Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for...

We have not had rain for is so dry that the trees are going into shock and dropping their leaves. Our grass is non-existent to the point that it's sort of embarrassing. I am thankful that we've had rain for the past 2 days. It's been the best rain- the soaking kind that ensures that everything gets a nice long drink. Today everything was a little bit more green and a lot more alive.

In our old house, we entered and exited through a french door in the family room. Then we walked across a patio (that I loved) and to the driveway where the cars waited in the rain, snow, sun or pitch dark. I am thankful that our house now has a garage- and that we can walk down the staircase and into a climate controlled vehicle. It is such a luxury!

I am thankful that the first week of school has gone so smoothly. The difference between this year and last year is huge. Lots of contributing factors, but whatever the reason- it's an answer to many prayers. Having a happy, well-adjusted child is a gift.

I decided to really try to be much more in control this school year. No more running out the door and playing beat the clock- I'm waking up without pushing snooze (a big deal) and am working on getting into a manageable routine. 4 days- things are going well. I am thankful for some increased will power that seems to have taken over me.

When we were on vacation, Jon visited the local ABC store to buy some "adult beverages". While he was there, he entered a contest to win Jimmy Buffett tickets. HE WON!!! We will be attending the Labor Day Weekend Show. If you're a'll get this- if not, it's the 1st line of his song, Come Monday.

Song lyrics | Come Monday lyrics

We have seats in the orchestra- 12 rows away from Jimmy! I am so looking forward to spending this time with Jon (um, and Jimmy). We had so much fun when we went to see the show for my birthday and I never dreamed that we'd get to go again- let alone being to sit in these AMAZING seats!! Jon was beside himself when he got the call- and really thought that it was a joke at first. We held our breath until the tickets came- but they are here and they are real. I am thankful for this little pick me up as the summer comes to a close.

My new job is challenging. I've been feeling sort of overwhelmed- like there is so much to get done and not enough time to do it, or worse, that I'm not able to do it. I had a meeting with my new boss and she was so great. She let me know that she thought I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing in this stage of the game. I am thankful for those words, and for her support.

A while ago, I said that I was thankful for a friend who was pregnant with twins. I went to visit her over the weekend, and saw her 4D pictures of her babies, currently being referred to as A & B. They are doing great at 12 weeks and her doctor is pleased with her progress. Hooray! I am thankful for her continued healthy pregnancy.

Hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day Weekend- be safe & have fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

100 Things About Me

Lots of bloggers do this and I challenged myself and this friend to come up with the same. It's harder than it seems, but at the same time, fun!

