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Well, fancy meeting you here!

Well, fancy meeting you here!

Geez, y’all, I am a bad bad bad girl.  I have been away from my poor little blog for what…5 months?!  But I slacked off when “THE Wedding” shenanigannery picked up pace.  “THE Wedding” I am referring to was my little sister’s and her new hubby’s over Mother’s Day weekend and my house was one of the HQ’s for all invitation addressing/stuffing/favor making/gift receiving as well as a makeshift B&B for my sister and a bridesmaid.

My already limited free time during naps and after the kids go to bed (when I would normally play with blog entries or putter around the house) was filled with anything and everything I could help my mom or sister with.  Preschool mornings had wedding appointments scheduled, my email inbox was so filled with correspondence from so many vendors I made a separate folder for it all so I could stay organized.  And beginning in early April, every single weekend was booked until wedding time!  It has been madness!  Sparkly, satin-y, lace-y, monogram-y madness!  And it was all oh so fun!

I will seriously have to go back through my day planner to see what events occurred between January and May so I can fill you in, but I’ve been so swamped, I can’t pick anything off the top of my head.  My boys’ preschool ended just over a week ago and we took a long Memorial Day weekend in New Jersey with my childhood bestie and her family, so we are just settling into the easier summer schedule.  Gym time for mommy in the mornings, playing outside (in the backyard, in my sis-in-law’s killer backyard, at one of many playgrounds we frequent), pool time in the afternoons, baths almost nightly to remove the sunscreen and bug spray from the day.

I am shaking my head in amazement as our summer calendar is filling up already with gymnastics camps, preschool camps, swim lessons (gotta get rid of the floaties!!), birthdays, a tropical wedding getaway for the hubbs & myself, beach time, mountain time…our travel schedule is made up for the rest of 2013 I think and I have two known events in 2014 and one in 2015…Seriously, I’m such an OCD planner…please don’t abandon me – I admit my problem!  But it’s good to plan and be organized, right?  I just ordered our youngest son’s party invitations tonight and I confirmed date/time/locations for both boys’ parties in the past few days – one in August, one in October.  I repeat – I.  Love.  To.  Plan.

I hope to get back on track and keep up with all the special little things that make up our summertime as a family.  For now, happy end of spring friends!  Hope to see you back here again soon!

Me, my sister and my sister-in-law.  Little sister wore our mom’s wedding dress for the rehearsal =D

My brother was asked to walk little sis down the aisle, and also instead of dancing with her for the father/daughter dance he surprised her with a serenade of a favorite song.

The gorgeous, happy couple

The “E & C” initials and monogram were a running theme from the invitation design, the personalized Herend cake topper, the napkins, the gown detailing, the dance floor lighting…

Me and my sis-in-law/bestie.  Someone dubbed us “the sparkly watermelons”.

The stunning (and freaking delicious) cake!  I can give you pastry chef info if you message or email me!

Me and the woman I hope to become more and more as I grow up – my mommy!

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Holy crotch sweat, Batman!

Holy crotch sweat, Batman!

I spent a good hour at the gym this afternoon being particularly aggressive on the elliptical as A) I have some kick ass new Skechers that make my feet obscenely happy and 2) I have a few new happy songs in my iPod rotation that make me realllly dance-y on this machine.  It is possible to kinda dance on the elliptical.  It’s hard, but it can be done.

These are my new kicks ~ pretty darn sweet, right?  Who wants to choose between green, orange, blue, pink or yellow when you can have ALL OF THE ABOVE on one shoe?!  Anyway – this is not a shoe post, this is a embarrassing sweat post.

After my sweat session I sanitize my handlebars and stretch out before heading to the locker room.  As I approach the sink in the bathroom I glance in the mirror to assess my matted hair and before I can even get to the hair I see “it”.  The ultimate sweat stain.  I don’t generally worry about my under boob sweat.  Don’t care about the back sweat that soaks through my tank tops.  Heck, if I’m in a shirt shirt I will even proudly flaunt my armpit sweat.  But this was none of those areas.  No no.  This was a giant, obvious sweaty crotch outline.  I usually wear my black yoga pants to the gym, but today I grabbed my grey ones as all the others are in the laundry.  I will now assume, that though my sweat levels are roughly the same for this activity, the black fabric hides most of the moisture.  Not so with the grey.

