Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat..."please"

We have been working all week on the polite factor associated with Halloween, how you don't grab into the bowl of candy, how you always say please and thank you, etc. We went on and on...only to have sickness strike and all of our hard work was for not. Depressing really. We got the girls up from their naps between 4:30pm-5pm. Olivia was burning up...nothing a little Motrin couldn't fix. So we grabbed the costumes and headed for the Koehlers, little ones in tow. We arrive to an adorable Buzz Lightyear (Zack) and a cute Lil Pumpkin (Juliette). We dressed Avery up...Petunia as we like to call her while she is sporting her Lil Skunk Costume. Olivia refused...and she was consistent, nothing was changing her mind. We tried to put it on her when she first got up, but she said "no, I don't want to be a Bee" right away, so we thought it would give it a rest and try again such luck and with her being sick we didn't want to fight it, so she just walked around with everyone else dressed in her "Everyday Halloween" outfit.

Yes, Zack has Olivia in what you would call a "head lock"...

I have to admit, I am quite impressed with my restraint. I didn't fight Olivia at all, she said she didn't want to wear her costume and she didn't. Had she been feeling better we might have had a small battle on our hands, but it just wasn't worth the fight this go round...maybe later this week we will attempt to get a picture, or maybe not. Either way the tags are still on the costume and if Avery doesn't end up wearing it next year then we will be putting that bugger on eBay with a quickness.
Ben Tillar & Avery at his First Birthday Party earlier today..
Olivia had a blast following Zack around from house to house, she came home with a Treat Bag (Avery's) full of candy that Zack grabbed for her at each house we visited. We walked in the house, she sat down on the Family Room floor and just started going to town on the bag o' candy...I don't think so little we tried to explain to her (while taking it away) that we had to save it for later, she could have one piece every few days...well, take a look at how that went. (Please keep in mind, this child has had maybe....two pieces of candy in her ENTIRE life)

Not a great quality photo, but I wanted to make sure I snapped one of her cute as can be, treat bag. (Great Job Molly)
How cute is Madison? She is just a few weeks younger than Olivia and lives across the street...I happen to be a BIG fan of her costume and might steal the idea for a year to come.

This is Sweet Maya...she is a few weeks older than Avery and lives just down the street, if you couldn't tell, Zack is outnumbered, lots of girls in our 'hood.

This is how we trick or treat...wagon, large cup full of Rum & Diet Pepsi, and Nerds (that's what he is eating)...

If we could have found a Billy Goat costume for this one, we would have...

One last picture before we take it off and trade it in for a pair of cozy PJ's...night-night Lil Stinker.

So that was our night...oh wait, I should also mention that Riley LOATHES Halloween. He freaks out with every single ring of the door bell, every single knock on the door...he hates it. A few other things to note:

  • Our neighborhood was depressing tonight, only 4-5 houses had their lights on when we went around at 6pm, is that because we were too early? Jeez, don't people know my kids go to bed at 7pm? So next year if we don't see a marked improvement I am going to send out a "Buck Up and Turns your Lights On" letter to the entire neighborhood, or better yet, I might just mention it at our Homeowners Association Meeting...shucks, that won't work either, I will be in Manila...I will have Brad deliver the message for me!
  • You should NOT be talking on your cell phone while you are Trick or Treating...this girl rang our door bell, got our dog all riled up, and then continued to talk on her phone, giving Brad the "hold on" hand sign while she finished her conversation...are you kidding me? What is this world coming to?
  • And seriously...if you don't have money for a costume, at least give it the ol' College Try. Put on all black, paint a nose and whiskers on your face and ta-da, a Black Cat, none of this "I don't have a costume, but I want your candy" crap, I have had it. I mean really?
  • Props to the guy down the street who dressed up as a Dog Catcher for his daughter who was home sick with the flu, he didn't want her to miss out on the candy so he got all decked out, carried around this "bigger than a person" sized "Milkbone" made out of cardboard and went door to door with his son. Bless his heart, what a great Dad.

Not the Swine...

Phew - so far so good. Olivia is still sick, and does have an ear infection but her test came back negative. She went down last night around 7:30pm, talked until close to 9pm and then moaned/yelled out during the night, woke briefly at 7am and then for the day at 10:30am. Clearly something isn't right if this child is sleeping until 10:30am, her latest to date was 8:20am, so this was out of the ordinary for her. We checked on her several times to make sure she wasn't burning up, and still breathing...finally when she woke up I heard the wheezing again and off to the Doctor her and Brad went. Turns out she has an ear infection in the Right Ear, but her lungs actually sound good, she is passing air well, which is a blessing for our little Asthma Queen.

Petunia (aka as Avery) and I packed up and set out for Ben's First Birthday Party while Brad and Olivia hit the Doctor's Office. I felt so bad that Olivia had to miss Ben's Party, but I didn't want to risk getting anyone else sick and she isn't feeling all that great, so it was a good parenting move to leave her at home with Brad. Petunia (you will understand her name after I post pictures later today/tomorrow) and I had a good time at Ben's Party, it was nice to see everyone. Its very fitting that April had a child around Halloween and could have a Halloween/Pumpkin Themed Party, she happens to be just a bit obsessed with dressing up and planning costumes.

The girls are now napping, I plan to straighten a few things up and get dinner in the Crock Pot before we venture out for some "Trick or Treating". I am just hoping we can get to a few houses so Olivia doesn't have to miss the entire holiday...

P.S. We still haven't carved our pumpkin yet...maybe we will just skip it this year? Is that wrong? Am I crushing memories for years to come by skipping it this year?

Friday, October 30, 2009


Sweet Stellan is still fighting the fight and could use your prayers. Please pray for the Doctors in charge of his care, as they are struggling to find the right cocktail of meds to keep his heart beating in a safe rhythm.

And my friend pregnant Mommy friend "C" woke up this morning to heavy bleeding and lots of cramping, just a week after finding out she was carrying her third child. Please send prayers of strength to C as she grieves this loss.

Pap Smears or Puffs of Air?

One might think this would be a no brainer, clearly everyone would rather have a puff of air, right? Nope, not me. I would MUCH rather have a Pap Smear than go to the Eye Doctor. I am beyond terrified of having anything come close to my eye, therefore I jump around in the chair like I have ants in my pants. I can't sit still, I start to sweat, I go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds and the Eye Doc and her Assistant want to strap me to the chair and duct tape my eye open. It's that bad!

