Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- Holiday style (and with words)

Jingle was checking out baby Jesus with the Wise Men today.

Mini#2 took this photo of me today with 3 month old, 21 lb., Harper.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A not-so-scandalous midday date


Someone needs to show me how to make a collage of photos. Until then, you get a burst of photos all at once. You are at the correct post. These photos were taken a couple weeks ago when Mr. Pink and I had a post-anniversary date while the kids were in school. He has vacation to burn and I heard that the Porsche By Design exhibit was coming to the NC Museum of Art so I surprised Mr. Pink with tickets. We drove all the way there before I told him what we were doing. He loves and wants a Porsche and had heard about the exhibit and said he had thought about bringing mini#2 to see it.

The exhibit was really fun. The very top roadster was Steve McQueen's. He was a huge face of driving and racing Porsches. The crazy canvas of art all over the orange car was the idea of Janis Joplin. It was hers. Let me tell you I stood there a while just staring and taking in all that car had to offer. The little placard said that fans would recognize her car and leave her notes under the wipers.
There were many more race cars, a car with Porsche emblem tires and the original model. So, despite this being a potential yawn outing for me, this ended up being more entertaining than anticipated. Mr. Pink had a good time.

After the exhibit he headed over to the restaurant, Cowfish, I've previously mentioned for a lunch without kids. Here's a picture of the bento box I got. Sweet/spicy Thai cucumbers, fried pickles (so good!), sweet potato fries, salmon roll sushi and a mini turkey burger.

 The date would have been a huge success if I hadn't dragged Mr. Pink into Kohl's with me before going home. He hates to shop, but I had to look for something. It was a good day and I'm just now posting about it! Better late than never I suppose.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm winning...

Because I took the plunge and bought this "egg" nog today instead of my usual, albeit light, egg nog. Let me tell you I wasn't excited to make the change, but this stuff is tasty! Not as thick, but it handles my craving for this sweet holiday drink. Did you know that 8 oz of light egg nog is 130 calories and Silk is 90 calories. But even more appealing is that you leave behind the eggs, dairy, the saturated fat and the cholesterol. Try it! I think you'll like it, too. I LOVE finding healthier options for things I splurge on that aren't so healthy. Makes you feel like you're winning! So 2012 (or '11) of me to say.

In other news, party season starts tomorrow for me. Yay! Tomorrow night it's a bunch of us girls in the neighborhood who get together for appetizers/desserts/drinks and a dirty Santa gift exchange. One of my favorite parties. I never seem to see these girls like we used to when we had play groups or book club. And I get to dress all girly...well it's just a neighborhood party, but I WON'T be wearing workout/running gear as it seems I do so often.

But first tomorrow begins with a trip to the NC Governor's Mansion to tour the Christmas decorations. It's open to the public through the weekend. And then mini#2 has an orthodontist appointment. Yes, in January mini#1 starts phase 2 (braces) of his treatment and mini#2 starts phase 1 (expanding after 4 teeth are pulled). Mrs. Pink needs a J-O-B.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

How was yours?

Thanksgiving that is. Yes, I know. It was a week ago. But my kids' last day of school was yesterday (for 4 weeks) so it's been a little crazy.

This was the first year it was just the four of us for Thanksgiving and I LOVED it because it was so laid back. We started our (FREEZING) morning off by heading to our tiny downtown (we are in a suburb of Raleigh) and ran in a well-attended, about 2500, 5k race. Well mini#1 and I ran in 23 degree weather while Mr. Pink and mini#2 froze, but cheered us on nonetheless. I actually caught up to mini#1 this time right before the 3 mile mark, but he sprinted off away from me and finished 17 seconds ahead of me. I am so proud of him for running with me like I used to with my dad. He finished 11th out of 120 in his age group without even training a lot. I got a little 3rd place medal myself in my age group...which surprised me. Since starting to run again in Feb, after a 25 yr hiatus, it has been an uphill battle (pun intended) with getting back into this running thing and shaving some time off my 5k time. I don't think I'll ever run a marathon, but who knows. It just feels good to work towards a goal and to do some of this with my son. And with my really good friend! We ran an 8k together in October. And she finished her first half marathon in Nov! So awesome. She has never been a runner until a little less than a year ago and worked hard to train for that half.

Back to Thanksgiving. After the race we came home and had Thanksgiving dinner around 1:00. I did a lot of prep work the day before. I did miss my dad's pecan pie, but he'll just have to bring one when they come for Christmas. I made a chocolate chess pie which is my family's new favorite and a pumpkin pie. I made my Southern Living dressing I have made for years. LOVE it! I could have pie and dressing and be fine.

