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Month: March 2009

Tickets for 2 please….

Tickets for 2 please….

Before Bill and I married, I lived in Washington, D.C. and he lived in Minneapolis. A few months before our wedding Bill moved to Dallas and so after our honeymoon I joined him there.

Not too long after our wedding, one of my favorite on stage shows, Greater Tuna, came to Dallas. It’s a show where there are only 2 actors and it’s very, very funny. And I wanted Bill to see it.

Now we were 23 years old, we had a honeymoon we were still paying for and I didn’t have a job. Financially speaking things were what you might call “very tight.” Like we had no money.

So we didn’t think we could see the show.

But, not being one to let little details like money stand in my way, I suggested we go on by the theater to just kind of, you know, see. Bill thought this was ridiculous but being the sweet man that he is, he drove past the theater.

I knew in D.C. they offered 1/2 price tickets just before the show. They were standing room only tickets, but you still got in. Bill reminded me that 1/2 of nothing is still nothing and since we had nothing, why bother even trying to buy a 1/2 price ticket. I told him I’d never been very good at math and so I just wanted to inquire.

He dropped me off at the corner and said he’d circle the block as he was quite sure he’d be picking me up and heading home very shortly. You know – right after the ticket agent explained math to me.

So up to the window I proceeded. And apparently there is no such thing as a 1/2 price ticket in Dallas because she kind of looked at me like…”you’re not from around these parts, are you?”

So I slunk back to the corner ready to go home.

And as I was waiting, I was approached by a police woman who asked in her police woman voice….”were you just trying to buy tickets to the show?”

And for a second I panicked.

Because I wasn’t sure how they defined ticket scalping and so I wasn’t sure if I was about to be arrested for a crime I didn’t mean to commit. I seriously had to compose myself before I answered. I ran through the scenario in my mind of whether asking for 1/2 price tickets constituted something illegal.

I decided it didn’t and so I told her yes. And just to be sure she understood I wasn’t a criminal I told her the whole story. About how I just wanted to check even though we didn’t really have the money for the show.

And then she pulled out two tickets. Front and center…practically the best seats in the house.

And she gave them to me.

She said a man and his wife walked into the theater and gave her the tickets and instructed her to …”give them to someone she thought could use them.”

And by the time Bill turned the corner I was a huggin’ that police woman like she was my guardian angel. I told her the whole story and about how I thought she was thinking I was a scalper and how I wasn’t and about how we had no money and about how this was so great.

And Bill pulled up and I told him to park the car. We had ourselves a show to see.

We had the best time. We sat next to our generous benefactor and his wife and he and Bill even had lunch a time or two after that.

It was what you might call a miracle. A very cool miracle.

And it was just another time I thought God must just absolutely delight in doing stuff like that for us.

Kind of makes you want to give a standing ovation, doesn’t it?


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On AND off the courts

On AND off the courts

A few years ago I bought myself a pink tennis racket at Target.

$14.99.

It said Wimbledon on the side so I thought it had to be good. On the other side it said “Sharapova.” Now I don’t know a lot about professional tennis players, but I think I’ve heard her name before. So the racket, I assumed, was probably really good. You know, because it had a professional endorsement and all.

Then this past summer Bill gave me a cute pink tennis outfit for my birthday. I was finally ready to begin lessons. Because I was going to look cute on the courts.

For years I had seen all the “tennis moms” walk into our elementary school. Totally cute outfits. Even the not so cute outfits still looked way more comfortable than the jeans I was wearing.

The way I figured it, even if I didn’t love tennis I could keep the outfits. You know,wear them around to “fit in” with the tennis crowd and all.

And I loved that an outfit and a visor was all you needed. No jewelery, make up totally optional, comfortable shoes. It all sounded good to me.

So I showed up last fall for my first lesson with my instructor. I had taken a semester of tennis in college so I thought I might be a little ahead of the beginners, but let me assure you I was NOT.

And in my very beginner class, I liked my outfit the best. Because it was pink. And with my matching racket, well, I thought I was the bomb.

I was even getting compliments on my cute racket.

That is … until the instructor laughed at it.

She (seriously) asked if it was a kids racket. When I told her “no” she asked to see it and reported that the strings were not “real” strings. I’m not sure how “real” strings are defined, but I didn’t care…the racket matched my outfit and so it had to work.

