Monday, November 28, 2011

sweater legs

Boots are so in this year. I can say that with confidence since I have a sister who works in fashion. Because if I was taking advice from my own closet I would have to say that Birkinstock clogs are SO in this year. Which is clearly not even close to true.

But now there is this trend I keep seeing all over Pinterest of people creating boot socks so they stick out the top of your boots over your jeans. Or sometimes they actually go over your boots, like boot cover ups. But here is the thing...people keep posting pictures that were supposedly cut from old sweaters in their closet. 
Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

Maybe I am just a crafting/sewing novice but I am pretty sure if I tried to cut the arms off an old sweater and wear them under/on top of boots, I would like look a crazy homeless person who was trying to stay warm. People would probably think I had plastic grocery bags underneath my sweater for insulation from the cold. It would not look trendy or intentional. 
I appreciate the creativity but I would like to call BS on this one. The only person who I have seen do this for real and look adorable is Mandy from Harper's Happenings and she could make a potato sack look chic. I challenge anyone else to show me a real picture of their homemade sweater socks that do not make their legs look like stuffed sausage. In the mean time, my Birkenstocks and I will just keep fashion real in the 1999 kinda way.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

turkey comas for all

Can you believe this little baby with her turkey bib eating strained pees at the table and sitting quietly on the grass last Thanksgiving...

Is the same girl as our walking, talking, cell phone wielding, email corresponding, bucket wearing toddler?
Today we will be eating lots of turkey, trying a new stuffing recipe, throwing apple peels at my sister, making inappropriate "that's what she said" jokes with my brother, enjoying a whole day off with my hubby, and letting Lila lick the mixer beaters. Salmonella, be damned.

We are thankful for the life God has given us and his grace that is new every morning. Hope you and yours have a Happy Turkey Coma Day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

shades of gray

I felt like a loser for asking my mom to be there. Seriously how hard could it be? The directions are written for the education level of a preschooler. But I needed her to reassure me that it was not that bad. That even though this was the start of many years of evenings locked into the bathroom to come, I would be just fine. 

Luckily it doesn't look any difference, minus the crown of grays that sparkled in the sun. I cannot believe I am this old. Botox and tummy tucks, here I come.

You can keep your black and your red heads
You can keep your brunettes too
I wanna girl that's semi intelligent
Gimme a blonde that's six feet two boy
and that ain't all
~"Blondes Have More Fun" by Rod Stewart

Monday, November 21, 2011

hot mess

You know how some days you think you look cute and you put all this effort into actually wearing concealer and putting on a cute outfit and blow drying your hair? But you still end up looking like a hot mess?
I call it Working Mom Curse...
Oh hey there. Check out my cute new shirt that apparently turns even the smallest hint of sweat into giant color changing armpit stains. And check out my rocking wrist brace from my tendonitis from typing and/or carrying a 25 pound toddler on my hip all day. Oh and my sexy glasses since I used the last of my contacts and am too busy to be bothered with trivial things like vision appointments.

At least it's not as bad as that time I went to the bathroom at work at 3pm, looked in the mirror and thought, "GOOD GOD who is that exhausted looking old lady staring at me??" And then I realized I forgot to put makeup on that morning and had been walking around all day with splotchy skin and under eye circles. Classic.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

cowgirls and blogger guilt

I think I have had a breakthrough about this blog. When I first created it, it was a private blog for our family and friends to document our journey through IVF. And then it became a sort of baby book for Lila during the pregnancy from hell. Then as my readers were growing I started to think about what people wanted to read, whether my blog was funny or witty or engaging. But the more I try, the further apart my blog posts have become. 

So I will stop trying. Stop trying to meet a blog post length in my head. Stop trying to come up with interesting topics that I am not invested in and hope people like reading it. I will stop trying to make my blog something it is not. I love writing and sharing and connecting with other women around the world. And that is what my heart needs right now. So I will share my heart and if you like it, stick around. If not, I am sure your Google Reader is still full of other witty women and I hope you enjoy their blogs as well. 

That is what I will not be ashamed about writing about Halloween on November 20. Because that is about how my life is rolling right now. Here is Lila the cowgirl in all her glory. 
Her daycare had a Halloween parade, but of course it was raining and 40 degrees on Halloween in North Carolina. So they paraded around the hallways of the daycare while all the momma/daddy-razzis took a million pictures of them. 

 Another picture Mom?? Fo real??

Oh thank God, snack time makes it all better
Brian, Auntie KK and I felt obligated to take her trick-or-treating even though she clearly didn't care, nor would we let her eat the candy. Score one for the parents! Basically Halloween was a major let down for Lila, but luckily she did not have high expectations. A lesson for life from the toddler ya'll.  

