Author Archives: Whine Less

About Whine Less

Mom of two girlies. Hiker. Runner. Nature lover. Vegetarian. Coffee fiend. Music junkie. Bad dancer. Love my big family. Blessed.

Largest Shell in the Country

Independence Day snuck up on me this year. I was prepping for a large regional work meeting to happen the Tuesday after the holiday. Before I knew it, it was the Friday/day before the actual holiday and I was nowhere near ready. I ended up working Friday instead of having the day off.

When Saturday the Fourth arrived, I really had no idea what we were going to do to celebrate. OMG Becky ended up deserting Sassy and I to hang out at the lake, boating all day. I left our plans up to Sassy. She made some interesting choices. First up was a trip to Bass Pro Shop. I hadn’t been there in years!

bass pro shops

bass pro shops

I found a SUP board that I really wanted, but Sassy wouldn’t buy it for me. (Have I mentioned how much I want one of these boards?! I do! We live just blocks from two lakes. I want to train Stella the Boxer to ride with me. I think it would be a lot of fun for both of us!)

We hit a few more stores before heading to a festival at another lake in the area. We were hoping to get there in time to see the skydivers. Sassy had been excited when she heard there was skydiving until she realized she would not be the one skydiving. She is such an adrenaline junkie!

skydiverWe got there just in time to see four skydivers jump and parachute down with smoke trails behind them. It was a pretty neat sight!

We then got in the world’s longest line for a funnel cake. I kid you not, we were in line for almost 1.5 hours. This annual festival draws a crowd of 20,000 people, but only offered four food trucks. Four. Ri.dic.u.lous.

Luckily, the live music on the stage was loud so we got to enjoy a bit of entertainment. We also enjoyed watching the boats coming in. The lake gets pretty busy as the boaters all come over to this area to watch the fireworks.

lake festival

After getting our funnel cake, we walked over to the next cove to find a place in the grass to sit and wait for the show in the sky.

funnel cake

It was a sad funnel cake.  Not really worth the wait.  =(

About 20 minutes after we sat down, the fireworks started! It was only about 15 minutes of fun, but the best was saved for last. The reason we came to this particular fireworks show? They were going to shoot off the largest firework shell in the country! The largest. And here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Largest shell in America

Again, Sassy was disappointed. For some reason, she thought the fireworks were going to last over an hour. Not sure where she got that idea! She also thought the large shell would be more grand. I myself thought it was pretty cool!

Sunday we spent the afternoon at my parents’ swimming.

swimming, cousins

Great weekend!

Have you tried SUP boarding yet? Should I get one?

Soaking Summer

We finally enjoyed a rain-free weekend over the holiday. It has rained here every weekend since March.

Every.

Weekend.

Rain.

Ugh.

But let’s back up. In between rain showers, we have been fitting in a bit of fun. The Saturday before last my mom took OMG Becky and two of my nieces for a girls night out including shopping and dinner.

cousins

It’s been way too long since these three hung out! All three girls work two jobs each while attending school full-time. They are busy! So glad they could make this night happen.

Of course, Sassy decided we needed a night out, too. So out we went! My dad wanted in on our adventures. What was so exciting, you wonder?

jason's deli, ice cream cone

Dinner and ice cream! I’m pretty sure Sassy picked Jason’s Deli just for the free ice cream!

We then headed to Trader Joe’s to check out all the goodies. I was too busy browsing to get any pictures there. We bought many of our usual favorites and a few new-to-us treats. Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Batter Cups. Enough said.

After that, these two decided it was too early to go home, so we did a bit of shopping. New sandals for Sassy and a new hat for my dad!

aviator hat

Just kidding. He didn’t buy it, but I’m pretty sure it’s on his wish list.

Next up was ice cream round 2!

froyo with grandpa

Actually it was froyo. I couldn’t believe these two wanted more to eat, but since I had skipped the ice cream earlier (because duh, vanilla. Just no.), I was down for dessert round 2. You know mine included 4-5 flavors of froyo with chocolate candy toppings. Yum!

The next day after a morning rain shower, the skies cleared and we thought a day at the zoo was in order. I think the rain earlier kept most people away. It also seemed to keep a lot of the animals out of sight. Boo. Either way, we still had a lot of fun.

sky ride, chair lift

Notice Sassy’s brand new sandals held tightly on her lap! Smart girl.