My instructor went to her car and, for the last 8 months, I’ve been using her spare. I show up every week with the cute pink one and every week she hands me a “better” one. “Better” also means more expensive which is why I haven’t gotten one yet. That and I’m not sure if the “better” ones come in pink.

She gives me a white one – so it doesn’t clash – but it’s definitely not as fun to carry. Doesn’t look as cute either, in my opinion.

But I have to admit…I can hit a lot harder and better with her racket. So one of these days I’m planning on getting what she calls an “adult” racket. Like maybe for my 42nd birthday.

But from week one, my “coach” has been talking about muscle memory. She says that we have to keep doing things over and over and eventually our muscles will know exactly what to do. Exactly where to go to hit the ball, follow through, etc. In fact, “muscle memory” is one of her favorite expressions.

I don’t think my muscles have memorized anything yet though.

I am having a good time. White “adult” racket and all. And I purposely wear my tennis outfit the entire day…you know, just because I like it so much.

But here’s the thing….muscle memory is not just for my tennis muscles. And this is why I know this to be true. Because Friday morning….while I was lacing my “white with pink trim” tennis shoes, I had the opportunity to practice muscle memory in a different area of my life.

This time by not freaking when a detail I thought was in place fell through. But instead, I got a phone call and freaked. I found out something was different than I thought it was going to be, different than I wanted to be….and I freaked.

EVEN THOUGH I could have tried any number of other responses first. Like for starters, praying about it. I also could also have assumed the attitude of …”whatever will be will be” or “no worries, be happy.”

But instead, I freaked. Got mad. Thought it was going to ruin an upcoming event. Basically things just weren’t working out like I had planned or how I thought they would. And I didn’t like it.

And then you know what happened?

It worked out. Worked out just fine. Bill made a few phone calls and got it all straightened out.

But not before I freaked.

And I feel badly about that because I wish I had better muscle memory.

I wish that I hadn’t freaked.

I wish I had just waited to see how the whole thing worked out. And I wish that my memory would have been clearer and reminded me that often things work out just fine.

And if they don’t, well, it’s not the end of the world.

So all that to say….I need to work on muscle memory both on and off the court.

And I’ll probably be wearing pink when I’m doing it.

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Darla Stories

Darla Stories

Ok, really it’s a Donna story. I started writing the Darla story and it reminded me of the Donna story and I got so tickled I just had to tell hers.

My apologies to my mother.

As you read this you may think …”oh no she didn’t…..”, but I was there and “oh yes she did.

So here goes…

It was back in 1995 and people STILL talk and laugh about it. Just this past Christmas my friend Noel Spann said…”I still laugh about that time your mom …..”. I’m not making it up. It’s confirmed….it was hysterical.

Bill and I were living in Nashville at the time and my mom and dad were visiting and she and I were going out exploring. Probably an antique store or something similarly fun…because I think in the 90’s I had free time. And, way back when, I didn’t have a cell phone and I’m not sure my mom did either.

Speaking of that, can you believe how far we’ve all come from not being able to imagine talking on the phone in your car to now not being able to imagine NOT being able to talk on the phone in the car?

Anyway…we had to use the pay phone (probably to call my dad for directions because we didn’t have a GPS system back then either).

We pulled into a 7-11 (remember those?). Home of the infamous Big Gulp. Had MORE than my fair share of those during college. I was what you might call a regular at the big gulp counter back then.

So my mom got out of the passenger seat and went to use the pay phone. I sat in the drivers seat just watching. You know watching the different types of people who just stand around and loiter outside a 7-11.

And that my friends is when it happened.

I saw my mom reach up on the top of the pay phone and pick up a Big Gulp.

And take a swig. Like a really big swig.

While she was drinking I was inside the car screaming…”NO! NO! NO!!!”

Because you see, she had not bought that Big Gulp and she did not know who had. It was just sitting there waiting for some poor unsuspecting soul to accidentally pick it up.

And once I had the presence of mind to do something besides scream in a car with the windows rolled up, I began honking. Like seriously laying on the horn and making wild motions gesturing at the Big Gulp, all the while hoping against hope that the owner of the Big Gulp didn’t have malaria or any other really bad disease for that matter.

And when she realized what she had done? Well, Katy bar the door. She started spitting and spitting and well….spitting.

And yelling “oh no!! OH NO!!!” (while spitting) and every now and then an “eeewww” was thrown in.

