Sunday, June 28, 2009

my tribute to the 80's

I have fond memories of the 80's. Like most children, I was young, simple, and perhaps a bit naive. I knew at the ripe old age of 4 that someday I was to marry him...

I spent those days riding my Strawberry Shortcake big wheel, playing with my Hello Kitty miniatures, and running around the "cove" playing hide and go seek at dusk.

I remember one 4th of July my dad was chased by a firework and it burned a hole in one of his shirts. It was a red and white striped button down. He wore it with the burn holes for a few more years.

I remember getting a black Cocker Spaniel in my stocking for Christmas one year. His name was A.J..

I remember getting a little brother in '84. His nursery was primary colors, rainbows and polka dots. I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of competition, sure glad he's here now though.

I remember our neighbors, various in ages, they were like my second family. The Osborn's had a basketball goal and a tree swing in the back yard. I would go eat dinner with them every now and then and sit on a phonebook.

My best friend lived a little down the street. Her name was Nikki. She invited me to what would've been my first concert, Heart. I wanted to go SO bad, but alas, I was too young. She said they threw toilet paper into the crowd...I thought that was so cool. I think I was 6.

One night I told all of my neighborhood peeps that my dad owned the park behind my house. I was sure he did. Then when I found out I was wrong I treated the gang to a box of Twix that was in our outdoor fridge. My dad was disappointed that I handed out all of his treats.

I remember Joels, Pine Forest, Circle K, Bob's Supermarket, River City Gymnastics, but the one thing that always comes to mind when i think of that time in my life is my big silver "jam box". The king of pop flowed out of those metal mesh covered speakers like butter. I was terrified of the video for Thriller, but couldn't take my eyes off of it. I loved my MTV, Martha Quinn and all of the other 1st veejays.

So here is my tribute to the 80's and my favorite Michael Jackson. He really will live forever in those fond memories as my future groom.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


For the man who doesn't read my blog:

thanks for fathering my children...and doing a dang good job.






the mother of your children

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicago: Unhinged...

was the theme of this trip.
departure time: scheduled at 5am, left at 6am
it was only supposed to take 9.5 hours to get there, but who was google maps trying to fool. they don't have a place to input 3 children. if they did they would for sure add an extra 1.5 hours.

we stopped a few times then finally at Target outside of the city for some breakfast items and other essentials (who isn't curious about out of state target clearances??? hmmm???)

so we checked into the hotel, Shane got us settled then went to park the car for rest of out stay, it was mass transit for us! Shane made it back and we hit the town, joovy wheels a blazin'. we walked down to the magnificent mile where store were closing and then walked to the navy pier. we found a very busy, but very sweet boardwalk complete with a carousel and ferris wheel. we planned to stay for the fireworks over lake Michigan but the kids weren't having it. it was cold, and late. we hopped on a bus back to the room.


after eating our self packed breakfast we grabbed a bus for the Shedd Aquarium. it was all Ryli could talk about, she has a small crush on dolphins. anyway, we arrived, waited in line, and entered. it was really a beautiful place. the oceanarium had recently re-opened after a remodel and we got to watch a show with beluga whales, dolphins and a sea lion. the kids got to touch a starfish, see sharks, sting-rays, jelly's, and many other sea creatures. no octopus...a little disappointing.

the kids were ready for a change after lunch time so we walked over to a park near Soldier Field. they really needed some open space to run. we caught a bus downtown to do a little shopping. We visited North Bridge for Sanrio and the Lego Store. Both hits, but the boys were done. The girls were just getting started. Shane has some things to finish up so he took the boys back and me and Ry went to H&M then to the American Girl store. at the official stores the you can buy the twins sized dolls separately. they are the size of the bitty baby but look like the bigger girls with the longer hair. the size was perfect and the price was right so she came home with us. Ryli was/is in love.

on the way back to the hotel, i found the right bus number, but it was going in the wrong direction. needless to say....Ry and i rode the bus for a long long time that evening. i thoroughly enjoyed it though. we talked a lot. i imagine the people who ride the bus frequently must really enjoy their commute time, it's very relaxing.
we made it back to the hotel. i took a long bath and then got the kids in bed. Shane prepared.

