Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dock Dogs, Cookouts, Good Friends & Soccer

Jeni Dwyer Creative

We had a great weekend, filled with date nights (Friday), visitors (The Dwyer Family), Dock Dogs (see above), parties with "antique, pimped out suburbans", good food and of course soccer at the park.

Jeni Dwyer Creative
As soon as Jeni, Mark and Lily arrived on Saturday we grabbed lunch at Chick-Fil-A and then made our way downtown for the Dominion Riverrock - we've been several times, but usually its because Brad is racing, but this year due to his frame cracking and some knee surgery he wasn't racing, so we were able to enjoy everything the event had to offer, my favorite was by far the Dock Dogs - perhaps I can train Riley to compete next year? If only he wasn't terrified of the water. Olivia's favorite part was dancing to the music (there are several concerts on a few different stages throughout the day), and Avery and I enjoyed feeding the geese together - we brought a bag of moldy bread and she had a blast chucking to the mean geese.

Jeni Dwyer Creative
And of course when Jeni is around, you get the most beautiful photos to remind you of the fun you've had.

Jeni Dwyer Creative
Avery also really enjoyed Soul Ice - you can see it in her hair and on her face - Brad really liked it too, he is hoping we can hire the Soul Ice cart for Olivia's Birthday Party.

Jeni Dwyer Creative
We've been dying to capture all our tots together in one photo, I think we usually get some sort of group shot on Halloween, but this one just melts my heart - it captures all their little/bit personalities perfectly - and I am so very grateful that Jeni was able to capture this moment for us. 
Jeni Dwyer Creative

And while we were all cooking out we noticed that our neighborhood streets were filling up rather quickly with cars like the one above - and you better believe that it had antique plates on it - apparently one of our neighbors was having a birthday party, it was insane how many people were there, I commented that I don't know that many people and I am certain that many people don't like me enough to come to a party I would throw.
Jeni Dwyer Creative
I get sad just thinking about the day this guy isn't with us anymore, he is 7 years old now, Weim's don't live forever...I adore this hound to the moon and back.

Jeni Dwyer Creative
Sunday Morning we went to Rockwood Park, let the kiddos play and then we encouraged some soccer kicking and base running to expel some energy - and the kids had a great time running the bases with Brad and Avery and Lily had fun (read: not fun) playing keep away from each other. 

Jeni Dwyer Creative
It was great to spend the weekend with great friends, I can't get enough of weekends like this when our kiddos just have a chance to run free and be kids. And I am always thankful for time with Jeni and her family!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"I am a Kid in America"

Olivia's Art Work

The beauties Preschool puts on a few shows a year, and in the spring it is a Music & Art Show, and every year is a different theme - this year it was America - and it was so stinkin' cute I can hardly stand the cuteness.

Avery's Art Work

What a beauty!

They practice for weeks, similar to how they prepare for the annual Christmas Show - and they do an amazing job. I can't imagine trying to get all these tots to follow hand movements while learning several new songs - it is impressive, and the girls just rave about Music Miss Debbie - who is the woman that comes to the school and helps put it all together - they love her.

Do you think someone told her to smile? Perma-Smile

The Four Year Old classes all dressed in costumes - precious - our little Betsy Ross

They sang several songs, ranging from Yankee Doodle Went to Town, to Take Me Out To The Ball Game, and a cute little song about Peanut Butter & Jelly - they were adorable. And nothing is cuter than listening to 60 3-5 year olds scream song lyrics at the top of their lungs - I cherish these moments.

The four/five year old classes gave us a history lesson with some interesting facts about our country and historical figures who helped define who we are today.  Some of the kiddos had long lines, some didn't have any, but Olivia's was simple and she nailed it, she just got up to the microphone and said "Betsy Ross made the first flag" - a proud Momma moment for sure.

Just before her big moment...

And we brought the beauties flowers to celebrate all their hard work and reward them for such a great performance. They were so excited, thought the flowers were special and they asked for me to put them in their bedrooms, makes the second floor of our house smell glorious.

