Friday, May 29, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

Since we finally enjoyed a drama-free week here in Wonderland, I am hopefully back to my old tricks...

Here is today's vintage offering:

(As always, click on the photo for a closer look.)

Here are my grandparents on my dad's side, June 1949 (hooray for dated pictures!), probably either off the coast of Florida or glorious Cuba. I still can't believe my grandparents were so fortunate to get to vacation in Cuba. I remember my grandmother telling me how beautiful it was, and, of course, from what Hollywood has told me about Cuba, I would love to see all the beautiful old cars next to all the colorful buildings.

I am 32 years old today, and all the way back in 1949, my grandparents (remember these are not my great-grandparents but my grandparents) they would've already been in their 40's, I believe. Possibly even mid-40's, at that point. Crazy, huh? I have no idea if my dad (their only child) would've been on this trip or not. If so, he would've been about 13 years old. I don't know a ton about my grandfather since he died right before I was born, but I think he was a pretty quiet man, and I know that he worked on the railroad or for the railroad most of his life.

I love this photo for it's simplicity -- the non-emotion on their faces, their stance in the water, and the swimsuit on my grandmother.

Happy Vintage Photo Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A girl could get used to this...

Check out the beautiful birthday flowers that arrived today on my doorstep...

They are from my Bunko Secret Sister. Aren't they adorable? I love love love the little butterfly perched on them.

I've played Bunko with this group since we moved here in May of 2004. We get together, rain or shine, once a month (we've only missed a few over the years) for fellowship, rolling the dice, and many laughs. We're quite the Motley Crue group, and if wasn't for Bunko I don't know if we would have ever all met, so I am truly grateful for the fact that we've all been brought together. These girls have been through a lot with me -- crazy adoption processes, several deaths in the family, pet loss, etc., and I couldn't ask for a better group of girlfriends.

We just started a Secret Sister program this month, and if this is any indication, it is going to be totally fun! And Secret Sis, if you're one of my readers, thank you thank you thank you. They were a big bright spot to my day, especially after all the crazy hoopla these past two weeks brought us...

Things I forgot to post

One of our dear neighbors bought a really fun doctor's kit for my boy to cheer him up from his new one-armed malady. He has been "practicing" on me, and the first diagnosis he gave me (after much poking and prodding)? "You short!" Very funny.


Myself, Lauren, and Courtney at the National Mom's Nite Out (for bloggers, not just moms) in our town

Yeah, I'm a bit behind. Oops. This photo is from May 7th, when bloggers all across the country met up for a fun evening out. I had read about the event on Baloney's blog, and thought, why not? So I recruited a couple of gal pals, and off we went. You know, I'm a funny little creature. I was so pumped up to be there and go and meet other bloggers, but once we got there, I was overwhelmed at the masses and felt like I was right back in high school where I wanted to find the nearest wall to become a flower and disappear. It never fails -- no matter how social and outgoing I have become in my adult life, when placed in a room full of all new (and usually female) strangers, I shrink right back into my little nerdy teenage self and become very intimidated to just go up and mingle with the rest of 'em. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I did not grow up the popular and beautiful teenager, oh, no no no. So I'm intimidated by all the look-like-they-were-the-popular-kids-back-then types and tend to just want to sit back and watch and take it all in, which I mostly did. So if I should've come up to you and introduced myself, this here serves as a late apology, but maybe you won't be too offended now that you got the background on little ol' me. :)

It really was a fun night out, and it was enlightening to see how many other bloggers are from my own community.


And this was the other block I made for our quilting bee. This block was for Colleen -- don't you love the yummy fabrics she sent?

I was quite proud of myself this month -- I actually got both May blocks done and mailed out in plenty of time, instead of at the last possible minute. I'm hoping to carry this "can do" attitude with me into June as well...


Just in case you were needing some adorable candids from the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, here you go...

How much is that Harry in the window?

Watch out for Killa' K and his pouncing. We're full on kitty antics around here.

Glad someone else in this family knows how to appreciate a beautiful quilt.

