Thursday, June 30, 2011


I think 32 is going to be a great year.

Any birthday that starts off like this:

And ends like this:
Has got to be a good omen for the rest of the year!

Balloon and streamer filled cubicle at work + crown + birthday wand + cupcakes + lunch that involved wearing a sombrero + calls + texts + e-mails + cards + David's grilled cheese sandwiches + cake + ice cream + Kindle = One really happy Rachel!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Eve

You know that you're a grown up, and also that you're the mom of the house, when you have to bake your own birthday cake the night before your birthday.

So far it has gone much better than my 16th birthday when I reached in the oven (ok, so I was baking my own cake then too) to pull out my cake and tossed my hair out of my eyes. Which jerked my arm upwards into the heating element, causing me to put a nice, instantly blistered, sear mark on my forearm. Ouch. Happy Sweet 16 to me. At least the cake was good. And this year I successfully removed the cake from the oven without injury.

But now I've just realized that I'm double 16 tomorrow and because I still feel 16 a lot of the time I'm depressed now.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Lots of disconnected thoughts and events without any pictures don't usually make a post unless it's a Tuesday and you're participating in RTT, aka Random Tuesday Thoughts. Which I'm not. And I might actually scrounge up a picture before I'm through, but I am making NO SENSE tonight, so who knows what I'm going to come up with and I am embracing the random.


Tonight I triumphed over dinner by creating turkey burgers (mighty tasty ones with shredded Parmesan and garlic and good stuff like that mixed in) and corn on the cob practically out of thin air in record time. And that's after swooping into the kitchen post-violin-lesson at 6:30 with no idea what to make for us to eat since I can't make a menu for the week when there's Mandatory Over Time at Work involved in my life. Since the girls ate all their dinner and were still in bed at 8 I'm quite pleased with myself. Woohoo!

Speaking of violin lessons, we're on number 7 I think. I am really happy about how that's going. Not every three year old can say "pizzicato" or "arco" much less demonstrate the difference (plucking the strings vs. using the bow). Miss Lilli is really picking it up. She told me today that she loves Mr. Jonathan and wants to draw him a picture of herself with her violin, so that's just another good thing about it.

My husband has hidden my birthday present. That might not be unusual, except that I'm the one who bought it on my way home last night. It was a little weird (and sad because I want it right this second) to bring it in the house and hand it over. It actually reminds me of what happened with my engagement and wedding rings. My Grandma wanted us to use hers, and since they are beautiful (free was also an attraction) I had no problem with that. So I had to watch my Grandma give my rings to my then husband-to-be at Christmas, and then WAIT 6 MONTHS FOR THE PROPOSAL. It was a little painful. And even though I only have to wait two more days (a day and a half? Whatever. Until Thursday night.) this feels pretty much the same. Weirdly, my birthday will be the 11th anniversary of my engagement. So strange how life repeats itself in all kinds of ways. Oh, what am I getting? Well, even though I know what it is, if I have to wait until Thursday you do too!

Talking about my birthday reminds me. I saw on one of the blogs I read (and I read so many that I'm not sure whose it was) that the blogger, who also has a birthday this week and is also turning 32, has declared this the year of Thirty-Do. I think that is a fantastic idea. I stink at New Year's Resolutions, so I just don't make them. But a year in which I do everything I've put off? That sounds fantastic. I have to give some thought to what I would put on that list, since there are tons of things I have put off and I have to be a little selective, at least at the start, but I think its a great idea that I want to embrace.

By the by, I did scrounge up a picture:

Yard Sale Find= Delight

They love driving this thing around the neighborhood. Personally I wish it hadn't been in such good working order. Particularly the sirens and horns. But what can you do with a 3 and 5 year old? They just can resist working buttons. And no one has driven into a ditch yet, so we're pretty happy with the whole thing.

There. That's some Tuesday randomness for you. I'd like to just keep on going, but I have a To Do list 65 miles long and its not going anywhere.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Semi-funny pictures and knowing that Monday is almost here...

