Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Armageddon! or Earthquakes, Bachlorette parties and Hurricane Irene

What a week! I have quite a bit to report on this week.

First up: Earthquake!
When the earthquake hit last Tuesday we were in Colonial Williamsburg (which is an awesome place to visit, you should go sometime if you haven't been there yet, or lately-fun for everyone). Wesley and I were watching a show and all of a sudden we felt everything (well we thought it was the bench, but then I realized it was the ground moving) sway. It was very surreal and all the parents around me looked around to see if anyone else had flet it and once we got confirmation we were not all going crazy (and that we were not the ones moving a bench on firm tree stumps) everyone who had a smart phone was on them googling "earthquake". And up popped "Virginia, Earthquake, 5.8". I left the theater and went to find my mom (who had been with Henry) to see if she had felt it too. She honestly thought it was from artillery in the area. This was our conversation:
Me: "But Mom, di dyou hear any artillery?"
Mom: "Well, no."
Me: "Then why would you think that?"
Mom: "Well, we are in Colonial times, they do stuff like that here."


Of course after that I hopped on Facebook and everyone had posted something about it. The irony was that we were in a place where when it was new it would take over a week to get your news. Here I was getting instant updates seconds after it happend. Crazy how far we have come.

We survived the earthquake, made it home then up to Maryland for my future sister-in-laws bachlorette party. Originally we were supposed to go to Ocean City, Maryland for the weekend (beach, our for a fun night then more beach then home-I am not going to lie, it was going to awesome and I was going to get a whole weekend away from being a mom/wife). But then Hurricane Irene decided to not fizzle out as a Tropical Storm and to hit the entire east coast so Ocean City was evacuated. Ok,fine, onto Plan B: weekend in DC! WE cancelled our OC plans, rebooked in DC and were set. Then Obama decided that he should delcare a National State of Emergency (you should have seen that text from the Maid of Honor! But I can't reprint it because I don't put cuss words on my blog and that text was full of them). Lets just say she was a wee bit upset when Plan A AND Plan B didn't work out. So, we had to come up with Plan C. Which was us going to Downtown Annapolis (new part of the plan), dressing up as school girls (old part of the plan) and then crashing at my other brothers' girlfriends' apartment for the night.

If you have ever been to a bachlorette party then you know that I can't reveal about 95% of what actually went on. I can tell you that we got told by the manager of one bar that we went to that our school girl theme was one of the best ones he had ever seen. I can share this one picture, take before we left the house and the partying began:

I will say this though, as a PSA to any guys out there: if you see a group of girls out for a bachlorette party, it is fine to compliment them, congratulate the bride, even buy a round of drinks. But  if you are going to try to "hook up" with them or think that any of them are going home with you, then you are sadly, sadly, mistaken. They are out to have a good time with each other drinking and dancing, NOT to meet guys or hook up with you. It's not gonna happen. Serioulsy.

Also, we ended up going to a bar I used to frequent I was a newly minted 21. They played a couple of songs that night that I was like "Wow, I was here in this bar when this song first came out....9 years ago." I am so old. But hey, I could party with the best of them since I think I drank more but had less of a hangover the next day. Evidently I am an old drunk with a stomach of steel. Or maybe the stomach of steel comes from having two kids both of which are boys. 

However, we did manage to accomplish what we set out to do: have a fantastic bachlorette party in spite of the fact that Hurricane Irene was about to ravage the East Coast.

After all that partying I settled in at my mom's house with the boys to wait out the storm. We got wind. We got 7 inches of rain. The next morning she had lots of branches in her yard which we sent Wesley out to pick up since he was going stir crazy inside the house (and thus making us crazy). It got sunny and warm in the afternoon and we spent the afternoon enjoying the weather out on her deck with my dad and the boys. As of today she still doesn't have power but hopfully she will get it back soon.

Eventful week and I survived it all. Now we will see if we can survive the wedding this weekend....

Monday, August 22, 2011

This is not right....

