Friday, August 31, 2012


Another week down and I don't know about you but I am already TIRED of all of the political ads!  This presidential season is going to be a nightmare I'm sure but August.... really?!  I don't need 4 months for any candidate to explain his platform.  Give me two weeks, a summarized report and I'm totally good to go.  Not as if I have to think very hard this go 'round.

Upon our return from Chicago last weekend I had 17 (yes SEVENTEEN) political messages on my home voicemail.  I'm so ready to shut that thing off.  We never use it anyway.

I hope I can make it to the polls without killing them both!

Oh ~ and in the same vein... little note to my local grocer:  it isn't truly necessary for you to stick out my fave Halloween candy in AUGUST.  Just saying.

Here goes the list... hope you enjoy!


Do you ever have one of those days when you know your to do list is a zillion miles long but you just can't seem to find one place to get started?  I absolutely love this pad... this would totally kick me into gear on those awful days!


Okay, honestly... I could do without the scarf.  And the parka jacket.  But I do love the orange.  And the boots.


This one goes out to my friend, PB.  She recently posted how she is working with her little guy to get him to take bites at dinnertime.  How fun would this be?  Roll the dice (the little one) and that's how many bites you have to eat. Obviously if it's something they don't like only make them roll ONE dice, but I love the idea.  Make it fun! (Not that they will be happy!)


I think I might know a girl that might like these!  I think they are adorable but then again I have a serious fetish for TOMS.  Great work!


As a child of the 80's, I had a boombox.  Everyone did!  I love this idea for my desk at work - it's compact and would fit perfectly.  Rock on!


Ah, fall.  Absolutely love it - my fave season!  Little guy just did a poster for school and his teacher asked him his fave season and he agreed (football didn't have anything to do with it).  I totally want to go here once in my life to drive through it....  beautiful.

Smuggler's State Park, Vermont


I'm not even going to point fingers... I'm way to nice for that.


For as much as I use my phone (which is CONSTANTLY) I totally need this.  And totally small and discreet.  Love it!


I totally need this RIGHT NOW.  And I don't need many things!


Yep, enough said!

Have a great Friday friends!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Way out West

It's official.  My kids have a house in San Diego!

Sassy got the call this week that their housing choice is open and awaiting their arrival.  We are so blessed - some Sailors have to sit on wait lists a long while to get into their housing selection.   

Not a bad area of the country I'd say.

I'm hyperventilating again.  Bub gets out of apprentice school just in time to get home, get Kate and E and take off for California.  I will get no time with him... or them.

Ah crap.

Layer in the fact that he will be gone before his birthday, definitely gone by hubs and little guy's birthdays (yes, I'm surrounded by Libras) and I'm totally not happy about this.

Oh, and while he is traveling 2,000 miles west, I'll be traveling 2,000 miles east for a business trip.

On a side note ~ I asked bestie what to do.  And as always, she is brilliant and told me exactly what I needed to do to take off the anxiety.

I reached out to my good friend in San Francisco. 

LL and I worked together in my prior firm and she is my soul sister in the west.  I told her my kids were coming and I wanted her to watch over them (she travels significantly throughout the state and spends a great deal of time in SD).  I know she would be there for me anytime I need her and she would do the same for my kids.

Thank god - they are not alone.

Not that they ever were.

I'll get the hang of this eventually.  After they have lived there for 20 years maybe.  Bub already has 30 year old goals set so it's gonna be a long journey!

Happy hump day, friends!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

School vs. Sports ~ What to Do?

I absolutely love the structure fall brings to my life but get frustrated at the same time.  I'm quite fortunate in that I only manage one child's schedule but it's still so overwhelming at times. 

I'm often faced with conflicts in the schedule and I honestly never know the right choice.  It never fails that we have a convergence of a practice, a personal event (like a family birthday or something similar) and a school event on the same night.  How do other mom's solve this dilemma?  I'll tell you one thing for certain:  I don't manage it very well.  It seems I always make the wrong decision.  Better yet... I always make the decision that upsets the little guy the most.

How is that possible?

This week is no different than most.  We have a conflict.  Football practice vs. Curriculum Night at school.  Sounds easy, right?  Little guy to practice with dad, mom to school.

Not so fast.

Our school puts this parental event coupled with the fun Back to School picnic.  For the kids, of course. Crap. 

Ring the bell ~ round one with little guy will begin shortly.

He will beg me to go to the picnic.  All of his friends will be there.  He absolutely must go, don't I understand?

Yep.  I do.  He's probably right.  He should go to the school event, see his friends, relax and have a good time and I'll learn all about what he's going to learn for the year.

