful countryside. It was truly lovely, The green was amazing and the little home adorable. I was getting really excited to soak in this new land. 

"Tickets," the polite (and by the way, all British are polite--very polite) conductor asked our table.

The professor pulled out his ticket and then Mike pulled out his.

"Sir, "polite conductor addressed Mike. "These are for coach. You are unfortunetly in first class."

I glanced back at the crammed car behind us, and then I gave Mike my please don't-make-me-go-there look.

"Um, "Mike began. "I am so sorry. Is there anyway I can pay you the additional fee now." 

Surely it's only a few bucks.

"Of course sir. That will five pounds, each."

Mike sighed and took out the wallet. Our pounds were dropping faster than a weight watcher meeting. 

I smiled and continued to enjoy the countryside.

We arrived at the station and true to Captain Bucko's words, found the Blackies. We looked for the que but found nothing. We began to walk right up to the cabs when I noticed a rather large line way behind us. Our first lesson in England. You don't stand right up at the cabs for que. You poiltely wait well back. Now no one said anything as we walked straight to the front (very polite remember) but felt uneasy stares so Mike and quickly ran  to the back of the que.

We got in the Blackie and drove for about a block to our hotel. Five pounds.

The Athenaeum was pretty, I will admit that. A door man went straight to our cab and grabbed our bags. He scanned our luggage tag and greeted us by Mr and Mrs last name and then led us to the lobby where he introduced us to the front desk by name and began our registration. I was impressed but not $780 a night impressed.

Will we stay at the hotel or trust Captian Bucko? Will we go see the queen? All these questions and more will be answered next week!

****Quick Update: I was reviewing old stuff and I am about 100 pounds off on the hotel room--it was 280 pounds. I thought $780 seemed too high :0****

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

OK--I still can't seem to do video. Click here for a favorite clip of ours :)

Happy 4th--God bless you and God bless America!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Many Faces of Nancy Drew

Miley has been on a Nancy Drew kick for the past 6 months or so. She's got the books and is creating her own mysteries. We even saw the movie Nancy Drew.  And I also found the really old black and white Nancy Drew movies based on the book.

So Miley and her friends liked the movie but the old black and white movies were not well received.
"Tell them they called Ned, Ted," Miley just whispered over my shoulder.

Yeah, they called Ned Ted and Nancy's dad was kind of scary; not at all like the polyester clad dad of the show I watched as a child. Bam! And then I remembered the Nancy Drew series I watched every Sunday after early service----I bet Miley would love those. OK I'll be honest I was tad disappointed when it was Nancy Drew and not Shaun Cas, I mean, the Hardy Boys.

 So I found the series on Netflix and they LOVE it all the way down to that cheesey music. I just watch the Miley and her friends in their PJs (tweens love slumber parties) sit glued to the screen and not a Disney star in sight! (Miley has even promised her friends we would watch 'The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula' for her birthday/mystery/slumber party in a few weeks.)

And I have to admit I really like it to. As an adult, I appreciate the acting on Nancy Drew show--don't laugh, she's really pretty good. The Hardy Boys-well come on, they were not hired for their acting ;) It also takes me back to Sunday morning, out of my dress and in some lazy shorts and a tee shirt with my sister. And if I shut my eyes, I swear I can smell my mom making breakfast. 

Well I've got to run--Miley is itching to watch 'The Ghostwriter's Cruise'.