Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've been bitten by the Love Bug

I've spent 3 out of the last 5 days with three of my very favorite people in the whole wide world. Three busy, full, wonderful days.

Their names are Keegan, Addison, and Braden and I love them to itty,bitty pieces.

I didn't realize just how much I love them until yesterday, the first day lately that I didn't spend with them. I was babysitting Nadia and every time I looked at her I wanted to be with them. Every time I looked at the clock I thought of what they were probably doing at that moment. Then I would miss them SOOOOO much. You'd honestly could have thought I was their mother, the way I was carrying on. It was just so sad not to be with them after spending all that time with them. One of the best thing things about the babies is that you barely have to look at them and they get huge smiles on their faces. I love getting them up from their naps because they're always so happy to see me. I'm planning a kidnapping as I speak so I can look at those smiles for the rest of my life. Poor Mr. B was sick the other day but don't think I didn't love that all he wanted to do was cuddle! Addie has learned how to give kisses! It's so sweet{and slightly wet}! ♥

{But I have a question: for goodness sake, why do babies have to grow up so fast? Why can't they stay small,cuddly, and super cute forever?}

I wish I could put up the adorable pictures I've taken of them recently but since I can't right now, this one will have to do. Braden loved pushing the stroller around while we were at the playground. He's such a boy.

As a side note, I took them all to the playground to see if I was capable of taking 2 one-years and 1 barely three year old out by myself...and I was! Who knows where we'll be going next! :-)

"HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU means that even if I made cookies from morning to night every single day forever and ever, it still wouldn't even come close."
Sugar Cookies, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Civil War Ball

Amanda's Civil War ball was a HUGE success. By the end of the ball, people were already petitioning for another one.

I guess I should start at the beginning of the day because the beginning comes before the end{my wisdom is stunning}. In order to attend the ball, we needed to attend at dance class earlier in the day so we'd know all the dances before the ball. By the third dance, Mr. "I'll go but I won't dance" {aka Aaron}was having himself a wonderful time. He even zoomed over to me and asked if I'd like to be his partner for the next dance. It was so touching. It was also a complete "I told you you'd like it!" moment but I didn't say that out loud. I've lived with him long enough to know when certain things should not be said.
The rest of the day between approximately 4:00 and 7:00 didn't go quite so fabulously. Picture pure chaos then add some. That's what our house looked like as we tried to get ready. Complete and unadulterated chaos. I'd rather not relive the whole thing, but let me just say that people who have curly hair should not be put in charge of curling someones straight hair. Bad things are sure to happen. Let's move on to the pictures now.

I invited Hannah to sleep over so we could all have the fun of getting ready together. She was sick and couldn't come Friday night but she was at the dance class Saturday morning and came home with us then. I felt horrible that I was the one making all her worst hair nightmares come true at the very same time she was sick. After an emergency call to our former hairdresser friend who fixed all my mistakes, Hannah was looking beautiful and ready to go. I'd like to add that she was very popular with all the young gentlemen.

Mr. William was having a little bit of difficulty with his sash.
Maybe it's because he went as a Confederate.

Willie and Hannah with their delightful mother. I love Hannah's dress.

I loved that Amanda gave all the ladies dance cards.

My favorite person to dance with was Keegan. He was around 8 years old and dressed up in a very impressive soldier costume with huge gold braidings and silver buttons. He came up to me, bowed and said "would you like to have this dance with me?". It was the Polka and we kept bumping into so many people that I thought he'd regret dancing with me, but he asked me again so I guess it wasn't that bad! At the end of the dance, he took my hand and asked me where I would like to go{like a good gentleman, he wasn't going to abandon me in the middle of the dance floor}. When we got to the edge of the room, he said "thank you for dancing with me this evening; it was delightful". To which I replied, "you are just SOO cute!". I didn't actually say that because it probably would have been below his dignity, but I was thinking it.

Something big happened the night July 24th: I made a new best friend. Her name is Malena and we bonded in front of an air conditioner. We were lined up and waiting for the next dance to start when she heard me say I was really hot and she literally pulled me by the arm over to the air conditioner. And just like that, we were each others new best friend. I tried to be nice back to her by cooling her off with my fan but she had the audacity to say I was her servant. It's amazing we're still together after I received that type of treatment from her. Very few people at the ball got away from Malena. Whenever she'd see a gentleman that wasn't with a lady, she run over, grab his arm and drag him over to a lady who needed a partner. I got the feeling that wasn't very proper behavior for the event but it was funny. In her own words, she's an "EXTRO EXTROVERT!"

