Friday, October 31, 2008

Of halloween past and present...

I have survived another Halloween. My kids think it is the greatest thing next to Christmas. Me, not so much, I've never been a big fan of Halloween, I don't even remember being that crazy about it as a kid. My little town used to have a Halloween parade and every kid got a full bag of candy - I don't remember what kind of candy it was but I'm thinking those circus peanut things or something equally as disgusting. I wasn't even that crazy about Halloween as a young adult. I went to parties and inevitably dressed up as the girl in pajamas with the baby bottle full of whatever adult beverage was being served but it really wasn't my favorite thing to do and frankly I'm not that creative about the costume thing. Now the HotY he is much more creative about the costumes. One year he made Alex the most awesome robot costume ever. He was the hit of the neighborhood complete with flashing lights and dryer vent legs and arms. I'd show you a picture but the costume happened before we had a digital camera and I just don't feel like going to all the trouble of finding and scanning a picture right now. Sorry but some nights I'm just lazy! So the point is I'm not exactly sorry to see Halloween come to an end - I really can't even wait until the mandatory five day waiting period is over so I can take the candy to work. I know! Oh and about those Halloweens past - I actually made the decision to move to my current small growing city on Halloween SEVERAL years ago thus beginning the journey towards my destiny and the HotY - he's such a lucky guy :-)

Here are some pictures from our Halloween highlights. We had trick or treating in my office this afternoon and someone said they thought my girls looked just like me. I don't see it but took it as a great compliment none-the-less. Alex was enjoying a night with his teen scene group so was not present for the costume photos - again proving that photos of teenage boys continue to be elusive.

The princess bride looking a little disappointed because the frog didn't turn into a handsome prince after all.

Patiently waiting for candy to arrive

Our cute witch who was a little worried that the neighbors might not recognize her with her new haircut.

More of the blushing pricess bride. She received several proposals and refused them all.

The first costumes of the day for school scarecrow day. Note the unbrushed hair and slightly disheveled look - let's just say the HotY was in charge.
Someone was not at all happy about the hat...
Have a great night and may all your halloweens be filled with fabulous costumes and only the good candy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A moment of clarity...

Has this ever happened to you? When you see something so clearly that you wonder how you could have failed to see the real picture for so long? This happened to me yesterday. Suddenly I had a very clear picture of a situation which has been causing me stress for quite some time. The problem is the clarity did not make me feel one bit better about anything – it made me feel worse. Sometimes that is reality – worse. So now the question is do I continue to look at reality or bury what I know under rainbows and sunshine? I realize this is a hypothetical question as even I know the correct answer I’m just not sure how long it is going to take me to commit myself to the answer and close the test booklet. KWIM? (I love a good analogy, I can't help myself so just humor me - okay?)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkins and apples...

we still have to go to the orchard and get pumpkins and apples. My kids have been patiently waiting for this treat which I cannot put off any longer. I should have done it Saturday instead of shopping since the weather has gotten much colder since then. But the shopping, it was already planned. Besides, pumpkins or shopping, you decide.

Anyway, the plan was to go on Monday but it was REALLY cold so the plan got changed to today but I'm fighting my once every two years nasty cold and had a stressful day on top of it so the pumpkins, they needed to wait. Now the plan is to go tomorrow and it really can't be put off another day. So tomorrow after school off to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch even if Amy and Heather are going to do a really fun thing in the big city tomorrow night. A really fun thing that they invited me along to do with them but which I declined because I promised my kids the apple orchard/pumpkin patch. That's part of being a parent - putting your own fun aside for the fun of your children. And really picking out pumpkins and apples will be fun and my kids will have a blast and I'll get to take pictures. Not that I'm not envious of Heather and Amy but the pay-off as time spent with my kids will be worth it. So I'm hoping for sunshine and much less stress and no sore throat tomorrow - oh and updates from the girls while they are partaking of their really fun thing :-) Did you hear that Amy - updates. You know my cell number...

Okay that's it.

TTFN... Off to bed.

Oh and that really fun thing that Heather and Amy are going to be doing - YES, it has to do with scrapbooking, what can I say... :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yes, I'm still up...

and yes it is almost midnight and yes I should really be in bed as I am getting a nasty cold and I can already tell that by tomorrow morning I will not have a voice. BUT I don't want to disappoint the HotY by going to bed at a decent time on the weekend - not to mention doing so when I'm sick (believe me he will have a discussion with me about this in about 10 minutes when I do go to bed). I really should have known that this cold thing was only going to get worse as today was a bad hair day. My hair never turns out when I am getting sick - it is like all the sick cells go to my head - really. I'm not kidding. Sick = limp hair. Fine, don't believe me but it's true - ask Amy and Heather they will verify it was a bad hair day.

