Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ted*

*name has been changed to protect the innocent...or the not so innocent in this case...

So when I got to the girls' elementary school to pick them up from the After School Program, Chandler was behind the desk with a little boy and they were being reamed out by the director of the ASP. This was not a good situation for me. I thought I might have to take her outside and beat her. If she was getting in trouble this was the worst timing she ever could have imagined - the moment when I walk in to sign them out. Immediately the other lady began mouthing to me, "She's not in trouble, she's not in trouble." It was frantic mouthing. I'm not sure if it was the fact that my eyes were bulging out of my head or the fact that the creeping red that comes with a spiked blood pressure that made her think this was necessary. But whatever the case was, I was somewhat grateful for her frantic mouthing - it saved Chan's behind.

Apparently, it was the little boy, Ted, that was in trouble. They were playing a game and he got entirely too rough. (Although she may have deserved it. Just sayin.) Regardless, on the way home I inquired who this boy was.

Casey: You know, Mom, Ted. He's the one that tells me that I have long nose hair.
Me: Ohhhhh, yes I do remember that.
Chan: And he says that my legs are a mile long. And that's crazy because my legs are not a mile long.
Casey: They would be longer than an airplane if they were a mile long!
Chan: How many miles is it to Chicago?
Me: About 800.
Chan: So it would take me 800 steps if my legs were a mile long. That would be awesome!
Casey: And then we could all hang onto your back and it would only take, like, an hour to get there! That would be awesome!
Me: Yes, it certainly would.
Chan: But my legs aren't a mile long and its not nice that he says that.
Casey: And its not true that I have long nose hair.
Chan: Ted is just not very nice.

And the truth is spoken.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Shoes!


After work today I ran into town to Target to finish Easter basket shopping. This year I've decided to put things in the basket that I have to buy anyway - bathing suits, sunglasses, etc. And then I swung through the shoe dept and found these oh-so-cute sandals and figured, well, they will need new sandals this year. And, the best part, was that they were on sale - 2 pairs for $20. Sold! So I bought the first pair for Chan and the pink pair for Case. And then at dinner tonight Casey announced that pink (after the past 6 years) is no longer her favorite color...green is. I blame Chris for this. On St. Patrick's Day he complimented Casey to the hilt on how nice green looked on her. So I'm thinking that the pink sandals will be going in his Easter basket.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Love of Mine

I love this. No. Really. Like, I seriously love this. Its a print entitled Winter Rains made by Kecky, inexpensive, beautiful and I really feel that I must have one for my house. So, before making a final decision about something that is going to hang on a wall in our home, I did the considerate thing and decided to run it by Chris.

Me: You have to look at this. I love it and I want one.
*pull up listing, Chris sits next to me on the couch*
Me: So, what do you think?
Chris: *without skipping a beat, monotone voice* It looks like a girl I used to date.

Really? You have to throw that in there? At this point, there is some scwabbling. Bottom line, I think it will be my gift to him for our anniversary.

Ready...

...for Spring Break. I started off this lovely Monday morning by oversleeping. Awesome.

We had a busy weekend.
1. Grocery shopping Saturday morning.
2. Lunch at Ike and Jane's Saturday afternoon (to go so that I could eat at the studio with Frankie). I would just like to mention that I also got dessert for us - these delicious little thin mint cheesecakes. Oh, Heaven.
3. Hair cut and color. This took up a major chunk of my day. But really, I go 4 times a year, so I'm okay with it.
4. Church
5. Lunch for Chris's birthday yesterday with the Pendley's.
6. Choir practice for the girls

And there you have it.

Today at Casey's ballet/tap class it was parent visitation day. I had no idea that you could tap dance to music by Prince. I am thinking about taking a class now. I could totally get down to some Prince. Chris doesn't know about this yet, but I think he would be supportive.

