Sunday, September 30, 2012

Go Knights...

Friday night after Dave got off work we packed up the car and headed over to Orlando to stay with Sydnee and attend our first UCF Knights Football game. We attempted this last year but the weekend we picked ended up being very rainy so Dave and the girls didn't even get to see the campus and we never went to the game. This weekend was perfect the only downfall was that the game was in the middle of the day and of course as per usual in Florida the high was 90 degrees.

 Yes, I thought I was going to die.

 Of course, you have to park miles away from the stadium and tailgating area so by the time we arrived to where some friends of ours (who's children also attend UCF) were I was already miserably hot and soaking with sweat.

 Luckily, they were set up under a tree so we had some shade. Visiting with old friends helped me forget about the heat for awhile, it was so nice to see them. After about an hour or so we made another LONG, HOT, trek to the stadium.

 It was military appreciation day so a highlight of this walk was seeing two fighter jets do a flyover of the stadium. They were so fast and SO LOUD. It was neat to see.

I will quit complaining about the heat long enough to tell you that I loved the atmosphere. Dave didn't go to college and I attended a small local college but never finished so neither of us have ever had the whole go away to college experience. As I sat there in that stadium surrounded by all these young college kids (we sat in the student section with Sydnee and her friends) I was so proud of her for wanting this and working so hard to get there. I was also so thankful that we were able to help her dream become a reality.

 I just wish Natalie could of come with us. She had all conference for swim team yesterday so she wasn't able to join us. Hopefully next time she will get to come too.

 I can't wait until next time but I can assure you it will not be on a day when the high is 90. I will never make that mistake again. We will wait until later in the season when it is cooler and we will definitely be doing and evening game.

 Here are some picture of our wonderful, VERY HOT day.

In the stands...

View of Bright House stadium from our seats.

The band getting ready to go on the field for the half time show.

Sydnee and her BFF Jacqueline who is now a freshman at UCF.

Dave and I in the tailgating area.  Can you tell I am melting? LOL

Me and my girls..

The girls...

Dave and I with Sydnee, McKenlee and Syd's room mate Kayla.
Sydnee and her boyfriend Matt.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wind in my hair...

Last night I had to pick up McKenlee from softball practice and return a movie to Red Box. (my new favorite thing by the way)  We had a cold front come through which in Florida means that while the high is still 89 degrees the humidity is lower which gives the illusion that it is cooler.   So when I walked outside to get in my car I thought I am going to roll the windows down and enjoy this cooler air for the car ride.

As I pulled out of my driveway I turned the radio on and one of those fast paced songs with a lot of bass came on.

I immediately felt like a teenager again so I turned it up.
Then I took the clip out of my hair and gave my hair a fluff.  ( I thought it looked pretty good, kind of eighties wild)
I took a quick glance around my new car and thought yeah, this car is kind of sporty not so mini van Mom looking.
I turned the radio up a little louder.
I felt COOL.
I drove a little to fast for a residential neighborhood.
I tapped my hand on the steering wheel of my car to the beat of the song I had blaring.
   (This I was hoping would give the illusion that I actually knew the song and that this was the kind of music I always listened to.)
I made my tires squeal as I pulled out of the Walgreens where the Red Box is located.
   (Ok, this was totally on accident and I was mortified when it happened but then I remembered I was cool so I just went with it.)
I whipped into the softball field parking lot music blaring and saw my daughter sitting on the picnic table with a friend.
As I pulled up she gave me a funny look.  "Why do you have the radio so loud?"

I could tell by her tone and her facial expressions that she didn't get it.  There was no way in her thirteen year old mind that I could ever be cool. Even with the wind in my 80's hair, the music blaring, and my sort of  sporty car.

I didn't care, I just turned the radio down, smiled at her, and asked her how practice went.

Because I knew in my world I was COOL even if it was only for a 15 minute car ride.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Brunch...

My Aunt invited us to brunch today in Sarasota at the River House Reef and Grill. It's a restaurant by a Marina on the Manatee River. We had a wonderful time. The weather couldn't have been better. We had a gorgeous breeze and it wasn't to hot so we were able to sit outside. It was fantastic sitting alfresco with a beautiful view of the river. The food was delicious and the homemade pastries were out of this world. We got a few pictures with our phones because once again I remembered my camera but not the memory stick. (UGH, so frustrating I do this all the time you think I would learn.) It was also a bonus because Sydnee was home for the weekend and was able to join us.

 Afterwards we drove another 20 minutes so I could finally go to a Trader Joes. I read so many blogs where the authors rave about Trader Joes, I was so excited to check it out. Needless to say I was kind of disappointed. I don't know exactly what I was expecting but it definitely wasn't what I was expecting. LOL I guess I really just expected it to be much bigger. It was just a small grocery store. A small grocery store that was packed with people. You couldn't even get down the aisles. Maybe in other towns they are bigger?? Also, this one has only been open for two weeks so maybe that's why it was packed. I might check it out again if one opens closer to my home but I definitely wouldn't make the hour plus drive again just for that store.