I only got a few pictures because dancing + taking pictures at the same time= difficult. Hannah has the picture Dad took of us all before we left so when she sends it to me I'll put it up. The whole ball was so much fun. I can't wait until the next one. I think we should try convincing Amanda do have one every month! ;-)

{Less Words Wednesday} My Latest and Greatest Talent

I believe I have a future in reconstructive eye surgery.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pre Civil War Ball Post Picture*

* Winner of the Most Oddly Worded and Confussing Title of 2010 Award

My dance card was clearly over-taken by one named Brandon.
{And yes, I did dance with my own mother. I got to be her gentleman.}

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reasons I have not been around

I've been sleeping an average of 5-6 hours a night. It's really not fair considering how much I love sleep. I mean, I'm even a fan on Facebook.

I've been working an average of 11 hours a day{that's including driving back and forth}

Due to number 2, I have spent approximately 5 hours in the car and listened to approximately 162 country and 12 Christian songs along with an unknown number of talk radio minutes.

Reason number 1 + reason number 2 + reason number 3 = very little time to blog

Those darling, delicious twins were worth every hour I spent working today. Every single one.
{It's possible I may become a mother tomorrow when I kidnap them.}

I'm attending meetings for the camp I'm doing for children with cancer. The first meeting was tonight and I had to do things in front of people. I almost died but clearly, I'm still with us.

There's way too many numbers in here for someone who doesn't like math.

And finally, Natalie was so kind as to give me this cute award on her blog{it's quite appropriate as Gerber daisies are some of my favorites...have I mentioned that 1 or 63 times before?}:

Due to reasons #1, 2, 4, and 6, I am going to postpone linking to 12 other blogs. I will, however, give my acceptance speech:

"Thank you and good night."

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Weekend Review

Previously discussed on this blog: weekend plans. We will now take a close look at how said weekend plans worked out.

* Helping Joanna at the homeless shelter went really well. I knew alot more of the other helpers then I thought I would. I guess the news got out that I was going to be there so they all came. ;) After we set the table, I was in charge of serving one spoonful of baked beans into each plate before handing it down the line for hot dogs and pasta. I'm pleased to report I didn't spill anything on anyone. Joanna came back to my house for supper and after that we talked and talked and it was just GREAT. I love girl talks.

* Willie didn't end up getting a hair cut at Sarah's Salon. I believe it's has less to do with his possible thoughts that Sarah + the hair buzzer= hair tragedies of epic proportions {I actually have a lot of successful hair cutting practice} and more to do with his mom being his favorite stylist.

* One very interesting aspect of my weekend happened unexpectedly on Friday night. Joanna asked Autumn and I if we wanted to go to a concert she found nearby{she has a gift for finding just about every small band within a 100 mile radius}. Around lunchtime Mom asked where the concert was so she's know exactly where we were{she's such a mother}. I looked on the website only to discover they weren't around here at all. They were playing in Chicago that night and here next Friday. Needless to say, we don't exactly live within an evenings drive of Chicago so we had our girls night at Joanna's house with our traditional Scrabble game and a movie. This little word, 'zamia', brought me 34 points and bumped me up to 2nd place. I have never in the history of Scrabble night come in anything less than 3rd/last. It was such a nice feeling.

And so my weekend passed. I hardly think the bug bites, difficult tv and sort-of losing to the boys in Kemps is worth noting. Especially that last one as I'm trying to remove it from my memory. The most exciting thing to look forward to this week in the Civil War ball on Saturday! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

19 on the 19th

joanna4-1.jpg picture by sarahbelle528

The Single Ladies love you!!!

Sarah and Autumn

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lots of Little Things

* Every Friday my family has Friday Night{aren't we original?}. Grandma joins us as we eat supper in the living room and watch a movie. We had Friday Night last night which technically means it was Thursday Night and now I'm all confused. Thank goodness the week's almost done because it's chaos when I'm a day ahead of everyone else.Why have Friday Night on Thursday night? Aaron is having some of his friends over for a get together tonight and the usual Friday festivities would get in the way. I guess the youth of today think they need to socialize for some reason. As Daniel would say, "they don't make 'em like they used to."

* OH MY GOODNESS. I saw the cutest little baby boy EVER at the hospital today. Dad's say I say every baby is the cutest ever, but he really was. He was little black baby with big dark eyes and curly black hair and the cutest smile. I have never had more of an urge to kidnap permanently borrow a child in my life. I'll be taking him to custody court on Monday so I can have him for my own. I'm only going Monday because I don't have a car to use today.

