sometimes it's necessary to kill trees

Friday, July 29, 2011

i know some people cringe when they go to their favorite store in search of a deeply discounted end-of-summer cooler and find that the goggles, beach towels, aloe and citronella candles have, along with the coolers, abandoned their aisles and have been replaced with mountains of back-to-school necessities. they are shocked and mortified by the mere sight of notebook paper, pens, crayons, paper clips, folders and markers.

i am the exact polar opposite of those people. i have a crazy affection for things that belong on, in, or near a desk. it doesn't even have to be a classroom desk. pretty much any kind of desk will work because i love, love, love school supplies!

'i would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if i knew your name and address.' ~joe fox

picture from etsy

i love that joe fox wanted to send kathleen kelly sharpened pencils in you've got mail (because unsharpened pencils simply have less credibility than sharpened ones - duh). i also really loved kathleen kelly's brownstone in that movie and after watching it five plus times in the theater, i wanted to own a children's bookstore and move to the upper west side...but let's not rehash the late 90s right now.

in honor of school supply lists, joe fox's subtle romantic tendencies, and the fact that i made a binding pinky promise to two cutie pies (that included lunch), today we tackled round one of this year's school supply shopping.

i think i'm passing along my love of school supplies to the girls, and i am perfectly comfortable with that. i am also okay with the fact that jay's first pick in the wide-ruled spiral notebook division was glee-themed. cee's first round pick was equally as fabulous because although it was justin bieber, she had full intentions of defacing him prior to the first day of school.

luckily, she was easily dissuaded from her premeditated vandalism efforts.

i was a little baffled that they picked the same backpack, and i have learned that some things are just not worth questioning.

for the last three years, i have secretly embraced the beginning of the school year as a welcoming mat for something almost as fabulous as school supplies: fantasy football!!

the nfl is back in business, ochocinco and tom brady are spending some quality time together playing catch, i'm sure there are tons more surprises just waiting to announce themselves, and (thankfully) fantasy football will continue to be a staple in my life for at least one more season. i was seriously not going to be happy if football didn't happen this year.

alright - that's all the football lingo i can possibly muster for may, june and july. it's time to call it a night in the exciting world of 'me.'

peace and patriots...

p.s. - last year, i won.

candle ♥

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

i am madly, deeply in love with this candle:

i know, i's illume. i'm pretty sure that's so 7 years ago because i remember watching the newlyweds and jessica bought a carload of illume candles on valentine's day.

i really loved that show.

and i really love this frangrance.

honeysuckle. orange flower. chamomile.

how can you go wrong with that combo?

i love the vanilla amber fragrance equally as much.

warm vanilla. golden amber. orange blossom.


okay, i just wanted to let you know.

that's all.


propane: rules of engagement

last week, it became necessary to tackle one of those 'i can do this on my own without anybody's help...' situations. i have an unofficial list of those (changing a tire is on it...twice, as is killing a scorpion), and i am always giddy when i can add to it.

i found myself at a point in my life where it became necessary to change the propane tank on my grill so i could continue to eat yummy grilled squash. i've never had to do this on my own before, and i was bound and determined. i thought i'd share with you a few of the things i learned.

1. it is helpful to own a pair of pliers (the real kind, not the jewelry kind) to unhook a tank.

2. metric fittings don't go 'righty, tighty; lefty, loosey.'

3. it isn't permissible to put your empty tank into a grocery basket and wheel it through the store while you shop. who knew?

4. nobody will steal your empty tank if you leave it outside of the grocery store while you pay for the new one (contrary to a belief that apparently holds limited popularity).

5. you should not be overly concerned that the propane tank will be too hot in your trunk for the ride home - they sit safely in the 100 degree temperatures all day long, day in and day out.

6. thankfully, someone anticipated people like me who wouldn't be able to reassemble the tank to the grill and precautionary boobie traps were included.