I did not go to one store on Thurs or Fri. This is amazing if you know me!! My mom and I went to Michael's and Target last Thanksgiving and it was so crazy. I have been cyber shopping lately, but a lot of gifts are bought and wrapped already. Year round school does that to you. You're forced to be efficient when kids get out on Dec. 4th.

I did shop a little over the weekend and got the tree and decorations all put out in the house. We met a couple for dinner at Vivace in Raleigh. It was crazy loud in the bar area because we were there at the end of  Alabama/Auburn game with the even crazier finish with the 1 second touchdown. People in the dining room were looking around saying "what happened" when people in the bar started screaming or cheering. It was funny.

Yesterday a friend and I met at Cowfish Grill in Raleigh. I love that place. Everything I've ever gotten there is so yummy. It's a sushi/burger bar restaurant. I usually go for a Bento box, but got their grilled salmon salad that was the best I think I've ever had. And we had a celebrity sighting while there. Former Senator/Presidential Hopeful/you can complete a lot more blanks here/ John Edwards. He was with an older man. We had a perfect view of his table. It was fun watching people walk by his table and suddenly recognize who he was. He lives in Chapel Hill now.

I made some sugar cookies today. We're going to our town's lighting of the Christmas tree tomorrow night with friends and their kids. Then we'll head back here for hot chocolate/cookies/adult beverages and games. Saturday it's mini#2's first basketball game and then going to a live nativity scene (really it's a walk through Bethlehem and takes about 20 mins) at mini#2's preschool church. I'm looking forward to seeing King Herod. He's in my Saturday morning spin class and has been growing out a beard for a few weeks! Ha!

So that's my last week in a huge, long, wordy post! Sorry about that!

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Raleigh Christmas Parade

Today kicked off our holiday season. We went to the annual Raleigh Christmas Parade as we've done just about every year since we moved back to the Raleigh area. We got there earlier than usual and still got 2nd row seats, but had a perfect view. My good friend and her son met us there so we got to chat and catch up while enjoying the parade. It was cloudy, but no rain thankfully. It seemed to get colder as we sat there, but luckily mini#2 came and sat in my lap for the last half of it and kept me warm!

After the parade we raced home in order to let the crated puppy out. No accidents while we were gone. Yay! Mini#2 had basketball practice. I stayed home with mini#1 and wrapped Christmas presents while watching ECU take control of my Wolfpack on TV. Can you believe I wrapped presents? I just wanted a jump start on things. Plus my kids are out of school Dec. 4th (until Jan. 2) so the less stuffed in my closet the better. I cannot start decorating until after Thanksgiving though. I used to make myself do it in December, but with kids, I bend the rule to after Thanksgiving, which is so late this year anyway. I see some neighbors already have Christmas lights up. That's just not my thing in holiday at a time I say.

Enjoy your weekend! It's going to be blistering cold here in the south tomorrow. Well, 38 degrees...but that's FREEZING to us southerners! Stay warm!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Been a little busy with...

...our new family member. Baby Pink. Because, after years of being the only female, I am no longer alone. We adopted our sweet baby girl, Harper, on Nov. 1st. This was no small decision. While my boys have been begging for a dog since they could speak, I was enjoying the freedom no pets allowed us. We had a cat, but his personality completely changed for the worst when mini#2 came along so a co-worker took him when we moved to NC from GA. For 7 years it's been a pet-free zone at our house.

Then a neighbor and friend of mini#1 introduced the kids to the mixed lab puppies they were fostering along with the puppies' mother. So the kids kept playing with them all week, picked out 2 they wanted, brought them to our house a couple of times, begged, pleaded, cried (that was me faced with such a big decision) get the picture. So Mr. Pink and I had long conversations and then we had long conversations with the kids. We officially decided that at age 8 and 12 they were ready and we were ready as well for ONE dog, not two- even though they tried for two. I was scared. I won't lie. I've never had a dog! Much less a PUPPY!

But that Friday after Halloween we picked Harper up in the pouring rain, gave her her first bath, woke up with her about four times that night, but we've never looked back. I told a close friend yesterday, had I decided against getting her, I never would have known the real joy we (I've!) experienced these last 2 1/2 weeks. She has brought us so much happiness already. She fits right in and we are loving her to pieces. She's brought us all closer together because she is a group effort. I can honestly say we made the right decision.  And mini#1 is an excellent pooper scooper, too. I think Mr. Pink gets up easier at night with the puppy then he did the kids (although that was mostly my job.). And she already has pink bows for her hair/fur and a couple of girlie sweaters. The girl I never got to dress! She just has 4 legs instead of two!

