Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the bates motel

Well, not really that bad. The hotel I'm residing in tonight leaves a lot bit to be desired for the rate I'm paying. Unfortunately there's some huge baseball thing going on here in Wichita and Fairfield Inn was all I could get. At $119.00 a night, you would think I could at least get a complete room (see pictures after the jump). On the other hand, I'm safe and have a place to sleep for tonight.

Needless to say, I'm excited to go home to KC tomorrow. Today was long and tiring, and tomorrow will be no different. However, I do have to give mad props to whoever invented the concept of the GPS. As far as I'm concerned, it stands for "Girl Placement System". I'm not familiar with Wichita geographically, and that little do-dad on my console got me every place I needed to be. On time and most importantly, accident free. God bless technology.

Left side nightstand

Right side nightstand- are we missing something here? It's like living in my first apartment all over again!

I know, I know...

Yes, I've been slacking on the blog this week, but I have a reason...I'm working my hind quarters into the ground in Wichita this week on calls and luncheons. Last night I stayed at one Nola's house (of my best friends from high school), but tonight I'll be at a hotel. Hopefully then I can get a decent post churned out...but we'll just have to see, won't we? Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

come hell or high water

They say violence is a learned behavior. If it weren't for Brad and Janette's cool heads this weekend, our children might have had a serious lesson in violence from their step-mother....

Grandma Janette and cousin Aiden came down to Kansas City to visit us and the girls. Friday night we ate at T-Rex Restaurant, and Saturday ventured to Crown Center for lunch and puppet shows. When the temp reached 4,360 degrees, we collectively decided to go to the swimming pool. Great idea, right? I cleverly remembered that near Brad's old duplex was a brand new swimming pool complete with water slides, a big dumping barrel of water, and a huge concession area. Perfect!

We loaded up the three kids into car seats. We drove for 35 minutes in mass amounts of construction. We anticipated the cool water across our backs. And we arrived, only to be stopped at the gate. Apparently this particular pool was paid for by the taxes of the law abiding citizens of Shawnee, KS. Unless we could provide identification proving that we were Shawnee residents, we were not allowed in. WHAT? I seem to remember living in Shawnee for a year and a half. I paid my damn taxes while that pool was being built and I was surviving on ramen noodles and vodka. And now just because I moved away, we can't GO IN? Needless to say, I seriously contemplated strangling the pubescent child behind the counter. I asked for (a.k.a rudely demanded) the manager, who turned out to be approximately 17, complete with out-of-the-box highlights and teeth whiter than bleached Chicklets. He calmly examined his cuticles while reciting Section 4.32 of the Shawnee Criminal Pool Code Handbook. We were sunk without even stepping foot into a pool.

Dejected, we drove a few miles away to the Merriam City pool. By the grace of God, Brad managed to locate his car registration that listed his old Merriam address. It was a good thing too, because sure enough, the pool Nazi's reside in Merriam too. They asked for ID. With shaking hands Brad presented the registration, claiming we didn't have ID with us. I felt like we were trying to smuggle coke across the Mexican border. Satisfied we weren't illegal aliens trying to steal precious swim time from their citizens, the lifeguard let Brad's car registration grant us entrance...complete with the $5.00 per person entry fee. For that much money, we could have bought a big-ass blow-up pool from Target and made our own damn sandwiches. Yes, I'm still bitter.

We didn't let the pool debacle derail our good times, and we all had a wonderful weekend. The girls got some new clothes and shoes and got to spend time with cousin Aiden. Grandma Janette and Aiden left early this morning, and Brad headed to Vegas at around 12.45. Now it's me and the girls for another half hour before I take them home to Liberty. They're working hard on thank you cards for Grandma while I blog. We're just a buncha creative sistah's sitting around the table on a hot Sunday afternoon. I'd take them to the pool , but Janette and Brad aren't there to stop me from killing someone.

Future Paleontologists of America- The Kansas City Chapter

Aiden getting our food at Fritz's

In front of Fritz's- A Kansas City tradition!