I wish we would have gotten a family photo, but the best we could do with Avery's attitude and tiredness was this photo, and this took some serious coaxing (read: If you don't get in a photo with your sister, no dessert for you) 

It was a great show, but holy smokes, the meltdown that took place after we told them it was time to leave, was a doozie.  We had a school-family cookout, we all brought a few dishes to share and they provided hot dogs, etc and then all the kiddos played - well it was getting late and we needed to get home, but several of their friends were still there playing so we quickly turned from the supportive parents who cheered louder than anyone and brought flowers to show our love to the meanest adults on the planet - funny how that works huh?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five on Friday: Maxis I want to Love

I am having a hard time with the Maxi Fad (not to be confused with the Maxi Pad) - I haven't been able to embrace it, and I frankly feel like a complete slob while trying them on, they just look dreadful on me, yet I find myself loving them on everyone else - go figure.

So today I am going to dedicate the Five on Friday to Maxi Dresses that I want to love, in fact I love them on the models, but good gravy, they look like garbage on this girl.

1) Speed Demon Maxi - The Blue Door Boutique - $45 - I absolutely love The Blue Door Boutique - I follow them on Facebook and I think their outfits are just A-dorable. This is a great color too, one that you can rock with black shoes, nude shoes and brown...love the versatility.

2) The Blue Door Maxi - The Blue Door Boutique - $44 - another good one from The Blue Door Boutique - I am seriously thinking about biting the bullet and ordering one of these beauties, but now the big debate is, what color? I am leaning towards Navy? Thoughts?

3) Chevron Maxi  - The Gap - $74.95 - this one is adorable, I am a huge chevron print fan - I don't think this dress would be all that flattering on me, these days its tough to find a flattering style and this chevron print is a recipe for disaster, can you just imagine those lines sitting on my lovely lady lumps? aka my hips!

4) Rosso from Shabby Apple - $78 - I am not sure where I would rock this one, but I think its beautiful - its a bit flowy and I imagine that I would wear Maxi's on a more casual scale, but maybe not, maybe this would work.

5) Merona - Ruffle Front Maxi - $32.99 - this one has the same ruffle thing going on - this one you can procure at my favorite place on Earth....TARGET.  Target actually has several dresses on their website right now that I would love to own - many of which are Maxi's, which is surprising.  I find myself liking the colorblock styles, but can't really wrap my head around some of the crazy prints - I am just not a crazy prints type of girl, I really admire people that can rock them, I love them, but they just don't suit me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grateful, Content and Appreciative

I am not sure what you call them, characteristics, qualities, values? Whatever they are, I want my beauties to have them, or to be them.  I am really struggling with how to infuse these qualities (or whatever they are) in my darlings. My blood starts to boil when we are doing something special and all I hear is complaints or whining. Makes me want to stop doing nice things for them...

Could it be because they don't view going out to eat as a special treat, because we do it so often? Am I ruining their ability to appreciate and be grateful because it is business-as-usual for them?

Do they not know how to be on their best behavior when we go out and do something special because we do those things far too often?

Picture Avery running across the bench seats at Wendy's Last Night & Picture Olivia crying about her Vanilla Frosty and about wanting another treat when she got home. How do you get your children to stand quietly next to you while your order, and to say "thank you Mommy, I know you didn't have to do this for us, and I appreciate you trying to do something nice and special for us and with us, you are the best".

Another good example is last Halloween - we had trick or treating at work, one little boy reached into a HUGE bowl of candy and took one piece, we all told him he could take another and he said "no, thank you this is enough" and when Olivia was faced with the same candy bowl it took every ounce of my strength to prevent her from dumping the entire bowl of candy into her treat bag - why? What have I done to always make them want more, to not be happy with what they have?