I gape for a second and think a few things in rapid succession:

Well, at least I was in the front row of ellipticals and treadmills so no one behind me could see this….until I stretched.

Oh crap – I was in the front row so everyone else in the entire gym could see this.

I guess I confirmed to everyone that I am indeed a girl.

Will my tank top pull low enough to cover this so I can grab the kids and get home?

I was the v-shape you might imagine, but with the addition of a vertical line in the center.  TMI, I know, but good grief!

It was like this, but worse…..

This is truly the way I felt about it.

So – what do I take away from this little um….incidence?  Lesson is: the grey yoga pants are for yoga ONLY.  Black for everything else.

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Feeling like a worn out broken record…

Feeling like a worn out broken record…

Parenting is a challenge.  Whether you have one, two or ten I know there are days when you feel like you are just saying the same things over and over.  Disciplining repeatedly for the same actions.  To an extent I try to always remember that our two boys are just little boys, one is four and one is two.  They are little and simply don’t get sometimes that the result of their repeated actions can hurt one of them or someone else.  To another extent I want to pluck my eyelashes out in frustration because it is the same thing every. single. freaking. day.  They know our house rules, they “forget” them every day (multiple times a day), and are disciplined for these actions.  I am sooooo tired of it.  How many times should mommy have to say any of the following:

We don’t run in the kitchen.

We don’t run in the living room.

We don’t run in the playroom.

We don’t throw things.  Unless we are playing ball outside, we DO NOT throw things.

Don’t headbutt your brother.

Don’t tackle/wrestle/pin your brother.

Don’t sit on his head.

Get your feet away from his face.

We do not hit anyone.  It is not nice and it does not feel good.

We do not stand on the furniture.

We do not jump on the furniture.

We do not stand on the kitchen table.

You do not always get to be first.

Do not shove past your brother.

Why are we screaming in the house?

Everything in the playroom gets shared.

And so on and so on.  It’s not as noticeable to me when it’s warm out and we can spend our afternoons outside at a playground or park or the pool or in the backyard…but it has been cold and rainy for the better part of forever now and I am going nuts!

My little one was, up until his second birthday, a mellow and chill guy who just went with the flow for every occasion on any given day.  He is now a menopausal drama mama and just seems to act out to get any kind of attention he can.  He antagonizes his big brother at every opportunity and instigates most of their little show downs.  It is seriously annoying.  I don’t feel like my oldest was nearly this challenging, but that is understandable as at two and a half years old  his little brother was just 6 months old.  My big boy was a sweet and loving little man.  He was very patient with mommy while baby nursed, very good with transitions into booster seats at the kitchen table and a big boy bed in his room.  He still had a lot of individual attention from mama and daddy because baby bro was not mobile,verbal or truly demanding in any way (dream child!).  The behavior changes in both of them with this new-found sibling dynamic has me thanking my gynecologist for the Mirena he inserted just over two years ago!

I will face each new day with a clear mind, putting the previous days’ challenges behind us all.  That’s the only sane way.  A blank slate and fresh start for all of us.  And I will whine and commiserate with my girlfriends when I need to.  And I will occasionally say yes to a glass of wine in the evening.  And I will feel no guilt about hiring a sitter once in a while simply to pawn off dinner and bedtime on someone else!  And I will blog about certain things to amuse and entertain others.

Hoping everyone’s winter is going smoothly.  Let’s look forward to the sunshine together!

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First 2013 Jenny Craig Update

Jenny Craig Update!

January 15, 2013

WOWZA!  New Year, new me for sure!  I am maintaining within three pounds of my goal weight of 150.  With the exception of the first week of November when my husband was in the hospital having & recovering from open heart surgery…I had an affair with some Snickers bars…kind of every night…But I corrected that as soon as we were home and got back on track.  (Emotional eater right here!)  I am still careful with my food choices while out and the preparations at home, I still splurge on my favorite barbeque joint for lunch once a week and I am still hitting the gym as often as I can.  Even on days when I really really rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllly DO NOT want to.  Like today. But my sis-in-law/bestie made me go.  We had a gym date and I got my sweat on.  It was horrible, but we did it!