How is your weather this summer? Besides the rain, over the last week we have spent 4.5 hours in our basement waiting out tornado sirens on two separate occasions. We had one drop down from the clouds but not touch the ground less than 1.5 miles from here.

Favorite froyo flavor? Cereal Magic. It takes just like the milk left in the bowl after Fruity Pebbles cereal!

Prom, Track, & Needles

Spring, glorious Spring! Oh how I adore you! We are trying to enjoy every bit of it.

Last weekend was Junior Prom for OMG Becky.

prom, junior prom, prom dress

Love this dress! It had a modest slit (just above the knee) and an open back (not low, just open.) Gorgeous!

Sassy had a big weekend, too.

confirmation

After three years of studying every Wednesday night, she was confirmed last Sunday! So proud of her!

We are also enjoying her very busy track season. Track is a new sport to us. Up until this year, I had never even been to a track meet!

track, middle school track, run

Her usual events include hurdles, high jump, 1600 meter run, and 1600 meter relay. I am in awe of her high jump skills! And she is getting so speedy! Her placement ribbons are stacking up. I’m really going to miss these meets when the season ends.

A not so good thing happening around here. I hurt my right ankle. No idea how. It’s been giving me problems the last two weeks. It doesn’t hurt much to walk. And I can run on it. It hurts more in the side to side movements. I’ve been icing and elevating it often. Then swelling started on Thursday. Ugh.

On Friday at work, I had ASTYM performed on it and then kinesio tape applied for support. It felt great the rest of the day. Yesterday was another story. It was the worst it had been and hurt with every motion. I spent most of the day avoiding any movement of it.

Today, I got the privilege of being a “patient” for a residency lab on dry needling. They evaluated me, put me through exercises, stretched me, and then the needling began.

(Cotchett M, Landorf K, Munteanu S, Raspovic A)

They needled my lower back, right glut, right calf, and right ankle. And it wasn’t so bad! Half of the needles I didn’t ever feel. The other half were just a slight prick. Others would get into the muscle belly and start twitching &/or pulsating. It was such a weird sensation! A few would then hurt and cause me to curse a bit. I was there for a good two hours. They told me I would be fatigued for a couple of days. I can deal with that. The best part? My ankle feels so much better right now! I hope it lasts! They think I either have a muscle strain or a stress fracture. I will have a couple more treatments this week, perform daily exercises on my own, and then we’ll see how it is doing. If not better, off to the ortho doc I go. Boo.

I will leave you with this life hack today. I have finally figured out how to properly reheat leftover onion rings so they remain crunchy!

onion rings, reheat onion rings

Reheat in an oven at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. Perfection!

Did you run track in school?

What’s your favorite track event to participate in or watch?

We Are the Champions!

Yesterday was a fun day for us!

It didn’t start off on the best foot. I had to take OMG Becky to work because her car was in the shop very early. (Did I tell you she had bought her first car? She did and she loves it! So proud of her hard work!)  After dropping her off, I had a an hour to stop for coffee before heading to the part of my morning I was actually looking forward to.

massage, massage room, spa

A massage! Oh so heavenly! I have discovered since I was in the wreck a few years ago, a massage every month really keeps my back and neck pain at bay most of the time. And it’s awesome for my legs and hips when I’m really hitting the trails. I don’t look at it as a luxury, though it is fantastic. For me it’s more about preventative maintenance. Now if I could just get my insurance to pay for it!

After that I worked a couple of hours for my parents, then Sassy called and was ready to come home. She had spent the night with family at the lake.

lake house, lake

Such a gorgeous day! Spring is here, I can feel it.

After picking up OMG Becky and taking her to get her car, (No big repair, thankfully, just a vacuum hose that needed to be replaced!) we had a road trip to get on. We were headed to the middle of the state for her high school boys basketball championship game!

university, basketball court

I think most of our city was there! We played a city from the other side of the state, but the game was right in the middle of the two. I kind of felt bad for the other team and the lack of their fan support. Our fans made up 4/5 of the arena crowd. Yes, I counted! More like a visual guesstimation by colors worn and sections filled, but I’m sure my guess is pretty accurate.

fans, basketball arena

And my goodness, our fans were loud! We sat next to the student section. It was across from the parent section. These two sections chanted and cheered back and forth the entire game. So much energy!

students

Sassy and her friend were on the other side of the student section. She had come down with her friend’s family earlier in the day. They got there early enough to have lunch downtown and drive around the university campus awhile.