I take tons of pictures of the girls with my little point and shoot camera. Mostly just because I adore those little girls, but also so I can pull a fair amount of decent photos out from the mess of eh-ness. Usually the "eh" factor comes from the weird faces my children make, but there's often blurriness to deal with as well as my attempts to take indoor photos with the flash in situations that my camera can't handle. But as I said, it's usually the less-than-attractive faces they can make that gets me to hit that delete button.

Sometimes I like to keep them anyway though, especially when they're kind of funny.

Welcome to Moe's! Or not.
She looks like she's telling people to stay the heck away and it just makes me giggle.

Just so you don't think that face is an indicator of our weekend, here you go:
There's the happy!

And in Lilli's case, there's the OH MY GOOD GRIEF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BABY?!?!?!?!?!

She says she wants to have hair like Elizabeth's and Mommy's hair and she asked me to fix her hair like it is in the picture. Since Elizabeth has long curly hair and I have short straight hair, and Lilli has long straight hair, all that means to me is that she thinks she is too big for bangs. Way to break your mama's heart, Lilli! NOW she looks like she'll be turning 4 in a little more than two weeks. *sniff*

Except for my "the-babies-are-growing-up" internal sobbing, we had a great weekend. I had to work, these things happen, but we spent Saturday afternoon and evening at Coconut Pointe, a large outdoor mall/shopping center fairly nearby and got some errands done and played on the playground and had some good family time. After church today we had lunch at our friends' house and the girls have had a nice long quiet time this afternoon. So really, for heading into my birthday week not only knowing that I have to turn 32 on Thursday, but that we're still on Mandatory Overtime at my work, it's gotten a decent start.

Fingers crossed on the rest of it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spin Cycle: On the Nightstand

Tonight when I was putting her to bed, Lilli and I were just trading "I love you more"s and she said "I love you to the moon! I hope you land on it and bounce around in love!"

That has nothing to do with tonight's topic, it just needed documented.

Tonight's topic, one of my favorites ever brought to you by The Spin Cycle, is books. It isn't one of my favorites because I expect to be particularly insightful or witty, it's one of my favorites because I'm an insatiable reader. I'll read pretty much anything anywhere, and I'll enjoy it. I'm not too shy to share the pile of books on my nightstand and I'm looking forward to checking out the other spins to add to it.

Presently on my nightstand are the following:

9 different magazines. Parents, Parenting, Redbook (I've turned into my mother), Ladies Home Journal (I've turned into my grandmother), Better Homes and Gardens, Food Network, Taste of Home, Martha Stewart Living, and Real Simple. They're all my current issue of magazines I subscribe to. Yes, I know how many trees are crying right now.

Bossypants by Tina Fey- in process. I expected to laugh more, but I still like it.

The Bro Code by Barney Stinson, the character from How I Met Your Mother- my husband just finished it and I stole it.

The Islands of the Blessed by Nancy Farmer. #3 in a Young Adult series (Sea of Trolls, Land of the Silver Apples). I'll start it as soon as I'm done listening to the audiobook for #2. (Tomorrow), and I expect it to be good.

Black Heels and Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond- Because I'm a huge Pioneer Woman fan and I've only read the parts she posted on her site. Looking forward to this one.

Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey- Another Young Adult author in the fantasy genre. I like almost everything she's written and this one just came out.

Silks by Dick Francis- Because he's one of my favorite mystery writers and I read his books over and over into complete shabbiness.

I really don't think I'm going to be disappointed by any of them.

I should probably get off the internet and get busy reading, don't you think? But first I'm going to head over to Sprite's Keeper, take a look at the other spins, and make a list for my next trip to the library!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Biting off more that I can chew.

Today, Elizabeth's first day of piano lessons, while an exciting day, another milestone to mark, was also the day when I realized the following:


I'm not complaining that they are taking lessons, in fact I think they (especially Elizabeth) may have been ready earlier. I'm complaining that I have to TAKE them to music lessons. And I've chosen to do this to myself way earlier than I had to.