But what about that "commitment to the football team" thing he signed up for?  His "proof to the coaches of his dedication" deal?  Hubs typically sides with this commitment.

Insert family feud.  And I have absolutely NO idea what the "right thing to do" may be. 

I cannot possibly be the only one that endures this scenario.  What does everyone else do?  What takes precedence in your family's schedule?  And how in the WORLD do you have more than one kid with a schedule??  That seems impossible to me.

When Bubba was this age we had a third conflict - Wednesday confirmation classes.  Talk about constant guilt.  If we picked the sport event, we would upset God.  In the end we would typically lean on the "School comes first" mantra, upsetting God.  I couldn't win this battle for about three years.

And in the end, we will splinter I'm sure.  I will go to school.  Little guy will go to practice and hate me for the night. 

Ugh - being a parent is hard.  I need a vacation!

Have a great Tuesday, friends!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Do ALL Dogs go to Heaven?

It's official ~ our home has been invaded.  The fur kids have taken over.

Last night while cooking dinner, hubs was surrounded by 140 lbs of fur.. in the 10x10 kitchen.  Exactly where he wants them to be.  He turned to all three of them, shaking his head slowly, and pronounced the Puppy Apocalypse was coming if they didn't hightail it out and FAST.

Lord help us.  We need an intervention!  We could use some serious psychological help for the four legged kids.

Jackson's dementia has almost permanently set in, blurring his reality between day and night, inside and outside.  Most of the time he has no idea what is happening.  On a lighter note though he always seems to be happy... even when his arthritis is rearing it's ugly head.  He is happily demented.  I like the sound of that!  He can't hear a thing we say, which is causing secondary issues.  Most days I feel so badly for him but he doesn't seem to be in any pain, so we keep chugging along.  I have absolutely NO idea when we should be having the "right time" discussion which makes me feel immensely guilty so I just bury my head and pretend it's all completely normal.

Ah, Bella.  The baby of the fam.  She has become a complete handful lately reverting back to her 7 month old self since the move in of the grandpup.  Whatever rules she once followed she has completely dismissed.  
She already barks all the time, mostly at Jackson for not listening to the rules he needs to follow.  She herds him around 24/7.  Anytime we even slightly mention his name (loudly now so he can hear us) she runs and barks in his face to get his attention.  I'm sure he likes that a ton.  He stares her down as if willing her to die or choke on her barks.  I feel as though all I do is yell at her for barking, which I'm sure is working since she keeps barking anyway.  And she will NOT let Henry near me without a full on barkfest to let him know how she feels about it.

Henry.  I am truly falling for this bundle of breath.  The poor child cannot catch his breath to save his life snorting all over the place wheezing as if an imminent heart attack is awaiting.  But his eyes are so sweet (even though I still can't tell where he's looking).  He's really smart ~ one day and he knew where we would keep his food, his bed and his leash.  He goes to the door and howls anytime he needs out.  He walks gently around Jackson, either fearing his size or understanding his challenges.  And he full on RUNS from Bella who is bark attacking him every second of the day.
I guess the furkids act just like human kids.... the stubborn, independent first born, the baby of the family and the temporarily adopted one.
Please pray for the safety of the pups.  All of us our at our wits end with these three bad kids and may snap at any time and put them in time out.  As if that's even going to work.  Does anyone have Cesar Millan's hotline number?

Have a great Monday friends!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brave Little Toaster

Watching Act of Valor while my son is in the Navy may not have been my wisest choice to date.

Obviously, the movie shadows pretty rockin' awesome men.  Navy Seals.  Amazing dedication to the country they love and the freedom they protect.  Crazy brave if you ask me.

Kicked back with an ice cold beer after a days work, I am humbly reminded that my chores (or my job) do not really require me to act with bravery.   In fact, probably my highest amount of bravery required at any given time is in the fashion of confrontation... my nemesis.  Geesh... what a pansy.

It's about time for me to do something brave.  A good friend of mine just finished his final pilot test last week.  He does a bunch of jumps for people looking for some adventure.

I think that may just be right up my alley.  I'm pretty sure it will make me conjure up some bravery.

Now if I can just find my life insurance paperwork.  It is important to keep that information up to date.

Have a great Sunday night, friends.  Go forth and be brave!!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Boys of Fall

He slowly slid into his pads, adjusting his shoulders and neck before cinching them together.  Arms high in the air, his father lowered the jersey over his pads making his new uniform complete.

He is officially a Panther.