  1. I am approaching 40 (and it freaks me out a bit)
  2. I regularly religiously have my hair highlighted
  3. My parents have been great role models for me and I owe them more than could ever be repaid
  4. I am addicted to Diet Coke
  5. I got married when I was 30. My mother later told me that if I hadn't been engaged at the time, she and my dad would have had an enormous surprise birthday for me (umm- consolation prize?)
  6. I chose to attend college in the south because I wanted a southern accent
  7. I am a Kappa Delta (from Alpha chapter)
  8. I have a weird thing about nicknames for certain people
  9. I started calling my mom Babs when I was in jr. high. My extended family thought that it was disrespectful. My mother adored it and that's what I call her to this day (I alternate with Ma, Mom & Grandma)
  10. I call my brother Henry although his name is Eric. My dad doesn't approve. Not sure about my mom.
  11. If I could live on just one food for the rest of my life, it would be pizza.
  12. Homegrown tomatoes are a close 2nd
  13. I fell in love with Jon before I had spoken to him even once (we worked in the same department).
  14. My friends & co-workers thought I was nuts.
  15. My friend Laura sobbed through our whole wedding because it was a dream come true and she was there from the start.
  16. I am terrible at managing my money- TERRIBLE
  17. If I could have plastic surgery, it would be a toss up between having a nose job or my knees altered
  18. I am opposed to Botox (for myself, but accept that it may work for others!)
  19. I adore my son and am probably definitely a bit over the top at times when it comes to his well being and every whim
  20. I haven't always felt that way and struggled with postpartum symptoms after he was born
  21. I have met only one person who had these feelings too (and was willing to share). She made me realize that I wasn't alone and inspired me to keep going. I don't even know whether she knows how big an impact she had on my life, and on Cooper's
  22. My favorite color is blue (no specific shade)
  23. I love to sing, and until I used a karaoke machine, thought I had a pretty good voice.
  24. I think that Kraft Mac & Cheese (original blue box) is delicious!
  25. If I could choose my profession again, I'd be an architect and specialize refurbishing old homes so that they kept their character
  26. I am against new construction as a rule and would never live in a brand new house or organized neighborhood
  27. I have a huge issue with front doors that do not match the integrity of the rest of the house. A repeat offender is the one with the oval patterned glass. It must be the cheapest door available at Lowe's-
  28. I love Junior Mints
  29. I love the color combo of red, white and blue. It's crisp, clean and inspires me.
  30. My family went to church/Sunday School faithfully when I was growing up. I liked my church family and have fond memories of the time we spent together and of church in general. I wish I had this now.
  31. I think my mom has a direct line to God and she constantly says "little prayers" for everyone. I love this about her!
  32. I prefer a traditional church with hymns and organ music.
  33. My favorite flower is a zinnia. I also love violets (the wild kind that are really weeds)
  34. I think Curious George is a great example of positive programming for children.
  35. I despise Y-7 shows that model crude behavior and make it ok to tease or put down others (ie- SpongeBob etc,).
  36. I am against violent shows for children and forbid them to be seen in our house.
  37. We have a single television in our home (and just recently upgraded to high def).
  38. None of us will ever have a TV in our bedroom
  39. I think that I am probably ADD (Jon agrees!)
  40. I have a ton of rules that other people probably view as strange, prudish and not necessary
  41. Rules give me the structure I crave
  42. We purchased a 2nd home at the river when Cooper was 15 months old
  43. It's the best thing we've ever done and is the glue that keeps us all together and sane
  44. Our neighbors at the river adopted us and we are considered extended family. We adore them.
  45. It's very difficult to maintain 2 homes. We manage because the benefit far outweighs the stress.
  46. I have a fear of exercise, especially exercise in front of others
  47. I get the best feeling- that I can't describe- each time I spot a rainbow.
  48. DVR has changed my life
  49. I love accents, especially, British, NY, deep South & Canadian
  50. It bothers me when people say pacifically instead of specifically
  51. I took sewing lessons when I was little
  52. I wish I retained some of the knowledge. I can thread a machine and sew straight lines
  53. It drives me nuts that Jon leaves his clothes in piles on the floors.
  54. My piles don't seem to bother me as much
  55. I love music from the 80's
  56. George Thorogood went to my high school
  57. My dad is a retired teacher- Joe Biden used to come to his class to talk to his classes. He's searching for a picture....I'll post if it exists!
  58. As I've gotten older, I've developed a fear of the ocean.
  59. I used to love it- and have great memories of floating for hours on rafts and riding the waves!
  60. I used to make "dribble sand castles"
  61. 9 years ago, I passed my skill to an adorable 4 year old. His mom recently told me that they still make them after all these years because of me.
  62. I had a cousin who was an Ice Cream Man when I was little. He worked for King Midas. All of my friends liked the Jack and Jill Man better. It was sad.
  63. Today, the Ice Cream Man seems a little odd downright creepy.
  64. I adore flip flops in the summer
  65. I cannot live without Danskos in the winter
  66. My friend Angela was obsessed with them for years before I ever took the plunge- I owe her so much!
  67. My husband has the best sense of humor- I wouldn't have married him without it.
  68. My younger brother lives in California and his life couldn't be more different than mine.
  69. He's one of the happiest people I know.
  70. His lifestyle throws me into cardiac arrest but I love him dearly
  71. It's difficult to put this list together.
  72. I'm ok with using generic brands- except for q-tips, toilet paper & cheese
  73. I wish I wasn't so fashion challenged. I know what is good on others, but can't get it just right for myself!
  74. I'm a Miracle Whip girl
  75. Jon absolutely must have Real Mayo
  76. Cooper won't eat either
  77. I've just realized that all of these things aren't really about me.....huh- oh well, too late now!
  78. I am left handed, as is Cooper
  79. I really need to lose 15 lbs. 25 wouldn't hurt me
  80. Sustained motivation is a struggle for me
  81. The mud slinging of politics drives me crazy
  82. I love antiques. Simple pieces made of dark wood and incredible craftsmanship
  83. I collect blue transferware and white ironstone pitchers
  84. I always thought having a Christmas village was a bit over the top- until Cooper became obsessed with them. We now have one and yes, it's sort of over the top (see #19)
  85. I worry constantly and have been working on leaving behind things that are out of my control.
  86. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get used to the new light bulbs. I try to reduce my carbon footprint in other ways.
  87. I love a bargain- Jon says that since he's known me, I've never bought anything that wasn't "on sale". (that's not quite true....)
  88. I took a quiz last week to identify countries of the world and failed miserably. I don't think that I'm smarter than a 5th grader
  89. Blogging has been so good for me!
  90. I am incredibly opinionated, which sometimes gets me into trouble.
  91. My first job was at a drug store called Happy Harry's. I had the BEST time!
  92. Music impacts my mood and can pick me up instantly. P!NK's Get This Party Started never fails!
  93. Family traditions are incredibly important to me- mine from when I was growing up, and those that we create for Cooper
  94. A friend of my moms once told me that parenting only 1 child isn't really parenting. That bothered me then, and still does. I work hard to be a good mom and I think that I succeed. I'm realistic- which is something that escapes some people.
  95. I would love to improve my photography skills.
  96. I pick mercilessly at my cuticles and eyelashes. It's problematic.
  97. People always ask- "where were you when....." In my lifetime so far, there are 5 events that I can answer that question without even thinking 1) Space Shuttle Challenger disaster 2) 9/11 3) the wedding of Princess Diana and 4) the day she died
  98. I loved everything about my wedding day, except my makeup.
  99. The first thing I notice about people are their fingers.
  100. I'm quirky for sure, and I do have a mean streak....but really, when it comes down to it, I'm a kind and loving person with a few more insecurities than normal, a great sense of humor, the ability to tell a fantastic story, and lots of hopes and dreams.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1st Day of School