Taking them to music lessons means that, because I get off work earlier than David does, I have to rush home from work through traffic, grab a child, grab her instrument/music book/water/car friend/SHOES, and sprint (drive a little too quickly) either all the way back into the town I just left or much closer to a house I have to miss and pass three times before I turn in to the right place. Then I sit there, having to pay attention because I am the Parent in Charge of Practicing, so I have to know what their homework is. The whole time I'm thinking "hmmmm. Since I neglected to factor this lesson into this week's meal plan, what can I throw together for dinner? " Then its rush rush home, rush rush dinner, rush rush 8pm bedtime. And Wednesdays are our library night so that is even crazier. I don't know what we'll do when school starts. Factor in my current mandatory overtime situation at work and my head might explode.

Once again, I'm not actually complaining that my girls are taking music lessons. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to hear Elizabeth plunk away according to the directions, retain what she was told, seem to catch on really quickly and be super excited to come home and show Daddy and Lilli what she learned. That part is awesome.

I just think I'm going to really really tired for a while.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mixed Feelings

I both love and hate the girls' dance class.

It's a tap/ballet/tumbling class, and I love that they are learning how to follow directions, to take turns, all those good citizen type of skills. I love that they actually learn some real dance steps, even at this age, and that they learn cute little dance routines that we can trot out whenever the occasion arises (like at the church talent show). I also like going to recitals and the little shows they put on at the spring and fall festivals and random other places.

What I don't like is that this studio is not at all like the one where I took ballet. It seems to cater more towards pageant hopefuls or future cheer dancers than ballerinas. Instead of having all the girls wear the typical black leotard/pink tights combination that I equate with more serious studios, this is an anything-goes-in-apparel kind of school, which among a certain group of students seems to be more about what they're wearing in class than how they're dancing. Or behaving.

What I REALLY have issue with though, is the costumes. Some of the costumes in this year's 80's themed recital were beautiful. I would have been happy to have the girls wearing those. They were either more traditional tutus or floaty little fairy type outfits.

For "Stray Cat Strut", their tap number, we ended up with tiny Playboy Bunnies (cats)

I'm REALLY glad that they had their hair up for the recital, because I was very distressed about how they looked on class picture day.
You should have seen them swing their tails.

Then for "Tomorrow", their ballet number, we ended up with this:

Here I don't object to the dresses so much as I object to how grown up they look when you combine the dresses with the required gobs of makeup.

Not the best pictures, but here's Elizabeth on the way to recital:

She has massively long eyelashes, and coating them with mascara just made her look totally fake.

And here's Lilli:
She's 3 and she looks completely jaded with life.

I have been asked why the girls don't have any makeup to play with in their dress up bin, and the answer should be obvious.


Ok, twice counting dress rehearsal.

And maybe on Halloween.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not spinning. Reeling.

I had another post already to go in my head tonight for the Spin Cycle. We are spinning UFO's this week. I had planned to list all the messages I would send out into space to the aliens on other planets on one of those beaming projects people do. I can't remember any of them. The only message I want to send out into outer space right now is "Life sucks sometimes and babies die. Hope that doesn't happen where you live."

I have a good friend with 4 month old twins and one of them died this morning. No one called me at work because they knew how I would react, but I found out when I got home, and they were right, I did not take the news well. I can't properly express my grief about this. Knowing that I'm two and through with babies, she was generous to share her twinsies with me in all kinds of ways and I love them both. Loved them both I guess. Adored them both. And so I can't really know how she's feeling right now because I know you never really know how awful something like that is unless it happens to you, but I still do.

So Aliens, I hope this kind of thing doesn't happen where you live.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Both the violin and the girl are kind of tiny, but both make me really happy.

So! My Lilli has taken up a new pursuit, one that thrills me to death.


There's that cute girl with Jonathan, her teacher.

Second lesson:

It would have been enough for me that she loves it. It is a bonus that she's picking it up really quickly. It's an extra bonus that she can't wait to practice, and that she studies her music book (reading out the notes and rests to herself) on the way to her lesson.

And if she gets good at it?

(5th lesson)

Well, I just won't know what to do with myself.

Friday, June 10, 2011


You know, usually I'm just fine with the fact that we are most likely going to just have two children. Most of the time I think two, especially two girls is the perfect number of children in a family. 99% of the time these days I'm content. I even managed to pass on most of the baby clothes. That only happened two weeks ago, but should be a sign that I'm content with the way things are.