My mom is visitng and of course, we wanted some white wine to go with our game of Phase 10 after the kiddies were put to bed. So, my mom gave me $25 (wine allowance! Yes!) and I headed up to Martin's (a grocery store around here, it is actually "Giant" by a different name even though all the store brand stuff has the Giant logo on it. Weird). I get up there and hit up some good deals-Flip Flop wine 2/$10, a huge double bottle of Black Swan Pinot Grigio for $12, a bottle of Barefoot wine for $5. So, I load up with basket and clink my way up to the register sounding like a wino the whole way. I get up to the register an pull out my cash and start searching for my ID and lo and behold....I realize I left it at home. No ID. Not my military IDor my drivers license. Not cool. But I think, hey I am 30, do I really need to be carded? I mean, I don't look like a 20 year old trying to sneak by getting some alcohol, surely they will let this pass. So I ask "Candace" the check out girl if it i is ok that I don't have my ID while buying alcohol. Nope. No go. She won't do it unless I have my ID. Seriously? I can't tell you the number of times I got served alcohol underage, or bought it from the ghetto liquor store on Bay Dale. Or the number of times I NEVER got carded between the ages of 21-23 (I know it was legal for me then but no one questioned the fact I might be too young to buy it, they just assumed I was old enough). But now that I am the ripe old age of 30 I cannot buy wine for love or money without an ID saying I was born before 1990. I understand (an respect) the girl for doing her job but still....common sense and the stretch marks and gray hair on my head should be enough to tell you I am old enough to legally buy some vino. So, I headed home, in the pouring rain, got my ID, headed back out where "Candace" said she would hold my wine in a brown paper bag for me until I get back. I am gone for less than 10 minutes and when I get back "candace" is no where to be found, she didn't tell anyone about my bag-o-wine and it's no where to be found. Yeah. I totally suspect "Candace" -who could be no more than 17 at the oldest-of taking my bag-o-wine as he liquid lunch. Grrrr. So I had to get more wine (although that barefoot was the last bottle they had and since we couldn't find it I didn't get to purchase it). Thankfully they carded me this time around becasue if they hadn't at that point I would have been so mad. Although it would have made my story a lot funnier in the end.

I guess my Loreal home dye job really did cover those grays. Sad though that at 30, it is harder for me to buy wine than it was when I was 19. What is wrong with this world?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

She's Crafty: Glittery stars and cardboard castle.

In the military you tend to move a lot. Well, we didn't move for 5 years but this year we are moving twice within 6 months so I guess that makes up for it. Anyway, when you move around a lot you end up with a lot of extra cardboard boxes. Of course many go to other people or recycled (at least we try) but I try to come up with some fun stuff to do with them too (thank you Pinterest for all the great ideas for our next move!). We had unpacked a couple more boxes this past weekend because my wonderful husband went into the Pit of Despair (otherwise know as our storage unit) and dug out my sewing machine. Which I have yet to use but that is neither here nor there, I have not had time yet. But I will. I swear.

Anyway, with two small boxes that needed to be used up I decided to quench Wesley's bordem and turn them into crafty kid projects. First we did glittery stars for their room. I didn't take step by step pictures of them (sorry) but they were super easy to do. First I drew stars on the cardboard (they were by no means perfect, but I liked the eclectic shapes we came up with. If you are a perfectionist then use a cookie cutter or stensil to outline them before you cut them out). Then I took a one hole punch and punched a hole in each one so we could hang them later. Then came the fun (and messy) part-glue and glitter. I used some of Martha Stewart's craft glue for glitter. I can't say that it was super special or anything (you could certainly use Elmer's glue or tacky glue) but it did a good job. We brushed the glue on all over the stars then poured on the glitter, making sure we covered the whole star. We let them dry, the did the back side. After they were all dry we shook off any stray glitter (although it will continue to fall off and get everywhere, just a warning. I mean, it is glitter.). then I took fishing line and threaded it through the stars, I knotted it so it would stay on. In the boys room we deicded to hang them infront of th window so I got three of those command hooks (clear plastic ones) and hung one on each side of the window and one in the middle (if you don't put the one in the middle up they will all slide towards the middle). Then we tied on the stars to the fishing line I hang up on the hooks. We staggered them, it turned out really cute.