And these days everything is a competition between Olivia and Avery.  Olivia got invited to a Birthday Party for a friend at school - she went and Avery and I hung out.  Avery got invited to one of her friends Birthday Parties and it was the end of Olivia's life as she knew it. The girl fell apart.  She wasn't grateful that she had been to Carter's Party, she was beyond upset that she wasn't going to Ivy's Party and Avery was.  If Avery gets something, Olivia needs it, EVEN if she doesn't want it.  She can't just be happy with what she has.  I don't want that life for them. I want them to be content in ways that it matters, but strive to want more in other ways, if that makes any sense? How do you teach them when to want more? Like when you get a 75 on a test, don't be content, work hard and work towards that 90, but when Avery gets 4 chips and Olivia gets 3.99 chips, it isn't appropriate to throw yourself on the floor and fall apart.

I am at a loss, I am not doing a good job leading in this space. I often find that I am not as content as I would like to be.  I generally feel as though I am grateful and appreciative of what I have, and don't fuss to have more, but I would like to work on the contentment piece. Maybe we can all work on it together? But how?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Well Said...Am I Mom Enough?

I came across this blog on Facebook and thought that it hit the nail on the head for me, and captures a lot of what keeps me up at night about being a parent. I hope for may things for the beauties, but a significant amount of my hopes focus on who they become and how kind and compassionate they are, not what degree they get, or how big their first house is, I want for them all the things that really matter when push comes to shove...this list sums it up well.

Wish List:
I hope I raise a child who says “thank you” to the bus driver when he gets off the bus, “please” to the waiter taking his order at the restaurant, and holds the elevator doors when someone’s rushing to get in.

I hope I raise a child who loses graciously and wins without bragging. I hope he learns that disappointments are fleeting and so are triumphs, and if he comes home at night to people who love him, neither one matter. Nobody is keeping score, except sometimes on Facebook.

I hope I raise a child who is kind to old people.

I hope I raise a child who realizes that life is unfair: Some people are born rich or gorgeous. Some people really are handed things that they don’t deserve. Some people luck into jobs or wealth that they don’t earn. Tough.

I hope I raise a child who gets what he wants just often enough to keep him optimistic but not enough to make him spoiled.

I hope I raise a child who knows that he’s loved and special but that he’s not the center of the universe and never, ever will be.

I hope I raise a child who will stick up for a kid who’s being bullied on the playground. I also hope I raise a child who, if he’s the one being bullied, fights back. Hard. Oh, and if he’s the bully? I hope he realizes that his mother, who once wore brown plastic glasses and read the phonebook on the school bus, will cause him more pain than a bully ever could.

I hope I raise a child who relishes life’s tiny pleasures—whether it’s a piece of music, or the color of a gorgeous flower, or Chinese takeout on a rainy Sunday night.

I hope I raise a child who is open-minded and curious about the world without being reckless.

I hope I raise a child who doesn’t need to affirm his self-worth through bigotry, snobbery, materialism, or violence.

I hope I raise a child who likes to read.

I hope I raise a child who is courageous when sick and grateful when healthy.

I hope I raise a child who begins and ends all relationships straightforwardly and honorably.

I hope I raise a child who can spot superficiality and artifice from a mile away and spends his time with people and things that feel authentic to him.

I hope I raise a child who makes quality friends and keeps them.

I hope I raise a child who realizes that his parents are flawed but loves them anyway.

And I hope that if my child turns out to be a colossal screw-up, I take it in stride. I hope I remember that he’s his own person, and there’s only so much I can do. He is not an appendage to be dangled from my breasts on the cover of a magazine, his success is not my ego’s accessory, and I am not Super Mom.

Like, Love it, Want Some More Of It

Nook Color: So far I have downloaded Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green and I love it. I love reading on the Nook, I can't wait to find my next book. I just need to balance how many actual books I still have on the shelf that I haven't read yet, make sure I am reading those so I can clean out the clutter, before I spend a small fortune on Nook Books.

I am a bit surprised by the prices of some of the books - some of the children's books are $19, that seems a bit steep considering we already own the book and didn't pay that price for it when we bought it the first time around.  And it irks me that you can't lend all books, if I had procured the actual book, I would have the ability to lend it to whomever I want, and with Nook Books, that isn't the case. I am very excited about traveling with the Nook though. Brad and I have an Anniversary trip planned for later this month and I am already excited about bringing the Nook along, instead of 4-5 books, which weigh a ton.