Choo Choo hats!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

thursday shoes

Should you ever find that you require tidbits of information about me (for instance Christmas, birthday or general shopping) and you can't think of one thing you honestly, truly know, today's your lucky day. I am coming out of the style closet. I am obsessed with houndstooth. I don't know why, and I don't care who knows it. I love houndstooth. The end. If I could open a store that sold nothing but houndstooth in blue, pink, gray purple and taupe, I would do it. I love it so much I would wear 80's mauve houndstooth. Therefore, my Thursday shoe this week is especially close to my heart. My closet already has a heel that looks just like this minus the yellow accents. However, I find the yellow to be unique and remind me of bananas, which I also love. So - houndstooth good, banans good, shoe good. That will be all, class. You're dismissed.

the dream (or death) machine

Hubs' dream has finally come true.

In the upcoming days he will be the proud of owner of a death machine- known to everyone else as a motorcycle.

Several months ago I confessed to Hubs that for our anniversary I was buying him one of two things: a bike (boo) or the opportunity to get the porcelain teeth veneers he's always wanted ( rah rah!).

I was quite confident he'd choose the veneers, and simply offered the bike so it appeared that he had a choice in the matter.

(Because really, I make all the decisions around here.)

Who would choose a bike over porcelain veneers and a perfect smile? The answer is, of course, Hubs. My plan backfired and I have now agreed to let my husband purchase the one thing I told him I'd never sign off on.

Lesson learned? For a man, an engine trumps beauty every time. Who knew?

Because I'm all too aware of how picky Hubs is about his possessions, I opted out of buying a random bike and surprising him with it in the garage. I was too scared I'd hear, "Oh, you got that kind of a bike? Not really what I had in mind, babe." Therefore, I gave Hubs a budget and carte blanche to purchase whatever bike he wanted that fell within that number.

After countless hours on craig's list and ebay motors, Hybs has finally found his baby. Ironically, it's in Iowa and Hubs' brother delivered the deposit to the seller this afternoon. So, very soon we will have a new addition to the family.

(For those of you keeping count, that's 3 motor objects in our driveway with a one car garage. We have officially reached "used car lot" status.)

Above is the picture of Hubs' bike model. Or something like it.

(I'm not into details.)

When the real thing arrives at our house I'll be sure to post some pictures. And though I sound horribly bitter, I will admit that Hubs is a very careful driver and I wouldn't have offered to get the bike if I didn't trust him.

(Although WHY couldn't have picked the RIGHT gift?)

It's always been his dream to have a bike, and who am I to smash that dream? He's assured me that he will stick to side roads and stay off the highway as much as possible. Now I can rest easy.... or not. Is there a support group for wives of bike riders? I could easily start one.

WAMD - "Wives Against Motocrycle Drivers"?

AHHW - "Alive Husbands, Happy Wives". I think I'll look into this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

road to nowhwere

Ever pull into your driveway but have no clue how you got there? I'm not talking about last weekend when you drank too much Pinot at Blonde and someone dared you to drive home. I'm talking honestly, totally sober and just don't know how you got from A to B? This happened to me today and I have to say, not a comforting thought that I can drive for 25 minutes and not remember so much as a stop light.

This all started as I left one of my favorite design firms this morning. After an amazing presentation with my lovely designers, I walked out to the van and began thinking about all the things that need to get done. I've got loads of piddly stuff to do for work that keeps evading me, the laundry is constantly overflowing and we have nothing but condiments and Red Bull to eat in the house. Next thing I knew I was in a Target parking lot. Okaayyyy...

Obviously something was drawing me to this store, so into Target I walked, with no purpose. At the end of my perusing each and every aisle, I had a can of hair spray for Brad and some chocolates for my next appointment. Satisfied I had everything I needed, (notice there is no food for our house in my cart) I checked out and called Brad to inform him that he now has hairspray. He laughed at me. Apparently three weeks ago he shaved his head, so hairspray is rather superfluous at this juncture. Where have I been?

