Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moving on up....

Look who learned to pull up over the Thanksgiving Holiday...

Decorations Galore

A few small adjustments to the shelves over the couch - I removed some of the pictures and replaced them with a few festive touches.

If you will carefully notice the blocks...they used to say Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth...but clearly that isn't going to work this year with four little hands.

Welcome to Snowville

I happen to love this time of year, have I mentioned that before? I love getting the house all junked up with Christmas Decorations and I love thinking about how the girls will feel when they come back to the house after their first semester at college and how wonderful it feels to see all the comforts of your childhood displayed for you as you are welcomed back home after being gone for a few months. I have such fond memories of the holiday season, I can't even begin to thank my parents for all the wonderful holiday traditions they have passed along to me. And while I love each and every one of them its time to create some holiday traditions of our own. We have started a few already and will add more as the girls get older, but its this type of stuff that really warms my heart, I get all giddy just thinking about Christmas Morning and Olivia's reaction...and you wonder why I am not curious as to how Avery will react...oh that's because I already know, she will head straight for the presents in the hopes that the wrapping paper will taste as good as it looks...our lil Billy Goat.

The dining room table, this set was all purchased when I was going through the "Everything has to be BLUE AND SILVER" phase.

A place setting...
The Willow Tree Nativity Set, a big thanks goes out to my MIL, as the gave me one of my Christmas Presents early this year so I could display it. I guess she thought the 3 Wise Men would look a little silly by themselves (she gave me the 3 wise men last year). Also, notice the Chair-Rail in the Formal Living Room - Brad and his Dad's project while I was in Manila.

The sideboard table in the foyer...

A new addition - our Family Advent Calendar - notice the 7 is missing and the 6 is in the wrong place...yeah, I didn't notice until I took it out this year, no wonder it was 50% off. Its an easy fix though...just haven't done it yet.

Our plan for the Advent Calendar is to have little presents or a little piece of candy for each day. We will number the presents and they will have to look for the present with the corresponding day on it. If you look closely you will see the Turner Basket in the picture below, that basket will hold all the presents. We aren't going to do it this year because the girls are too young and we don't need all those little toys laying around, but we already have it all planned out for next year, and we have thought about doing it with Olivia for the week leading up to Christmas, but right now its just a festive decoration.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful for...

From the mouth of a two year old...

On Wednesday:
Me: "Olivia, what are you thankful for?"
Olivia: "Pizza"
Well said my dear child, well said.
On Thursday:
Me: "Lets try this again Olivia, what are you thankful for?"
Olivia: "NOTHING", pronounced - NUFFIN
Me: "Well that isn't very nice....I am very thankful for you"
Olivia: "I know"

Clearly she was in one of her moods...

Then on Friday we were shopping, I know, can you believe it, my first Black Friday experience and I brought my two year old along, what the heck was I thinking? She thought that she had spotted Santa Claus, who if you recall from last year she was petrified of him, and so I asked her if she was going to sit on his lap this year and let us take her picture, she said yes, and then the following transpired:
Me: "Olivia, what do you want Santa Claus to bring you?"
Olivia: "A present for Mommy"
Me: "Oh sweetie, that is very kind of you, how about for Avery, what should Santa bring Avery?"
Olivia: "Nuffin"

Well, at least she is honest. The sweet thing had a few bouts of terrible two-ness over the long weekend. She doesn't do well when she wakes up from her nap to a full house and that is exactly what happened on Thanksgiving, so it was touch and go for a little while, but she turned it around and ended up eating some "chickens", which is aka Turkey to the rest of us.

We had a great time in Bassett, got to meet our nephew Heath McCoy Jones for the first time and Olivia got to play with Leah and Ellie, which by the way she asked about every second after they left, she is very much looking forward to Christmas when she can play with her cousins again.
Brad and I made it out Friday night after the girls were in bed and saw The Blind Side, which I highly recommend to anyone that has a heart. It was a wonderful movie. I actually surprised myself, I didn't end up crying nearly as much as I thought I would, only a few teary eyed moments, but the comedic twists helped snap me out of it, and made me laugh. Sandra Bullock was wonderful, I can't imagine anyone else playing her character. But since its a true story I really wonder how realistic the portrayal was of all the characters, its rare they do true stories about people that are all still alive, so you don't so much have to worry about how they are going to react to it, but with this, I am sure some of it was dramatized and I wonder how the real people felt about it. Kinda like with Remember the Titans, a lot of it was changed around to make it more exciting and dramatic, and I had read that some of the real people still alive were a bit offended by the changes that were made or the people who were cut out of it. Brad said he had heard an interview with the actor that played Michael, and that he was able to meet with the real Michael Oher, and that he was very unassuming, he didn't really understand why someone wanted to make a movie about him. So who knows. Just something I thought about after watching the movie. I have several lines that I already use in my everyday banter with Brad, but I think my favorite quote from the movie was when one of Sandra Bullocks snobby friends said "I think you are doing a great thing, you are changing this boys life" and Sandra Bullock looks at her and said "No, he is changing mine".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The 'Noke

Here we are..."on an adventure"...staying in a hotel, which Olivia says is just a "big house with lots of doors". This is our second night in a hotel with the girls, the first was in Raleigh last month, but tonight we have two separate bedrooms and a common area, so Brad and I are watching TV in the common area and each girl is sound asleep in a pack n play in their respective rooms. Its a little bit of heaven...what wasn't a little bit of heaven was the trip down here. It took us about 2.5 hours and it was quiet for the first hour or so and then it all went down hill from there...Avery woke up, Olivia started blabbing, which continued until we pulled into the hotel. Jeesh.

Traveling with Olivia is exhausting. She doesn't stop talking. Is this normal? Are all 2 year olds painful to travel with? If so, how the heck do people do? Moreover, WHY the heck do people do it? I would rather just lock myself up in my house until the "horrible to travel" phase has passed. And frankly, this phase started long before two in our house. Olivia has been a terrible traveler for almost a year now, it started just after she turned one. She stopped being able to sleep in the car and poof - gone were the peaceful car trips.