Lots of people having been asking lately about how my etsy business is going and well, its going pretty well. I am constantly amazed by how encouraging my family, friends, coworkers, church members, friends of friends and strangers at gas stations are. I, of course, would love for my online sales to be what my IRL sales are, but hey, I'll take what I can get. It will happen eventually. At least that's what I tell myself. Kind of like having the thought of swimming the English Channel. It'll happen eventually. Heehee! But seriously, I am working at it and trying some different advertising ideas and have made plans for the future. So, continue to encourage and support! It makes me feel good. And getting a shout out from people like My Favorite Things and Crystal B, also makes me feel good.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Spring Do


This is me...and the new spring do. It is much shorter. And there is now no pony. And yes, I should probably put on some make up...or at least a little lipstick. Sheesh.


And this is a picture of my long nose and small chin. And our kitchen cabinets.


And this is a picture of my gorgeous strawberry blond chunky highlights. And the other side of my really long nose. And another picture that reiterates for me that I need to go upstairs and put some lipstick on. Just sayin.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last Wedding Picture Post...For Now.


Chris and his mother. I think this might actually be his favorite picture from our wedding.


My family. My mom and step dad, brothers - Randall and Matt. I love this picture for several reasons...1. This is honestly how we look when we are enjoying ourselves. 2. Randall was pinching us in this picture. You can see how tightly he is holding on to Matt's ribs. 3. I love that I am not looking straight on. This makes me feel like it captures us in the moment and not us, posing for a picture.


My dad and I. How handsome he is with that silver hair. I hope to have that silver hair some day.


Chris and I lounging on a park bench on North Campus. This is what you do after saying "I do," right?


Chris and I. Really, this is what that day was all about. Becoming a family.


So this is going to be my last wedding picture post...at least for now. I will say this though, to help me get over the craziness of last week and to start to feel like myself again, this was the perfect remedy. I thoroughly enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane to my happiest day. And let me just say this...Frankie (you know Frankie, my bestie) was our wedding photographer...before she was my bestie. It was actually the beginning of our beautiful friendship - I hired her and then we realized how much we enjoyed each others' company and now, well, I can't imagine my life without her. (And now for the plug...you can visit her at Stylized Portraiture in Athens...I can't guarantee that she will become your bestie, but I can guarantee that she will take amazing pictures of your family.)

Moving right along...Yesterday was HUGE, right? I mean really...featured on someone's else's blog AND winning a giveaway? Spectacular. And speaking of spectacular, I paid Lolo the hair ninja at Honey's Salon a visit today and she gave me a spectacular spring cut and color. Good-bye ponytail. I will see you in the fall. My plan is to share pictures of this new do tomorrow. This isn't happening tonight because I had a massive migraine by the time I got home and had to lay down. Which has led to a very flat new do. Not really the look I want to share with you. While I was at the salon, Chris was flying kites with the kids. How great of a Dad is he????

Friday, March 26, 2010

Holy Sockamoly!

I (me, moi, yours truly) am featured on the Friday Favorites post on the My Favorite Things blog (which happens to be one of my favorites!)! You can find the post here. You can also find my original (unedited) post about it here. What a great way to start the weekend!

And...if you arrived here from the link on My Favorite Things...stick around! I would love for you to become a follower!


***Update: And then, I just found out that I WON a giveaway on My Favorite Things this week! Seriously. I am going to buy a lotto ticket.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Our" Wedding


I had to include this picture because it makes me laugh. The girls took their role as flower girls very seriously and as we were making the procession into the chapel, they were directing traffic. I think that they were showing off that they understood who was supposed to be doing what, when.


Chandler


Casey - please note that she is showing off her "manicure"


The girls dancing with my parents.


The girls dancing with each other.

Throughout the whole wedding planning process the girls continuously referred to it as "our" wedding. Because, really, it was their wedding too. And still to this day that is how they refer to it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cake Demolition and a story about bacon



Apparently our wedding cake was a big hit. And trust me, there was plenty for everyone. I think people had 2nds and perhaps even 3rds. It was a good cake. And cost effective...which was extremely important since Chris and I were paying for this shindig ourselves! God bless the good people at the Publix bakery.

So last night we had breakfast for dinner. It is one of our favorites - eggs, potatoes, biscuits and bacon. Yum! These comments were made...

Me: My biscuits are burnin'! (Because I say this every time I eat biscuits at home. Thank you Yosemite Sam!)
Chan: So your toes are hot?

Um, no. Thanks for playing, though.

