Thursday, May 31, 2012

The First Husband: A BlogHer Book Club Review

*This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club. As always, my thoughts are completely my own.

The First Husband by Laura Dave is one of those books that as you read it, you can see it becoming a movie that girlfriends around the world will go to see together because their husbands just aren't interested.  Or at least, my husband wouldn't be interested.  But it has the feel of a story that could quickly be turned into a screen play starting Rachel McAdams and maybe Ryan Gosling (Ryan Gosling can just be my constant casting roll for any leading man) and girls aged 15-55 would watch the preview and think "Yep... that's my kind of movie". The story has enough meat to it to keep you interested, but it is light enough to pick up and set down as time allows.

The First Husband is a very simple story about a girl, Annie Adams, who loves her life as a travel writer, loves her long term live in boyfriend Nick, and feels like life is all around pretty perfect.  Next thing she knows that live in boyfriend is breaking up with her and her life is upside down.  Within a few weeks of the breakup she goes out to a bar in Los Angeles on her own to reenter society and meets Griffin.  A full fledged life upheaval takes place where Annie relocates and starts an entirely new life in small town Maine.  A few months in her job is up in the air, her ex is wanting her back, and she is trying to decide who she wants to be.  Or maybe who she is and has always been.  Either way, it plays out as a sweet love story, and it might not be a book that leads to deep thinking, but I enjoyed it. 

We will be discussing The First Husband over at BlogHer for the next several weeks.  Come join the conversation!



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Great Outdoors

You know what is handy about living in Kentucky?  that things like this are actually in your back yard.
Memorial  Weekend 2012
Well... I don't know. Maybe things like this are in everybody's back yard. But just let me believe we are special.
Memorial  Weekend 2012
This is a local park near our house that Nick grew up fishing and playing in. The trails are easy and shady and it was all around a good local outdoor activity for our sweet boy. I am not much into hiking, but this type of trail I can handle.
Memorial  Weekend 2012
Did I mention there are fish? Because someone was very excited about 'DA FISH!'and also about 'DA WATER!!' and even 'MAMA! MAMA! A STICK! I GONNA THROW IT IN DA WATER!!'
Memorial  Weekend 2012
Oh. Don't even start about the turtles.
Memorial  Weekend 2012
Henry's first fish of the year. Exciting stuff.  He immediately said he wanted to pet it.  Then thought a little more about it and declared "MAMA PET IT!"
Memorial  Weekend 2012
Henry and Mama enjoying the view from the bridge
Memorial  Weekend 2012
Working their way across the stream for some better fishing. 
  Memorial  Weekend 2012
Heading home after an awesome day (an hour) in the Great Outdoors
Memorial  Weekend 2012
"This being outside stuff is exhausting. Someone want to carry me bac....Wait a minute."
Memorial  Weekend 2012
"A BIRD!! A BIRD!! A BIRD!! TWEET TWEET TWEET"
Memorial  Weekend 2012
"False Alarm. He flew away."
Memorial  Weekend 2012
"Let's blow this join. Who's up for milkshakes? I'll drive."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Wrap Up

Well, for a girl that kept telling people I had no Memorial Day weekend plans besides Morgan's graduation (a little, 'Woe Is ME' like, now that I think about it), we sure as hell managed to fill this weekend to the brim with random holiday weekend appropriate activities.  And since I have nothing else to talk about, let me run through them for you. You care about this stuff, right?  A rambling list of things I did this weekend?  No?  Fine. I will add a couple pictures of the kids too.  Just for you.

Friday: Both Nick and I were let out of work early (A perk of University work) and so we caught a matinee of Men In Black 3.  You guys, I seriously loved that movie. I am not even embarrassed to admit it.  I love Men In Black, and I am PROUD!  It made me laugh out loud several times, it stayed true to the first two movies and it almost sorta made me want to tear up at the end, but I mean, you can't cry in MEN IN BLACK, so I held it together. All in all, a great summer movie and totally worth seeing.  After the early movie we went out to dinner just the two of us because Henry was spending the night with Nanny and Papaw.  Even though we had a babysitter we were back home by 8pm.  We are wild and crazy like that.

