Sunday, January 31, 2010

Storm Stories

We've been loving the storm, the excuse to slow down and just be.
When I say "we", I mean me and Cooper. Not Jon. He's been bouncing off the walls.

I had to practically rip the laptop from his grasp when he told me that he was about to post on craigslist the following-

Will take you where you want to go during the storm- cash only.

Have you LOST your mind??
I'm totally fine with helping Meals on Wheels or responding to a plea from the local hospitals to get their personnel in to work. I am not fine with a random ad for any number of crazy people to be carted who knows where.

He laughed at me for 10 minutes- but decided against posting the add.

Evidently, he had been planning money making schemes long before the 1st flake fell.
Cooper asked for something when they were out....but had no money of his own to make the purchase.
Jon suggested that after the storm ended he could walk the neighborhood and knock on doors to see if anyone needed their driveway shoveled.

Cooper's response?
"Daddy, I'm not doing that. You should stop reliving your childhood."
(where does he get this stuff???)
Jon's reaction (knowing full well that Cooper's right)?
"Then maybe you ought to be a comedian- that may raise a few bucks for you"

Please, I REALLY need this snow to melt- fast!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

RV Blocking I95 South

I was checking the weather report (for the 100th time) and saw this.

In case you saw it too and were's not us!!!
Hope you're warm and safe tonight too!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I've been trying to practice with my 50mm lens.
It's a struggle.
But Dana swears it's the best lens ever and that once I get used to it, I'll love it.

My goal was to do my Thankful Thursday post using pictures I took with the lens. I'm full of's the follow through that I struggle with. Here are the ones that made the cut.

Gypsy is 9 months old. And I finally like her...consistently.
I'm thankful that she's a part of our family and that she's turned out to be a really sweet, sweet dog.

I'm hopeful that this dog turns out sweet too!!
This is Charlie...he just moved in with George and Jess. He's cute....but I'm a little too close to sleepless puppy nights to think that a puppy is a good idea. I'm thankful that he's got a new home...and super kids to grow up with!

I'm thankful that spring is coming. It's still a ways off (see my earlier post about snow)- but we're almost in February! Soon, these flowers won't just be in my kitchen, they'll be in my back yard. I can't wait!

I'm thankful for this little person. He's growing up so quickly. The days are coming when his front teeth will grow in and gone will be the days of that little kid gappy grin (which I ADORE!).


He had his school conference today and got such a great report. We're thrilled with where he is right now and so is his teacher.

Cooper and I were working on his spelling words (actually, he was working and I was driving). I asked him if there were any words that were giving him any trouble- that we needed to spend more time on in preparation for Friday's test.

He said, "well, I sort of have trouble with bugle. It never looks right when I write it."

Hmmm- I may have a solution for that.

We made a stop at the grocery store for this classic snack & I called his teacher to see if she'd mind a special treat on a Friday. Cooper was impressed with our plan and has a new crunch for his lunch.

End result- no trouble with spelling bugle! I'm thankful that this was a struggle that I could impact. I'm hopeful that with enough of these little wins along the way that he'll have the tools and the skills to work on the big stuff together too! (I'm also thankful for yummy snacks, although I shouldn't be eating them myself!!)

Things I'm thankful for with no picture and in random order....

a warm home*laptops*our good health*2nd grade friends*flexible work schedules (so I can work in a much needed hair cut)*plans for a friday night play date- for mom, kid & dog!!!*finding bargains*my parents*curling up with a good book*weekend plans for a girls night*grapefruit*my job*laughing*legos*the Lands End sale at Se@rs*pizza*
answered prayers*drinking water instead of soda*new babies*help for those in need*the red cross*my hubby!!*

Hope you take a minute to think about things you're thankful for too!!

NO SNOW- please!

It's supposed to be on its way.....SNOW.

Four different people sent me the link below from . It made me laugh out loud. Perhaps because it's absolutely an accurate representation of how we treat the potential of snow.

You can click here to see the actual copy.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch and every meteorologist in town, Richmond is going to get a nice snowfall this weekend … up to a foot, some people say. The snow is supposed to start as early as Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday.

In case you're new to Richmond, let me tell you how we do it here.

