Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Tale of Indulgence

Well, Isabella successfully completed her first full week of Kindergarten last week. I know, I know, another Isabella's-in-Kindergarten-and-Liz-is-freaking-out post. But please bear with me,... I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon. You know, like next week when Sam, my youngest, my baby, my boy, starts his little preschool experience. People, let me warn you: You ain't seen nothing yet!

But anyway, like I was saying, Isabella successfully completed her first full week of Kindergarten last week. And I was actually doing great, except for the fact that she kept asking me to walk her into the classroom. And I did, every single time she asked. But I can't deny that the thought of how much easier it would be to drop her off instead did cross my mind a time or two. Then on Friday, out of nowhere, she asked me to drop her off at the door. WHAT?! Insert deep breathing exercises here in order to avoid passing out! So I "cheerfully", and in a probably ridiculously high pitched voice, asked: "REALLY? ARE YOU SURE? DO YOU KNOW WHERE TO GO?" To which she instantly replied: "Yep, I'm ready Mama!". You hear that sound? Yeah, it's the sound of my heart breaking.

So,... I got in the designated line and kissed her and hugged her and dropped her off. And I stayed there until the guy directing traffic just about opened my door to move the van himself. And then I broke all the school traffic rules. I turned left where you are only supposed to turn right. And I turned into the school, instead of getting back in the drop-off line. And why did I decide to go all criminal you ask? Well, I had to go back into the school parking lot so that I could watch her and make sure she knew exactly where to go and what to do. And then you know what I did? I cried. The ugly cry. And then I called Scott and I cried some more. And then I had to drive by Sam's school so that we could both say "Hi School!", like we do every single morning. Anyway, lucky for Sam, I finally managed to compose myself and carry on.

Later in the day, I dropped Sam off at my mom's and went to get Isabella at school. You see, Isabella is so very much like me. In so many ways, it's scary. And I had a little celebratory treat in store for her. A little indulgence, if I may. For successfully completing her first week in Kindergarten. For being such a good little student. For being such a great daughter.

So I picked her up, took her to Sonic to get a nice cold treat, and then we went to Sweet & Sassy so that she could have her first ever pedicure. She was beyond excited!

Enjoying a yummy M&M Sonic Blast:

Picking out your color is an important decision:
And sometimes it's hard to pick just one,... so you settle for two :)

Let the fun begin:

Getting the coveted foot massage:
Hmm, I wonder if she's enjoying it?

Yeah, I think so...
If that's not the face of sheer delight, then I don't know what is.

 Now it's time to polish:

And finally, the reveal:
What you see there is two different shades of pink, 
rhinestones, glitter and a toe ring.

She was in HEAVEN!
I believe her exact words were: "MOM, this is SO cool!"

She was very pleased with Ms. Kissy's work.
Especially after Ms. Kissy sprayed glitter on her hair and 
stamped a purple glitter heart on her cheek.

There's no doubt in my mind that there will be many pedicures after this one. After all, she is my daughter and everyone knows how much I love me a good pedicure.  Even if I'm being told to "leaf leg higha!".

Monday, August 23, 2010

Amy Grant @ Hope Pres

Hey fellow Memphians, if you're currently searching for a home church, Hope Presbyterian is hosting a special friends event this weekend. And in honor of all the new friends who will be visiting, they have a VERY special guest: Amy Grant! This is not a concert. Amy is an old friend of our own Bruce Carroll and will be in town from Nashville to help support Target House, a charity here in Memphis that Amy is heavily involved with.
The 6-time Grammy and 22-time Dove Award winner has graciously agreed to join Bruce Carroll and the Hope Band in leading worship at all 4 regular weekend worship services:

Saturday, August 28 ~ 5:30 PM
Sunday, August 29 ~ 8:00, 9:30, 11:15 AM

The least crowded services will most likely be the Saturday 5:30pm and Sunday 8:00am services. 

To help make it an evening or afternoon with our friends, several local restaurants are offering special discounts to Hope attendees after all 4 services this weekend. There will be a special bulletin insert in this
weekend's bulletin with names of all the participating restaurants included. You must have this insert with you to qualify for the discount.