Casey: (with 3 slices of bacon left on her plate) May I be excused?
Chris: What? You're not going to eat that bacon?
Casey: You know I don't like to eat the pig...the cute, cute little pig.
Chan: Good! More for ME! I looooooovvvvvveeeeee to eat the pig! Pig is my favorite!
Chris: Perhaps we shouldn't tell Casey that we're eating pork chops tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dancing Is Tops on My List

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of Molly and I. (And believe me, there are lots to choose from.) I believe we were shaking our booties to the ever popular, Baby Got Back. Because nothing screams wedding like two white girls shaking their tail feather to some Sir Mix A Lot.


Which leads to another favorite picture. (And believe me, there are lots of Jimmy and Angie pictures to choose from.) At this point in the evening, we were belting out Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Its ok. We know all the lyrics. I could even sing it for you right now. For quite some time Jimmy loved Poison (back in the day) and even though I never saw them in concert...he did. Lots of times. Our fabulous Uncle Dave once took us to a concert...Trixter, Firehouse and Warrant. Awesome.



Chris and I getting down. It was our first dance. We practiced in the kitchen for many, many nights. I love Frank Sinatra. Its funny...during our engagement I actually talked Chris into taking a dance class with me. Every Friday night for months we had a standing (or rather, dancing) date.


The girls also know that there is more fun to have on the dance floor than standing on the sidelines.

This is me dancing with Michelle...the wedding planner. I repeatedly told people prior to the wedding that if they planned on talking to me there that they would need to be on the dance floor. I was serious. Every time Michelle needed to discuss something with me she had to join me for a spin.

ps - don't forget to enter your chances to win....here

Monday, March 22, 2010

And...

I'm offering free shipping on purchases made through my etsy shop March 22, 23 and 24! Just so you know. ;)

So I've decided...





....that this week I am posting pictures from my wedding. Only because I am bound and determined to have a better week this week and I am staying positive and happy. And my wedding day makes me happy. I know that people say this and it sounds really cheesy, but it was the best day of my life. Yes, it was better than the day my children were born because I was awake and not drugged out for it. I also didn't weigh 200lbs on my wedding day. And I was having a good hair day. Anyway, so today I am focusing on my Gram. Oh, how I love this lady! Isn't she beautiful? She is turning 80 this year, which is amazing. She giggles like a teenager. She knows how to love and she loves to the fullest. Speaking of love, that is what she says about her life, that she has always been loved..."I was loved by my parents. I was loved by my husband. And now I am loved by my children and my grandchildren and my great grandchildren." Isn't that a fantastic way to look at your life? And this is not to say that she hasn't had her rough patches. She has. But she made it through them with class and dignity and humor and well...love. I speak to my grandmother often - about life, husbands and children, the past, her upbringing, her travels, her friends and the fact that she has the busiest retirement I have ever heard of.

When I was a child she would push me around the yard in the wheel barrow. Purple was my favorite color and in the spring she would plant purple flowers in her yard and call them her "Angie Flowers." She made me pudding on a cloud and orange cows for dessert. I remember watching her and my Papa dance "the stroll" together in the living room and then teaching me all about the music of their courtship. I cannot tell you how many times they were a perfect audience for me while I belted out "Blueberry Hill" and "Chantilly Lace."

As a teen and an adult, even though we live 750 miles apart, she has been there for everything major (and even not so major) in my life. Weddings...graduations...she even came to stay with me for 3 weeks after the girls were born...holding babies, washing bottles, changing diapers.

She loves me unconditionally. She doesn't judge. She accepts and supports, encourages and praises. She is there to celebrate my life's victories with me and there to pick up the pieces when things fall apart.

She has 6 children, 19 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. I can safely say that each and every one of us would do anything in the world for her...the same way that she would do anything in the world for any one of us.

ps - visit Crystal b's giveaway blog and enter...here!

Exciting News!!!

My dear wonderful friend, Crystal B, has offered a giveaway on her page for one of my necklaces! Yay! Pay her a visit here and drop your name in the hat! Contest is open until Wednesday and you can enter up to 3 times!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In Love With Owls


Do you see them? There are two super cute owls hiding in this necklace!



And really, aren't these such fun for spring??!!