How are we going to drive to Disney in November of 2011? Please Lord tell me that this phase will end and by then we will have expert travelers to work with? And in May we are heading to Georgia for a long weekend, good grief, how is that going to go? Is she going to talk the entire 8 hours? If so, maybe she should ride with YaYa and GaGa...GaGa would lose his mind for sure.

Generally speaking Avery is a peach to travel with, she stays quiet, plays by herself...but Olivia, OH anything put quiet.

Avery did have a tough time settling back down tonight for bed, she cried and cried, and actually has been doing a lot of that at home too. Bedtime has been anything put a dream for her lately, lets hope this phases passes quickly.

Brad is falling asleep on the couch so that is my queue to shut it down and hit the hay. Big day planned tomorrow in the 'Noke and then its off to Bassett. I am sooooo hoping we can eat at Zaxby's for Lunch....Delish.

Also, a final thought - my dear friend "M" is out of town visiting family for Thanksgiving, her GPa isn't doing well and the family has made a decision to start the Hospice process (or whatever you call it, program, process, what do you call it when someone starts Hospice?). It is very sad, and I am sad for her and her family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this holiday season.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Trees

We put up both Christmas Trees today. Olivia helped with the first, which is really the second, long story. She knew exactly what to do with the ornaments, she took them out of their storage boxes and put them on the tree. All of them. All of them on the same two branches. It was hysterical. I wish I would have snapped a few shots of her in action prior to my coaching session. Post coaching session she knocked it out of the park, she was spreading them out, but of course all of them were limited to the bottom third of the tree, due to her height, but still, she was a big helper.

I am still feeling rotten, and I am worthless. Brad has been super-dad. I have taken naps the last two days, and this afternoon he got the girls up and took them outside to play so I could keep sleeping, what a guy huh? I sure am lucky. And he has had to put Avery to bed the last three nights, she won't let me put her down, she just screams and screams, but Brad has been able to get her down with just a few fusses...he is a pro now. See what happens Ladies when you are forced to go out of town...Dad steps up to the plate and hits a home run. Now if we could only get them to the plate without leaving the country we would be in a great place. Just kidding. I know how lucky I am, I have a husband who is very involved in raising the girls, who can step in and be super dad at the drop of a hat.
Formal Tree = Tree #2

Two days of work this week and then we are off to Bassett. I am seriously thinking about taking this week off next year, seems like a great week to take off, a lot of people appear to be on vacation this week so why the heck not. This is also a great week to take a real vacation, somewhere warm and tropical, but gone are those days now that we have two little ones. Our second Thanksgiving together we took a cruise to the Bahamas and spent a few extra days in Florida, we actually spent Thanksgiving Day at Disney World.

Avery's Funny Face - which resembles one I made as a child...the poor thing.

Also, very random, but I happen to LOVE America's Funniest Home Video's. The show cracks me up. Olivia is curled up on our bed watching it right now (I know, Mom of the Year for letting my kid watch TV before bed), and she is just mesmerized.
One of my favorite ornaments, which we just re-created for Avery...

Olivia's new ornament from Durham, NC.

And Avery's

Our new Tree Topper...I happen to be madly in love with it, so much so I would marry it if I could...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bar Smoke

Woof - I can't even tell you the last time I showered and had to wash my hair more than once to get the smell of smoke out of it. It was ages ago. There was a time in my life, not all that long ago that it was the norm for me on a weekend night, but I can't say I miss those days. Where is all of this coming from you are likely wondering?

Well, Brad went out on a man-date tonight. He met up with a few of his riding buddies at a bar for a few drinks. I guess one of the guys is moving back to PA so it was more of a "Going Away" get together. I must also mention that my darling husband went for a nice, relaxing bike ride this afternoon....yes, you got that right. I am on my death bed, just got home from a week away and he is going for rides and out for drinks. In his defense, he got up with Avery this morning at 7am and let me sleep until 9:30, but only because I begged him to. He also took the girls to Costco by himself and bought me some beautiful flowers, super sweet of him. I am just giving him a hard time actually. I don't mind, I actually have enjoyed having some down time at home this evening. Riley and I have been hanging out in bed. I actually fell asleep watching Barney with Olivia before I put her down, but she woke me up when Barney was over (Brad was still home, I didn't fall asleep while I should have been watching her, don't worry), but then when Brad left, I tried to go back to sleep and couldn't. Very annoying. I have had a huge headache for the last several hours, so I just took another dose of Advil and I hope to shut the lights out and hit the hay shortly.

So the point of my post was, I love that my life doesn't involve having to wash my hair several times after a night out with the girls/or guys, or smelling it the next day when you finally get around to showering...oh how times have changed.

Can't Sleep...

Good Gracious, I can't sleep. Last night it was 1:30am before I finally shut the light off and closed my peepers. And its 12:30am and I am wide awake. I am guessing its the 13 hour time change adjustment, however I didn't struggle with it last time, and I figured with being sick I would take advantage of the extra sleep, but no such luck.

Brad and I took the girls to Donna's this morning and spent the day cleaning the Third Floor of our house, we worked on it until about 3pm and then gave up. We did some serious damage on the home office but the common area could still use some serous work, which means we will have to utilize the hours of nap time the girls provide this weekend.

It was a long day, but I was so happy to see Brad and the girls waiting for me at the airport I couldn't stop myself, Olivia was running in place, Brad was holding her back, and when he let her go we ran to each other and she was yelling "My Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, My Mommy" I just started crying, I was so happy to be home and to see my beautiful family.

So back it up a bit and I woke up around 7:00pm Wednesday Night (Manila Time, which is 6am est), went to work, worked until about 4am, came home, showered, packed and boarded a van to the airport at 5:45am. We arrived at the Manila Airport, thank goodness we fly Business Class, because the Coach area was an absolute zoo, we went through about 84 security checks and while we were checking in I noticed that there were crazy amounts of paparazzi outside, camera crews, etc. So I asked one of the nice ladies what was going on, she informed me that one of their largest local celebrities was going to be on our flight, turns out she ended up sitting behind me. Her name is Angel Locsin ( the cute little ladies at the airport were going ga-ga over her, everyone was getting their pictures taken with her, I asked if she was like a "Jessica Simpson" and they told me "No, more like Jennifer Aniston". I am just not the star-struck type, but it was hilarious to watch everyone freak out! We had a 2 hour layover in Tokyo, the SkyClub Lounge was an absolute zoo, but we still enjoyed ourselves until we had to board the plane for Atlanta. Everything went smoothly, no issues going through customs...and we landed safe and sound in Richmond around 5:50pm.