If you're interested in going, checking out Hope, and worshiping with the fabulous Amy Grant and the Hope Band, please let me know. We're going to the 5:30 pm service on Saturday afternoon and would love to have you join us. Hey, we can even enjoy a nice dinner out afterward!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Conversation

Isabella is in this stage now where she is constantly asking all sorts of questions. And for the most part, she starts most of them with: "Mom, is it true that..." , which ALWAYS makes me feel like I'm being tested or something.

She's also stretching her imagination and constantly thinking of crazy/silly, off the wall things, which she is forever sharing. And those usually start like this: "Mom, can you imagine if..."

A couple of nights ago, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes and Isabella was sitting at the counter talking away about her day, which I absolutely love! Then she started getting silly and saying some of those "Mom, can you imagine if..." questions/statements. Well, after she said the first one, I looked at her and told her she was so silly, to which she replied: "No I'm not!"

Then she continued on, and a bit later made another "Mom, can you imagine if..." question/statement. So I looked at her and told her she was Cuckoo. She giddily replied: "No I'm not!"

Then she said something (which I must admit, I don't remember what it was) and tickled herself to the point of some seriously awesome belly laughs. You know the type; loud, heartfelt, contagious, non-stop, make you wanna pee your pants laughs.

I looked over and just stood there and watched her crack herself up. And without even realizing the words were coming out of my mouth, I said "God, she's beautiful". And in the midst of all the laughter, she immediately replied: "Now THAT I am! You got one out of three right, Mama."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


we've been busy getting ready for, and more importantly acclimated with, this:
This new chapter has required a whole lot of change in our home. Gone are the days of sleeping in until one of the kids woke up. And gone are the long lazy days which he happily called pajamas days. Oh no,... these days Mama is up, dressed and ready to go by 6:30ish am, which I think Daddy is really loving, since he now gets to enjoy coffee and breakfast every morning.


we spent the last few days having lots of fun with him:

Scott and I love my big brother, and my kids absolutely ADORE their Uncle Howie, so spending time with him is definitely a highlight for all of us.


I've been playing trying to figure out my new toy phone:

It's official, I've finally joined the current century with a smart phone that is actually, well,... smart. I've had (and loved) a Blackberry for the last few years, but all I ever used it for was the calendar and the address book, and just recently texting. Now Scott has decided that we need phones that do just a tad bit more, and you know what,... I'm loving it!


we started this:
Isabella asked to play soccer, so we signed her up in our church's recreational soccer league. She had her first practice this past Saturday. There are only two more practices before the games. I've got one word for you: HILARIOUS! Watching these 5 year olds "playing" soccer is quite the hoot!


I've been a reading maniac. I'm currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and as much as I want to say that I totally LOVE it and am oh so inspired by her journey, I can't. It's an OK book, but right now it's just filling time before Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Games series, comes out later this month.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Old Friends, Good Times

Remember my dear friend Celimar? I first introduced her to you on this post. Well, so much has happened since our fun visit back in 2008.

For starters, she just graduated with her master's degree from the University of Arizona. She is such a smarty pants, lemme tell ya! In addition, she is now a married woman. GASP! I know, I know. Our little girl is seriously ALL grown up. Her husband, who we shall call Luis, because well,... that is his name, is in the ARMY and proudly serving our country in the Middle East, but in the process of coming home soon. Hopefully by the end of this month. Which means, that Celi is now an Army Wife/dependant/sponsored (lol, I do this just to bug her, since she's SO independent).

Anyway, Celi recruited her little brother Cesar to help her move from Arizona to North Carolina. I guess all Cesar heard was ROAD TRIP, so he eagerly signed up for the adventure. He flew in from Puerto Rico and got right to work. They mapped out their route, added some awesome sight seeing along the way, and included a stop in Memphis to see us. Needless to say, we were thrilled to have them come by for a visit. After long hours of driving, they welcomed a nice little break.

On a trolley ride ~ downtown Memphis.

