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Month: August 2011

The hurricane that is Texas football ….

The hurricane that is Texas football ….

As the whole country kept it’s eyes on Hurricane Irene this weekend, I had a storm of my own.

My storm was called “Texas football”.

Football is big in Texas.

By big I mean HUGE.
Perhaps you’ve seen the show “Friday Night Lights”.   

And this past summer Jacob announced that he wanted to play football.  “Flag?” I (hopefully) asked.  “No, Tackle” he said. 

I asked lots of questions like … “are you sure?”, “can you sign up to be the kicker?”, “do they have kickers in 8-9 year old football?” … you get the idea.

Practice started last week and it just so happened that Bill was out of town on business during the week and had his annual golfing weekend in Minnesota over the weekend.  Apparently our wedding vows left out the line about not leaving for the first weekend of football practice in pads.

That left me on football duty.

Wednesday and Friday were “helmets only” practices.

How hard could that be … except we had to buy the helmet.

One of dads on the team offered to meet me at the store to help me pick out a helmet which was good.

Wednesday … we were ready and off he went.
After practice the coach told me Jacob needed to practice attaching the chin strap to his helmet.  Turns out is was bent so we had to get a new helmet.

Friday, same thing except Jacob couldn’t find his mouth guard because I didn’t realize they were supposed to be attached to the helmet. Another “rookie football mom” mistake.

But Saturday …. Saturday was the first “in pads” practice.

I was SCARED to death.  Not that he would get hurt but that I wouldn’t know how to dress him!  I had seen the shoulder pads and they had what looked to be seat belts that fastened somewhere and there were ties and a shirt went under and a shirt went over and it was all a bit much for me.

Around midnight I sent a message to one of my best friends whose sons is a  highly recruited senior, starting quarterback, for a 5A football team in Clear Lake.  I questioned (again) why she had to move away and told her I needed her son … STAT.   She wrote back … and I quote … “Calm down.  It will be fine”. 

Good advice but I still barely slept Friday night.

I’m not kidding.  I was SO worried about it.  I laid everything out and checked and re-checked. 

We got up early and started the process.  

Pants, shirt, pads, shirt, helmet, mouth guard.  


While we were eating breakfast Jacob said … “Mom, can you take the sticker off that says ‘Large’?”.  “Sure”, I said kind of laughing that I had left that sticker on.  Then he said … “can you also take off the one that says ‘Import’, which was actually “Important”.  Oops, hadn’t seen that one either … probably because it had warnings of the potential harms that could befall your child while playing football so I was blocking it from my sight.

But when I went to take off the stickers …. I saw it.


Sitting right there on top of his helmet.  Right there for everyone to see.  I had accidentally made my son the “Minnie Pearl” of football.  

Jacob may need to unpack that one in counseling some day.  Poor kid.

Graciously a dad with three sons (and an assistant coach on our team) who lives on our street offered to do a “once over” of Jacob Saturday morning.  Bright and early we were down in their driveway and he pulled and tightened and hooked and did all the other things you need to do to football gear.  We got there looking like this:
And ended up looking like this:

I thought it looked like we were preparing him for a lunar launch however a neighbor walked by and said it looked like we were stuffing a scarecrow.  
I liked my analogy better. 

One of the first things the dad said was … “Jacob, you got a new helmet” and because we might as well get it out in the open, I said … “yes, and I took the price tag off this one”.

And he laughed and said that he’d seen Jacob’s stickers.  In fact I’m sure all the boys had probably seen the bright yellow LARGE “IMPORTANT” sticker that was slapped right across the front of the helmet.  Truly it was hard to miss (you know since it was IMPORTANT), unless you were me.  

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times … I’m not a detail person.  

In the end, all the stress was worth it.  As Jacob suited up he said … “this is gonna be FUN”!  He loved hitting the dummy and the fact that someone brought cupcakes to practice was … no pun intended … truly the icing on the cake. 
Afterwards he called Bill and told him all about it.  Thankfully he left out the “Minnie Pearl” part.  He also left out the part about me asking who was playing “catcher”.  I was told that was actually a “receiver”.  
There are some things Bill just doesn’t need to know.

Crazy, but true …

Crazy, but true …

I’m not a do-it-yourself -er.

I’m not married to one either.

It’s great because, for the last several months,  there have been workers around to help me hang mirrors, fix this or that … and t0 loan me tools when I hung the lamp in this room.

Lately I’ve read blog after blog about the wonder of “Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint”.  My sister found a supplier in Houston and so I decided to give it a try.  The “magic” is that you don’t have to prep the furniture.  At all.  No sanding, no nothing.  It’s true, you just start painting.

I sent my sister a text before I started telling her how terrified I was.  She told me to “just do it” and so it began …

I decided to start small with an inexpensive stool I bought at Walmart.  It fits perfectly under our island but wasn’t the right color.