After putting the girls down I ran out to Patient First, I just couldn't take it anymore, I was coughing my face off, had gone through 2 rolls of TP on the plane, and couldn't stop blowing my nose, super annoying. Turns out they think its just viral and the best they could do was cough meds, but of course it makes me sleepy so I can't take it during the day, as I type I am coughing my face off wishing I hadn't left it downstairs.

The girls Christmas Outfits arrived while I was gone so I tried them on today, I am a big nervous, Avery's is a little tight, so I am not sure what to do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Smell Ya Later Manila

I am outtie...and I am not looking back. I will be getting on a plane in 3 short hours, we will be heading to the airport in about 45 minutes. I am sitting in my room, fresh out of the shower waiting for my Cheddar Grilled Cheese to arrive...odd that they don't have American Cheese huh? Just Kidding...but oh how I miss thee.

I can't wait to land in Richmond. I am feeling worse by the minute and can't wait to see a Doctor, I am so stuffed up I can barely breathe, I feel like a Toddler, I am always wiping my own nose because its running like a faucet, gross I know.

Brad took Avery to the Pediatric Neurologist today and got great news...she is growing right on schedule, is back on the charts and doesn't have to go back again. WAHOO. This is a fabulous surprise, we thought based on our first appointment that she would be going back every 3 months until she was 18-24 months old - AMEN.

I feel so bad for Brad, I know he is looking forward to a break when I get home, but basically I am going to add to the mess, he will go from taking care of the girls to all three of us, I am a mess and can't function let alone take care of the girls, he will have to continue his caregiver duties for a few more days.

Work wise this has been a very up and down trip. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my agents, but all in all this has been a very frustrating trip, we will see how things shake out when we get home and have discussions with Executive Leadership...

It looks like I will be back here before I know it. I am hoping to put off my return trip until at least February, wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Something Fierce

I am missing my babes something fierce, all four of them....Riley included and generally speaking I don't miss him. I can't wait to set my sights on them, I am counting down the minutes.

I happen to be watching Gossip Girl over here and get this, its only one episode behind, which is shocking, especially so if you know anything about TV over here...let me give you a little insight. American Dreams, the show that was cancelled in the States 5+ years ago is a "New Series" here...and DeAnna Papas is the Bachelorette, so its a few seasons behind too.

From what I hear the girls are okay, no big improvements from either one, but they are eating. I on the other hand am 10 times more stuffed up right now, can't blow my nose fast enough and my throat is killing me from talking all day....I just keep telling myself only one more day. I can't wait to get home, get my hands on those girls and kiss them until the sun comes up.

I actually ventured out and had two meals outside of the hotel today and I have to admit, the first one was pretty darn tasty. I had Prawn (Shrimp) Rigatoni with Garlic and Olive Oil, the only downside is that it was a Tapas size portion, but I did order some Pop Over Bread with Herb Butter so that helped fill up the tum-tum.

One more day of work, we will head to dinner tonight around 5pm, head to the office earlier than usual around 7pm and head back to the hotel to pack and shower around 4am so we can leave for the airport around 5:30pm.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Seriously, some of the food people eat over here makes me want to vomit right on my own shoes, that's how bad it is. I will give you a few examples...

Balut- is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines

Chicken Blood - congealed Chicken Blood on a stick and then cooked

Dog - no need to explain

Fish Belly - again, no need to explain

It's horrible. I spend the better part of our "food conversations" with my head down and eyes closed, and when I utter a sound the only thing I can get out is "Woof" They ordered Chinese Food for us today for lunch and they had "Prawn Chips" which looked like Pork Rinds but smelled and apparently tasted like shrimp - woof. I didn't even take a wiff. I passed on lunch all together and waited until I got back to the hotel. Last night for dinner we went to a Japanese Steakhouse here at the hotel and it was delish - I had Filet and Garlic Rice, it was YUMMY, but I am not what you would call adventurous when it comes to trying new things here...

Brad had to take the girls to the Doctor this morning, they are both very "snotty" and Avery was running a fever, turns out that she has an ear infection. I am so thankful for a husband who is so good with his girls and can take such good care of them when I am away. It pulls at my heart strings to know they are sick and I can't be there to cuddle with them as I know when Avery is sick she just wants to snuggle. Thank goodness Brad's Mom is there, what would we do without her? Avery weighed in at 22lbs 4oz and Olivia weighed 32lbs...big girls.

I slept for a solid 10 hours yesterday, but I had been up for a good 27 hours straight, so I am thinking about hitting the hay again now, its 8:38am, which means its 7:38pm est and those are the hours we are working while we are here, so we will head back to work tonight around 8pm, which will be 7am est, you follow me? So I am going to go to sleep now and attempt to get another 9-10 hours of sleep before starting another night of work. I need the sleep, I am still feeling like crap. I plan to get a massage tomorrow morning when I get home from the site, and then tomorrow night before work we are going to take a dinner cruise around the Bay and hope to see some sights. I have a few more things to pick up at this other open air market that Keri (our VP that is with us) found, and then I think I will be done shopping...

I can't wait to land back in Richmond on Thursday night and see Brad and the Girls, I have missed them terrribly this time around, and I can't wait to start decorating for Christmas. Brad and his Dad have been busy putting up Chair Rail molding in the formal living room and it sounds like they have the picture frame molding project on hold because they want me to see it before they take action - shucks, I was looking forward to crossing that project off the list.