We used silver, red and white glitter because that is what we had on hand. I would NOT recommend the white glitter (maybe if you were using white cardboard) because it doesn't really cover. I wish we had gold glitter to use, that would have been pretty. I think it would be cool to do a rainbow of colors. We did do two stars where we mixed all the glitter together but it didn't turn out well. I don't recomment doing that either unless it's a premixed rainbow glitter. Even then I think the soild colors look the best.

Then we took one of the boxes we had cut the flaps off of to make the stars and made a castle out of it. Even if you have no "skills" you can still do this. Seriously. You will need a cardboard box (size small, you can buy one at Home Depot or Lowes if you haven't moved recently), a pair of sharp scissors or X-acto knife, grey, brown and black paint, two pieces of green felt and a hot glue gun.
I drew the top of the castle walls with a marker then cut them out. I cut out a door on the side and the drawbridge. Make sure you cut  the drawbridge carefully and don't cut the bottom. This way it can be closed and opened to keep out the bad knights!

Close up of the walls and turrents. I drew on the windows because I wasn't going to paint them, I was going to cut them out then decided against it.

Drawbridge close up.

Painted. We painted it all grey ( with those sponge brushes). It took almost the whole bottle but covered most of everything nicely. Then I added the stone details (again, with the sponge brushes, they give you a nice pointy flat edge to do this with). I painted the door brown and added lines to make it look like peices of wood. Then I painted on the windows in the turrents.

Side view. I used hot glue and glued on smooshed up crepe paper to make "bushes" along the side. Not necessary.

I just laid down two peices of flet to make the inner court of the castle. You don't have to do this, I just thought it would look nice and give the horses a place to "graze". But you can color it as you wish or leave it plain. We also hot glued a strip of cardboard to the innerside (look to the left of the inside of the castle) so that the archers could stand up there and guard the castle. You could add them all around if you wanted. There is also a well (sliceof a toilet paper tube and some fabric scraps) and a fire in there.

To make a fire: take a bottle cap (we did paint it grey), use that hot glue gun and glue in two fake atumn colored leaves. Now they can cook. Or heat up hot oil to keep the enemy away. 
Then, let your little knight (or princess) have fun! Wesley uses his Lego guys but you could make this for playmobile charachters or whatever you have.

The big 3-0!

I had about a million things to blog about in the past week but every time I would get on the computer my mom would yell at me for being on the computer "all the time" even though it sat in my room, untouched, for most of the week except when I was giving away all her stuff for free on craigslist. So, really, most of my computer time was spent doing stuff for her but whatever.

It was a very exciting vacation. You have already heard about the wedding and the found wedding photos. Then came the most exciting event of all: My 30th birthday weekend extravaganza! I know, I can't believe I am 30 now. Thirty. 3-0. Three decades. I remember thinking as a kid that 30 was sooooooooo far off, that I would never reach it. And now, here I am. I am excited though. I think the next decade is going to be a good one. Even if, by the end of it I will have a teenager who is getting a learners permit and an 11 year old (no, that can't be possible). Ok, enough scareing myself with visions of the future. Lets get to the really important stuff-my birthday loot.

My dear, dear, husband got me an iphone for my birthday a couple weeks ago. I call it my "ihusband" because it does everything for me except take out the trash. I love it. We will be celebrating our one month anniversary next week. Ah, new love. My mom sent me out for a manicure and pedicure while she watched the boys (and she took me out to lunch). I decided to rebel against turning thirty and got my nails painted a lovely lavender color. However, it backfired on me because instead of my mom complaining about the color I pick (Why do you pick those crazy colors? Why all the dark shades? Why can't you pick out a nice pink?) she said it looked nice. Now, I know my mom and she wouldn't just say that because it was my birthday. I am actually picking colors my mother approves of now. Oy. I am getting old!