7. the 'righty, tighty; lefty, loosey' bit stays the same when you reattach the tank, and you can't actually use your grill until this little misnomer has been removed from your quick-reference mental flip chart.

so there you have it. seven simple tips for changing out a propane tank (the abridged version).

thank you for reading my story, i hope you enjoyed it.

the end.

fishing for progress

Sunday, July 24, 2011

yesterday, we made our way into austin for some fabulous fun. the proverbial country mice wanted to check out life in the city. i knew we would have fun, but i had no idea what a mess we would create.

after a great afternoon and a lovely dinner, we made our way to the shores of lady bird lake. i was bound and determined to take them fishing. i love fishing, and i was convinced that this was something i could do with them...just the three of us, no problemo.

on the way down to the shore, jay found a frog and she really wanted to take him with us. cee and i told her that he probably wouldn't be much help, and we convinced her that we'd see him on our way back up. this was jay's first fishing trip, so it was pretty easy to convince her that this was how fishing worked.

before we headed down to fish, we agreed that none of us wanted to touch worms, so instead we decided to use gummy products for bait. jay decided she wanted gummy worms. once upon a time (a long, long time ago), i caught a ton of striped bass on lake powell using nothing but gummy worms. respectable choice.

cee went with sour belts. another bold choice.

there was also a very curious squirrel who wanted to see what we were up to (too curious for his own good, if you ask me).

by the time we actually got our lines in the water, the lighting was perfect. i love the lighting at sunset and i don't have too many opportunities to snap the girls in this light.

we had front row seats to watch the bats spray into the sky, too.

and aside from the constant hustle to remind one girl to twirl her line in while casting for the other girl while telling the other one to duck (just in case i missed the water) while reminding them both not to point their poles to the sky (and then rinse and repeat), it was pretty close to being a picture perfect night.

oh wait.

that's not entirely true.

remember the curious squirrel? well, there may have been a point in our evening when i was casting for jay and cee was waiting (with her locked and loaded sour belt pole) for me to cast her line back out. the too-curious-for-his-own-good squirrel may or may not have found the dangling bait too much to bear, the squirrel may or may not have gotten himself tangled in her line, and we may or may not have panicked (all four of us).

my reflexes were lightening fast, though. i had two choices: i could attempt to help the squirrel (which, given his state of agitation, seemed an unlikely option) or i could help my first born (she was basically holding onto a rabid, angry, frustrated squirrel).

obviously i opted for my first born...i released her line, broke the line...and prayed that the squirrel would bolt up a tree and not make a beeline towards us.

luck was definitely on our side, and after the squirrel, our bobber, hook, and sour belt were safely up the tree, we decided to call it a night.

jay was the first to break the silence (which i still haven't qualified as stunned, shocked, mortified, or terrified). 'guys. i didn't even know you could catch a squirrel with a fishing pole! this is the best fishing trip of my whole life!'

as it turns out, we are not the first ones to catch a squirrel with a fishing pole. my sheer guilt guided me to google it, and as it turns out, there's an actual sport called squirrel fishing. this is obviously not what we set out to do, but i'm guessing that the sport started after an incident similar to ours.

on our walk back up from the shore, two things happened. a) we saw our frog friend in the exact same place as he had been before ('we told you so'), and b) i told the girls not to publicly announce to anyone that we caught a squirrel because i was pretty sure it wasn't legal. for some reason, this made them laugh ridiculously hard.

as we got into our car, i told them that this was called 'making memories.'

jay piped in, 'no, mom. this is called making progress!'

cee added, 'ummm...actually, this is called making frogress.'

we howled.

a good time was had by all (and i'm not speaking on behalf of the squirrel...).

peace and frogress...

a simple case of mistaken identity

Friday, July 22, 2011

the girls took a two hour nap today. they haven't both done this at the same time in approximately...