You can find these in my etsy shop and there are MORE on the way! Big sigh. Oh, how I love the owls!

Trapped!


my three babies - Casey, Quinn and Chandler


This is what happens when you tell Q to say "cheese"

I am currently trapped! Q decided at 11:30 that he should take a nap on the couch. So I am stuck...on the couch...paranoid to leave the room or to make too much noise. But it sucks because I can't leave the room or make too much noise. I know that this will be the only nap of the day. Chris took the girls to church this morning - then they have a play date and then children's choir. Chris has softball practice and is staying in Athens for the afternoon, so I am not really sure what I am going to do with Q when he decides to wake up. I stayed home with him today because his viral fever now has a rash (on his neck, back and chin) to go along with it. No mouth sores though, so we should feel lucky with that. Last night we hung out with the Wylie's and had a delightful time on their deck. And for the first time EVER, Chris was more social than I was. He actually mingled. Have I mentioned that the Wylies make their own brew? That may have had something to do with Chris's social-ness. Just sayin.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wishing Away Time

I have been in a funk. I have found myself wishing away time - you know...if I can only get through the rest of this week or if I can just make it till Spring Break or please let summer come faster or I am going on a European vacation the summer that I am 48...if I can just make it till then. And that is really not an okay way to live because then I am wishing for tomorrow instead of enjoying today (no matter what kind of day today is).

So I am trying hard to man up and just deal with the crappy days and not wish them away.

Tonight my mother is coming to babysit (and spend the night) so that Chris and I can attend Frankie's 30th birthday.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sickness '10

We knew something was wrong with Q when Chris picked him up from daycare yesterday and he was sound asleep. When they got home, Q was freely passing out kisses...also unheard of. The only people that he is willingly affectionate with are DoeDoe and Meme. He knows that his affection for them will come back to him in spades someday. He is unsure what affection towards us will get him.

He woke up around 9:45 last night with a low grade fever. Even though we gave him tylenol, it continued to climb through the night. He slept in our bed. Quinn in our bed = no sleep for anyone. I had a parent breakfast that I was in charge of this morning. And we have book fair this week. Chris was leading a county work session this afternoon. So we split the day.

Chris took him to the doctor this morning. Following ear inspection, throat swabbing and finger pricking, it was determined that he has a virus and we are supposed to be on the look out for mouth sores. Ok. Sure. And then what do we do????

I came home to spend the afternoon with him. We took a four hour nap together. He consistently head butted my face. It was awesome.

Girl Update: Chandler bought some ridiculous p.o.s. at the book fair at their school. It is a voice recorder that looks like an ipod touch. Chandler was doing her homework this afternoon and Casey wanted to play with it. Chan told her no. Casey did it anyway. Chan attacked Casey and Casey bit Chan's boob. She even broke the skin. In the bath tonight Casey told her that the wound makes it look like a third boob. Awesome.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I could lay my head down and take a nap right now.

I just said that to Chris. There were times today when I thought to myself, oh, thank God tomorrow is Friday! I just have to get through the rest of today. Only to then have the painful realization that it is in fact, just Wednesday, making tomorrow just Thursday. Ugh.
****
Random statements made by my children:

As we were walking out of the book fair at the girls' school today, I said this to their media specialist who I also happen to be friends with...

"Bye, Jenn! Have a great night! I'll talk to you soon!"

And Chandler said, "Um, I thought her name was Mrs. Saine."

Yes, it is. But she does have a first name.
****

Then on the drive home Casey said...

"Mom. I have a pimple. On my face. By my nose."

I already knew this because you would have to be blind to miss it.

Me: Yes, Honey. I saw it.
Casey: Why does this happen?
Me: Well, its either dirt in your pores or some hormone issues.
Casey: Well whatever it is I hope Chandler gets one tomorrow for making fun of me today.

Do you feel the sisterly love? Am I raising mean girls?
****

And that is the conclusion of the random statements made by my children section of this post.

I am leaving to take Chan to dance. And to pick up Chinese food for dinner. I love Chinese food.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Long Long Time Ago...

