Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

Campbell, Avery, Olivia & Maggie

Tonight was a bit rushed in the photo taking department, the rain was moving in and we were trying to get the trick or treating underway so that we could at least visit a few houses before the rain put a damper (pun intended, get it? damp....rain...damper....ha!) on the evening.  
Juliette, Olivia, Zack & Avery

I didn't get a single photo of Avery with her hood up - she looked so cute.

And Olivia, this photo doesn't do her justice, she was a great Super Woman. My Mom asked if she wanted to be Super Woman or Super Girl and Olivia just looked up and said "Wo-MAN", it was hilarious.

And Damon gets the kudos for the best photo opportunity of the night...what a cute dragon huh?

Brad and the neighbors took the kids around to a few houses while my Mom and I stayed behind to hand out candy, and I got started on a organization project that I am uber excited about.  Avery has already told me that next year she is going to be Cookie we shall see what next year brings. 

Update: I forgot I had snapped this photo of the girls this morning before we left for school...finally a shot of Avery with her hood up. Awful quality, but that is all about to change, the iPhone is in my future, I placed the order on Saturday and can't wait to get my hands on that 8MP Camera...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Declared: Bike Race Season 2011 Over

Today marked Brad's last official Mountain Bike Race of the 2011 has been a long one filled with ups and downs, but today he will hang up his Mountain Bike, likely break it apart and sell it off in parts in the attempt to make enough moula to buy a new bike for the 2012 Season...

My Mom, the beauties and I set out mid-day, figuring we would have a casual lunch in Williamsburg, hit the outlets for a little shopping and then make our way to his race, which was set to begin at 3:30pm.  Luckily for us it was a beautiful Fall day here, I can't say that my Dad is enjoying the weather he was dealt in good ol' Western Mass...where he is stuck without power, cable, phone or Internet, and digging his way out from under 14-18 inches of snow - ICK.

View from my Parents front porch area - yikes.
So my plan didn't execute as I would think after 4 years of being a Mother I would set more realistic expectations, but no, I just plan and have to adjust on the that meant 15 minutes in Carters looking for matching Christmas PJ's before it was time to leave and we hadn't made a single purchase...I went into the trip looking for some pants for work, and came out empty handed.

Avery waiting for the race to begin...

We did make it to Brad's race before his group went off, and we were there when he came down the first hill, and cheered him on...imagine two beauties yelling "Go Daddy" at the top of their lungs...pretty darn cute if you ask me.

Olivia is working on her smiles, and this is one of her new ones...I consider it to be more of a smirk than a smile, but she is working it...

The lone photo I got of Brad all day, but at least its an action shot and proof that he was out there doing his thing...we are so very proud of him and sorry that his race ended with a mechanical issue and a sore back...looks like he is headed for the heating pad tonight.

Notice Olivia's chin...that is her "Bike Race Tattoo"...courtesy of Avery who pushed her off a log and her chin happened to slam into the log on the way down...that was the end of the bike race for us. And it happened just as Brad was rounding a corner that we had walked to in the hopes of catching him on the way through, lucky for him he knew we were there, he could hear both of the girls wailing at the top of their lungs...just what every Dad wants to hear on the course.

Hard to see in this photo, but the facial expression paired with the chalk stained face gives you a glimpse into the Avery of today...I can't wait for her Ped to call me tomorrow morning for our long overdue chat.

And I just love this photo of Avery and Campbell in the driveway/road - it looks like they are in deep thought. This photo was snapped after we got home and the girls were playing outside for a little bit before dinner...I think they missed Campbell, with the rain yesterday this afternoon was the first time they had seen her in a few days. I love their friendship with the neighbors kiddos, they are lost without them and miss them when they go a few days without seeing them - so cute. I hope they are always that close!

Think Pink

Breast Cancer Awareness is very near and dear to my heart, heck, all Cancer Awareness is near and dear to my heart, if I had one wish, it likely would be to cure this dreadful disease, but since those wishes only exist in Disney movies I will do my part, raise awareness and remind folks how important it is to take care of yourself, see a Doctor and support those fighting this life changing disease, both Doctor and Patient.

School Photos - Fall 2011

I can imagine you have all had your fair share of dreadful school photos, I sure did, but I get giddy when the girls have school photos, just the thought of gathering their photos year after year until they graduate thrills me.  My Parents had my class photos lining the walls of our staircase, talk about embarrassing...yikes. I don't plan to do anything of the sort to my beauties, but I do have their hilarious horse photos hanging in my cube area at work...I laugh every time I look up.