The transition from a 3 year team of boys was not an easy one.  Long term friendships were tested.  Memories were thought of daily.  The dream of taking those boys one more year through the process was finished.  No matter what, I'm still going to miss our Pirate kids.  Those boys hold a very special place in my heart!

Making choices for your children for their own development needs is not an easy task, one that often conflicts with the parental wishes.  It is a constant struggle to keep your kid's needs above your own making certain you are placing them in the right places at the right times.

I believe we have done that with our little guy.  But not without a price.

I will stand on the sidelines today and watch my son connect his chin strap with a new group of men leading him and new players to protect him.  I pray he remembers his routes, a new experience for him in his football career.  I pray he remembers the plays that are unique to this team and doesn't revert back to our Pirate ways that have been delicately embedded into his brain the last three years.

And I pray he has fun.  Finds camaraderie with his new teammates.  And feels confident enough to do what he does best.

Three cheers for a new football season, Coopster.  Momma will be SCREAMING for you on the sidelines. I'm your biggest fan!  GO PANTHERS ~ Love these Boys of Fall!

Have a great Saturday, friends!


Friday, August 24, 2012


I can't believe it is already Friday.  I usually hate when people say that phrase but this shorter week (for me) has been the longest week EVER!  Tell me again why we work 5 days a week and only vacay 2?  Moving to Europe sounds appealing right now.

Here are my pics from around the web for my fave loves this week.  Hope you enjoy!


Bring it on!  I totally love football season and could watch every game, every weekend (with some naps spattered in).  Can't wait to see my beloved Chiefs bite it again this year.  Yes, I know... I should be more optimistic.  They never fail to let me down.  But I do love them anyway.  This seems PERFECT for a Sunday game!


Oh please, oh please!  I need to remind myself of this every 34 seconds.  Damn ADD!!  Someone who loves me totally needs to get this for me!


Steal my heart why don't ya.  I love my little buddy so much it hurts!  What a SWEET face! Thanks to the kids for making such a sweet boy!



Okay, twist my arm.  Book it now!  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I guess I'll go if you make me.


I am completely addicted to Thai food.  I'm pretty sure I could eat it every single day.  SO bad for us, I know.  Whatev.  Have you ever seen a fat Thai person?  Oh wait, is that Japan?  All of those countries blend for me.  Yeah, real world traveler over here!  Click here for the yummy Shrimp Pad Thai recipe!


Oh my.  Yes please!  I absolutely love the fall color of these fantastic shoes and I must find  copy cat as soon as possible!


I think my Book Club girls would totally dig this!  What an awesome ode to books!  I have a feeling this would take a bit longer than our necklaces from last year though.  I might need to hire some back up help.



Pretty much every day.  I'm growing out my bangs (still, from a year ago) and they aren't quite long enough to tuck behind my ear just yet.  Ah, the fun of being a girl!  So... I have resorted to the braid.  Sorry, friends... you'll have to look at it a bit longer!

Have a great weekend, friends!  Mine will be filled with fire pit, football and REST!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to Port!

We got the BEST news today!

Bub's ship is back!  After a world wide trip lasting 6 months, the Cruiser that my son is assigned is coming back home.  That means he will be HOME with my daughter!  At least for awhile, anyway.  A HUGE thank you to the Sailors aboard this fantastic Cruiser for protecting our nation!  You ROCK!

I was hyperventilating daily when faced with the fact they would be moving in a very short time and as soon as they got there, he would be leaving again.  Yes, I realize he is part of a MOBILE unit but still!  I wanted peace of mind knowing he would be with Kate for a least a little bit to get their new home settled.

I placed a new countdown on my blog but regret it already.  As if I wasn't sad enough when he left for boot, this one has much heavier meaning.  This next time I see him will be for awhile - he'll be finally leaving "home".... permanently.  With Sassy and Nugget in tow.

I can barely type that without tears.

I'm trying to channel my daughter's strength.  She is so amazing about this adventure, excited about all the new things she will experience.  I'm so jealous!  At 24 years old, I totally did NOT possess this level of independence.  Granted my mother had a stroke right after I turned 25 which drastically changed my life... but even if that hadn't have happened I'm pretty sure I would not have left my hometown.  I didn't have as much courage back then.  Not nearly as much as I do now.

Oh - and for the official "blog scrapbook".... Great Lakes Recruit Training Command posted this past week's graduating class (that would be ours)... and Jeremy is in several of the pictures!  This one happens to be my fave since he is maneuvering around and you can clearly see his face!

Third Row, next to flag carrier!

I still miss him so much.  I'm not sure that feeling is ever going to go away.