...i don't think they have done this since they were in diapers.

they fell asleep in my room, so i made good use of my time (for once in my life) and finished my assignments for today and tomorrow (woo hoo!) while they were sleeping.

mere moments after i cyber-turned it this week's proof of reading and responding and replying, i heard whispering and very quiet and muffled giggles. i walked in and sang, 'buenos tardes, mis dolce amores!!'

usually when i greet them in spanish, they beam and hug me and kiss me and make me laugh. unless they're asleep, and then they groan and cover their heads with their pillows and blankets.

today their conversation and giggles came to a halting screech. or a screeching halt.

they looked at me...they were confused.

it was as if i had stomped on their toes or pulled their hair.

then their looks morphed to accusing.

'hey!!!!' one charged.

'where were you?!?!?' the other demanded.

'ummm - i was doing my the living room. why?'

'we have been awake for like hours but we were being quiet because we thought you were like sleeping.'

i looked at my bed, and it was quite deceivingly arranged.

but it didn't look like me at all.

it looked like someone much, much smaller than me!

i will be forever indebted to them for mistakenly thinking my body pillow was me.

it was good enough to make me skip my workout today.

my body pillow is probably mildly to moderately insulted, and that's alright for now.

they still don't realize the magnitude of their inadvertant compliment (it was huge).

peace and imposters...

a few digits

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3 - 2 - 1 - blast rocket camp. that's what the girls have been up to this week, and they have loved it infinitely more than i would have imagined!

i think they've been surprised at how much fun it's been. they have an entirely new vocabulary now and effortlessly incorporate phrases like 'nose cone' and 'launch lug' and 'body tube' into casual conversation. it's impressive, really, and it's a good (and welcomed) change from phrases like 'butt face' or 'doo doo head' or 'elephant breath.' tomorrow is their last day of camp and i'm certain our afternoon won't be complete without purchasing them their own rocket kits.

four (4): that's how many seconds it took me to go from mortified to don't-make-eye-contact-with-anyone when i picked them up from rocket camp and realized that jay's outfit was not exactly the matching kind
(plaid + animal print = no bueno).

this is a reaction that i've become a lot better at since getting divorced. don't get me wrong - their dad is a pretty great dad, but sometimes...the outfits leave me with my jaw resting gently on the ground, and it's not easy to explain to complete strangers that you had nothing to do with their 'get-ready' routine for any given day (i speak from experience). today was one of those times, and i'm pretty proud of my expedited recovery rate. in another year, it won't even phase me.

i hope.

eleven (11): the number of days until we go on vacation.

twenty-five (25): the number of days until i officially go back to school (and we bid adieu to this summer).

seventeen (17): that is approximately how many times smarter my dog is than the metaphorical thorn in my side from the past year. the multiple was higher until i caught him drinking out of the toilet today. please don't tell morgan freeman about the toilet episode.

six (6): the number of feet i need at the pool to make me completely happy.

thirty-eight (38): the number of minutes it takes for two thirds of those feet to completely destroy their freshly-pedicured toes (i'm not exaggerating either). see?

but that's okay - it's hard being six. or eight, for that matter. polish-maintenance falls pretty low on the totem pole of things to worry about for them. that's how it should be: very few worries and lots of opportunities to play and laugh and be a kid.

speaking of totem poles, my dad was supposed to come for a visit this weekend, but he's sick and unable to make it.

three (3): the number of completely sad faces in my house when we learned the news that my dad wasn't going to be a part of our weekend plans.

eight (8): the number of years until this little photographic scenario becomes a legitimate liability.

one (1): the number of alleged spider sightings it takes to completely evacuate the vehicle in less than a nanosecond.

sixty (60): the number of minutes until i crawl into my bed and call it a night. it's been a long day filled with all kinds of good stuff!

we are going to enjoy every single moment of these last 25 days of summer vacation. you have my word.

peace and promises...

team spirit

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the first time i ever remember getting emotional for patriotic reasons was at the davis cup. it was 1992, i was a senior in high school, and we were in ft. worth. this was back in the hey day of tennis - team usa consisted of agassi, courier, mcenroe (yes, there were some verbal outbursts), and sampras. gorman was the coach, and lest you think i acutally remembered all of this without a little google help, you have seriously over-estimated my memory.