Monday, November 4, 2013


We had a great Indian summer kind of Halloween. It was low 70's! Perfect. This year I had a Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and a Washing Machine. The washing machine was a huge hit around here. Mini#1 found the idea online and did it all. It cost me about $3.50! I found a great stick-on battery operated light at the dollar store as well as the clothes basket and we used a plastic plant pot  liner for the door. I could not believe the amount of candy they both brought home. I've been helping myself, too.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We did. Stayed around here. Mini#1 and I went on a 4 mile run on our local Neuse River Trails. It was fun. He talks, I listen. He stops. I continue on. He catches up. We talk some more. It's something I did with my dad and am glad I am able to do this with him now.

Have a great week. It is very chilly here this morning. I am getting ready to make my favorite potato and corn chowder for lunch and catch up on laundry and my DVR'd shows before the minis get home from school.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Letting go....

NBA Cafe Orlando, FL

Carolina Mudcats game

Goalie!! (It makes me nervous when he's goalie!)

As a mom of an 8 year old last child, it is so difficult letting him go and not have him be my baby. I think it's just impossible, actually. I still want to cuddle him and hold him like a baby (he loves that one-not, but will do it for me sometimes if I beg.). I'm thankful he still lets me do this and dread the day when it will not be cool to love me like he does now. I cherish the chilly mornings when I wake him up and slide into his bed to watch the sunrise (his room is the best room in the house for this!). I wonder when he'll eventually tire of my game of naming his "new" freckles on his face. All I have to say is "Awww." And he says in an excited voice, "I got a new freckle" and then I name it and then he changes the name. Ha!I still check the back of his hands from time to time to see if he still has those baby dimples across his knuckles. They are fading fast. THAT breaks my heart! I am a sentimental sap I know.  But, I consider myself lucky to have two sons who aren't afraid to show me (or their dad) their love through hugs, kisses and words. Maybe we'll just continue to grow together in our  relationships and I can stop thinking of letting go!   

Monday, October 28, 2013

This year's Halloween Costumes

It gets harder and harder coming up with these costumes. I loved the color of this costume so we went as Mad Men/Pan Am decade of Pilot and "Air Hostess." It was a fun night full of great costumes, but I better not post their photos. We had a Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, Robin Thicke and Miley Cirus, Ralphie in the pink bunny suit and the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story, Cousin Eddie and Clark Griswald from Christmas Vacation, Kim Kardashian and Kanye...on and on. Everyone looks forward to this every year, but it's stiff competition! What were you or are you going to be for Halloween?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Do you ever feel like this???

I certainly do!! And I especially love how I get somewhat regular telephone calls from school (20 minutes after mini#1 arrived) saying either: I forgot my lunchbox. I forgot my homework folder. I forgot my gym bag. This morning it was the lunchbox. I was angry, too because I had to use a backup lunchbox because he didn't know where his monogrammed Pottery Barn lunchbox was and he didn't know where the backup lunchbox was! He, without a hint of concern, said "I think I left it on the bus" knowing full well his free personal assistant, aka moi, would handle his latest dilemma. I told him "Well, I hope you have enough money in your lunch account (never used!) for lunch today." Click. It was his middle school tone that got me. What he didn't know was that I saw it on the den floor where he left it as we were speaking. I decided to let him, in my mind, sweat the situation out a bit. We all know there was very little sweating going on in 7th grade homeroom. Well it was another 20 minutes until I could swing it by the front office on my way to the elementary school to help 3rd graders with their math facts. And, hopefully, he didn't believe me and saw his name flash up on the TV screen to go get it. Yes, I've sweated that a little. Ha!

And, is it just me, but why does mini#2 come to my side of the bed at 5:00 a.m. (this morning!) and scare me to death when he hovers over me to tell me he had a bad dream? His dad is closer to the bedroom door? Luckily this morning was the first time in weeks since he's shown up like that. I, seriously, lose seconds of my life when he does this....

Have a great weekend! We have our annual Halloween Party that we attend in our neighborhood. Stay tuned for photos.

Monday, October 14, 2013

And how's YOUR Monday?