So Molly's comment from the last post (about olives and feta) led me directly to this post. (If you don't know Molly, you should. There are not enough adjectives in the world that I could use to describe the wonderfulness that is Molly.) But first, I need to provide you with a little bit of background information....

I have known Molly since my freshman year in high school. We had mutual friends. And then we "ran" track together. It involved lots of laughing. As we made our way through our high school years, I began to refer to her as "my best friend, Molly." Our friendship grew to the point where I no longer knocked on the door at her house, I just walked in. I love her parents. Her mother is an extraordinary hostess and her father is quite a comical character. He is slightly older than the normal dad for our age group and Hungarian. He is smitten with Molly - his only daughter - and dotes on her like you wouldn't believe. Her mother and father are both wonderful human beings - its where Molly gets her wonderfulness from.

So anyway, there was a time when we were away at college that we lived in the same apartment complex. I would walk across the parking lot to Molly's and we would sit and chat and do nothing - aside from drinking banana foster favored coffee, and eat these outstanding deli olives from the farmer's market. They were gifts from her father. For Molly. He came to visit her at about once a week and when he noticed that she was out of olives or coffee, her would bring her more. And then I would eat and drink them. For months it went on like this - the olives and coffee - and I was in heaven. And then one day, there weren't any olives at Molly's. You would have thought the world had come to an end if you had heard the panic in my voice. She had finally told him that she didn't really like the olives all that much and so he stopped bringing them. It was really only fair. I had months with the olives and they weren't really intended for me. All is fair in love and olives.

Big sigh. And so now, when I eat olives, I think of Molly and her parents. (I say parents because her mother knows how much I love olives and has often made for me a black olive and cream cheese spread to eat on little mini sandwiches.) I also think about how much I love them - Molly and her family...and olives.

Monday, March 15, 2010

FYI

Right now, this is where I would like to be. Oh, my beloved Greece, one day I will visit you and I will live on feta cheese and olives. One day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Tale of a Sunday Morning

This morning Chandler stood at the bedroom door... "Pssst! Pssst! Mama!" in a very annoying stage whisper, "Mama. I'm hungry." It was 7:09am. Damn children! Groggily I replied, "Go find something. A granola bar maybe."

Approximately 3 minutes and 18 seconds later she returned, "Mama. Mama. There aren't any granola bars. What should I eat?"

For the love of God. She's a big girl. She can do lots of things, but apparently finding something to eat is not one of them.

I mumbled something about just finding something...anything...and rolled back over.

Approximately 8 minutes and 29 seconds later she returned. "Mama? Mama? If we leave 2 daddy dollars on the island, can sister and I play our ds's until you wake up?"

At that point I had thoughts of smashing the ds over her head. But that would involve getting out of bed. So I didn't. I'm not sure why its necessary to visit me 3 times while I am still sleeping. I never would have considered doing that to my mother. Not that I was usually up before my mother. I was a sleep until 10am kind of kid. And I had an 8pm bedtime....every night. Why? Why can't my children be more like me???

Quinn slept until almost 9 (daylight savings time) though, so it wasn't a completely ruined morning.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Tale of a Saturday Morning

For months we have been begging the girls not to wake up their brother when they wake up before him on the weekend. They haven't listened. They usually wake up around 7 am and come into our room and stand next to my side of the bed and stare at me while I sleep. This is creepy. Just plain creepy. Most times they wake me up with the staring. I roll over and catch them out of the corner of my eye and it freaks me out. It makes me wish for the days when they had the child safety on their door knob and had to knock and call for me, "Mama! Mama! We're up! Can we come out now?". Big sigh. I miss those days. It was a much more pleasant way to wake up.

If, by chance, I sleep through the staring, they begin to whisper, "Mama? Mama. We're hungry." Until I respond with a cranky, "Go get a poptart/granola bar/crackers out of the pantry. And don't wake up your brother." They reply with racing and pushing out of the room, slamming the door and taking off like a heard of elephants down the stairs, while talking/screaming/woohooing/arguing. Inevitably, Q wakes up within 30 seconds of their departure from our room.

Yesterday, Chris picked up a coffee cake to have for breakfast. He cut two slices of it, left the coffee cake in the package on the island, and gave the girls strict orders to come downstairs (silently) in the morning without waking us - or their brother - up and fix themselves breakfast.