* Someone somewhere says snow is coming to Central Virginia.
* We Richmonders start paying attention.
* Someone says it's coming to Richmond.
* We Richmonders really start paying attention.
* Someone brandishes the word "accumulation."

Done. Finished. Over. We who call Richmond home all-out lose our minds. In the case of this snow, it happens like this:

Tuesday morning: The word "accumulation" is used.

Tuesday afternoon: Accumulation confirmed. All weekend plans put on stand-by or out-right canceled.

Tuesday evening: First trip to supermarket for bread, milk, wine, beer and cookie dough.

Wednesday morning/afternoon: Calls around town for sleds begin (for the record, is one step ahead. No one has them; Pleasant's is expecting a shipment on Friday).

Wednesday evening: Local news does a story about the run on supermarkets for bread and milk. Second trip to supermarket for extra bread and milk, plus frozen pizzas and non-perishables, because you never know.

Thursday morning/afternoon: Spend workday obsessively checking the forecast. More calls for sleds. Search online for sleds, but decide against them because you can't believe how much sleds actually cost.

Thursday evening: Meet friends out for drinks or dinner because you never know when you'll get out again. Realize you forgot to buy bagels. How could you forget bagels? Third trip to supermarket.

Friday morning: Alternate staring out window for snow and consulting forecast for exact snow start time. Cancel the rest of weekend plans.

Friday afternoon: reports that it is snowing in your area. Run to window. Spend at least one hour yelling at because it is clearly not snowing. Ask boss about company inclement weather policy. Complain about said policy. Wait an hour; ask boss if company is closing early.

Friday evening: Fourth trip to supermarket on the way home for last-minute necessities, like chocolate and fancy hot cocoa. Alternate staring out window and watching local news for exact snow start time. Watch the Closings scroll to see if your work is closed on Monday, because you never know.

Friday night: Snow finally begins. Call/text all of your friends and family to see if it's snowing in their area and to make sure they're OK in the storm. Update Facebook status to reflect snowfall in case you missed anyone. Order pizza so you don't have to break into rations too soon.

Saturday morning: Marvel at snowfall. Fling pets/children into the snow so they can marvel and so you have pictures for your Facebook page. *or blog!*

Saturday afternoon: Drive or trudge to nearest hill and attempt to sled on a cookie sheet/shower curtain/trashcan lid/pool float.

Saturday evening: Meet friends for out for drinks or dinner to celebrate snow.

Sunday: Eat leftover pizza and stare out window, watching snow melt. Obsessively watch Closings list. Feel happy when the county you once lived in announces closing and then sad because you never became a teacher and now you have to go out, clean off the car and then go to work tomorrow. Plus you've got all that bread and milk to eat.


Thankfully, Santa brought us a sled....


It's in the to the boots!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Stop....Pays Off!

Cooper and Jon were occupied on Saturday and I headed to the grocery store by myself. I love grocery shopping by means that I can stop in for a quick visit to my favorite thrift shop. It's run by the Junior League and over the years I've scored some super finds.

It's totally hit and miss....
Today I found this.

I collect white pitchers...and this one was really teeny. Perfect for violets in the spring. And 50 cents. Sold.

Nothing in my size called out to me, so I swung by the kids section.
I don't usually find great stuff for Cooper here- but it never hurts to check.

I found 2 pairs of khaki's (light and dark) and a pair of jeans from the Gap. None of them had pricetags but they were in fantastic shape. I also found a rugby shirt from Gymboree and 3 hoodies. Again, no prices.



At the counter, I asked the lady about pricing for the clothes- and she gave me the best news.

They have a new pricing policy.
Any kids clothing over size 2T was $2/item.

Are you kidding me??
7 items, all brand name, all in great shape, in the next size up so the kid can grow and not look like a freak and it's going to cost me $14????

That's not pitcher had a red line on the sticker. Red lines were 75% off.
Yup- I paid mere pennies for my pitcher.

With tax, less than $15- I'm being green, cost conscious and supporting local charities. All on my way to the grocery store.

I love a bargain! LOVE!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

3rd times....

Not necessarily a charm!

But I'm getting better.

Today was game 3. By the end of the season, I should have perfected the technique.

My friends Denise and Jackie gave me some tips- and they helped a ton!