So here are my beauties...

 Olivia - Fall 2011 - Pre-Kindergarten - Age 4

Avery - Pre-School - Age 2.5 Years Old

You might notice how busy the backgrounds are, and how they compete with the girls print dresses, well, lets just say, the background wasn't what we had planned on, and Olivia picked out her own dress...a double whammy. And I love that Olivia's face says "I am too cool for school and can't give you a real smile" .  Avery actually looks like a little bronze beauty...despite all the colors going on.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Genius Invention: Scanner

Oh I love our Scanner, it has given me some freedom that I never imagined I would have, the freedom to toss old photographs, but afforded me the luxury to save them in a non-clutter forming device, called our laptop....halla-lu-ya, this device is GENIUS.

 Like this one, a photo of my Gramps and I at my Cousin Kevin's Wedding in 2002

Or this one of Brad & Riley  in Corolla, North Carolina, when Riley was just a puppy - September 2005

November 1981 - so I was approaching 3 Years Old

 My Bachelorette Party Bike Ride through the streets of Cape May, New Jersey with Mimosas in our Solo Cups

This one just makes me smile, it reminds me of so many Summers that my dear friend Theresa and I spent counting down the days until we could spend a week at the Lake with her family - we always had a blast - this photo is likely taken before the boat started taking on water during a huge storm and likely before I started singing my favorite Catholic Hymns (Though the Mountains May Fall tops the list for me) 

 And this one, this is Mike, Mike was one of Brad's dear friends and fraternity brothers who passed away very suddenly in March of 2009, I love finding photos of him, makes me happy and sad at the very same time. 

And one of the best piles of photos I found was the pile that focused on our house and the moving in stage, how the rooms looked, a few changes we made over the years, but most of them are from 2005-2006 so I plan to reveal a room at a time to compare them to present, and then we can go from there, a little house tour if you will...we still have so many changes we would like to make, but its always fun to look back, I will start the first room reveal this coming week...

Before & After: Woods-ie to Beach-ie

I might have mentioned that when my fake sister Sibille stopped through Richmond on her way to South Carolina she brought a few things from my Parents house...and one of those things she brought was this dark and rustic medicine cabinet that had been hanging in the basement bathroom for many, many moons. In fact, I am guessing it went up in that bathroom when the bathroom was built...not sure it was ever used, since that bathroom was never used, but it was there, collecting dust...

There she is, in all her glory....

A closer look...

Step 1...primer, primer and more primer...that wood just kept soaking it in. 

The finished product hanging in our bathroom, right next to my sink

A closer view of the fantastic fabric & starfish

This was a fairly quick, easy and very affordable project to tackle.  I did have to use a few different cans of White Spray paint (including Primer) and then I procured the fabric at JoAnn Fabrics and I already had the starfish laying around, so I put it to good use with some super duper glue. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five on Friday: Oh The Places You'll Go

I am a big fan of traveling, I love it, can't get enough of it, whether it is for work or for fun, I love seeing new places and taking in new experiences. I don't mind flying, I can ride in a car, and I happen to think traveling by train is just plain in the spirit of traveling I thought I would share the Top 5 places I would like to go...

1) Charleston, South Carolina - Brad and I had flights a few years ago, we were going and taking Olivia with us, but then we found out we were pregnant with Avery, and I wasn't feeling so hot, so we didn't want our first experience in Charleston to be plagued with me feeling icky, so we cancelled our tickets and have yet to reschedule our trip. 

 2) Nantucket, Massachusetts - can you believe that growing up in Massachusetts I never made it to Nantucket? Well, that is a cold, sad fact my friends and I would like to change that very soon.  In fact, we had talked about a vacation on the Cape next Summer which would likely mean at least 1 night in Nantucket, but now it is looking like our week on Cape Cod might have to wait, so who knows when we will get there, but I just know I will love it.

3) Key West, Florida - I have been to several cities in Florida and I have to say while the weather is beautiful, in general I can't see myself living in Florida, but the one city I have yet to visit and would like to, is Key West. I have had friends visit who have said wonderful things, so I hope a quick, relaxing (is it possible to do something quickly, yet make it relaxing?) trip to Key West is in my future.

4) Rome, Italy - Brad and I have always talked about a trip to Italy, there are several cities in Italy I would love to visit, but if I had to just narrow it down to one, I think I would land on Rome, but Venice is a very close second. This one is likely going to be several years off, I can't imagine taking a vacation like this when the girls are little, but can't imagine they would enjoy it until they are much older, so fitting it in might be tricky.