Quinn slept until almost 8:30 this morning and we assumed that they girls had followed the directions to a T. I commended them on a job well done. Chris had other news for me. Casey ate her slice of coffee cake for breakfast, but Chan....well, Chan, instead of eating her slice of cake, well, she ate the rest of the coffee cake. Big sigh.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Love...




...bobby pins. Have I mentioned that lately? I'm sure I have, but its true. And I felt like I should say it again. I love the delightful little vintage floral cabs on these. I actually made some for myself and some to put in the shop. Big sigh. I love them.

I also love the fact that I blew up at my children this week about the state of their bathroom and then last night the toilet in their bathroom was again not flushed. In addition to that, one of them decided they should use our bathroom...left toilet paper on the floor (used toilet paper at that) and again, forgot to flush. What jerks.

Chris and the girls had today off from school. Gotta love a mid March furlough day. So, Chris's parents were finally able to take the girls for their Birthday trip to Babyland General. They had a blast! Loved it! ...And are already asking when they can go back. Chris enjoyed a quiet day to himself (Q still went to school.) He went to the gym and the bookstore, sat and drank coffee, browsed around and (I'm sure) pretended he was single and without a care in the world.

We're having homemade chicken pot pie tonight for dinner. That makes me happy. And then I am going over to my friend Amber's house to pick out the material for the girls' Easter dresses. And that also makes me happy. I hope the rest of the weekend includes many more things that make me happy....like finding that all of the toilets in my house have been flushed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sadly...

I am just not in the mood to blog tonight. I apologize. It has been a long day and an even longer night. I will try and do better tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Tale of the Toothpaste

While Chris and I were heading upstairs this afternoon once we got home from work, we noticed this on the railing. Toothpaste. Smeared on the white railing. Hum. I didn't do that. And Chris said he didn't do it. So we called in the other family members to the scene of the crime. The girls both denied any involved in the toothpaste activity. Quinn shook his head no...it wasn't him. Although they denied it, I am betting my money on the girls. The reason why I am willing to take this bet is because this is what their bathroom looks like....

Exhibit A: wet towels on the floor...piled directly below the towel bar.


Exhibit B: half a tube of toothpaste inside the sink


Exhibit C: a quarter tube of toothpaste smeared on the edge of the counter


And the fact that even Quinn finds this to be disgusting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Three

This is a picture of my three children. Two 8 year olds and a 21 month old...all deeply engrossed in the same show. The joy of Yo Gabba Gabba. This picture was taken after they spent 4 minutes and 18 seconds crawling around on the floor like bugs. Yep, all three of them.
This was taking a few minutes later as the time crept closer and closer to being bedtime for Q. He needed a break from Yo Gabba Gabba. What better place to lay than all snuggled up between his big sisters?

I would just like you to know that Chris and my mother-in-law are both looking out for you. Chris told me last night that he feels robbed when his reader says there is a new post and all it is is pictures of jewelry. He needs words otherwise it is not a real post. My mother-in-law also made mention that I should have pictures of the kids more often. I think she would like to see them everyday, but I'm not really sure how others would feel about that. Also, I don't think that I can get a picture of them everyday. It is hard to get 3 kids to all hold still at the same time. So, I will take these comments into consideration and work on these things.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I love Asian Culture

I am sure that this post is going to be full of stereo types and misconceptions and possibly even have moments of political incorrectness. But its my blog, I will start off by asking for your forgiveness.

I would have to say that the vast majority of you know about my love of books. Its true. I love books. We have a "library" in our house. And I've decided, while there are thousands upon thousands of books that I love, I have noticed a trend. Every year I select a few (because I don't want to suffer from burn out) Asian culture themed books. And I find that 99.9% of the time, I love them. I think its all of the honor and respect, quiet tenderness that the characters display. The drama or action in these books are slow and seep into your soul in ways that you didn't even know about until the end and you are madly in love with the characters and feel a connection to them that is unexplainable. You think about them for days - the characters with the gentle souls.