And people, she spit for a good while. Anytime she thought of it, she’d spit. I mean we drove off but every now and then she’d roll down the window, just to once again…spit.

And if I had a video of her when she realized what she’d done….well I’d have sent it to America’s Funniest Home Videos and I’d have probably won $10,000 by now.

But you see, back in 1995 I didn’t have a video camera either.

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From Here to There

From Here to There

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that has it all together. The kind of person that does meal planning, makes a grocery list, scans the grocery store sale ads to find the best deals and clips a coupon here or there. When I clip coupons I generally don’t want to get up and go get the scissors, so I “tear” coupons. Problem is they never seem to make it from the place I tore it out to the grocery store. Shoot, they don’t even make it into those nice little coupon organizer files with me. They go from torn out to the trash can. Pitiful really.

Last May, I decided, you know what, this summer is going to be different. I’m going to make a list and check it twice. I’m gonna plan the meals, buy the ingredients and feed my family the kind of meals they deserve.

And I did.

For exactly two meals.

Then I grew weary of that plan and went back to my regular – it’s 4:00 PM, what are we having for dinner routine.

But let me tell you, my family raved over those two meals. In fact, if you ask Brittany right now what her most favorite meal I make is, she will say ” Mom’s Turkey Burgers”. And if that doesn’t warm the cockerels of your heart, I don’t know what will. At the very least it should motivate me to make it again, but there’s that whole making the list of ingredients thing again. Sidetracks me every time. Plus there is some chopping involved and that is a step that causes me to fall off the “I’m going to cook tonight” bandwagon very quickly.

The other recipe Bill declared as “the best thing I have ever made”. (He may have forgotten about those first place snickers cookies on a stick, or maybe he just craves some good old fashioned comfort food. Either way, he LOVED these grilled cheese sandwiches. And let me tell you, these aren’t your everyday ole grilled cheese. They are so good you’ll be asking yourself why I didn’t give you this recipe earlier. And I don’t really know why I didn’t…but it’s mostly because I just thought of it now.

The recipes both came from the Oprah show (and yes, when Brittany says she wants “Moms Turkey Burgers, for about a half a second I feel like I should say, “you mean Oprah’s Turkey Burgers” but then I just think..nah.

Oprah did a segment on “The Best Sandwiches in America.” She sent her BFF Gayle out to sample the nominees and the grilled cheese was deemed “the best sandwich in the country”.

So here’s to the U.S of A and our fabulous grilled cheese sandwich!!!

I started thinking about this all when we were in Florida. We started out here…

And ended up right there in the middle of our condo kitchen.

We cooked our meals in the condo. Nothing fancy, hot dogs, spaghetti, bar-b-que meatballs…but I enjoyed making it and my family enjoyed eating it.

Now that I’m home (once I catch up on ALL this laundry!), I’m gonna try to work on making some lists, getting to the store, and cooking some of my family’s favorites (for more than 2 meals!). In addition to eating a little better, this whole global recession thing is causing me to think more about how I’m spending our grocery dollars. Just yesterday I bypassed the $3.00 box of frozen pancakes and got up this morning and made my own…for a whole lot less. This, I’m sure, makes Bill happy and my mom proud. 🙂

So with this new resolution in my life, I’m sure I’ll be making these two recipes I mentioned soon, so I wanted to share.

Below are both recipes, with some commentary that was on the Oprah website as well.

Oh! and just one more little tip….the turkey burgers come with a chutney glaze on top. I think it is to die for, but my kids prefer ketchup….because kids will be kids.

Y’all enjoy!!!

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

Recipe courtesy of Jeff O’Neill

Turkey burger

Oprah found a new favorite food when she tried this turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach. “I believe [it] may be the best turkey burger in the entire world,” she says. The Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger will be permanently available at the Trump Bar and Grille in Trump Tower in New York City, open to the public for lunch and dinner. It will also be served during lunch in Chicago at Sixteen, the Trump International Hotel restaurant.

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , peeled and diced
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 4 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco® chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1 lemon , juiced and grated zest
  • 1/2 bunch parsley , finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney , pureed

Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

CafĂ© Muse’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of Greg Reyner at Café Muse<

Cafe Muse's grilled cheese sandwich

This recipe is a gourmet twist on an old favorite—there’s no cheddar cheese in sight for chef Greg Reyner!