The game was an exciting one! We put the first points on the board and the other team, try as they might, just couldn’t ever catch us.

state champions, basketball, boys high school

State Champions! It has a nice ring to it!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Birthday Celebrations x 4

Sassy is breaking my heart. My baby. My little girl turned 14 last week. We had to celebrate and celebrate we did. For four days. It was a long weekend!

Thursday (her actual birthday), she got out of school at lunch time to spend the rest of the afternoon with her siblings. Their brother was in town! He’s a Marine stationed in California. He will be deployed for his second overseas mission later this month. This time to Iraq.

siblings, brother, sisters

How cute are they? I’m so glad they got to spend the afternoon together!

That evening I got her all to myself. We went out for froyo.

 froyo

She does it all wrong. She got one flavor of froyo, a bunch of candy, including gummy bears, topped it all with white chocolate sauce, and then stirred it all together. Ick! She obviously doesn’t know that you get a few different flavors. (On this day five for me.)  Top it with a few nuts, shredded coconut, and chocolate candies. Proceed to eat one flavor at a time. Perfection!

Back home, I left her open her a few of her gifts before she went to basketball open gym. Her main gift was a pair of running shoes she wanted.

open birthday present, Nike shoes gift

She was more than a little excited about them!

black nike shoes

I can’t say I blame her! They are pretty and they are my size. Hmmm…  She also wanted and received a pair of black and white running shorts to match. She is so my daughter!

With Friday night came more celebrating. We headed to the mall to meet up with Sassy’s best friend and her friend’s mom. The girls both had plans to get their ears pierced. Second holes for both of them. This was something Sassy had been asking to do for a few years. I had put her off, telling to wait until she was in 8th grade. Back then it seemed pretty far off! Either way, it was here and she still wanted it do, so off we went.

getting ears pierced

Sassy sat stone-faced like this the entire time. No flinching at all! I don’t know how she did it. Her BFF was so nervous! She made Sassy go first, but then she ended up thinking it wasn’t a big deal either. Silly girls.

pierced ears, double pierced

We also did a little shopping for the girls’ confirmation dresses. No pictures of the dresses because they are a secret until next month. I will tell you they are lovely!

The birthday festivities continued to Saturday for Sassy’s party with friends. She invited six of her friends over for pizza and an ice cream buffet. She got some great gifts.

birthday girl, teenager

Do you like her tiara? It was a princess party in honor of the new Cinderella movie. After dinner and gifts, we loaded the girls up and went to see the movie. We all really enjoyed it! Well, except maybe my dad. He was disappointed to find out Bruce Willis was not it in. :-/

Sunday was our final day of celebrating. This time it was a family dinner party also celebrating two other birthdays that week. Each birthday boy/girl got his/her own birthday balloon and birthday hats were required for all. The birthday cake was another story. One cake, three candle blowers. This is their reactions after my mom explained the logistics of which candles they were responsible for blowing out. And also that we had to whisper the singing of Happy Birthday to them because my baby niece had just laid down for a nap.

family birthday party, shared cake

You would think between the three of them, they would have gotten all of the candles blown out on the first try. Nope. Sassy let them down and missed one of hers. And we didn’t succeed whisper singing either. Well most of us did, but then my 5-year-old niece got so excited at the end of the song, she screamed out in glee. Ha!

Have you seen the new Cinderella movie? What did you think?

Do you have pierced ears or other parts? My ears are triple pierced, but I hardly ever wear more than one pair of earrings a time. I also have the cartilage at the top of one ear pierced. I always have a flat-back stud in it.

Basketball & Trippin’

I have no excuse. Nothing to say why I haven’t blogged in weeks. It just hasn’t happened. So we are moving on!

Did you watch the Big Game? I did for the commercials (Ron Swanson for the win!), but didn’t even know what teams would be in it until I asked my coworkers a few days ago. #sosporty.

One sport I have been paying attention to lately is basketball. Sassy has had practice twice a week and games every weekend.

middle school girls basketball

And man, is she growing! She is all arms and legs that she uses to her advantage to cover a lot of space on the court. I think she has gotten the ball at tip off in all but maybe one game this year.

IMG_0296

Her free throws and rebounds have really come along nicely, too. It’s been a great season of watching her improve.