I read one last week that was recommended by my dear friend, Crystal B, and it did not disappoint. The Samurai's Garden was a lovely journey through a year with Stephen, a Chinese character recuperating from an illness in Japan in the late 1930's. The friends he makes are invaluable in shaping his character. And in turn, I have found that they have also helped shape my character. The story will stick with me.

I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan during my favorite Chicago vacation. I finished it on the ride home and sobbed. I sobbed both for the girls/women in the book and for my father, whom I was leaving 800 miles behind me. And when we arrived home I knew that I was a better person than I was when I left. This book turned me on to the works of Lisa See and I have been chomping at the bit every time she has a new one come out.

I read to learn and to experience the world outside of my little home in the country, the south, the United States and North America. I read to learn about the past and what the world might be like in the future. I read to understand people. I read to escape and I read to immerse.

I have very few Asian friends. Reading books set in this land, in this culture, help me to understand a world that I would not understand otherwise. I could go on about how I feel about these books and this sub genre in particular, but it would be a stumbling and rambling post and really I think we've had enough of that. I could go on and tell you why I love each and every one of these books, but I won't (good grief, that would be a loooooooong post!).

My friends, I highly recommend trying out some of these books for your spring and summer reading pleasure:
  • The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • Peony In Love by Lisa See
  • Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Weakness



Bobby pins are my weakness. Its true, I love them. Check out these new ones. Big sigh.

The Tale of the Dirty Socks

Typically, I have moments throughout the day when I turn into my mother. Its true. A car will speed past me on the road and I will shake my head and say, "Well there's a ticket waiting to happen." My mother says this and when I turn into her, I say it too.

This morning though, I turned into Leo...my father. This is slightly disturbing for me.

First, let me give you a little background information. Last weekend when I did the girls' laundry, Casey only had 2 pairs of clean socks. These were all the matching socks that were in her hamper. So, that's all she had. Friday morning Casey came in the bathroom while I was getting ready...

Casey: Mama? (in a sweet whisper) I don't have any clean socks.
Me: Well, borrow some from Chan.
Casey: Chan doesn't have any clean socks either.
Me: Well then, you'll have to wear dirty ones. Dig some out of your laundry basket.

That was yesterday. This morning I went in the girls' room to get their hampers and start the weekend laundry.

Casey: You should take Chan's first. Her lid won't even close. (And this is true. Clothes were spilling out of her hamper.)
Me: (while picking up the hamper) Girls. There are three dirty socks and a pair of dirty underwear on the floor in between your beds. This is why you don't have any clean socks.
Chan: What? Where?
Me: (while walking out of the room) And there is another pair of dirty socks over here by the door.
Me: (while stepping out in the hallway) And there is another pair of dirty socks in the hallway.
Casey: What do you mean there are dirty socks in the hallway? (her voice was dripping with 8 year old bratty-ness What do I mean there are dirty socks in the hallway? This is not a statement that requires analysis or interpretation. I mean there are dirty socks...in the hallway!)
Me: What I mean is, open your damn eyeballs, there are dirty friggin socks in the hallway!

Yep. That was my Leo moment. It happens sometimes. And I can't really apologize for it. I put the laundry in the wash. They picked up the dirty socks (I think...I hope). I came downstairs and said to Chris, "I can't believe I just told my 8 year old to 'open her damn eyeballs'." Chris replied, "I knew it was coming, I just didn't think it would be over dirty socks."

And this is the tale of the dirty socks.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Winners Announced!

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for.... (drum roll please)

Because there were over 50 comments on the giveaway (that was the goal that I set in my head) there are 2 winners! This is how I did it - no arguing with me please - I used the number generator on random.org and then I counted down from the top 1, 2, 3, etc. AND, I sat next to Chris on the couch so that he could be the official. I totally wanted Abby the neighbor to come down and officiate for me (along with a glass of wine), but she's out of town. So I put Chris to work. What? You want me to announce? Sheesh. Pushy.

So...in no particular order...the winners are....

Allison Elkins and Tracey Kell!

Hooray! Ladies, email me on facebook or my home email ang4332@hotmail.com, and let me know which item you would like shipped to you! :) :)

This has been super fun and we will be doing it again soon! Thank you for playing!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chandler has a lot to learn

So this evening while Quinn and I were playing puzzles together downstairs (and while Chris was at a softball meeting) there was some thumping noise coming from the girls' room. Quinn and I went to investigate. I opened the door to their room. And there were the girls...attempting to do some headstand flip into a roll across their bedroom floor.