This morning we woke up to Olivia coughing her face off and an increase in the snots that were already making themselves comfortable in her head. So she stayed home, while Brad took Avery to Donna's bright and early. At first touch we thought Olivia had a fever, but turns out her footies were just keeping her warm and snuggly and she was still normal, no fever yet. So Brad, Olivia and I set out on a "lil' trip", Brad and Olivia hit up Lowe's to plan out our dining room wainscoting project, and they dropped me at Dr. R's. The Assistant called me back right away, did all the testing...well, I should say, she attempted to do all the testing, but she couldn't get a picture of my Optic Nerve because I kept blinking, bless that sweet little girls heart, she took about 47 pictures of my eyes and no luck. So an hour later, I called Brad and he came back to get me, he had an appointment and needed to go, and Dr. R was way I rescheduled for Nov 20th. I have a feeling I won't be getting good news and will likely need a Rx for some glasses. Oh well, such is life.

In other news, Avery is a crawling fool. I will snap some pics of her this weekend so you can see for yourselves. Olivia is now making it her job to run from toy to toy to protect them from the super quick Avery who is now eating her way through every toy she comes across, she is like a little Billy Goat. She can eat an entire magazine in a single sitting...

Avery and Olivia are quietly playing on the floor together, it actually brings a little tear to my eye thinking about all the years they will play together, how 20 years from now they will hopefully call each other and share their latest boy stories...they will forever be sisters, and for that I am beyond grateful.

Happy Belated Birthday to Megs, yesterday she turned the Big 3-0. Welcome to the club!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Fits..

Yup, more quality time on the stairs for Miss Olivia last night. First trip to the stairs was due to the fact that she hurled her cup of milk across the room while eating dinner. The second trip was related to her smoking Avery in her grill piece. She just doesn't understand the whole "not in her face" directions that come spewing out of my mouth on an hourly basis.

Brad will be home tonight - AMEN. As you say your prayers for the day, please send some up for Sweet Baby Stellan ( he is struggling with his usual SVT but this time around it seems to be hitting him a bit harder. And its his birthday - who wants to spend their birthday in the PICU on a vent? Poor little man.

Did I tell you that one of my Mommy Friends is pregnant? Yup, her sweet little girl is March Sisters (even though Avery was born in February, confusing I know) with Avery, and she is due in July. Her little ones will be about 17 months apart, and while Olivia and Avery are only 19 months apart, her situation seems so much closer to me, can't explain it. Pregnant with a 7-8 month old vs. a 10 month old just feels so different to me. Sometimes I think, heck, I could be pregnant right now too, but then the majority of the time I think, HOLY COW, not on your life missy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Swine

I have been scouring the Earth for a Swine Flu vaccine for Olivia, being that she is "high-risk" due to her Asthma, and no luck and today I walked into daycare and heard the words I have been dreading..."Ava has Swine Flu". Ava happens to be Olivia BFF and they are like two peas in a pod, like peas and carrots, like PB and Jelly, you get the picture, they are as close as close can be. I was so tempted to just snatch up the girls and head back to the house and keep them there until the germs were gone, but at this point they have already been exposed, so now its a "wait and see" game.

Last night Olivia spent a solid 20 minutes throwing a fit on the stairs - aka time-out. It was hysterical, she was kicking and screaming and just being a two year old and I couldn't stop laughing at her, of course I wasn't laughing in her face, I was in the kitchen, but it was still pretty funny. Brad and I just cracked open a bottle of wine and enjoyed the music aka screams. She wanted a "nack" aka Snack, instead of dinner. Apparently in her little head there is a HUGE difference between a "nack" and dinner, and she clearly wasn't interested in what I was selling.

In other news, Molly is going to be induced on November 5th bright and early, if Miss Campbell doesn't make her appearance before then, I cannot wait to meet that little darling, I have been thinking about what she is going to look like and I can't wait to finally get a look at her. Molly is going to be a wonderful Mom, I can't wait to see her scold Campbell, because I love listening to hear scold Brian, she cracks me up. She is such a great "Aunt Molly" to Olivia and Avery, Campbell is a very lucky girl.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Soup Night

What a concept, I happen to be a big fan of the idea and would love to get everyone in our neighborhood on board. Let me tell you a little bit about it. So Megs and her neighborhood get together one Friday every month. Someone makes the "Soup", and the other families all contribute something else, like a side, a dessert, a beverage, etc. I love the idea of getting everyone together once a month, I just don't know how it would work out, something always seems to come up and the group ends up being a big ol' party of 4 people, instead of the whole crew, but I guess you just roll the dice and hope that the majority can make it once a month. With the Holidays coming up and the other events already on the calendar, such as the 4th Annual Tacky Sweater Party and the Wine and Ornament Exchange, I am guessing we wouldn't be able to kick this off until early 2010.

I also think the Progressive Dinner idea is a great one. The concept of one family hosting the Appetizers, the next doing a soup, the third doing a salad, and so on, doesn't that sound like fun? And I am guessing we would only be able to pull that off a few times a year? And I am not sure I fully understand how it would work if we actually moved houses for each course, but I think having each family provide a different course is a great idea, and we could just rotate houses, similar to soup night, but not quite.

Do you all have any fun traditions in your neighborhood?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blog Fake Out

Yup, that's right. My previous post contained some lies, I used them to fake out one of my nearest and dearest friends Megs. So about my weekend and this time it will be the truth and nothing but the truth. I hopped on a plane mid-Friday afternoon and headed for Atlanta, in an effort to surprise Megs, as she is turning the BIG 3-0 later this week. My flight was a bit delayed, which helped, because I was worried she would beat us home (and by us, I mean Tim and I, her husband, who was so kind and offered to pick me up), turns out this was one of Megs busy weeks at work so she didn't end up getting home until close to 8pm, so Tim and I had plenty of time to make the drive to Columbus from the airport, spend some time with their kitties and just relax. The surprise went well...I was hanging out on the back patio with the cats (they put them on leashes, I know, it sounds strange, but apparently its the thing to do in Pittsburgh because Tim's entire family leashes their cats), and Megs came out to let the cats in before she rushed off to Soup Night (which deserves its own post, neat idea), and I yelled SURPRISE. She fell back against the door and just kept saying "What are you doing here? What are you doing here?" It took her a few minutes to realize what was going on! I am glad the surprise worked, I was worried someone would slip, myself include. I re-read every single e-mail I sent her last week over and over again to make sure I didn't say "see you on Friday", or anything horrible like that.