Harry is 95% crazy antics and 5% cute sleeping baby these days.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The sounds of summer

Just like the song in this video says....

(Thank you, Hot Club of Cowtown, for this fantastic little ditty.)

"Heaven.....I'm in heaven...and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak..."


Because we now have a killer sound system in our backyard! Oh yeah, baby, now we can relax out there, take a dip in the pool (well, all of us except for the One-Armed Buckaroo, what I've started calling our little man), and watch the clouds float lazily by, all while enjoying our favorite tunes. This little music freak is in heaven.

Last year we bought some awesome outdoor speakers (which sounded better than the Bose ones we compared them to AND they were cheaper, who doesn't love that?!), but we never got around to hooking the whole operation up. So this afternoon my husband got busy and made it happen while I worked inside syncing my iPod. Um, yeah, the iPod that I haven't used in the almost 2 years that I have owned it. Yipes. But baby I'm using it now!

So I'm declaring this the year that I turn into a Summer Girl. Typically my favorite two seasons are Fall (first and foremost) and Spring -- summertime never makes the cut because of how atrocious it can get between the heat, the humidity, and the mosquitoes. But this summer I am vowing to love it -- to spend as much time outdoors as possible (maybe not in the heat of the day), and to crank up the tunes outside as often as I want to. This evening we three enjoyed our meal of fried chicken (finger-lickin' good, if you catch my drift), mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, ice water, and ice cream, enjoying the gorgeous weather with some Hot Club of Cowtown drifting in the breeze. Those speakers are so crystal clear I thought I had my own western swing combo playing right there next to the dog house.

Sweet honey, do I have some plans to play lots and lots of music this summer! There could be whole evenings devoted to Pink Martini, or Zee Avi, or Fleet Foxes, or, or, or...believe me, the list could go on and on. Maybe I should just stick a sign in the front yard with a music festival schedule listed on it...


A couple of weeks ago we were declaring ourselves the rednecks of the neighborhood as our backyard had um, well, gone a little south in the upkeeping department. The pool was so atrocious that we had no other alternative but to drain the whole thing and give it a good scrubbing. I say "we" lightly, haha, as I was only the moral support (or annoying support, depends on which way you look at it, from my viewpoint or my husband's).

Here she is, all emptied and almost completely cleaned out:

And then today, I snapped a few pictures of how the backyard is looking so far:

We still have quite a few projects to tackle -- finish painting the house and doghouse (this is summer #3 of that project), cut down the wall of bushes you see between the pool and the fence, and put the canvas and outdoor curtains back up on the pavillion. But hey, now we can tackle them singing a happy song while we do it! Ha.

And, last but not least, this was another thing accomplished today, the hanging of this:

Anyone want to take a gander at what (hopefully) will soon be taking up residence in that cedar box?

Let me give you a hint: mosquitoes are their meal of choice.

You Harry Potter fans out there might appreciate it -- BATS! For my birthday I received two bat houses from my mom (and yes, I actually requested them myself). We are hoping the little lovelies move on in pronto so the feasting can begin. Apparently 40-50 of those little suckers (haha, no pun intended) can stuff their little selves up in one of those boxes, and each one can eat more than 1,000 mosquitoes per hour. I can already bet that several of you are now thinking they are a little less creepy just for that. They leave humans and animals well alone, so I, for one, am not freaked out by them whatsoever. In fact, I hope to be camped out in the yard come dusk to watch them take flight one of these days.

So if you want to join me in praying for the bats to come, I'd love it. (And no, I am not kidding.)

I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, May 24, 2009


It's my birthday.


I'm the ripe old age of 32.


Man, I never thought I would ever be 32.

But here I am.

And I kinda like it.

Do a little birthday dance with me to one of my newest iTunes downloads...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Long weekend ahead

One four-year-old-boy + a twisty-slide + grabbing a pole the wrong way + the last day of school = a long 24 hours for all with the words "broken", "elbow", "hospitalization" and (brace yourselves) "surgery".

Though our Memorial Day Weekend has started off with a memorable bang (how appropriate), I am looking forward to the next few days of catching up on some much-needed zzzzzzzz's and hopefully a tad less drama than the last week and a half brought to the table.

