Monday, November 30, 2009

I shouldn't laugh.

but I did. Hard.
Oh Tiger, if you need a good PR person - which you obviously do - don't hesitate to give MPLT a call. I have mad skillz.

MWMM: Potty Mouth


For my second blog appearance, I have chosen to write about a funny (and not to mention, embarrassing) experience that happened when I had my first administrative observation in September.

As a first year teacher, you are placed in the Beginning Teacher Program which lasts three years. The program includes many meetings and various observations by other teachers and administrators. My first observation was completed by my mentor and the second by a peer (another teacher in the school). The first two went well, but I was extremely nervous to have my administrative observation, which was being conducted by my school principal. What will he think about the chaos? Will he understand why the kids are playing with playdoh? Will he understand why their letters at literacy are made out of sandpaper? The questions I had were overwhelming. The good news is that he did understand all the reasons why my preschoolers were doing so much playing and exploring...the bad news is that he got to sit in on a quite embarrassing, yet typical, pre-k conversation.

(Note: To better understand this story, it is important to know that during the first week of school, I had two children pull their pants down and pee on the playground...one boy and one girl).

Picture this: It's circle time. Me + sixteen little 4 year olds are together in a circle. We're about to read a book and do some super fun literacy activities. My principal, bless his heart, is sitting in a teeny tiny chair with his suit on and his laptop on the teeny tiny table. He's just ready to type away what happens next...

Child M raises his hand.
Ms. Molly: "Yes, M?"
Child M: "I've got to go poop!"
Ms. Molly: "Alright, please take care of that in the bathroom."
Child B: "Max poops outside."
Ms. Molly: "Yes, B...and is Max an animal or a person?"
Child B: "A dog."
Ms. Molly: "That's right. And B is right boys and girls...animals live outside and they usually pee and poop outside. People live inside so we go to the bathroom inside."
Child C: "Well, if dogs poop and pee outside then they'll get their clothes all poopy." [insert exploding laughter due to the word "poopy" being used]
Ms. Molly: "Good news! Animals don't wear clothes so their clothes will not get poop or pee on them when they use the bathroom outside."
Child A: "My cousin's dog wears a sweater." [dang it, I thought I had 'em]
Ms. Molly: "Well, yes, maybe some dogs do, but most dogs don't and people still only use the bathroom in the inside potty."
Child M: "Well, my dad lets me pee outside." [dang it, I thought I had 'em again]
Ms. Molly: "Some people do different things at their house, but when you're at school the only place you can pee or poop is inside the bathroom in the potty."
Child I: "Then how come B peed on the playground the first week of school?" [now they really gave me away]
Ms. Molly: "It was an accident and now everyone knows that we pee inside. I'm noticing that you all have a lot to say about pee and poop. If you have anything else to say, please whisper it to your hand and tuck it in your heart and you can tell me later. (Editor's note: Gah I can only hope Molly says this to Mike when they get in big fights. That would be a-w-e-s-o-m-e.) We've got to move on to our story."

Thankfully, that was the end of that. But as I felt my face get hotter and hotter, I could only imagine what the Principal had typed on his laptop about our conversation. The good news is that in our meeting that afternoon, he was pleased with how I handled the conversation and his notes say, "conversation turns to poop and pee experiences. teacher handles very well. teacher tells students to whisper stories about their pets to their hands and tell her later. students are ready to begin working with letters." At least they were ready at the end to work on their letters. Maybe they learned something on that day... :)

~~~~~~~
Who doesn't love a good bodily function story! Thanks Ms. Molly!

On a side note, last night as we were about to go to sleep Chad says:

"Ugh. I need to find out what size clothes you wear at different stores in case I get you clothes for Christmas. I tried calling Molly last night and she hasn't returned my call..."

quiet for a few seconds...

"... she's a bad family member."

Busted. It made me laugh but wasn't long enough to merit it's own blog post. So I figured it tack it onto the end of MWMM. So Mol, you've been warned. You're on the outs with Chad.

Top Ten Reasons I Don't Participate in Black Friday

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving that included: a) a mid-day nap on the couch, b) sweet potato casserole, c) NFL football or d) all of the above.

I know you kids are wondering if I was out there on Black Friday shopping up a storm... cause Lord knows, I do love shopping.

It may - or may not - come as a surprise to you that I do NOT participate in the hysteria otherwise known as "Black Friday." And here's why:



10) Ummm... I like my sleep. I'd rather lose a limb than have to get out of bed before 5 a.m.

9) I'd prefer not be shanked or trampled on by some frantic 40-something housewife trying to buy this year's "Tickle Me Elmo" which I hear is a remote control hamster called a Zhu Zhu.

8) I'd prefer not to shop around people that buy remote control hamsters called Zhu Zhus, in general.

7) I'd prefer not to be trampled by people, in general.

6) I don't "do" large crowds of people... unless it is a concert or football game.

5) I don't hunt through piles and piles of clothing that are in complete disarray to find an outfit. I'd rather spend the extra $20 and find what I'm looking for easily.

4) Marketing people are tricky. Yes they might advertise that Wal-Mart is selling a 60 inch LCD TV for $500... but they may only have one in stock... and refer back to #7.

3) You see, there is this really cool thing called the Internet and it sells everything you can imagine - and then some!

2) More often than not, I can find the same "great deals" you found at 4:45 Friday morning at 2:00 Saturday afternoon. Or any time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or right after Christmas.

1) Are there really, really, such great deals for you early risers who dare brave the malls and outlets on Black Friday that you are willing to overlook #s 10-2?

I rest my case.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Great Turkey Search

My dad has requested that he be allowed to guest blog from time to time. Since he was so kind to donate half of my DNA, I suppose I'll let him.

So to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend... here is a "blog" which is more in email form (he still has some learning to do) from my dad. It is written "to me" instead of really to a general audience, but you get the point. Happy Thanksgiving!