We had a great weekend! Saturday Morning Megs made "Lead Sinkers", which I happen to call Pancakes, and I loved every last bite of them, then we showered and set off on a mission to find her some Brown Flats, if you recall my last shopping experience I was hoping hers was going to be a bit more fruitful than mine...turns out finding Size 11 shoes in Columbus is easy-peasy. I walked away from the shopping trip with three new pairs that I had to stuff/cram/wedge into my carry on bag. We shopped, went to lunch, laughed, ate ice cream, had a 30 minute conversation about how we like to prepare chicken...apparently that is what you do when you turn 30, you start talking about recipes instead of boys you have made out with...I can see the appeal, makes sense. Goodness, we are getting old. Don't worry, we laughed at ourselves, so hard that we likely dropped happy tears into our Marble Slab.

Saturday Evening we saw Couples Retreat, we both happen to be big Vince Vaughn fans, so we thought he would give us a few laughs, and that he did, but we also shed a few tears as well. There were a few great lines in the movie, but all in all, I would likely wait and see it on DVD/onDemand. We shared some popcorn and skipped dinner.

And how could I forget...Friday Night we jammed out to Rock Band, I happen to have the musical talent of a bag of dirt and should just stick to the singing. I had a blast though and for my own selfish reasons love that we didn't take a video of ourselves, but it would have been one for the books.

This morning we set out bright and early for Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA. Oh goodness, let me just say I haven't laughed or screamed like that in months, possibly even years. I sat in the back seat of this super ghetto Ford Aerostar van, I mean this van was filthy, the windows didn't work, it was a "piece". Megs and Tim in the front, with Tim driving. I was protected as my windows had bars on them BUT Megs and Tim were NOT. They got up close and personal with the animals, so much so that they needed to wash their clothes from all the slobber. We pulled into the "park" and we were met with 20+ deer/moose that were just waiting to be fed. They stood in the road, making it impossible for us to pass, so we just crept along until they made their way INTO the van, this is when the screaming and laughing began. It was unreal. The whole experience was hysterical, we had a great time and I so glad that we decided to do it - Thanks to Megs and Tim for treating me and for suggesting it. While we did see several different species, the bulk of the animals were deer and hogs. We saw a litter of 8 baby hogs, they were just 3 days old, they looked like they were freezing, but we asked and the employees said that the mother would take care of them.
I am so thankful that Brad was willing to stay home and take wonderful care of the girls, I had a blast with Megs, and a girls weekend was JUST what I needed to get a second wind.

Friday, October 23, 2009


My dear friend Dana's FIL is recovering from Reconstructive Bladder surgery, but it hasn't been smooth sailing, he is facing one challenge after the next and the recovery process isn't going as well as they had hoped, so I ask that you send your prayers their way.

I am looking forward to a weekend with the family. Brad has been out of town all week. Last night I had dinner with my friend Melissa, we worked together at Careerbuilder and we always have a lot of fun when we get together. We went to PF Changs and talked the night away, so I didn't get much time with Brad last night after getting home from dinner at 9:45pm and hitting the hay around 10:45pm. So I am looking forward to spending the weekend with Brad and the girls. We are hoping to go Apple Picking, but it will depend on how the weather holds out.

Its been an exhausting week, and I have woken up feeling like a truck hit me the last two mornings due to the glass of wine I enjoyed the night before, man, I am getting old.

I went to the Endo today, she puts me in the worst mood, she treats my labs, not my symptoms or how I am feeling, so for now my dose is going to remain at 88 mg and I will follow up in 12 months, which will be the longest stretch of time without seeing her. I am feeling pretty blah, if you couldn't tell by the lack of energy in my words...sorry. I will work on it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Raising a Biter

I arrive at daycare yesterday afternoon just before 5, look inside the main room only to find Olivia standing in "the corner", which is aka timeout. She looks up, sees me, smiles, runs to me says "I was in the corner" - duh, I got that part already. It was then that Miss Donna says "Your daughter is a biter". The words were like a knife to my heart. I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but I have been so conscious lately about raising a little brat, that those words knocked the wind out of me. I fired back question after question trying to get some more information about what had happened. Turns out she isn't really a biter, in fact this was her first "infraction", but it was still really upsetting to me, I actually cried on the way home. I don't know if you other Mom's feel the same pressure to raise a polite, respectful child, but it scares me to death that my children could grow up to be little devils. And the worst part of the whole situation is that she bit her BFF at daycare, Ava. The sweet, precious, petite little Ava. So last night when we got home, after Miss Donna talked to Olivia about being a good girl and not biting, we made Ava an "I'm Sorry" card and Olivia took it to daycare today.

I can't even begin to tell you how sick it makes me to think that my child would hurt another one, and I know, I know, this all sounds so cheesy, but I really do worry about this stuff, I lose sleep over it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An 11?.....REALLY?

So I escaped the whole "your feet grow while pregnant" with Olivia, but I didn't fare so well this time around. And let me just say, I would have no problem, zip, zero, zilch if it wasn't for the size of my feet. If there were an endless supply of Size 11 cute shoes I could care less what size my feet were, BUT you see the challenge is that Size 11's are few and far between, at least in the stores. So yesterday for the first time since becoming a Mom I went shopping after work, let Brad get the girls and I took my time getting home. My mission was to find a pair of black boots, black flats and finally a cute pair of brown flats. I left the office and made a beeline for DSW. I arrived only to find out that everyone else in Midlothian also left work early to buy shoes, the place was a ZOO. So I set out, walking the aisles, enjoying my time alone, perusing the styles, and looking for my dream shoe. Well, it didn't take long to realize that finding a dream shoe wasn't going to be the challenge, it was going to be finding a dream shoe in Size 11. So DSW clearly knows my pain and have solved for the anxiety of those Size 11 shoe shoppers. They essentially light the Size 11 boxes on fire so you can't miss them, they don't want to make you hold your breath when you find your dream shoe only to check box by box, size by size, to end up empty handed. They put this HUGE, BRIGHT yellow sticker on the Size 11 boxes so you can spot them a mile away, so basically I could have run at a full sprint up and down the aisles just looking for that yellow sticker. I ended up buying a pair of Berry colored penny loafers,
that if you recall my list, were clearly NOT on it. But they had the sticker and felt like a little piece of heaven on my feet, what I will wear them with, I haven't the foggiest, but you best believe I am going to find a way to wear those shoes if its the last thing I do.