* Weekend plans included, but are not limited to, the following:
- Tomorrow I'm going with Joanna to serve a meal at the local homeless shelter. As the sole member from her group not going to the Dominican Republic for a week, she asked me to go along to help. I think it will be an interesting experience. All my volunteer hours have been done at either the preschool, the children's hospital or our girls club so this is completely different for me. I'm just praying I don't spill anything on anyone. Those poor people deal with enough.
- As DOR{Director of Redecorations}for Dad's new business, I'm busy trying to fulfill that role. I'll probably spend quite a bit of time wandering the paper aisle at Staples over the weekend. Anyone know if you can buy vinyl paper there? {I mean the kind of vinyl that wall vinyls are made of.} Hopefully I'll leave Staples thinking "that was easy!".
- Sarah's hair salon has two booked customers: Shnuffy and Fufu{better known as Aaron and Willie}. Mom might also stop by for her beauty treatment.

* I made this today just because I love looking at pretty things{most of which I can't afford} without even realizing how similar it is to this one I did last summer for fashion week. I love the flowers and all the colors!

Summer Loves 2010Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore
* Have a wonderful weekend!
{* If you need to laugh during the weekend, my friend good Brian is always around to put
a smile on your face. He doesn't know we're good friends yet, but he will someday.}

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brotherly Love

I'm not sure why,but I get the feeling they're pretty fond of eachother.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shnuffy and Fufu

This is Willie

Approximate age: 16 years, 4 months
Answers to: Willie,Will, Billiam, Billy, Willigers, WILL.I.AM, Willsbe, The Willster
Occupation: student, runner, all-around good guy
Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings
Stranded on a desert island pal: Dr. Suess{the boy is creative!}

This is Aaron

Approximate age: 16 years, 2 months
Answers to: Aaron, That Other Kid Who Lives Here, AARON!!!!, The Twin, A-Ron
Occupation: student, runner, high-jumper, all-around a little crazy
Favorite movie: Winnie the Pooh{the authencity of this statement is being researched}
Standed on a desert island pal: Robinson Crusoe

104_3914-2.jpg picture by sarahbelle528
This is Aaron and Willie
Together they make an interesting pair.

Andrew's newest name for them is "Shnuffy and Fufu". Aaron's been designated Shnuffy and Willie has been graced with Fufu. Yesterday began Fufu's two{TWO} week stay at our house. You wouldn't know it by the look on Shnuffy's face, but he's pretty excited about that.

104_3913.jpg picture by sarahbelle528
number of working cars we have

the number of people in the family who need to be in different places at the same time
See above for why this is complete mayhem.

the average number of gum sticks I give out on any given Sunday.
Apparently I'm the main gum supplier of the church.

The number of children who are not allowed to ask me for gum

The number of children who have perfected the "look at Sarah like you're really sad and mention that you haven't had gum in soooooooo long" technique.

of the time the above method works

the number of months it's been since I got lost while driving
I'm totally prepared to get lost next time I go somewhere.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July the 5th

Monday the 5th was hot,hot,hot. We had the boys and their respective wives, Grandma, and our friend Blake over for a cookout. {Technically it was a cook-in because the grill was broken, but that's just a small detail.}

The two pictures below are my attempt at making up for not taking a picture of Andrew and Debbie together. I hardly think two side-by-side picture would qualify as a "picture of them" to two newly-weds, but I did the best I could.

Andrew really is a fashion icon, don't you think?

The only way to truly beat the heat was to walk across the yard to our uncle's pool. After all, somebody has to use it. The most popular method of entry was jumping/flipping/belly-flopping from the trampoline right next to the pool into the water. I've done this before, but since I value my life{also my dignity}I went in the way normal people do. And I was mocked for it. Once the mockery ended, we started a game of Sharks and Fishes. It's like Marco Polo in that one person closes their eyes and tries to tag another person. Once they're tagged, they also become a shark and so on and so forth. Eventually, there is only one poor,unfortunate soul who hasn't been tagged being chased by six maniacs. I should happened to me and I barely made it out alive. It really is a delightful game. :-)
Erika the Shark makes her way towards the three little fishies who she now shares a last name with. Aaron seems to be the only one with any chance of survival.
You know things are getting serious when the purple noodle comes out.
Daniel came up with a "sweep the pool" plan he tried teaching to his fellow sharks while they all have their eyes closed.