And I found out today my good friend Su-Su (her code name) has the Piggy Flu, the poor thing, and her darling little Lamb (another code name) started at a new daycare today, so the poor thing has a lot going on right now, I hate that I am here and can't help her out. And while I am on the subject of things I hate, I hate that I haven't seen Miss Campbell except for the short visit in the hospital, the little nugget is going to be all grown up by the time I get home, she won't even know her Auntie Leigh...shame on me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Husband

Happiest Birthday Wishes to my Darling Husband. I hate that I can't be there to celebrate with him, its the first Birthday I have missed in 7 years, sad huh? At least his parents are there to celebrate with him and of course the girls are there to give him sloppy kisses. He is heading to the Redskins Game today, as long as Avery's fever is down, with his Dad, lets hope they enjoy the day together and of course that the Redskins don't get smoked...which we all know they likely will.

And....I'm Up

Finally...I was holed up in my room for a good portion of the last two days because I have felt be perfectly honest, I felt like crap. No two butts about it, can't sugar coat it, it is what it is, I felt like crap. I have slept the better part of the last two days, but I am finally up. Kelley (co-worker) and I went to the pool, had some virgin drinks, a club sandwich and relaxed a bit. We should have been sleeping since we have to work tonight, but since I had been sleeping for the last 20 hours I just couldn't sleep anymore and the sun was calling her name so she gave up the sleep to lay in the sun. It's rare to see the sun here, on my last trip I don't think we saw a single beam of sunshine, but we have see the sun quite a bit over the last few days here. On our way back from the pool we stopped in the salon and had hot oil treatments on our hair, heaven with a capital H. The guy was like "Miss Leigh, your neck is tight", no kidding! He gave it a shot, but my neck is still a mess, which means I foresee a massage in my future, maybe even tomorrow morning.

So I will be attempting to nap for a few hours before dinner and then its off to work around 8:30pm. We will likely be back at the hotel around 5:30am, just in time for a quick swim/workout and then breakfast. We might take a 4 hour bus tour of Old and New Manila, but it will depend on the weather and how I am feeling.

I talked to Brad and Avery's fever was down before bed which is a very good thing, lets hope it doesn't climb back up during the night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hate it...

I hate being away from the girls when they don't feel well. Olivia was feeling better after her round of Meds last week, but appears to be snotty again and Avery has been suffering from the snots for the last two weeks, BUT now its turned into a fever, apparently Brad called the Doctor this afternoon and they said to watch it, but not take her to the ER until it hits 104, right now its 101.4, so heres to hoping it stays down and she is comfortable. I just hate that she is so clingy and I am not there to cuddle her. And I gave Brad tickets to the Redskins Game tomorrow for his Birthday, BUT now he is thinking he shouldn't leave Avery, I hate that he might have to miss the game. And to top things off, I am feeling like absolute garbage and the Hotel Doctor won't be in until 9am on Monday, and its currently 6:45am on Sunday. So I have a good 24 hours to wait to see a Doctor. I skipped dinner last night with everyone, we will all meet for dinner tonight at 7pm before we head to one of our suppliers around 8pm.


I think I mentioned before that we always shop at this "market" called Greenhills. Its actually this huge building/warehouse type set up with hundreds/thousands of little booths all set up, they sell EVERYTHING you can possible think of. The biggest selections come in the genre's of purses and clothing. We all met for breakfast this morning at the hotel and then set out for a 3 hour adventure at Greenhills. I picked up some gifts and fulfilled on some of the orders my neighbors and co-workers gave me and then we headed home.

I slept last night from about 1:30am until about 8am. But it wasn't a sound sleep. I was up a few times and tossed and turned quite a bit. Not to mention it feels like I am swallowing daggers and can barely talk. My throat is killing me, my ears are still clogged from the flight and I am super congested...good times. I have been taking Advil like its my job and after taking 5 at lunch I got a tiny bit of relief, but in general the Advil hasn't really been touching it, I am worried I will have to see the Hotel Doctor and get some meds to knock it out...urg. I am going to give it another day or two before taking action, but its seriously annoying.

Schedule so far:

8am - wake up
8:30am - breakfast at Circles Buffet - which for me consisted of Shrimp Dumplings and a Waffle - sounds horrible, but it was okay.
10am - Arrived at Greenhills to shop
12:30pm - Left Greenshills and headed back to the hotel
1:15pm - Ate lunch at Circles Buffet - which consisted of Shrimp Dumplings and Shrimp Tempura, not a lot of variety on my plate, the others went to down, but with my throat feeling the way it doesn't I really wasn't hungry. I did however enjoy another Coca Cola Light.
2:45pm - We headed for Balikbayan Handicrafts - a local store that specialized in wood - take a look:
3:30pm - Back to the hotel, some of the girls are going swimming, some are taking a nap. My plan is to take a nap shortly and then we will all meet for Dinner around 9pm at the Japanese Steakhouse here at the hotel.

I did get to talk to Olivia this morning just as she was going to bed, she told me she loved me, and when I told her I loved her to the Moon and back she said "Moon Back - I love you", so sweet. I miss them to pieces, its much harder this trip, I suspect its because I am not as excited to be here, I know what its all about, it isn't new this time around, so I would much rather be at home with my family where I belong, but its only a week right? But in the same breath I tell myself that a week in Avery's life is huge, big things happen in a week for her, she will probably be pulling herself up by the time I get home, last trip she learned to roll and cut a tooth while I was gone. The girls are in good hands though, Brad's Parents are there and keeping them home from daycare, so I know they are having the time of their lives. I am so thankful that his parents are there to help, we are lucky kids to have the parents we do, they are so good to us and to our darling little girls.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thrilla in Manila

I am here! Safe, dirty, exhausted, congested and did I happen to mention dirty? Being on an airplane/in airports for a solid 30+ hours tends to have that affect on me. I am just finishing up my room service, as I slept through Dinner on the last leg of the flight and then I will be jumping into the shower and then straight into some super duper clean sweats to keep me warm as I drift off to dreamland.