Shane left early. we got up and readied ourselves and then attended a short family meeting. the message went something like this: "guys I'm on my own today in really big city. there are 3 of you and only 1 of kind."

we strolled to Nordy Rack (which was a block from our hotel) in search of shoes for Ty and then a trip of pure bribery to the Disney Store. then a trolley ride to the Navy Pier. we lunched at Bubba Gumps then went upstairs to the Childrens Museum. the kids thoroughly enjoyed it, we stayed until close. we landed the correct bus headed in the correct direction and boarded.

i received a text in mid-ride that Shane had passed and received a conditional offer from the state department. under normal circumstances i would've been thrilled, but i was tired and perhaps a tiny bit grouchy. i was saving all of my enthusiasm for once we were quarantined.

Shane met us back at the room, where i still couldn't muster up any sort of excitement, and we headed to Lou's to celebrate. Chicago style pizza really is all it's cracked up to be.

Tuesday:we exited the hotel to find brisk winds and chilly temps. i promptly did an about face back to the room for more layers for everyone. we covered up and hopped on a bus. we did some shopping then went for lunch at the water tower shops. we left the mall only to discover rain...and we were without umbrellas. we decided to endure the wetness and head up to Lincoln Park Zoo. this zoo was free and the reviews said not to expect much but it was wonderful. we had the most amazing lion experience, Shane and the boys saw black bears, and Shane also had a very up close and personal experience with a black bird. Shane got pecked. the story is much better when Shane tells it.

the rain picked up and we decided to call it a day. we went back to the room for some swimming and ordered dinner for the Italian Village. we went to bed early.


we packed up and departed the downtown area. we found a fabric store that i had been drooling over online and Shane found a military surplus store that he wanted to visit. then onward to Ikea. Shane dropped me and Ry off and took the boys over to bass pro shop.

we finished our business and hit the road. the drive home was long and man we took our time. we even stopped at some outlets in the middle of Illinois somewhere and shopped more. we rolled into our driveway about 3:30am. then we slept and slept and slept.consensus: Chicago was a blast, but we will be going to the Dallas American Girl store for Ry's b-day instead of Chicago. well it's half the drive....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Survivor Extraordinaire

the kids had a field of a day last Friday. e-Stem reserved the Riverfront Amphitheater for a day of outdoor Survivor themed competition. the celebration actually started the week before when each classroom was tasked with creating a tribe name, chant and flag.

friday morning the kids marched to the park from school in their respective grades t-shirts and chanting their mighty chant. each class was led by those bearing their flag. upon arrival they had opening ceremonies where each class (k-4, with 4 classes in each grade) rose to the stage and showed their tribal spirit. those classes that had won the flag contest flaunted their immunity idle. a Deejay ran the show with the official Survivor music.

ty and his homies: timothy and devan
ry and her girls: rory, rose, maddi, and avery

after all had shown off, each grade was allotted a set amount of time at each of the activities. Everything from an obstacle course, to relays, bouncy rooms, tug of war, horseshoes, and a fun zone with face painting and bubble blowing contests. there was even concession with hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, fresh lemonade and snow cones. and oh by the way the deejay kept the kids dancing with as much Radio Disney type music one can handle in a 6 hour block.


Ms. Langrell (whom I don't know) put this whole thing together and did an OUTSTANDING job!

ryli sipping her melted snow cone on the way home, not 5 minutes later it was in my purse...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

i, we, they

i painted this, thanks for the clever idea billy.


i watched this, congrats again ty.e-citizenship and all a's (for the record kindergarten didn't participate due to crossing over ceremony)

i grew this, lettuce abundant.

we ate this, fresh from my garden.
a late dinner for the me and the man, it was nice

we visited the zoo, and saw this.a baby gorilla

they won the immunity idle for the survivor field day

the end of the school year is upon us. field day is tomorrow and it is survivor themed. ty's class name is eapl (e-stem, a place for learning) and ry's class is rana (spanish for frog). the classes each had to create their own flag and the winner of each grade won the immunity idle. ty's class won! ry's didn't, and i made her flag:( oh well. tomorrow is going to be a long day folks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the grad

today Ryli wrapped up her first year of school. it was really sweet, they called it the Crossing Over Ceremony. there was a little bridge set up in between the Kindergarten and 1st grade hallway. all of her classmates crossed it one at a time and received a diploma and had pictures taken. we had a small crowd in the audience...thank you mom, jeanie and sue-wee for making it. i know it meant the world to her.