Hooray! Today was Cooper's 1st day of 1st grade....and he did great. There were no tears once we left home (a few on Sunday night and a few early this morning). We are so proud of him.

I am so thankful for our brave little guy, and for the sense of community at his school. All of the moms from his kindergarten class were pulling for him and his "old" friends were excited to see him. There are a few new faces which gives a possibility for additional friendships too. His new teacher, Mrs. B is calm and positive- everything is good!

*thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Cooper woke up at the crack of dawn, and I was completely comatose. Jon was a trooper and went downstairs to make him some breakfast and get him settled into some cartoons so that we could enjoy a bit more slumber (does that make us terrible parents?).

When Jon came back he said to me, "there was a little issue with the bread (ie- mold) and so I had to disguise 2 hamburger buns as toast". I chuckled and wondered how that would go over with a finicky child who's not easily tricked.

Fast forward an hour when Cooper came upstairs and crawled into bed with me (Jon was up and getting dressed). He said. "Momma, I'm so hungry". I said, "Really, didn't you eat some toast that Daddy made?" He told me that he had fed it to Savannah!

Me: "Buddy, why in the world did you give your toast to her?"
Cooper: "Well Momma, something was wrong with that toast Daddy made, it had 300 pounds of crust on it!"

Jon ran into the closet to laugh hysterically and I tried my best- sometimes, it's just not possible.
He's funny!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Catching Up

Busy, busy week! A friend at work once told me that saying that you are busy gives the impression that you are not organized, and so instead you should say that your days are "full". I'm the first to admit- I lack organization (but crave it desperately). We were BUSY!

