Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Favorite Things


silly mustaches

kitties helping with laundry

adorable puppies (but not the $1,300 price tag)

 Picking out favorites from Pottery Barn ads

 new patio furniture

sunshiny happy girls

Our Friend's Wedding

Friday afternoon, after Clay was out of work and I was barely through my post-Britney hangover, we loaded up the Edge and headed North to my mil's.  She was keeping the kids for us while we spent the weekend being a part of Chris' - one of Clay's oldest friends - wedding.
It was nice to get away.  We stayed in a charming town at a gorgeous hotel where the reception was being held, and it was great seeing friends we haven't seen in ages.  I had a lot more fun than I had anticipated and for that I am thankful.


 Congratulations Chris & Suzanne. 
We wish you a lifetime of happiness.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Femme Fatale

It's ridiculous how much I love Britney Spears. Still. Despite all the crazy, which honestly, has only made her more appealing to me.  And Nicki Minaj is another of my favorites, so to say that I was excited about the Femme Fatale concert was a bit of an understatement. 

My girlfriend Amanda and I had ah-mazing seats thanks to my ah-mazing husband (have I mentioned yet today how much I love him?).

 I even channeled vintage Britney with a denim mini.

 There was an opening bad, some Lost Boys or something?, but we spent the duration of their act at the bar, catching up and consuming cocktails.

 Nicki put on a fierce performance, every bit as involved and dramatic as the one Amanda and I saw a few months ago.  Super Bass was her encore and I recorded it for the babies because that is still their jam.

Then finally, Britney!

 Talk about a show.  Brit went all out: an awesome set list, prison bars, a motorcycle, a hot pink convertible, butterfly wings, and glitter.  Tons of glitter.  There were times where I was pretty sure I was dancing and singing with more gusto than she, but this is my third Britney Spears concert so trust me, I know not to go for her interaction.  I think once you get that expectation out of the way, then you're able to have a better time ;)

We had so. much. fun!  We were both hurting the next morning - Amanda had an 8am work meeting and I had to wrangle kids who decided it would be fab to wake up at 7am, but it was worth it.  Singing and dancing to some of my favorite performers and laughing and hanging out with one of my favorite girls is always worth it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Babies Go Camping

My children have never been camping before. Clay and I used to camp annually with a huge group of our friends and we stayed in tents and floated down the river on tubes, but that tradition sort of fell wayward once everyone started having babies. Which is really unfortunate. We need to restart that tradition. But yes, my children. Not only did they stall their parents' camping but they themselves have never camped until last weekend.


It wasn't exactly intentional, this camping.  My parents called - the night before - to tell me they had reserved a spot at a campground only about a half hour away, and they wanted us to come and stay a couple nights.  I was able to get the days off of work (but Clay wasn't), so we packed a tent and an overnight bag, and the kids and I headed to the campground.



And we had such a good time!  We sunbathed (well I did), and built sand castles, and splashed in the water and the kiddos got to love on their gramma and papa. 
We ended up not sleeping in the tent because it was still as hot as Hades at night, so we bunked in my parents' massive camper with them and both of my brothers  (and the sweet merciful air-conditioning).  Awkward? A little, but the kids were in heaven.  In fact, Narls couldn't get over how the tables in the camper were really "transformers" with the power to turn into beds.  They both were so tired from their first day camping that they fell right to sleep with little smiles on their faces.  You can't really see Em's so well because it's hidden behind that sucky, which is another post all together, so let's move on. 

The next morning I wrapped myself in my snuggie and "freshened up" while my mom made me coffee from her keurig.  This is seriously the kind of camping I dig.  

 Clay managed to leave work early and spent the afternoons and evenings with us.  We took the kids for walks, watched the fish swim, contemplated renting a pedal boat (I'm so thankful we didn't; I try to be as lazy as possible when camping), spent some time at the huge playground in the center of the campground and ate some seriously delicious grilled burgers for dinner.

The campground itself was pretty sweet, with tons of stuff to do.  They had events planned all week, including face-painting, drop-in dodge-ball games, arts & crafts and even a dance. I'm not gonna lie, I still bummed we wouldn't be there for the dance. 

We were able to catch an arts & crafts session though.  The kids (and I!) got to make sand art by grinding different colored sticks of chalk into sand and then sprinkling it over designs drawn in glue.  Narls did his name and "thunder", Em did a swirly of some sort and I did our family, because I'm cheesy like that.  And trust me when I say all the kids at arts & crafts were super jealous of my art. 

And then we spent the rest of the day at the beach.  The water was absolutely perfect and I cannot even believe how well the kids did.  Normally they freak out at the mere thought of being put into water but not this time- they splashed and dunked their heads and wadded out as far as they could and Narls even doggy paddled by himself, something he wouldn't even attempt during his swimming lessons.

And then it was time to go.  The kids talked Clay and I into getting them some ice cream for the ride home, which honestly, was the best idea ever, and again they fell asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows, tired out from another day camping, only this time they were in their own beds.

Maybe next year we'll shoot for two nights of camping ;)

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

My mom's garden is literally overflowing with cucumbers, which is great because hello, free, but also because they're the second most important ingredient in one of my favorite salads. Her tomatoes are not yet plentiful, which I'm also thankful for because the cherry tomato plant we have growing at our house is pretty bare too and I'm glad to see that the lack of tomatoes isn’t in direct relation to my lack of gardening skills.

But back to the salad, it’s amazing. My favorite summer side dish. I’ve made it a few times this summer already and while I scale down the recipe, my family has still eaten the entire bowl each time. And Narls claims to not even like tomatoes. It’s that good. Especially with fresh cucumbers. And hopefully soon, fresh tomatoes.

The whole dish is pretty subjective in terms of measurements, which is another reason I like it- less chance of messing it up. Just toss in some feta and oil and seasoning and if it’s not enough, then add a bit more until it’s perfect and then enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Slip and Sliding

It has been incredibly hot the last few weeks. Like high 90s, even a dip into the 100s for an hour or two here and there.

And I love it.  I cannot get enough of this heat.  We've been soaking up the sun every hot glorious day, either in the pool, in the sprinkler or at the beach. 

On a whim, Clay & I decided it was time to introduce the World's Most Cautious Water Kids to the hands down best water toy EVER. 

The Slip 'N Slide.

Oh my god, my brother Cory and I LOVED our Slip 'n Slide. The water would be as cold as pure solid ice and we could have had the bumpiest back yard ever, but we didn't care- we were slipping and sliding all afternoon long until our parents made us come in. 

And I was thrilled to see that Narls and Em loved theirs too.  Although Narls had no idea how to make himself slide despite numerous instructions and demonstrations from Clay and myself - and seriously, the Slip 'N Slide in my memory is a whole hell of a lot longer than the Slip 'N Slide in our back yard.