Monday, August 30, 2010

A Weekend Wedding Sneak Peek


rat wedding girls

These girls are why I’m feeling a bit groggy and tired on this rainy Monday.
From the left…my sister Adie, Karrie, me, Julie and Tahira.
All my former SIU Softball teammates and friends for life.


Steve and I hopped in the car and drove to Illinois on Saturday morning.


Julie and Adie. The two pregnant girls in our group.
Love. This. Picture.


We danced a lot……


and took a lot of pictures.

Bust most importantly, we celebrated our good friend “Rat” (I just can’t force myself to call her Amanda) on her wedding day.

Congratulations to the cutest couple, who deserve nothing but love and happiness.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Big C

A few weeks ago I saw the trailer for a brand new series that would be airing soon on Showtime.
I thought to myself, that looks like something right up my alley.
However, we don’t have Showtime.
Never have.

Then, out of the blue, we received a coupon in the mail from DIRECTV for three free months of Showtime.
Perfect timing! 
Two nights ago, I finally found time to watch the Pilot episode.
It was so fantastic.
And, as I suspected, I bawled. Like a crazy person.
Steve told me to get some tissue. 
He loved it too.

Immediately after I watched the Pilot, I had to
watch the second episode.
Thank goodness for TiVo, and coffee the next morning, as it was 12:30 am when I started it.

The second episode was even better.
And, by the end, I was bawling my eyes out.

I knew I would be touched by this kind of a series from the moment I watched the trailer. I have always, since I can remember, been a very sentimental and emotional person.
AKA-  sappy baby.

I can remember growing up and always making it a point to hold on to certain memories and special times that I knew I would want to cherish forever.
I remember telling myself, during especially fun times or a special moment with my mom, dad or sisters,  when I was little, “I must never forget this. Remember it forever.”

And that is just what I did.
I stored the memory away and I can tell you each and every one of those special moments from growing up. 
Some were simple conversations.
Some were big celebrations.
Who does this at age 5, 7 or 10?
Crazy me.

And now, any issues that deal with someone flashing back and revisiting precious memories that they have experienced, has always touched me. 
For example, the movies Ghost, Sweet November, The Notebook, and don’t even get me started on Field of Dreams.

I can’t tell you how many times, in my life, that I have imagined myself as an 88 year old woman looking back on my youth and raising my babies…knowing it will, one day, be over.
I realize I am truly blessed to be LIVING.
My life.
My dream.
Right now.

Here is the Big C Trailer:
(Make sure to pause the music on your left!)

After watching this show, I am even more aware of how precious time and life are and how it sometimes takes rough times to remind us of this.
I feel so blessed and happy that I get to spend each precious day with my girls. 
Every minute of every second of every day with them.
Just being.

Happily experiencing our lives together.  
Making messes, eating popsicles in bed, having dance parties, catching frogs, drawing with sidewalk chalk and hiding from the tickle monster.
These are the memories I am creating for them.
But words cannot express my gratitude to my girls for the priceless joyful memories that they giving to ME.

Memories that will shape my life. 
A life that I will look back on when I’m 88 and smile.
Maybe a teary smile, as I know I will wish and pray to go back and live it again, although in my heart, I will realize it can’t happen. 

When I do look back, I will know that family is all that mattered. My biggest blessing.
My relationships will be what mattered most.
Not my stained couch.
Not my new jewelry.
Not my fancy shoes. 
Only my memories.

I want to live each day reminding myself of this.
Because watching the Big C, I was reminded, that your time on Earth is not guaranteed.
None of us know how long we have.
So live life to the fullest and never take any moment for granted.

Now, who’s coming over for a couch-burning-bonfire tonight?


*Here is the full first episode (edited) if you have time to watch it all :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lions, Tigers and Bears

Oh My!

We had a fun trip to the Zoo a few weeks ago when my sister Haley
was in town.
I went husbandless, as Steve had to work, and besides 
the occasional “stop what you’re doing and sprint to the bathroom
because you’re potty training” episodes, the day went rather smoothly.

It was hot out. Muggy hot. 
But we still had a blast.
We picnicked and walked around with all the kids for hours.
A perfect Sunday afternoon.


The girls were so excited to see their cousin Ella, Haley’s little girl.
*Please note the hand holding situation. LOVE.

And Sophie made sure she wore her special shirt so she could get a
picture in front of the Zebras.
So. Cute.