Last weekend was the last of her regular season games. My youngest niece got to join us for the game. I think she liked it!  She also really enjoyed playing with my foam rollers.

IMG_0267

I mean seriously, who doesn’t have fun with foam rollers?  ;-)

OMG Becky got the privilege of helping her eat lunch.

IMG_0307

Immediately after this picture, my niece wiped her mouth on her hand, then wiped her hand on my couch, and then her face on my couch. Ugh! Good thing she’s so cute. OMG Becky thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen. She is easily entertained.

After that stunt, i made them both lay down for a nap.

IMG_0312

Not really. OMG Becky was trying to convince the baby a nap would be a good idea. Baby was not having it. Her mom showed up a short time later so we avoided the nap battle. Whew!

Other things lately…

Sassy went on a roadtrip to St. Louis with her youth group from our church.

stl1Apparently licking the Gateway Arch is a thing now. I’m going to go with no thank you.

I had a little trip myself. I had to go to Atlanta overnight for a work meeting. A coworker recommended we eat at The Marietta Diner.

IMG_0218LOVE the neon! This place has been featured on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

IMG_0220

I had high hopes for this place. I wanted to enjoy it, but I didn’t. The food was just okay and the service started off great, but then our server promptly forgot about us. We had to ask for things multiple times and at one point, he just completely disappeared for a good 10 minutes.

I will say the dessert counter was amazing looking! Cakes, pies and cheesecakes galore! I was too busy drooling over it to take a picture. #bloggerfail. I hadn’t planned on having dessert, but after my less than stellar dinner, I felt I owed it to myself and the diner to give them another shot and order dessert to go. I asked my waiter for a recommendation on a piece of chocolate cake. They had four chocolate cakes to pick from! I went with his recommendation only to have him return to the table to tell me that flavor was sold out. Darn. Okay, I’m flexible, bring me the next best chocolate flavor. It was a huge piece of cake. My eyes were happy! Sadly, the cake was a huge disappointment. It was dry and the frosting tasted like it was store-bought canned. I munched on it throughout that evening, but barely put a dent in it. Oh chocolate, why did you betray me? Sadness all around.

One restaurant on the trip that made me smile was this KFC, which is saying a lot since I don’t eat KFC.

IMG_0227

The sign though! How awesome is that?! The best part? The beak moved! Now I want to know more about it. How old is it? Is it one of a kind? If you live in that area, please fill me in!

That’s it for January friends. Hopefully, February will be much more productive on the blog and the workout front.

Have you done any traveling lately? 

Planning any summer trips? We are thinking a beach vacation is in order this summer!

She’s 17, But I Haven’t Aged a Bit.

How is it that December is almost over? It felt like I blinked on Halloween and now suddenly it’s almost the New Year. Crazy.

December included a birthday celebration for my oldest daughter. OMG Becky turned 17 years old. Ugh. I don’t want her to be so close to being an adult. To me it seems such a short time ago that she was my little girl wearing everything pink and wanting me to do her hair.

birthday girl

On second thought, she’s probably right to not let me do her hair anymore.

I took Christmas Eve off from work to get ready for our Christmas festivities. I started out at 6:30 AM with a quick stop at Starbucks for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Then it was off to store after store… after store. It might not sound like a lot of fun, but I really enjoyed it. There was no traffic, no crowds, no lines. I hit eight stores in two cities and was back home before 11AM. It.was.awesome!

Later was our Christmas Eve traditional candlelight church service with family. Then back to my parents’ house for dinner and gifts.

Eleven of the fifteen grandkids were there. (And a short Christmas tree that is my mom’s absolute favorite ever and she would like to keep up forever. Too bad it’s getting drier and drier by the minute.)

Christmas morning was great! My girls both wanted footie pajamas. Their wish was granted. And they look ridiculous in them, but they love them and that’s all that matters, right.

Sassy loved the sweater I got her with a picture of a boxer on it. Not sure Stella appreciated it.

Sidenote: I discovered the key to keeping Stella out of all the craziness that is Christmas morning package opening… I gave her the first gift of the morning! She got a new squeaky pig and was so excited. She immediately took it to her bed to chew on and had zero interest in what we were doing. Note to self: Make this a tradition!

Today, after all of the busyness that the last week involved, I needed to be outside. OMG Becky and I took Stella to the dog park where we tromped along the muddy trails.

sunset over lake

It was fantastic!

How were your holidays?