A little chalk paint …
and viola:

Once I had my confidence, I decided to try it out on a little side table that Bill’s aunt had given to him for his first apartment.  This scratched and worn little table has moved with us each and every time.

This time I decided to go for something a little different so I mixed the “old white” with “Duck Egg blue” and got started:

Bill came in after we finished painting and COULD NOT BELIEVE we painted on brand new hardwood floors with just some newspaper down.  I told him it was 157 degrees outside and he reminded me that our laundry room is still concrete.  My bad.  

But the table … well I think it turned out quite nicely.

When you finish the painting you rub the pieces with a clear Annie Sloan wax.  It goes on super easy and takes no time at all.  I am going to go back to the paint store to get the darker colored wax to go over this clear wax to give it the stained look.  

Two thumbs up on the Annie Sloan paint!

***I’ve gotten several questions, so here is an addendum.  The paint came from Wonderfaux Studios in Sugarland.  You can order from them online and they will ship it or the shop is just off 59.  

Maybe tomorrow …

Maybe tomorrow …

I still haven’t taken a back to school picture of Caroline.

Tomorrow is Day #4 of the new school year.

Mom of the year,  I know.

I did snap a pic of these two on my phone:
Caroline left at 7:10 (thrilled that her new ride to school wanted to stop at Starbucks on the way) … and raced out of the door without a picture.  Bill took the other three in the traditional “front door” shot but the pictures are on the camera that is upstairs.  I can’t go upstairs because they stained the wood on them today and we aren’t really supposed to be walking on them at all – which is tricky because there are four beds up there … this is my life.

Mornings are now complicated by the fact that Brittany is trying out for the middle school volleyball team and has to leave by 6:10 am.  Whenever the alarm clock is set with the number 5 as the first number, I cannot be expected to be on top of my game (and it will be this way until November).  SOOO early.

And speaking of being on top of my game … I meant to write a post about the ending of summer 2011.  I wanted to share how much I loved this summer and the memories we made and the fun things we did and how I felt we truly savored every sweet second of summer.  But instead we went to a movie – which turned out to be a very fitting ending to our summer.  Although I still haven’t developed our pictures of our dolphin swim trust me … it will forever be on the highlight reel of my life.  Forever.

And so when I got an email asking if I, as a Houston blogger, would like to bring my family to a pre screening of “Dolphin Tale” I jumped at the chance!  The funniest thing was that later I learned it was for “Houston home school bloggers” and I’m not sure how they confused me for a home schooler but they let us in anyway.   Enjoyed the movie … especially the ending.
I’m a sucker for dolphins:

So, I’m back to carpooling like a crazy person and filling up virtually all the white space on the calendar.  And I will post some pics.
Maybe tomorrow. 

Speaking of water …

Speaking of water …

You might have heard it’s hot in Texas.

I mean REALLY hot.

Like record breaking,  above 100 for days in a row, hot.

And no rain.

We are on mandatory water rationing now and can only water two times a week … after 8:00 PM and before 10 AM.  I read somewhere that there has been less than an inch of rain since January – or something crazy like that.

So basically it’s really hot and really dry.

And if you are outside for anytime at all you start muttering to yourself … “I think I’m gonna die”.   Yesterday we had a lemonade stand in the neighborhood.  I wondered if the kids would mind if I just sat in my car … with it running – but instead I stood out there and wondered aloud why I had bothered to shower that morning.

Speaking of being REALLY hot …

Last Saturday I took Brittany and Caroline to go run some “before school” errands.  After we had tackled school supply shopping we stopped off at Orange Leaf yogurt.  (Yes … it was just two days after I went with Bill – don’t judge).  🙂

When we got back into the car,. it wouldn’t start.  Completely dead (turns out we needed a new battery).  We called Bill and he didn’t answer so we went back to the yogurt store and bought a water bottle and enjoyed their a/c.  And we called Bill.

All told we called our house and his cell a total of FIFTY FOUR times.

He never answered.

We were across the street from the mall … you know … air conditioning and clothes …. so I thought we’d just go hang out there.  The girls had other plans.  For reasons TOTALLY unexplainable to me they wanted to walk home.  In the heat.  The brutal afternoon heat. 

It was pure craziness.  Brittany was almost giddy … “I’ve never walked home before!!!”.  As we started out it seemed like she almost thought it was the most fun thing she had done this summer.

It was at least a two mile walk … much of which I spent furiously dialing Bill’s cell phone.  I finally decided that he, Savannah and Jacob had surely gone on a bike ride and that he hadn’t taken his phone with him.

When we got to Memorial Drive we got really tired, hot and thirsty.

Brittany was saying things like she was lost in a desert like … “water … water … is that water I see up there?”.  And so when we passed a little neighborhood grocery store we decided enough was enough and went inside to cool off.

