Saturday, May 30, 2009


The kids and arrived home this evening from our week long visit with Pete in Missouri. As we pulled into the driveway, windows rolled down, we were greeted by several neighbors who yelled out greetings and asked about our travels. I opened the doors to the car, to let the kids out and across the yard they ran, straight over to where our neighbors and their children stood playing. The neighbors and I stood and chatted for a bit while the kids played and stretched their legs after a long day full of car and airplane rides.

Later, I sorted through the mail and found a fun red envelope addressed to me. What? They usually don't allow fun stuff in our mailbox...okay, just kidding...but it was such a great surprise to find it. My friend, Gwen, who lives just a small 25 minutes away in Columbia, had sent me a great little welcome home note.

I also have tomorrow to look forward to, having my mother spend the whole day with us. She arrived to Fort Jackson this week from NC, where she'll be working as a social worker for the next 7 weeks. It will be great to have her a lot closer than usual!

It was wonderful to be back to our home, to come back to family, and neighbors and friends who are starting to become really good friends, but at the same time, it was also difficult to leave Pete (who'll be in Missouri for another week) behind.

Yet, despite Pete's constant travels, I am trying to focus on the positive. I'm feeling lucky to have a growing list of so many wonderful people around me. And tonight, as I sit and unwind from a long day of traveling, I can't help but keep that at the top of my thoughts.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We're having a great time in Columbia Missouri, staying just as busy as we do at home, but for some reason, it is so much more fun and relaxing!

Oh, right, I am not having to cook or clean (for the most part)...what a difference those things make!

As soon as the kids wake up, the first thing they want to do is go swimming in the hotel's pool. To say that they love going to the pool, would simply be an understatement. So, as you can imagine, we have been spending a lot of time there. It's been nice to go right after breakfast, as we are usually the only ones there. It's been a bit semi-sweet for me though. I've been feeling a bit down about not getting to exercise much lately and it's been especially tough being in the pool and still not getting to swim much (having to stay within two feet of two toddlers). Even worse, a large window with a full view of the exercise room is visible from most angles of the pool room.
How cruel.

So, yesterday, I had an idea. While in the pool, Juliana still next to me, I started doing stretches on the stairs. Then, I started to run. Yup, running in place. I am sure I looked a bit silly, but I didn't care, with the exception of the kids, no one else was in there. I ran for 20 minutes and then cashed in some memories of water aerobics from college (yes, I did weird things like that). and did a few other exercises, all while standing two feet away from my kids- in the pool. It was great. And today, I actually feel a bit sore. I can't wait to get back in the pool today and get a good workout.

I think I am finally becoming successful with this multi-tasking thing.

What types of multi-tasking do you finally have down?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On The Road Again...

I'm sorry about the five day absence here! We are actually in Columbia Missouri visiting with Pete while he is here (perpetually it seems) for business. After dropping off the dogs at the kennel, and surviving two flights with the kids, Nate, Jules and I arrived in Saint Louis on Saturday afternoon, where we met up with Pete (who's been here for a while already). We had the amazing opportunity to stay at one of the city's most beautiful hotels!

This was the room where we stayed....

Not a bad view, right?

But we only stayed in this room for about an hour though! With all of Pete's travels, he has earned special status at this chain of hotels! So, one little phone call later and we were upgraded to this...

20th Floor Suites! A little better view, don't you think?

Our room was one of the middle ones on the balcony level. It was Oh. So. Nice!

Despite Pete's frequent and lengthy travels, we are doing our best to recognize and be thankful for some of the great perks along the way.

We walked the streets of Saint Louis, exploring all of the sites and spending much needed time as a family all weekend. We visited the Arch, walked through many parks, commented on the architecture of many of the city's buildings, ate at wonderful restaurants, sipped on great drinks and swam in the hotel pool until we were exhausted. Pete and I also celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. It was an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Hankering For Lemonade

With warm weather around us, two energetic kids who are always wanting something cold to drink, and a short list of activities for the day, I decided to try something a little different: making our own naturally sweetened lemonade!
Here's what you'll need:

*3 cups of cold water
*1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
*3-4 ounces of Agave nectar

Mix all of the above together with some ice and enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Toady's Memories

Today's Memories:

Going to Nate's end of the year program at school- they sang 10 songs! He sang all the songs wonderfully and had so much fun with his classmates. I can't believe the school year is almost year he goes four days a week...he's growing up too fast!