Jackie's son happened to be on the opposing team. He and the Coop are big buds.

Each game gives the kids more confidence- and they've really improved since they first started playing together.

He's very serious but he has so much fun.


I've got to perfect the lighting deal because I can't consistently find the right balance. Their little faces are washed out- but I love these anyway.



This one...although blurry makes him look like a little boy. I remember when he looked like this all the time. Oh, I loved those days.


But these days are pretty fantastic too!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baby it's Cold Outside....

It's been so cold...the kind that makes you want to do nothing but stay inside and eat.

Winter is not my friend.
And although I quickly forget about it come April, I absolutely think that I've got Seasonal Affective Disorder.

According to Google, these are the symptoms-

* Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration
* Carbohydrate cravings
* Decreased interest in work or other activities
* Depression that starts in fall or winter
* Increased appetite with weight gain
* Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness
* Lack of energy
* Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
* Social withdrawal

Please refer to symptom #2.
As of late, I've been obsessed with carbs.
Carbs are not my friend either (please refer to symptom #5 & #7)

And so to fight it, I try to bring a in a little spring inside whenever I can.

One of my favorites is to bring branches from our quince bush inside to force. It's so simple- and free!


Another frequent visitor- tulips (not free, but reasonably priced at the grocery store).


They bring a smile- and a reminder that spring is on its way- and it's only a matter of time before SAD turns to GLAD!!!

Do you do anything to get you through the winter?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fab Fam Fun

We had a visit from Jon's sister and her hubby...


they came to see their son...

but his house doesn't necessarily pass the "mom" test, so they stay with us.
That means that we get to see them too which is great!

They came for lunch and then we grabbed Gypsy, met Wade and Sarah & their dogs and headed off for a little history on a Saturday afternoon.

dog mosaic

How hilarious are these pups?

We headed to
Hollywood Cemetery
- a local landmark!



Not creepy at all....really serene and beautiful and full of so much history.
The tombstones were so intricate. So full of detail and such craftsmanship.



And each one has a story- just like us.

Our story ended after we learned and laughed and had the best afternoon.
Can't wait for you to come back Kathy! (Mike too)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Got Perspective?

UPDATE: NO RV was purchased....even after a 2 1/2 hour visit to our local RV dealer. Thanks for all of your comments & e-mails........I am appreciative of the support!


I've been thinking a lot about perspective lately. It feels like there are so many awful things happening- and so much hate and ugly in the world- even right in my own backyard (or at least in my own city). It's overwhelming. And because it's easy to get bogged down in the terrible, sometimes even the smallest addition of crazy has the potential to throw me over the edge-

Like for instance, this e-mail that came from Jon.

I've been looking at RVs and I know we don't need one but if we would ever need it, it would be an option for us to live in for a period of time. Plus they have heat and we could park it near the barn and have heat/electricity/hot water.

Based on a rental of an RV as opposed to buying one- we would need to use it 3X/Year for 5 years- then it would pay for itself. With our lifestyle, I really think it might be a fun thing to try.....especially while he's still young. If it didn't work out I could just sell it.

I know I get obsessed with things and I'll take this slow....but maybe we could go look at them on Monday if we're not doing anything else.

As you might imagine, this raised a few questions for me.

1) Should I be alarmed that there may be a situation that would require us to live in an RV for a period of time?

2) What is this "lifestyle" he refers to that makes him think that it would be "fun" to try for a while.

3) Do you think that there is a large market for used RV's should we not enjoy "trying it for a while"?

4) Do you honestly think that sending me an e-mail on Wednesday and then going to see RV's on Monday is "taking this slow"??

In addition to questions......there are oh so many other things running through my head.

My response to him was a very simple sentence.
Yes, you do get obsessed

So, at the dinner table tonight when I asked Cooper for 2 things that had made him happy today, this answer provided all the perspective I needed.

"I learned how to make an "i" in cursive" and "We had an extra long recess"

Somehow that makes everything ok-
and so....
On this upcoming MLK Day, I'll be taking tours of RV's.

What are your plans??

Monday, January 11, 2010

Having a Ball

It takes skill to capture the memories of my family in all this blurry glory!

