Thursday, April 28, 2011

Car Paraphernalia

I hate car stickers. But we don't say "hate" in our house (welcome to like with kiddos). I strongly dislike car stickers. Bumper stickers, car magnets, they all kinda make me cringe. I can be ok with a simple college sticker, but that's my limit. I don't really know why this is the case, I just am not in love with the idea of plastering my likes, dislikes, family history, vacation spots, and social security number across the rear of my car for everyone to see. However, nowadays, I know I am definitely in the minority. It seems I can't pull into a parking space or take a quick trip to the grocery store without being bombarded with car stickers everywhere I turn.

For example, yesterday I was waiting at a stoplight behind a minivan (the minivans are the main culprits , my own kind!) and by the time the light turned green I was fairly confident that I could approach this person in the grocery store and convince them that I was one of their long lost friends. How, you ask? Well, let's start with the bottom left corner of her rear window. She had one of those family stick figure pictures on there with a mom, dad, and three kids. I know from the stickers that she picked that she plays tennis, her oldest was a son who likes to play baseball, and she had two younger daughters who like dancing. From the top left corner I could deduce that she regularly vacations in Hilton Head Island due to her her SWO (stupid white oval) that proudly proclaimed HHI in black letters. The spattering of round magnets on her bumper let me know what middle and elementary schools her kids attended and I was able to figure out where she went to college by virtue of her vanity license plate, complete with matching license plate frame.

C'mon people! Do we really have to put all that out there for the world to see? I was thinking about how I would approach her in the store in my attempt to convince her that I really was someone she knew ...

Me: "Heeeeeeey! How ARE you? Wow, it's been a while!"

Lady Who Over Shares On Her Car: (nervous laughter while looking around) "Oh, hi. Ummm, how are you?"

Me: "Oh, we're great! How 'bout them Tarheels (reference: vanity license plate)? Really gave it a good run in the tournament this year, huh? Did you guys get to any games?"

LWOSOHC: "No, we weren't able to make it this year. David had so many games on Saturdays ... "

Me: "Riiiiiight. How is baseball going for him (reference: baseball stick figure boy)? And are the girls still dancing (other stick figure reference)?"

LWOSOHC: (As her hesitant smile brightens) "Well, yes they are! Kathryn is going to be the lead in her recital this weekend! She's also taking classes at her school ... "

Me: (interrupting) "Sherwood Forrest, right (reference: school magnet)? And is David liking Jefferson (more school magnet reference)? We're hoping our kids attend there as well. And you're looking so in shape these days! Been playing some tennis in anticipation of the vacation to Hilton Head Island this year (Too many references at once ... my head is going to explode!)?"

LWOSOHC: "Well, yes. In fact, we're leaving next week (looking confused). I'm sorry but I can't seem to remember your name ..."

Me: "Oh, look at the time, gotta run. My stick figure baby boy is screaming in the cart and I have to hurry if I want to pick up my other stick figure kids (who like basketball, princesses, and cheer leading) from the colorful school displayed on the oval magnetized to the back of my car. Maybe I'll see you in HHI someday soon!"

Although this would be fun, I think it would get tiresome after a while and I would still be perplexed with the life histories I take in during my drives each day. But it did get me thinking ... If I was a car sticker/magnet person, what would the back of my car look like? It would actually be somewhat comical if you thought about it. Just picture it ...

My gray minivan sitting in front of you at a stoplight.

In the left bottom corner you notice a very long line of stick figure people. Six, to be exact. And a dog. The line of stick figures and their accompanying "activities" is so long that it stretches across the entire bottom of the rear window and even curves around the car a bit. Classy. The first figure is a dad whose tie is disheveled with the contents of his briefcase spilled about him in a heap. He is standing next to the mom who has on a wrinkled dress and is precariously balancing several glasses of milk and six plates in one hand while cleaning up a spill with the other. The four children are all in separate stages of undress, hair pulling, or screaming. The youngest is at the end of the line sitting next to the dog while subsequently eating out of the dog's bowl. The dog looks like he is trying to escape around the side of the car. Smart doggie.