but here's the part that will never leave my mind - at the very end of the match, the crowd was a wild and wicked sea of red, white, and blue and even the swiss were waving their cute little red cross flags, and everyone - i mean everyone - was singing the national anthem so loud and proud! it was an incredible place to be and i was seriously flooded with emotion.

i'm not sure if it was specifically because we won, because of the overwhelming scene, or because i had decided that i was going to marry pete sampras. it could have been a combination of it all, but i'll never forget the moment.

what i'm not quite as proud to tell you is that my flooding emotions continued right into lee greenwood's tried and true 'proud to be an american,' but i feel like i'd be leaving out important details if i didn't tell you that part. do you have any idea how much he makes in royalties on july 4th each year? crazy, crazy cash.

lee greenwood aside, it was a pretty cool thing to experience.

pictures courtesy of
today the girls and i watched the finals of the world cup. i think because of my davis cup experience, i still get super involved when the usa plays on a world platform like they did today. i only started following the world cup during the last game against france, but what a great team of talented ladies!

picture courtesy of
before i sat down to write this post, i thought that i was really cheering for them from my heart because of their age - it's always impressive to me to see young athletes who exhibit so much soul on the field, court, or other arena. i wondered how old team usa was and i was surprised to find out that most of them are much older than i would have guessed! the co-captain is my age!! wow. i guess it's just good, old-fashioned patriotism that tugged at my heart strings today.

i'm totally bummed that they didn't win, completely proud of how hard they played, and glad the girls (and browning) had the opportunity to watch today's final.

the girls really got into it more than i thought they would, and cee even said, 'i want to be just like them one day.' jay may or may not have showed the t.v. her naked hiney whenever the match was over and we lost, but that's another story for another time.

we have a couple of friends whose kids are going to nationals for baseball and softball. there's a fundraiser for the softball girls tonight (they are the daughters of jay's kindergarten teacher) which means yummy ice cream for us! we're also sending out happy wishes of good luck to the baseball boys (cee's 1st grade teacher's son's team). it's all about pulling for your team, no matter the challenge they face.

go menace & go bulldogs!!

peace and patriotic moments...

the story of the buck moon

Friday, July 15, 2011

today i took the gre. that has very little do with this post other than to tell you i did the obligatory facebook check right before i went into the testing room (and parted with my phone - and thus my connection to society - for four hours). when i  checked it, i saw this little gem.

i thought this sounded like something the girls would absolutely love to see and the story seemed completely charming. i decided this would be their special reward for hanging with me through the last minute test cramming this week. thank you, whole earth, for alerting me to tonight's full moon (and for your incredible selection of comfy-yet-cute shoes and life is good products).

as it turns out, this so-called reward was about as fabulous as a lump of coal in their christmas stockings because a) i didn't realize that the moon wouldn't be visible until approximately four hours after their bedtime, b) i didn't realize the story didn't contain a fully-developed plot (or characters for that matter), and c) bedtimes, plots and characters are all essential elements to consider when planning rewards for your children.

we made the best of it and they rode their bikes through the sprinklers in the dark and laughed with reckless abandon. really, they did. truth be told, i kept thinking the moon would make a shining, fashionably-late appearance during the bikes-through-the-sprinklers fun.

i was wrong.

after a quick google search, i realized we had arrived five hours early for the festivities, and they were just going to have to hear the story and trust me on how cool the moon would look while they were in deep their sweet little r.e.m. sleep stages.

we decided that all the lights in the house needed to be off for the story of the buck moon, and we gathered around my laptop just like the pioneers back in the old days did.

it was at about that time that i realized that there really wasn't a great story to accompany the event around which i'd built our night. unless you think scientific facts are a good story. for the record, we don't.

so i did what any self-respecting mom would do. i let them pick a netflix movie without interjecting any of my personal opinions, feelings, or general comments.

(they picked spy kids)

and that's the story of the buck moon.


my new favorite bar...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

...the BlogHer tune-in bar!! isn't it the cutest thing ever?

i'm in love with it. who knew a new bar would make me smile from the inside out?

peace and huge smiles...

a few observations...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

the last couple of days were full of deep, deep observations by none other than yours truly. movies, television, and life in general did not disappoint.

