Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
  • A great antique find for my kitchen.  It may not be worth much (I have no idea and I don't care), but it is the perfect cookie jar for my kitchen.  I'm sure the cookies taste better out of this adorable and sunny container.  Guess I gotta make some soon.  For now, I put some oatmeal creme pies in there.  Thank you, Little Debbie.
  • Watching Jillian swing.  She is fearless and such a good pumper.  It is probably silly how excited I get to see her flying higher and higher on her own!
  • These shoes.  I don't like my love list to be filled with "things," but seriously!  How could these not make the list?!?  My mom took a chance and got me shoes for my birthday.  Good decision.
  • Succulents.  They are gorgeous and take so little care.  A tiny bit of water once in a while when you think of problem.
  • Myles was singing a jingle today at dinner under his breath, "Nationwide is not on your side...AAA is."  Where does he come up with this stuff?
  • A relaxing birthday laying on the beach, watching Myles and Jillian having so much fun with some little friends they made in the water.  Perfection.
  • Myles' commentary about the Olympics.  Every event is something he is "going to do when he is 25!"  I'm glad he's got that American spirit.
  • Eating dinner at a little restaurant in South Haven, Michigan with live music and huge smiling faces from all four of us.  Every time the guy played a Grateful Dead song, Ben sent Myles up to put a dollar in the tip jar.
  • Myles teaching Jillian how to get better on her big girl bike (the pedals are really far for her to reach).  She took his advice and it worked.  She was so proud.  Of course, she was ringing her princess bike bell the whole time.

I'm Better Off Without List...
  • This bug.  Just as a frame of reference...that tread in the dirt is a tire tread.  A car tire tread.  HUGE!  My coworkers had me convinced that he (and all of his friends) was eating my foundation or was planning an attack on my children to send them to the hospital.  Turns out they do attack...cicadas.  Thank goodness for Google images.
  • The steepest hill on my five-mile route.  It is long...and steep...and has a super stinky cow farm at the top of the hill.  What a reward for getting to the top!  Moooooo.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Feeling Crafty...Sangria Bottle Soap Dispenser

So...I'm sitting on my couch watching the Olympics...of course.  Just love it.  Anyway, I was thinking of this old Sangria bottle that I saved a few months ago.  (I saw it under my sink tonight when I was looking for the perfect vase for some gorgeous birthday flowers my parents brought back for me from the Chicago farmer's market.)  ANYWAY, I love the shape of it (and the Sangria that came in it).  Back to the story, I thought of a genius idea for it!  (AND -  it was actually an original thought - instead of a Pinterest copycat like usual - there is something to be said for that people!!!)  And I digress again...

I begged Ben to help me cut off the threads to our kitchen soap dispenser (I am too clumsy to trust myself with a sharp knife and a plastic bottle).  We fit it right into the top of the sangria bottle, filled it with soap, and screwed the top to the old soap dispenser right onto it!  Ten minutes and I have a free soap dispenser that is MUCH cooler than the plastic one that was sitting there before!  The green tint to the glass will look great with the green paint we have picked out for the kitchen.  (Glidden's Softest Juniper after much debate this afternoon.  It has the perfect springy freshness that I wanted.)

I was so excited I just had to share with my friends!

Hope you had an amazing weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tiny Friends.

I love that my kids have friends that they love.  Friends that they ask to see again before we are even out of their driveway.  Friends that can play for hours together, without fighting about sharing, without hurt feelings, and without any drama.  Just good buddies that can race cars together, dress up like princesses, and have a Star Wars light saber lesson.  I love that after a good playing session with friends, the kids are so worn out that they fall asleep on the way home.  They learn together, teach each other, and most of all play like besties should.  It even gives mommas time, catch-up, and talk about those fun buddies playing together in the playroom.  

Tiny tots reading a bedtime story together.

Aren't these three cute?

Meeting new tiny sister friends.

Jillian asked me to take this picture.  Guess she wanted this memory.  She was two at the time. 

Friends experiencing firsts together.  First time at the theatre.

Sometimes I wonder if these little ones will stay friends over the years, through middle school and into adulthood. Will Myles still want to marry Lydia at 24?  Could they live in nearby dorms at MSU and give each other a wave at the bar...old BFFs with lots of memories?  Could Jacksen take Jillian to his senior prom...friends forever?  Or maybe Jacksen and Myles will take over their daddies' insurance office together someday like Jacksen says they will.  All of these little scenarios are a little silly, but as parents, Ben and I talk about and relate back to our childhood friendships.  Some friendships are lifelong and everlasting and some fade over the years.  As we watch our kids grow and relate to other children, I guess it is natural for us to surmise about their relationships.  I'm so glad I can watch things unfold for them.

Time to plan another playdate.  It is good for the kids...and the moms!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...

  • Seeing Myles in a tux.  He looked like he was 12.  He loved the way he looked.  When he tried it on, he wanted to show off his look to the family.  He needed everything perfect - belt, socks, shoes, the whole bit.  Before he left the bedroom to present himself, he took a quick peek in the mirror.  You could see the suave in his face.
  • Cousin pen pals.  Do you remember how awesome it was to get mail when you were five?  I do. Amazing.  We are writing letters tomorrow to send to North Carolina to a special cousin!
  • Tan line interval training.  What the heck is that you say?  It is true motivation to power through an interval training run.  Who wants a sports bra tan line?  Not me!  So...I sprint in the sun and jog in the shade.  Interval motivation!  I'm weird, I know.
  • Cuddling on the couch.  Enough said.
  • This week I don't have any meetings (as of tonight) on my days off!
  • This upcoming weekend we have no plans.  Sometime those turn out to be the very best weekends.
  • Myles and Jillian cradling their heads, laying on their stomachs, watching the first dances at the wedding this weekend.  Myles said at one point, "Mom, Papa is just so handsome, isn't he?"
  • A wonderful surprise mother-daughter dance at the wedding.  What a cool way for the bride to show her mom love.  Why does the mother of the bride traditionally get left out of the dances anyway?  She is pretty darn special you know!
  • A simple email to Leapfrog and they sent us directions on how to fix Myles' toy...and it actually worked!
  • Every single night Jillian asks me if she can come into my room in the morning when she wakes up.  Every time I tell her that I don't work the next morning...she cheers!

