Thursday, July 31, 2014

8th Annual Luau!


We had a first at the luau this year....not necessarily a good first, but a first nonetheless.  IT RAINED.  I was hoping I would never have to say those words in a recap post about the luau.  Thankfully, it held off until around 7 (the party started at 4) so everyone had already had a chance to get some drinks and eat.  When the party moved inside, it was mostly parents piled in the bar area and kids taking over the playroom and Jake's bedroom :)  Both of those rooms looked like Toys R Us had exploded the next morning, but it was kind of a good thing because it forced me to go through everything, sort it all back out and even box up some older toys that the kids don't play with anymore (shhh....don't tell them I did that!)

A huge thank you to everyone who came out for the party, it was a blast as always!  And thanks to our parents as well, without them, we would lose our minds trying to get everything ready then clean it all up the next day.

Without further adieu, the party pics!

My new favorite decorations, pink flamingo friends I picked up last year when a store was going out of business!

Some festive family shots:

Later in the evening, Liam got ready for college practiced his dance moves by hopping up on the bar.


That's a wrap for this year!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Goodbye, glider...and babies.

"It has to go, it's really bugging me." 

It had sat in the guest room for months...collecting dust, taking up space, and partially blocking the bed.  Once we gave Liam his "big boy" room, we didn't need a glider in there anymore.  Taking the glider out of his room didn't bother me; it was hard to sit with him in it to read to him anyway, he was getting much too big for that.  We moved it into the guestroom without much thought.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to find something under the bed in that room and became very frustrated that the glider was blocking my way.  While it wasn't super heavy, it was very wide and awkward, and difficult to maneuver out of the way.  My frustration that day, combined with the fact that I knew we'd be having overnight guests a few times throughout the summer, inspired me to snap some pictures of the glider and put it up on craigslist.

The glider was in pretty good shape and I priced it well, so we had a number of inquiries pretty much right away.  Once I started responding to those emails is when it hit me....I won't rock any more babies in this chair.  I won't spend countless hours singing to them, or reading to them, or nodding off in the chair in the middle of the night due to my own exhaustion.  No more more babies.

The first person to email me about it had arranged to come see it the evening after I posted it, and as we were carrying it down the stairs that night, I shared this little realization/confession with Brian.  I discovered that instead of thinking I was out of my mind for being sad about getting rid of something we weren't going to use, he had actually had the same thoughts. He even said he had second thoughts about posting it on craigslist when I suggested we do so, but then realized it wasn't doing us any good in our home anymore so he told me to go ahead and post it.  We thought briefly that maybe we should pull the listing down, but it was too late, we had someone coming to get the chair that night. (To clarify, neither of us are having second thoughts about being done having babies...we know that's the right decision for our family, the second thoughts are more about getting rid of something that we have kind of an emotional attachment to)

But of course, it's craigslist and that person didn't bother to show up or call, so we were faced with one of those "now what?" moments.  I knew it was silly to keep it, so I moved to the 2nd person who had responded to the ad.  His wife was expecting their first child in just a few short weeks, and a glider was the only thing he still needed for the nursery.  He was so grateful that it was still available, and agreed to buy it that weekend.

I know this sounds silly, but I was so happy that it went to a nice couple who would continue the tradition of rocking babies in it.  I don't know why I would care, but I hated the thought of maybe selling it to someone who would only re-upholster it and then use it in a living room or an office.  I wanted it to be in a nursery, with a soft-lit lamp on a table beside it, and a parent enjoying the sweet baby smell while rocking back and forth.  I wanted it to be with someone who would read that baby books and sing songs at all hours of the day and night. 

It was a great few years, glider....I hope you bring as much joy to the next family as you did to ours.

Jake, 6 weeks old
Jake, 3 months old
Aunt Amy and Jake, 7 months old
me and Jake, 9 months old
Nana and Jake, 14 months old
GG and Jake, 18 months old
Liam's turn to use the glider! 2 months old
Liam, 3 months old, Jake 3.5 years old
Christmas Eve bedtime stories - Liam 1.5 years old, Jake almost 5 years old

**This post was featured on The Blogger's Digest!**

Pig & Dac

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mandatory slow down.

While I don't consider our family to necessarily be super busy people, it feels like we always have something.  Some of those things are necessities (always trying to catch up on laundry, housework, etc. on the weekends) and some are voluntary (kids activities, birthday parties, getting together with friends)  It's a catch 22 for us....we really enjoy doing all of that kind of fun stuff, but sometimes we just look at each other after collapsing on the couch on Sunday and say "where did our weekend go??" when it felt like all we did was run from one thing to the next.

Summer especially tends to feel like this (I'm not sure who invented the phrase "the lazy days of summer"....probably the same person who invented the phrase "sleeps like a baby"...lies all lies)  Summer time is great, but it also brings weddings, showers, parties, vacation, and of course, yard work. Sometimes I feel just about as tired as these two look after a long day at summer camp:


Unfortunately, we've had 2 things happen that have kind of caused a mandatory slow down for all of us.  First, Brian found out he tore his rotator cuff and will be having surgery next month.  It's a total bummer for him, especially since he has a hard time not doing things like obsessively mowing neat lines into our yard with the mower and spreading mulch to perfection.  We quickly realized that we would need to majorly lower our standards this year and do the bare minimum in terms of outside landscaping.