He matured 5 years while he was away.  Even his words seemed different to me.  And although he wanted to know what we had been up to for the past two months, he was steadfast in not hearing ANY drama whatsoever.  He's washed his hands of unhealthy relationships, distant family and focused entirely on his own career path, his family's future and developed an awesome optimistic outlook on his life.

I can't say it enough... I'm so proud of him.  I strive to live by his example as well!

Have a fantastic Wednesday, friends!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Up Next...

And... we're back!

What an amazing weekend. I'm not even sure I can put it all into words.  I'm so proud of my son.  And my daughter.  I'm completely blessed to have such independent and strong adult children that embrace change and adventure.

And I miss him already.

Oh, and in our whirlwind week, little guy started 5th grade.  Somehow we managed to squeeze that in.  How did that happen already?!  I can't believe he is already in 5th grade.  This marks almost 5 years in our 'hood.  I can't believe that either.

What I DON'T really miss is 18 hours in the minivan.  Yeah, me in a minivan.  Write it down.  It probably won't happen again.

Other than 4 vomits, restless leg syndrome, falling asleep at the wheel (thanks for rescuing me, hubs) and a zillion dollars towards the beautification of Illinois highways via tolls, the road trip itself was totally uneventful.

We swam, we ate, we played with E.  But mostly, we were humbled.

Bubba was awarded Honorary Recruit.  One of 13 people.  Out of 1,110 graduates.  Holy cow.

This is the same kid I had to negotiate with his private high school to get him across the stage at graduation.  Yep, same kid.

What's next?  28 days in apprentice school in Illinois about a mile and a half away from his boot camp training center.  Upon completion, he will report to his ship.

His ship.

Seems so strange to say those words.  Sassy and E will accompany him cross country to their new destination.  Sunny California.

Did I mention I miss him already?  I love that boy so much it hurts.

Have a great Tuesday, friends!  So glad to be back home!


Friday, August 17, 2012


Another Friday, another round of faves!  Hope you fall in love with them as much as I did!


I'm a HUGE fan of the Keep Calm posters.  They really do remind me to just chill out and stop worrying about stupid stuff.

In honor of little guy's first football game next week, here you go!  I cannot WAIT to watch him play!  No more holding chains, running water bottles or worrying my mind off about every player on the team getting what they need.  This year... I'm a spectator!  GO PANTHERS!


Our newest house guest has provided us endless kisses, cuddles and howls.  We love him so much... even if he can't breathe very well.  Hubs thinks he needs to go see an ENT. 

My Bella still isn't speaking to me very much.  Oh well, she'll get over it.


Hubs and I went to Hawaii in 2004 and haven't stopped talking about our trip still.  I think it would be awesome to go there next summer, don'tcha think, hubs?

Kauai, Hawaii Sugar Plantation Flume


I absolutely LOVE Miranda.  I have loved her since I first saw her on the second stage at Yallapallooza when absolutely NOBODY knew who she was in 2008.  Anybody that can don a wife beater and shit kickers and look this good has my vote!  Oh, and put the rifle in her hand and she's my new BFF!  I wonder if she has ever considered Bounty work?


I'm so ready for fall weather and layering season!  Bring on the jeans!!  I've always been a fan of fall colors - golds, greens, browns and purples.  I can't wait to drag it all out of the back of the closet.


I absolutely had to post this.  Recently, my ex-husband's (of 21 years) 4th wife has attempted to start arguments with me via my blog.  She's retarded if she thinks I will entertain her for one moment. 

How do I navigate this situation?  Well, she certainly can't argue with herself (although if anyone could, it would be her)!  I'll go ahead and be the better person and not participate in her drama.


I have a friend who does this and I'm totally going to do one!  I have saved all of my oldest son's sports shirts/jerseys so I'm going to have her put them into a quilt for him for his little guy.

Can't wait!

(oh, and selfishly ~ I could totally do this with all of my race t-shirts.  I have accumulated a ton of them in the last 4 years!)


We have fire pit driveway parties a TON in the fall in our 'hood.  Always scrambling to get out the s'more stuff for the kiddos, smearing marshmallow everywhere. 

Next one we have, I'm totally whipping these together.  LOVE the idea!  Click here for the walk through:  Caramel Marshmallows


I love, love, love boot season!  I can feel it coming in just a matter of weeks and I cannot WAIT!  I wonder if I can find some knock offs just like these to add to my collection?


This is exactly how I feel right now.  As you are reading this, I'm at my son's boot camp graduation.

I'm so proud and happy.  All is right!