Saturday: Saturday was totally consumed with Graduation and post graduation festivities, which you got to see yesterday.  Good times were had with lots of friends.  I give the day two thumbs up.

Sunday: Nick and I are on the hunt for a swing set for Henry for his birthday.  The grandparents all went in to help pay for it (Thanks grandparents!) So we spent part of the morning out shopping for a wooden set.  We think we have settled on a very basic but high quality set that may not be as cool looking as some of the others, but that will last for his entire childhood.  After the shopping fun  we went to a local park that has some trails around a small stream.  The three of us went 'hiking' on the trails and the boys fished. I took pictures.  Good times were had. That gets it's own post tomorrow, because some of the pictures are really great, but they are at home on my camera.  After the outdoors fun we came home and grilled out with Boo and our friend Andy.  You know what is good?  Grilled vegetable kabobs.  Also, grilled corn on the cob.  Also, grilled BBQ Chicken wings.  I was a fan of that meal. After dinner we sat around on the patio and drank some beer we found in the fridge while the kids played in the water hose.  It was Memorial Weekend at it's best.

Monday: Monday we eventually got up and moving (Henry kept telling me "Henry don't WANT to get up. Henry needs ten more sleeps!") and decided to go to the pool!  What Memorial Day weekend is complete without a trip to the pool?  Not this one!
  Untitled
Henry had some issues with getting sun screen in his eyes (anybody have a good baby sun screen that doesn't burn the eyes? I feel like we always have this issue. My boy has some sensitive eyes.) but once he got to put on Mama's shades he felt better. He was a little overwhelmed with the splashing and the crowds and the OMG, IT'S AWFULLY LOUD IN HERE, but in the end he had a great time playing on the steps and dumping water on Cici's head.
 Untitled
Cici: An adorable ladybug who is very serious about plotting her revenge.

After the pool we went back out swing set shopping (we are nothing if not thorough) then headed over to Nick's dad's to check out the new house and help unpack boxes. After that we went out to a family dinner with Grandaddy, Val and Aunt Candice, then headed home for the night.

 All in all, and awesome long weekend. I just need a day or two off work to catch my breath.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Graduate

My best best friends daughter, Morgan, graduated from high school this weekend.
Morgan's Graduation
And at some point I am going to have to stop calling her my best friends daughter and just start calling her my friend, because for a very long time Morgan has been much more than my friends daughter to me.   And who cares about a small age difference, I love this girl as my friend, all on her own accord.
Morgan's Graduation
Me, Boo and Cici with the new graduate
Morgan's Graduation
The family all outside the ceremony, where it was approximately one million degrees.
Morgan's Graduation
The proud parents
Morgan's Graduation
After the ceremony the family had a party to celebrate our (I take a little ownership of her) girl. I am in love with this picture of our little group!
Morgan's Graduation
Charing knows how to throw a party. For some reason I only photographed the desert table, but the dinner was even more impressive. I sometimes wish I could live with Charing and eat nothing but her food. I sometimes think Nick wishes that too...
  Morgan's Graduation
speaking of Nick (And Henry too!) They were there.  ( I am now discovering I did a terrible job of taking pictures at the actual party.  But there were lots of people! Including the graduate!  And lots of good times were had!)
  Morgan's Graduation
Oh, here's one picture! Liz and Candice were there too! ( I think maybe Nick took this picture because I have no memory of it. But it made me laugh when I found it on my camera)
Morgan's Graduation
Our own movie star was also present to help celebrate. She is very busy, but always has time for Morgan!
Morgan's Graduation
Morgan baby, we are so proud of you. I Love you, sweet girl.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Newest Addiction Lives at Downton

You guys, I am so addicted.
downtonabbey
(photo from prideandprejudice05.blogspot.com)

Which... you know... shouldn't really be that surprising seeing as how I have this odd obsession with most British things, and Downton Abbey most definitely classifies as British. Nick and I have devoured the first two seasons,  which sounds like a lot until you find out that for some reason a "season" consists of 7-9 episodes.  WHAT IS UP WITH THAT, BBC?  Don't you know I NEED at least 16 episodes to call it a SEASON?  How very British of you.