I'm now safe at home and attempting to get some work underway. Wouldn't it be nice if I could finish all my work and not have a clue how it got completed? Somehow I don't see it happening.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

all time weird

Want a newborn but don't desire the stretch marks and fat ass it takes to get one? Perhaps you should indulge in the creepiest toy this side of TeleTubbies. Destiny's Reborn Babies are probably the most disturbing new "thing" on the market I've ever seen. Go ahead, look at the web-site. These are not real babies. The weirdest thing is, I think they're intended more for adults than children. But WHY? I guess maybe if you're really old and miss the company of a newborn in your house? Or maybe they're for 27 year-old blogging wannabe Mom's that aren't ready for a baby yet. Maybe they're good practice for if your baby is mute? I've run all the possible reasons, and haven't found a good one yet.

On the flip side, they are very life-like and extremely cute. But hand-on-the-Bible, I could not go to bed at night with one of these suckers in my house. I would have nightmares beyond which the normal human mind can comprehend. Their eyes look real. And it appears to me that you can rearrange them on their side, their back or whatever position strikes your fancy. I can't help but picture a housewife buying one of these babies unbeknownst to her husband. Can't you just see the husband coming home from work only to find a crib and blankets where his favorite recliner used to reside? Now that would be a sight I'd pay money to see.

late thursday shoes

I was sick last Thursday, so I neglected to put up Thursday shoes. But don't worry, I've retrieved the pair I was planning on posting. For your viewing pleasure, the Balenciaga ankle strap sandal. Everyone loves a red shoe, but a red shoe with amazing detail? We have a winner. Normally I'm not a fan of sheos with the heel a different color than the main part of the shoe, but this one pulls it off nicely with the black continuing onto the sole of the shoe. The thicker heel helps this firecracker not seem so "dainty". After all, you can't be a wall flower and pull these shoes off. The faint of heart need not apply for these bad boys. Neither should the poor. At $580, you might have to open a charge card, but wouldn't it soooo be worth it?

Shhh, if you listen quietly you can hear my Dad banging his head against the wall saying, "Where did we go wrong with this child?"

Monday, July 21, 2008

doctors know zilch.

After three days of a headache behind my eyes, I broke down and went to the doctor today. Why I will never know. My doctor with the big PhD on her wall and gigantic 3.5 carat diamond on her finger had not one clue as to what was going on with my head. She scratched hers an awful lot, though. I suggested that perhaps because I ran out of birth control while sick and was unable to go get my prescription, the lack of hormones my body is used to getting is causing a headache. After hearing my guess, she cocked her head, looked at me and said, "You know, your body might be reacting to the lack of estrogen that it is accustomed to getting." Give this woman a medal of honor! She's making miracles in that doctor's office!!!

In the end, I accepted a shot in the derriere (that did not work for more than an hour) and went on my way. So let's recap: I paid $20 for a visit to the doctor that informed me of nothing new, only that from now on I'm sticking to self-diagnosis. I still have my headache, I'm still finding it difficult to work with blinding shots of pain through my eyes and my bank account is emptier than before. What a way to start the week.

Out of my hands

That's it, I give up. I'm going to the doctor today. All last week I was sick with a headache, sore throat and fever. Finally on Friday the fever and sore throat kicked the bucket and left me, but the headache remains. This is the weirdest headache I've ever had. Right behind my eyes, so anytime I look left, right, up or down, it pulsates and hurts. The even weirder thing is, it's not so intolerable that I need to stay home or anything, it's just a pain in the butt! I can't have this headache forever, it makes it hard to be on the computer, talk a lot, or even run around. Therefore, rather than leave it up to my body to decide when to get rid of this cranial discomfort, I'm going to try and make an appointment with the doctor today. Hopefully she can shed some light on the subject. Oooh light...that makes the head hurt, too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Under the weather

I hate being sick. And that's exactly what I am. No clue what it is, but it involes constant fevers, headaches and sore throats. Knowing my history it's strep. Might try and get into the doctor today considering this is day 3 of this nonsense. My mom lovingly came to watch over me yesterday since Brad was in Vegas. She watched movies with me all day and I actually fell asleep for 4 hours knowing she was there. Mom's make everything better.