In the top left corner is one of those white oval stickers that reads, FCNV. You try to deduce what place this signifies. Somewhere in Nevada? You're not sure. Straining to see and inching your car closer, you finally make out the words: Four Chidren, No Vacations.

In the top right corner are a couple of flip flop stickers in different sizes. What does this mean? We like the beach? We own flip flops? Does anyone really care about these things?

Finally, you move to the magnets strewn across the back and sides of the car. Good thing you now know that Sam is #6 on his soccer team in case you ever make it to a game to cheer him on on. And I'm sure you could not have lived without knowing that my kids play Upward Basketball at First Baptist. And did you know that my honor student...

Alright, enough already. I'm sorry if you are someone who loves your car stickers and magnets. I really don't blame you for wanting to display your life's details to complete strangers. But if some stranger comes up to you in the grocery store one day who seems to know everything about your life ... well, you might want to take a second look at the back of your car.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in the Mountains

We spent Easter up in the NC mountains and it was wonderful. The first day was rainy and cool, which gave us the opportunity to light a fire in the fireplace for the majority of the day. The next day was sunny and warm, filled with a walk through Highlands, matchbox car races, and an impromptu church Eggstravaganza! Easter was beautiful and filled with eggs, laughter, and the reminder that we are eternally forgiven through God's gift of His Son to us. Enjoy the pictures!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Picture of the Week - April 24

Words from one of my favorite hymns, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today ...

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

Have a Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011


For all you logical readers, I thought I'd do a post just for you. One that focuses on the rational mind's best friend - numbers. I'm a logical-type person myself, so this post was actually a bit cathartic for me. When you live in a world of tumultuous unpredictability like I do every day, a little bit of sound reasoning can do good things for the soul.  If you like flowery writing, I'm sorry. This Bud's not for you. I promise to break out the ornamented prose on another day.

So here they are, the numbers of my life in no particular order:

40 - number of grapes I had to slice for lunch (according to the parenting books I'm supposed to do this until they're going to college).
8 - Number of days it used to take us to go through a carton of diapers (200 diapers per carton) before the trips were potty trained.
30 - Number of days it now takes us to go through a carton of diapers (cue Hallelujah chorus).
6 - Number of dollars that can feed our whole family at Costco for lunch. Bargain of the century.
11 - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes on my DVR. We love us some Donald Duck.
0 - Number of haircuts Adah has had in her life. And I don't see any in her near future either. Is this normal for curly-haired girls who start life as bald babies?
5 - Weeks left of preschool this year (what am I going to do?!?).
96 - Packs of fruit snacks that come in the mega-large box. They will be gone in 3 weeks.
7 - Years I will have been married next month!
16 - Number of movies currently in my Netflix queue. Can't wait for The King's Speech and Black Swan.
86 - Degrees that it's supposed to be here on Monday. What happened to spring?
12 - Weeks until the final Harry Potter movie comes out. Not that I'm obsessively counting down or anything.
57 - Number of plastic eggs already in my house before Easter. I know because I just had to pick them all up after being dumped on the table.
5 - Miles I ran today. And man, my knees are feelin' it.
3.5 - Hours I spent last weekend replacing all the fall/winter clothes with the spring/summer clothes in the kids' closets. One of my most dreaded chores, but man it feels good when it's done.
0 - Minutes I spent switching out MY fall/winter clothes with my spring/summer clothes. Luckily I have a large enough closet that they all just fit in there together!

That's all my brain can muster up right now. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and a great Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hunters and Gatherers

This past weekend we attended our second annual Easter egg hunt in Charlotte. Bogey invites the kiddos down every year and they always look forward to it. Since I have been obsessively training talking to the kids about hunting eggs, I was curious to see what they thought of the whole thing this year. They knew what to expect and they were ready to get their hands on some plastic orbs of pastel goodness.

We started off with a pre-game meal light snack of cookies and lemonade. Nothing gets those egg hunting juices going like a little sugar!

We also had a visit with the man of the hour, the Easter Bunny himself. After they blitzed the poor bunny with their four man offensive attack, we finally got them to sit still long enough for a picture attempt.

We had to pull them off his lap when Peyton started doing this ...