~~~

For the last 10 years or so your mom will ask me to go pick out a turkey, and she will insist that I not get one too big...15lbs would be good for her. But I believe that "bigger is better", so each of the last 10 years I go get the biggest turkey I can find. They average 25 to 26 pounds and Mom is always pissed when I bring it home. I just shrug and say something like..."that is all they had left" or "all of them were that size!" The funny thing is that each year she seems to think that I will actually listen to her! Two years ago I got a huge turkey and also brought home a smoked ham...never has a women gone so ballistic because her husband brought home a 28-pound turkey AND a 12-pound smoked ham.

Well, tomorrow morning I will arrive at Whole Foods to pick up the bird I reserved. I decided that I would not risk being murdered in the middle of the night so I scratched the ham this year... Can you imagine reading in the News & Observer that "Holly Spring women bludgeons to death husband of 29 years" - the weapon, of course would be an 18 lb smoked ham. Her defense on the witness stand, "I really loved him dearly but those huge turkeys always slowed down the Thanksgiving preparation - he deserved it."

One of my favorite stories is hearing how my Grandfather used to ignore his wife and bring home the biggest turkey he could find. One year he found a 34 lb turkey, he bought it home and my Grandmother absolutely freaked. It was so big they had to cut the legs off to get it in the oven. I would have loved to have been there!

So my search for the giant turkey will continue
!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nostalgia

There is something about warm, straight from the dryer linens. Chad laughs at me that my favorite thing to do is unload clothes from the dryer, go lay on the couch/bed and pour the clean laundry all over my body for a few minutes while it is still nice, toasty and warm. And my friends in college always said that they liked hugging me because I always smelled like fresh laundry.

I have a thing for it, I guess.

Warm laundry is perhaps one of my favorite things.


I think it might be from my childhood. One of my favorite childhood memories was how every morning during the winter before we'd wake up for school, my mom would lay our school uniforms on the space heater for a few minutes to warm them up. That way, we'd get to put on nice, warm clothes.

Gah. I'm spoiled I know. But I really do have the best mom in the world.

So, imagine my excitement as I'm thumbing through a Bed, Bath & Beyond circular last night when I see THIS:
The "Towel Spa." Description: Nothing feels cozier than a nice, warm towel. Towel Spa thoroughly warms your entire towel inside and out in minutes. Perfect for keeping your towel warm while you're in the bath or shower. It even warms oversized towels, socks, gloves and robes.

Can you believe that? I've been having to dry off with air temperature robes and put plain socks on my chilled feet when all this time the Towel Spa would have been there for me!

Not only do they make a towel spa, but they offer all sorts of stuff like THIS:


Warmrails Temperature Controlled Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish Towel Warmer and Drying Rack This temperature controlled towel warmer and drying rack's electronic control panel offers high, medium and low settings. The Filatherm™ element uses less power than a regular lightbulb and allows you to use your Warmrails 24 hours a day. Perfect for drying towels as well as lingerie, baby clothes, bathing suits and more.

There were DOZENS of things like this. HOW WAS I NOT AWARE?

I gave Chad fair warning that I expect to see a variety of said items under the tree this Christmas.

Towel warmers were meant for me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

House updates

Since I know you can barely stand not knowing any updates on the house, here's the latest.

First- they began putting up framing last week...

Back of the house:


Front of the house:

Note: Chad took these from the car. I'm so paranoid to take the pictures when these poor guys are working on the place. I feel stalkerish.