Anyway, there were two things I wanted to say about today's shopping trip and now I can't remember either one of them. Shoot. I mean it was important enough for me to sign on and start typing and now I can't remember.

Oh now I remember - two very ironic things happened

1. I got to Heather's at 9:15 just as planned and she wasn't ready and why wasn't she ready? Because she knew I was driving and if I was driving I would be late :-O WHAT? And then we got to Amy's house and guess what? AMY WASN'T READY and Amy is always ready on time but do you know why she wasn't ready? Because she knew I was driving and if I was driving I would be late. What is going on here? I'm not always late for social events, sometimes I'm on time and today I was ON TIME. RIGHT ON TIME but from now on I'm going to be late - it is my duty to my friends. I've decided they count on me to be late thus giving them a few extra minutes to get themselves ready so from now on when I'm late it isn't because I wasn't ready on time it is because I'm doing my friends a favor - seriously!

2. Oh and that getting lost thing. Do you know what makes that even more pathetic? I have a navigation system built in my van and we had our destination plugged in and yet I still got lost - which prompted Amy to say "so when your navigation says keep left you keep right???" I guess you had to be here. Anyway, you know sometimes that annoying woman giving me directions gets it wrong and everyone once in a while I just like to test her that's just the way I do it. You know sometimes I think I make my life harder than it has to be :-)

Okay I'm done and possibly slightly delirious (but while I've been typing this my pal Gavin came on and well I had to listen) so I'm going to bed. Finally. The HotY will be happy.

It's a small world...

so I think I mentioned that I was going shopping with my friends Heather and Amy in honor of Heather's birthday (yes we wined and dined her and embarrassed her at the restaurant with the singing of Happy Birthday - something that they don't usually do but our 20 something male waiter was happy to oblige us). Anyway, as I was walking through Bloomingdale's at one of the largest malls in America I heard someone say "sure, just walk right by your sister" and it was MY sister. My sister who doesn't live anywhere near the largest mall in America (I live nearer but I'm not right next door either so I will forgive her for not telling me she was going to be there). I mean really, what are the chances? This is truly a HUGE mall and then to be in the same store at the same time - it was fate! It was nice to see my sister - a good surprise.

And about the shopping. Although we did hit the mall there is also a small independent shop that we like to visit whenever we are in the area but no matter who drives (Amy, Heather or I) we get lost trying to get to the store. Today was no exception (I was driving). Somehow we ended up on the wrong road and had nowhere to go but to the airport - so we cruised the baggage and departure area looking at all the happy people flying away to some exotic locale and then got back on the road again. The problem was we were laughing so hard that I almost missed the right road AGAIN! We finally arrived and made our purchases - of course we got lost again on our way home but that too worked out okay as Amy had to make a stop at Target and there it was TARGET - so we stopped, Amy bought and we got back on the RIGHT ROAD. It was a fun day although a bit longer due to our unanticipated backtracking.

So there you go - a fun and fateful day - FABULOUS! :-)


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And now - the rest of the story...