1) i tried to watch baby mama last night, but i didn't make it all the way through. you know why? because every time i see sigourney weaver, i instantly think that she really lived with a band of gorillas. then i remember that isn't actually true. but by the time i realize it, i have already type-casted her and it just doesn't work.

2) i brushed browning the other day - he's been shedding horribly because of the heat. this is completely gross, but there was a disgusting amount of fur that came off of him - it filled up a whole bad-for-the-earth plastic grocery bag. all i could think of was, 'how many ostriches could make nests out of this mess?'

3) my girls walk around singing and dancing all day long, and i usually tell them to settle down. when they're gone, it's really quiet. too quiet. if you asked them who their favorite singer is right now, they would tell you it's ke$ha, and they would pronounce it 'keh - dollar sign - ha' in their best principal figgins voice. is this normal? i'm pretty sure it's not. also, in case you were worried, she really isn't their current fave. katy perry is.

4) when i was at the store last night, there was a very interesting guy there. i saw him in the medicine aisle. his basket was filled with 2 12-packs of toilet paper, seven boxes of pepto, and he was scoping out the selection of adult diapers. all the while, he was drumming on the side of his basket - with a plunger and a toilet brush. was he for real? he might be a great character for a book...somebody needs to write his story. (i was simply buying benadryl.)

5) on my way home from the store last night, there was a guy standing right in the middle of the railroad tracks. his stance was totally cd-front cover-artwork material, but there was no camera, no photographer, no guitar, and his clothes weren't really shoot-worthy. he did have his arms crossed. was it a dare? was he mad? was he at his wit's end? or maybe he was stuck. he might be another great character for a book, or he might have been chuck norris.

6) snooki made it onto ac360 last night (albeit briefly). this is frustrating to me for several reasons. first, i love anderson cooper and his little gloria vanderbilt offspring self. second, why does snooki make more than me per year? something about this seems unfair. and third, why did she just get her second book deal? epic injustice in the publishing world. it's like she's living my dream , except i don't actually want to be her and i don't want to be friends with her friends or family with her family. i just want to know anderson and have publishing deals.

7) the girls signed up for a reading club at our library. they have both been reading - without being asked - for 30-40 minutes each day. wow!! there are prizes involved, so that could be part of it...but then again, there are prizes involved when they get their shots and they don't go down without a fight for those.

8) on monday, they both woke up and informed me that they wanted to do a photo shoot. music to my ears and my picture-loving heart! i learned that if it's their idea and i don't make them pose together, taking their picture is painless...and fun! i am happy to report that no tears were shed and no bribes were elicited.

9) i have not been sleeping well this week. cee and i had a conversation the other night that shook me to my core. she has such a brilliant mind, and sometimes that can be both a blessing and a curse. i've been awake worrying about her for the last couple of nights, and when i'm ready to sleep, it just doesn't work. i have counted approximately 50,000 sheep to no avail for the last couple of nights (which is why i was buying benadryl), and i am loopy and tired. therefore, i now pronounce it nap time in my kingdom.


a platypus, a sign, and a dream...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

...but not necessarily in that order.

let's start with the sign. after being gone for entirely too long (102 hours and 54 minutes), cee got back home this afternoon. and do you know what she told me? well, first, let me tell you that she 'gets' me like most people don't. she had no trouble picking up on my restlessness and my urge to move.

take two: do you know what she told me?

she told me that she wants to move to either hollywood or la. i asked her if she knew what la stands for (she did) and why she thought hollywood was a good idea. she said, 'well, it's not so much that i think it's a good idea, it's just that i really want to see the sign. in person. and...'