So they're moving right along. Hopefully, they'll have the second floor complete before Thanksgiving. We owe another big chunk o' change to the builders on Wednesday and that should b
e it until we go to close. I think all these big checks are taking years off Chad's life. His hair is turning gray. Oh well - it will be worth it in the end.

Easy for me to say... if my hair was turning gray I'd be singing a different tune. But I like Chad's gray hairs. I tell him so frequently... to which he responds, "You better. I didn't have any until I married you."

So last Friday we went with our designer to the cabinet store to select all our cabinets and hardware. I was proud of myself. Decisive, clear-headed and focused. It wasn't until the last 15 minutes when we were having to choose cabinet hardware for things like that laundry room that I started getting a little "NO MORE CHOICES!" But I made it through.

So here we are. Kitchen cabinets will be antique white with a mocha glaze.


Master bathroom cabinets will be black distressed maple, like so:


Buddy bath and laundry room cabinets will be traditional high-gloss white:


I'd show you my hardware - but I barely even remember because it was such a blur. But I did select different hardware for each room. Our designer was good about shushing Chad after he told me, "Don't have too many different ones..." by saying "It's completely fine to have different hardware in different rooms. Choose what YOU like." There was a lot more than went into our cabinet selections - i.e. recessed vs. raised panel, over-laid or not, varying heights or not, decorative hood or extra cabinet space, etc., but I won't bore you. Needless to say, there are a lot more cabinets options than you would think.

So Wednesday afternoon is our next big selection day. We are going to the granite yard, the tile store and the lighting store (if there is enough time). We'll also be choosing the mantle, paint, crown molding, carpet, etc. If we push back the lighting store trip, we'll finish that in January. So pretty much, after this week, all the decisions will be done. Yippee!

Mondays with Ms. Molly - Wedding Edition




Wahoo! I'm so excited to be one of Carrie's guest bloggers and I know you will enjoy some of my crazy stories from the classroom. As Carrie mentioned, I am teaching PreK at an elementary school in Wake County. I thought it might help to know a few things about the program before we get started...

My classroom is a Title I / More at Four PreK within the public school system. The Title I PreK program is federally funded and serves children who are at risk for academic failure and the More at Four part of the program is state funded and means that many of my kids are low income (approximately 3/4 of my class receives free or reduced lunch). So, my class of 16 little ones is very diverse with a large ESL population and most of my kids are new to any school setting. Hope that helps give you a picture!

As many of you know, Mike and I got married a little over two weeks ago. This was the source of much panic and anxiety for me as I feared the worst leaving my little four-year-olds with a substitute teacher. I'm sure I worried more about them than I did about my hair, makeup, dress, etc. Of course, they all handled it beautifully and were still in one piece when I returned. On the flip side, the wedding was also a source of some hilarious one-liners and conversations before and after the big day.

First of all, I never realized how truly confusing this whole concept was to 4 and 5 year olds. They did not understand why it took me so long to get married...I had talked about it for so long and they would say, "Aren't you married yet?" and when I got back they wondered "When will you get married again?", "How long are you going to be married?", etc. I actually found these pretty sweet as I assume they asked these questions because they were worried about me leaving again!

As I mentioned before, many of my kids are English language learners. This can really add to the confusion since not only are these kids 4 and 5 years old and take everything extremely literally, there is also a major language barrier. In the classroom, I have all of the kids bring in a family picture that we have on a shelf. I have one of Mike and I on there as my "Family Picture". This has resulted in many confused faces and "Es your Dad, Ms. Molly?". (Editor's note: I'm already laughing because I can see that Molly is attempting to do their accents when they talk - which she does when she reenacts stories for us on the weekend - which makes this all even more funny. So use your imaginations!) When Mr. Mike came to school one day to visit and meet the class, that was their first comment to him..."You Ms. Molly Dad?". Since they're in pictures with their Dad's, they just assume I am too and I guess now I married mine :)

One day before the wedding, a little girl raised her hand one day during our circle time and asked, "What kinda cake you gonna feed your Beyonce?" Clearly, the term fiance was extremely novel to her...but Beyonce, not so much! When I got back to school, this same little girl looked up at me and asked, "When Mr. Mike put that ring on your finger, did you scream?" (you have to imagine this being said in a very dramatic, drawn out way...did you SCREAM???).

My assistant that attended the wedding was sweet and printed off a few pictures and put them in our "Exploration Station" while I was gone. As soon as I got back they announced, "We see your picture Ms. Molly" and wondered "Why did you kiss Mr. Mike?" and "Why did you feed him cake?". The pictures seemed so silly to them and of course any time a picture came up of me and Mr. Mike smooching, they yelled and screamed "EWWWWWWWWWW!" I told them they didn't need to worry about that until they were big, like me.