Flights all went relatively well, Richmond to Detroit was late...they were paging us to the gate in Detroit but turns out there was a "fuel issue" so we were late leaving Detroit too, but we had been rushed to board and were now starving because we missed our opportunity to grab lunch before we boarded. We had a two hour layover in Tokyo, but we ended up only really having about 30 minutes in the SkyClub Lounge before we had to board again. The flight from Tokyo to Manila was very bumping, the seat belt sign was on the entire flight and I don't believe the Coach Passengers were even served their snacks. We were fed upstairs in Business Class but I slept through it...hence the room service. What's on the menu for tonight you ask? Well, a order of Spaghetti from the Children's Menu and a side order of Fries and of course, a Coca-Cola Light. Delish.

Well, its now 12:30am here and I am going to hit the shower, then the bed...we are meeting for breakfast in the morning at 8:30am, so if I want to work out that means I need to do it before breakfast...odds are that won't happen tomorrow, possibly I can fit it in after our shopping trip and before our dinner reservations. The one downfall of traveling with a group this time around is that things are more organized, more scheduled meals, less downtime, I like the downtime...oh well, such is life.

Oh yeah, I called home and Olivia wouldn't talk to about pulling at your heartstrings. Also, another note to self, do NOT, I repeat do NOT watch movies like My Sister's Keeper when you cannot hold your little darlings tight, I sobbed on the plane, cried through the ENTIRE movie, and I haven't done that in ages, sure I shed tears but this was flat out sobbing. It was horrible and as much as I wanted to hate the mother, I just couldn't, I could empathize with her. I kept my other movie selections light, The Hangover - very funny, The Proposal - very funny, but had already seen it, and Ghosts of Ex Girlfriends Past - cute, and again had already seen it. I am very much hoping the movies are updated on the 15th of the month so we have a few more selections on the way home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Somebody Stop Me"

Seriously, I have a problem. I want to snatch up every single adorable Christmas decoration I see, I can't stop myself. Target is the worst, everything is so stinkin cute. I had to go there today to stock up on Tampons, yup, you read that right. I am going to have to pack an entire suitcase of Tampons for my trip. I am so annoyed. Bad timing. Jeesh. Anyways, I had to stop at Target quickly and found myself in La-La land looking at all the Christmas stuff. I also ran to Michaels and bought our formal Christmas Tree...I am going to ask Brad and his Dad to set it up while I am gone, I can't wait to decorate it when I get back. I am hoping that Olivia will help me, we'll see how that goes - HA.

PS I hate running errands in the rain.

Snots & Airplanes

They don't mix and right now they are my reality and my head is pounding just thinking about it. I have yet to pack, my suitcase is still on the loft in the garage which means it won't be packed until Brad gets home and gets it down for me.
Avery was up bright and early, Riley had me up and out of bed twice last night and I coughed my face off until after midnight so as you can tell I am a little short on sleep and could use a few more Zzzzzz's. I hope to accomplish that today being that I have today off to observe Veteran's Day.
Speaking of Veteran's Day, I watched the Ft. Hood Memorial Service yesterday, and while I know several of you don't share my admiration for our President, but his words yesterday were precise and to the point and so very well spoken. I loved the personal touch, how he shared personal insight into each and every soldiers lives that were lost.
I have a few errands to run today and right now I don't know if I can muster the energy to get off the couch let alone shower, get dressed, put makeup on, leave the house, go in and out of stores all while dodging the rain. Ugh. Yes, I know I am being a bit dramatic...
I leave tomorrow morning at 9:25am, fly to Detroit, have a 90 minute layover, a 14 hour flight to Narita, Japan, which is in Tokyo, have a two hour layover and then a 6 hour flight to Manila, which means we arrive in Manila around midnight on Friday, their time. And we fly back on Thursday the 19th. I am going to miss Brad and the girls to pieces. I wrote the girls cards last night just in case my plane goes down so they know how much I mean to me and how much I will miss them should my flight turn into an episode straight out of LOST. Lets knock on a lot of wood that it doesn't happen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The power of prayer...

I couldn't stay focused today, I have been so caught up in Stellan's fight that I couldn't focus at work, and even tonight while I know I should have been cherishing my children, and savoring the time I had with them at the dinner table, I was focused on Stellan.

Dr. A had been hoping for a "home run" for Stellan, but the reality of the situation was that he had a small chance of knocking one out of the park, BUT truth be told he indeed hit a home run. Stellan is free of SVT and in recovery now, waiting for his Dad to arrive from the Frozen Tundra, who by the way missed his flight all while sitting at a gate, I don't know how his Mom kept her cool, I would have been furious with Brad if he just missed his flight, who misses a flight just sitting there? I can imagine that his mind was on other things, like the fact that his son was fighting for his life, but attention.

Okay, back to the power of pray. Today while sitting at my cube I emailed my MIL and asked her to send a prayer request to Fort Trial, their church in Bassett, I mentioned them before, they worked their magic on Avery, I figured it was the least I could do for Stellan, I felt so hopeless, its amazing the hold this little boy has on my life and I don't even know him, but I sure feel I do.

I spent extra time tonight humming sweet songs to Avery as she screamed in my ear and fought sleep, I read and reread Someday (one of my favorite books) to Olivia over and over again, until we closed the book and I started to tell her about Baby Stellan, and how he was at the hospital, because he was a very sick little boy and that we needed to lift him up in prayer, and pray for the Doctors who had their strong wise hands holding his life ever so tightly and then I tucked her into bed and came down to check on Stellan only to find that he was SVT free, amen.

In other news, Avery had a rough, rough night, she screamed and screamed and screamed and refused to settle down, she crawled around the second floor until almost 7:30pm when Brad worked his magic and she drifted off to dreamland only to be awoken (is that English?) by Riley flapping his ears outside of her door, she started with the screaming but this time we just let her wail, the whole cry it out thing works every now and then. And Olivia had a serious case of the Monday's. I was late getting home, didn't walk into the house until almost 6pm and Brad was scolding her for standing on the couch, so that started it off on a sour note, and it just went downhill from there until we got to the book reading, she cuddled up in my lap and asked me to read and reread my favorite book several times, its like she knew I needed that very book to put a smile on my face and some happy tears in my eyes.