Anyway, we thought we were done with the second season a week or so ago, but then we were at a family dinner and I casually asked if the extra on the DVD about "Christmas at Downton" was worth watching.  I thought it was like, a walk through of the house all decked out for the holidays. My dad basically screamed at me that "THAT IS THE FINAL EPISODE OF THE SEASON YOU FOOL!"  So... like...good to know.  BUT in my defense, all other episodes were called "Episode 1, Episode 2, ect" then at the end there is "Christmas at Downton".  WHY NOT CALL IT EPISODE NINE, BBC?  Once again, how very British of you. (or maybe PBS puts out these DVD's... who knows. Either way, you should name your episodes in a logical and consistent manner so as to not confuse the simple minded folks addicted to your show)

Anyway again, we watched the finale this week and, spoiler free, lets just say you SHOULD NOT SKIP THAT EPISODE.  Important things happen.  Things that you want to see!  And it is TWO HOURS! Two hours full of important Downton Goodness!

So, I guess the entire point of this post is to say that I have found something new that I love. And I think you will love it too.  And I am pretty pushy about these things, so you  might as well go ahead and give in and watch it so we can talk about it.   Do we have a deal?

What? You want to know what it's about?  FINE, I will tell you.  Basically it's the running of a huge estate in the early 1900's in England.  The story is split pretty evenly between the wealthy family that lives there and the servants that keep the house running.  The story line rolls through  things like the sinking of the Titanic and World War I, weaving an amazing picture of what life would be like at that time. If... you know... you were insanely wealthy or worked for insanely wealthy people.  The acting, the story lines, the location, everything about it is awesome and worth checking out.  Even if it's just so you can come here and tell me how you liked it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

These Kids Just Keep Getting Bigger...

I have both babies today, so I took them to see Carter graduate from Kindergarten.  Because who doesn't love a good Kindergarten graduation?
Untitled
Henry had so much fun and cried when we left because "Henry want to go to SCHOOOL!!"
Because, as you know, school is the COOLEST THING EVER.  At least according to Henry.  He is bound to be a nerd, just like his mama and papa. God bless his sweet heart.
The fact that Carter (and my godson Wesley too! He just doesn't have a graduation ceremony I can crash) are old enough to graduate from Kindergarten blows my mind and makes me all weepy. Seriously.  Like I actually got weepy watching Carter up on stage singing about saying goodbye to Kindergarten and HELLO FIRST GRADE! How are they this big already when it feels like I was JUST blogging about them being born?  I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING FOR THESE BOYS ENTIRE LIVES.  That blows my mind.
Add in the fact that Carter's big sister is graduating from HIGH SCHOOL this week, and that I met her and fell in love with her sweet heart when she was about the boys age, AND that Nick's best friends daughter (who was our flower girl in our wedding) is graduating from Middle School this year and you can go ahead and put a stamp on my forehead that says I am officially getting O-L-D.  Weepy and old and so very in love with all the wonderful children (some of whom aren't really 'children' anymore) that are in my life.  Is there a way to make it slow down, just a little?
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Here is our other big Kindergarten Graduate, Welsey.  So proud of you, sweet boy. 

Morgan's graduation pictures to come next week.  I will likely move past weepy and official just cry when my girl walks across the stage. Seriously, time. You are sorta pushing me here.

** Right up until this exact moment, I ALWAYS thought it was called KindergarDen, not KindergarTen.  Shows what I know.  Thanks, spell check. You are always good to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tips for Octopus Hunting

Nick went on his annual boys fishing trip this weekend, so Henry and I were on our own.  Actually, Friday night he stayed this night with his Nana, so I was totally on my own.  Crazy stuff, that is.  We stayed home and relaxed and basically did nothing at all.  Well...except for going on an octopus hunt.  Henry is an excellent Octopus hunter.  Here are a few tips he wanted me to pass on to you.
Summer 2012
 Always send out a scout to find the lay of the land. Angry Bird was ready and willing, although he took a lot of enemy fire in the process...
 Summer 2012
Go in fully loaded. The WORST mistake would be running out of ammo at a critical moment.
 Summer 2012
Watch your Back while reloading. Those Octopi are tricky creatures.
 Summer 2012
Shoot for the eyes. They are the weak point.