Another thing that happened when I got back was that a few of the kids realized I changed my name. See, I've had them call me Ms. Molly the entire year...more personal for the little ones and less confusing since I knew I'd be getting married. Problem is, the kids hear other teachers in the school call me Ms. Keel and now Mrs. Beavers. Most of them ignore it and are ok when I explain to them that some teachers call me that, but kids call me Ms. Molly. Others, however, think it's funny to laugh and point and call me Ms. Keel (like it's in some way embarrassing or funny?) since they know that's not my name in the classroom. A couple of days after I'd been back, I was talking to this little boy who was inquiring about my name change. I simply told him that he could still call me Ms. Molly, but that some teachers might call me Mrs. Beavers now since my name changed when I got married. He looked at me quietly for a few seconds and then announced, "That's silly, I'll just call you Ms. Treehouse". Clearly he felt that changing my name was so arbitrary that why not change it again to something he liked!

Ok, so I'm still figuring this whole blogging thing out, but I hope you have enjoyed a few of the wedding-related anecdotes from the land of PreK. Look out for next week's post when I tell the story of my first administrative observation as a first year teacher. You won't believe what the topic of conversation was as my Principal sat in my room!

~ ~ ~

Editor's note: An EXCELLENT first post from Ms. Molly - it already made me laugh out loud several times. Now on a serious note, Molly doesn't know I'm doing this... and she certainly didn't ask me... but I wanted to share a request Mol made to her family and friends. At Molly's school, they more than 120 kids and families who have requested help this holiday season... 12 of which are her own students and their families. It absolutely breaks my heart to think there are kids out here who aren't able to have a traditional Christmas (or Hanukaa or Kawanzaa or whatever) like most of us take for granted. Just as much, I know these parents often feel horrible guilt for not being able to provide gifts for their own children. Chad and I have "taken" children and families through a program in our church in the past - and have actually been able to deliver the presents ourselves - and you would not believe the joy these gifts are met with. We've delivered some gifts to a family full of teenage boys in a very rough neighborhood and they smiled and giggled like little girls when helping us unload their gifts.

That said - EVERY CHILD deserves something to open over the holiday season. And I know Molly - if there are 20 students left on that list, she'll try and find a way to take care of each and every one of them by herself. So if you have been looking for a way to give back this holiday season, or have felt called to contribute - please let me know. Molly said most people spend about $50 per child in order to get them a couple items of clothing and a few toys. I'll get more info for you, if you are interested.

Back to the laugher. Thanks for the post, Ms. Treehouse! We're eagerly awaiting next Monday's addition.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just call me Florence Nightingale

In less than two weeks, Chad will be having major surgery on his jaw. I could go into all the reasons, but it might be complicated - and while I'm fine with being open about my personal stuff, I do try keep the talking about other people's personal matters, well personal.

But I'm sure Chaddy would be fine with me telling you that he was having surgery so at least well-wishes will pour in from all our blog followers. (My numbers are growing every day - so as always, I'm so thankful for you reading my blog and being somewhat interested in what I have to say.) Feel free to send love notes, bouquets, and yummy homemade meals that only I'll be able to eat since Chad's face will be busted.

So back to Chad's surgery. I think all the women here with husbands will completely understand my lamenting about this.

Fact: Men are complete babies when it comes to sickness, injury or any health-related issue. Period.

I don't know if it's the fact that women have to menstruate once a month, or that God gave us a high threshold for pain since we have to birth children and all. But I know, personally, that I handle sickness much better than Chad. I don't take a sick day from work unless I'm dying. Headaches, cramps, nausea, etc. are pretty common things for me. I suck it up and push through it. So when I'm "sick" you know I'm really, really sick.

But I understand men are different. I grew up watching my dad act like he was about to keel over and die for having the tiniest little ailment, whereas my mom could be suffering from a rare, infectious disease but she'd still wake up, make us breakfast, clean the house all day, bake us cookies, etc., etc., etc. It'd take an act of God to have my mom acknowledge sickness. So with that said, I try to be very patient with my man when he's not feeling well.

For about three days. That's my limit of sympathy. After three days, SUCK IT FREAKING UP.

Almost 2 years ago Chad had sinus surgery. I was sweet as pie for the first day or two. Anything he needed - I was there. Poor guy had his nose broken and bandaged so that whenever he talked he sounded like Fran Drescher. I'd change his nose dressings, make him hot tea or gingerale, crush his pills up and put them into ice cream or applesauce (can't remember if I've told you - Chad can't swallow pills). You name it- I did it. I was Florence Freaking Nightingale.

On day three, I headed back to work. I was still super supportive calling to check in with him and make sure he's doing well and doesn't need anything. But was a little sick of all the babying and the Fran Drescher voice wasn't as cute as it was on, say, day one.