Then a few weeks ago, I found out I had pneumonia and I've basically been trying to get over it ever since.  Getting old is HARD, my friends, this thing has been kicking my butt.  It's been over 3 weeks now and while I had a brief period of feeling better last week and returned to all of my normal activities, I was paying for that choice over the weekend and started to feel bad again.

So because of these things combined, we haven't done a lot of the stuff we normally do in the summer. We haven't gone to "big" pool (as the kids say--aka, the community pool), we haven't gone to the zoo a bunch of times, we haven't done a backyard camp out with the kids as we were hoping to do, our flowers are half dead, our bushes are overgrown, and there are so many handprints all over the glass doors and windows of our house it looks like someone was trying to escape out of the house in a frantic manner.  Let's not even discuss the fact that there is still a fallen tree taking up a whole side of my yard as well.

I had a brief panic attack last week when I realized that our annual luau party is just around the corner, and that the thought of decorating, cleaning and making a ton of stuff was enough to make me want to curl up and take a nap.  So I decided that the party will go on without quite as much effort.  I'm not going to spend hours the day before cleaning (only to have everyone in the house the next day anyway, I'm not actually sure why I ever bothered to clean in previous years!), I'm going to order some of the food, and I'll put up the decorations that are easy to do and require the least amount of tear-down/clean-up effort.

And you know what?  I don't think that anyone really cares about these things at the end of the day.  The kids aren't asking to go to the zoo.  They have mentioned once or twice wanting to go to the big pool, but are also perfectly content with the blow up pool in our backyard.  No one (but me) cares that our flowers are wilted, or that our mulch sat in the driveway for over a month before we finally broke down and paid a neighborhood kid to finish spreading it, since neither one of us were in any shape to be doing so.  No one is going to care that I don't have a thousand luau decorations up or that my house isn't clean for the day of the party.

We haven't committed to a bunch of things, and we are doing the bare minimum around the was kind of a mandatory thing this year, but maybe we're on to something for the future.
Brian and I said going into this new year that we wanted our mantra to be simplify, simplify, simplify.  Maybe this is the universe's way of making sure we do just that.

So how about you?  Do you feel like you get to embrace the lazy days of summer, or are you too busy to do that?  

image courtesy of

Potty treats and FroYo

I've said it time and time again on this blog, but it's worth stating again: I am not above bribery.  The best kinds of bribes are the ones that benefit me, like the last one I used to motivate Liam to keep up his good work using the potty....a trip to the new frozen yogurt shop by our house!  GG was visiting for the weekend, so she got to enjoy the special treat, too.  

You would have thought it was Christmas for these kids, their eyes were huge and their smiles were even bigger as they took in all of the toppings at the bar.  



Monday, July 21, 2014

Mommy mortification

If you have recently experienced a moment of embarrassment, I'm going to share a story that is going to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself.  Pull up a chair friends, and prepare to share in my recent moment of mortification.

We are in the midst of potty training Liam (that's a whole other post that I'll get to eventually); we started on Saturday, July 12th and went full-force with underwear.  Things went well that day, considering it was the first day.  The next morning, I was taking the kids to church while Brian stayed at home to get some work done around the house.  Normally the kids go to Sunday school while we attend service, but in the summer they don't have Sunday school; they do have a Children's Church during service, but you have to be 4 years old to attend Liam's choices are go to the nursery or come to the service with me.  He has decided that the nursery is for babies and refuses to go.  Fine, no problem, he's usually pretty good during the services and keeps himself occupied with crayons, books, and snacks.

We drop Jake off in his room and head up to the service.  Within minutes of sitting down, Liam had to go potty.  We make a run for it...success, phew.  Sit back down.  This happens 2 other times during the service (if you're keeping count, that's a total of 3 times)  We are nearing the end of the services and we're in line for communion; I am 2 people back from it being my turn when Liam declares for the 4th time (quite loudly over the sound of the music) "MOMMY I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!"   A few chuckles and understanding looks from the other people around us follow.  I bent down and told him that it was almost my turn to get my bread then we would go straight to the potty. 


By now we are up front and it's my turn; the pastor bends down to say hi to Liam, who decided to go into shy mode at that moment.  He was kind of hiding up against my legs....I had on a dress and I was standing with my legs about hip width apart, which was just far enough apart for Liam to wedge his little body in between my legs and come out the other side.....taking my dress up with him.  I can say with about 99% certainly that I flashed the entire congregation while Liam was saying "I need to go potty, do I get bread??"  I quickly moved him out of the way and ran out the side door to the bathroom, bypassing the wine. 