We stuck our heads in the ice machine.  We opened the freezer doors and welcomed the fresh air and I honestly felt like I should apologize when the girls began eating all the fruit samples in the produce section.

In the freezer section Caroline wrote “HELP” on the frosty glass and I was pretty sure someone was going to think I had abducted them.  Except that we all seemed to be having a good time. 

We finally found an area of the store that sold individual cold water bottles and as we were grabbing one I heard someone say … “what kind of adventure are y’all on?”.

As I turned I saw that, sweet mercy, my friend Missy Coward from our Sunday School class was standing there.  Her car had a working battery and a/c and she gave us a ride home.

We fully intended on telling Bill we walked the entire way …  leaving out the part about getting a ride for the last mile.  But that is when we thought he hadn’t been home. 

When we walked in the door … there he, Savannah and Jacob sat …. at the kitchen table …. playing the game of “Life”. 

YES!!!!!! …. while our car was broken down they were driving little plastic cars around a game board.

They assured us the phone hadn’t rung and said …. “try it … you’ll see”.

So, for the 55th (and final) time, I dialed our house.

And lo and behold, it rang.

Bill over and over said … “I never heard it.”  (hearing aid perhaps?!).

Savannah said … “oh, I heard it, I think”.

And with that Bill put up the little plastic car he was driving and took us out to dinner.

21 years later …

21 years later …

Last Thursday Bill and I celebrated 21 years of marriage.

When my parents called to wish us”Happy Anniversary”,  I was cleaning toilets.  For better or for worse.  🙂

The funny thing is, I clearly remember people telling me when I got married … “oh, you will love him so much more twenty years from now”.  Or they said … “I love my husband so much more now than I did when we got married”.  And I felt sorry for them.  I really did.  I thought … “that is sad that when they got married they didn’t love their spouse as much as I love Bill”.

But 21 years later, I get what they meant.

And they were right.

Bill planned dinner at a really nice restaurant but when it was time to go we both were in the mood for Mexican food and a movie …. I told him I was a cheap date.  We saw “The Help” which I really, really loved.  Afterwards we tried a new yogurt place in town. 

The funny thing is on Saturday I was back with the girls at this same yogurt spot and there was an elderly couple sitting at this same table – perched right in the window enjoying their yogurt.  I almost asked them if I could take their picture because it was such a “before” and “after” but then I thought it might freak them out.  🙂
Anyway … I love being married to Bill Baerg.  I’ve loved 21 years of falling in love with him more and more.  As Robert Browning said … “Come grow old with me …. the best is yet to be”.

Savannah’s Bedroom – pretty and pink

Savannah’s Bedroom – pretty and pink

The past week they have been laying the wood floors in our house.  I love how the floors look!  We are getting oh so close to being finished!

While the kids were gone last week I put a few finishing touches on Savannah’s room and decided it was time to do another “before and after”.  If you missed the hall bath transformation, it is here.

Next up … Savannah’s room.  I really love how it turned out!  I just think it fits her personality perfectly.  

If you remember, this is what it looked like when we first saw it – gold carpet, beige walls … :

First up …. take out the gold carpet.  We had to add new sheet rock because we re-did pipes and electrical. 

Somebody had big plans for her room …

In the meantime, Grammy and Grandy brought the bed I had when I was a girl from Little Rock.  My mom had an “inspiration page” from a magazine and we followed their lead and painted the bed green.  I use the term “we” very loosely.  My dad did it.  🙂

We found the perfect bedding (TJ Maxx/Marshalls) to match the pink of her room with the green of the bed … and we LOVE bubble/dot fabric.

Next up was the pink paint.  Took us awhile to settle on just the right one …

We added new windows … Savannah thought it was AWESOME to hang out …

Got a little crazy …

Supervising the installation …

And see this lamp …. I hung it myself.  First ever solo home improvement project.  I’m kind of proud of it.  🙂

And now … the big finish …
TA DA ….
Tales from the camp trunk …

Tales from the camp trunk …

I told Bill on Friday night that I had envisioned my reunion with Jacob when we picked him up from camp.

My “vision” was that the music to “Reunited” would be playing in the background as we ran towards each other and embraced.

In reality, we saw Jacob and his cabin walking to the closing ceremony.  Bill and I called his name …. he turned around …. gave a little half wave and then kept on going.

WHAT?!?!  The mother who gave him life?  A little half wave?!

It’s cool … he hugged me later.  Told me he missed me and thought about me.  Then all was right with the world again.

He also told me some other stuff that I’ll tell you in a minute.