Daniel: "Ok, everybody. Take hand of the person to the left of you."
*everyone starts waving their arms everywhere*
Erika: "That's my face you just hit!"
Blake: "Who keeps hitting me? I'm trying to find your hand! Wait. What's this?"
Erika: "That's my bathing suit!"
Erika: "I have two hands now."
Blake: "Somebody's holding both my hands!"
*Blake and Erika do more maneuvering and finally everyone is connected*
Daniel: "Ok, ok everybody. Now that we're holding onto each other, the person all the way to the left is going to hold onto the side of the pool and we'll all move forward in an orderly fashion."
*more chaos ensues as none of the three actually knows who's all the way to the left*

It was so funny to watch. What made it even funnier was Daniel trying to do the whole thing over each time a new shark was tagged!
Andrew and Aaron. Aaron and Andrew. Brothers and former room-mates.

I hardly think these two need an introduction.

Monday was one of those days{actually the whole week was one of those weeks}. I was so excited to be making a cake like this and everything was going wrong. I woke up too late, there was bugs in the sugar, we didn't have milk, the batter was really lumpy, and on and on. I was sooo close to just giving up but I didn't want to waste the ingredients and batter I already had. I decided to cut out the layer of stars and just make it a red, white, and blue cake. It was much simpler that way even if it wasn't quite as fancy. After the morning I had, I wasn't going to attempt decorating the top much, so I used a flag and some of Aaron's Army men to re-create the famous Iwa Jima picture. It wasn't perfect, but I ended up being happy with the results!

This Independence Day celebration was given to us courtesy of the greatest country in the world. This flag is it's trademark.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Great Patriotic Boston Adventure

Warning : you are now entering the tons of pictures zone.

Words that describe July 3rd, 2010 are as follows: fun, hot, sunny, laughter, stairs, squished, smiles, cameras, sunscreen, walking, music, maps, more walking,friends.

Do you know what the definition of a successful trip is? When you're already planning the next trip before the current one is even over. That's what happened on Saturday. We had the best time in Boston that we can't wait for next years trip!

I said on Friday that we were going to take the train not the subway, but I was wrong. We took the subway after all and sure enough, Katie and I loved it. We both agreed that even though we weren't next to each other, it was more fun and much more of a real adventure on the way home when we were squishedwithinaninchofourlives than the way there when we had seats.{You're probably rolling your eyes at this,but we find happiness in the small things. If we had to be squished everyday going to work we probably wouldn't be as enthusiastic.} Moving on.

Joy, Katie, and I minutes after we stepped on the train headed for the city. Joy didn't enjoy the ride home as much as Katie and I did. That's ok because really, we had enough enthusiasm for the whole group.

Paul Revere upon his stately steed.

With my very bestest friend and very favorite person to ride the subway with.

It's easy to be deceived by the smiles in this picture. You might get the impression everything was fine and dandy and we were all cool,calm, and collected. In theory it was a good idea to add the Bunker Hill monument to our trip because we were all about sight-seeing, but in reality we had just walked at least three miles in the blazing hot sun with very little water.
Do you know how many steps the Bunker Hill monument has? 294. And I almost passed out by step 40. If only I was making this up. It was a very humiliating experience. The problem, besides my lack of water and the 101-degrees, was the monument was so narrow and crowded on the inside and people were behind us and coming down so I couldn't stop to rest or turn around. Thankfully, Joy joined my "I will not faint and fall down all these steps" boat so I wasn't alone. We finally reached top and rested for about 3 minutes before the decent down the stairs. I wish I could say the way down was uneventful, but my flip-flop slipped and I almost smashed into the wall. I told you it was humiliating. One more thing before I end my tragic story: the whole way up I was thinking about the previous time we visited Bunker Hill with Grandma and how even she didn't have as much trouble I as I was having. Granted, it was about 30 degrees cooler with many less people but still. I can't talk about it anymore.
Jimmy was the mastermind and main map-reader of the trip. Here he is consulting with Christopher and Johnny about the fastest and coolest way to get from the monument to the concert. I think he was also trying to avert any more possible catastrophes involving a certain young lady who will remain anonymous.
Johnny and Joy who both manage to look quite respectable despite the circumstances. I wouldn't dare post what I looked like.

Yay! We got to the concert grounds before it started and--this is big--made it in before they ran out of wristbands! We camped out on the lawn and passed the time by playing games, eating, and drinking LOTS of water.