Mr. Stellan

He is waiting to go down for his surgery as I type, but this morning they had to use the crash cart on him, and the paddles brought him back, when I read that my heart stopped, can you imagine his Mom watching this? Please pray for them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

47 Questions...


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I CRIED? Just a few minutes ago reading about Stellan

3. DO I LIKE MY HANDWRITING? Yes, but its a bit nerdy, very straight. I get a crazy amount of compliments on it.

3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I am actually not a huge fan of lunch meat, I am fairly picky actually, Boar's Head is my favorite brand, and I would have to say Turkey or Chicken.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Sure do, two of them in fact.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes, but can imagine I would also get annoyed with me because I can never keep my opinion to myself and I can't stop talking. But at the same time, I am forever honest and loyal.


8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, and for years I beg to have them taken out, but my chronic throat issues have been at bay since 2001, so at this point I am content to keep them.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Absolutely not.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Frosted Flakes, without a doubt. But Raisin Bran is a close second.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, not so much, and yes, I know I should, its bad for the shoes not to...blah, blah, blah.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Mint Chocolate Cookie, and this time of year I fancy a heaping bowl of Egg Nog Ice Cream.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their teeth or their height

15. RED OR PINK? Pink

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Body, the whole, entire, body I inhabit.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I miss my friends from the 413, I wish they all lived next door or across the street and that we had dinner parties once a week. And when I think about people who are no longer with us, I think about my Mom's Mom who I never met, I would have loved to meet her, get to know her, get to know the type of Mom she was, pick on my Mom with her, etc. You know, the typical grand daugther-grandmother bonding moments.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE ELSE TO PUT THIS ON THEIR BLOG? I sure do, I happen to love these things.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Currently shoeless, I rarely wear shoes in the house, but another week or so, or a few degrees cooler and I will be sporting my Winter Slippers that I love to pieces.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A Halloween Sized bag of Peanut M&M's.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Criminal Minds on the TV, this show freaks me out, where do the writers come up with this stuff?

.22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Hot Pink, without a doubt.

23. FAVORITE SMELL? Babies fresh out of the bath


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? No one sent it to me, I stole it from another blog.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football these days, but good Lord, not the Redskins.

27. Hair Color? Dark brown

28. EYE COLOR? Brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Sure don't, and honestly I don't think I ever could, I hate things near/touchy my eyes.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Mexican


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Couples Retreat

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? A long-sleeve White T-Shirt.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer!!!


36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Key Lime Cheesecake

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Not a relevant question when posted on a blog

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Again, not relevant

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Sadly, I am not really reading a book now, but need to pull one off the shelf and get started before I board that plane on Thursday, TV in Manila is horrible, so I need to bring a few good books along with me.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have one...I used to think that was sooooooooo horrible, to use a mouse without one, now I think that was all just hoop-la, because if it was sooooooooo bad, why wouldn't Capital One make us use one?

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? NCIS Los Angeles, we watched 3 episodes last night that were on the DVR

42. FAVORITE SOUND? Rain on a tin roof

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Neither actually...and I am proud to admit, and by proud I mean ashamed, that I get them confused and couldn't name a song either one of them sang.

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Manila, take two on Thursday.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Birthing HUGE babies, think that counts?

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Greenfield, Massachusetts


Moved to Tears

I just finished reading the latest post on to Brad and I am in tears, Sweet Stellan is facing a very risky ablation and due to his grave condition they are moving it up, originally scheduled for Tuesday, the Doctors in Boston are shuffling things around to get him into the OR as soon as possible. Stellan's Mom, Jennifer has faith that moves me, moves me to tears. Her words are impressive and real and they move me to tears. Through my tears I looked at Brad and said, I hope that if I ever have to face anything like this that I am given time to find that type of faith. I don't have it now, and I am ashamed to admit it, but at times I find it embarrassing, and even a little cheesy, but right now I admire the faith that she feels in her heart, and I am jealous that she can find peace in this dire situation, but ever so thankful that she does.

I don't think I have shared this story before, but when Avery was first admitted to the NICU, a few short hours after she gasped for her first breath, I was freaked out, scared of what I didn't know. Brad's Parents were the last ones to leave for the night, I was in bed, (heck, I had just given birth) Brad was sitting with me, I had tears in my eyes, but as soon as they said their goodbyes and headed out the door, I lost it. Full on sobbing. I was terrified, scared that something was seriously wrong with my sweet baby girl, scared that I might never hold her again, scared that despite kissing her goodbye, I hadn't been very nice to her, I pushed her away, shooed her off to get checked out, yes, because I was worried and knew something was wrong, but still...and while most of the time I don't regret rushing the moments I had with her right after birth a part of me wishes I could have held her just a few minutes longer to take in the moment, to get a family photograph taken.

So Brad and I were laying in the hospital bed, I was sobbing and his Mom walked back in the door, tears in her eyes, and asked if they could pray with us. It was exactly what I needed in that moment, how she knew, I don't know, but I will forever be grateful that she came back that night and prayed for Avery with us. And a few days after we all got home from the hospital we received a Prayer Gram in the mail, Brad's Parent's Church all signed it and wrote us a sweet note, they kept us close during those first few days of Avery's life. Its that type of faith I need everyday, why I don't, I don't know, but I wish I had it. I read these blogs, of these uber religious women and their strength and faith move me to tears on a daily basis, they are kind, and they make me want to be a better person. Sure, there are times I think they are a bit over the top, but the message is clear, and the message is is good and it gets you through tough times.


Avery needs a lesson in how to sleep in...she thinks that 5:13am is a good wake up time. And now at 6:55am Olivia is starting to sing in her crib, which means she is ready to start the day, how come when it was Brad's turn with the girls yesterday Avery didn't get up until 6am and Olivia didn't stir until closer to 8am. What gives? Clearly they just want to spend more time with me...that's it right?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Adventures of Brad and Riley

So last night the phone rings and its my parents Richmond Neighbor, Linda.

Me: Hi Linda

Linda: Hi Leigh, I just wanted to make sure your parents were here

Me: No, they aren't here, why?