...and she proceeded to rattle off a list of kiddie stars that she wants to see while in hollywood, most of which i had never heard of. the list included selena gomez and some guy with three names. i was baffled, and after showing her a few homes for sale in the hollywood hills (with price tags that meant very little to her), i think i convinced her that a life in hollywood wasn't going to be a reality for us.

then she fell asleep and i realized where she gets her fanciful imagination.

while the girls were gone, i watched something's gotta give several times. i think i've written about this before, but more than the actual movie, i am 100% unconditionally, irrevocably in love with erica barry's beach house in the hamptons from that movie!

it's my dream house. i love the living room...
the kitchen isn't too shabby, either.

ironically it's not even a house. the facade is an actual house in the hamptons, but the interior was built entirely on a soundstage.

in hollywood.

what are the odds of that?


here's a great blog post with lots of details about the 'house' in case you're as interested in it as i am. seeing as i'm a teacher and a single mom, i'll probably never have anything close to this house, but a girl can dream.

i think it's only appropriate to give diane keaton major props for having ridiculously awesome taste in homes...whether they're in one of her movies or they're actually hers, she's had several of hers appear in architectural digest.

so i guess i can't fault my girl for having visions of hollywood dancing through her head like sweet little sugar plums when in reality...i do, too.

'and what about the platypus?' you might be wondering.

well, this morning, browning seriously punctured my leg with his ridiculously sharp claws (combined with his excessive body mass).

did it hurt? yup.

did i cry? maybe.

did a bandaid make it all better? you betcha.

that's perry the platypus. from phineas and ferb! come on - you know who they are, right?

well, i am here to tell you: bandaids do make it all better. especially when they're the platypus kind.

peace and platypi...


Thursday, July 7, 2011

options lead to decisions...

the blog is getting a new outfit!!

here's a sneak peek at the palette...i'm kinda lovin' it. plus i got some new flowers. :)

oh my - i am very excited to get to work on this!

peace and pretty papers...

soup-er news...

when i started this blog, i was working off of sheer inspiration from my ├╝ber talented friend kelly. in 2009, she decided that her goal for the year was to blog every single day of the year...and she did it! impressive...

i knew that a daily blog for me probably was an unrealistic undertaking, but i set a goal for myself to try to write 2-3 times a week. somehow, i've managed to average that rate for the last couple of years. and somewhere along the way, my blog has become a part of me in a way that can't really be explained.

the blog is a part of our daily in, 'you should put that on your blog!' and, 'don't forget to make sure that picture is okay for the blog, mommy.' and, 'don't you even think about putting that picture on the blog mom!' and, 'dude. that is totally soup-worthy.'

last year, i applied to be a part of the BlogHer publishing network. i was so surprised when i was accepted into the network, and then kind of bummed to find that i was on a very long waiting list. just yesterday i was thinking that i really need to get some sparkle back into my blog, and you won't believe what happened this morning.

i got an email telling me that my time on the waiting list is almost over!!! woo hoo!!

i have to fill out a few forms and then on august 1, i should be able to make my blog an official part of the network. i have no idea how all of the logistics and technicalities play into this, but i am psyched.

you know how when you're going to a fun event you feel completely and entirely compelled to buy a new outfit? well, i am having that feeling...maybe it's time for the blog to get a new outfit. decisions, decisions...

in addition to the possibility of a new outfit, i know there will be some other changes coming to the blog, but i'm not exactly sure what they'll look like. only time will tell, and i am really looking forward to knowing what the future holds.

i hope you'll keep following along - i'd love for you to be a part of this new adventure with me!


tree hugger

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

whew, what a day! i am still completely baffled by the whole casey anthony thing. adults in general who don't do the right thing really get under my skin, and that theme carried over to our trip to the pool today...adults behaving badly and setting sickening examples for their kids. ugh! i am not a perfect parent by any stretch of the means, but it really hurts my heart to see kids learning truly horrible things from their parents.

on top of that, some girl had a hit-and-run with my corner shrubs last week. my awesome neighbors who tell me they see everything that goes on in this neighborhood earned the watchful eye award and called 911 after she bailed. even though the responding police officer gave her a chance to make things right on her own accord, she just didn't.