And then I found a pair of black flats with the buckle on the front that I really liked, only to turn them around and find that the heel had been bedazzled. Seriously, folks? Who in their right mind would bedazzle perfectly cute buckle shoes? Well, I asked 3 ladies that were shopping near me if they were bothered by the metal studs on the heel, they all replied "no, its very in", to which I thought to myself, I clearly need to get out more. So I bit the bullet and bought the shoes, I figure if I can't see the studs, I shouldn't care what people in my wake are thinking about the studs, right?

And then on to the boot aisles...oh the boots...well since I am already an amazon woman, I clearly don't need to add any height to my stature, so I set out to find low heels, the best I could find was a super dorky pair of Aerosoles (need I say more?) round toe boots...I did it, I bought them, brought them home, showed Brad, and needless to say, they are in the car with me today ready to make their way back to the store, I just couldn't do it, and you know its bad when your husband is like "Honey, No". HA.

So after I finished scouring the aisles and clearance section at DSW I thought to myself "How about a Department Store, maybe I will have better luck there"....NOT A CHANCE. I found two pairs I liked at Macy's only to turn them over and find that they only care up to Size 10 - GIVE ME A BREAK. So I made my way over to the Clinique counter and bought some eye gel stuff that will hopefully shave 10 years off of my wrinkles overnight. And the best part, it was Free Gift Time, my favorite and only time to purchase Clinique stuff, I do have to say though, the apple pouch is just too cute, and I have a slight obsession with pouches, just can't get enough.

And for Megs, I am sorry you had to read this again, the poor girl had to hear me complain about my foot size all the way home.

So after a mediocre shopping experience I headed home, arrived home to two starving little girls who were happy to see their Momma, which happens to be the best feeling in the whole world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What a trip!

We woke up bright and early Saturday Morning, bathed the girls, ourselves, packed up the Yukon, dropped Riley at Four Paws and hit the road...only about 2 hours late. HA. We woke up at 6am to get this whole process started and at 9am we were pulling out of the McDonalds just down the road from our house. Hey - whatever it takes, right? We bundled everyone up, it was a chilly morning. We arrived in Durham around 11:30am at Southpoint Mall, which happens to be a FABULOUS mall, equipped with every store a girl like me could ask for, too bad I had the TSC (Two Small Children) with me and couldn't browse the racks like I would have liked.
I don't know if I have mentioned the purpose for our trip...we were meeting up with friends. I had planned to meet up with 5 other March Mommies and Brad arranged to meet up with one of his friends that moved to Raleigh about 12-14 months ago (Surgeon that operated on Brad's knee back in February of 2007). So about my March Mommies...we have been planning this meet up for several weeks now. There were 5 of us, all with our little ones.
  • Amanda and her darling son Danny - from Ft. Stewart, GA.
  • Jeni and sweet Lily - from Durham, NC
  • Crystal and precious Bella - currently living in Atlanta, GA
  • Stephanie and darling Alyssa - Outer Banks, NC
  • Rochelle and her cute little man Ronin - Chesapeake, VA

We had Reservations at Maggianos at 1pm, can't you just see that table, all those highchairs lined up, it was a sight to see. People were staring at us for the majority of the day, especially during our photo shoot session outside after lunch. We arrived a little early and met Jeni and Crystal at the Kids Play Area, so Olivia could run some of her energy out, it was so great to finally meet them in person. Jeni surprised Avery with an adorable handmade "beanie"/hat. I was so impressed, Jeni remembered that Avery had to see the Pediatric Neurologist due to her large dome, so she made sure she took that into consideration when picking the size, it fits perfectly, and I absolutely love it.

And have I mentioned that Jeni is a very, very talented photographer, can't you tell? She worked her magic.

After lunch we walked around a little, but I was wearing my "now too tight" cute black boots, and I was in pain, so we cut the shopping short, not to mention the girls were napless and it was approaching 4pm. We had planned on going to State Fair that night with a few other ladies and their babes, but plans changed and we ended up just camping out in our hotel room and getting pizza from Mellow Mushroom for dinner. The girls were sleepy and we needed some downtime, so it worked out perfectly.

So about the hotel...we booked a 2 Bedroom Suite, which turned out to be a 1 bedroom, which was also a loft, and a pull down bed in the "Family Room" area. So the whole area was open, which meant we had to basically watch TV on Mute after the girls were in bed. Avery went down a little before 7pm, we took Olivia up around 7:30pm, their Pack n Plays were about 4 feet away from each other, how Olivia's screaming didn't wake Avery up I will never know, but I am very thankful for it, it gives me hope that if down the road they have to share a room it might not be so bad.

We slept in...everyone was up at 7:23am, Brad and I took turns getting ready, Avery had a major blow out, Avery changed clothes a few times, Olivia ate eggs in the Residence Inn breakfast area and drank some of my Cranberry Juice and then finally we packed up and headed to "Brunch". We met The Butner Family and Dan and Erin at The Cheesecake Factory at 10am. Turns out it wasn't a great idea, while it was good to see them, two long, sit down meals in one weekend is a bit too much to ask of the girls. Olivia was ready to run before the server took our orders, Avery skipped her morning nap, so she was ready for another bottle and then ready for a snooze. So it wasn't very relaxing for me. I ate as fast as I possibly could and then walked around the Restaurant with Olivia while everyone else finished eating. We walked around the mall for a little while, let Olivia & Ford play in the Kids Play Area..

Before packing it all back up and heading back to Richmond. We asked Olivia if she wanted to pick out a present in The Disney Store...she walked around the store several times, but never settled on anything so we left empty handed. Within minutes of getting on the road, the car was quiet...both girls were out....FINALLY.

Christmas in October

Cute, right? I can't wait to put them on the "Kids Tree"...

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Girls

*Disclosure - Olivia insists on wearing that Green Clippie night and day, I do in fact realize that it doesn't even remotely match her outfit...