Poor guy in the suit, I don't even know what she might have been poking with her hand up there. I know that the way those costumes are designed that his head and eyes are not necessarily where the head and eyes of the costume are. I just hope that she wasn't poking his eye out when she shoved her hand up his permanently open mouth.

After that, it was time to hunt! Well, it was more like a "gather." their age group just had the eggs spread out on the lawn.

Patiently waiting to start ...

As you can see above, they got a little antsy while waiting. So we improvised with a little Easter basket dress up time.

FINALLY, it was time to go. Let the hunt begin!

As all egg hunts (and especially egg "gatherings") go, it was over before they knew it. We made out with some pretty full baskets though. Some eggs had prizes and some did not. Sam figured this out pretty quickly and proceeded to shake every egg as he picked it up to check it's "prize potential." If he didn't hear a rattle when he shook it, he chucked that egg back to the ground and kept going. Ruthless egg hunting I tell ya. I have no idea where he got that from.

We had such a great time as we knew we would. Thanks to Bogey for inviting us down. The kiddos are really excited for Easter, as evidenced by their recent conversations at the dinner table and in the car. Sam told me the other day, "Mom, do you know what happens on Easter? Jesus goes to heaven and then the Easter Bunny comes and gives us candy!" Jesus' resurrection and candy ... sounds like a reason to celebrate to me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Marriage and the Three Year Old

Remember how I told you that Peyton has recently become interested in babies in people's tummies? And how we let her know that being married was a necessary prerequisite to having a baby in your tummy? Well, this is where things go when you pique the interests of a three year old.

An actual conversation that took place at our kitchen table ...

Peyton: "You have to get married first before you have a baby in your tummy, Sam. Mommy gave Daddy a ring and Daddy gave Mommy a ring to say that they're married. And then when you get married, you get a baby in your tummy."

Sam: "No Peyton! When you get married, you get a tummy ache."

Daddy: "I hear ya, brother."

Hmmm ... should I be more worried about Sam's comments, or Daddy's??

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Picture(s) of the Week - April 17

I've had fun this week playing with my new photo phone app, Instagram. Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from the week ...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Girls' Room

Someone recently reminded me that I have never posted pictures of the kids' rooms like I did for the rest of the house over a year ago! Oops! I know that most of you probably don't even care, so feel free to stop reading and go on to more important things. But if you'd like to take a look, be my guest!

Please keep in mind that I am an awful procrastinator, which is why it took me over a year to decorate the girls' room. That and the fact that I was waiting until we transitioned Sam from their room into a room with Luke (which happened last May) before I decorated anything. I would have felt bad about making Sam sleep in a pink-a-fied room. Also, since we live in a house owned by the university, we are not allowed to change the carpet or wall colors. Maybe they've had bad experiences with frosted blue carpets and fuchsia walls in the past, I don't know. Anyway, so I was limited to things I could either put in the room or hang on the walls.

Ok, enough explaining (a.k.a. procrastinating ... see what I mean?). Here are some pictures ...

Here's the straight ahead view as you walk into their room. The girls are big readers, so we wanted to incorporate a reading area into their space. I love the mounted book shelf (PB Kids) because it lets all their books be displayed and it makes it easy for them to choose one.. They love the kid-sized chairs (Ikea) as well. The butterflies are 3-D and stick on to the wall. I got them from a cool Etsy shop online. And the owls were a Target special. I love that place.

If you pan to the left, you'll see this ...

The dresser used to be their Aunt Meghann's when she was a child. I love using old family furniture in rooms so this is probably my favorite piece in the room. The prints on the wall were from Target (owls) and Homegoods (flowers). Homegoods is another one of my all-time favorites. The baby doll crib was a Christmas gift from grandparents. The chandelier was from Home Depot and I like how it "girlies" up the room a bit.

Here's the view if you walk over to the bookshelf and turn around to look at the beds.

The headboards are a deep granny smith apple green with brown piping and buttons. The duvet covers are from Zulily (my favorite kid discount site) and the shelves are Ikea.

Here's a closer look at the beds.