Cooper is playing basketball- his 1st organized sport. HUGE. DEAL.
He's playing in an Upward league and I cannot say enough about how fantastic it is. I'm pretty sure that it's an answer to prayer. And I am so thankful.

The whole experience is wholesome and good and full of so many teachable moments. After the game, they huddle and talk through the highlights.


Cooper got a star for his effort....that kid is obsessed with a rebound!


I'm obsessed with the pursuit of perfectly focused action shots.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday- Questions for Momma

Today I spent less than 4 waking hours with Cooper.
He slept in, and I worked later than usual.

During that time we did normal mom/kid stuff- had breakfast, got ready for school, drove to school, ate dinner, did homework and then read stories at bedtime.
During that time, these are just some of the questions he asked me.

Momma- There are 10 years until destruction. Did you know that? (I sure didn't.)

Momma- Do you like the Buxton Cell Phone Wallet?

Momma- What movie do you like? I'm going to buy you one but first I need to know what movie you like.

Momma- Can you ask me what 3x5 is? I know it.

Momma- Can we go to Target?

Momma- Can you come sit here next to me?

Momma- Can we please go to Target?

Momma- Who are those loyal people who control everyone? (he meant- ROYAL people)

During that time I couldn't get enough of this little kid. This little kid who is so kind, so inquisitive, so smart, so full of wonder, so funny, so obsessed with Target, so interested, and so mine.


I am thankful for him.
What are you thankful for?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Room?

When we got home from the river, I had just 2 thoughts.

1) get as warm as possible
2) take down our Christmas decorations

I concentrated on the 1st one....and took a lovely nap on the sofa wrapped in a blanket and clutching the new issue of Country Living. I woke up and realized that the house was strangely quiet- and Cooper and Jon were home. Hmm.

Jon was totally immersed in Andre's book (he can't put it down). Cooper was upstairs. As I climbed the steps, I got a glimpse of something that wasn't quite right. My silly kid had been moving the contents of his bedroom into our guestroom.

This is his "real" nightstand".

This is his "new" one. Along with the pillows and dog that typically sit on his bed in his "real" room.

You can see the remnants of his "old" bed and the blank space on the floor where he moved his beanbag chair and all of its "friends". There is also a blank space on his bookshelf....because he had started to move his books!!!

Yup- there they are. The beanbag chair with a million of his favorite pals.

At this point, I began to hyperventilate so the camera was no longer an option.

His story?

"Momma, I just thought since it was a new year that maybe I should have a new room. I've been sort of tired of mine anyway and since nobody uses this room, I thought you wouldn't mind."

Yeah- I can see how you'd think that....but...

My creative side took over and although I had to stop him from moving the rest of the clothes from his closet into the "new" closet I agreed to let him try it for a while.

I had no idea what was coming I just took 12 deep breaths, braced Jon for the disaster of our upstairs and tucked my kid into his "new" bed.

And in the morning....

"Hey Momma?"

"You know my new room?"

"Well, it's sort of noisy in there. I didn't sleep so good"
Really? It was loud?

"Yeah, I didn't like it"
Aww, sweet. Do you want to move back?

"Yes, I think my old room is gonna be ok now."
Ok buddy- need some help to move things back?

"Thanks Momma".

Ahhhh- day 2 of the new year.
I can hardly wait for the rest!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010


We celebrated the new decade at the river...and had such a blast.


I packed decorations and brought a little crazy to the mix- I do love a decoration. Everything is better with some serpentine and a party hat!

Jon fried a turkey- not your typical New Years fare, but we took a rain check for our annual Christmas meal and so brought it out in full force for the 31st.

Cooper was a fan of the leg!

The poor kid was asleep on the sofa by 9:45....not before he donned a hat and a horn for a little pre-midnight celebrating.


We ate, laughed, opened belated Christmas presents, reminisced about days gone by and counted the many blessings of 2009.
nye mosaic

We left to head back to our little home shortly after this picture was taken....

Our little home that has no water or heat!!! We winterize the house after Thanksgiving so staying there isn't tops on my list in the dead of winter. That being said, it has its positives- we all snuggle tight under tons of covers and wake refreshed but ready to head to all the comforts of our real home. One more reminder of the things we are thankful for.

Hope you and your families are snuggled up warm- anticipating what may be ahead in 2010!!