Halloween Decor

So I thought I would share with you what our house looks like on Halloween...AND all while sharing those pics with you, I would also ask you to weigh in on what color we should paint below our chair-rail in the dining room, AND a new idea, what color we should paint in the "nook".

This is a "sofa table" that is now being housed in our Kitchen, above it is the Kitchen Vinyl Wall Art I have shared with you before. This table is PERFECT for when we entertain, but outside of that I wish it would get the heck out of my kitchen. However, with that said, it will move back to the Family Room for the Holidays, because everything gets displaced in our Family Room and it makes it way back to being an actual sofa table...and goes behind the Love Seat.

Wreath - this faces into the Family Room and is on the way to the Kitchen - got it on Clearance last year at Pottery Barn Kids. I think it needs some color, what do you all think?

The nook area - outside of the nook will be the same color as the dining room and formal living room that you can see from the dining room. What color would you paint the nook? I was thinking Chocolate Brown and then have a light wired inside? And yes, that is a lonely Halloween Pottery Barn Kids Basket in the nook, just waiting for the candy to come keep it company.


The name...courtesy of Olivia who has a little trouble getting out EN-CHI-LADA's. So we now just call them "Cha-Ladas". Easy enough. Heck, I kinda like it better. This recipe was prepared for us while we were at the Beach, Stew & Rita made it for their "Dinner Night", and it was FABULOUS. I made it this past Sunday Night and it was delish. Brian and Molly joined is a picture of the leftovers.... It made 6 total, but they are huge.



4 chicken breast
1 small can chooped green chiles
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 jar salsa
1 handful of fresh cilantro (finely chopped). If fresh cilantro is not available, use 1-2 tsp of dried cilantro (use 2 tsp if you like cilantro, use 1 tsp if you don't want it to be too overpowering).
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1-2 cans enchilada sauce (we use 1 just depends on how much sauce you want to pour over dish)
1 pckg burrito size tortillas (the flavored tortillas are more moist than corn/flour tortillas so they roll without cracking)
Preheat oven to 350.

1. Cut raw chicken breast into cubes. Throw into a pot of water on the stove, add green chiles and minced garlic. Boil until cooked (15-20 minutes).

2. Drain and let chicken cool. When cool, shred chicken in a bowl. Add the jar of salsa and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups Mexican cheese and cilantro. Reserve 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas later.

4. Place 1 tortilla on a plate (or counter), add chicken mixture (down the middle of tortilla), sprinkle with cheese/cilantro mix. Roll and place in dish.

5. Repeat until all tortillas are used.

6. If you are not going to throw in oven immediately, cover and throw in the fridge.

7. If you are going to cook, drizzle enchilada sauce over the tortillas (make sure you cover all of the edges with enchilada sauce so that they will not get hard when baking) and sprinkle last cup of Mexican cheese on the enchiladas.

8. Cover with foil and throw in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese darkens a little.

9. EAT UP!!!
I had to share - I brought out the fun dishes for our "Cha-Lada" night, I love using them, but we only have 4 place settings, so we only use them when we have another couple over for dinner. I love to eat on fun dinnerware, our boring, everyday black dishes are a-okay, but they clearly don't brighten my day like these little gems do.

I stand corrected...

My dear friend Theresa reminded me that I did declare not too long ago that I was going to take up photography as my hobby...well, clearly you can see that hasn't gone so well. I have taken 1 lesson at work from my boss who is also a professional photographer and who taught at VCU/UofR. But we haven't had time to dedicate to it just yet. I hope to learn more in the next few months so that when Spring rolls around I am ready to go...its more difficult to photograph the kids during the Winter months because it involves a lot of fake lighting, something that doesn't always yield a great picture, so hopefully by Spring I will be deep into the throws of photography and I will get to try out my skills on my darling little divas.


So many of you know I don't really have a hobby, where as my husband has the hobby of all hobbies: Cycling. So me on the other hand...lets see...what do I enjoy doing? Well...I love, love, love shopping for the girls, but they only need so many clothes and I love decorating our house and changing rooms around, from furniture to wall art, to paint colors, I love interior decorating, but, newsflash, it can be expensive if you don't have free time to do things yourself. I follow a blog Thrifty Decor Chick, and everyday that I read one of her new posts, blood rushes through my veins and I get all amped up to change every single square foot of my house, she is a genius, BUT she has the time to do things herself and to shop around for bargains, me on the other hand, if Target doesn't sell it, there is a strong chance I haven't seen it.

I would love to be able to go room by room and change things around, spend hours doing it all myself, but with work, TSC (Two Small Children - stealing this from McMamma), a very annoying Dog and a traveling husband, I just can't find the time to eat things that require me to fire up the gas stove, let alone re-do a lamp shade. So what is a girl to do.

I think today I am going to set our Dining Room table with fun, festive, fall decor...that might make me feel better, and while I am at it, I am going to take a picture of the walls so you all can give me some advice as to what color I should paint below the chair-rail. We have our painter coming this weekend to paint the foyer, stairs and 2nd floor hallway, and he has given us a quote for below the chair-rail, but I am just not sure what I want to do. I am hoping some of you might have some suggestions (Amy, Megs told me to ask you!!!!).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Men and The Bathroom

So I don't get it! Maybe one of you can enlighten me. WHAT IN THE WORLD DO MEN DO IN THE BATHROOM? Brad put Avery down tonight at 6:40pm, ran outside for a second to get his work bag and then went upstairs to use the bathroom...I FINALLY had to yell to him at 7:15pm, he was still in the bathroom! I just don't understand what takes so long. I mean both men and woman poop, right? Its not like its a totally different end result for us vs. why does it take him 29 minutes longer than it takes me? I swear he just hides in there. He would rather sit on the toilet, than on the couch where a two year old can find you and a wife can ask you if you remembered to pay the Lawn Guy for the 32nd time this week.

So poor Avery isn't feeling so well. When Brad picked her up this afternoon her eyes were so puffy, you could tell she wasn't feel well. And she was Miss Fussy Pants tonight and out like a light at 6:40pm. Who knows how the night will go and how she will sleep, but the poor thing was falling apart, and needed to hit the hay. I am so hoping that it is just a very mild reaction to the flu shot and that this doesn't change our plans for the weekend. Being that Avery doesn't really touch anyone else, we will likely still go, she will only end up spreading her germs to those that want her germs.