Gracie in her giraffe dress watching Momma Giraffe walk by.


I love this picture of Sophie, Ella and Mia watching the giraffes.


My dad holding my sister Adie’s little boy, Meade.

He may or may not have been “neighing” like a horse at every animal throughout the day.
Look at Adie laughing! So cute.


Grandpa and Gracie girl.
Total buddies.


Orangutan time!


This guy was so much fun!
He kept covering up with this blanket and then peeking out at us.


Gracie was a big fan.


Mia posed by the “smelly penguins.”

Last week I made salmon for dinner and Sophie said, “Wow. This dinner
sure does smell like penguins!”


And, like always, the girls wanted to pose in front of the animal
statues that are along the path that we take to our usual parking spot.

I love this one.
Gracie’s smile. So typical.


Turtle time.
I love these blondies.


And as we headed to our car, I got one last shot of Mia and the huge rhino.
She loved this guy.

Hope you all have a Zoo-Tastic Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Call the Cops


Because there is about to be the biggest baddest bash over here at
the Haus of Girls.
This bash will be crazy loud and out of control.
There will be balloons flying, music blaring and cheering galore.
What are we celebrating, you ask?
The fact that we will never, after 6 straight years, have to buy a diaper again.


Because this little cutie,  26 month old Gracie Marie, is officially potty trained!
Call. The. Cops!!!


She is the youngest of all my girls to be wearing undies full time.
(Mia was around 27 months & Sophie was around 28 months)
This is major.
She’s practically a baby genius. 


Or I am just a very experienced Mom that has already done it twice…..
and have been known to use these on occasion……


Either way you look at it, there’s about to be a party in these parts.
Loud music and booty shakin’ like Gracie does so well.

Dearest Gracie girl,
Thank you for always being such a fun-loving good girl for Mommy and Daddy.
Everywhere we go, we get compliments on how good our girls are, especially you.
You just turned two (an age that usually accompanies very crazy behavior!)
yet you are so well-behaved and listen just as well as your big sisters.
You are our big girl now.
Our big potty trained girl!
We are so proud of you Gracie.
Let the diaperless fun begin……

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of First Grade



Mia’s first day of school was last week.
She was so excited and all ready to go in her new sparkly sneakers.


She was extra happy that Daddy didn’t have to go in early and could pose
for a few pictures……..


and, more importantly, walk her down to the bus stop on her first day.

Bye Bye Kindergartner.
Hello big First Grader.
We love you so much Mimi.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Must. Paint. Bedroom. I Need Your Help!

Since moving into our new home almost four years ago, we have managed
to paint every room in our entire house.
Except one.
The master bedroom.

I have been waiting to find the right color.
Cheery, yet not too bright.
Calming, yet not too sleepy.
Happy, yet not too childish.
See my dilemma?

Thanks to one of my faves, Julie, I heard about “Surfer” by Behr.
Ever since she told me about it I have been trying to confirm that it’s the route
I want to go in our bedroom
It’s a pretty big room and I do not want to have to repaint it twelve times if
you know what I mean.
And by paint, I mean watching my husband paint because he does not allow
me to do it. I just assist.
He feels he has better painting skills.
And guess what, I act really annoyed about this situation, but the fact
is I am so happy!!! I hate to paint. Hatey hate hate it.
I would rather clean out the kitty litter box twenty times before painting a huge room.
Can you say boring?
Kitty litter boxes are way more exciting.

So if you wouldn’t mind, check out the fun blues below.
I would love to get other’s opinions, given it’s such a major and serious topic. (Ha!)

bedroom paint

And just to get a feel, my bedroom furniture is vintage and painted
black and we have a black wrought iron bed and nightstands from Pier One.
Basic and nothing special.
Exactly why I feel the walls need to have a fabulous color!

So, what do you all think?
Should it be the original fave, Surfer?
Or do you think another color is a better choice?

Thank you in advance for your decorating help.
You better believe I need all I can get.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guess Who’s Pregnant?!

Not me silly. I am retired.
But my sister Adie is!

adie's baby announcement

Here is the cute announcement she sent out a few weeks ago.
We are all so excited!

Baby Smith is due March 2, 2011.
And the “
Guess the Sex party” will take place in October.
Will it be another boy?
Or will Meade have a little sister?

The suspense is killing me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

let ‘em suck

I read an interesting article in one of my children’s magazines
about pacifiers.
I am a big fan, as all three of my girls sucked away for almost
twelve months and then at night for another twelve months.