Day four. I'm super busy at work. At the time, I was working at a big PR agency and it was balls to the wall constantly. Taking a few days off from work to be with Chad put me a bit behind.

My phone rings.

Me: "This is Caroline."
Chad/Fran Drescher (please hold your nose while you say this to yourself so you can picture what I dealt with.) "Hi."
Me (busy): "Hey honey. What do you need?"
Chad/F.D.: "Well, I'm doing okay I guess. What are you doing?"
Me (busy): "Working. Chad, what do you need?"
Chad/F.D.: "I need applesauce. I'm all out. Can you stop by the store on the way home to get me applesauce."

Me: "Chad. Do you really need applesauce? We have ice cream and other stuff."
Chad/F.D.: "I know. I just want applesauce. Can you please get some?"

At this point in time, I was normally getting out of work til 6, 7 or even 8 at night. At the end of the day, all I wanted to do was be home. This is the excuse I give myself for what I do next to my three-days-out-of-surgery husband.

Me: "No. I can't. Call freaking Stephen (one of Chad's best friends who was kind enough to stop by and see him the first night of his surgery to make him laugh and cause his freaking packaging to burst and to start bleeding all over the place and then saying "Well, I guess this is a good time to leave!" But I won't go there. It's for another day.) to get you applesauce. He owes me."
Chad: "No it's okay. I guess I'll be fine." (assuming I'll cave)
Me: "Good. See you later."

I think of this story every time I see or hear the word applesauce.

But I told myself that was the first big surgery I had to go through with Chad and that next time I would be more patient... knowing good and well that another surgery could not possibily be as annoying as the first.

Now, with this jaw surgery, we find out Chad's jaw will essentially be wired shut and he will be on a liquid-only diet for SIX WEEKS. Yes, I can see you doing the math saying, "What?!?! He's having this surgery before CHRISTMAS?!" Yes, my friends. I'd rather die a sudden death than be stuck drinking my meals during the Christmas season - which is essentially, the traditional foods I look forward to eating all year. But six weeks it will be. He'll be taking off the entire month of December to recoop.

Luckily, this go-round, we're living with his parents for a few months. I've already coordinated with his mama that I will go with him to the hospital, stay the night with him in the hospital, stay home with him the following day, then my butt is high-tailing it out of there on day three for work and she can take him for a few days.

Fact: It is simply impossible for mothers to not want to take care of their sick children - no matter what the age. They live for it. My mama taking care of me sick is equal to buying myself a new wardrobe at J.Crew. These chicks live for it.

So there you have it. I - no doubt - will have plenty of stories to tell surrounding this surgery. Perhaps even a live blog of the funny things Chad will say once he comes out of surgery... because, if you've been around someone that has been put under by anesthesia, they say the craziest things when they come out.

But in all seriousness, do keep us in your thoughts in prayers. Chad for his poor mouthy, and me for my sanity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New blog feature: Mondays With Miss Molly

I'm super excited to announce that your Mondays will now be filled with laughter due to a new feature to My PLT:
Yes, you heard that right. "Miss Molly" - as her children call her - has agreed to share some of her wonderful classroom anecdotes with my loyal readers. And trust me... she has some good ones. Every weekend we get a run down of all the hilarious things her preschoolers do or say. I'm excited that we can pass that laughter on to you! MWMM will be like my own version of "Kids Say the Darndest Things." I hope you are excited as I am!

Be on the lookout for the first edition of MWMM on ... you guessed it... Monday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Decisive

I am a decision maker. I am decisive. I stick to my guns. I'm not wishy-washy.

I often know exactly what I'm looking for, and if I find it, it's a done deal.

The fact is, I don't think I have enough time in my life to spend thinking, and re-thinking and then over-thinking decisions. For this reason, I'm never late to dinner dates, I don't have trouble deciding what to wear in the mornings, and when my boss expects me to have a plan on his desk by Friday, it will be there a day early. I will never be in one of those discussions, "What do you what for lunch... no I don't care, you pick... I really don't care, anything is fine... well what do you feel like, etc." Ask me what I want, I'll make a decision. I just get it done.

It's just how I'm wired, I think. Get it done and move on the next one.

Some how, some way, even though Chad is the opposite, we don't manage to kill each other with decision making. In fact we've struck a pretty good balance, if I do say so myself. I think at times I can rush into a decision without fully thinking it through. He makes me wait to listen to pros and cons. But in the end, I'll make sure a decision is made and not just discussed.

Exhibit A (shortened):

Me: "What colors should we choose for the outside of the house? I want something neutral so I don't get sick of it."
Chad: "Well, white with black shutters is pretty traditional."
Me: "Perfect! White and black." (Decision made)
Chad: "But with white, it shows dirt more. We'd have to powerwash the house a lot."
Me: "Fine. We'll do cream and black." (Decision re-made)

This quick trigger of mine usually suits me just fine. I supposed it's because most decisions I make only have temporary outcomes and don't really impact me all that much in the long run.