Ingredients:

Serves 1

  • 1 slice Havarti cheese
  • 1 slice mozzarella cheese
  • 1 slice Danish fontina cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter , softened (for best results, use high-quality butter)
  • Honey from a squeeze bear bottle
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil , chopped
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices bread (organic multigrain bread works best)
  • SautĂ© pan large enough for 2 slices of bread

Butter bread on one side with melted butter. Place in pan, butter side down, over medium-low heat. Place mozzarella on one half of the bread and fontina and Havarti on the other. Cook until golden on bottom and cheese begins to melt. Place tomato on mozzarella side and honey on fotina/Havarti side. Place under broiler for a few minutes to heat up tomato. Sprinkle basil and assemble sandwich.

Now, y’all start making yourself a list and get to the store because these recipes are G-O-O-D!!

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Oh beach, where fore art thou??

Oh beach, where fore art thou??

Bill got a Garmin GPS system for his birthday. We could not help but laugh as Bill “played” with his new toy. It sat on the front windshield of our minivan and looked and sounded a little like something in an airplane. Anytime we exited the freeway it would say “repositioning.”

And Bill would cup his hand around his mouth and in his best airline captain voice he’d say…”Request approach for landing. Request approach for landing.” Made us laugh.

Every.single.time.

When we exited the car we’d hear (in the same captain-ish voice) something about thanking us for flying with him.

The GPS was a hit.

But here’s the thing with GPS systems. You have to tell it where you are going. And once we left Savannah….well, we didn’t exactly know where we were going. We knew Florida, but so many beaches, so many decisions.

So we headed South with the Garmin freaked that it didn’t know exactly where we were headed. No final destination. We did have a map we picked up once in a Cracker Barrel. Problem with that was that it only had roads where Cracker Barrels could be found. And I realize that in the South, that’s a good bit of roads, but it’s not all of them. Had we needed some biscuits and gravy, we’d have been good, but at this point, lodging was more of the issue.

After consulting with my dad and a man in a gas station – who ended up selling us a regular “good ole’ fashioned” map, we continued on through Florida. (We later learned that one reason our Garmin freaked was that we were near an air force base and they purposely scramble the signals. Someone should let the Garmin people know, because we thought for a minute there we were going to have to return the thing.)

Somewhere around 9:00 PM we decided that Panama City was a little too “college spring breaky” and decided to program Destin as our final DESTINation. The Garmin could rest a little easier now.

And then we called a few hotels. We learned that most of the hotels in Destin are across the highway from the ocean. We were told that the privately owned condominiums are on the beach side. That kind of bummed me out because dodging cars on a freeway while carrying buckets and shovels and the like did not exactly sound relaxing to me.

When we arrived in Destin, we saw a hotel on the beach side but with a road in front of it. That beat a freeway so we inquired.

Sold out.

This was when we began to question our “fly by the seat of our pants” vacation strategy.

But just for a second.

As we pulled out of the hotel, thinking maybe Fort Walton Beach might be nice, we saw a condo that said….”Vacancy…Walk ins welcome”. At this point it is 12:15 am. We doubted we’d find anyone around, but sure enough, there was someone who was getting off work shortly. He showed Bill a room that was only slightly more than the hotel. The hotel with only two beds a microwave and a mini fridge…and a view of the freeway.

And as Bill was in there, I was praying that the room would be the right place for the right price.

Next thing I knew Bill said…”let’s unload!”

Music to my ears it was…music to my ears.

And not only did we all have a bed…..king size room for us, bunk beds for two kids and a fold out couch for the others, full kitchen, two baths…..THIS is the view we saw when we woke up the next morning.

As my uncle Heartsil would say….”How sweet it is….how sweet it is.”

The Destin Beach Club suited us just fine! And then…when we woke up the next day they called to say the rates for Friday and Saturday had gone up $70 more per night – Spring Break rates (I guess Texas is a little ahead of the curve on our Spring Break dates). We (politely) told them that wasn’t in the deal and they agreed to continue our “off season” rates. And I really think God got a kick out of getting “the right price” for us. Really I do.

And this was kind of how we spent our days at the beach…

Evening dip in the pool with dad.

Flew a kite.

Stacked on the pullout couch for some movies.

Continued working on the sand castle.

Frolicked in the ocean.

