Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Heading Out-

One of the best things for me about the few days after Christmas is hunkering down inside the house and doing nothing. I love to sit by the fire, enjoy the tree, watch tv and catch up on down time that's been missing in the busy days leading up to the 25th.

My parents are pretty good at following my lead (or maybe I follow theirs...) and so we lounged and ate and ventured out only for a quick 1/2 price sale (or 2). By Monday, my dad was ready to get out and do something. But what to do...

When pushed, I can come up with a plan like it's my job. So, we took a trip to our local botanical garden! Perfect.

Once there, we were greeting with characters from the Miss Spider books- decked out and ready for Christmas.


Cooper wasn't super into this particular series, but he definitely knew the characters and was interested in how they were made. It was pretty neat.


They had lots of kid stuff...quests for information and special signage throughout. The longer we were there, the more I loved our trip!

There was a train display- different than what I had expected. They created a teeny fairy world....out of natural materials. It was magical.

The details were incredible.

Even more incredible were the orchids.

I wish I could have one of these in my house....I'm good with a plant- but these are beyond my skills. Aren't they just amazing?


My dad and Cooper thought less of them than my mom and me! Nonetheless, they waited patiently while we took it all in.

Once we had our fill, it was outside to the kids garden.


It was freezing, but we had fun exploring the giant treehouse and playing in the houses from around the world.


My favorite part of the day?
The time that my parents got to spend with Cooper....and these pictures.




I adore these....I adore THEM!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas House

Decorating the house for the holidays makes me so happy.

christmas decor

Every morning I flipped the tree lights on....and smiled.
I love a Christmas house!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


Wishing you peace, joy & love today and always!

Merry Christmas, from our home to yours-

Friday, December 18, 2009


I tend to downplay the weather report when it calls for snow. This time they were right!!

And what better to do then send him into the night to make snow angels and play with my camera from the front step.


I love this one- doesn't it seem timeless?

The snow isn't over yet... it won't be long before more snow angels can join this one. Who doesn't love a snow angel.


This time, I'm staying tuned to the weather man!

Have you been....to the Krystal??

We're not fast food junkies....but I think if we lived further south we might be. There is a song that we love that talks about eating at the Krystal- and I've always wondered about it. While we were in Alabama, we saw one and I begged Jon to stop.

There were tons of things on the menu, and so it took us a while. The guy behind the counter looked at us a little bit funny and so I said-

Sorry, it's our 1st time here
and he looked at us, smiled and then yelled into the air-

Hey ya'll, we've got some 1st time Krystal-ers here!!
Only it sounded like this-
1st taam Kreeesteell-ers

And the whole staff peeked through the pass through window and waved to us.
I'm sure after we left they talked about us for hours....

Our 1st time was YUMMY!!

My creation

We stopped again on our way back....love the Krystal!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back from 'Bama

We're back from Alabama and had a super weekend! I could hardly wait to get home because I thought that my pictures were going to be wonderful and they were important because we were celebrating something BIG!

Um, not so much.

I did take some shots that I love.

Like this one at a museum we visited....

Or this one of our sweet kid....

But the memories that I most wanted to capture are quite frankly- a blur!


I am so, so disappointed. But as disappointed as I am about the pictures, I am equally as proud of Jon!! (I'm really, really proud!)

We went to Alabama to celebrate him receiving his Masters of Education in School Counseling.

He's been enrolled in a program at this school....

which is tucked away in the western corner of Alabama. We flew to Birmingham and spent the night, then drove to Livingston for his graduation.

Neither of us knew what to expect....we got to campus and walked across the covered bridge that Jon had read about in the school highlights. We had such fun and shared many chuckles.


On Saturday Cooper and I waited anxiously for him to walk into the gym and I snapped pictures right and left...sure that my trusty zoom lens was going to capture these fabulous shots and I was going to do all sorts of artistic things with them (including sending them to our families).

I couldn't have been more wrong.



This is the single picture from the ceremony that was in focus.

It's right before he gets his diploma. I was kicking myself because I have a picture of him before he got his diploma and right afterwards....but I was too busy tearing up to snap the one where he actually gets his diploma.

He was so excited....both to have this additional degree and probably more so to have Cooper see him get it. And if only I could have captured that look....

That victorious smile and hand pump....

It's there...just fuzzy.

After the pomp and circumstance was over, and we found him in the crowd- I was able to capture the moment properly (ish).


Congratulations honey- even though my pictures aren't....my pride for your accomplishment is crystal clear!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When in Doubt...Swap it Out!!

For the past few months, I've been mildly obsessed with a blogger called "The Nester". That's both her blog name, and how she refers to herself. I read her all the time and think she's got some fabulous decorating ideas, tricks, tips and advice. Most importantly- or maybe- what I like most about her is that she's practical. And comical. She feels like it doesn't have to be perfect or pricey to be beautiful.

That makes a TON of sense to me.

Anywhoo....a while back she hosted a swap party.
And then I thought- hey, I could do that.
And then I wondered....could I really?

So I called my friend Sallie, explained the idea and waited for her reaction.
She loved it! (she's a good friend that one)
And so we planned. We altered Nesters version and had a Christmas swap.