So I think that's why I'm really struggling over this house stuff. A lot of choices we make, we're going to have to live with for several years. So while I could easily choose things that appeal to me at this very moment, I'm not sure how I'd like it in the long-run. I'm now forcing myself to really stop and think these things through. Do my research. Read kitchen and home decorating forums. Ask people who know a thing or two.

So now that I've opened up all these options and opinions, I'm struggling! I feel paralyzed in my ability to make a decision like what freaking doorknob I want. We were supposed to go select kitchen cabinets tomorrow with our designer but something has come up for Chad at work and he's not able to attend. When he asked me to just go solo, I immediately responded with "I CAN'T!!!!" Old me would have been able to choose something like that, no problemo. Now, I'm afraid I'll completely freak out and be unable to make any decision at all out of fear I'll make the wrong one.

Lawdy help me.

Next week is decision week for us. All our exterior selections have already been made. Next Wednesday, we need to choose knobs, fixtures, cabinets, tile floors, tile imprints and back splashes, granite, mantles, carpet, paint and trim colors, etc. In one day. After that - we will be DONE with decision making.

I just need to push through.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kitchen Faucets

I'm not lying when I say that we literally get to pick and choose every little thing that is going into the house. Literally, I don't know of one thing that comes "standard."

So the joys - and annoyances - with using a custom builder is we get to choose little things, like, say our kitchen faucets.

And if I have to make a decision, surely I'd like input from friends.

So here we are: voting for kitchen faucets. Here are some good options I like:

Fairmont Single Handle:


Opulence Single Handle:


Opulence Double Handle:


Antioch Single Handle:


Voting is open. Yes we can!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You're my best friend

I want to thank my beautiful wife for another chance to guest appear on her blog. I feel that my posts do bring a nice change of pace to this lovely blog. Some of you may have been missing my posts as much as I miss making them. Having feelings of "I used to be love drunk, but now I'm hung over..." from missing Chad's awesome blog posts. (Editor's note: I didn't understand this at first but it is from a song that once Chad started signing I remembered.) Yes, I am still hip with the youngsters. So let's get to the meat. Chad's pretty awesome thoughts v.2.

Last Fall I was introduced to a wonderful delight which has had me in a quiet withdrawal and yearning for this winter season. I am going to introduce each and everyone of you to this little joy now. But I must warn you that I cannot be held responsible for any addictions which may befall upon you after using this wonderful treat.

I was beset with a horrible cough last winter which I could not seem to shake and it became very painful. A friend of mine then introduced me to... wait for it........Fisherman's Friend.


This may be the best friendship you will ever develop. TRUST ME. I began taking these wonderful little straight menthol lozenges to help with my sore throat. I started with one at a time but quickly moved to two. And then it got to the point that I felt awkward when I didn't have one in my mouth...and I was eating them even once I got better.

(Editor's note: This same winter I got a horrible sinus infection. Since Chad walked around smelling like a tub of Vick's Vapo Rub, I made him breath into my nose once (Editor's note within an editor's note: This is one of those gross things that you can only do with your spouse but everyone else would find disgusting.) to see if it helped my breathing. It did. That's how much menthol was in those drops. His breath was a mentol inhaler.)

We took a trip to Maryland with Carrie's family during which time I introduced Fisherman's Friend to my brother in law, Mike. He soon became hooked and I became his personal "pusher" for the trip. He also began to show the signs of withdrawal when he did not have one of these smooth, refreshing lozenges.

(Editor's note: Mike and Chad began eating like these things like they were crack. They'd start getting shaky if they went more than 10 minutes without their next drop. Needless to say, it was completely disgusting having both of them smell like menthol during a 6 hour car drive.)

It got so bad that once we got back to NC, Carrie made me go to the drug store to ask the pharmacist "What are the health concerns my husband should have for consuming a full bag of these things in one day?" Her reply was "fresh breath." HA!!!

So do yourself a favor this fall and winter season. (Editor's note: If you are a man. Or girls, for your man. Women would have no interest in these things). Cast out your nets next time in the drug store and pull in some Fisherman's Friend. I promise you that it will be the best holiday gift that you treat yourself to.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's congratulations

...not congradulations.

And please never write "congrads" instead of "congrats."

Even the baby hates when people do that.

I've done my civic duty.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New show recommendation

I'm sorry my blog posting was weak yesterday. My life right now, dare I say it, is on the CALM side. After the past 3 months with weddings and showers and moving and traveling, I'm finally settling down. Yippee!