Okay I've given you an overview of the trip. I've given you pictures of the trip. I've even given you a picture of the HotY while on the trip but I haven't really given you the details of the trip. Details like how six hours in the car with only your spouse for company is a LONG trip. But considering we got on the road just seconds before reaching the "I'm not saying another single word to you for the next six months" stage I have to admit it could have been MUCH longer. But disaster was averted after all and the time passed pretty uneventfully, although quietly. After a couple hours of companionable silence (yes, I napped) I couldn't take it anymore and my "I really must do something to annoy someone" tendencies kicked in so I proceeded to sing every song that came on the radio. It really isn't the singing that bugs the HotY so much because although my tone isn't always the greatest I can carry a tune, it is the fact that if I don't know the words I just make up my own. For some reason he seems to find this exceedingly annoying - and really there are a lot of songs where I just wing it so you can imagine his joy at my concert performance. Alas, after awhile even the most effective annoyance can get old so I gave up the singing for an hour or so (besides I was getting a hoarse throat). But I wasn't done trying to push a button. About a half an hour from our destination I found an even more annoying diversion - I began reading EVERY single road sign. I KNOW so juvenile of me but so fun. I was especially challenged when we would pass a farm yard full of campaign signs but I passed the test and even though he didn't tell me I know the HotY was truly impressed with my abilities (oh and in case you were wondering - the most popular sign was the "Right turn lane begins. Yield to bicycles" at the beginning of each right turn lane - I got to read that one a lot). The game came to a quick halt when I mistakenly read a STOP sign a little too emphatically causing him to think there was an approaching deer or something (I was truly sorry). I think it was a good thing we got to the cabin when we did (that slightly smiling picture of the HotY in the car - that WASN'T taken at this point of the trip :-))
Anyway, once we arrived at the cabin all the stress of the world seemed to roll off my shoulders and we were able to relax and enjoy the quiet (and it was REALLY QUIET) and scenery. Finally about 8:00 p.m. we roused ourselves to go in search of pizza - which we found - but upon stepping foot in the door we were greeted by a less than friendly high school girl who told us we could order a pizza to go but there would be no eating of pizza in the restaurant as they were trying to clean up and close. Fine - we could eat it at the cabin there was no need for her to get snippy - sheesh! So we took the pizza and ate cold pizza at the cabin - but that was okay we were on vacation and there was a microwave.
So really that was the pattern of the majority of the trip.
  • Mornings spent in the surprisingly comfortable bed
  • Annoying behavior when warranted
  • Hanging out at the cabin for most of each day
  • Enjoying the Scenery
  • Savoring the Quiet
  • Staring at the Calm Waters
  • Marveling at the Sunsets
  • Rousing about 8:00 p.m. for something to eat
  • Back to the surprisingly comfortable bed.
Now you know the rest of the story and now, I'm done, I'm done talking about it because I'm not sharing all the details and vacation is over. It's back to reality whether I like it or not :-) But try to find your own secluded cabin somewhere - it's an escape I highly recommend.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Always trust your gut instinct...

like when you just want to go for a quick walk and two five year olds ask to join you. I really just wanted to go for a 20 minute walk before it got too dark but then those two faces looked so excited to go with me that I caved and said yes. 20 minutes later when we STILL hadn't left the house I knew I should have followed my original plan of sneaking out the back patio door (I could have been back before then even knew I was gone) but a promise is a promise - so off we went.

Along the way we talked about Halloween and scary witches and skeletons hanging in trees. We kicked leaves and discussed why it is not okay to jump into leave piles if you didn't do the raking. It was a nice walk and we came home with a little color in our cheeks and smiles on our faces -worth the extra time (and so much for gut instinct)!

And now, totally unrelated to walking or Halloween or even scary witches (no commentary here please) are the rest of the pictures I am willing to share from our trip. Enjoy.

Our Cabin - No. 7:

The fabulous screened in porch:

Bedroom (and no that is not someone hiding under the covers - just a hastily made bed):

Kitchen (yes, it got used):
Bathroom (clean, modern, indoor plumbing is always good):
Living room:

Front cabin view:

I could have spent countless hours sitting on this dock:

View from the porch:

Oh and this, this is the HotY. He isn't going to be happy about this:

The Mississippi Headwaters:

Virgin Mary in her grotto:

And the next pictures - pure bliss:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm back...

our trip "Up North" was very enjoyable and relaxing. We had an awesome cabin but it was truly secluded as we were the only guests at the resort. We stayed at the Two Inlets Resort. The cabin was clean and modern. The waterfront was beautiful and the relaxation factor was HUGE! We took pictures, lounged by the water, lounged in the cabin, lounged in the screened in porch, lounged on the dock and did a little sight-seeing.

We visited the headwaters of the Great Mississippi, a grotto for the Virgin Mary (yes I have a thing about the Virgin Mary. She's a woman, a woman with a child, a woman who faced great obstacles. I think she would understand me. Sure I didn't ever get the honor of doing the May Crowning in first grade and I'm not a Vestal Virgin and none of my children were conceived by Immaculate Conception but I think I could find a connection with Mary, I really do. And no I am not being sacrilegious I'm being serious. I even placed flowers on her alter on my wedding day it was just something I wanted to do), and yes we did a little shopping. I will post more pictures tomorrow when I have caught up on the laundry and have gotten our lives adjusted to the reality of the real world - which unfortunately does not include watching sunsets over calm waters with nothing more to do than count the leaves falling from the trees...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gone in a flash...

that is how the month of October is shaping up. It seems like the more stuff we have going on the faster the time flies and this month has been jam packed. It's all good but I could use a little more time on my hands!