The big day came and Sallie and I were all a flutter.
Jon helped make things festive by hanging garland. He was injured in the process but he pushed through the pain in true hard core party mode. I do adore him!


I haven't had time to make my wreath yet. Not to worry- nobody cared (not even me).

Everyone brought their stuff. We had so much that I had to throw a tablecloth over the dog crate and use it for display! I'm creative like that.

(bad picture, but it proves that improvising does have it's place- it also shows that I need to work on that corner!)

We mingled and tried to figure out the best strategy for the actual swapping.


I gave people time to preview and then we picked numbers and waited while that person picked their item.


Because everyone brought so many fantastic things, we were able to do 2 rounds of swapping and a bonus round if there was anything else that you were dying for.

And in between all of that swapping.....

We ate!


The food was delish...

but the friends were even better!

Thanks to Sallie and the rest of my fab friends. Hope the swaps have found new life in your homes. I am LOVING mine!

Merry, Merry!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An NFL Team Called WHAT???

Let me begin by saying that this isn't a rated G post......brace yourselves. That being said, it is humorous in a way but more so, it's upsetting. I'm changing the spelling of a word to ensure that I don't get searched by freaks via the internet!

On Thursday we were eating at our favorite deli and Cooper says-

"Do you know that NFL team called the pen!s suckers?"

I almost spit out my drink and Jon nearly choked on his sandwich.

"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"The football team, in the NFL, they are called the pen!s suckers"

At this point, Jon looks away and I realize I'm on my own....he's unable to form sentences and as such is completely useless.

So I say-

"Buddy, there isn't a team called that. Why did you think there was?"

And he says with all seriousness and innocence-

"Well we have this game at after care and there is a team called that and they're really good. I was wondering when they would be on TV so we could watch them play."

Ok, so clearly we've got an issue at after care. A gazillion things are running through my mind and I say-

"You know, I think someone made that name up...and actually, we can't ever say those words together because they really aren't nice. Ok?"

And he says-

"Ok, but Momma, they are really good. I wish they were real!!"

Jon now enters the conversation having recovered from his inability to deal and starts talking about actual NFL teams and we continue our dinner without issue.

On Friday, I call my friend Jess at 8:15 to get some support before I call the director at our after care program who happens to be a really cute 27 year old guy who I'm sure is not expecting to discuss this particular subject with me on a Friday morning. My word!

So I call, and explain that I've got a concern that may throw him off a bit but that I really need his help in putting a stop to. And I tell him.......and there is complete silence on the line. COMPLETE. SILENCE.

He recovers (faster than Jon) and says that he's not really sure how that could be since the counselors are in the room when the kids are playing video games. And I say- that's fine- but could you check.....clearly Cooper was totally convinced that they were real, enough so that he wanted to check local scheduling to see when we could tune in. He assures me that they'll figure it out and will rid the center of any such references. He apologizes- profusely- and thanks me for letting him know.

And really- I feel like such a good mom. On the other hand- he's going to after care where he's exposed to stuff like this and if I was at home he wouldn't be. So now I'm wrought with guilt. Where is that bubble that I wish we lived in....that one that protects us from all the terrible in the world??

Yesterday I picked Cooper up and got pulled aside by the director. Seems that he and his assistant went through all of the games and indeed there was a team with that name along with some others that Cooper hadn't mentioned. They've deleted them and will add another monitoring step into their video game rules. If I hadn't called, they would have never found it.

I have rid the world of a teeny bit of filth that my sweet 7 year old should never be exposed to.

Score 1 for Momma!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall Finale

For all intents and purposes, this weekend marks the end of fall....Thanksgiving is over and it's time to focus on all things green and red- not red and orange. So many people have already started to get festive and I love it for them but I like to linger a teeny bit longer in the wonderful memories of Thanksgiving.

The weekend started off slow....with this new addition c/o my back woods loving hubby.


Nothing like a little sharp shooting practice from the back deck!


Thankfully, safety is tops on the list for this family and the only animal harmed was the one that ended up in this pot!


Not before a little boxing and an injection lesson from Uncle Mike.

turkey mosaic

Dinner was fabulous- with all the family favorites making an appearance.


We had such fun.....and in a repeat performance from last year- danced in the kitchen while we were doing the dishes! We sang loudly...and terribly (I speak for myself)...and were laughing so hard that we couldn't get the words out (regardless of whether they were right or not).

dance mosaic

I love this holiday, this time, this adventure, this life!

faces mosaic

And so, I'm happy to say good-bye to fall.....and hello to everything that's right around the corner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a few things that I'm thankful for- after a trip through my flickr account and more than a few smiles....

My boys....taken last year on vacation.

Cooper's love of fishing, passed on from his dad!

The little things in life that produce spontaneous laughter!

The wonderful place (despite its many quirks) that we live.

Exploring and wonder....at any age!

Food that comforts and nourishes the soul.

Family...and memories of time spent together!!

Celebrations...new babies, puppies and 1sts, birthdays & accomplishments..

Nature and her unexpected surprises.

Trying new things....

And knowing that some things will never change!

But of all the things that I'm thankful for....being together and loving each other unconditionally.


From our family to yours....
Happy Thanksgiving!