Now... at this point I wish I had a picture of him in hand to hand combat with the octopus. Wouldn't that be an excellent shot and make this post a little more complete? Except... he was sorta too afraid to ever get close enough to run by him, preferring to stay on the perimeter and shoot from just out of Octopus water shooting range. So Mama put down the camera and helped with the hunting, jumping in and taming the evil octopus, grabbing all eight arms and holding them down so the hunter could see they were not too scary after all. Mama actually got completely soaked and our hunter became much more brave seeing Mama in the middle of the Octopus attack.

You will just have to trust me. The hunt was a great success.

 Summer 2012
Our successful hunter, After the kill.  A very proud boy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Family Pictures

When Henry was six months We had family pictures made.  As soon as they were done, I hated them.  Specifically, I hated me in them. (wrong outfit, looked heavy and pale and all around bad) But really, none of the three of us looked that great.  Every time since then that we went to get Henry's picture made I thought about trying again, but always decided I didn't like the way I looked in that exact moment, that I needed my hair done, that I wanted to lose a little weight, that I didn't have anything to wear.  Every single time I decided against group shots.  Just asking them to capture him.

Time passed and all of a sudden I realized I now have a three year old, and no actual professional pictures of us as a family in the last two and a half years.  I thought back to my childhood and how few professional pictures we have of our family.  Two maybe? Time just flies by.  And I know I take a lot of snap shots, but there is something special and timeless about professional ones.  They get framed and remembered.

SO I told Nick I wanted to all be in the pictures this time, and said it could be my Mother's Day present.  We just took a few quick shots before we did Henry's three year session, but I am SO happy with them.
Family 2012
My little family
Family 2012
Sometimes we clean up nice
Family 2012
So happy we took the time.
Three Year Pictures
I think we will always love these.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another Post-Op Post

So, remember how I had that surgery a little over a week ago?  I bet you might be curious about that.  I mean, maybe you aren't.  Maybe you forgot.  What with all the birthday posts and stories about balls you might have forgotten that I had surgery at all. But I am here to remind you!

I went to my follow up appointment this week.  As I walked in I passed the nurse I talk to the most on the phone.  I feel like over the years the two of us have become friends.  She asked how I was doing and I said, "I am happy to tell you that I am NOT going to cry today!"  and she laughed and so did I.  But it's the truth. The fact that I went to the doctor and did not sit there and sob was a big step for me. It was a sign that finally, FINALLY I am on the road to being pain free.

Honestly I feel good.  I am still a little sore from surgery.  They had to do a bikini line incision in the same place people have c-section scars that is about two inches long. Not to say it is like the pain of having a c-section, but it is more sore than other previous laparoscopic incisions.  I am also very sore on my left side incision above where my ovary used to be, but that seems normal.  Besides the incisions being sore, I feel pretty great.  I know having my ovary out sounds like a much more major surgery than having endometriosis removed, but the recovery has been much easier.  Maybe it's because I have been in pain for months and this is better than that.  Good lord, almost ANYTHING would be better than that. Whatever the reason, I am just so relieved.

My doctor did say during my appointment that the left ovary was covered in endometriosis, which means it grew all that endo in a matter of two months.  He also said my right ovary had a few places of endo on it as well, so he burned those off.  Besides that, he said things look great.  My only issue is that I am still spotting with the IUD, but it is getting lighter and I think it will stop soon. (please let that be true... ten weeks of spotting every single day is getting very old). Everything else is in line.  I am feeling better.  I am feeling good. I am feeling like myself again.  I was officially cleared to only come back as needed.  Hopefully I wont need to for a long long time.