Found the girls too and everyone said good bye to their counselors:

And their friends:

Everyone had a blast.  They looked taller, tanner, their hair was blonder … and their faith was stronger.  We had some great conversations on the way home about what they had learned and it just confirmed in our hearts how much we love how Pine Cove does camp and the things they teach and how they inspire.  It’s awesome.
What was not so awesome were the camp trunks.  Actually just one trunk.
I have heard stories of moms opening their trunks and realizing their son only wore one pair of shorts all week or how much it stunk, etc.
And for some reason I thought it might be different for my boy.
But alas, it was not.
Jacob told me as we were leaving that he ran out of clothes.  I thought that was strange because they tell you to send nine outfits although they are only there six days.  
Then he told me that he “got a little confused and accidentally wore the theme night outfits (which were in labeled Ziploc baggies) during the day so he didn’t have some of the things to wear to the theme nights.  When we got home he showed me the bag that “confused” him.  It said “black shorts”…. which I wrote on there so he’d wear black shorts with that particular shirt.  He thought it said “buck snort” which was the name of the first theme night (Buck Snort County Fair).  That is where it all went wrong.
He also said he didn’t write any letters because he “looked and looked but never saw his (self addressed and stamped) envelopes and paper.
When we got home I found:
4 weekday outfits still in their ziploc baggies
2 theme night outfits in bags (unworn)
2 (out of the 3 he took) bathing suits (unworn) – said he never saw the other two
Blue jeans (unworn) for riding horses – said he wore shorts because he didn’t know he had pants
And … last but not least … the ziploc baggie holding all his letter supplies.

Oh, and it stunk.  Might have been the wet socks he put in ziploc baggies that had clean clothes in them.  Why ask why?

Truly none of this seemed to bother him … which is good.  His sisters are SO meticulous about what they pack and wear.  Savannah told me she did ask Jacob every day if he was having fun and he always said “yes” so clearly it wasn’t an issue.

Unlike the year I got a letter from Brittany that was only one sentence:
“Dear mom … you forgot to pack my belt”.
Or the next year when she wrote another one sentence letter:
“Dear mom … you forgot to pack my hair brush”.
Now that I think about it … perhaps it’s a good thing Jacob couldn’t find his stationary.  
No letters telling me what he thought I forgot! 

The trunks are now back in the attic until next year.

Maybe next year I’ll get a letter.


Camper Call

Camper Call

Last Sunday we dropped off Jacob, Brittany and Savannah in Tyler at Pine Cove camp.  Jacob and Savannah are at Towers:
and Brittany is at Ranch:
It was Jacob’s first year at camp and his buddy Josh went too.  They opted for side by side top bunks.

Big boys off for their swim test:

Savannah had two friends from school who she was sharing a cabin with:

I got a letter from Savannah that said … “My new friends are SOOO nice.  They are like sisters”.  That just screams Savannah.  Brittany sent a letter said how nice the girls in her cabin were too.  Jacob … well, I haven’t heard a word from that boy.  🙂

Caroline has been here all week with high school “two a days” for volleyball.  All the driving has only made me more excited for her 16th birthday to approach.  It’s been a lot of back and forth.  But we’ve enjoyed some great “only kid” time too.  She told me she had put the others “out of her mind” this week.  🙂  Last night I seriously thought it was too hot to eat dinner.  Why not just call it a day?  But Bill mentioned “Cheesecake Factory” and Caroline and I were ON BOARD.  Big time.  It’s been fun to visit with just her at some restaurants this week. (Just FYI … they laid the wood floors in the downstairs this week so we “had” to eat out).

But tomorrow … sweet tomorrow …. we go pick up these sweet faces (SO glad the camp posts pictures for me to copy!):
And if this is any indication …. it looks like they’ve had a good time:

I can’t wait to put that craziness in our car!  


Bill told me that growing up one of his uncles would go on vacations and when they returned they would have everyone over for a slide show and snacks.  Good times.  

We decided to make our own “slide show” of pictures from our trip to Hawaii.   You are invited to watch.  You’ll have to provide your own snacks.  🙂

Here is the link to Hawaii … Baerg style:


My Lords and My Ladies

My Lords and My Ladies

As I mentioned, there was more partying to do before Jacob and I rounded out Birthday Bash 2011. 

I mean … I hadn’t seen my parents yet!

So, Saturday morning (with camp trunks packed in the Suburban), we headed north to Dallas and met up with my mom and dad.  I have wanted to go to the Medievel Times for years and years.  Even when we lived there I wanted to go but am glad I waited until we had kids to take with us (and my mom and dad). 

Our hotel was literally right next door so we walked over and they dressed us up like this:

It made me laugh.  Bill was a joker, my dad looked like the pope and Jacob … well, he was so cute!

This picture is too light but I still like it.

We wore our crowns for dinner:

We all enjoyed it:

And after a swim in the hotel pool and a McDonalds sundae, we called it a wrap.  

Until next year!