Linda: Oh well, I can see that there is a light on upstairs so I figured they must have arrived and I didn't know they were coming

Me: No, and that's strange, I will have to send Brad over to check it out

Linda: Okay, just let him know I will be here ready to call someone if I need to

Me: Okay, Thanks Linda.

So Brad got dressed (he wasn't naked, just in sweatpants, get your heads out of the gutter). Got Riley ready to go, because of course, you can't go check out a potentially dangerous situation without the always ferocious dog at your side. So Brad grabs his huge mag-lite flashlight and off they go.

Long Story Short - the light was on, and we have no idea why, or how it happened. And then while I was on the phone with Brad as he and Riley made their way through the house he says "Holy S#$%" and my heart stops. He tells me the Gun Safe was open, meaning not locked. At first I panic thinking someone has broken in, stolen the guns and could be in the house with a loaded gun getting ready to blow my dogs tail off....oh wait, I mean my husbands head off. And then Brad tells me there are still 5 guns in there, but just to be safe I called my Dad in Montana (he is there hunting for a few weeks), and he doesn't specifically remember locking it, so my panic decreases thinking its just a matter of no one locking it last time they were in it. So we confirm all the guns are there and my Dad makes a note to call ADT to change their level of service, and we all go to bed safe and sound. Ta-Da.

As I type, the ice maker is dropping ice into the tray and Riley is having a heart attack, running around, barking as loud as he can, clearly he would be the right one to have with you in a pinch, because dropping ice sends him into a tailspin. Crazy Dog.

Miss Pac Man

So you have heard me complain about how Avery will eat anything and everything she can find on the floor, its horrible and requires you to watch her like a hawk, something that isn't always as easy as it sounds when you have a two year old running around and dog that likes to go in and out, in and out all day long. So last night when I got home we sat down to dinner, Avery was making this strange coughing/choking noise, she refused to eat, and coughed so hard she threw up a few times, at first glance I thought it was just mucus choking her up since she is still dealing with a stuffy nose, but after calling the Doctor and leaving a message I swept her mouth with my finger and found a LEAF...yup, that's right, a LEAF. Riley must have tracked it in, and she found it on the floor and in the mouth it went (I would like to point out this happened on Brad's watch, but in his defense it could have happened on my watch too). This child is going to keep us on our toes. I was getting ready to rush her to the ER thinking she had an obstructed airway...nah, she was just devouring nature and licking her chops.

Cake Report

It was/is delicious. I had a small piece when it was still warm last night and Olivia and I shared a piece for breakfast this morning (I know, I know, Mom of the Year Award). I highly recommend it.

Brad left bright and early this morning for a bike race, the race starts around 9am, and hopefully he will be home by 12 noon for lunch. Avery is already down for her morning nap and has been for almost an hour, so Olivia and I are relaxing to Barney (Yeah, nothing about Barney relaxes me either, but its like Olivia's crack)

I am going to start the White Chicken Chili in just a few short hours, I can't wait for dinner.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gooey Butter Cake

Move over Paula Deen, I am a force to be reckoned with. I can follow a mean recipe with the best of them, as for creative, experimental talent, I am at a loss, but give me a recipe and I am good to go. After we put the girls down tonight I decided to make this Gooey Butter Cake Recipe I have been drooling over for the last few weeks. I am hoping that its as yummy as its title sounds, but I am still holding my breath because the timer says I have to wait at least 19 more minutes to give it a taste. After licking the spoon on its way to the sink I am worried it was a bit too "sugary' and could have done without some of the powdered sugar, but we shall see.
So this afternoon I went to visit Molly, Brian and Baby Campbell, who BTW is like a little angel, she is absolutely precious. I cherished the minutes I got to snuggle her in my arms, babies that don't move or make a peep are right up my alley, too bad Brad reminded me that they don't stay like that for long.

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Prepare Filling
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Difficulty: Easy
Show: Recipe courtesy Paula Deen and Random House Publishing
You will notice my girl Paula does it up with some serious BUTTER...but you can trim the fat and calories down with the "Light" recipe found here
I of course didn't see this "Light" version until I was already done preparing the FAT version...go figure.

T Minus 6 days...

Next week is going to be a bit crazy. Monday and Tuesday are jammed packed with meetings at work, Brad will be traveling, Wednesday I am off for Veteran's Day and then I board a plane on Thursday Morning for Manila and won't be back until the 19th. Brad and I are taking Friday the 20th off to clean/organize/rearrange the third floor of our house, it could use a whole lotta love and attention. Its a disaster right now, the Home Office is a complete wreck, I can't wait to declutter and organize it, but I am deathly (okay that is a slight exageration) afraid that it will cause me to spend my life savings on organization supplies in order to turn it into a page in the Pottery Barn catalog, story of my life.

I am hoping that I can still hit the gym on Monday or Tuesday, but Brad will be traveling so that means it will have to be a last minute decision. I am making dinner for Brian & Molly on Tuesday before I head out of town for a week and am worthless to them. I am trying to find a non-Pasta meal to make them because I am guessing everyone else will be preparing a Lasagna dish of some sort...and while everyone loves Lasagna, seriously, they don't need it 47 nights in a row.

Tonight I am going to make this delicious White Chicken Chili recipe that my work friend Ashley brought to our Chili Cook Out a few weeks ago, and Sunday I am going to try out this Lemon Sherry Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe Megs shared with me. And Saturday Night I might just make Brad his favorite, Chicken Parmasean. Yum. I love to cook, but only when I have the time.

My boss/friend "C", wasn't feeling well yesterday at work, so she went over to the Health Center, they did an EKG and the results weren't good, so she was off a Cardiologist this morning at 8am. I am on pins and needles waiting to get an update....please keep her in your thoughts and prayers today as she waits for the results from all the tests they did this morning.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

She's Here, She's Here, She's Here

Announcing the arrival of Miss. Margaret Campbell Harris, she arrived at 6:31pm, weighing in at 8lbs 10oz and measuring 21inches in length. I am so proud of Molly, she had a long 11 hours of labor, but from what her very proud husband says she was a trooper and did "wonderfully". Thank goodness Brian doesn't read by blog because I am going to embarrass him just a little bit, he was so stinkin adorable today, he was so excited, he and I went back and forth all day over Facebook (or Bookface as Brad likes to call it now thanks to Jim on The Office) E-Mail, and I could just hear the excitement in his words, he is such a proud Papa. And he was so proud of Molly, always telling me how great she was doing, etc. What a happy family they will be! So congrats to the newest addition....we adore her and can't wait to meet her tomorrow!

