Category Archives: family

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.

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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.

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

OMG Becky got the privilege of helping her eat lunch.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

 

My Cake is on Fire

Remember how I told you yesterday that fall foliage is lacking in color here? Take a look…

trail in woods

Yep, that’s as colorful as it gets at the moment.

But don’t think that stopped us from hitting the trails again on Sunday. It did not. Sassy and I were only minutes into our run when she suddenly stopped and turned around to tell me she had just jumped over a snake that she thought was a stick.

snake on trail

A snake! Yuck. I think she startled it as much as it startled her because it was frozen. It’s head was on the left side of the picture. That meant Stella and I had to take it off trail to go around its tail to get past it. Please hold still snake. Please hold still.

I probably don’t have to tell you Sassy was a bit spooked after that. Maybe two minutes later a squirreled jumped off the side of the trail and made her screech. Ha! I couldn’t help but laugh. Bad mom.

I wish I could tell you that was the last only snake we saw on the trial. Nope. Maybe 10 minutes Sassy almost stepped on another one.

snake

Luckily, that one was a bit smaller than the first snake.

baby snake

Such a cute little baby! Not that I tried to cuddle it or anything. Or even try to touch it. That thing could be venomous for all I knew!

After our run, we had to get cleaned up quickly. My parents took us out to dinner for my birthday a day early. We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant. And it was just awesome! Chips, salsa, spinach cheese dip, spinach enchiladas, rice, and beans. All my favorites! Only thing better would have been a margarita, but those make me want to sleep all day. Monday mornings don’t allow that.

Then it was back to my parents’ house for birthday cake and gifts. These two headed for the leftover frosting as soon as we walked in the door! Ridiculous.

Also ridiculous was the amount of smoke these candles put off. I am not kidding when I say I was worried about the smoke alarming being set off.

homemade cookie cake

That homemade cookie cake put me over the edge. So very full. I’m glad my birthday only comes once a year.

Pick your birthday meal! What kind of cake do you want? What restaurant would you eat at?

Like Looking in the Mirror

This weekend has been spent getting a few areas of our house more organized. Today OMG Becky and I tackled the closet in our foyer. It had become a landing zone for all things gift wrapping. We are talking boxes, bows, ribbons, paper, bags, and more. It looked like the end result of a four-year old’s birthday extravaganza!

We had music on as per usual. We can’t do anything in this house without music! Things were going swimmingly. We had most of the items out of the closet and then something happened.

And by something, I mean Taylor Swift. The end result was something I can’t really explain. It needs to be seen with your own eyes. But please, watch with caution.

You have been warned.

And to think, I spent good money on years of dance lessons for her. It’s amazing what money can’t can buy!

All kidding aside, OMG Becky is fine with me posting this video. She knows how much I adore her dancing skills. She obviously got them from me!

Taylor’s new song featured in this video… yay or nay? At first I was not a fan, but it’s definitely grown on me. And her video cracks me up!

Fourth Fun

Hey all! How was your Fourth of July? Mine was pretty low-key, but good. Just the way I like it!

I started the day by sleeping in. What?! Who am I? Truth be told, I’ve had a lot of trouble falling asleep lately, then missing morning workouts to catch up on sleep before dragging myself out of bed to get to work on time. Feeling exhausted all day, but still not being about to fall asleep at night. It has not been fun. So catching up on that sleep felt pretty awesome yesterday!

Then I wanted to be outside! It was a cooler morning that wouldn’t last long and I wanted to enjoy it. OMG Becky and I knew it would be a great day to spend some time at our local dog park.

It was a busy place! I think everyone had the same idea. OMG Becky was immediately greeted by a large, muddy pup jumping on her. What a welcome!

dog park pond

Stella enjoyed her usual romp through the pond. She loves to run through it and all around the trail surrounding it. Too bad she couldn’t convince any of the other dogs to chase her! That’s her favorite game.

After the pond, we hosed Stella off and went to the main park area to hike awhile to dry her off. The trail was packed, too. So many people out enjoying the mild weather. It was nice to see everyone enjoying the holiday!

Then OMG Becky had to go to work. Whomp, whomp. She picked up an extra shift so a co-worker could spend the holiday with her young child. Ahh!

I headed out to the country to a friends’ party. They just moved into their new, custom-built house. It’s beautiful!

This blurry, finger-imposed picture is the only outside pic I managed to take of it. I was too busy with other stuff. Like eating way too much! Goodness, so much food, so many hours to enjoy it. No need to see pictures of all that, but I will show you my favorite dish offered.

These festive, individual cheesecakes were phenomenal! They had an Oreo crust, cheesecake, some sort of frosting and then strawberry on top. Soooo good!

(That was my bottle of Skinnygirl Mojito. I LOVE mojitos! Like my favorite drink ever. This pre-mixed version was not very good. Darn! I won’t buy it again.)

Other snapshots. Cooler corner!

Cutest 4-month old Yorkie ever!

The later it got, the louder the music got and the dancing began!

One of the guests was a DJ who brought his equipment. Fun! Oh wait, but I don’t dance. Oh well, it was fun watching the others.

Once it was dark enough, the fireworks began. The neighbors really put on a great show!

I loved watching the little boys run around throwing Bang Snaps on the ground near people’s feet. They had a blast making people jump! Ha! But it made me miss my girls. Holidays just aren’t the same without them! (Sassy is at their dad’s. She comes back tomorrow! It’s been two weeks and I am ready for her to be home!)

Sorry, I didn’t get any great photos of the fireworks, but you should ask my mom to see her awesome, accidental selfie she took while trying to take an overhead fireworks photo.  ;-)

How was your Fourth of July?

Have you tried any of the Skinnygirl cocktails? Reviews?

Where My Ballers At?

Once upon a time, both of my girls played softball. Both started with T-ball. How cute was Sassy’s team?!
girls softball team
This was her 2007 team. She played on the same team as two of her cousins for the first few years. So fun! And them again a few years later at an end of the season party.

For eleven years, we were a softball family. Spring ball, summer league, fall ball, winter conditioning. Non-stop. Yes, it was a lot, but I loved it!

This is the first time neither of my girls are playing ball. It’s feels so weird! Luckily, we have lots of opportunities to watch the baseball games of my nephews and OMG Becky’s boyfriend.

baseball

Last weekend was awesome with two of the boys playing in the same tournament. Both made it to the championship game in their bracket, but sadly, ended up with second place finishes. So close!

baseball team

The big boys are fun to watch, but my five-year old nephew’s team might just be my favorite. It’s mass chaos in a good way!

t-ball

You would think blankets wouldn’t be necessary here in June. You would be wrong. We have had some chilly nights lately.

How is you week going? I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already and the Fourth of July is only a week away!