Played some card games, mostly as a family. This particular one was between Jacob and his imaginary friend, Powers.

Had a shaved ice…yum!

Contemplated life.And pretty much just soaked in the sunshine!

(some of us a little too much….and with VERY poor sunscreen application skills!)

And all too soon, the sun was setting and it was time to head home.

We input our destination into the Garmin and just like that, we were off.

And, tonight when we were putting Jacob to bed he said…”I want to go back to Florida. It’s more funner there.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Savannah Meets Savannah

Savannah Meets Savannah

 

There is a lot to tell about our Spring Break 2009 Road Trip but Savannah’s foray into Savannah deserves a blog unto itself.

I mean people, it was big. Very, VERY big.

Like her very own Super Bowl…that she had invited her brother and sisters to attend.

Like she was coming home…after 8 long years, like she had finally found her people, her place.

Savannah was in Savannah.

Not even Christmas Day topped the excitement that girl exuded as we drove into “her” city limits.

She told anyone and everyone “My name is Savannah”. I seriously think she might have been waiting for the mayor to declare it “Savannah meets Savannah Day.” Or at least give her a key to the city. I mean really…it was like she was a walking Savannah billboard for the entire time we were there.

 

Even Jacob kept saying…”I just LOVE Savannah.” But I think he was saying that mostly because he had never seen a revolving door like they had at our hotel…the kind you circle around in and it dumps you either outside or inside the building. He could have stayed there for hours and was kind of sad he had to leave…

until he realized there were really cool streets like these he could walk down.

But Savannah (the girl) had a lot more she wanted to see of Savannah (the city). More photo ops you know … with her dad who was loving that she was loving this!

 

 

Brittany enjoyed Savannah too, but for a completely different reason. She bought THIS hat that said “Happy Birthday” on it in the hotel gift shop and wore it for the entire day.

She giggled and said “thanks” as pretty much everyone she saw wished her a happy birthday. Never mind that her birthday was in January. I have no idea why she wanted that hat or enjoyed wearing it so much, but enjoy it she did.

 

Savannah is an absolutely charming city made even more beautiful by the blooming azaleas everywhere we looked.

We spent a good part of one afternoon playing in a park known as the Central Park of the South. I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever been.

 

The city squares are world famous….and who can forget Forrest Gump sitting on the bench in Savannah quoting this phrase…”mama always said life is like a box of chocolates….you never know what you are going to get”. Bill and Jacob felt compelled to act out this particular scene in the movie.

 

We got in the requisite pool swim and then went back on the town to another square to enjoy some of the best pizza we’ve ever eaten.

 

Bill told us our trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit the next day to the “Pirates House” restaurant (notice Bill’s cheesy pirate grin…RRR he was saying).

And we enjoyed just that, complete with a visit from a pirate to our table.

 

Bill did work while we were there (he has this picture to prove it – and as an aside, is he not SO cute in that blue Bob the Builder hat?!? and those matching blue coveralls?!?),

but honestly, Savannah never even noticed he was gone…did I mention she was totally lost in the experience?

Jacob however did notice and wondered aloud….”when does daddy get recess?” We really barely noticed he was gone though as we did our pool swim and some hotel time one day and we all slept in the next morning as he worked.

 

But just like any good movie, our visit to Savannah had to come to an end.

 

And just like that, we were “Gone with the Wind” off to Destin for the second half of our Spring Break road trip.

 

I don’t think anything about Savannah’s trip to Savannah disappointed her at all….except for maybe when she asked when we were going to see the Eiffel Tower. Maybe it’s in third grade they learn that Paris is in another foreign country.

We did enjoy seeing the “Waving Girl” statue

and THIS beautiful fountain (and yes, Savannah is pushing Jacob out of “her” picture).

 

Oh, and there’s one other thing I should tell you about our trip to Savannah. Remember a while back when I, let’s just say, poked fun of Bill for buying Savannah all those t-shirts?

 

Well, apparently the city had the same effect on me too. Not an hour and one t-shirt store into our trip and I’d succumbed to the Savannah t-shirt plague. I mean these things were seriously cute … or as Bill says, “they just seemed to scream her name.”

 

So all in all, our trip to Savannah was a huge success. For sure the trip of a lifetime for an 8 year old little girl who shared the same name as the city.