I'm going to go sleep now...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

That was fast

Well, my first official rejection letter has been received in just under 24 hours! Woo hoo! I'm that much closer to being accepted, right? One thing I think the book business will give me is thick skin. This would be good since at the moment, I'm pretty sure my skin is not only transparent but also full of tiny little holes. Time to toughen up and take it like a man. Even Ernest Hemingway got rejected a few times.

I Heart Positiveness

Comments are good. They're like a little word present every time I check my blog. Thanks for all of you that left comments or emailed to tell me to give the publishing game a try. Your positivity is contagious. To that end, I've submitted a few query letters to agents and publishing houses based on what types of work they publish. We shall see. For the most part, every book and article I've read reasures that the first try at getting published will most likely not work. That that makes sense, considering after college it took me over 19 resumes and 5 interviews to get a job in which I had an actual degree. I shouldn't expect to break into the book world overnight. But I still do anyway.

On a "finally" note, below are some photos from Brad's aunt JoAnn's 50th wedding anniversary a few weeks back. I've been a bit of a snail about getting them up, but here they are!

The happy couple! 50 years and still going strong.

Grandma Janette and her mini-me, Brei.

The kids entertaining themselves in the nursery/playroom.

Our wing of the Larkin family

Dick and JoAnn's family

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Write Stuff?

Unless you live under a large rock, you have most likely realized that I have a mild obsession with writing. Ever since I was able to form letters into words I've been fascinated with composing stories, articles, and unrequested love letters. As an elementary school student, I won several writing competitions and was vice principal for a day because of a "Say No to Drugs" essay I wrote at the age of 12. In 4th grade I won a small tree because of my essay explaining how well I would care for it. The tree ultimately died 3 months later, but my writing was superb.

All of my teachers believed I would someday become a professional writer, but until now blogging has satisfied my itch (and the 20 completely filled journals in my basement). However, I now find myself wanting something more; I want to write a book. No, I don't want to compose the Great American Novel, nor do I need to be as famous as James Patterson. I'd probably settle for a well-written article in Playboy. Most people subscribe for the articles, you know.

This weekend I checked out several books on getting published and have busied myself with reading them while Brad is in Vegas. Today I got all kinds of excited reading about the "how to's" of getting published. But as I read further, I began to get discouraged. The book I'm writing is a sassy, snarky memoir/non-fictional book about wedding planning. A "Bitches Guide" to planning a wedding, if you will. Based loosely (meaning completely) on my wedding experience a year ago, it's funny, kind of dirty and I'd buy it if I saw it on the shelf. Unfortunately, most of these "expert" books explain that in order to get non-fiction published, you must first be an expert in your field (i.e. a published author with credentials coming out your nether regions in spades). I do not fit this mold. To my knowledge, I have only been published once. My story "Anyway" was published in the Kansas Young Authors annual book in 1989. The story was approximately 150 words long. Not exactly a qualified credential.

So, do I send out some query letters and book proposals anyway just to see what happens? I believe I will. The worst that can happen is a rejection letter, right? And besides, if "Everybody Poops" can get published, I'm pretty certain my little book deserves a chance. I wonder what kind of credentials that author had....

One Year Ago Today....

Happy first anniversary, Hubs! I love you more than anything! You've made me the happiest girl on the planet...

Click to play Wedding Album

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

With an Ink and a Smile...

Word of warning: Long post for tonight!

July 14th, 2007 I was lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams. And on Monday, I will celebrate that day with my husband- over the telephone. Unfortunately Hubs will be in Las Vegas for work on the "official" anniversary of our wedding. But we were determined to make it work and decided to celebrate on Saturday.