The only down side with my calmness, is my brain isn't firing with all sorts of fun blog postings. Alas, I'm sure something ridiculous will happen this weekend that will merit a funny blog post. If not, I'll just hang around my dad for a few hours, since something humorous always arises from those occasions.

However, right now, Dad is in Emerald Island on his annual golfing trip with
some buddies. Since there appears to be a freaking hurricane over North Carolina, I don't believe he is golfing much. Though he did text Chad last night to tell him that he's been taking shots of patron tequila.

Once again, my father has never texted me. Sigh.

Anyway, I've never seen my dad take a shot of anything... nevertheless tequila... so I'm sure he's feeling peachy this morning. I'll maybe call him in a bit to get a recap.

So for now, to make up for my boring life, I will supply you with the name o
f a TV show that is for sure about to be the "must see" comedy. While I still adore "The Office" and "30 Rock" - it's time for you to meet...


This show literally brings me to tears I laugh so hard.

Phil and Cameron are my two favorite characters. Phil because he's attempt at being hip - "I'm cool dad, that's my thang. I'm hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face." - reminds me of my own dad. And Cam is awesome because, well, just watch the first episode.


You're welcome for bringing some joy and laughter to your Wednesday nights... or if you have Bible study on Wednesdays like me... whenever you can watch it on Hulu.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interior Door Voting Has Ended

The Camden was far and away the favorite choice.

Thanks for voting everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beer Cheese Soup

I'm a big fan of soups in the fall - chilis, stews, chowders... you name it, I love it!

This weekend, a few of the family members are going to get together to watch Mike and Molly open their wedding presents. Since my brother is a HUGE beer fan, I thought I'd make a big pot of beer cheese soup for the occasion!

This recipe looks good, courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens:

Beer and Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

- 1 bunch green onions
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 3/4 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained
- 3/4 cup pale lager
- 2 cups refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes
- 2 cups milk
- 8 oz American cheese, shredded
- 1/4 tsp paprika, plus additional for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Slice green onions, separating white and green parts. In Dutch oven over medium heat cook white portion of green onions in 1 tablespoon hot oil under tender.

2. In blender combine red peppers, cooked onion, beer, and 1 cup potatoes; process until smooth. Return to pot. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.

3. Add milk and cheese to pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted and soup is hot (do not boil).

4. In skillet cook remaining potatoes in remaining hot oil over medium-high heat, 8 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with paprika.

5. Top with potatoes, onion tops, and paprika. Makes 4 servings.

So go make some soup this weekend! And don't forget to let me know if you have any great recipes to share.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Can you spell that for me?

I'll start by letting you know that the wedding this weekend was incredible. Touching, sweet, personal, fun and memorable. Mike was relaxed and happy and Molly looked absolutely stunning. Chad said it best, "She had a smile on her face the whole day... and her smile is so pretty."

And I only cried during about five different parts of the weekend. So all in all - it was a big success. The happy couple are currently honeymooning at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. (super jealous), and we can't wait for them to come home. Mol and I might have broken some sort of honeymoon code by talking yesterday afternoon - but we didn't care. I miss them already.

So moving on - this post was not supposed to be wedding related, but I didn't want to leave you hanging with no update.

On Saturday night, with my grandparents still in town, we decided to head to our favorite Mexican joint for dinner. Since we were having a group of about nine, my dad decided to call ahead to make reservations.

This is what we overheard:

Dad: "Ah, yes. We have a group of about nine coming in for dinner tonight at 6:45. Yes - nine people at 6:45. You can put the reservations under Ed. E...D."

At this point, me, my mom, husband and brother are CRYING laughing so hard that he is spelling Ed. Kev (the baby), interrupts -inappropriate I know -: "Yes Ed. E, as in enchilada, D..."

I don't know if it was because the weekend was so emotional, but literally, the four of us laughed to the point of tears for about 5 minutes without stopping. My dad, of course, didn't see what was so funny.

The best part of the night was when we showed up, the woman who took the reservation actually put it under the name "Eric." So I guess "Ed" was more complicated than we thought.

Seriously?!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A very big weekend

I think I'm writing this post now in hopes to get some of the tears out so I'm not an absolute wreck all weekend.

My brother gets married tomorrow night.

My little brother, Mike. We were born two years - almost to to the day - apart. We even looked so much alike that as children, people always thought we were twins. My mom jokes that we've been best friends since birth. We never went anywhere without each other. I was the loud mouth big sister; he was the more quiet, introspective baby brother. I knew he was more shy as a child, so I took the liberty of talking for him most of the time. In fact, it was so bad that once I went off to school and someone would ask him a question, he would look around for me to answer.