 If you have one in your town I would love to know what you think if you shop there.

Here are some photos from today:

McKenlee and I you can see the Manatee River in the back.

Dave and I with our girls walking through the Marina admiring the boats.

My three beauties

Aunt Sharon and the girls..

Another view of our table and the River.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Sydnee is home from college for the weekend and is making pumpkin swirl bread.

Natalie is chilling out and McKenlee is at the skating rink.

Jesse is getting a bath..

I know she looks pitiful doesn't she..LOL

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fifteen and Fabulous...

My middle daughter turned fifteen last week, man time sure does fly.  We had our traditional family dinner her boyfriend Thor joined us.  Her menu request was Shrimp Alfredo, garlic bread, and tossed salad.

The day after her birthday there was no school so I scheduled her appointment for her to get her drivers learning permit.  She was so excited.  In just these few days, she has already been doing quite a bit of back road driving and she has been on the highway a couple times.

That same evening Thor planned a birthday dinner with a bunch of their friends at a local restaurant.  It was really nice and reminded me just how much she is growing up.  I didn't even have to play taxi driver. She rode to and from the restaurant with her friend Olivia and Olivia's boyfriend Cody.  This is all new to me her getting rides with other teenage drivers.    I love that I am off the hook but at the same time I worry.  Of course Cody has spent time at our house on several occasions and he is a great kid but still.  My daughter is in a car with a teenage driver. (who isn't her sister) Yikes!!

Thor had a beautiful custom made cake for her.  It was a swimming pool complete with lane lines, starting blocks and little swimmers.  One of the swimmers even had "Natalie" monogrammed on her tiny swim cap.

It was darling.

Here are two pictures of my birthday girl.  One is from the dinner party night and the other from her swim meet just last night.

Happy Birthday Nattie Pattie (her nickname) we love you so much!!!

Natalie and Thor

Butterfly Baby!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My late night T.V Buddy...

I have mentioned before that I am a huge TV addict.  In my opinion the invention of the DVR is one of the greatest technological advances. (Yes, I'm joking kind of.)  Well of course this is my favorite time of year TV wise because all the fall premiers are airing.

Dave tends to head to bed kind of early around 9pm.  He is more of a lay in bed and watch TV kind of guy. Since we have completely different tastes in shows with a few exceptions I generally hang out in the family room with the big TV and the DVR.

Natalie has to get up so early for school that she tends to go to bed early too.  So this leaves McKenlee and I watching TV together.

I have also mentioned before how at this age McKenlee can sometimes be very difficult to be around.  I remember her sisters going through it as well, something about those middle school years.

I don't know if it is because I am older.
I have less patience because I have been through this twice already.
If I just don't remember how frustrating it can be.
Or if different personalities (McKenlee's personality) handle these difficult years with  more attitude, sass, and drama.  But I just don't remember it being quite as challenging.

 I have come to cherish the times when McKenlee likes being around me.  LOL  When I am not the annoying Mom reminding her to fold the towels, unload the dishwasher, or watch her sassy mouth.

Some of those times are the evenings when it's just the two of us watching TV together.

I love watching TV with McKenlee.  We watch The Voice together and talk about what singers we like,  and just how cute we think Adam Levine is.  We always watch Modern Family together and are very excited about the premier next week. (Dave and Natalie usually join us for that one.)  She watches my all time favorite Survivor with me and together we discuss the different challenges and contestant personalities.

My favorite though is when we watch something that McKenlee thinks might be a little scary.  I love this because it is then that she scoots herself over and cuddles up next to me.  If I am really lucky she will even curl up and lay her head in my lap.

 I have learned to soak up these moments and hold them dear.  To remember them when I am at my wits end with her mouth and her determination to make me crazy.

I am confident that as she grows things will get better and we will have lots of times where we connect and talk and really enjoy each others company.
I have this confidence because I enjoy this now with my older daughters so I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I just have to have patience.  LOTS and LOTS of patience.

Oh how I love this girl!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Update on the "Wigglies"...

Our little Wigglies are doing great. I am so proud of their Mama. They are the cutest little things and we all love taking a peek at them several times a day. We still can't hold them but we sure love talking to them and soaking up their cuteness. We can hold them when they are two weeks old and they will be weened at that age too. Needless to say we just can't wait to hold them, probably all three in one hand they are so tiny. As much as this was totally unexpected and unplanned we sure are enjoying them. I am also excited to say that we already have a home for one of them.
This is Lola the Mommy..

Are they the cutest or what?

So cute!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lifeproof not McKenlee Proof...