Wednesday night was our 9th Anniversary. 9 whole years- hard to imagine, but certainly a great feeling. We celebrated with dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House and had a delicious meal. I was thrilled to see that my current favorite wine (Alamos-Argentinean Malbec) was on the wine list. I was not as excited to pay 4X the retail price, but it's our anniversary so who's really counting dollars? Our evening was wonderful with tears shed by both of us as we replayed our history- both good and not so good.

Thursday was Cooper's 1st grade orientation- and my hope was that he'd be tear free. Not so. He lost it when they announced that the parents needed to leave the children. Thankfully, the Admissions Director (I could not love this woman any more- she's amazing) came right over and peeled him from me and somehow got him consoled and calmed down. When the kids came into the classroom to join the adults, he was the same smiling child that had walked in the front door when we arrived. Whew- crisis averted.

Prior to orientation, Cooper had decided that he didn't want to go to 1st grade- and because he had only mouthed the songs at kindergarten graduation that he really wasn't worthy. After stifling laughter, I let him know that indeed he is going to 1st grade and that not singing isn't reason to be held back. He passed with flying colors and his new teacher could hardly wait to meet him. He wasn't convinced.

What did convince him was the fact that his teacher is a Skittles lover. At the end of each day, if the class follows the rules, they receive a Skittle. What she could not have possibly known is that Cooper will do just about anything for a Skittle. Seems like the year could have potential!

Please say a little prayer that his first day goes smoothly, and that he is brave and filled with confidence that he needs to get him through without any tears.

After we finished at school, we hit 95 N to visit my parents. After a trip that took 3 hours longer than it should have, we arrived safely. Our visit was perfect- full of love and laughter and TLC for both of us. My mom is doing so much better and was able to go back to school shopping on Friday! (Thanks Mom for the Lands End treats)

My dad has an amazing crop of heirloom tomatoes and I could not get enough! Mr. Stripey, Mortgage Breakers and something else that I cannot remember all tasted like the nectar of the gods. I LOVE a homegrown tomato.

My dad and Cooper really had a ball together. He taught Cooper to play badminton and they had a blast!

They also played in the rocks in the back yard, picked veggies, and played cars. It was really special to see them deepen their bond and on the ride home Cooper said, "I had so much fun playing with Pappy". My mom and I had so much fun watching them together.

Our trip was really quick- but long enough to spend some quality time and make sure that my mom is doing well. Mission accomplished.

We were off today to a birthday party that Cooper was hesitant about, but in true Cooper form had a great time once he got there. We ended the evening with a family bike ride at the James River- Jon gave me a bike as a surprise and I'm super excited about it. We had a great time! Thankfully it seems that what they say is true- it's like riding a bike, you don't forget how to do it.

Gearing up for the start of the school year will take up most of tomorrow. It's always exciting to have a fresh start and I'm determined to spend less time being busy, and more time with full days! We'll see how far I get......

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crush On You!

Last night we went to see The Boss- yes, that's right- Bruce Springsteen. I am still recovering from the experience- it was FANTASTIC!!

I bought tickets for us, and added 2 for Wade so that he could celebrate his birthday at the show. The seats turned out to be behind the stage (mental note- do not assume you will be in front of the stage when the computer says "best available"). Well, one thing lead to another and we ended up getting 2 more seats that were lots better from a friend of mine- which was great. Our final Bruce group was me, Jon, Wade, my sorority sister Jackie (a HUGE Bruce fan), our niece Niki and a friend of Wade's. We had a complete blast!

So many highlights of the show- but the one that sticks out is that Bruce took requests. You could bring a sign with the name of the song that you wanted to hear and he "might" play it. Needless to say that there were many, many signs. One in particular made Bruce stop and have a conversation with the woman holding a sign that had an Orange Crush logo on it. He asked her whether she wanted to hear Crush On You and then told her that this was officially the worst song that they had ever recorded. And he went on and on about how bad it was- and she was insistent that she wanted to hear it. So- he played it! I haven't thought about that song in years- but I think it's a happy little diddy and was thrilled to hear it along with Bruce's true feelings about the song. At the end he said- that wasn't that bad, was it? Nope- it sure wasn't!