Too Early?

My co-worker Shana is putting up her Christmas Tree this weekend...a little early you say? Nah, she is due on the 20th with her first little bundle of joy and doesn't want to miss out on the decorating time, and frankly, she is a realist and knows she won't get the time once Little "OAK" it made me think...could I too put up my Christmas Tree before Thanksgiving? Without a good reason? I think YES. And now the more I think about it, I think HECK YES. And just to let you know how excited I am about it, I am going to declare November 20th weekend, the big weekend, the tree will be up, that way I can work on the other tree the following weekend...that's right, two trees, a kids tree and an adult formal, color theme tree in the ever so formal, formal living that I loathe.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to look for a Fake Tree? We only have one right now and need to get the second one in the next few weeks, it has to be up before the 4th Annual Tacky Sweater Party scheduled for December 5th (Come one, Come all).

Quick, Painfree and Healthy...

That is the type of labor I wish on my dear friend and neighbor Molly. She checked into St. Francis yesterday around 4pm and was induced this morning at 7am. I am waiting on the edge of my seat for updates, I have tears in my eyes just sitting here waiting for the good news. I already love this little bundle and I haven't even met her yet. I just know she is going to be a near and dear friend of Avery's for years to come, I just wonder if they will be forever friends, in each others weddings, there to support each other as they have children...okay, I need to slow down, I am a hormonal mess today. My friend Dana blogged about one of her co-workers (PE Teacher) who lost his wife yesterday, out of the blue, she just passed away, I was crying my eyes out reading her blog and I don't even know this man.

Stellan, from is on his way to Boston today for another ablation, which is a very risky procedure for someone his age, as he is just 12 months old. More tears for Stellan and his family...what the heck is wrong with me?

Olivia had a rough day yesterday, she was crying when I got to Donna's yesterday and that was just the tip of the ice burg...after chucking her milk cup at Avery she spent some quality time in the corner. In Olivia's defense Avery stole a paper plate away from her...of course she wanted to eat it since she is our little Billy Goat!

Back to my hormones, I am wondering if its because I am ever so slightly jealous that Molly is going to be meeting her daugther for the first time today? Could it be that I have newborn baby envy? It could be, anything is possible. I don't get all weepy when I see random pregnant women on the street, and looking at "just born" pictures of a coworkers baby the other day had little to no effect on me. I am wondering if its because I am so happy for Brian and Molly, because they are our close friends and Miss Campbell will be a part of our lives? Will vacation with us? Will trick or treat with the girls? Will bob for apples with the girls next year, thats right, bobbing for apples folks, and no I don't think its gross, I think its a wonderfull fall tradition, germs schmerms.

I can't wait to meet you precious little Campbell, today is your Birth Day and its all about you my dear!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prince Charming

In marriages things can get stale, if that is breaking news to any of you married folks I am very jealous, and sorry to rain on your parade, but I speak the truth. Its hard work to remind the folks you share your life with just how important they are to you as often as you should...I am guilty as charged. I don't always do a great job of showing Brad how much he means to me, and while I think about all the neat things I could do to show him, only about 10% of the time does it actually come to life. Life just gets in the way and that is the horrible reality of the situation. With TSC (Two Small Children) our life can get pretty hectic and by 8:30pm when dinner is cleaned up, the girls are in bed and we are ready to sit down on the couch to actually spend time together, the laptops usually come out, the TV is on, and we can go hours without even speaking to each other, not because we are mad, but because we are so in grossed in our own little world that we forget to interact or even touch each other. We need to get better at that. At least one night at week we try and leave our computers in our work bags, and sometimes even try and watch TV upstairs in bed so we don't get caught up in everything going on downstairs, but that usually ends with one of us falling asleep...and if its Brad and the snoring begins my blood starts to boil, so it might end up doing more harm than good. And I would be lying if I said we do it every week, we don't, but we should.

So Friday I was home with the girls, as they are both still fighting the cold battle...and losing. Brad got home, knew my plan was to go Grocery Shopping when he got home, so I snuck out of the house just after he changed out of his suit. I opened the drive side door of the Yukon to find a card, a bottle of my back in the day favorite wine (more on that in a minute) and....a wrapped Finks box. I instantly broke into a huge smile. I opened the box right away, and sure enough, it was the David Yurman Amethyst Albion Petite Split-Shank Ring. Amethyst is Avery's Birthstone and this is her "push present", long story, but the other two push presents were returned. And now onto the the first time Brad and I actually spent time together, I drove to Raleigh for the weekend, arrived at his apartment when he was still at work, let myself in, no, I didn't break in, he left me a key, and he had shopped for all of my favorite things, strawberries were in the fridge, a stargazer lily was on the counter, Tropicana Twister juice was in the fridge along with a bottle of Luna de Luna Blue White wine. It was my favorite wine, my dear friend Maura introduced me to it, we used to love it and drink it on a weekly basis for our American Idol Dinner Dates...which turned into Apprentice Dinner dates...oh those were the days. Wait, I am getting off back to the wine. He remembered...and while it isn't great wine and we have shared much better wine together (Heck, we went to Sonoma), he did it just because it brought us back to the weekend we fell in love. Sweet, right? I mean, really, just rehashing it is bringing a tear to my eye. He really is a sweet guy, sure his hobbies can get a little annoying, and yes, he forgets things now and then, but he is a great guy, one I am lucky to have in my life. The guy that hung up on me when we were dating because his Mom was calling, I knew he was a keeper from that moment on, you need a guy that loves and respects his Mother. And while I need a reminder every now and then how lucky I am to have him in my life, I need to give him a reminder every now and then so he feels the same way!