So last Sunday evening my youngest daughter who had been begging for a new phone for months started bugging us again. Her phone had stopped working about three months before and she had just been making due with texting with her Ipod touch.  I'm not going to lie though it was kind of annoying always having to call her on her friends phone when I needed to track her down or talk to her.  Our contracts were up for renewal so we were able to purchase the Iphone 4s for $149.00.   I am sure this is due to the fact that the new one is coming out.  She had some birthday money so I told her if she was willing to spend her birthday money than we would be willing to let her renew the 2 year contract.  We had been doing some price comparisons and were pretty confident we were going to be sticking with Sprint.  I was kind of surprised how quickly she jumped at the idea. (It's very hard for my girls to part with THEIR money sometimes)

Dave and I had already discussed that when we updated the girls phones we were insisting on the lifeproof boxes for them.  When McKenlee shattered her Ipod touch screen a few months back the salesman who replaced the screen introduced us to Otterbox and Lifeproof and we were pretty impressed and felt it was definitely worth the extra money.

Within hours of the Iphone arriving at our door Dave and McKenlee were at the mall purchasing the lifeproof box.

This box claims that it is shatter proof and more importantly WATERPROOF.

We learned this from the salesman and also from Sydnee's roommate Katie who's phone has the box and who took darling pictures of the girls UNDERWATER with her Iphone.  McKenlee was very excited about the prospect of taking her phone in the pool and taking pictures.

Fast forward three days.  Yes, that's right I said three days.  My daughter was the proud owner of an Iphone for 3 days!!!  Because of course we got the Lifeproof box that was defective. (after researching on line hind sight is 20/20 we discovered that this happens quite often)  So when she took it in the pool it got wet.

She was heartbroken and we were heartbroken for her.  I immediately got on the phone with the Lifeproof company who promptly told me that they "guarantee the box not the merchandise in the box" and would be "more than happy to send me another box."  To which I replied "the box does me no good without a phone to put in it."

Don't worry there is a happy ending to this story, kind of.

Because we felt so terrible for McKenlee, I used my upgrade and purchased her a replacement phone. (it should be here Tuesday) Of course this meant that Dave and I were out $149.00 of OUR money and I will be carrying my Blackberry for two more years.

But my sweet girl will have the phone that she has wanted for so long and used her very hard to part with OWN MONEY to buy.

The moral to this post:

 Lifeproof boxes, Otter Scuba boxes, all of them as far as I am concerned can fail at any time.  IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK.  If you do buy one, think of it as insurance just in case your phone happens to accidentally get wet or is dropped on a hard surface.  Don't buy it to make your Iphone an underwater camera.   Because in my opinion you are taking a HUGE and EXPENSIVE risk.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And babies make five...

We have two Hamsters.  Their names are Charlie and Lola.  When we first got them we knew there was a chance that they were not the same sex.  The pet store tried to give us two girls but couldn't guarantee that's what we had. (Robo hamsters are very small and very hard to sex.)  I worried for the first couple months that we might end up finding little ones in the cage.  After 6 months had passed I assumed we were in the clear.  Well you know what happens when you assume.  LOL   Last night Natalie excitedly came out of her room exclaiming  "Mom, we have babies"  Our little Lola had become a Mommy to 3 little wigglies. (She had 4 but unfortunately one didn't make it)  I am not sure how this will go.  She is a first time Mom and from what I read sometimes that is not good but we will hope for the best.  I will keep you posted....

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Boo Hoo Monday...

Do you have a list of things that you know would make you happier?

Do you feel guilty because you know in your heart that you are suppose to focus on the positive things in your life and not the things that you wish you had?

Yup, me too!

 I decided since it's Monday I am going to have a Boo Hoo day.  Here is a list of things that I know would make me happier.
Am I writing this because I am unhappy? Definitely not, I have a great life and I know it.

Sometimes though you just want to make a list of things that you wish for even when some of them are totally NOT going to happen or are not happening due to your own lack of WILL POWER.
 (Yeah, I bet you already figured out what number 3 is.)

1.  I want to live somewhere with seasons.  Not 12 months of HOT and not quite so HOT.

2.  I want to have more money.  I don't have to be rich I just want a little bit more.  Like maybe just $1,000 a month.  I know that sounds like a lot but would it make any of us millionaires?  I think not, but it would sure make a difference in my life.

3.  I want to be thinner!!  I don't have to be skinny or have a knock out figure I am so past that now that I am older.  But I would like to be thinner.  I feel that my weight consumes me.  (of course not enough to keep my  mouth shut.  LOL)  But sometimes it is all I think about.  There is not an hour that goes by that my weight, how to manage it, what to eat, exercising, does not cross my mind.  I believe that if I were happy with my body my life would be so close to perfect.  I try to accept myself for who I am and love all that my body can do.  ( I know the drill!! Be happy that I have two legs, eyes to see, arms to hold the ones I love)  I get all that but I want to be a size 12 people.  Just a size 12 please, can someone wave their magic wand!!!