 

I’ve mentioned before about the movie “When Savannah Smiles”… well, let me tell you, on this particular day, Savannah BEAMED.

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The Irony of it all…

The Irony of it all…

Today this beautiful girl turns 13.

And so Caroline, this is to you.

For the last week we have logged 2100 miles in a rented blue minivan. A van that had child safety locks on only your door. So every time you wanted to exit the minivan, I had to open the door for you. Seriously drove you crazy. For the life of us we couldn’t figure out how to take the child safety lock off your door. And so each time, you would say…”MOM..can you open the door for me?” “Mom, let me out!” and for one glorious week you were locked in, saved only by me opening the door from the outside to free you.

And then, literally minutes before the clock struck midnight and you were were officially a teenager, we arrived back home. And it was time to trade the blue minivan back in for our own car, with doors you can open on your own.

And the irony wasn’t lost on me. The irony that for 13 years we have loved you and protected you. Girl, how we have loved you. Loved you from the second they said…”it’s a girl!” Actually it was even before that. And protected you, yes, that too.

But you are growing up and it’s time you begin opening some of those doors on your own now. There is more freedom in being older but with that comes more responsibility.

And make no mistake…dad and I are still driving the car, dad and I can still lock the doors, but at the same time, we want you to have the freedom to go out the door and find your place in this world.

You will always have a special place in our family. You were our first miracle. You’ve been kind of like our research project. And like any project, there are good days and bad. Progress and mistakes. Joy in the journey.

And so here you are…transitioning from the child locks to being a teenager. I know some people don’t like the word teenager. They prefer to say instead, “young adult.” I don’t mind teenager though (except that it makes my heart skip a beat thinking you aren’t all babies anymore!). Bring it on.

Let’s see what life has to offer you. Let’s see who you become.

And may you become all that God has intended for you to become. May you never miss the doors He opens for you. May daddy and I have the courage to let you go through the doors.

And so Caroline, that is why I drove you…one last time…in that blue minivan to school today. You got to ride in the front passenger seat this time. You could freely open the door and get out. But please, please don’t forget…there are locks even on the front door. Locks to protect you. And that seat with the door that wouldn’t open…it wasn’t that far behind you. Don’t forget that.

And don’t forget that we love you more than you can understand.

Happy Birthday Sweet Caroline. Happy 13th birthday.


I love you,

Mom


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Darla Stories

Darla Stories

A few more things I thought were funny….

Just because it’s spring break doesn’t mean crazy stuff isn’t still happening. Oh no! It’s happening. I thought I’d share a few things that happened as we were getting ready…

*First, I bought a cute new jacket at Target in their workout section. On the tag it said “fun pink” so of course I had to have it. Took it home and made a cute outfit with my black yoga pants. I noticed it had a hole above one of the slots on the front of the jacket where you can warm your hands. “Great”, I thought…I got a jacket with a rip.” What I later learned, thanks to the nice folks at Target, is that the “hole” was actually an IPOD slot. Yeah, I knew that. Really.

I will be letting 2009 know I am on my way soon.

*This should come as no surprise though. Bill and I once returned garbage sacks to Walmart – I kid you not – because we didn’t think they opened. We could have sworn they were sealed shut…both of us! We pulled out like 5 of them and couldn’t find a way to open them. (You know like the produce bags at the grocery store where you try and try to get the right end….never mind that it’s printed on the bag!) When we returned them to the store and told the Walmart employee about the defective bags she didn’t even speak. She just (somehow) stuck her hand in some (unseen to us) slot and opened the bag.

We exited that store faster than you can say “Hefty, Hefty, Hefty.”

*Took Caroline shopping to try and find some jeans. Not an easy task as she is very tall and very thin. Things were going well until we hit Hollister. I, considering myself very hip and cool (remember I Twitter now!) held up what I thought to be a skirt. It was smocked on the top and then flared out towards the bottom. Thought it’d be precious on her. When I said….”Caroline, isn’t this a cute skirt?”….she looked at me like I was a freak of nature and said….”Mom, that’s a shirt.” Why I doubted a teenager, very comfortable in that unnaturally loud store, as to whether it was a shirt or skirt, I don’t know. But I did. So I asked the cute employee (less than 1/2 my age)…”is this a skirt or a shirt?” I could tell….I mean I could see it on her face….that she tried to keep from laughing….when she answered “Mam, it’s a shirt.” I don’t know what embarrassed Caroline more, the fact that I asked or the fact that I could NOT control my laughter for the rest of our Hollister shopping experience. I’m thinking teenagers these days will wear anything because that thing looked like a skirt in my day.