Many precede and many will follow, a young girl's dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west but what it holds for her, she hasn't yet guessed 
She needs wide open spaces, room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces, she knows the high stakes 
~"Wide Open Spaces" by Dixie Chicks

Monday, November 14, 2011

not very smooth criminal

Showers when you are a mom are as close as you get to relaxing. Yes it is sad because in essence, we are cleaning filth from our body and usually rushing to get out the door. But we are blissfully alone and there is hot water. I might as well be at a spa as far as I am concerned. Usually I try to let Brian keep Lila downstairs when I am taking a shower so I can enjoy the relaxation for an extra five minutes. 

Saturday morning I pumped up the Glee Pandora station and jumped in the shower for some sing along time while I went about the arduous task of shaving...bleh, I hate being bothered to be a lady. I was jamming to some Journey when all of a sudden the next song switched on. My moment of relaxation was quickly altered when the loud orchestra strings version of "Smooth Criminal" (not the original delightfully 80's version by Michael Jackson) came blasting into the shower. 

I had a dilemma...did I get out of the shower dripping wet with soap all over my legs just to change the song? Or do I suck it up and listen to the super annoying music? I contemplated for several minutes, now wasting the hot water and relaxation. I tried to hurry up and finish shaving with the very fast paced string music now making my heart race and feel like I was in a race against the evil song. 

And wouldn't you know it, the moment I finished and jumped out of the shower, "Walking on Sunshine" came on. I do not link to the David Garrett version of "Smooth Criminal" so you can enjoy it's musical delight, only so that you too can now have a MJ song ruined forever. Hey, at least it didn't ruin your shower.

Annie are you okay
So, Annie are you okay
Are you okay Annie
You've been hit by, you've been struck by
A smooth criminal
~"Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson

Friday, November 11, 2011

wait your turn Santa

I would love to give this cartoon credit, but I cannot find the original source. Basically it sums up how I feel about Christmas music in the stores, eggnog flavored everything, and commercials that remind me there are only 44 shopping days left. What happened to enjoying the holidays in order? Why can children not prance around in Halloween costumes without eating red and green M&M's? Why are there Christmas wreaths on trees that still have brilliant fall leaves on them?

I am on a Christmas list boycott. I will take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping like everyone else. But in the meantime, I will make turkey cutouts from Lila's hands, practice apple pie recipes and think about how thankful I am for the people in my life. And then I will become an over-consuming American capitalist.

Turkey for the girls and turkey for the boys
My favorite kind of pants are corduroys
Gobble gobble goo and gobble gobble gickel
I wish turkey only cost a nickel
Oh I love turkey on Thanksgiving
~"The Thanksgiving Song" by Adam Sandler

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

a few of my favorite things

As I was drinking my favorite new coffee this morning, I decided to put together a monthly "favorite things" blog post, inspired by the fabulous Katie from Cleared For Takeoff. No, I was not paid to review any of these items, nor did I receive them for free. I paid for them with cold hard cash (and maybe a double stacking coupon scam I am not authorized to discuss). Hope you enjoy some of my favorites and if you now spend the whole day singing about brown paper packages tied up with string or whiskers on kittens, you can thank me later.  
 This is what happens when you are aimlessly wandering through the aisles of Walmart enjoying the peace and quiet of a toddler asleep in bed at home. You buy cheap wine with a shrug. At $3.48, even if it sucks I won't feel too bad pouring it down the drain. But it doesn't suck! Score for me!

I saw this awesome kids tupperware in Pottery Barn one day and then spent multiple weeks dreaming about it and looking in every other store that wouldn't cost $12. But alas, its beauty was only to be found in the PB world of $500 cribs and $99 pillowcases. But is was so worth every dollar for Lila's lunches. It is divided straight down the middle and is the perfect size to hold several different kinds of foods or a half sandwich and has a frozen gel pack that pops into the lid. 

I saw this beauty on Alison's blog and totally scored a Plum District coupon code for half off. I am IN LOVE with my new planner. It is so adorable and stylish. And it lays out every week with lots of room for notes, full month calendar pages, a zipped and folder compartment in the back and lots of labeled stickers. It takes this planner, the one on my phone and my Outlook to keep me in place. And I am still inevitably 15 minutes late to everything. 

My mom was staying with us last week and I kept using her coffee in the morning. Which means it was better than mine. So we took a trip to Trader Joe's and I bought my own new coffee. See what a grown up I am?? It is darker than our old coffee, which means I do not use as much and therefore it lasts longer. Double score! 