Thanks Bruce for an amazing concert- a night that I won't forget for a long time or maybe ever!
And yes- I've got a (teeny little) crush on you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am blogging on the road- doesn't that sound so technical? I'm actually in New York for business and cannot wait to go home!

Things that I am thankful for, in random order:

-I am thankful for the opportunity to travel with my company. It gives me the chance to enjoy some time by myself (in a hotel with room service!). It also allows me to build new relationships with people that I don't often get to see face to face.

-I am thankful that I work in an office that is business casual. The New York office is business professional, and that means wearing heels. I really think that wearing heels for more than 3 hours should be considered illegal. My feet are killing me.

-I am thankful for some wonderful friends (you know who you are!). I needed fashion advice prior to my trip and so brought 1/2 of my closet for a fashion show. It was a desperate attempt to look professional- and thanks to them, I think I succeeded. Truth be told, I simply couldn't wear the orang-y shirt even though you guys all loved it. I promise to take the white one back- honest.

-I am thankful that I have a husband who willingly accepts that I need to travel at times. It's not always convenient, but it pays the bills. I love that I don't worry for a minute about Cooper while I'm away.

-I am thankful for a new baby, born on 8.8.08 to my dear friend Heather, and her husband Ben. I wish that we lived closer to each other- I miss her terribly! Mom and baby are healthy and happy (so are dad and big brother).

-I am thankful that my mom read my blog (for the first time), and had such inspirational thoughts to pass to me. Thanks Mom!

-I am thankful that I have a support system. People who probably don't realize how much they mean to me or how important their friendships are. It makes a huge difference in my life.

-I am thankful for the funny things that my child says and does. He went roller skating today for the 2nd time. Last time, you may recall, he had a bit of an ordeal in the bathroom. He wasn't quite coordinated enough and fell down in the stall. I asked him whether he had trouble this time and he said, "no momma- i just held it even though i had to go really, really bad." Sweet little kid!

-I am thankful for the voices (the tiny one, and the big one too) on the other end of the phone when I call to say good night to my boys. I love to imagine Cooper's face as he's talking to me- he warms my heart and makes me smile.

-I am thankful for a good nights rest, sleep always brings a new outlook for which I am glad!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I LOVE the Olympics!

Is there anything more awesome than the Olympics? Since Friday night, I have been immersed and I can't get enough.

The opening ceremonies were fantastic- Cooper and I watched (he fell asleep before the parade of athletes but he gave it his best shot). I was crying before they even played the Olympic theme song. Cooper looked at me and sort of rolled his eyes. "You're crying because you're happy, aren't you?" "How come you always do that, Momma?"

How come you ask? Because I am quite possibly the most emotional & sentimental person alive when it comes to patriotism and realizing dreams. And in case you don't know me that well, I also cry at Hallmark, Kodak, McDonald's and all of the inspirational Olympic commercials and whenever I'm scared or overcome with pride. I wore a paper cupcake flag pinned to my shirt every day for a more than a month after 9/11- until it literally disintegrated. I'm THAT person.

And so tonight, with the help of my trusty DVR, I watched the men's 400 freestyle relay team win the gold from an over-confident French team again, and again and again. And I cried.

I love the Olympics!

PS- can you imagine how proud Cullen Jones' mom is after tonight? First the commercial, and then, Olympic GOLD! I bet you anything- she's crying!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am recovering from a crazed evening that started with an easy pick up from camp and quickly deteriorated from there into quite possibly the biggest melt down Cooper has ever had. EVER! He wanted to ride his bike in the cul-de-sac and I said sure.....somehow that turned into Jon telling him that they could go to the river for a quick bike ride and swim. What? No, that doesn't really work with my Thursday night plans of having a quiet dinner at home and being a family. If I had known that Cooper was manipulating Jon into a river visit, I could have gone to an Open House at Sallie's and enjoyed some adult conversation and a glass of wine. Jon was actually thrilled not to have to make the trip- he was exhausted. Cooper was devastated and cried, screamed and sobbed for a good 20 minutes. I've never seen anything like it- at least at our house. (insert a chuckle here because it's actually true but after I re-read it, it sure does sound like a crock!). Anyhoo- he got himself under control and our evening continued with a lovely session of bike riding in the cul-de-dac. It was delightful.