Exercise: Molly and I ventured out on a walk last night while the men bathed our children and got them ready for bed.  It was wonderful.  Riley joined us, and he almost had a stroke, I realized the poor pup hasn't had much exercise lately and he was a nervous wreck, all the barking dogs and children chasing him probably has his BP in the danger zone, the poor guy has some serious social anxiety issues.  But it was great to get some exercise and just chat with a great friend, we covered topics ranging from our favorite TV shows end, to homes that have crazy big mailboxes and what it would sound like if someone blew it up (not that we are planning it, but there have been some mailbox issues lately in a few neighbors around us).

I planned on walking early this morning since Brad was home, but I ended up in bed with Avery around 5am and wasn't in my room for my alarm to wake me up so I guess it will be another evening walk for me tonight.  I hope Riley brings his big boy pants this time around...what a wimp!

Cilantro Lime Marinated Shrimp: we have been buying this pre-marinated shrimp from Costco for about a year now, we've probably had it 6-8 times and we absolutely love it, but so far we have only used it to make Shrimp Tacos, and now I am in search of some other recipes that will turn its goodness into a new an improved entree.  I can't get enough shrimp, it is great for you too from a nutritional perspective, no fat, low calories, right up my alley.

Clean Babies: tots right out of the bath, nothing better, smelling the beauties just out of the bath when they are snuggled up in their P-Jamma-Jams makes me happy.  I do have to say though, that the Johnson Naturals Bath Wash is a dud - its a foam and comes out of a pump and it doesn't lather to save its life, so you have to use about 71 pumps to wash one of Avery's arms, drives me batty.

Funny Things the Girls Say: I love listening to the girls have conversations with each other. For fun sometimes I ask them a "starter question" and see where they take it.  The other day in the car I asked if they liked Baby Sam's name, and this is where it went:
Olivia: If I have an extra sister (not another, but an extra) I am going to name her Sally Turner
Avery: I would name my extra sister Pocahontas
Olivia: If I had a brother I would name him Jayden
Avery: I would name him Cherry
Olivia: He would NOT like that name Avery

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to Me

Avery just couldn't wait to spend the day with me and shower me with her snuggles, so much so that she graced me with her presence at 6:15am this morning and wasn't having it when Brad tried to talk her into letting him get up with her - she wanted her Momma and I was happy to comply, I did however manage to talk her into watching TV in our bed, rather than downstairs, which made it far more comfortable for me to doze between episodes of the Berenstain Bears.  Brad curled into bed with Olivia and Avery woke them up a little after 8am. When I got out of the shower my Mother's Day loot was piled on my pillow - a Nook Color and cards that brought tears to my eyes. I am beyond excited about the Nook, I've already downloaded my first book, I can imagine it will be my next Book Report.

Brad had made reservations for Brunch at Mezzanine, the Harris Family joined us and a great time was had by all.  It is always a little nerve racking to take children to restaurants that serve them water in non-plastic cups, but the girls survived and Molly and I sat as far away from them as possible and let the boys deal with the pancake cutting and the sugar in the water mess making. And I should also note that there was a beautiful Vineyard Vines bag on the car seat when I got in the car this morning!! I love me a husband who knows how much I love me some Vineyard Vines.

Avery and I zonked out on the couch for a bit when we got home, and then Brad took the girls outside to play while I just curled up on the couch for a little peace and quiet - it was glorious.

Avery & Jules playing outside in a HUGE box

After a few failed rest-time attempts, Avery and I went downstairs while Brad and Olivia napped.  Avery helped me sort through the newspaper, she is her Momma's girl, she loves to look through the sale fliers with me. And then the whole family spent the afternoon outside with the neighbors, the beauties sure missed their friends while they were with Bina and PawPaw last week, and couldn't get enough of friend time this weekend.