The table between the beds is from Target and I think the tree wall sticker is from Kohl's. It used to be in our playroom but then we changed some things around and it found a new home in between the girls' beds. We've had the name canvases since they were born and they came from Etsy as well.

So there you go. A quick and easy tour of the girls' room! It's exciting that they have a big girl room now, but I'm kinda sad not to have a nursery for them anymore. The boys' room is another story. We are still half big boy room / half nursery in there as long as Luke is in his crib (and I am not pushing him into a bed any time soon if I can help it!). We have most of the stuff to decorate fully in their room, we are just waiting to put it up until we're sure where the beds and dresser will go once there is no longer a crib in the room (tear, sniff, sniff). Luckily, they're boys and don't seem to mind. As long as their train table and some toys are in the room, they are happy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Going To the Chapel

We spent the better part of last week in Florida for my little sister's wedding. Well, I guess she isn't that little any more now that she's married, but I will always picture her as a 12 year old little girl. We've been looking forward to this weekend for a long time and Peyton, Sam and Adah were so excited to be the flower girls and ring bearer in the wedding (Luke opted out - our choice, not his!). It was a beautiful weekend filled with a lot of fun and memories. I'll let the pictures do the talking since there were so many great ones.

On Thursday, all the girls went to get their nails done. And by all the girls, I mean ALL the girls. Yes, Peyton and Adah stepped foot into the first nail salon of their lives. I'm hoping we haven't started an expensive habit. The color of choice? Pink, of course. But not just any pink. We chose the brightest, most neon pink that salon had. I am not lying when I say I'm pretty sure that bottle of polish glowed in the dark.

We spent Thursday night at a cookout at my brother's house. It was very relaxed and laid back with a small group of family and friends. The kids had fun playing in the backyard while we all ate and visited with everyone. A great way to kick of the weekend.

We kept telling the girls to lift up their dresses when they went down the slide so they wouldn't get the fabric caught. Adah took us pretty literally.

My brother and my nephew, Brantley.

Chow time!

Adah entertained everyone for about ten minutes when she tried to play ping pong with herself on the driveway. This may be a little TMI, but I almost peed myself I was laughing so hard. Too bad we didn't have the video camera.

The bridesmaid luncheon on Friday had a gorgeous setting.

And some pretty good eats (and drinks) too!

The bride, bridesmaids, and moms ...

Later Friday night was the rehearsal. The triplets did a great job "practicing" gallivanting down the aisle. They stood still for the minimum amount of time required and then they were off (not sure what face I am making below, I look kinda put off). 

They spent the rest of the rehearsal "drawing" on all of the offering envelopes. I doubt the people who attended church on Sunday had any success in locating any pencils (since we broke or lost them all) or unmarked envelopes (since we drew on them all) in the entire sanctuary.

The lovely bride and groom at the rehearsal.

The rehearsal dinner was lots of fun and I managed to make it through my Matron (ugh!) of Honor speech without too many tears. Does anyone else hate the term, "matron"? I think it makes me sound really old.

The cool golf bag groom's cake! It was a delish carrot cake.

And then all of a sudden it was the big day! Saturday was spent getting hair and makeup done and then lots of pictures at the church.

The beautiful bride ...

Just some of the gorgeous flowers ...

The maestro relaxing before his big ring bearer debut ...

The kiddos just before their trip down the aisle. The girls didn't have their hair pieces in yet and this is a bad picture, but it's the only one I was able to get. I'm hoping that the photographer got a lot of good shots of them though.

The kids did great and walked the aisle just like they practiced. None of my children are very shy and they don't mind walking into a room full of people staring at them (they did NOT get this from me). We had a great time at the reception afterward and the evening ended on a perfect note.

The next day we had brunch with the family and packed up to leave and come home.

Adah playing around. See what I mean about the finger nail polish?

Sammy and his silly smile.

Luke showing off his battle scars. He took on the concrete and the concrete won. Of course he decided to do this a few hours before wedding photos started.

Overall, it was such a fun weekend full of great memories. I hope the kids are able to maintain some memories of the wedding as they get older. Our time there seemed so short since we were so busy the entire time. We can't wait to head back soon. Congratulations to Kristen and Brett! I wish I was on my honeymoon right now!