Me: Chandler. I think you need to stop doing that. Because if you crash into the doll cradle that my grandfather made for me or your American Girl doll beds you will break them. And if you break them...
Casey: We know, we know...You'll break us.
Me: Yes. I'll break you.
Chandler: And then I'll call your mom and she will not be happy with you.
Me: Really? You'll call my mom?
Chandler: Casey, I'll miss you.
Casey: Chan, I'll miss you too.

Keep in mind, I say things like this all the time...If you draw on that table, I'll draw on you...If you rip that shirt, I'll rip you...you get the point. Have I ever followed through on this threat? No, absolutely not. And at this point, it is a family joke. But, this is the first time that Chan has threatened back with calling my mother. Little does Chan know...I've been teaching her the wrong number.

***Side note...The giveaway in the post below is still open! Enter! Winners will be picked Friday night! Best of Luck!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

OMG What Have I Done...

I went to the gym today while Chan was at dance. I was there for a total of 12 minutes. It was a nightmare come true. I actually started composing this post (in my head) about 30 seconds after I entered the gym. That is when I noticed that there were no treadmills available. None. And we all know that there is no way in hell that I am ready for another elliptical experience. But I couldn't turn around and walk out. That would be lame. So I did the only thing I could do. I got on a bike. They have fancy bikes there - the kind with fancy screens that have different courses. You can even create an online account and then log in on the bike to ride tracks that you've set up. It is truly like a video game. I logged in as a guest and decided to hope for the best. I punched some buttons on the screen and climbed aboard. The seat felt much different from the gold glitter banana seat that I had as a child. That should have been a sign. And then it was all systems go. It was in race mode. There were other racers on the screen and fans in the stands. OMG, I was going to lose. I am much too competitive to just accept that, so against my better judgment, I raced. I raced like I was 10 years old again. I desperately wanted to stand up and pedal faster, but I thought that might be distracting to the real person riding next me. I was losing. People were passing me left and right. The fans were cheering. I hit a curb because I forgot that I had to steer as well. At the 1/2 mile mark my legs were throbbing and I was panting. I wanted to throw in the towel. Somehow the screen on the bike sensed this and scrolling at the bottom were the words, "NEVER GIVE UP!!!! NEVER SURRENDER!!!!" Aw, hell, now I had to keep going. So I did. I lost the mile race so I hit the continue button to charge forward for another mile. Beads of sweat were piling up at my hair line. I wanted to stop for a drink of water, but I couldn't, there was a race to be won. But, again, I didn't win. I came in dead last both times. The fans continued to cheer. It was a blow to my ego. And then the screen pops up at the end, announcing that I burned 62 calories. I repeat, 62 calories. That's not even one french fry that I had with dinner. Following my 2 mile bike ride, I dismounted the bike, walked to the cubbies, grabbed my coat and purse, and hung my head as I walked out the door. 12 minutes after I walked in.

Now, almost three hours later, the worst part of this experience is the shooting pain that I have in my rear and crotch. I knew there was a reason why I should always stick with a banana seat. I just knew it.

***as a side note, the giveaway in the post below is still open. Enter! Please. I have just shared with you the story of my gym bike defeat. You should enter to make me feel better.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Ever Very Official Giveaway Post






*****CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED*****
This is just a sampling of some of the things that are up in my etsy shop right now...and you could win one of your very own (from anything in the shop)! You can enter 3 times by commenting on this post....here's how....

1. Enter your name in the comments
2. Comment again either letting me know that you are already a follower or click the "follow" button on the right sidebar and then comment that you joined as a follower
3. Check out my etsy shop and comment again letting me know which is your favorite piece.

(You are, of course, more than welcome to make a purchase while you are there.)

So, one person = 3 entries. Easy as pie, right???? You have between now (8:21pm - eastern time-, Tuesday, March 2) and Friday, March 5 to enter. Don't let your chance pass you by! Winner(s) will be announced Friday evening.

Good luck and may the force be with you!