Have a fantastic Friday, friends!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

This Bird You Cannot Change

No, he's not modeling.  I promise.  He's being super serious.

My oldest son can be so serious sometimes.  He contemplates with great care.  He analyzes everything.  He always considers another's feelings and can be quite empathetic.  Without trying to make him sound wimpy... he can be quite sensitive.  And I love these qualities in my son.

I hope that his experiences over the last 8 weeks haven't changed this about him.  Obviously he will be different ~ I know he will look different and probably act different for awhile.  But I just hope and pray that the fun, outgoing, sarcastic side of him still exists and they didn't take it away.

I'm sure it's there.  As soon as I see him, I will know.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and his smile is undeniable.

I cannot wait until tomorrow morning!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seasonal Shift

Another summer complete.  No more lazy Saturdays, flexible bedtimes and late night dinners.  Changing from one swim suit into another one to head back to the pool.  Watermelon on the back patio with juice dripping from the elbows.  Red eyes from the chlorine in the water.  The smell of coconut tanning oil.  The pink skin from being in the sun all day.  Lounging on the porch to Jack Johnson music.  Watching the wonder in my two year old grandson's eyes when playing in the sprinkler.

Nope, all done.  But the memories built will last forever.

My sarcastic and funny soon to be FIFTH grader!

Onward to homework, school events, football games and fire pits.  I love my boys of fall.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On The Edge of Glory

Last week my daughter and I held our breath for almost 12 hours.

Bub had to take his final exams at boot camp ~ a 12 hour endurance test called Battle Stations.

Battle Stations is the culminating event of Navy Boot Camp.  It's designed to wrap everything a Recruit has learned about swimming survival, teamwork, fire fighting, damage control and more into one massive 12 hour hands-on exercise.  They started at 7:00 pm Thursday and went through 7:00 am Friday morning.

Everything I have read says that Recruits say Battle Stations are their best experience in boot camp.  I don't know about that... I'm not sure I would love tear gas, friends.

Or this.

A ceremony is held at the end of the exercise and when a Recruit receives his hat he/she knows that they've become a Sailor.  They remove their Recruit hats and place their Navy hats upon their heads.

And that is when my son called.  He completed Battle Stations and let us know that he is officially a United States Sailor. My son is a Sailor.

Each time I think I can't be more proud, I am.

Oh, and for those of you wondering.... this is a real kid.  I just didn't have this blog created when he was in high school.  Thank god.  My entries would have looked much different!

Have a great Tuesday, friends!  At least we don't have to get tear gassed today!


Monday, August 13, 2012


I am realizing more and more how incredibly OLD I am.  Not old in how I look necessarily but old in how I FEEL.  My body is ANGRY with me!

We had an incredible weekend at the homestead filled with friends and fun galore.  Pictures always tell the story so I'll throw up a few for those of you not on facebook and you'll get an idea.

Working hard definitely has its advantages.  A group of coworkers and I had a great opportunity last month to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters by participating in a bowling event.  Being the social director that I am, I insisted we wear costumes.  I mean seriously... who wouldn't want to dress up to bowl? We were the Role Models (aptly named) and each of us was either a BIG or a LITTLE. 

And of COURSE we won first prize for costumes!  Woo hoo!  We were rewarded with Chiefs tickets!

Friday night, a few of said team members and I took out for the festivities.  I absolutely love football - the turf, the spirit, the energy at the stadium is absolutely off the hook!  I cannot wait to hit more games this year!

TZ, me and Lynne :)
Saturday was a true test to my endurance level.  We threw our 4th annual End of the Summer (Back to School) party for the kiddos in our 'hood.  Each year we try to out do the prior year and I'm pretty certain we hit one out of the park ~ as far as the kids were concerned, anyway.

Some of my FAVE shots from the day:

MY Michael Phelps with the 6 foot wingspan (at 10!)

Boys will be boys.... I mean MEN.  or Dads.  Come on, wouldn't you want these guys to be YOUR dad?

Source of fun - 54 feet long, 22 feet high, 15 feet wide.  Tsunami!

Fab Four ~ Original EC Girls!
We finished up the weekend with school shopping and pure exhaustion.  Oh, and throw in a paintball party for little guy.  We were all wiped out last night and couldn't even keep our eyes open much past 9:00 pm.

Marathon training resumed today with a beautiful 4 mile run with hubs in the 67 degree weather. As much as I worship the sun, love the water and fun that summer brings, I am totally ready for the Missouri fall weather.  What a great time of year to train!
Have a great Monday, friends!