And of course...Cold Stone Ice Cream afterward...

Me: What kind of ice cream would you like Nate?
Nate: Um, strawberry with sprinkles and gummy bears and jelly beans!

Where was Cold Stone Creamery when I was a kid?!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning Reflection

Oh, where does the time go? The past few days were a special treat for us as we had the chance to spend 3 whole days with travelling Pete, A.K.A. husband and Daddy. He left again this morning though, and headed to Missouri for three long consecutive weeks away from home. The silver lining for us though will be the kids and I getting to fly out and visit with him for a whole week while he is out there.

The weekend consisted of:

-Lots of yummy foods (shrimp & grits, BBQ, Japanese-although, not all together, I promise!)

-Dinner out with friends

-cleaning out the garage

-lots & lots of races down the driveway between Nate on his bike, (A.K.A. motorcycle) & mommy and daddy on roller blades

-Planting the fig tree

-lots and lots of rain, (good for the garden rain!)

-Editing family pictures and ordering prints to frame


Not too bad...

And here we are again at Monday morning....
Time to clean the kitchen, mop the floor, make the beds, and get back to reality...

What was your weekend like?

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Be Bopping

Today's Memories:

This morning we were in the car, driving Nate to preschool. I have the music playing, as I usually do, (in hopes that it will help pump life into my still sleepy existence) when I look in the rear view mirror to see Juliana singing and rocking her head back and forth. This isn't that unusual for her- she has some pretty good moves for a two year old white girl!

But as I watched and listened to her, I suddenly became a bit shocked...

Juliana knows all the words to Lady GaGa's "Poker Face!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Budding Photographers

We have just discovered that the kids love to take pictures! Here are a few of their recent still life masterpieces (named by them).

"Mr. Lion reading the news"

"Summer, color, growing"

"Puddles are fun!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Life All Around Us

Last week we discovered this momma bird and her babies living in the tree outside of our kitchen window...

I love finding such amazing signs of life all around us.

It's been fun for the kids to listen to the babies and to have the chance to explain to them that the little birds are calling out to their momma to bring them some food!

I've been trying to get some shots of the babies, but no luck yet. It's been so great to have a camera that can zoom like this though!

Happy Spring everyone...

Today's Memories:
Juliana: "Momma, I'm not a baby anymore.
Me: "I know sweetie..."
Juliana:"You know I'm a big girl now! I can do anything!"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Me? Mother of the Year? Really?!

Okay, if you have a MINUTE to spare, please check this out...I have been announced as Mother of the Year!

It's really quite exciting, and I am very

humbled by the nomination and acceptance! Thank you to all of you who support me in my endeavors as a mother! Okay, it's really pretty funny, so go check it out!

P.S. thanks are the best- you made my day!

Weekend Expectations

I can feel it already...excitement for all the possibility this weekend, yet also a sense of expectations not being met because I often over plan and think everyone else should be able to read my mind and know what will make me happy...How naive of me!

With Mother's Day just two days away as well as getting the (lately very rare) chance to spend two whole solid days with my husband, I am feeling the need to squeeze in as much as possible this weekend.
Trying to accomplish all of the wonderful things I want to do and see this weekend along with trying to do all of the house and yard work that Pete and I have talked about= meltdown on my end.
I know, I know, you're asking, really, who could have a meltdown with these two cuties around?

So instead of having a meltdown from not getting getting everything accomplished or not getting to do everything I wanted, I have decided to take cue from my friend Gwen over at More Lima Beans and make a REALISTIC list of expectations.