I'll be back to my old blogging tricks in a day or two after I've studied the back of my eyelids for a good long while...

until then, enjoy the start to your own Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blueberry Pie Refashioned Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

I've got to figure out how to do these sorts of things myself. I mean, come on, I have a sewing machine. I have a brain. But somehow the two added up don't seem to crank out quite the same stuff as this talented lady...

Blueberry Pie Refashioned Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Full of GLEE!!!!!!

How did I miss this last night?

Glory be and the saints be praised (anybody wanna try to tell me what musical that is from?)...

...good TV is making a comeback.

Looks like I'm gonna have a new TV show to love. (And Fox, if you try and yank this one before it finishes Season One, I will hunt you down.)

Check it...

I'll be watching the pilot episode online tonight (after I get all my chores done), so, although I haven't seen it yet for myself, that YouTube video alone seals the deal for me...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Great Eights

I was tagged by Annie today, and since I am a procrastinator extraordinaire, I dropped what I was doing to waste time on the Internet for a few minutes and voila...

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. The big family reunion this summer for my husband's side of the family -- Minne-SOH-ta, baby!
2. A slower-paced summer schedule
3. A roadtrip with my good bud, Courtney
4. Shopping at Anthropologie -- I haven't been to one in a few months, and you know how that affects me, haha...
5. Enjoying our backyard this summer
6. Spending time with an old high school/college girlfriend who recently moved back to our hometown - yay!
7. Blueberry picking, one of my favorite early summer activities
8. Hosting a fun summer evening with our awesome neighbors

8 things I did yesterday:

1. Went to church
2. Went to Sunday School
3. Played piano for a choir rehearsal at another church
4. Went on a scooter ride with my all-girl's scooter club
5. Froze my patootie off on said scooter ride (even though it was a beautiful 72 degrees outside, on a scooter it feels much cooler)
6. Took a short nap
7. Played with Harry the Wondercat
8. Ate Spaghettio's for dinner, which I haven't done much of since I was a kid, but I was tired and desperate and had to feed the four-year-old as well

8 things I wish I could do:

1. Sing with a big band on a big stage with a big audience
2. Travel more
3. Stop procrastinating
4. Keep a cleaner house
5. Be completely debt-free (we're workin' on it!)
6. Grow money on trees. :)
7. Have the energy of my four-year-old -- oh, think of the possibilities!
8. Sew my own clothing (with ease)

8 shows I watch:
*Disclaimer -- since there is hardly anything on TV worth watching anymore, my husband and I are really down to only two shows that we watch consistently, so numbers 4-8 are just occasional shows...

1. Lost
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Gilmore Girls (it's not on TV anymore, but I watch an episode every time I step on the treadmill)
4. anything on HGTV and Noggin (four-year-old, remember)
5. What Not to Wear
6. Say Yes to the Dress (everyone secretly loves a Bridezilla)
7. Toddlers and Tiaras (hilarious, drama of crazy pageant moms and their poor little tykes)
8. The Bachelorette (yes, I know it is trash TV, and I know it never works out for any of them, but I did like Jillian and her awesome wardrobe -- classiest dressed Bachelorette ever!)

8 bloggers I'm tagging:

Well...this is where my lazy rear leaves that up to you! If you want to play along, by all means, do it. Leave me a comment to let me know so I can come read it. I really love reading these things about everyone else!

The seven-year itch

...or should I say, the seven-year hitch.

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary.

Wow. Seven years.

I was a week shy of 25 when we got married. Man, 24 seems like a looooong time ago. (And here is proof that my natural haircolor is not auburn, but dark blonde. It's our little secret, right?)

I thought I was so in love that day. And I was. But there is something to be said seven more years down the road. We've shared laughter and tears, moved and uprooted our lives a couple of times, changed careers, added a kid to the mix, and managed to still stick together through all of the ups and downs. Don't let anyone fool you -- marriage is not for wimps. It takes hard work, determination, patience, divine wisdom, and a sense of humor.