It was so much fun catching up with these two kids young adults, whom I had babysat for years, beginning with their infant days. The last time I saw Cesar was at our wedding, over 8 years ago, and now he's a college junior. Geez! Time flies, let me tell you!

Our kids especially loved having them here,... two more people in the house to cater to their every whim and desire. There were a lot of "will you play with me?" requests made during their stay. We had a great time doing a little sight seeing and a whole lot of talking, eating and relaxing.

A photo before they left, taken by Isabella.

Thanks for including us in your cross country journey, guys. 
It was awesome seeing you and spending some quality time together.

We love you!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bowling ~ Check!

My friend Danyelle and I were looking for something to do with the kids this past Tuesday. But being that it is STILL (and will most likely continue to be) around 1000°F, and I'm only slightly exaggerating, around these parts, we knew whatever we were doing HAD to be indoors. So we decided to take the kids bowling. Isabella had been bowling once before, but this was Sam's first time.

So we of course had a lane with bumpers, and we found the lightest balls available and a metal ramp ~ it's all about helping them succeed, right?

They all loved it! 
And of course, there was a lot of celebrating to do.
And celebrate we did, my friends.
Yeah, he's doing his happy dance. he he he!

I'm sure this is something we'll be doing again soon!

So, not only did we have a great time, but we were also able to cross off yet another fun activity from our Summer To-Do list. And considering how hot it's been around here, and how little we've actually done outdoors, that in it of itself is a HUGE accomplishment!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Miller Time!

OK, so I'm a little embarrassed to blog about this after it's been so long. I mean, it has almost been a month, but I have to. I have to because it's about the Millers. And they drove a LONG way to come see us. And we LOVE them. Unconditionally. And they complete us. (I think I might have buttered Rachel enough now to go on with my post, so moving on,...)

The Millers are quite the traveling family. They think nothing of getting in their car and just going. And they spent a big part of this summer on the road visiting friends and family. Lucky for us, we were on their "road trip" list, and we were thrilled to have them come visit for a few days. 

If you follow this blog, then you're no stranger to the Millers and my love affair with this family. In fact, we love them SO much, that we visited them in Iowa last December. Right smack in the middle of winter. With -11°F temperatures. And four feet of snow on the ground. Awesome!

So being that we love them so, we decided to return the favor and ordered up nice scorching temps in the 98°-100°F+ during their visit. In the month of July. In Memphis. With LOTS of humidity. Yeah, that's the kind of love we've got!

And yes, we are currently trying to figure out how we can reverse our visits so as to reduce the amount of frostbite/dehydration we all experienced this past year.

However, hot temperatures have not prevented us from having ourselves a big ol' time in the past. And this visit was no exception. We decided to go to Mud Island and have the kids do the River Walk. For those of you who are not familiar with what I am referring to, the River Walk is an exact scale model of the Lower Mississippi River flowing from Illinois, 954 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico.

The best part of our fun adventure however, was actually riding the monorail over to Mud Island. The kids were in total awe!
Don't get me wrong, the kids had a great time walking along "the Mississippi". You gotta love how something as "inconsequential" as the sweltering heat does so little to slow them down.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for us adults. It was HOT. And we were definitely feeling it.

While they were here, we were able to secure Miss Jessica, babysitter extraordinaire, to keep our children for a while so that we could get away for a nice fun adult-only dinner. Scott and I wanted to take them to a quaint little restaurant called Le Chardonnay, which we stumbled across a few years ago. It had the most magnificent wine list you could ever imagine. But when we got there, we found a sign on the door stating that they had moved to a new location a block or so away. So off we go to find our quaint little Le Chardonnay restaurant, and its amazing wine list. 

Apparently, what they neglected to state on the sign, is that not only did they move, but they also changed their name. So after spending oh I don't know, ten minutes looking for a restaurant that no longer exists, I finally stopped and asked someone. She kindly pointed next door to The Villa Restaurant.

Needless to day, it was not the same restaurant, menu, or atmosphere that we remember from Le Chardonnay. AT ALL! But we stuck with it and had a great time regardless.