i made green cupcakes with Haribo green frogs on top for treats. while rushing out the door i forgot Ryli's dress. she was devastated when i told her and i felt horrible. she got it together though and smiled all the way across the bridge. i am so proud of her. she has grown so much and still has the sweetest disposition.
we had a reception back in Ms. Stuarts room and then Ry was ready to head out. we stopped by to say hi to Ty, then came home. we met the Griffins for dinner and Lucy and Ryli sat at the head of the table as the guests of honor. we toasted them, and said goodnight.

cannon is really excited for his turn. i sure hope it slows down a little...time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Blake gets married

Last week was hectic. After returning home from Florida, I had 4.5 days to get my family ready for yet another road trip (this one much shorter than the last). I also had to make a Survivor flag for Ryli's class for their field day, and of course there was the U N P A C K I N G and everything that comes along with that. PLUS, my baby brother was getting married and two of my babes were participating in the ceremony.

We left for Fayetteville Friday afternoon around 2pm, after a mandatory stop at Chick-fil-A of course. We made it up the mountain around 4:40pm and had to be out at Heather's family farm at 5pm for the rehearsal. We made it just in time to see everyone working feverishly...including the bride and groom.

My kids loved the tire swing, chasing the tractors and running barefoot through the acres of green grass. The bride and groom chose a beautiful lazy tree to vow beneath. It was sweet, and very warmed my heart. We rehearsed and then grilled, then called it a night and retired to Steve and Marisela's. Again, the kids were in heaven spending the night with their cousins.

Saturday morning we ran a few errands to complete the Ring Bearer's attire and went to the square for some yummy Thai. We happened upon the bustling Farmer's Market on the way to the restaurant, if only we had a spare hour to peruse...

The Thai was just as described...delicious. And And And, Ryli and Cannon tried SUSHI...I KNOW. The stars must have aligned, either that or the vibe of Fayetteville had gotten to them too. They didn't go in for a second bite...but MAN! I was proud. Tyler opted out of lunch with us to instead eat pizza and swim with William. He doesn't know what he missed:)

After lunch we ran to get Ty and back to the house to get ready for the wedding. We encountered only one minor speed bump and his name begins with a C and ends with a ANNON. Wow...he was exhausted and not in the mood for anything we had to offer. We decided to dress the kids at Blake's house in order to avoid spillage. We got to their sweet house, it was the first time we'd seen it. I love it. I walked into the master bedroom and found my dad straightening his tie and my mom in the bathroom with velcro rollers in her hair. How normal life felt, for a brief moment. We loaded up and headed out to the Dial Family Farm.

I entered Heather's nana's house and in the distance saw my brother. I was immediately and unexpectedly moved to tears. Blake and I haven't been really close over the last 10 years. All of that time flashed before my eyes and I suddenly realized that that time is gone, now my baby brother will be a husband within a matter of minutes. I hugged him tight and told him how much I loved him and how proud I am of him. I truly am.

After the nuptials, we hung out for pictures then met up at the Cosmopolitan in downtown Fayetteville for the reception. The kids spent most of the time on the dance floor and Ryli and Haley graced the newlyweds with an acappella version Taylor Swift's Love Story. It was so sweet! Dinner was had and the cake was cut. We caught up with some old friends, officially welcomed Heather to the family, squeezed Blake a few more times, then hit the road about 9:45pm.

The happy couple will soon be in Cancun.

Throughout this crazy weekend I couldn't help but be reminded of my own crazy wedding weekend almost 9 short years ago. It left me melancholy, another major milestone down, I'm getting older and my baby brother is grown up, time is flying. It also reminded me of how great life is and how exciting it will be to watch Blake and Heather experience all that life has to offer a newly married couple, and one day, a small family. I remember contemplating my and Shane's future, unsure as to what it could possibly hold. So much to look forward to, still...for all of us. Congratulations Blake, baby brother.