Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Simple Pleasures

We celebrated Audrey's birthday with a simple, old fashioned party once we got home from our trip.

After she and her sister enjoyed filling their bellies with the annual birthday breakfast of ice cream

she and my mom frosted the cupcakes and roses from Eric's mom arrived.

Audrey requested just a few kids at her party and only the neighbors she was closest to. And Frib

We invited children from two families and so a small group of six children spent a couple of hours enjoying summertime and childhood.

They played Musical Cushions and Pin the Tail on the DonkeyOpened presents and ate pink cupcakes

Sorted through their goodie bucketsAnd drank their. very. own. big. bottles of Jones Soda. For Audrey, it was perfection.

The day ended with a sleepover in her sister's trundle bed enjoying pizza and finally sleeping like a five year old beauty.

My American Girl

Audrey turned 5 on July 13. What a wonderful day for a beautiful girl. We surprised her with a visit to American Girl Boutique & Bistro in Dallas as we were there visiting friends.

She picked out matching pjs for herself and her Bitty Baby and she chose a new Bitty Twin from her Grandma and named it Mary for our dear friend and Texas hostess, "Mary"!

We enjoyed cookies and ice cream sundaes at the dessert bar and then headed off to see the new American Girl movie, "Kit Kittredge."

A quick stop for Shirley Temples where the waitress surprised us and brought out more sweets- cupcakes!

As Mary and I finished up our party cocktails Eric took the kids in to a darling boutique across the way created just for girls called "Sweet & Sassy." They were offering free hair styles and limo rides in their pink limo! We were driven to the theatre in style.

After an evening BBQ, swim, and opening presents in a big tent decorated just for Audrey by the other kids (complete with banners, balloons, streamers, and homemade signs)Audrey then blew out her birthday candles and moments later it was lights out.

Happy Birthday, My American Girl

Southern Hospitality

So the magical mystery trip was to Texas! I know, "Texas?" "In the dead of summer?" BUT, we went to Texas for the company--not the weather. We saw dear, dear friends who moved there last year. Olivia's best friend in fact, Amanda and family. They have spoken about eachother daily since Amanda moved last November.The week was fabulous. Our friends have a "mansion" --at least compared to our home! The pool, home theatre, cocktails poolside, our own "wing"--it rocked. Mary and I had massages and pedicures and the "princes" enjoyed their time together.

This darling frog swims in their pool every night- what a hoot!

We ate lovely meals they thoughtfully prepared and visited some super spots. Oh, the Mexican food! And Scott's HOMEMADE goodies (cakes, frosting, salad dressing, croissants even!)

We even managed to find a bar in Fort Worth that carried more than 100+ beers!

The kids spent the days in the pool and the nights singing karaokeentertaining us with talent showsand eventually ---crashing!

We can't wait until we're together again!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Magical Mystery Tour

We're jetting off in a few hours to embark on a surprise summer journey for the girls. I can not wait for them to see where they wind up. I can not sleep I am so excited. Truth be told---this isn't just for the girls! Stay tuned for the pics and the tales....

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Heard a fabulous sermon at church today on Letting Go and Giving In to God. The pastor taught about Moses and about some verses from Phillipians 4: 6-8. It was all about how God is a personal & empathetic God who is in control and bigger than any of our failures or any of our tasks. The pastor spoke about how overwhelmed we are throughout our days and how God meets us where we're at and wants to help guide us through. He pointed out that we tend to find ourselves overwhelmed often because that is when we finally reach out to something bigger than ourselves. God is calling us to lean on Him.

So there I was in church- moved and focused.

Then I went out into the real world.

And went bathing suit shopping. Dear friends sent an amazing travel package and letter detailing the awesome adventures planned on our "surprise trip" we're embarking on with them and the kids soon. One of the key things they pointed out was you just need swimwear and shorts. Sounds heavenly-if only I did not look like ME in swimwear.

After swim suit shopping WITH the kids--as if I wasn't stressed enough ALONE I came home to the curtain rod and drapes crashed down on the kitchen floor (last week the kitchen drawer busted, none of the burners on the stove would ignite and the beef I prepared for the penne dish was recalled so kitchen disasters have been plaguing us a bit).

Eric then calls to ask me about dates for his mom's visit this summer. The trip that we pay for (have you seen airline prices lately?) The trip that she waits to take with baited breath since she loves to get away and relax. The trip where we run around like circus freaks entertaining her since she does not get many opportunities to do so herself.

Meantime, the neighbor girl came home from a week away and until this afternoon Liv and the other kids have been getting along swimmingly all week. Moments after her arrival Olivia came into the house and announced she was done playing outside. For The Summer. I sent her back outside immediately.

A short time later Audrey and I walked up to the park to see if all was going well with Liv and the other two girls. She was no where near them. Audrey broached them instead and asked them point blank if they did not like her sister. "What?" Talk about out of left field. I reprimanded her for not minding her own business and off we trotted. She was in tears.

As we sat on the back deck and I explained to her that this was between Liv and her friends an irate neighbor came up to me swearing about how Fribble "poops" (not his word...) in his yard continuously. In fact he had just done so in front of this guy's girlfriend. He also told me how his neighbor blames HIS dog for the dog poop and it's not his dog doing it.

Eric called again confirming dates for his mom's trip. As I was searching for my PDA to check my calendar I noticed Apple the fish died. Apple the fish died about 3 weeks ago and this was Apple Take Two.