I received this unsavory email today from mini#2's teacher... Wanted to let you know that H's weekly grade for work habits is quite low for last week. We are having trouble with focusing in class and getting the highest quality work out of him! I really think he is capable of so much more than what he has shown. I am very proud of him mastering his math facts, but I do think his work in reading and writing should be higher. Hudson frequently socializes and needs to make sure that he is focused on the essential tasks. I am hopeful that this week will improve so we can help him meet his top potential. Let me know your thoughts and if there is anything additional I can do to help facilitate these behaviors. Your support is greatly appreciated! Mrs. Teacher In his defense, the poor child gets his socializing naturally...his mom and dad like to talk. Really, I am thankful for this awesome teacher. She is on top of things and leaves no room for slacking off! I appreciate that. Luckily, this child cares what she thinks and we've already had a discussion (and am sure another one will occur when dad gets home). Plus, if there aren't improvements this week, there will be consequences for this sweet child of mine.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five on Friday- Highlights from my week

1- My 3rd grader passed the level 2 multiplication facts today! BIG DEAL and he literally did it mere moments before I got to his classroom today to volunteer. He got to show me his "award" posted on their classroom door. He was so proud! Me, too. This accomplishment took a lot of creativity. For example, did you know 7 x 7 is an NFL team??? The 49ers!

2- I had a colonoscopy on Tuesday. Woo Hoo! The best sleep I had all week, but the PREP work is noooo fun. All was fine. It was a repeat from 5 yrs ago so this is good news.

3- After the colonoscopy, Mr. Pink and I went to a movie before the kids got home from school. We saw Runner, Runner with Ben Affleck and Justn Timberlake. It was good.

4- I got mini#2 on a waiting list for our local basketball league because I missed the deadline for registration. We got a call and he is on a team....all for a mere $15 additional late fee. (I cannot keep up with these deadlines!!)

5-I started my Christmas shopping for the kids. As year round schoolers- this is a must because they are out the entire month of December although this year we go through Dec. 5 (because Thanksgiving is late this year).

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Thursdays are my run day. Ever since they changed the group fitness schedule at the gym, there is absolutely nothing I want to take on Thursdays. So I run. Usually it's been at the gym on the DREADmill, but at least I can watch TV as the minutes tick away. I can adjust to go faster or slower as needed and all is great albeit boring. This crazy southern weather actually inspired me to take it outside this last month. That and I needed some hill training. But it has been more than that. I count animals/bugs/birds of interest as I run along. I've seen a crane, butterflies, caterpillars, worms, grasshoppers. Fun stuff! Ha!! Last week a deer literally jumped across the greenway path in front of me! He scared me and I scared him! I've yet to see Adam Levine, but who knows. Maybe one day. Ha! What do you do on Thursdays? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- Harry Potter style

Butterbeer for breakfast

Sniff, sniff. I felt so sorry for him. No Dragon roller coaster for you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Since I've been gone...

I suppose I really should fill in some blanks since I took July, Aug and Sept off! So here goes:
1- The minis started 3rd and 7th grade on July 9th.
2- I turned cough, cough 43 in August. What the heck? Feels like I hit the big 4-0 yesterday! I got a road bike for my birthday. It's so pretty. I may, in the near future, attempt a mini triathlon. Did I really write that?
3- I dragged Mr. Pink and another couple to see John Mayer (and Phillip Phillips) in concert. 3rd time seeing John. I can call him that now. I had a blast and my friends did, too. But it might have been because they were laughing at me the entire time.
4- School tracked out for us on Sept. 10 after our first 9 weeks. We headed to sunny Orlando, FL for a Universal/Sea World/Wet and Wild trip. Mainly to bask in all of the Harry Potter World's glory! Mini#1 was in heaven. That kid, my reader, finished the first book in 2nd grade and has read all at least 4 times. I loved seeing him so happy, especially since he's a middle schooler now! We rode every special effects ride until I almost barfed and I screamed my head off on several occasions. Have you ever been on that Free Fall ride? WOW! Maybe this proves I really am 43.
5- As soon as we got home from FL I had a day to unpack, do laundry and repack before I took the kids to Charlotte to my parents' home to see my visiting brother, sis-in-law and 17 month old nephew. They're still living in Sweden (he helped arrange Obama's visit there right before he came home) and told us that their second baby is due in March! The kids had a great time with their cousin. I love it now when we Skype because you can tell he really recognizes us! He is precious.
6-Last weekend the kids/minis/not-so-minis and I ran in a local 5K (mini#2 ran in the mile fun run). I had to force mini#1 to practice with me last week and the week before while he was out of school. He walked half of the training. Then he finished 1:04 ahead of me in the race. That little devil!! Seriously, he is going to rock it in track next spring. He has no time for mommy's distance races (even though he has youth on his side and does well). He wants to do the mile and 800.
7- And this is a blog (and not FB) so I feel it's ok to boast about mini#1's grades. He got straight A's on his first report card. SO proud. Did it all on his own. Just don't ask me about 3rd grade. Between spelling words, projects, multiplication tables and general homework, I sincerely hope mini#2 makes it to middle school!
8-Soccer has started again. Mini#2's team is 4-0 with no goals scored against them yet. I love it! Four of these boys have played together since they were 4 and it's been so rewarding to see their growth and maturity in this sport.
9- Halloween decorations are up, costumes are ordered (more on this later) and I've already made pumpkins muffins and bought pumpkin waffle/pancake mix. Fall has arrived.
10-Go NC State! College football is the best, even if my Pack isn't.