My brother Kyle and his wife-to-be Ashley got me a very nice card, $30 in itunes gift cards and a Peppermint Patty. Yum. I had to hide it from Wesley so the little weasel wouldn't steal it. They then went with me to see Wesley sing the songs he learned at Vacation Bible School. That was a gift in itself, it was awesome to see him up there singing and dancing and then, of course, Henry would NOT be left out so he toddled his way up there and started dancing and trying to do the hand motions too. So. Frickin'. Cute. Wesley also made me lots of post-it notes with "I love you" written on them. I will be keeping them forever. Then my brother Brad stopped by and gave me my gift from him and his girlfriend Lauren (hi Lauren!) -a cheese dish from Crate and Barrel. I love it and have already used it. It made the cheese taste MUCH better.

My dad pays for my XM every year, so that is my brithday present from him. Then I went to Sephora where everyone wished me a Happy Birthday and I got a FREE bottle of Philosophy shower gel in Vanilla Birthday Cake. Love it.

On Saturday I had a small get-together with my family:Christopher, Wesley and Henry, my mom and dad, Debbie (my mother-in-law), Brad and Lauren, Kyle and Ashley, and Seth and Kaelee (they are my brother and sister also). We had steamed crabs, if you are ever in Maryland you have to try them.
Now that is a bushel of crabs!

Ready to feast! Just look at all that Old Bay.

Christopher looking a big evil here.

Just get someone to teach you how to open them. Or, better yet, invite me to show you how to open them. ;) We grilled out and had Utz potato chips and sodas and "Boh-tinis".
Lauren and her "Bohtini". Take a Natty Boh, rim the top with Old Bay, pop open and enjoy!
Three Amigos. Brad, Kyle, Christopher.

'Cause babies taste better with a little Old Bay on them.

Ashley, me, and Lauren.

Me and my future sister in law!

Naked baby. If you are wondering where Wesley was, he spent about 95% of the time holed up in Seth's room playing XBox. He came out for cake though. 

After we had gorged ourselves on crabs and it started to drizzle we all headed inside (and out of the heat!) where we had family sing along time.
Just like the Von Trapp Family. Minus the Nazis. And the ability to sing together, in tune.

Henry's first guitar lesson.
Then is was time for CAKE! It look forever to light all the candles. Which we didn't have enough of and had to use a number 7 candle to have a total of 31 (30 + 1 to grow on).
Lighting the candles...

...and still lighting.....

Finally! Done!

Hilarious picture of Brad singing "Happy Birthday" to me. 

Other random pictures from my big day:
Dad and me.

Mom leaving with Henry.

Bros before....wait, that doesn't apply here.

Ashley looks like she is going to shiv Kyle. She is definetly ready to be his wife! :)

Brad looking a bit dazed. Too much Old Bay perhaps?

My mother-in-law brought me my gift: two jars of "Oh My Gourgeous" body cream and-wait for it-and "Peaches and Cream" Barbie doll.

I still have my original one-except she is missing all her accessories and he hands are all chewed up because of our stupid dog. But she was my favorite and the only one I kept. I was telling my mother-in-law about it and she remember and got it for me. I seriously wanted to take it out of the box and play with it but 1) my brothers would have totally made fun of me 2) I would have had to share with my little sister (she is seven, and it would look bad if, as the older sister I did not share or play nicely and set a good example) and 3) I am thirty and thirty year olds don't play with Barbies......right? Maybe. I am still thinking about taking her out of the box, dressing her up, brushing her hair. I am sure I could find a way for Peaches and Cream Barbie to play along with Darth Vader and the AT-AT. Riiiiiggghtttttt.......

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seven long years ago....

All this preparing for my brother's upcoming wedding has got me thinking about  my own wedding day 7 years ago. On June 26th, Christopher and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary. Since he was home this year and we were up in Maryland visiting we went out to a VERY nice champagne brunch (no kids!) then visited with friends of ours, the Kellers. It was nice to be "dating" again-all dressed up on a Sunday to just hang out and have a glass of wine with other adults without having to worry about naps or bottles or teething or anything else!