I am so an angsty fifteen year old girl at heart. Let me take out my retainer, click over to call waiting on my curly cord phone and turn off my mix tape on my tape player. I am in love with this new show on Wednesday nights. I loved Emily VanCamp on "Brothers & Sisters" and I love her even more now that she is fabulous and ruthless...two things that go together so well. I would highly recommend you start from the beginning of the season and work your way up to now to not miss any of the backstabbing drama.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

meet me at the fair

One of my favorite things about living in North Carolina is the fall. All of the beautiful colors of the leaves. The swing back and forth between chilly mornings and warm afternoons in the sun. Pumpkin patches on every corner and without question the best thing, the NC State Fair. Growing up in California, we did not have ferris wheel rides and local craft displays, fresh grilled corn and blue ribbon pies. 

Brian and I have been to the fair every year that we have dated (eight years this weekend!) except for the year I was on bedrest all fall when our big night out was a walk down the driveway. Last year, Lila slept through the entire fair while we pushed her in the stroller. 

So this year was super exciting to show her all of our favorite things at the fair. We also got to introduce Brian's family to the state fair, as they have lived in NC their whole life and never been to see the giant butter sculpture. If that's not art, I don't know what is. 

Highlights: fried pickles and fried oreos (clearly not consumed at the same time), the NC Farmers display where Lila got to help pick vegetables, local honey sticks. 

Lila's "Fair Hit List": rude people who tried to walk over her stroller, giant pumpkin that was looking at her the wrong way, old saggy men in tank tops, and the adorable newly hatched chicks that were clearly about to attack her with their fuzzy bodies and dangerous beaks.

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis
Meet me at the fair
Don't tell me the lights are shining any place but there
We will dance the Hoochee Koochee
I will be your tootsie wootsie
If you will meet in St. Louis, Louis
Meet me at the fair
~"Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis"

Monday, November 7, 2011

slowing down

A week off work. Time to recharge and reflect on God's work in our lives. 

 A chance to catch up with my mom who was staying with us recovering from knee surgery. Learning the word "pumpkin" with Aunt KK.

 Sweet park dates and playing in the fallen, brilliant leaves. 

 Mornings in bed sipping coffee with Brian watching Lila laugh at her own sillyness. Long date nights knowing Lila is asleep in her crib with my mom standing guard. 

Discovering the joy of biting into a whole apple and tasting the sweet treat under the leaves.  

Taking deep breaths and feeling moments, even though they may be brief, of peace.

I get kissed by the sun each morning, put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing down the hall through the bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself, this world is a beautiful place

I have been blessed and I feel like I’ve found my way

I thank God for all I’ve been given at the end of every day
I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me, to love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed
~"Blessed" by Martina McBride

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

dressed to impress

Lila has been growing so much and when the weather started to turn several weeks ago, I sadly realized she has no clothes with long sleeves. So after several weeks of dressing her in inappropriate capris and short sleeves with her tummy hanging out of her shirt (class, class, class), I realized it was time for a new wardrobe. 

Since I do not have the luxury of waltzing into a store and buying her all new winter clothes, I had to improvise. We love buying consignment because the clothes are already a little softened up but I can always find them in great condition. I am able to buy her so many more clothes and then I don't feel guilty when she only wears them a few times before her rapidly lengthening legs shoot up. 

Our favorite kids consignment store in the area, Kid To Kid, has lots of great deals with this season clothes in excellent condition (some times with original tags still on them) for a quarter of the price. But I knew that even at a few dollars a piece, I could not get enough items for Lila's large dresser that needed to be filled. So my mom and I ventured out to our first large community consignment sale at a local church. I found this great website that listed all of the consignment sales in the state by area and by date.

This sale was the craziest thing I have ever seen! Women were everyone just mobbing the racks and grabbing piles of clothes. I definitely did not know the "insider tips" and now feel more prepared for future consignment sales. 
1. Measure arm lengths, inseam and waist and then bring a tape measure with you to check clothing. 
2. Trace your child's feet on a piece of paper so you can check shoe sizes.
3. Bring a very large shopping bag or a small cart to put all your purchases in while you are walking around.
4. Take photos of any nursery decor you are trying to match. 
We racked up and got almost 30 items for $65, including a winter coat, toys, shoes and lots of clothes. Everything was in great quality with no stains and looks like this fall's current style. And she got a little purse that she now carries around the house on her arm to the front door and says "Bye bye!" And that alone is worth $65.

Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. 
Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.  
~Henry David Thoreau