The Boston Pops in all their patriotic glory. I love all the colors! The general consensus in our group was that the sing-along was the very best part of the night.
Mr. Toby Keith was the guest of honor and graced us with three songs{only one of which was patriotic}. He didn't have the best{read: it wasn't great at all}stage presence, but I think he just wasn't that excited about the dress rehearsal. He was much better on Sunday for the real show.

Isn't that a beautiful picture? I didn't think they'd do the confetti since it was just the rehearsal, but I'm so glad they did. Johnny chased down a white piece of confetti for me to put in my scrapbook. ;-)

And so our trip ended with the wonderfully crowded subway ride back to the car, then the car ride back to the house. Of course, we discussed everything in the greatest of detail on the way home{I tried to keep them off the subject my little fiasco}. I personally think half the fun of an event is talking about it afterwards. And you know what? even if it would mean almost not making it up those steps and almost getting run over three times by the policemen clearing the way for Toby Keith{that is another story for another day}, I would do the whole thing again tomorrow.

And that, I believe, is the sign of a really successful trip.

The beautiful fourth of July sunset.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

God Bless America

I just have one quick thing to say about the military: you may not like the war we're fighting right now, you may think that we should never fight wars at all{I hate to break it to you but I don't think that's going to happen on this earth},but whatever you do...don't degrade and disrespect the soldiers. They're fighting{and dying}so you can have the freedom to disagree with them. You may not agree with what they're doing, but we should all thank them.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Red,White and Blue Preparations

The 4th of July is only two days away and that means one thing: our red,white, and blue preparations are in full swing.

1. Today I'm going over Katie's in preparation for our big trip tomorrow. Along with various members of her family, we're going to see the Boston Pops rehearsal. Given the opportunity, I'd be there Sunday in a flash for the Real Thing, but alas, I had no such opportunity this year. Instead I will take the train with some of my favorite people and see the same show{minus fireworks,cannon shots, and a couple hundred crazy people}the day before. Katie and I are almost as excited about the train ride as we are for the show. Almost, but not quite. When we were around 15, she came with me to my doctors appointment in Boston and we had the extreme joy of riding the subway together. We vowed we'd return one day for a day trip that involved nothing but riding the subway. The train is not exactly the same as the subway, but it's quite close. The fact that I just shared this with you probably proves once and for all that we don't require much and are very easy to please. It may also mean that we don't get out much. {No affermation is needed about that statement, thankyouverymuch}.

2. Sunday night at 8:00 will find us attending our annual 4th of July Boston Pops watching party with Grandma. Are you getting the impression I'm a big Boston Pops fan? It's become our yearly tradition. I was so sad this year because another tradition of mine was broken. I NEVER,EVER find out who the B.P. guest stars will be until right before the show starts{around 7:55}. Even the year we went to see them I refused to look at the program because I didn't want to know. You know what happened this year? I found out who's starring. I've known for almost a whole week and I almost have a guilty conscience over it. I almost cried but then decided to save my tears for something more worthwhile. I don't know who the "little stars" are so something will be a surprise tomorrow.

3. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed, patriotic, thankful-for-all-you-have weekend!

{The editor of this blog told me she has something to say. "It brings me great sadness to bring to your attention that in the process of moderating comments this week, I accidentally deleted two comments instead of publishing them. They were such nice comments too. I'm sorry. So very sorry. Maybe if I was getting paid more to do this job I would be more careful and---" Thank you,editor. That's enough. }

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Winner! Winner!

When it comes to the really important things in life, I'd choose a person over technology any day. That's way I used a person when picking the winner for the CSN giveaway. And so, meet Aaron the Winner Picker:

Thanks to his hard work during our 12 second phone call, he picked{drum roll please}#13. And who is #13?

YAY!! *clap clap clap*
Janel has two adorable boys and {this is the best part}is having another baby in September!! You know what that means,don't you? It means that if we lived closer I'd probably be applying to become their babysitter so I could hold that sweet little baby. I just can't help myself when it comes to very small people. Congratulations again, Janel!

And to the rest of you,thank you for entering. I really and truly wish you all could have won. There will be a few giveaways down the road a little ways, so I'll have another chance to give you something! I was very impressed reading through the comments at the items you would buy. Chandeliers, car seats, fabric organizers. I didn't even know they sold half those things. I guess I need to branch out a little more on the website. :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the day!

Todays 4th of July quote...

Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.
Moshe Dayan