4. I want a swimming pool in my back yard.  For years we thought about putting one in but with my Mom only a mile away with her beautiful pool we never could justify the expense.  Now I know we want to move in 5 years so why bother.   Not to mention my kids are older now it would of been awesome to have had it when they were younger.

5.  I want to live close to a Trader Joes.  I have heard wonderful things about this store and I want one close so I can shop there and spend some of that extra $1,000 a month.

6. I want my husbands family to live closer.  He misses them, my kids miss them, I miss them.  I wish we all lived close and could have family dinners once a month.  I want to get to know my great niece in Australia and stop into my sister in laws in England on the way home from the grocery store for a chat.  I want my husband to call his Dad and ask him to meet him at the Pub for a pint after work on a Friday.

7.  I wish there wasn't such a large age difference between my girls and my sister's daughter.  I would of loved for them to have grown up together and be best friends.

8. I wish I knew my Dad.  Or maybe I don't, I mean what kind of person walks out on their kids and never looks back.

9. I wish I liked gardening.  I love pretty yards and creative landscaping, but I hate gardening.  Actually, this goes back to 1. and 2.  If I lived in a cooler state maybe I would like to be out in the yard gardening.  If I had an extra $1,000 a month I could pay someone to do it for me.  See why I wish for number 2.

10.  I wish that my dog wasn't afraid of thunderstorms and wouldn't carry on relentlessly whining in the middle of the night when we are trying to sleep.

There you have it my Boo Hoo Monday list.

Let me just stress I really do have it good and I really appreciate my life but sometimes you just have to have a Boo Hoo Monday...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday Morning rendition of GOOD and BAD...


1.  I have a Saturday with nothing on the agenda.
2.  There is a nice breeze today which will keep the heat at bay.
3.  My house is relatively clean.  All laundry is mostly done.
4.  The house is very quiet.  This is probably due to only one of my children being home.
5.  Facebook, I love Facebook.  Yes, I admitted it.  I think it is because I am  innately nosy.
6.  I only had to spend $127.00 at the grocery store yesterday.  This is because I am well stocked from previous weeks but still I ONLY SPENT $127.00.
7.  Had a nice phone call with my college girl this morning about things.  It was nice to catch up.
8.  Last night Dave and I had our Friday night date night.  We haven't had one in a long time.  It was nice.
9.  My elderly Uncle is in the hospital and was not expected to make it.  Now the Dr's say he should recover it will just be a long recovery.
10. I still have approx 5 months until the 1/2 marathon.


1.  My Natalie is not feeling well today.
2.  We decided to paint McKenlee's room.  I hate painting.
3.  It is still so hot in Florida, I wish the weather would cool down just a little.
4.  The UCF Knights lost to to Ohio State. (It's funny I never used to care, now we watch the games.)
5.   I have to furniture shop for McKenlee's room and I am not looking forward to it.  Mostly because I really don't want to spend the money.  I'm trying so hard not to spend money, it's so hard.
6.  Natalie can't remember the password to her old computer that we set up in the family room which means it is totally in-operable right now.  I am not exactly sure what to do about that.
7.   My friend is leaving on vacation for a week on Tuesday.  She is the Mom I hang with in the day with my little guys.  (Story Time, Gymnastics, Play Dates) She is the friend that keeps me sane with two one year olds.  I am going to miss her while she is gone.  
8.  My cat is insisting on scratching the front door frame no matter what I do.  Looks like I will be sanding, wiping, painting and repeating for awhile.
9.  Our garage freezer stopped working I hope we can fix it.
10. I only have approx 5 months until the 1/2 marathon I have to get it together if I am going to be able to do it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

McKenlee's Birthday Weekend...

Friday night after Dave got off work we loaded up our vehicles with food and kids. Dave with Natalie and her friend me with McKenlee aka the Birthday girl and her friends. What a great weekend, the weather was perfect and the girls had a blast. I was so proud of how well they all got along (no drama sometimes hard with teenage girls)and behaved. They stayed together as a group like I requested and when I told them it was time for bed and to please keep the noise down they did just that. When I told them they had to be back at the villa at curfew they were not even a minute late. It was a great weekend celebrating McKenlee's 13th B-day and hanging out with friends and family.
YMCA poolside...

Ice cream Sundaes

Campfire singalong..

Afternoon Volleyball..

Circle of Friends..

Smile Girls..

Birthday Kisses..

Water slide with my niece Hannah...

My sister and Mom in the pool..

Hannah LOVED the slides..

My BFF and hubby came with their son and his friend for the day.
 (Their daughter was already with us for the B-day weekend)
Dave and I with our Birthday girl.  A teenager finally.  Let the fun begin.  LOL