1. Work on the yard a bit here and there
2. Drive into town to look at patio furniture/possibly purchase some
3. take some family video (it's been a while)
4. Play soccer with Nate
5. Get some fencing for my vegetable garden
6. Go over major spending/housing budget with Pete
7. Ask Pete to fix wooden shelf

8. For Mother's Day I am hoping for:

a. A simple breakfast with lots of fruit-maybe crepes!
b. To go to church with my whole family
c. To go downtown to the gourmet shop or for a walk with the kids
d. To have Pete cook dinner-maybe some seafood?
e. to have the kids help set the table
f. fresh flowers
g. to go for a run by myself in the neighborhood
h. to try and take some family photos
i. a nap!

It's going to be a wonderful weekend with my family...I hope you all enjoy your weekend as well!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today's Memories

Today's Memories:

All was going well today until about 4pm when Juliana had still refused to nap and was getting more cranky by the minute, the air conditioning stopped working, (it's 82 degrees in the house now) I had to clean dog poop (a lot) off of Nate's sneakers, Juliana peed on the family room carpet after jumping out of the tub and running off on her own, and of course, Pete is gone again all week, and I am in desperate need of a break...

Silver lining though? Of course. My sweet Nate looks at me tonight and says, "Mama, you look like you need a hug." And then he tells me," Mama, I love you so much..."

Need I say more?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fresh Spring Looks

Oh where does the time go?!

This week has been busy and productive and still full of fun activities. I'm finally starting to really get this whole balance thing! Have To's & Want To's make the day a nice even trade off of getting the necessary things done, while still leaving a little bit of time for one or two fun things. I can't believe how fast the days are going by lately though...

On Tuesday, I was escorted by Prince Nate to a special Mother's Day luncheon at his school. It was so much fun and I loved getting to share some much needed one on one with my favorite little guy.

This is the card I received. And this is Nate's beautiful drawing of me. I'm purple.

And inside the card is where I discovered my true age...just 3 & 1/2- who knew!

I also learned that I give great hugs...I'm never going to let him forget that, even in front of all of his friends at his 18th birthday party...

So, I am feeling good, refreshed from the weekend (on my own) and ready to start new projects and tasks! Yesterday I bought a great selection of plants and flowers for my new bumble bee garden out front.

I am really excited about it for two reasons:
1. As many of you know, bumble bees are disappearing in mass quantities around the world and a solid answer as to why has yet to be discovered. Bumble bees pollinate 80% of the world's vegetable and fruit crops, which translates to: our food. By planting this garden, I am hoping to attract more bumble bees, thus making them happier and hopefully, more productive, if you know what I mean...

2. Finally some much needed color in our front yard! I love our yard, but come on, you can only have sooo much green!

So, now that I am feeling sooo motivated, I am going to attempt to begin making this skirt for Jules. This creative and fun blog, The Polka Dot Chair has a great tutorial for making it, so, hopefully it will go smooth! I have been trying to decide on a new sewing project, but have either been too tired or too unmotivated...I'll let you know how it goes!
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pure Indulgence

This past weekend I had the wonderful, and I might I add extremely rare opportunity to head off on MY OWN for Three. Whole. Days.

I went to NC to take part in MOMart, an amazing annual art show comprised of mother artists and others who donate 25% of their sales to a local charitable organization. This year, the recipient was the Genesis House, a non profit group who helps the homeless get back on their feet and at risk youths from becoming homeless. It was an awesome weekend all around, but in addition to the show, I also spent time visiting with my younger sister, Kara, my mother, and my longtime friend, Robin.

The show kicked off on Friday night with a full blown reception, at which point I realized how amazing it was to be back amongst adult-only conversation, an opportunity to dress up, listen to LIVE music, sip fine wine, and INDULGE in some of the most tantalizing food I've experienced in quite a while.

In fact, had it not been for the art show, I would almost have to say that the majority of the weekend comprised mostly of my indulging in good food. In fact, too much indulgence, on too much good food. was worth it. All of it.

I even got to go and shop at Trader Joe's, one of my all time favorite grocery stores, and boy, did I indulge there too!

What an awesome weekend....