Growing up, we were always the best of friends. His friends were my friends, and vice versa. We did everything together. Listened to the same music, liked the same foods, had the same interests. He is the most kind, compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent, caring, hilarious, creative and wonderful person you'll meet. And he's patient! The same patience he's had to learn by having me as a sister translated to him spending his time in college -while busy keeping highest grades at one of the top design schools in the country - working with young people with autism. He's just an incredible person. I could brag on him all day long.

After I went off to college, another - more important - person entered his life. Miss Molly. I loved her the moment I met her, and haven't stopped since. They've been sweethearts since she was too young to drive. Seven years they've been together, I believe. I've watched her grow up.


I love Mol in her own right. She is actually one of my very best friends. In fact, I often I have to remind myself that she is my brother's soon-to-be wife... not just my girlfriend. She is like a sister to me in ever sense of the word. Molly enjoys spending her time with children - and also has pat
ience in spades since she works as a pre-K teacher with underserved children. In fact, there will be children of all sorts around for the wedding. You know how some people want "no children" at their weddings? I actually think M&M might prefer "all children" at theirs! On their ceremony programs, she lists her flowergirl and ringbearer as "little friends of the bride." She is kind, honest, patience, smart, sensitive and loving. So for all those things - I love her as a person. But I love her as a sister because I know she absolutely adores and treasures all those little things in Mike that we find so amazing. She sees him the same way we do.


They get each other.


So tomorrow I get to stand up with them as their matron of honor - and honor it truly, truly is - and see them promise to love and treasure each other for the rest of their lives.

And I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Surprise! Interior Door Voting Again

Don't kill me - I know some of you already voted on this. But since we met with our designer yesterday, she sent me the website with all the door choices we could have... and there are more than the ones I originally showed you. Plus the ones I had put up were just pictures I found online... not necessarily the exact doors.

So like Florida... or Al Gore... I demand a recount.

Keep in mind we'll have picture frame molding in the house...like so:


So here are your options:

Four Panel:

Five Panel:

Six Panel:

The Camden:

The Santa Fe:

There were more choices than that... but I didn't want you to hate me. So please share your valuable insight with me by voting - top right corner. Thanks friends!

Custom Mantle Voting is Closing

Mantle #2 had the highest amount of votes. Since I put the vote up, however, Chad and I have poured through about 30 back-issues of This Old House, Traditional Home, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living and Southern Living and have found some beautiful mantles that we're going to try to have built.

Thanks for your input!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Body

I might have solved my soft-water hair dilemma. Not that I've fixed the soft water problem, but I found a product that actually made my hair have some body... not just falling to the side of my head like a bunch of limp noodles.

Kenra's Volume Mousse Extra.

Hello pretty.

I already use Kenra's Perfect Medium Hair Spray... and it loves me. Not only is it a great spray, it also smells nice! My soon to be sis-in-law asked me the other week if I wore perfume (which I don't - except for special occasions... and then it's Michael Kors Michael: My signature scent.) and then after I put my hairspray in she said "I thought so! I think its your hair spray that smells good."

On a sidenote: I NEVER used any hair product (other than shampoo and conditioner) until I hit 25. Then all a sudden my hair decided that it was sick of being low maintence and needed some TLC.

So there you go. My beauty recommendations of the day: Kenra products.

So Kenra people- if you're reading this and want to send me free stuff for my recommendations, that is just fine by me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Home n' Hair

I hope y'all had a great weekend! My baby brother is getting married on Friday so this week is going to be a bit crazy in preparation. I'm super excited though and am praying for good weather... since they'll be getting married outside by a lake.

So a few updates for you:

1. Tomorrow we have our first meeting with our designer to select the exterior features/colors of the house. We drove around the neighborhood this weekend and I think officially decided on colors - a creamy beige with black shutters.

By the way - here are a couple pictures of what our house will look like (same model). I apologize - I
thought I had posted them on my blog earlier, but that does not appear to be the case.

So there you have it - our future home! Also, after checking out our lot this weekend (they've actually tilled the land a bit to prepare for building so that is exciting), it appears that our house will be the opposite of these ... or the "left handed version" as my f-i-l joked. In other words, our garage will be on the left.

Hopefully, after meeting with the designer tomorrow I'll have new polls to put up!

2. An update on the living situation: the only complaint I have thus far about living with Chad's parents is the fact they have well water, which I think is softer than city water. I know soft water is better for lots of things (cleaning, dishes, clothes, etc.) but it is horrible on my hair. My hair has looked flat and unattractive for a week now! I went to Ulta today to ask if they had any shampoo that was better for soft water and then 16 year old behind the counter looked at me like I was crazy. Sigh. It's gotten so bad I'm contemplating taking a shower at my parents house before the rehearsal dinner on Thursday so my hair doesn't look awful.

If anyone has any insight to tips to make soft water like my hair, please share. I'm desperate and can't have 7 more weeks of bad hair.