The plan was for Grandma and Grandpa and the kids to attend both Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun on Saturday. But it rained. And continued to rain for the majority of the day. Therefore the original plan was botched and replaced with an indoor play park and an evening showing of "Wall-E"instead. As Hubs and I waved good-bye to the kids for the afternoon I got a little excited. A WHOLE Saturday and night to spend with my hub. In Kansas City. That's as rare as my favorite steak.

After the kids and Grandma and Grandpa left, Brad said he had something I would be extremely excited to see. He hopped up the stairs and returned with his book bag.

Curious, I watched as he dug around inside the bag, only to produce something I'd been missing for a long, long time. The bracelet we got on our first date. Mine had broken months ago, but Hubs located it and decided to re-gift it to me on our anniversary. I examined the broken bracelet and determined that it was absolutely fixable with a little super glue, but Hubs worried I was expecting a little more for an anniversary gift.

I assured him that no, this was absolutely perfect, and turned to place the bracelet on the table. I turned back only to find him standing before me with a Helzberg Diamond bag, saying, "Maybe this would be a little better?" Cue the water works.

My loving Hubs bought me the anniversary band for my ring. Though the ring needs to be sized, it will be absolutely perfect and I was completely shocked. My man knows how to knock a woman on her butt.

Next up it was my turn to face my fears, all in the name of love. One year ago, Hubs tried to give me a wedding present of his and hers matching tattoos bearing our wedding date.

One of us held up our end of the bargain.

Though I had convinced myself I could do it, when the time came to sit in the chair last year, I ran like a scared three year old. But one year later I was determined to get my tattoo before the mark of our anniversary.

We drove to "Freaks" tattoo parlor and commissioned the same artist that inked Hubs. He was such a sweet guy (and uber clean, a definite plus) and did all he could to put me at ease. Not an easy task. In the end, I found myself in the chair, iodine on my neck,a horrible buzzing in my ear, thinking, "Oh my God this is the end for me." Hubs held my hand and spoke soothing words. I don't remember a thing he said, I was too busy freaking out. Maybe that's why the parlor is called "Freaks"??

Because of the location of my tattoo, I was unable to watch the procedure. This was good. Had I been able to view anything I might have just ripped the needle apparatus from the unsuspecting artist, shoved it in his eye and screamed, "SEE IF YOU LIKE IT!!"

Instead, I patiently waited for the pain to come. And waited a little more. And then it showed up. In spades.

Call me a wimp, call me a coward; I am probably both.

I cried. Then I shook while I cried. Eric (the artist) told me to try and remain still. So I cried harder because I was a lousy patient. Which made me shake, and made Eric's job harder.

Hubs took pictures.

(Consequently, I will have Hubs patted down and thoroughly examined before he is allowed in the delivery room when we have our first child.)

Five minutes later I was the proud owner of a small tattoo that matched my husbands. Eric did a fantastic job in spite of my 4.0 Richter scale shaking. The tat looked great, Hubs was proud of me and I must say so was I.

I was inked. (Pictures below)

All of the day's excitement called for a little celebration in the form of a fabulous dinner at "Hereford House" at Zona Rosa. A medium rare steak, a little red wine and amazing conversation were on the menu. Hubs and I talked about the past year and decided we'd be all right if this year was a little less crazy. Since our wedding we have been through: the end of two old jobs, the acquiring of two new jobs, two new cars, a new house, a new baby niece, and a job that requires travel to Vegas once every week.

It's time to slow it down. (This severely interrupts my baby plans.)

Post dinner it was off to Hyatt Place for a nice hotel room, some champagne and the eating of year old wedding cake.

I won't lie. It tasted like....year old wedding cake. So we had one bite, drowned the aftertaste with champagne and made a new vow - to never eat year old cake again.