One of the highlights of the evening for me was when I said I wanted to order a Caprese Salad before my meal. After telling Rob what all is in the salad (fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, basil, and salt), he decided he wanted to order one for his entree. 

That is, until they brought mine out and he actually saw it:
Yep, that's it! 
His reaction was priceless!
Go ahead, you can laugh.
I sure did!
I laughed so hard my cheeks actually hurt.

And that, my dear friends, is why we love this family so much. Because whenever we are together, you can put your money on the fact that there will be some serious laughter. Uncontrollable, side-splitting, tear-inducing, cheeks-hurting type laughter. And a whole lot of it. And how can you NOT love people who bring such joy into your life.

Until next time, Millers!

(BTW ~ you can read Rachel's post about their Memphis visit here.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August SNL Layouts

It's hard to believe we're already done with this month's SNL class. Is it just me, or does it seem like time is really flying by these days? On the one hand, I'll be happy to be done with this horrendously hot Summer season and welcome nice cool Autumn days. But on the other, I'm afraid I'm going to blink and it's going to be Christmas, and as much as I LOVE Christmas, I'm just not quite ready for that!

Well, enough about me and my whining. Let's move on to the good stuff. 
Here are the layouts we created in class this month:

Precious Baby:
Although mine is a boy layout, our class attendants were able to chose whether they wanted 
this to be a boy layout or a girl layout.

My Buddy
Again, although mine is a dog layout, our class attendants were able to chose whether 
they wanted this to be a dog layout or a cat layout. 

I have never given them so many options before, but I kind of liked it!

And finally, one of my all time favorites:
Love it! It's so fun and colorful and vibrant!
I must admit, I saw something like it in a magazine once and since then I've been dying to re-create it.

I've already picked my themes for next month's class: Fall Days, Who loves you?, and Everyday Moments. So stay tuned for a sneak peek soon to come!

Our Summer's Last Hurrah

A few weeks ago, while at a play date, my friend Danyelle and I started "talking" about maybe going away to the beach for a few days. You know, since with the oil spill Gulf Shores is like a ghost town and all. And since her mother in law's condo was available and all. And since the kids would all be starting school in a few weeks and all. And since all of our kids have been begging to go to the beach and all. And since both of our husbands work such long hours and all.

So we looked at our calendars, agreed on some dates, called our husbands, and booked it. SOLD! So off to Gulf Shores we embarked, her and I and our four children. This could have gone either way: either a very, very fun trip or a very, very bad disaster. Lucky for us (and the children), it was the former. We had a great time! Isabella and Hudson had a ball spending SO much time together and Sam took to Addisyn like fish takes to water. Addy is one of his most favorite people in the whole world.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

We tried going to the beach. But it wasn't long before Danyelle and I decided to cut our losses and hit the condo's pool instead. You could see the oil in the water and the smell was pretty bad. So so sad! We did however capture a few shots of the kids while we were there:


Luckily, the kids didn't necessarily want to play in the water, they mostly wanted to play with sand. So we took care of that not once, but twice, by visiting some fun local family restaurants:
Call me crazy, but I think she likes him. Maybe,.. just a little?

Is there a better combination than sand AND suds?
They think not!

We also went to Lulu's, which is Jimmy Buffet's sister's restaurant...
where Sam was once again able to fulfill his sand+water obsession.
Putting this one in the car was a fun challenge!

Every morning the boys woke up looking like this:
Ha Ha! Look at those handsome boys and their crazy hair!

We went out for ice cream:
We visited the shark store and got some fun souvenirs:

We even went to the outlet mall, where I spent entirely too much money on Crocs for the kids.

But I especially would like to thank Danyelle, who apparently taught the kids how to make silly faces for the camera while I was at the store, for these here gems. This is what I got whenever I asked Sam to look at the camera:
 Yeah,... Every. Single. Time!

Thanks, Danyelle for inviting us on such an awesome adventure. I had a great time and I know the kids LOVED it. You guys are great travel buddies and I hope we can do it again!

And remember, we'll always have New Orleans ;)