In an effort to try to make ammends with the angry neighbor and cheer up the distraught daughter I started a baking project. Chocolate chip cookies for all. Unfortunately, I melted the butter too much when attempting to soften it and did not have any extra to spare (melted butter makes for flat and hard cookies- ugh). When I went to take a picture of my peace meal cookies and now smiling daughter I dropped the camera on the counter. The lens won't close and it's busted.

Officially overwhelmed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Teeth & Tears

Upon brushing Audrey's teeth the other night I saw all four of her six year molars popping out. She was thrilled (she is still just 4). I was devastated as I could not believe how fast she is growing up.
So while she ran for the flashlight & mirror so I could show her what I was looking at--tears streamed down my face. I recall when Liv's first tooth fell out right around her fifth birthday. I cried then, too, and assured myself that it was OK and they were not growing up too fast after all. I told myself that it was only tooth one and we had dozens more to go with both girls. I reminded myself that Audrey girl still had teeth coming in and there was a long road ahead before her teeth came loose or she sprouted molars. That road grows shorter by the day.

Summer School

Audrey girl and I took many walks last week while Liv was at Hip Hop camp each morning.

I felt each day as if I was going to summer school and Audrey was the teacher. Here are a few of the lessons she taught me on our morning walks.

The red on the Canadian flag symbolizes the blood for freedom. The Maple leaf is because they have so many maple trees in Canada.

Alaska is connected to Canada if ever you need to drive there.

There are more sheep than people there. The largest lake in Australia is dried up and it does not contain water because it is so hot there and the sun dried it up. Australia is primarily flat land and there are very few mountains so there is no river water. There are crocodiles but there are no sea turtles and no sea anemones because we're talking more about lakes and not the sea there.

Cowboys live in the "Backout" away from most of the other people--I love that. Clearly she means the "Outback".

There are instruments in Australia but not typical ones we use like flutes, trumpets, violins, or pianos. In Australia they play djridoos and you blubber in them to make them work.

Pointalism was created by George Seurat--and is the style of painting when you dot with paints rather than use a brush.

Abraham Lincoln slept diagonally in his wooden bed because he was so tall and did not fit lying straight. His father who was a farmer thought he was lazy because he was not out working in the farm but instead he was always reading. He was usually reading about George Washington the First President and Abe Lincoln himself became the 16th President. He freed the slaves, got killed in a theater, and legend says that he earned the name Honest Abe and a place on the penny because he walked for miles to return a penny to a person who he overcharged.

William Shakespeare wrote the play Romeo & Juliet and they died kissing. The story goes that they were madly in love but their parents did not like each other and did not want them together. Because Romeo & Juliet wanted to be together forever they got married and then drank a potion. Apparently, Juliet fell across Romeo as they died and there lips were touching.

There you have it--lessons by Audrey courtesy of her fabulous Montessori teacher and her magnificent brain. I am not sure if all the facts are correct as I am retelling the lessons. If you have any questions I am sure Audrey would happily answer them. ;)


I finally signed up for a yoga class after wanting to do so for eons.

It was perfect---I love that I could barely raise my arms to drive home, how the day after class walking was a chore, and the aches throughout my body as I turned in the night. It was exactly why I took the class. I have been longing to challenge my body, turn off my mind, and start something fresh. I also was able to get a few girlfriends to join along with me as they've been wanting to do so as well. Unfortunately, none of them could make it on night one.

At the end of the class when the teacher asked if we wanted to join her in an "Om*" chant to finish off the night's session I think I chanted louder than any one else. I had found a new passion. Can't wait to go back and hopefully my girlfriends will be there too! Namaste**

*Quick note regarding the Om mantra that I pulled from a Web site---Om is a primordial sound of the Divine. The entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogi's acknowledged was the sound Om - the sound of the universe. As we chant Om, we begin to sense a bigger connection that is uplifting and soothing.

**Also from the Internet info. on the gesture Namaste. Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul in another."Nama" means bow, "as" means I, and "te" means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means " I bow to you".

Lovin' Summer

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been
the two most beautiful words in the English language.
~Henry James

Olivia & Audrey have had a bustling summer thus far... and we're not even two weeks in! Liv has been in Hip Hop camp and Cheerleading camp (here she is below helping teach a cheer to her fellow campers). I popped in earlier today only to find her at the head of the class with her coach--no kidding. ;)

She has also been in swim lessons and her gymnastics pre-team schedule started yesterday (she can barely walk today after her 2 hour lesson).

Audrey has been in Fairy Dance camp and swim lessons and if she could never leave the pool she'd be in heaven.

They spend a few hours each afternoon with their summer time nanny--Lauren. The three of them cruise off in her convertible and hit Coldstone Creamery, the mall, the beach, and even the movies!

In the midst of all the camps, classes, and afternoon adventures we took a weekend jaunt to Portland, Oregon for my cousin, Matt's, wedding. He and his darling bride, Hailey, looked like Ken & Barbie as they exchanged vows on the golf course setting. May there lives together be as idyllic as their wedding day.

Eric and I managed a night out sans kids thanks to Matt's little sis and my 17 year old cousin, Annie. Portland rocks---the people, the food, the drinks, the mind set, the public transportation---it is by far one of our favorite places to visit.

Hope your summertime is footloose and fancy free, lazy as can be, and most of all filled with Summer Lovin'!