Our Saturday celebration together was absolutely perfect, and I'm glad I can share it with all of you. I wouldn't change a thing about this past year and I am looking forward to many more exciting years to come. Thanks to everyone who loved and supported us in this our first year of marriage. We'll be calling you in the future to ask for more help in tough and happy times, so don't you worry about that going away. We'll always be here.

PS- Yes, I gave Hubs an anniversary present, and when he finally chooses/buys it, I will put up pictures!

Click to play Anniversary
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Shoes

I'm all about comfort. And hotness. Therefore wedges are all the rage in my closet. They're comfy, classy and most importantly- comfy. The best thing about wedges is a 3" heel feels like a flat. Support is always there for your strength-challenged ankles and, even better, grates on the sidewalk will no longer send you diving for solid ground. Gravy.

Today I have selected a shoe that I've already purchased and received numerous "where did you get those?" comments. My friends, the Payless Shoe Source "Hiatus Stacked Wedge" by Fioni. In super hot orange. Where else can you spend $22.99 and come out looking hotter than Kim Cattrall on a good sex day?

Sucker with a capital "S"

You'll all be glad to know that the phone-popcorn-blowup video I posted yesterday is a complete load of bull, and also an advertisement to use blue-tooth. Now that's some creative advertising. I don't feel so hot about being duped, though. I'm not sure why I'm prone to believe everything I see/hear/read on the internet is gospel. I should know better. Except for US Magazine, those stories come straight from the lips of St. Peter.

So I'm back to attaching my phone to the side of my ear and never letting it touch the ground. Obviously I know it's not good for me, but we're all gonna die of something right? I might as well fry my brain like a yummy chicken tender dipped in delicious ranch sauce. Crap, now I'm hungry.

And speaking of food, yesterday I had some delicious lobster ravioli at a wonderful little Bistro in Brookside for lunch. The sauce was rich and moist and bright orange, and probably one of the best ravioli's I've ever given my taste buds the opportunity to enjoy. My warm fuzzy's for the meal quickly ended though, as I drove down Metcalf an hour later and realized I was two seconds from puking all over my orange leather seats. At least it would have matched. Thankfully I was able to pull over and expel my meal on the side of the road drunken-teenager style. So hot.

I quickly called the voice of reason (a.k.a. Brad) crying and he reminded me how quickly and violently my stomach tends to react when given extremely rich food items. He suggested I head home, lay down and take some Pepto. And that's exactly what I did. By the time Brad got home last night I was feeling better, but he still took the night off from finishing the basement to watch a movie with me. Awwww.

Tonight, my friends, is concert night. My first one in a long time. Brad and I are making the trek across our street to behold every wannabe rock star's favorite toker band, 311, and every hooker who needs a break into porn's favorite singer, Snoop Dogg. Two very different types of music, one helluva good time. One of my besties and her hub-lub are supposed to be accompanying us on our journey to Sandstone. Unfortunately they're having a tough time acquiring a baby-sitter, so it may just be us and Brad's friend Ross. Either way, I'm planning on letting loose and having a few brews. As an added bonus, if I get sick tonight I'm only 200 yards from my front door. Real estate is all about location....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Holy Crap

You know all those Dateline and 20/20 shows where Babby Walters sits around and tells you what not to do in an effort to save your life? There's always a new scare; tomatoes gone bad, mad cow disease, that crazy bird thing, West Nile. I usually watch those shows and think for a moment "ooh, that's scary", but in the back of my mind I know I'm probably going to be okay. Well my friends, I am officially scared to death now. Brad's Aunt Joy sent me a video today that made me seriously reconsider the use of my cell phone ever, ever again. However, considering I use a phone basically all day long for my job, my enthusiasm will probably not last long. Still, this video really gives you something to think about. It makes me want to "Sprint" to the nearest body of water and hurl my phone into it.

Once again I'm having issues with posting the video, so just follow the link below.

Birthday Wishes!