5) Greece - this is another several year off pipe dream, but I have always wanted to visit Greece. The photos I have seen are breath taking, and I have read wonderful things - I can imagine Athens would be a must see, but I would also love to spend time on the islands.

Yes, I am very much aware of how radically different a weekend in Nantucket is vs. a 10 day adventure across Italy, but that's me, a little all over the place and an appreciator of many things.  Where do you want to go? What do you want to see?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Carnival Day

The girls had their Fall Carnival today at school...and turns out they had a blast! Trying to get them to pose for a photo this morning was not all that successful. Oh well, we will try again another day!

Olivia told me all about sticking her hands in gross stuff, including but not limited to: jello, cold pasta and ice cubes (not sure what the cubes were for, but I imagined they tried to tell them the pasta was brains). I remember putting my hands in grapes and people telling me they were eye balls....ick.

Avery said that she played and had fun and that Ms. Susan made her hair pretty, but that was about the extent of her Carnival details. She did happen to remind me several times this evening that "poop" is a bad word. Glad they are reinforcing that at school too...potty mouth is just not becoming on a pretty little girl.  I do have to chuckle when she says "Butt" with force though....she loves using the word "butt" but with a love of strength behind it - cracks me up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: Let Them Be Little

Avery - 3 Months old - Olivia - almost 3
In the words of my boys Lonestar...

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little

I need to carry this verse along in my pocket to act as a reminder that my beauties are little, they will act like toddlers, and that is expected of them, to expect anything different would be unfair.  I should be thanking my lucky stars that I have little humans to give my life meaning and purpose. I am going to do my best to keep this front of mind, to snap less and pause more, to smile and observe as they learn and grow at their own pace and worry less about my desired pace.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So in both my personal and professional lives I had a few Go/No-Go decisions to make today and let's just say, so far I haven't issued a GO, more like a big fat No-Go and a "hmmmm, I don't have enough information to make a decision yet, please keep the info coming so I can feel comfortable saying go, because I really don't have an option to say no-go".

And if you are quick on the uptake, and hip to my game, you are well ahead of me, the slipcovers are a big fat  No-Go.  Molly and I worked up a sweat tonight trying to straighten them out, it was our cardio for the week, and while we made it look much better, the way I had it all rigged in the back, there is no other option than to keep it against the wall, which doesn't work for our room all the time, sometimes the love seat acts as a room divider, so a messy back isn't an option...

So while I am devastated these didn't pan out, I am not giving up hope, one of these days we will have new comfy sofas to rest our bums this bugger, can't you just see us all snuggled up on this gem?

I think this bugger might be my dream sofa...but good grief I can't imagine paying north of $6,000 for a sofa, so I am guessing we will land in the do-nothing camp for several more months and will then have to prioritize a new sofa against all the other rather large projects we are considering, like a screened in top deck.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Slipcover Rookie

I attempted to slipcover our family room sofa and love seat in the past, I had ordered navy slipcovers from Overstock and they looked great, fit great, but showed every ounce of drool that Riley produced, and when I washed them they just never bounced back, and so they lasted for all of a week or two and that was it, and that was several years ago, so fast forward to our week at the beach. I came across and their success stories made my couch hating heart I placed an order when I got back and was able to measure our sofa's, they had run out of white and so I ordered natural, they arrived a week later and I hated them, the color was far too close to our new area rug, if I was going to love these slipcovers, they had to be white, so I ordered a different style that would work with our sofa and love seat....and then arrived late last week and this is the mess I am faced with right now....

Yes, that is Barbie under the loveseat
I am hopeful that they have potential when Brad gets home and can help me straighten them out...but I am just not so sure.
So that is where you all come in...what do you think? I have emailed the people behind and I am hopeful they have some advice.  I love the covers, but holy smokes, they are messy and I am worried it will be a complete debacle to wash them and change them out...and lets be honest, they are white, they will be washed often.

This is what it should look like according to the UglySofa website...what do you think? Any chance mine will look like that one day? With just the right touch? Please say yes....