We had a lot of quality neighbor time this weekend. Last night we celebrated the impending arrival of Baby Sam - we sprinkled Justin & Insley with a few gifts and enjoyed each others company while we dined on Alexander's BBQ, which is simply delicious. I have decided that BBQ is a very easy meal - you buy the main course at a very reasonable price and preparing the sides is easy-peasy - Paula Deen Mac n Cheese, some Baked Beans, some Cole Slaw and Pasta Salad and ta-da, you have an amazing meal and you barely broke a sweat.  And who could forget the Costco sized bag of Dortios we polished off - I love me a Dorito. But the leftovers are going in the trash tonight - because tomorrow, the serious business diet starts, this chick has gained some serious LBS in the last two months and it is painful, my clothes don't fit and it is depressing with a capital D. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Finally....VV in Richmond.

I am crazy in love with both Vineyard Vines and this sweet beauty! What a perfect morning we had!! (this took place last weekend not today, I am just a slacker and failed to upload the photos until today)

She brought her own purse, filled to the top with about 418 snacks

Olivia was invited to a Birthday Party so Avery and I went on adventure of our own, we returned a dress at the Gap that I would have married had it not looked god awful on me and then we made our way to the just-opened-on-Thursday Vineyard Vines Store at Stony Point. 

The store is just glorious. I would live in that store if I could. The bead board and the navy walls, be still my beating heart, I adored it.  And the best part about it....the staff, they were amazing.  They thought that Avery was just the cutest thing, and adored the fact that she was wearing a VV shirt (she actually dressed herself, I had nothing to do with it)

After picking up a few goodies at Vineyard Vine we made our way towards the fountains,but not without a stop at the "money fountain".  Avery and Olivia both love to throw money into this fountain, we tell them to make wishes when they toss their pennies, Avery would have dumped my entire wallet in there had I let her.  Next stop was the splash pad area - it was about 85, so she was loving it!!!  We then enjoyed lunch at Panera.  We had a great morning together, I cherish moments like these, I love being able to spend one on one time with my beauties.

Five on Friday: Mother's Day Edition

I hope that my Mom knows just how much I appreciate her, and how thankful I am that she was chosen to be my Mom, but of course it never hurts to shout it from the rooftops (or blog about it). So in honor of Mother's Day I thought I would share the top five things I love and appreciate about my Mom.

1) She cracks herself up - I learned one of the greatest and most valuable skills from my mother, the ability to laugh at yourself. I love to laugh, and I happen to spend a lot of time laughing at myself.  If you know my mother you can hear her laugh from miles away, she has what I like to call a signature laugh, one that my high school friends still imitate to this day (and we are approaching my 15 year reunion). Along the same lines, you can likely find her in the aisle at Rite Aid perusing the greeting cards, all while cracking up to the point where the "pee my pants laughing" phrase becomes a reality.

Check out my legs - holy toledo!

2) She is the best YaYa I know - this lady was put on this Earth to be a Grandma. She adores my beauties and the feeling is mutual. She really shines as a YaYa!

3) She is easy to talk to - and she always has been.  I remember several times in high school my girlfriends sitting around talking to my Mom about things they wouldn't even share with their own Mom's, my Mom was THAT Mom, the one you could talk about anything with.  She seems to think she gets if from her Mom, that she was able to talk to her Mom about everything, yet she often comments that she would have never talked to her Mother about the things I talk to her about, I wonder if that is the change in times, or if I am just have a big yapper, likely a little of both.

High School

4) She is thoughtful - she still sends Brad and I an anniversary card every single month - and the gal throws in a package of stamps too - she knows I still love to send thank you notes and she knows its nearly impossible for me to get to the post office during the week so she runs that errand for me and just throws them in the mail - God love her.