Happy birthday yesterday to my Daddy and to Brad's step-mom Jan! How bizarre is it that they share the same birthday? Except Jan is 34 and Dad is 37. So they're not exactly the same age. :)

We hope you guys had a wonderful day with lots of excitement. Sorry we couldn't be there, but we did see you this weekend so that's something, right?

Sunday and Tuesday

Saturday at Brad's Grandpa's house was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed the time we got to spend with all the family. However, on Sunday morning we were off and running again, this time to Des Moines to visit Janette (Brad's Mom). We had a fantastic steak lunch with macaroni and cheese (of course) and sipped Dr. Pepper as we told our tales of the weekend. The girls got to play with their cousin Aiden and a little girl from next door that was visiting her Grandma.

After lunch we headed over to a good friend of Janette's whose granddaughter also happened to be visiting. Scout is just about Taylor's age and they became instant friends. All four kids and almost all the adults (Brad forgot his trunks) took advantage of the cool water and swam for a good hour and a half. Dolt that I am, I didn't take any pictures. I was too busy trying to breathe. The water dropped about 6 degrees as clouds rolled in and rain started to sprinkle and I slowly began to turn into a popsicle. Of course the kids paid no attention at all and wanted to remain in the pool the rest of the day. After finally convincing them to get out (Taylor's lips were bright purple) we went back to Grandma Janette's and loaded up the car to head back to KC. WHEW!

Three different grandparent visits in one weekend! I think we set a new record. But it was worth it because we got to see everyone and had a blast doing it. Now next year maybe we'll just stay home and sleep the entire weekend!

I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Part 2- Saturday the 5th

When we last left the Antisdels on their trip around the Midwest, they were ending a fabulous 4th of July at Lake Shawnee in Topeka, KS...

On Saturday mrning, we packed up and went back to our house, unloaded the camping gear and re-packed clothes for the rest of the weekend. Then it was back on the road heading to Iowa. We stopped for some lunch at delicious McDonald's and were happily chewing away when suddenly Makayla yelped in the back seat. Her front tooth had fallen out. In her hamburger. Ew. Thankfully the blood didn't scare her as she was more excited about "the loot" the Tooth Fairy would no doubt be bringing to her that evening. Before she had a chance to drop the tooth and lose it forever, I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures.

After the tooth excitement, we got back on the road and drove for 3 hours up to Creston, IA. Bill (Brad's Dad) was having a family reunion at his Dad's farm. The property was beautiful and full of history. I got a chance to meet several of Bill's relatives and siblings and we all enjoyed the fabulous weather. After chowing down on delicious home made ice cream and watching the kids fire up sparklers, we got back in the van and made the 1.5 hour trip back up to Ankeny, where we had dinner at Josh and Nicole's (my sister and brother-in-law's) new house. I didn't snap pictures while we were there unfortunately, but I did take some of baby Brei earlier in the day. Check 'em out before we cover Sunday...

Just chew on a hamburger to yank a tooth out!

Her front tooth

Brei playing patty-cake...I think

Pulling on Grandma Jan's earring. So much fun!

All smiles!

Day 1 of July 4th weekend...

My apologies for the break in blogging. I took a vacation from it for the weekend of the 4th! Even if I wanted to I wouldn't have had time to blog. We traveled approximately 600 miles this weekend in a span of three days and I am pooped. I'll go through the days one by one, this could take awhile...
Friday we loaded up the van with our tent, lawn chairs, swimming suits and every possible outdoor activity known to man and headed to Lake Shawnee for the Arnold 4th of July celebration. Each year my parents and their neighborhood friends rent out several spots at the lake, eat large quantities of food and camp 'til they drop.
All of the gals and kiddies enjoyed swimming at the lake Friday while the boys went golfing. That evening we all gathered around the picnic tables and dined on perfectly tender barbecue ribs. Just as night rolled in, we sat our lawn chairs out in a row and watched the spectacular fireworks show. After the fireworks ended and it was time for bed. Only problem was, not everyone in the vicinity considered 10.30 to be bedtime. It was pretty difficult falling asleep in a tent with M-80's going off every three minutes. Surprisingly the girls went right to sleep with no problem. Eventually Brad and I nodded off as well, only to wake up and immediately hit the road on our way to Iowa. We had a great time at Lake Shawnee and hope to do it again soon!
Here's some photos from the Topeka leg of our Midwest 4th of July Tour. Next up is Iowa!!!
Ready for the lake!!