But, oh is it ever worth it, at the end of the day, to have a great someone by your side. And we both have said this numerous times to each other lately -- we are so much more in love today than seven years ago. Our love today has a history to it, a deeper kind of love that can only be achieved after such a journey. A much better kind of love.

Here's to many, many more years to come.

(Please excuse the somewhat blurry and maybe a teensy bit out-of-proportion photos. I was having to take photos of photos, and, er, I might not have been as tall as the photos hung up on the wall, hence the proportion issues.)

Eye candy

Oh, who could that be, hiding in the quilt?

Just the world's most kissable kitten...

Harry the Wondercat!

It seems our sweet Harry has already changed so much in the past week since we got him. At seven weeks old, he now has learned the fine art of waiting and pouncing, leaping out of nowhere to advance on anything and everything. I'm glad kittens aren't quite as much work as puppies, but I do think we might be entering our "crazy kitten" stage where everything is a game!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm just wild about Harry!

(Be sure and press play on this adorable YouTube video so you can hear the song while you scroll down below to see the pictures of our newest family member.)

Meet Harry.

He is seven weeks old (as of yesterday).

That pink nose of his only gets kissed about 4,972 times a day.

Did I mention he is itty bitty? I call him the "Chairman of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee".

Even Mazi is having a hard time resisting his charms. We think he might end up being a good companion for her. His timing couldn't have been more perfect. Our beloved Summer will never be replaced, but at least Harry can bring a little spunk and sunshine to all of our days.

Oh boy, are we ever wild about Harry.

Vintage Photo....Saturday.

Once again, a day late and a dollar short, but better late than never.

I finally got some boxes of photos from my mom's house, which means I will have plenty to offer up over the next year at least. The boxes are all from my dad's side of the family, and since he nor my grandparents are around anymore to answer my questions regarding who is in all of these photos, it's up to my best guess on some of them. We did sit down with my grandmother one afternoon a year or so before she passed and got several of them written on with dates and names, but there are still scads of unknowns in those boxes.

My grandmother on my dad's side was born in the early 1900's (I can't remember for sure, but it was sometime around 1904, maybe?). Yep, most of my friend's grandparents are in their 70's and 80's right now -- my grandmother would have been something like 105 this year. She passed away in January of 1999, and if I remember right, she was 95 or so.

Anyway, this picture is of her. I have no idea on the year -- my guess would be sometime in the late 1930's or early 1940's. My dad was an only child, and I'm suspecting he was already in the picture when this photo was taken, but she and my grandfather loved traveling around the US (and Cuba, it was one of their favorite places) and went on trips with and without my dad. My guess is that this would have been taken in Florida or even possibly Cuba.

Cute and spunky, just like my grandmother.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Baby steps

Yesterday was a doozie.

I think I cried off and on for at least 10 hours before falling asleep. So far today has been a little bit better, as I have only teared up a couple of times. Of course, it helped that my husband got up and fed the dogs -- staring at 5 bowls and only 4 dogs would've killed me, and then opening the cupboard to find a whole container full of Summer's prescription diet dog food staring me in the face would've done me in for sure. He wanted to throw it out, but man, that stuff is EXPENSIVE, and Minnie Pearl sure looks like she could stand to go on a diet for a while, so we're going to use it all up eventually. The other 4 used to fight over her food all the time while she would try and eat their food instead -- no one was happy with what was in their own bowl -- so maybe now I will give them all a little every day until it is used up.

Today is already too quiet. Not that she was a loud dog -- she wasn't -- but I consistently heard the thump-thump-thumping of her happy tail on the floor. And she had recently taken to following me into every single room I would go into around the house. A big orange shadow of sorts, one that I keep looking for today.

And Mazi, poor Mazi. I can tell she is upset. I can't hardly stand to look into her eyes, but I am trying to love on her every second I can.