I'm Better Off Without List...

  • Steak and Shake at 2am.  You can't properly judge nutritional intake after midnight.  Nothing good happens when you eat a plate full of grease after a night on the town.  Nothing.
  • A Kalamazoo County Animal Control officer stopping by our house to demand we renew our dog, Wilson's, license.  For some reason I thought that when we moved to Richland we were off the hook on that.  Guess not.  His threat to dognap Wilson was...not so awesome.
  • A vacuum that has lost its suck.  It sucks actually...just not on my floors.
  • Discovering a un-flushed toilet hours after the little person donation was made.  If you are a parent, I'm sure you know what I mean.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Wedding in Photos...

A beautiful bride.  A handsome groom.

A teary ceremony.

A rockin' reception.

A perfect wedding to begin a beautiful marriage.

So happy for the special couple.

Love you Brooke and Jarrod.

Here is a glimpse into the perfect day...

Getting ready with all of the girls.  Showing off flower girl purple nails.

Jillian's had her hair done for the first time.  She loved it.  So. Did. I.

Bride and flower girl.

In her dress...reflecting on love before the wedding.

Brooke and Jillian ready to head upstairs to the church!

Let's get this wedding started!

Princess flower girl doing her earn a jelly bean.  Yes, bribery for perfect performance was in full force.  It wasn't my idea....but I was all for it.  It worked.

Adorable ring bearers minus the rings and plus a sign.  They did their job...perfectly.

Awaiting the bride's beautiful arrival.

Special princess shoes.  They are great for twirling, you know.

Library books during the ceremony kept three sets of little lips sealed.

She looks like she is up to no good...  Awaiting the bride and groom's exit from the church.

Myles actually was up to no good.  Proof he is truly his father's son...  All of the groomsmen were storing their wallets, phones and keys in Myles' lunch pail that he received at the rehearsal dinner.  The only Michigan Wolverine in the bridal party informed me the next day that Myles charged him a dollar for his wallet back...because he was a Wolverine.

Loading the bride's train into the car.

View back to family and friends from the car.

Picture time.  Yes, these smiles were in hopes of another jelly bean.  Awesome parenting, I know.

Princess serious.

The wonderful aunt and uncle with their niece and nephews.

Family photos.


Bustling the bride's dress.

AND - then it was time to par-tay! 

Myles and Jillian were geeked.  Dancing, music, twirling...what else could a kid ask for?  They didn't even take time for cake.  My favorite part in watching the kids...  As soon as the dance floor was opened, Myles took Jillian by the hand and led her to the center of the dance floor.  He twirled and dipped his way across the floor.  Until...another little guy of four years old...cut in.  How adorable.

One of Jillian's dance partners.

Nana (Mother of the Bride) and sweaty, dancing Myles.


I repeat.  Sweaty Myles.

Gorgeous Brooke and I.

Ben and I.

Cute cousins.

Yes, something was funny.

Erica and I.  Too bad Ben photo bombed us.

Love you Brooke!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The emails can wait...for the alligators and snakes.

Today I had a lot of work to do.  Teleconferences, organizing, and plain old working...since most of my working hours have been consumed by meetings lately.  With all of this mounding work, frankly, I was feeling overwhelmed.  It looked like it was going to be one of those day where mom guilt takes over as the kids watch a movie during a morning teleconference...

Our library puts on many different programs throughout the entire summer.  We have had so much fun attending different presentations, kids parties in the park, and participating in reading contests and programs, not to mention visiting to pick out new books or movies for movie night. (If you are ever looking for something to do with your children, be sure to check your local library - it practically provides the social calendar in our house!)  Today was the much anticipated, "Alligators, Reptiles, and Snakes, OH MY!" presentation.  I was so stressed with work responsibilities...but this program was a priority.  We made it one the day we saw it on the library calendar and the kids were pumped!  So, it became the biggest priority of the day and we went.  I'm so glad we did.  It was worth it.  Here are a few pictures from the event.  

I love this picture.  Both kids walked into the room when we got there and found their spots.  They didn't stick together.  They both were independent enough not to want to stay by mom...they were off to find the place where they could see the best.  Jillian was small enough to squeak in between two boys.  I'm so glad they are confident enough to do things independently.

Myles in adoration of this special frog from some other country.  Hey - I was taking pictures, I'm not accountable for retaining the information.  I'm sure Myles knows where he is from.

Jillian inched her way over to Myles to sit by him for a while (and tease each other).

My kids better know how much I love them.  That is a snake.  I hate snakes.  Hate them.  I knew they would have one there, based on the title of the event.  I took them anyway.  I'll accept my award later.  The things moms do for their kids...

They loved seeing all of the different animals.  Both kids are fearless and were willing to touch or hold anything they were allowed to.  I believe this was a bearded dragon.

Myles petting a tiny alligator.

Jillian holding a snake.  Sick.  We washed their entire arms after these pictures.

Myles got his own turn as well.  Look how fast that thing is coming toward me!

I'm so glad we went.  The kids were so proud that they touched and saw so many cool animals.  (No, I didn't touch anything if you are wondering.)  They also loved teasing me about the snakes.  

Emails can wait...  

That is what naps are for...Right?  Well, that and blog posts!