No fear Jacque was the first to let Grandma bury her in the sand

Makayla was next, and Taylor enthusiastically volunteered to bury her sister.

All covered up!

Finally free!

Tay's next!

Just a head in the sand.

Jacob opted for staying out of the dirty sand. And instead swam in dirty water.

Jacque and her flag.

Tay and her flag.

Makayla waving hers!

Minutes before the fireworks. Proud to be Americans!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday Shoes

Week #2 of Shoe Thursday has arrived, but in reality it's Friday! Woo hoo! So I decided to post some fun shoes to celebrate the short week. These little do-dads can be found on the Nordstrom web-site. No clue what I'd wear them with, but that's really the whole point. You buy the outfit to go with the shoes!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Because I Can

Today my sister-in-law Nicole randomly mentioned Muppet Babies, and that got me thinking. About a year ago this weekend I was doing nothing but thinking about Brad's and my up-coming wedding, and watching wedding movies constantly. One I didn't own and didn't get a chance to watch last year was "The Muppets Take Manhattan", one of my absolute favorite childhood movies. I always loved the end wedding scene and it still makes me cry when I watch it. You all are lucky I didn't make you sing to Brad and I like they do in the film.

After about three seconds of searching You Tube, I found my fave scene. So in honor of last year's constant movie marathons, I give you the wedding scene of "The Muppets Take Manhattan". I now pronounce you frog and pig...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I've Got a Fever...

and no, I don't want more cowbell. Most of you already know this, but I totally have unstoppable, mad, crazy, get-me-to-a-Target-registry baby fever.

About two weeks ago I managed to convinced myself I had gotten over it. We have enough going on with new jobs, bills, our beautiful daughters, the basement etc. etc. Whatever, I was totally kidding myself. Last night as I visited with our neighbors after my lock out experience, I got to hold their one month old son Barrett for about five minutes. And I contemplated stealing him.

I look at baby books. I look at baby shoes. I look at baby diapers and find them adorable. The idea of cleaning poo poo excites me. Each night as Hubs and I watch movies on the couch after a hard day, I'm not contemplating the plot line of the film we're watching.


I'm scheming reasons to go visit the neighbors. In fact, one might argue that my locking myself out of the house yesterday was a subconscious ploy to get myself over to Liz and Jeremy's to play with Barrett. Sick? Yes. True? It's not far off...

So yes, I admit it here for everyone to see. I have the fever. I'm accepting it, I'm embracing it. And besides, everyone else is doing it. One of our good friends is pregnant. Erin just had her baby. Missie has baby Brei. I have several friends that are trying. Of course, right now I can hear Hubs saying, "if everyone jumped off a cliff would you do it?"

Yes. If there was a super-human baby there to catch my fall. And I got to keep him.

I guess all I can say is I'm done fighting it. Hubs always feels it necessary to tell everyone we talk to that I have baby fever and I'm always denying it. Why is that? It's not a crime to want a baby, is it? I'm not breaking any rules. And just because I want one doesn't mean I'm getting one. (I learned that lesson with the Tiffany diamond earrings I wanted.) It's okay to dream and I'm going to dream. Dream and dream and dream (and take my birth control pill) and dream and dream and dream.....

Below are some pictures that are fanning "the dream" fire.

Amazing crib. Nowhere to put it, but amazing all the same.

Amazing crib #2. Still nowhere to put it, and I don't care.

Beautiful bedding for previous amazing cribs that we have no room for.

More amazing bedding to go with the bedding that would go with the cribs we have no room for.