Over the past few months I have told Henry that Mama feels sick so often that now he regularly asks me, "Mama, are you sick??"  It breaks my heart.  After months of telling him "Mama doesn't feel well...don't hit mama's belly...mama needs to lay down...mama hurts", he know just assumes I am sick.  The last few days when he asks if I am sick I tell him no, that Mama is better.

Yesterday we spent the day playing with water guns and his new water table out in the yard.  We came in and colored and did a puzzle, then played with his new play-doh set.  He looked at me and said "Mama feel better?"
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Yes baby.  Mama feels better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Funny Thing About Balls....

So you know those bouncy balls that we painted for Henry's party?  The ones with the Angry Bird faces on them?  They looked like this:
 Angry Birds
Cute, right? Thanks.

Well. the problem with them was that after we painted them they were really sticky.  And I tried all week to cure them of their sticky nature, but it was no good.  I knew as soon as they hit the grass they would be covered in crap. So, as a last ditch, right before party start time effort, we decided to just cover them in baby powder.  And you know what?? It WORKED!  They were no longer sticky!  But the party was actually starting as I am trying to round up all the balls and cover them in powder in the yard.  Guests are coming in, kids are wanting to play with the angry bird tower, and I am like "HOLD ON! I need to powder my balls!"

So my mother in law, who is awesome, jumps in and is helping me.  Her and the kids are grabbing balls and I am dousing them with power.  I am sorta flustered.  And not really focused.  And my mother in law says something along the lines on "This is like Sarah in her single days, Racking up the Balls!".

And here it is.  The funny thing about balls:  There are lots of kinds of them.  Anything round, really, can be called a ball.  Bouncy balls, kick balls, basket balls, beach balls....And, you know.... POOL BALLS.  Where you use chalk to powder them so they don't stick and you "Rack them Up".     But no matter how many innocent balls may exist in the world, my mind went to only one type of ball.  Surrounded by children while powdering Angry Bird bouncy balls all I could think of was balls of the testicle variety. And I was SO CONFUSED as to why my other in law was talking about them and talking about me racking them up.

So... I mean... it could have been worse.  Because I just started laughing said "Sally!  That's is REALLY INAPPROPRIATE for a three year old's birthday!"  and I could have said something like "THAT'S RIGHT!" and given her a high five or something much more mortifying. But my reaction was clearly not what she expected because she looked confused.  I mean, I am sure she thought it was clear she was talking about POOL because, really, WHO RACKS UP TESTICLES? NOT ME!  I feel this need to make that clear. NOT ME!  I know lots of people have that kind of wild and crazy single days, and no judgement or anything, but I have been with Nick since I was 19! I HAVE NO WILD AND CRAZY BALL RACKING  SINGLE DAYS TO HIGH FIVE WITH MY MOTHER IN LAW ABOUT! 

And here is the thing, who talks to their mother in law about it at all, even if they were a ball racker??  AND WHO THINKS THEIR MOTHER IN LAW IS MAKING A SEX JOKE AT THEIR GRANDCHILD'S BIRTHDAY?  That, unfortunately, IS ME.

So a minute or two passes and my mother in law is clearly thinking over my response and it finally dawns on her that possibly, just POSSIBLY her daughter in law has an extremely confused and kinda dirty mind and she says "I was talking about POOL BALLS.  You know that, right??"  And right then, in that moment, I am filled with such mortification.  Because No.  I did NOT know that, but it all seems very clear and much more logical NOW.  But I decide to just lie and let it go and be like "Oh yeah.  Of course!"  And we drop it.  But she still looks confused, and I feel like a fool. And we go back to the party and all is well.

I forget about it during the party, but once it's over the moment keeps coming back to me.  Racking up the balls.  I am just... so horrified!  And so damn tickled about it.  Like I continually start laughing out loud over the encounter.  Because... who thinks that?? And the way I called it INAPPROPRIATE!  Like, I was very... I don't know.... like I was scolding her for her dirty joke.  Who SCOLDS their mother in law?  So I email her to tell her I was sorry I was so odd about it, and that... you know... I thought in the moment she was talking about s-e-x and I was just a little confused.  She wrote back to say for some reason she thought I was a big pool player before I was with Nick, so she thought the pool reference would be clear to me. 