Caroline spent the entire rest of the day ignoring me anytime I said….
“Isn’t this cute?”

*And, last thing…speaking of being a freak of nature…

I stopped by the Clinique counter on our shopping trip to get the “free gift with purchase” they were offering. I tried on the new lipstick (which I liked) and thought…”oh look….it has this shiny lip gloss to go on top.” And so I glossed. And then I looked like a freak of nature…because of my silvery-bluish lips. The print was very, very small on the container so I squinted and sure enough…it said….”quick eyes cream shadow.”

I’ve never seen cream eye shadow.

So back to my message to 2009 …. I WILL be there soon!

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Spring Break and the Living is Easy

Spring Break and the Living is Easy

Or something like that. Keeping 4 kids with 4 very different interests and ages entertained has its challenges. Our first event was to go tackle a rock climbing wall. Well, the kids tackled it…Bill and I just watched.

It was a lot of fun and, at times, very funny. At one point, Savannah got off the wall and announced to the people watching…”the harness gave me a wedgie!”
Thanks for sharing honey…thanks for sharing.

Jacob yelled “get me down” like a crazy person the entire 2 minutes he first tried to scale the wall. We got him down and he announced….”that was AWESOME!” So we tried again and he did enjoy it.

We’ve played board games. Made a quick trip to the mall. Watched some TV, made some Winnie the Pooh pancakes in honor of the rescheduled Disney trip…isn’t he cute?…..


ate at a few new places…and, in an attempt to experience new things, we witnessed the CRAZIEST hail storm ever. In about 2 minutes, our yard was a solid layer of white ice balls. My dad called it a “Texas sized” hail storm. Not sure what it was, but it was weird.


Sounded like the sky was falling. And when I yelled “Kids, get on the couch, get on the couch!!!!” because I coudn’t, in that moment of crisis, remember where exactly you were supposed to go when the sky was falling, I think I kind of freaked them out. But I got some cool video and pictures of that strange meteorological event.

*Bloggers note: This hail storm and 2 days of rainy weather actually had one very good outcome. You see, for TWO days the tooth fairy forgot to visit Brittany. I said she was probably on spring break too, but I later learned Bill told her “bad weather.” Feel free to use this line should you ever run into tooth fairy problems yourself.

And now, in an attempt to take the fun up a few more notches, today we begin our tour across the South. We’re heading to Savannah, GA (Bill keeps saying…”Do you know how excited I am to take our Savannah to Savannah?” I’m thinking there might be another t-shirt in her future). We’ll check in on Paula Deen and do all things Savannah…or at least swim in the hotel pool…before heading out to the Gulf Coast in search of a warm beach. Or just a beach. Kids don’t seem to notice the cold.

So, I’ll be back next week…probably with some “stories from the road”.

And I heard that sometimes robbers peruse the Internet to see if people are on vacation so they can break into their house. So, if you are a robber, you should know, we’ve left our mighty scary watchdog Looper in our house.

She’s ferocious.


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Whatcha doin’ little birdie?

Whatcha doin’ little birdie?

I just signed up for Twitter.

Not sure why except that someone told me that Facebook is so “yesterday”.

I don’t think Bill has gotten the “today” memo yet though because last week he forwarded me all his birthday greetings from facebook and asked me to reply and thank them.

His story is one I’ve heard before…”I clicked on someone’s invitation and before I knew it I had a page”. His was a little different though because somehow, without Bill doing anything, it joined him in the El Paso Group. Seriously freaked the man out that facebook knew where he worked. He still hasn’t gotten over it. Now he doesn’t know how to find his page and quite frankly, he doesn’t care.

He’s a little busy for facebook, in his opinion. Doesn’t know what he’s missing really, in my opinion, but he didn’t ask me.

I told him twittering was for my “free time.” Yeah right…like there is any of that. So really it’s just an experiment. See if I like it and all. A further attempt to be “current”.

But maybe it is a time waster because I just called him to tell him I lost 4 hours in my day and I’m not sure where they went.

And he told me to make that the title of my book.

But it’s a book I don’t have time to write.

Tweet Tweet.

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