As my mom was cleaning out her house to put it on the market this week she found a bunch of CDs with wedding pictures from our wedding on it that the officiant's wife had taken for us. So, I thought I would share some wedding pictures of our big day.

Peeking through the window at everyone arriving.

Me and my brothers, from L-R, Kyle, Seth and Brad.

Pretty in pink! My mother in law, me and my mom. Of course, my mom did have some crazy poodle-type hair going on that day (sorry Mom!).

Really need to figure out that rotation thing on here. Anyway, my dad walking me down the aisle. He was so sad. He likes my husband very much but was not ready to give his baby girl away. I had to practically drag him down the aisle!

Kissy, kissy!

Waiting around for family photos to be taken.

Mr. and Mrs.!

This was our appetizer table. It was AWESOME. Two friends put this together for us, the food (what little I had of it) was excellent and it was so pretty.

Our cake. Ok, so, the cake was NOT supposed to look like this. I wish I still had the picture of what it was supposed to look like but I am pretty sure that she lost it, forgot what it was supposed to look like, and tried to fix her mistake at the last minute. I wish she would have just left it white instead of trying to turn it into an aqua blue (it should have been french blue fondant with white flowers all over it. She got the flowers right). At least it tasted good. And seven years later people are STILL talking about our wedding cake, which usually doesn't happen.

Stealing a moment for ourselves.

Wedding Shower!

This past Saturday I helped host a bridal shower for my future sister-in-law Ashley. I am SUPER excited she is going to be marrying my brother Kyle (and keeping him in line) so I really wanted to make the shower speical for her. She is one of the nicest, sweetest people you could meet and she deserved a special day. The shower was held at her parent's house and I was in charge of the decorations. With some help from the maid of honor, my brother (thr groom-to-be) and the bride-to-be herself we made tissue paper floating orbs, hung up streamers and bells and put together a candy bar. A few weeks ago I was freaking out over doing decorations (mainly because I have champagne ideas on a beer budget!) but we made it work and it was beautiful.

The cake! So yummy, it was lemon cake with butter cream icing.

The Bride-to-be's chair! Like the umbrella? Granny bought it and I thought that she was going to shiv me if I didn't hang it up even though I was not prepared to hang up an umbrella and there was no "easy" way to do it. Luckily I am smart and was able to Macguyver it up there.

The Maid-of-honor's chair.

Decorations! We hung these with fishing line, genius! They are still hanging up because they liked them so much!

My brother Kyle decorated the front banister. Not bad for someone with only one X chromosome. ;)

Candy Bar! When I first mentioned this to my husband he thought we were literally going to make a giant candy bar. Then I showed him pictures. This was a HUGE hit and like the decorations the candy table is still up at their house. We had Kyle and Ashley tell us their favorite candies and we tried to get as many as we could.

The Happy Couple!
The party went great, the food was fantastic (he aunt made most of it, it was delish!), the sangria was tasty and everyone had a good time.

Opening up my gift: a chips and dip bowl. The girl is gonna have to learn how to make guac now that she is part of the family! Or at least have something to serve it in when I come over and bring it. :)

My cousin Caroline, the flower girl, my Aunt Karen and me.

SUPER excited over her mixer! She is so cute.

Ok, so picture taking did not go so well because there were 50 million cameras and no one knew which way to look. This is, Amanda (a bridesmaid) Anne (the bride-te-be's mom), Candace and Anna (sisters of the bride and bridesmaids) Ashley, my mom and me (also going to be a bridesmaid).  
We had a great day and then Ashley and I had a great time talking by the pool and getting to know each other a little better. I stayed way to late, but then I got to see the special end they have planned for their wedding: chinese lanterns! They are going to have all the guests light them and let them go at the end of the wedding. And for the eco-friendly, they are biodegradeable. :)
Just like in "Tangled".