We talked a lot last night about it, my husband and I, and I think I know why this hit me so hard. Out of the 5 dogs, Summer was the sweetest, nicest, and most unconditionally loving of them all, not a malicious bone in her body. For me, that just makes it all the harder that she is gone. And while she was 11 years old, we had just taken her last month for her annual exam and the vet had told us that she was in excellent health, which she was. Even yesterday morning there were absolutely no indications of anything being amiss. The stroke came completely out of the blue -- while very much a blessing in how quickly she was gone, it just was too quickly for us to even hardly process. Not to mention this was my first experience firsthand with the death of an animal. Throughout my childhood we lost several pets, but my parents were the ones to actually be with the animals while they passed. Yesterday I had just come home, found her, laid with her for 10-15 minutes, and then my husband was with her for the end (probably only 5-10 minutes later) while I had to go and pick our son up from school. So I was with her while she was dying. A tiny part of me is glad for that, glad that I had the chance to be there for her and say goodbye, but talk about ripping your heart out. Being an adult sucks sometimes. :)

And what has been "normal" for us ever since we got married has now shifted. Since our marriage was a "yours, mine and ours" type operation -- he came with 2 dogs, I came with 1, and then we added the last 2 within the first 6 months -- we've been a 5-dog family for almost our entire marriage. Through the ups and downs of life, the 5-dog thing has been a constant for me.

We did chuckle last night about the fact that we had gotten into a minor "tiff" about the Christmas card picture last year. I had changed my mind at the last minute and wanted to take a picture of the 8 of us, and I told my husband it was because I thought we should while we could. We had had 5 dogs for 6 years at that point, and I didn't know how many more we would have with all of them. He got a bit ticked off at my comment, saying that I was being pessimistic about thinking any of them wouldn't be around for another year or 2 or 3, which, of course, ticked me off in return since I am typically a very positive person and wasn't meaning it in a pessimistic way at all. (Gotta love miscommunication!) Boy, am I glad I won that argument. We did, in fact, get a picture of all of us...

My husband said we are supposed to get her ashes today from the vet. At first I thought it was kind of odd, but now I am really glad he requested that. I'm going to go pick out a vessel of some sort today, I guess some sort of urn with a lid, to keep up on the built-in shelves and mantel in our bedroom. Maybe having them there will actually bring us a little extra comfort, kind of like my dad's wedding ring that I wear. Sorry if that creeps any of you out -- to each his own, I guess.

I am confident that this will be my last gloomy post for a while. It's just that it is quite a bit harder than I expected (not that I thought it would be a bed of roses, mind you), and typing my feelings out makes me feel a smidge better. But I've learned that time truly does heal, and each day will get easier than the last, thank goodness for that. Lord have mercy, though, I sure as heck don't know how we will go through this 4 more times in the future. I guess with great love comes great heartache at some point, but it's worth it to be loved, especially by some pretty great pooches.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This is not the post I was supposed to be putting up on my blog this afternoon. I'd already started this morning on the post all about our newest family member, but as you all know, life doesn't always go according to plan.

This afternoon when I returned home from my ballet stint, I was only greeted at the door by one dog instead of my usual two (the other three spend their days in the doghouse since they aren't exactly 100% trustworthy in the toileting department). Mazi bounded out the door to go potty, but I found sweet Summer, our golden retriever lying on our wood floors panting heavily. I knew something was wrong, called my husband immediately, and of course, began praying and begging God to make her be okay. My husband arrived, transferred her to the car, and rushed off to the vet, while I had to compose myself and go pick up our four-year-old from preschool.

Sure enough, about thirty minutes later, my husband called, sobbing into the phone that she was gone. She'd had a stroke and passed away in his arms before he was able to get to the vet, even though the vet said there would have been nothing he could have done to save her. We are thankful to God that she had 11 very happy years on this earth. My husband bought her four years before we met -- he showed up at the breeder's to get a puppy, and found out that she was the runt of the litter and was going to be put to sleep. My husband, ever the tender-hearted animal lover, immediately told them he wanted to buy her. He got Mazi, a Heinz-57 mix, a year later, and the two were inseparable from that point forward. I'm having a really hard time looking at Mazi right now because I don't think she even realizes yet that her best friend, her sister, is gone.

Man, this is hard.