They never cried.

They were never crabby.
Always content.
And slept like champions.
Literally, all three of them would have won a sleep competition.
If there were such a thing.
And I like to think that a lot of this was because of the
soothing effects that the pacifiers had on them.

I am not quite sure why some moms wish for their child 
to not use a pacifier.
Every mom should do what works for them.
But I know, for me, that a crabby fussy baby makes me cringe.
So luckily, the pacifiers helped sooth them into happy bliss.
And I truly feel that the happier and more content your baby
is, the happier your experience as a mom and your life
in general is.

Sucking is an natural instinct for babies.
Just as it’s a natural instinct for me to want to scratch
an itch.
Can you imagine not being able to scratch your itch?

This article had some very interesting statistics.
Staggering statistics, actually.
I would have never known them, so I wanted to share
the information with you!

It states that there are few medical developments that are
as clear-cut as the recent findings on pacifiers, which show
that these time-tested baby soothers
cut the risk of sudden
infant death syndrome, or SIDS, by 90 percent
90 percent!

Experts speculate that sucking makes babies more alert,
a state that seems to reduce SIDS risk.
Another possibility is that the pacifier acts as a barrier
between the baby’s mouth and anything that could
block his airways, like blankets or sheets.


Whatever the reason behind the pacifier’s anti-SIDS effect,
don’t feel guilty about introducing one; you’re protecting
your baby from one of the leading causes of infant death.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Black Eyes After the Black Eyed Peas Concert


I rarely wear makeup these days.
When you are home all day caring for seven children, the last thing you feel
like doing is painting your face with some MAC.
No thanks.
Au Natural is fine by me.
And, luckily, the kids don’t seem to mind.

Every once in a blue moon, however, the occasional outing will entice me to
paint some on.
I mean, I better try to look somewhat like a normal human being when
faced with the possibility of interacting with actual adults.
And what better than the Black Eyed Peas concert to give me the energy boost
I needed to, not only blow dry my hair, but straighten it with my stellar new flat iron,
AND then put on actual makeup.
The kind real people wear everyday.

black eyed peas magge and I

My sister Maggie and I.
Ready to dance fist pump all night long.

black eyed peas maggie and I

I love stealing my sister Haley’s not looking shots.


My sister Adie surprised her husband Meade with the concert tickets for his
He may or may not be in love with Fergie. Just sayin’.


Steve and I excited for a night out without kids!

black eyed peas haley and maggie

Maggie and Haley were each other’s date for the evening, since they were sans 
significant others.
I love this picture of them, which is another one that I swiped from Haley.


A sister shot before the action.


Here they are!
They came up from underground.

black eyed peas fergie close

So close to us!

black eyed peas steve and I

Having a blast.
And don’t worry, the flat ironed hair went up as I started to sweat like a sloth
from my sweet dance skills.
AKA: a head-banging and fist pumping extravaganza.


Maggie and Ads fist pumping.


I Gotta Feeling.


Finale of confetti.

Until I woke up the next morning with some Black Eyed Pea Black Eyes (BEPBE)!
Wowsers. Steve thought he woke up next to a raccoon.

Note to my non-wearing makeup self:
Really make sure to scrub off the thick black eye liner a little better
before hitting the sack.

The. End.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bye Bye Beach Babe Hair


This summer I called Mia my Beach Babe.
Her hair reminded me of an adorable blondie you might see
see running around on the beach.
I wish. She wishes.
But we decided (because it’s kind of like my hair too)
to get a back to school haircut.
Her second haircut in her entire six years.


So beachy.


And crazy long.


And after a random Great Clips walk-in…..


and 5 minutes of cutting……


you get one cute girl!
Six inches lighter.

1st grade here she comes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gloomy to Glorious


What started off as a gloomy rainy Tuesday evening, was magically transformed
into something beautiful and unique.


Such is life, as so often I have found that gloomy and tough times lead you
to something that you could have never imagined.
Something happy and full of hope.


When Mia and I walked out our front door, we saw the biggest rainbow since
moving into our new home almost four years ago.
It was so gigantic that I couldn’t fit the entire thing in one shot!




The girls were so amazed by it and Mia appropriately broke out into her
finest rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.
She was
Dorothy for Halloween last year and will forever hold a special
place in her heart for all things rainbow.

Have a colorful Thursday!


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