The big kid event for the month was last weekend with a special treat for the kids. Several months ago we purchased tickets to attend the Laurie Berkner concert being held in the big city. If you don't know about the goodness of Laurie Berkner check her out. She is a regular on Jack's Big Music Show (I think it's on Nickelodeon) and my kids are CRAZY about her (Moon Moon Moon and White Coral Bells are my personal favorites). The day was a total surprise we told them we were going to watch something. They thought cloud watching would be a good surprise - seriously! When we arrived at the venue they took one look at the posters and proceeded to freak out! It seemed like forever before the doors were opened. Once the concert started it was a free for all complete with kids dancing in the aisles and a 6 year old and younger mosh pit! Alex was kind of on the edge about what he wanted to do,

Lauren sat in her seat glued to my side and was very reserved

and then there was Syd who was not only dancing in the aisles but probably would have climbed up on the stage and joined the band if she had been allowed. That girl. I have no idea where she came from some days! She is like no one I have ever known before. Life is a constant adventure full of surprises and potential.

This weekend was our low-key weekend with only a birthday party to attend. I did get some photos out of the deal - which you are seeing here - today. Both girls were in full "posing" mode.

And the big event for the "adults" in our family is the short week we have this week. There is no school on Thursday and Friday so the HotY is taking full advantage of the break and has planned a romantic getaway for the two of us. Seriously, I know next to nothing about the plans other than we are staying "up north" by a lake in a cottage with fireplace option. Too bad it doesn't include the outdoor hot tub option because have you ever enjoyed the wonder of a hot tub on a cool autumn night under a star filled sky? Seriously, it rates right up there - trust me! I guess there is a lake but I have a feeling the water is not heated :-) So I'm not sure what to expect and at first I was okay with that but now as the date is drawing closer I'm starting to get a little curious about the plans. I've started a list so I make sure I am covering all the possibilities. Right now it includes three items:

  • Wine

  • Blow dryer

  • Make-up

Just because I may be somewhere in the isolated wilderness doesn't mean that I can't try to look nice - I mean really you people know me - right?

The following weekend I have shopping in the big city with Amy and Heather, a school spirit run and a neighborhood party and then it's Halloween - the next big thing next to Christmas as far as my kids are concerned.

So that's it - aren't you glad you asked :-)


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sounds of Silence...

Sorry, I took a little blogging break because even I need relief from myself once in a while! But alas, I keep running into me every time I turn around :-) Anyway, in all seriousness, I have been trying to get some hard things figured out for myself and sometimes the best way for me to do that is to NOT TALK. As hard as it may be for some of you to believe I do have times when I go very silent. Seriously, ask my mom, I don’t even know the last time I called my parents and that is pretty unusual. Besides, along with the thinking silence I have to be honest and say I just haven’t felt like talking to anyone – a rare circumstance. I’ve gone an entire week without having to charge my phone :-) BUT for my friend Wendy I’m going to break the silence and force myself to talk a bit. She and I met on Saturday for breakfast and manies and pedies. Over orange juice and breakfast pastries she informed me of her disappointment in my lack of commentary on the current DWTS. So here you go Wendy…

Dancing with the Stars – what can I say. I have to admit that I just haven’t felt the same about the show since Emmett Smith RIPPED the silver disco ball right out from under my Marvelous Mario’s spectacular dancing feet. My world tilted and I became jaded and skeptical about the entire dancing fiasco. And the producers of the show, well they have done NOTHING to try to win back my love. Cloris Leachman? Jane Seymour? Marie Osmond? A rich basketball team owner and some 18 year old little boy from Hannah Montana? Come on. Give me something here. Obviously, they do not know who I am and what I say about them :-)

Regardless with every new beginning I still expect big things. I think things will be different - that this time it will be good again. That the powers that be are going to hear my pleas and select Rob Lowe to dance all over my heart. But have they heard me? Are they listening? I don’t think so as here we are with “stars” like the Wild On girl, some boxer guy, a washed up football player, a teenager and an old woman. WHAT? Oh and don’t even get me started on the dancing booty chick. She was a huge let-down to all of us big booty girls of the world. I mean the girl may have a body but she certainly didn’t know how to move it. NO sex appeal at all – it was like watching a stick dance. I guess that is the thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Without chemistry and passion the dances just don’t do it for me. Anyone can move the moves but not everyone can feel the moves and this season I think I can safely say NO ONE is feeling the moves. The all look like they’ve just learned how to do the Hustle in elementary school gym class.


NO PASSION. NO CHEMISTRY. NO HEAT. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So yes, yes, yes, I’ll keep watching and hoping for a change but I might be very quiet while waiting.

TTFN. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, it depends on how this thinking thing is going but don’t give up on me. I’ll be back, I promise. Chatty girls like me can only be quiet for so long…