Now THIS you all, THIS fact makes my day, and makes the entire situation worth it.  My sweet mother in law thought I was a pool hustler back in the day.  ME.  I am so terribly awful at pool it is embarrassing. And... I don't know... I just think I would be a surprising candidate for "pool shark".  But somehow she thought that I was some sharp shooting pool player when I was young and that... I don't even know... I walked away from my pool hall loving ways to settle down and be a wife and mother.  It was a hard choice, really.

So anyway.  The moral of the story is, if someone says anything to you about balls, think long and hard about what kind of balls they COULD be talking about before you declare the entire conversation INAPPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN!   You just MIGHT be embarrassing yourself.

Monday, May 14, 2012

An Angry Bird Birthday Bash!

So we had Henry's party on Saturday, and you all, it went so great!  The weather was PERFECT, Henry thought it was the greatest day of his life, all the other kids had an amazing time (the adults seemed to enjoy it as well), food was great, cakes and decorations looked adorable and it was all around exactly how I wanted it to be.  I am just so happy about it!  So... PICTURES! (lots of photos ahead.)

Henry's 3rd Birthday
Here is my THREE YEAR OLD with his Life Size angry birds game that we made. We painted the faces on the bouncy balls. (You can see how to do that here.)
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Angry Bird Cakes! (made in the pampered chef batter bowl)
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
This streamer wall took poor Boo a very long time. THANKS AUNT BOO! It looks awesome!
Henry's 3rd Birthday
The birthday sign, also made by Boo
Henry's 3rd Birthday
My mom made these chocolate suckers that were amazing!
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
The pig fruit bowl says "hello". (Thanks Nicole for making him!)
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Gift Bags
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
We had the kids make Angry Bird feeders and it was so easy and they loved it!
Henry's 3rd Birthday
We also played pin the beak on the bird, which was a huge hit with the kids!
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
 But mostly they wanted to do a lot of this
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Over and over and over again. (apparently crashing large boxes never gets old!)
Henry's 3rd Birthday
 And...you know... eating. (of course)  here is the kids table.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
I just realized we had a boys table...
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
and a girls table. We are very middle school around here.
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Henry did not like the singing of Happy Birthday. He declared it to be TOO LOUD"
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
On the other hand, he loved the blowing out of the candles and the eating of the Angry Bird Cake!
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
the Bio Girl Family (and the beloved water gun).
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
really, the water guns (and the woopie cushions!) were a hit with all ages. Some things you just don't grow out of.
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Things like rockets. Boys like rockets.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Okay, now we are rolling into family pictures. Because I have a million good ones. I just can't think of cleaver things to say under each one, so I am just naming people. Sorry about that. SO... Here is Henry with Nanny and Papaw!
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Aunt Candice and baby Ethan.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Missy and Mandy.
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Boo and Cici
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
A great one of Boo and Charing. It looks to be like it could be sold in frames as the stock photo that say "friends forever" on the bottom.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Grandaddy and Val
Henry's 3rd Birthday
Henry and his Nana. Love this one too.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
A sweet one of Nicole and Cici
Henry's 3rd Birthday
The girls :) Miss Leighton and Cici
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
This one makes me laugh because it is the "retake" because in the one before Nieem's eyes were closed. I declared it "GREAT!" and walked away.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Nana and Grandpa hanging out
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
My sweet Godson, Wesley
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
A very Happy Birthday boy.
 Henry's 3rd Birthday
Who loved every second of his Angry Bird Birthday Bash!  

**You might be asking how I pulled this party off five days post surgery. The answer is that I accepted LOTS of help! Thanks to all of our amazing family who pitched in to make this all happen for our sweet boy. It means so much to all of us! 

**Also, believe it or not, there are still WAY more pictures! If you are interested, click on any of these and you can flip through them on my flickr account!

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