I am thankful that despite a tantrum, we were able to enjoy some special time as a family and celebrate that Cooper is riding with no training wheels. He is absolutely thrilled to be able to ride by himself.

I got a call tonight from Cooper's 1st grade teacher. She sounds really excited to begin the year and said that she was looking forward to having Cooper in her class (I'm sure she says that to all the kids, but it sure does make me happy!). I am going to be his room mother (which is why I know who is teacher is and nobody else does) and I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend some special time with my son, and his classmates. I always envied Mom's who were room mothers before I had Cooper, and now- I am one! I can't wait-

I started my new role on Monday and have been immersed in my new team and learning processes and such. I'm really excited about it, but at the same time super nervous as well. I want so badly to do a good job- and it seems right now that there is SO much to learn. Will I ever feel like I did in my old job? I hope so. I am thankful for this new role, for the leadership team that I am now a part of and for the folks on my team who have welcomed me with open arms. I think I'm going to like it there!

I am thankful for some wonderful news from a dear friend. She is expecting twins!! Normally, I'd have to fake the excitement- twins scare me to death. For her- I am genuinely over the moon. She and her husband have wanted children forever. They have waited so patiently and have been through unbelievable hardship and sadness to arrive here. This news is a blessing beyond words. I pray for all of them each night. I want so much for them to know the joy of having children and hope that God will continue his blessings with 2 healthy babies. If you are reading this, and could add them to your prayers as well, I would be so grateful.

I have been a bit cranky this week (for many reasons- none really good)....and am thankful that my husband knows me well enough to roll with things and will meet me on the other side of this mood with a hug and a kiss. I am so grateful for his love.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So much fun!!

This weekend was SO MUCH FUN!

Jon has a yearly "guys weekend" with his 4 best friends from childhood although this year only 3 could make it. They spend the time at the river- fishing, catching up and laughing about old times and making new memories to be talked about for years to come. He looks forward to it for months, and secretly (or not so much) I do too! It's a time for Cooper and I to spend doing whatever together and a time for Jon to relax and relish some guy time.

The highlight of our whatever time this weekend was a party to welcome the most adorable little girl to her forever family. My sorority sister Denise and her husband welcomed Maggie to their family in April. Maggie is an angel- she's happy, funny and so adorable!

The get-together was at Alison & Sean's home (they are the perfect hosts!) and it was fantastic to see everyone. The food was delicious and company priceless. I felt like I had been transported back to college- we laughed and told stories, tried to remember names and faces and got all sorts of details mixed up. It was simply a perfect afternoon!

I am so blessed to be included in this wonderful circle of friends!

Here are all of the kids- how great is this??

They played all afternoon and into the evening- the culminating activity was roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. Cooper and Nate were huge fans of the dessert- but not so much on me trying to capture the moment.

I'm sad that Jon wasn't able to be a part of the celebration, but happy that we were each spending time with such special friends!

Thanks to my wonderful KD sisters for such a great day!

We had to travel a bit for the party and so didn't get home until late. There was a message waiting on our answering machine from my friend Sallie, inviting us for a swim in the morning. Well, sure- we'll be there! The weather was amazing, and so after sleeping in (a guilty pleasure) we drove to Sallie's.

Cooper and Sarah Clay are funny together- they've existed since Cooper was born as these sort of parallel friends....they alternate between being obsessed with each other to practically ignoring each other. It depends on the day and the subject matter and they're always in perfect sync as to what the plan will be. Today was swimming and Pokemon and so things went well.

Jon and Savannah got back from the river....and we ended the weekend with a walk/bike ride (Cooper's 1st without training wheels!). Ahhh....the milestones continue!

Family, friends and creating happy memories- it doesn't get any better!!