Friday, October 4, 2013

BAD Decision

So I'm human. I make mistakes. Quite a few actually. Today was no exception. It started out this morning by me telling the kids not to ride the bus home today because I would be picking them up via carpool. Mini#2 asked me what "via" meant. Mini#1 and 2 asked me "WHY?" I said nonchalantly, "It's a surprise." They both got excited, made a few good and off-the-wall guesses and off to school they went. This afternoon I sat in the car sweltering in the heat for an hour and 20 mins through 2 carpool lines and started to feel a twinge of guilt. Mini#2 thought we were going to go get pumpkins and carve them. Mini#1 thought we were going roller skating by the direction we were headed. It was only a mere moments before we reached our destination that mini#1 (7th grade) yelled, "MAYBE it's a BAD surprise and we're going to the doctor!" And he was right. FLU SHOTS! Mini#2 (3rd grade) cried, said he wasn't getting out of the car and expressed his extreme dislike of me all within 2-3 mins. Of course, due to allergies, he gets the raw deal of the actual shot and mini#1 just has to inhale the live virus (and believe me I am soooo thankful for that after his displays of downright embarrassing behavior over shots in the past). We survived and I kept explaining to them, "See. This way was better. You only had to worry about it for a few minutes and not all day if I had told you this morning." AND I didn't have to hear all the moaning and groaning non-stop as I have in the past. I call it creative parenting.

But I did feel a twinge of guilt, as I said, so I decided to treat them to ice cream. I had a coupon for a free milkshake at Chick-Fil A that expired tomorrow. This is the second bad decision I made. While the two boys ate their cones watching a video in the back seat (shots long forgotten), I inhaled the SMALL Mocha Cookies and Cream milkshake, but I left the whipped cream in the bottom of the cup. I've heard that Hollywood actors live on milkshakes when they are asked to gain weight for a role. I decided to take a look at the nutritional information for this milkshake I just inhaled. Ummmm. BAD decision 1) to look at this information after I drank it and 2) that I got this at all. It was anything but FREE. A small was 660 calories and 24g of fat. OMG. A Big Mac (for comparison purposes only) is 550 calories and 29g of fat. I now am kicking myself because I ran outside for 4 miles after pilates today in the high humidity for nothing! Well, ok, so not really for nothing, but you get what I'm saying.

Lesson learned: You can be a creative parent, but have an ice cream cone with them instead of a milkshake when you are easing your parental guilt!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm back...

School started today. Weighted down with costly school supplies (a $16 binder???), my boys marched off to 3rd and 7th grades and no tears were shed by yours truly. I took the "summer" (our 5 week break) off from blogging. We crammed a lot into our break as usual. I dragged the kids to the gym with me some. They were in an awesome Christian Runner's Camp that is popular around here. Mini#2 went to soccer camp the next week. Mini#1 had his end of the year performances in music theater and hip hop. Can you say excessive practices going into that?? We went to the beach twice. We sprinkled in a little pool time between activites. Last week we were at Ocean Isle, NC with friends and had a great time cooking, playing games, going to the 4th of July parade, getting a little sun, morning runs with mini#1 and sleeping well at night. Yesterday we took the boat to the lake. Busy, busy. I'll be sharing photos of all of this NC fun. Oh, a family reunion in Mt. Airy (of Mayberry fame) was also a highlight for me. I hadn't been to one in years. It was so cool seeing my grandmother's youngest sister. Her mannerisms reminded me so much of my dear grandmother who would have been 100 last month. So, I'm a little scattered and all over the place, but I'm back! Hope your summers are going well!