Pumpkin Crafts 2011

Better Homes & Gardens (Source)
I have seen a lot of fun pumpkin craft ideas out there on the WWW, specifically on Pinterest, and so I am going to attempt to do something new and fun with Pumpkins every single year, at least while the beauties are young and appreciate it. So this year I followed some inspiration I found on BH&

I added my own vinyl-loving flair by whipping up their names using my always trusty Silhouette SD. I didn't get them exactly right and you can tell by the amount of ribbon I have left in Avery's colors that I was more generous with Olivia's than with Avery's, but I happen to be a big fan of how they turned out.

Their current home is on a little stool thingy that my Aunt Martha gave us a few years ago for Christmas and it sits right by our front door. I suspect the girls will move them around a bit, but for now, they look perfect perched just so.

I thought this shot of Avery touching her stem was precious...

And Sunday afternoon look what we saw flying overhead...a bomber from WW2 (I believe...) and from what Justin tells me after a trip to the Chesterfield Airport, this is the last operational one around...someone paid $400 to take a ride. Not sure I would pay $400 to take a ride in the last one that flies...there is probably a good reason why all the others that flew back then, no longer fly...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

There's a Party In My Tummy

So Yummy, So Yummy....

Brad and I got tickets to take the girls to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live, but since my Mom was in town she took Brad's ticket and it was a Girls Night Out...we dined at Arby's first, using our KidsDineFree cards and then headed downtown.  The show was at The Landmark (same as Wicked) and we were in the last row of the Balcony, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me considering the place was empty and we bought our seats at the Pre-Sale Event...odd huh, but the seats were actually great, and our view was just perfect!

The girls had a blast dancing around in aisles, so it was nice to have a lot of space, and Biz Markie was the highlight of the show for me, besides of course watching my Mom bust a move - that lady has some dance moves ya'll. I wish you could have seen them. One of these days I will have to Flip myself doing a YaYa impersonation...because folks, it is THAT funny. Olivia was scared to death and didn't want to go in, similar to the Disney on Ice experience, but once the show started, she was fine (despite asking my Mom to cover her ears because it was so loud).

Better Than a Sharp Stick In The Eye

People have asked how the Yard Sale went yesterday and my response has been "So-So" but at the end of the day, it should be more along the lines of "Better than a sharp stick in the eye", because while it was exhausting and we still moved a ton of stuff back into the garage, and took 2 Yukon XL Loads of stuff to Goodwill, we did make a decent amount and our stuff is going to be used again, which is also important!

As you can see we had a TON of stuff.  I sold an entire crate of the girls clothes, which was nice to get rid of, but I basically gave that away, probably several hundred dollars worth of clothes for $20, and my Mom pointed out this morning that the crate they were stored in probably cost north of $5.00 so I really only sold the clothes for $15. (Thanks Mom, way to rub salt in the wounds of a girl who already felt as though she gave away the farm).  And don't you always wonder when you sell stuff at dirt cheap prices to a woman who already has a car full of random stuff, if she isn't going to turn around and sell it herself at a higher price point - that makes me go "hmmmmm".

I was impressed though, a young man down the street stopped on the way out of the neighborhood, asked how much for the baby swing and stroller, I quoted the price and he said he would be back.  A few hours later his Mom stopped and said "my son asked about the stroller and swing earlier, it is his first baby, and I don't want to do everything for him, I want him to have some responsibility but I also want to help, so I am going to give you a small deposit and he is going to make payments to use when he gets paid every 2 weeks".  And sure enough she came by later in the afternoon to make her deposit and didn't take the stuff, she said he can get the stuff when he is finished paying for is - I got all teary thinking about how tough it must be for her, she wants to help, she doesn't want her grandchild to go without, but she also has the burden of teaching her child responsibility and what it is like to be an adult (he is clearly a teenager). I wonder what my children will struggle with as young adults and I just pray that I have the wisdom to help them in meaningful ways that offer both an immediate help but also teaches them a life lesson that will be helpful for all of their days.

Never in a million years thought that my post about the Yard Sale would end up giving me a lump in my throat...

I am hopeful that in the next few weeks we can clean out the garage so I can set up a craft area for my new found hobby.  We had a glass IKEA table for sale, but since it didn't sell, I am going to keep it in the garage and use it as my craft station - can't wait to get it all set up and get the clutter organized!

All jokes aside, my Mom was heaven sent yesterday. She kept the girls overnight on Friday so Brad and I could get organized and so that Saturday morning would be easier on us.  We were organizing for hours on Friday and up at 6am on Saturday to set up.  The girls had a blast with their YaYa and then she was a big help at the sale as well - that YaYa sure does love a good "Tag Sale" (that is what we called them at home)