today i almost had to press charges just to get her to pay for the damage she did. i've never been in that situation's very discouraging to be taken advantage of. and even though i am not a very good plant keeper and have never had a green thumb, i got kind of sad when i had to dig up the damaged trees.

if shrubs have feelings, theirs were definitely hurt. i promise. i could tell.

the one in the front - i kept watering it and watering it thinking that it would perk back up for me, and i propped it up several times. in the end, my efforts were a flop.

and if my curb bricks were teeth, then they got really jacked up in the shenanigans. anybody know of a good brick dentist?

i know - things could be a lot worse and i'm being a glass-half-empty kinda girl right now. but i did find some silver lining after digging up the silver sage and all their roots...the underneath part of the big one still had very happy roots. i trimmed away the part with bad roots and i *transplanted* the rest of it!!

oh yeah - i totally hugged a tree!! the surviving part now has a new home by my gate...hopefully the roots will take. i figured it was worth a shot! doesn't it look happy?

i found some root stimulator from my yard guy and i sprinkled that on this bad boy for luck. keep your fingers crossed.

i have to tell you that just having the chance to give this part of the shrub a second chance felt really good...especially after a sub-par day full of unexplainable weirdness. and no matter what, tomorrow will be a better day! right?

peace and positivity...

fourth fun

Monday, July 4, 2011

'you have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every july 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the white house in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. you may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.' ~erma bombeck

happy fourth! the girls and i started off with the quintessential small town independence day parade and they even posed for a few pictures which is getting more rare each day.

we have a full day ahead...swimming, picnics, family, and friends. and watermelon margaritas! i also just made a caprese salad and let me tell you - balsamic reductions are not for the faint of heart. i am still bummed that there will be no fireworks, but stepping outside onto my crispy grass makes me realize how vulnerable the land is right now to even the slightest spark. i'd rather be safe than sorry!

in honor of our country, we made a delicious red white and blue cake. check it out...

in all fairness, we haven't tried it yet, but it's pig cake (yellow cake, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, pudding, powdered sugar, and cool whip). how can you go wrong with all of that sinful yumminess?

i hope you and your families have a wonderful, all-american holiday filled with laughs, full hearts, and non-iffy goodness!! be safe!

peace and patriotism...

...and peonies. :)

(just because i thought they were too pretty to pass)

july-ish mutterings

Friday, July 1, 2011

did you know that july is full of stuff?

it is.

july is:

-national ice cream month
-anti-boredom month (i will need to remember this.)
-national baked bean month
-national bison month
-national foreign language month (si, oui!)
-national july belongs to blueberries month
-national recreation and parks month
-national tennis month
-national cultivate character month

told ya.

happy july first! it's the official half-way point of the year.

this makes me feel kind of worthless. even though i don't make new years resolutions (because of my inability to commit to them), i wish i would have because right now i feel like i don't have a lot to show for the first half of this year.

this is the part of summer where i do not declare myself bored, but instead i am reminded that i am not actually interested in doing very much unless it involves a pool, sun, and/or wine. there's an old saying that has always stuck with me: bored kids are boring kids.

somebody told me this when i was a kid, and i never wanted to be boring, so i always came up with ways to keep myself entertained. this inadvertently made me the weird kid instead of the almost-bored kid. i was okay with that.

cee and i finished vbs yesterday...we totally put the v back in the bs. :) it was fun and i'm glad we had the chance to work with such a great church. jay got back yesterday, and my home is full again (my heart is, too). yippie!!

i am kind of bummed that most of the fireworks celebrations have been cancelled around here, and because i refuse to do a rain dance, i am now desperately searching for fun fourth of july-ish things for the girls to do this weekend that do not require flames, gunpowder or other exploding wonders.

when i told them there would be no firecrackers this year, jay said, 'that just really breaks my heart!'

cee asked, 'who gets the $1000?'

it's time to tap into our creative reserves...i don't think i've ever had a fourth of july without fireworks, and i am determined to make this one memorable for the girls. i am sure my camera will play a pivotal role in the process. and a watermelon margarita will also be part of the deal.

peace and pretend pyrotechnics...

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