So thankful for:
  • Being able to take care of business in the bathroom in less than 30 minutes - I know, TMI, but I just couldn't help it. I would lose it if I spent 4 hours a week in the bathroom. Heck, I am thankful it takes me just seconds...
  • Pasta - it is such an easy, yummy meal that everyone loves. Too bad carbs go straight to the cheeks...
  • Online Banking - I don't know how I lived without it, I love being able to check everything online with the click of a mouse. Our Credit Card transactions, checking balances, CD maturity dates, etc. I love, love, love it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Being a single Momma to two little girls can be the most rewarding feeling in the world....and also the most challenging. And don't freak out, nothing has happened to Brad, he has just been traveling a lot, and it will continue for the next two weeks...I have started to read 1-2-3 Magic (Thanks for the recommendation Amy!) and so far I am working on "stopping obnoxious behavior", but I haven't gotten to the chapters about "reinforcing good behavior", which would include getting out the door in the morning, putting your shoes on, going to the potty, etc. But I am proud to report that so far so good with the stopping of the annoying behavior, I haven't had to count to 3 once!! BUT being consistent and being engaged in all aspects of Olivia's discipline is at times a challenge, like when she chooses to do something wrong and I am feeding Avery, or changing Avery's diaper, or trying to put Avery to sleep, or feeding get the picture. I am getting better and working on my patience, I was doing a remarkable job (If I do say so myself - ha) until tonight when Olivia just wouldn't brush her teeth, she just loves to suck the toothpaste off but refuses to brush upstairs and downstairs (top and bottom). I almost lost it, I had to turn around and take a deep why in the world am I getting worked up over her not brushing her teeth you say? The only solution I can come up with is that I don't get a break...I need to get better about taking a break when Brad is around, leaving the house and spending time by myself. On Sunday I asked Brad to watch the girls for an hour so I could update our blog, list a few things on eBay and upload pictures...that was like heaven to me, outside of the face that I could hear each and every peep...its amazing to me how sound carries in this house. Anyone else feel like they never get a break? Or for those of you that DO get a break, how do you do it? I just feel so guilty. I would love to work out after work, but that would mean I would likely miss dinner with the girls, and potentially miss putting Avery to bed...and that is one night of her life I missed to do what, sweat? Are you kidding me? I can't rationalize that in my Momma-Heart. But I know I need to work on that...Brad is willing to support me in whatever I choose, but it isn't that easy, his schedule is all over the place and a lot of nights I don't have that option, he isn't home...

Okay, I am just babbling now...enough of that, and on to my things to be thankful for.
  • I am thankful that Avery is doesn't get upset when I have to put her down to play with her toys in order to attend to Olivia.
  • I am thankful for Advil/Motrin, I honestly don't know how I would get through the week without it, after hours of staring at my laptop, my eyes/head are screaming at me.
  • I am thankful for off switches on baby toys. So many of them these days just don't have that on/off switch so they end up just starting up at random times, when you are sitting across the room and your child has been asleep for a good 3 hours...its freaky and annoying all at the same time. God Bless those off switches.

The Best Day

I watched this video tonight and cried my little eyes out. Its was almost perfect timing for this video to appear in my life, almost like a sign. I have been struggling with a decision that involves spending more time with the girls and this video just captures my feelings perfectly. I want my daughters to have these memories and I want them to love the life I give them.

Thanks for sharing it with me long-lost twin!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bike Race...

Sounds thrilling doesn't it? Especially for you folks that know how I feel about cycling...its at the top of my list as far as family activities go when we haven't been together as a family in several days...not so much, but I was a good supportive wife and didn't complain for a single second, and since my darling husband doesn't read our family blog he won't know I am complaining now...and I am not really complaining, so much as pointing out that it wasn't at the top of my list. It weather was beautiful though and it was good to get the girls outside to enjoy this beautiful Fall weather.

Brad was busy paying attention to the race, so I had to fend for myself when it came to capturing the moments...please excuse my thighs...oh wait, those are my arms - WOOF, they are HUGE.

Avery got in a sucker punch...


So for those of you with little ones you know that its impossible to stay up with the every changing sizes of their clothes and the change of season just adds to the task. Well, for the last few weeks I have been cleaning out the girls closets, dressers and armoires in the hopes that all their summer stuff would be storage bound to make room for their fall wardrobes. Well, since Avery is a weed/tank and doesn't seem to fit into anything we had planned for her to wear this fall I had to go scrounging in Olivia's old clothes to find clothes for her to wear this fall. She can wear some 6-12 Month stuff from Gap and Pottery Barn Kids, but almost everything else is either 12m or even some 18m stuff. I tried some adorable 6-12m Gymboree stuff on her today that my dear friend Courtney had given Olivia when she was born, and while she did wear it today, I am afraid its the first and last time she will be sporting it, it was just too tight. I was fortunate to find some 12 and 12-18m stuff for her to wear, I was afraid with Olivia and Avery being opposite season babies (July and February) that we would be in trouble as far as sharing clothes go, but its worked out well so far. Its scary, Olivia was a whole pound heavier than Avery at birth, but Avery is much bigger than Olivia was at 7.5m, I will be interested to see where they measure up at Avery's 9 month check up.

Avery enjoying Momma's Octoberfest...and I should point out, she has the most adorable sweater on.

Speaking of check ups...I know I am getting off topic, don't worry, I will circle back around to the purpose of my post in a minute or check ups...I called Chippenham Peds on Friday morning to see if they had the flu shots in yet (they have been out for a few weeks and we had to cancel the girls appointments), because if they were still out I was going to bite the bullet and take them to Buford Road Pharmacy this weekend, well they said they had them, to leave a message on the flu line and they would call me back...this was Friday at you think I have heard from them yet? You bet your bottom dollar I have NOT. And this Momma is a little P.O'd. I could have taken them on Friday afternoon while my Mom was still here, I even left work a little early to be prepared for their call, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, they let me down. So here we are...Sunday afternoon and the girls are still justa-waiting for the flu to knock on their door...come on in germs, we are waiting for you (sung to the Three's Company jingle). So I am going to call back tomorrow morning, see when I can get the girls in, and if it isn't Monday or Tuesday, we are heading to Buford Road Pharmacy, no more of this waiting around stuff.
How cute are these leg warmers? Not a great shot of Olivia, but at least you can see how cute the warmers are...