November 2002 - My Cousin Kevin's Wedding

5) She is generous - not only with her possessions and money, but most importantly with her time.  Whenever we need her, she is here, when its been a week from you know where, the girls and I are all sick and Brad is traveling, she is on a plane the next day. You can't ask for more than that. She is there when you need her - I sure hope my girls say the same about me over the next 30 years.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Report: Bloom

Oh boy, a tear jerker for sure, one I wouldn't recommend you read on a business trip, while on an airplane, sitting next to a complete stranger, especially when you have new mascara on, checked your bag and don't have your travel make up remover stowed carefully under the seat in front of you...but one that I would recommend you pick up and read while snuggled into your bed.

Bloom by Kelle Hampton - amazing price for such a beautiful book.

I loved this book.  I loved the format.  I loved that it felt more like a magazine or a yearbook than a novel.  I loved seeing her emotions while I experienced them through her written words. And I genuinely enjoyed reading about Nella's first year of life, the joy and the sorrow that Kelle experienced was raw and personal.  I am a big fan of true stories these days. There were a few themes that really resonated with me as I was reading this book.

1) Friendships are no joke - having girlfriends around makes everything better, and hands down even if its only a little better, its going to be more fun.  I miss having a huge circle of girlfriends.  I can't imagine having 28 close girlfriends.  I often find myself reading blogs of these sweet southern, stay at home Mom's who have a HUGE network of close girlfriends and wonder, how do they know so many girls in their home town that are just like them? Heck, a lot of them even look alike. And they all seem to have kids about the same age.  The one thing I did notice about Kelle's group of girlfriends is that the population is a bit diverse, it spans a wise neighbor, to a blogger from Montana, to her always there BFF's, who held out the "Net" on the day Nella was born - she has a lot of great friendships, that she appears to cultivate well - that is impressive and to be admired.  I love my friends so very much, I hope they know that, whether near or far, I've got nothing but love for them!

2) Perspective is Powerful - it can be a game changer - a simple comment from a stranger, a kind gesture from a casual acquaintance, or a moving "I have a dream speech" from a sister who flew in to save the day, gaining perspective, even if its only for a moment is powerful and it is life changing. I need a perspective angel to just rest on my shoulder, travel with me wherever I go and be that constant reminder of "It could be worse" or "You don't know how good you've got it" or even the simple "Don't sweat the small stuff".

I still haven't checked out Kelle's Blog, Enjoying The Small Things, I plan to one of these days, but my blog reading moments have been few and far between, heck, my blogging moments are almost non-existent these days, I am scared to find another one I will want to follow and scared I won't have the time and will fall behind.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Five on Friday: Ice Cream Flavors

Ice cream...I can't get enough. I could eat Ice Cream every single day.  And when I say every single day, I actually mean multiple times a day. I love it. I wish I could say "I haven't met an ice cream flavor that I didn't love", but just the other day while at Sweet Spoon I saw a machine dispensing Maple Bacon flavored ice cream - talk about WOOF - double woof.

We love to make ice cream during the summer, and we can't wait to fire up the ice cream maker, hopefully soon, maybe after we go strawberry picking.

Picking my five favorite flavors is tough...I could probably list a solid 10 that I would gladly eat multiple times a week.

1) Ben & Jerry's - Mint Chocolate Cookie - perfect blend of refreshing mint and yummy Oreo cookies and sometimes, just sometimes you get a few full size cookies, they don't mess around with just crumbs.

2) Bruster's Cake Batter - but I am not declaring Brusters the best Cake Batter it just so happens to the place in which I enjoy it the most frequently from - public service announcement - if you are going to order a single scoop on a cone at Bruster's you might as well just order a pint to take home, the pint is only .90 more.  And I love to put rainbow sprinkles on my cake batter ice cream, in fact you end up thinking to yourself "Leigh, would you like some ice cream with those sprinkles" I have a heavy sprinkle pouring hand!!!

3) Kline's Dairy Bar - I haven't been to Kline's in years, but when I was at JMU I loved Klines. I would stalk the Breeze (our college newspaper) to find out what the flavor of the week was, and I would plan my week around how many visits to Kline's I could fit it - it is custard and I love custard, but Brad doesn't, so we rarely get to enjoy in custard when Ice Cream is an option. My favorite flavor at Klines was always just good ol' Chocolate Peanut Butter - it was to die for, but their fruit flavors like Peach are the bomb as well.  I am beyond jealous of my friend Dana who gets to visit Kline's all the time!!