But every now and then I remember when this:

was this:

And I get itchy.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spin Cycle: Decorating Dilemma

For this week's Spin, the Spinner, the Keeper, the Master Decorator herself has asked us to put our twist on the topic of decorating. Sadly, I have no amazing before and after photos to share, just a plea for decorating suggestions. See, we moved recently, and I find myself with all kinds of space I'm not used to having and am not prepared to fill. So help a girl out, would you?

Disclaimer: I meant to take actual for real pictures to serve as potential "before" shots, but I didn't, so what you get are two photos from our little mini birthday celebration for my mom's 65th birthday last weekend, that happen to show my house.

First, do you see how tall these walls are? They are like that throughout the house. Ignoring the bday decorations, what do you put on walls like that? While I'm tempted to cover all the walls with pictures of my children I need some more practical options.

Next, behind my mother is my front door. I'm sorry it is so hard to see. We get lots of afternoon sun. Both doors open (outwards), although we only regularly use the one on the right. I need something in the entry, but it needs to be something that doesn't break up the flow of the walls or that can be symmetrical. Any ideas?

Sorry it's a plea, not a triumphant declaration of decorating prowess. You should probably head over to the Keeper's online house and see how she's been decorating it with other spins. But first leave me a comment or an e-mail with some suggestions please!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lilli Art

The funny thing is that if I were to label one of my children "the artist" it probably wouldn't be Lilli. But I like two of her recent drawings a whole lot.

These are "Pet Dander":
We tried to explain that pet dander aren't bugs, but she didn't buy it.

Here she's written about them:
"Once upon a time there was 3 (although there are only two) psdfgdgsdf...." and then she ran out of space and interest. I enjoy how she writes without any regard at all to spacing. Still she has pretty good handwriting for a 3 year old if you ask me.

Below is a mother(bald!)-daughter portrait:

"This is you mommy, taking a picture of me when I was a baby"

At least she accurately remembers her infancy, eh?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spin Cycle: In Waiting

I know they say not to wish your life away, but here are the things I am presently waiting for:

David to finish his WoW raid tonight so we can spend some time together. Of course because of WoW I never spend any time waiting for him to come home from places so it could be a lot worse.

A time when I am not so stressed at work. Sort of futile, but I'm waiting anyway.

My birthday on June 30th. I'll be 32. I am currently deciding between two fairly exciting potential presents. (David likes the assistance picking something, and I have never had the opportunity to be disappointed by a gift).

Lilli's birthday party. Not until July, but can you say PANDA PICNIC?? At least that's the plan right now. It keeps changing. She has also previously requested themes of PT Cruiser (we don't have one, the girls just love them), Rainbow, Milky Way (the candy bar) and Pink. Panda Picnic seems to be sticking for the moment.

Elizabeth's neurology appointment. It's a long story, but due to a fainting episode at school and its associated symptoms, she's getting checked out July 20th. I've had some concerns, so I absolutely cannot wait to air them for Someone Who Knows What They're Talking About.

Vacation at my in-law's! It isn't until the end of July, but I'm looking forward to it. They live in a beautiful home on Hilton Head Island and we love it there.

Elizabeth's first day of Kindergarten and Lilli's first day of Preschool! On the one hand it is utterly devastating that my babies are that old. On the other hand, double the shopping for school supplies as last year. WAHOOOOO!

My 10th wedding anniversary. August 25th. To celebrate a very happy decade together, we have tentative plans to renew our vows, and we're hoping to do that in Las Vegas. If we wanted to do it this week or next week, they'd practically pay us to go out there, but trying to plan it in advance it is not so pocketbook friendly. Las Vegas is apparently a destination only for spontaneous trips. Wish us good luck with that, and a realistic Elvis impersonator for the ceremony!


I could go on, because I have given thought to every major upcoming event or holiday through the end of the year and beyond, but I bet you've been WAITING for me to finish so you can head over to Sprite's Keeper, as this post has been brought to you by the Spin Cycle!