So back to the purpose of my post...actually no, a few more updates first...Brad got home from Baltimore around 4:30pm yesterday, I was actually surprised to see him before 5pm, the girls had been up from their naps since 3 and both were thrilled to see their Dadda. Olivia said "Dadda's home from his little trip". So sweet. We ran around the house, dressed the girls up and piled into the car, Riley and all, and headed for Dan's 29th Birthday Party...we had a good time, despite seeing two of our old neighbors that we are no longer friendly with...if you catch my drift. We spent the evening outside (being that Riley doesn't understand the concept of a screen door and busted right through it the moment we got there) and they were inside the entire time, so it wasn't too bad. There were two pregnant girls there, one with a daughter named Lyla, which I happen to be a big fan of, the name that is, but Brad said its too close to Lala, so its off our list. And another girl was just 3 weeks post-par tum, so there was a tiny little one there...don't worry my uterus stayed in check, no pining going on just yet...give me another few months and I am sure I will be singing a different tune...should my child decide to start sleeping through the night I am sure I will be all about another one...but as Brad likes to remind me...we won't discuss it until Olivia is ready for school....which for you folks new to math, that is 3 WHOLE years away...urgh. I will say though, at about 12:15 yesterday afternoon Olivia was cruising for a bruising and instead of calling CPS on myself I decided that it was a good idea for her to go down for an early nap...that saved both of our lives :)
While this isn't a great picture of Brad, I thought it was a cute action shot of Olivia trying to break free and disturb a game of Corn Hole some other peeps were playing.

Dan with Avery...just as we were heading out, Avery was very ready for Night-Night

So finally, back to the purpose of my post...I have FINALLY cleared out all the summer clothes, and they are packed up, ever-so-organized like in the garage, just waiting for Brad to heave them up on the garage loft. Take a look...that is a lot of clothes, and while I wish we could just put them in a yard sale now, or sell them to Once Upon a Child, I can't predict whether we will ever need them again (note, the discussion Brad and I will have in 3 years and the fact that I don't so much control the gender of my children) so we will hold onto them for a few more years...with our luck, if we have another, it will be a girl and we will get to use them.

P.S. I guess the title "Finally" is extra fitting since it took me FOREVER to get to the point...

Friday, October 9, 2009

With Thanks...

I am thankful for:
  • Asiago Loaf from Panera - I just ate almost the entire thing
  • DVR's - I don't know how I kept up on all the TV shows I am now addicted to without them, they have revolutionized how I spend my free time.
  • Romantic Comedies - I love, love, love them. I love to laugh and I love, love, so its the best of both worlds, by far my favorite genre of movie. I am very much looking forward to Couples Retreat, I wish I could put Vince Vaughn in my pocket and just carry him around with me, he lights up my life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh so thankful...

Not much else to report around here...Brad is out of town, Olivia is feeling better, work is work...ya know, same ol same ol.

I am thankful for:
  • The Holiday Season - I love creating holiday traditions now that we have kids, I will dedicate an entire post to my favorite holiday traditions, but for now, just know that I absolutely love the holiday season. I am so thankful that my parents are here for the Holidays and I am thankful that we get to spend the Holidays with both sets of Parents. This season we will get to meet our new nephew, Heath, we can't wait.
  • Riley - when Brad is traveling, I love having Riley sleeping next to me. He makes me feel safe and keeps me company in bed.
  • 3 Day Antibiotics - if you have ever tried to give an infant or toddler medicine you know it doesn't always go smoothly. Avery is horrible these days and Olivia is turning the corner and starting to worry me just a little bit, she actually enjoys taking medicine and asks for it on a daily basis. But in general, meds two times a day are no fun, it always gives you more chances to forget the dose and it prolongs the dosing schedule. So I am a HUGE fan of the Z-Pack, the once a day for 3 days prescription. I love, love, love it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mom of the Year

I am afraid to even admit this on my blog since my darling MIL reads this, but its just too funny to keep to myself. Picture this: Me carrying Olivia's 3 babies down the stairs, two empty bottles from Avery's room, an almost empty glass of Ice-Tea...oh yeah, and OLIVIA. So I am trying to make my way safely down the stairs with precious cargo in my arms...Riley is at the top of the stairs as well, and as soon as I take my first step down, he takes off like a bat out of helicopters (my new term for the H-E-L-L word). He almost knocked us down, so I yelled, ever so lady-like "Damnit Riley", not a proud moment of mine, but I saw our lives flash before our eyes, I didn't have time to search my vocabulary for an appropriate word to express my fear and emotion. And I bet you are asking yourselves, what happens next? Well, we made it safely down the stairs, but not before Olivia yelled "Damnit Riley". She annunciated like a champ...her vocabulary is really coming along. And I must add that she used the same exact tone...hilarious.

Oh my goodness...what am I teaching my child? Like I said before, I am not proud of this, and I immediately told her it was a bad word and that Mommy was sorry for saying a bad word, but she is one funny little girl. We shall see if the word surfaces again in her daily chatter.


And no, I am not talking about Mrs. Jefferson...sweet Olivia is a sick little bugger. I took her to Dr. S yesterday afternoon after I heard the wheezing. I have to admit, I am surprised that the wheezing is so bad because I really didn't think she was all that congested, it must have gone straight to her lungs, and her cough sounds horrible.

So Dr. S is going to watch her for Pneumonia, but for now has her on Breathing Treatments 4X a day and prescribed her a Z-Pack. Hopefully we will see an improvement over the next few days. She is spending the day at my Mom's so that we can keep up with the Breathing Treatments.

Brad is finally back at work today after staying home sick the last two days. It appears as though he is feeling better. He is heading to Baltimore tomorrow for work and will be home late on Saturday. My Mom heads home on Saturday. I am thinking Sunday will be a good day for Chili. Yummy.

I am thankful for:
  • Long lasting friendships...that defy the miles that separate us. My dear friend, Adam and his super sweet, absolutely love her, fiancee, Kearstin have asked me to be in their wedding next September. Adam and Kear spend a good part of the year across the world, as Adam is a Professional Basketball Player. He and I just have that type of relationship that despite the distance we will always be close...I am so thankful for friendships like that. And being that I moved away from home after high school, I happen to have several friendships that fit into this category.
  • Advil - because I have a headache the size of Texas right now.
  • Blogs - those about others lives, their struggles, their triumphs, reading about their day to day trials put life into perspective for me. I also enjoy reading blogs about the everyday lives of people I know, I love to read about their daily experiences, what their children are doing, house projects they are working on, how work is going, it helps me feel connected to people.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So very thankful...