He did his business in the bathroom, and we returned to our seats just as the service is ending.  We filed out and the pastor always greets people outside of the doors; we walked up to him and again, he bent down to Liam (who I was bracing far AWAY from my legs, mind you) but no worries, Liam decided to turn into Mr. Chatterbox now.  (NOW he decides to not be shy, go figure)  Oh no, full on chatterbox mode...

"hi I'm Liam, I'm 3.  My brother is Jake, he's big.  What's your name?  Did you know I'm going potty like a big boy?  I'm wearing underwear, want to see??"

Insert Liam attempting to pull down his shorts here and show the pastor his underwear. 

 I wish I could say I was kidding, but all I could do was yank his pants back up and throw a little "Ok, thanks, have a great day!" over my shoulder as we high-tailed it out of there. 

Don't worry about me, Liam...I'll just be over here, curled up in the fetal position, hiding under a pew until the entire church has emptied out.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Feeling lucky.

Have you had one of those moments in your life where your heart literally stops and you think about all of the things that COULD have happened in that moment but didn't?  Maybe your little one was just about to tumble down a flight of stairs and you caught him just in time?  Or maybe the car in front of you slammed on the brakes, causing you to do the same and you just missed hitting them? 

We had one of these moments last night when this happened:

Yep, that's a tree.  And it's a pretty big one, even though it may not look that way in the picture. It's hard to see because of the glare, but if you look closely in the last picture you can see that it was more than the top half of a tree that just toppled over out of nowhere (it wasn't windy, or storming, or anything last fact, it was a beautiful night!) 

We said someone must have been watching over us....the trunk of the tree landed within just inches of our house.  Within about 2 inches of our air conditioner and is literally next to our gas meter.  The only minor damage we have is a dent in our gutter from a larger branch landing on it.  There was no one out there.

It could have been a whole lot worse.

The roof that it would have landed on was our playroom.  The area just to the side of the tree around the corner is an outside toy box and our sand table.  I shudder to think of what would have happened if the kids had been out there playing and the tree had fallen slightly differently.  Or if the kids had been out there going around the side of the house to head over to play with the neighbor, and the tree had come down.

Again, it could have been a whole lot worse.

So right now, we are dealing with the headache of insurance companies (2 companies in fact, the tree is on our neighbors' property, so that makes it even more complicated) and we are having our annual luau party next weekend and the side of the house is trashed, it took out some of our landscaping, etc....BUT, I am trying to focus on the fact that we are not dealing with the headache of a damaged roof, broken windows, or injured people.

It's one of those moments where, once your heart rate returns to normal, you breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Singin' in the rain

Ok, so there was no singing, it was more like grumbling and whining.  As if dragging myself to my fitness class twice a week isn't already a challenge enough, today it was raining. 


I survived the walk in the rain only to barely survive the class.  A few weeks ago, I discovered that chugging a bunch of water in between sets on a circuit then doing 10 burpees makes me throw up in my mouth (and I don't mean that figuratively, like "oh I hate burpees so much they make me wanna puke in my mouth")...I mean it quite literally.  I discovered today that mountain climbers on a cardio circuit have the same effect.  Gross.  Also, you're welcome for me sharing that tidbit of information with you.

There is one redeeming aspect of hiking up to that class every Tuesday and Thursday, and that's that I get to admire the Cathedral on my way there.  This view never gets old. 

obviously taken on a non-rainy day.  I don't think I threw up on this day either, so there's that.
Hail to Pitt!! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hair, There, Everywhere

I'm all over the board when it comes to my hair.  I want to grow it out!  No wait, I like it at my chin!  Maybe shoulder length would be good?  I hate my hair like this!  I love my hair like this!

Is there such thing as hair ADD?  If so, I think I suffer from it.

I haven't had much of a choice when it comes to my hair recently, as I'm trying to grow it out for Brian's sister's wedding in November.  I hate fussing with my hair during big events like that, so I'm on a mission that it will be long enough to pull back and not fall out in pieces all day!

It didn't help though that I chopped it off last November.  Almost to my chin.  oops.  Hair ADD strikes again.

I swore off any major cuts after that, and I've managed to stick to it.  My hair is now in that awful phase where I hate it because it's kind of in between lengths, flips out on the ends, and is just non-cooperative in general.  My hair stylist assured me during my last trim that I will see some relief soon, I'm almost through the worst part of growing it out.  I hope that's true because it's pretty bad.

See?  It just hangs there. Blaaaaaaaah.

All of that being said, I'm hoping to maybe experiment with longer hair if I can make it past this bad stage.  It's been a long time since I've had longer hair, so if I have to grow it out for a few more months anyway, why not keep it that way for awhile?  I recently came across from pictures of DJ Tanner (aka-Candace Cameron Bure) and I LOVED her hair.  Side note-this picture is from Uncle Joey's wedding.  And she's posing with Kimmy Gibbler.  My 10 year old self just wept with joy.

Candace Cameron's hair on the right

I also came across this picture of her that maybe I can achieve before mine gets as long as the one above?

I think I just have another 2 inches or so to go to get this look.

Feel free to leave hair opinions and/or your favorite quotes from Full House in the comments section.
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