4) Friendly's Butter Crunch - with chocolate sprinkles, or in a sundae with hot fudge - oh my mouth is watering, I love me some Butter Crunch, but those candies get stuck in your teeth like its nobodies business.

5) Bev's Espresso Oreo - we rarely make it into Cary Town for ice cream, but Espresso Oreo from Bev's is make you want to do the Rudy Huxtable touchdown dance good. Bev's also does a great job of throwing in a few full size cookies - yummy.  And the espresso flavor is JUST right.

I could probably eat any flavor paired with an Oreo Cookie, except of course if it was Maple Bacon Oreo - WOOF.

The girls love Sweet Frog, and Brad is a big fan of Sweet Frog as well.  The girls used to love Brusters because they got sprinkles and eye balls on their free baby cones, but Sweet Frog us upstages those sprinkles and eye balls, Avery goes for the gummy worms and Olivia loads up her bowl with a wide variety of candy - sprinkles and eye balls are old news - this is just the beginning, soon the Target shoes I buy for them won't be good enough...ick.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shame On Me

My MIL posted this on Facebook and I was in tears while reading it...I am ashamed of myself. I am less than patient with my Mom, I often tell her to hustle up (generally with a "hustle up buttercup" type of message) and I am the queen of saying "you already told me that", I could stand to read this every day to remind me just how lucky I am to have her in my life.

Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:

"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter. "

God Gave Me You

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

And for when I think I lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it's true

God gave me you

One of my wise high school friends told me a few months ago that marriage and parenthood are not intended to be survived without your other half - that on the days I am grading myself in the "failure" zone, he is likely knocking it out of the park. I am seeing that more and more, and I am beyond thankful that I get to spend my days with a man who loves me even when I am at my worst.

On my own I'm only

Half of what I could be

I can't do without you

We are stitched together

And what love has tethered

I pray we never undo

We have had a lot going on, and with our lives moving in a hundred different directions I am thankful that Brad and I still take the time to be "US", whether that means he sits in bed with me while I read before bed, and then when I shut off the lights he goes downstairs and continues doing his thing, but he hangs out with me until I crash.  Sometimes our dates nights involve a few DVR'd TV shows, sharing a bag of popcorn on the couch or drinking a bottle of wine in our bed while we stand guard on the 2nd floor (remember, we have to stand guard so Avery doesn't escape).  And sometimes we have legit date nights that entail us getting out of the house and leaving the girls with a babysitter.  And we try and get away at least once a year just the two of us (or with friends) to decompress and focus on us.

Just the other day I got a call from the security guard in my building at work, I had received a package, I ran downstairs thinking someone had sent me a coffee mug with some random companies name on it and that they were trying to earn my business. Much to my surprise, these beautiful flowers were waiting for me (ignore the "moth" as Brad calls it, he didn't ask them to include it and I can't figure out how to take it out without ruining the whole thing).  The message was simple "I believe in you"....he is a KEEPER!! I am so thankful for him, I don't do a great job of showing it, but I very much am.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Doggie Cupcakes

We celebrate Riley's Birthday every year and the girls look forward to getting him a cake or a special treat and this year Brad picked up some Doggie Cupcakes at a cute shop in Charlottesville called Sammy's Snacks - this place even makes cakes that both dogs and humans can enjoy together - everything is organic.

We adore this pup - he is a part of our family - heck, he is in the title of our blog, and we can't imagine our lives without him. He is 7...so when Brad and I talk about the fact that we have already had more than half of his years with him it tears us up - it will be a sad, sad day in the Turner Household when Riley goes to Doggie Heaven. And let's face it...all dogs go to heaven.

And I picked up this Dino Bone for the hound at Three Dog Bakery!!!