I have been slacking on my "thankful" posts, so here is a post dedicated to being thankful to get me all caught up.

I am thankful for:

  • Each and everyday I have with the ones I love. One of my good friends, Susan, takes her daughter Mary, to a sweet woman JoJo for daycare, and on Saturday JoJo had an aneurysm and was taken to VCU and then med flighted to UVA, but good news, the surgery was successful and they were able to contain the bleed with just a "coil" instead of massive brain surgery.
  • My friend Susan, for being such a great person. She took today off to work at the daycare to help out JoJo and Papa while JoJo is recovering from the surgery, she will likely be in the hospital for two weeks. Susan is always the first person to offer to help, anytime anything happens with one of the girls she is always there to listen to me and offer to do anything that I need. When Avery was in the NICU she slept with her Blackberry because she was so worried and wanted to be there for me if I needed her.
  • Childhood Memories. I have always loved dogs/puppies, and as a child we had a good family friend that raised Huskies and I loved when they had new litters, my Dad would bring me over to their house and I would let those puppies crawl all over me. I remember getting so excited walking into their house and hearing the puppies downstairs. Bill Walker, the man who raised the pups, who was also a close family friend just passed late last week, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about those great memories, I can even recall the smell of the house...
  • The health of my daughters, while Olivia has had her fair share of colds/allergies/asthma issues, the girls have been very healthy. Everytime anything happens with either one of them I always say "How would I handle it if something was really wrong, man oh man, I give those Mom's a lot of credit". I read blog after blog about sick children and I just don't know how those parents do it.
  • Crystal Light - I just love it.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Sunday: I am thankful for:
  • Macintosh Candles, I absolutely love the smell of them, they put me in the best mood.

  • Taco Soup, its delicious, I am so thankful that Shannon shared the recipe with me, its a perfect Football Sunday meal.

  • Family Time - I love the weekends, I love getting to spend the day with the girls, and not having to worry about how they are doing at daycare and whether they are getting enough hugs and kisses

Sunday, October 4, 2009


So I am beginning to lose my patience with Olivia. And it isn't an all the time type of thing, its usually once a day...she will deliberately ignore me, stare at me and continue to do exactly what I am telling her not to do, and I find myself raising my voice far more than I would like. I don't want to be a "yeller". I know that I need to get up, go to her, get down on her level and talk to her in a stern voice, all while making good eye contact. I have been slacking and haven't done a great job with that, so I find myself just raising my voice, and that clearly isn't helping. Any advice? I would love to hear it.

Date Night

That's right...Brad and I went out on a date last night. Fairly spur of the moment, which by the way, isn't the way we roll these days, nothing really happens around here in the spur of the moment fashion, most things are planned, and planned well in advance, we don't do so well with spur of the moment, wait, I take that back, we do well with it, but it just doesn't happen all that often due to the fear that we won't do well with it...did you follow that?

So YaYa (my Mom) came over and watched Olivia for us last night, we put Avery down before we left. We left around 7:20 and made a beeline straight for Bonefish Grill, we were STARVING. We had a reservation for 8pm, but when we got there the bar had several empty seats so we grabbed two and placed our orders. For those of you that haven't been to a Bonefish before...I could seriously eat my weight in Bang Bang Shrimp. It is a party in your mouth, to die for if you will...I happen to be madly in love with it, if I wasn't already married I would consider marrying it I love it so much. Get the point? Its good stuff. We called the movies to see what was planning, BUT movies around here are either 7pm starts or 10pm starts, that is just a little too late to be keeping YaYa out, so we bailed on the movies and headed for Coldstone Creamery. Yum. We sat outside and ate our ice cream, Brad said it was a bit too chilly to be sitting outside, but I insisted it was more romantic than eating it in the "Honeywagon". Speaking of Honeywagons...I never in a million years imagined I would be going on a date in a Mini-Van. I am so not the Mini-Van type, yet we now have one. I never, ever, ever, thought we would be going on a date in one. We both commented on how much we missed the TL last night, its the perfect date car. But we continue to remind ourselves that the Honeywagon is we will deal, plus, when the kids are with us, its super practical.

We had a great evening together, very little talk if any about the girls, which is our goal for date nights, just to focus on us, and leave the kid talk at home.

The Great Pumpkin....Olivia & Avery Turner.

Yes, I know, its really The Great Pumpkin Charlie with me here, I was trying to be clever, clearly it didn't execute like I imagined it would in my head.

We set out for Chesterfield Berry Farm (aka The Pumpkin Patch) this morning after waking Avery up from a nap (poor thing, no wonder she is a bad napper). We arrived around 10:15 and quickly made our way to the Bouncy House as Olivia is obsessed with them and talks about them on a daily basis. "Bouncy House is Fun Mommy" that is one of her favorite quotes...

We bypassed the animals with a quickness we rarely see from our child, she was terribly afraid. I am beginning to wonder if I have done something to instill this fear in her, I hate that she is so scared of everything, but on the other hand want her to operate with a small degree of caution, is there a happy medium out there? Its not like I wanted her to run up and make friends with the big, scary, Rooster, but when he "cockadoodle dos", I didn't want her to run for the hills either...I am going to find a way break this girl of her fears sooner or later.

We stopped at the "food" area for hot dogs and BBQ sandwiches...and I ordered a what I can only dream about was a delicious pumpkin milkshake. You see, the reason I don't know how it tastes, is because my darling daughter snagged it from me before I even got a sip, and proceeded to scream the second anyone laid a finger on it, so instead of causing a huge scene at the Pumpkin Patch...I gave in and she enjoyed the pumpkin milkshake until she spilled it on herself in the car....and then threw a fit.

After lunch we rode out to the Pumpkin Patch to find our Avery & Olivia pumpkins, clearly they had to be relative in size to the girls, so one larger than the other (if you weren't following what I was saying with the relative part). Mission Accomplished and then we headed back to the car for the longer than it should be, ride home. Seriously, that place is out there, just when you think you are going to come up on it, you have another few miles to go...down a windy, country road.

A great time was had by all. We are very glad that YaYa was able to join us this year!