This isn't supposed to be how today was going to go.

She is supposed to be here, sitting at my feet, thumping her tail and grinning up at me.

I know that her whole life was a blessing, I truly do, and I am thankful that she went quickly and probably not in much pain, but it still isn't erasing the fact that I want her back. I want her back. We're the family with FIVE dogs, and that wasn't supposed to change anytime soon. They're not just our dogs, they are our babies. Oh yeah, we've always been THOSE people. And she was our sweetest and happiest one.

I'll be okay, I promise. But you might just have to wait a little longer for that post about our sweet kitty. He's currently sitting on my shoulder (I don't even know if he weighs a pound yet), purring and drying my tears. Good timing, really.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oh, to be a mother...

(image via flickr user genibee)

On this Mother's Day, I am thankful for:

*sweet little four-year-old boys (and even the not-so-sweet ones)
*wiping someone's little bottom, sure, not the most fun job, but a true mark of being a mom
*five dogs and, as of yesterday, one teeny tiny little kitten that depend on me as their mama, too
*my own mother
*the grandmothers, aunts, and also all of the women on my husband's side of the family as well that have all influenced my role as a mama
*the opportunity to even be a mama, remembering the long and sometimes difficult journey for me to get here
*friends new and old, in my everyday life and even those from Blogland that are a great support for me in the rollercoaster ride of being a mama
*my loving Heavenly Father, who has allowed me the opportunity to experience motherhood and who loves me unconditionally despite my imperfections as a mama
*the words straight outta my boy's mouth: today he told us he didn't need his potty seat anymore (the little insert that we put on our toilet for him to use) because he now "has a bigger butt like Papa" (thankful he didn't compare himself to mine instead!)

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

Oops. Looked like I missed the last two weeks. I need to go get all those boxes of pictures from my mom's house. Then I'll be set for life on old pictures...

Until then, I found this funny little photo via flickr. A vintage photo with an Italian greyhound! We have three of these crazy dogs, and the one sitting in this woman's lap looks pretty similar to ol' Romeo, cancer survivor/insomnia sufferer/ADD dog extraordinaire.

(Image via flickr user Moni Cam)

Many people haven't ever seen an Italian greyhound, let alone heard of 'em. They're actually one of the oldest breeds in existence, dating back to the time of the Pharoahs in Egypt. Tricky little dogs, but man, do I love those crazies...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I can't wait for August!

A little bit tipsy

And the early bird gets the worm. For the very first time so far in this little quilting bee, I am actually finished with a block quite early in the month and already sending it out in the mail! Every other block so far I have sent out close to the deadline, so this is a good switch for me.

Here is Allison's block for May, a "drunkard's path" block:

Like I have said before, this quilting bee has been great already at pushing me out of my comfort zone in trying new techniques. First was the wonky log cabin, a first for me, then paper piecing, and now the dreaded curved seams, which actually aren't too bad after all. I'm pretty excited the seams actually matched up on the circles, but due to the way you have to put the two pieces back together on the curved seam, I can't for the life of me get the block to lay absolutely flat. It's flat enough, but I sure wish it would lay even flatter.

Here's a picture of what each step looked like before sewing the curved seam, almost like a little porcupine with all of the pins I had to use:

There was a great tutorial Allison referred us to for this. I feel I am getting so spoiled by all of the awesome tutorials out there in BlogLand, and I'm constantly amazed by the talent and creativity it must take to dream up some of these things.

Believe you me, I now have a new appreciation for these "drunkard's path" blocks as well. I believe this is the block that one of my grandmother's quilts is made out of, the red and white quilt I have sitting on my ivory sofa. If that is the case, it has definitely given me a whole new appreciation for that quilt since I can now envision just how incredibly long it would have taken my grandmother (back in the 1910's, mind you) to make that entire quilt out of these blocks. Maybe the name of the blocks is referring to the fact that someone would need to be quite drunk to be crazy enough to make an entire quilt out of them, haha. Talk about dedication!

Thanks, Allison, for a fun block! Maybe I'll get the nerve up to make some more eventually...