I am ridiculously excited and immersed in helping my sister plan and carry out the details for her wedding (which is just under four months away!).  The boys are back in their preschool/gymnastics/play date routine and we are marching towards spring (please please show up, spring!  Mama needs time outside with the tots!)  Our 2013 travel itinerary is filling up quickly and lots of exciting things are happening.

Here are a few quick recap pictures I did with a nifty little (FREE) phone app:

(1)  August 2009 &   (2) December 2012

(1)  Honeymoon picture from October 2004, (2)  May 2011,  (3)  December 2012

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Merry Christmas!

I will write more I swear  – we have been crazy crazy busy!  My sister is home for break and took some fantastic pictures for us and I wanted to share one really quick.  Love to all seven of my devoted readers *wink* and I will do my best to catch up on my backlog of events and happenings and Matt’s recovery!

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Moments in time…

Moments in time…

It’s been a busy fall for our little family.  It usually is.  And we are only getting started!  I wanted to gab about a few recent events and share a few pictures and tidbits with you, all five of my loyal readers *wink wink*  I will try to fill in the story lines a bit with each event as I can, but here are a smattering of pictures for you with a little description above just to tide you over!

Engagement Party, Fall Festival, Evan’s 4th Birthday, Picking Pumpkins, Fall Carnival, Christmas Tree Outing, Charleston, Halloween….

WEDDING BELLS!

A major “happening” that has been on my agenda since May has been my little sister’s engagement and upcoming wedding!  The date is set for May of next year and plans are in full swing.  I am unofficially the wedding planner, but I’m really just trying to help my mom and sister with anything I can.  My sister is in school out of state and I am honored beyond mortal comprehension that she has entrusted so many of her special details to us.  I was astounded especially because she is so artsy and creative and from my experience, most girls have every detail of their wedding day planed out before they even meet their Prince Charming!  However, by releasing control I think she has released major sources of (what could potentially be) distraction and stress.  Both things come with planning weddings, and I cannot fathom doing so while in school and out of state!  I planned every aspect of mine, handled every detail and was super organized.  And now – I get to do it again!  Wheee!

Her and her fiance were honored at an Engagement Soiree the first weekend of October and I must say it was the most fun I have had at big ‘ol shindig of that caliber in a long time.  We had the pleasure of hosting a couple of her bridesmaids at our home as well.  One whom I have known since she and my sister were little girls and one whom I just met about three years ago, both whom I adore!  They were helpful with the little ones and

The menu was perfect, the ballroom decor and floral arrangements were unique and perfect, the band was amazing.  During one of my few moments alone with the bride-to-be, we were dancing together, palm to palm (we have a hand thing…it’s like we pass our secret sister juju back and forth).  And in that specific moment I saw her as a woman.  Not as a little girl or a teenager or a young lady.  A woman.  We have always played many roles in one another’s lives.  Everything from manicurists, stylists, confidants, road trip amigos, tweezing specialists, therapists and every odd occupation in between.  We have been those things for each other.  But with her pale moonbeam hair, intricately twisted and pinned up and shining in the lighting, and her perfectly applied bridal makeup and the fairy-tale ballerina-esque, pearl encrusted and tulle party frock she was wearing ~ she was not just my little sister, she was not just the girl I grew up with, she was a woman.  A bride.  And I am so so elated to be part of her life and her and Calen’s celebrations.

Below: me & my little sister

Below: My sister and her fiance, getting jiggy

Below: My handsome little guys on our annual pumpkin search

Below: My two boys (on the right) and my twin nephews on the evening of my big man’s 4th birthday

Below: My littlest little man and I at the fall festival

Below: Little man helping daddy carry the big pumpkin to the car

Below: Evan approaching the great USS Yorktown at Patriot’s Point in Charleston, SC

Below: On the USS Yorktown

Below: On the top deck of the USS Yorktown

Direct quote from Evan: “Mama, we need one of these at home”

Below: My two rugrats in the lemur exhibit at the Charleston aquarium

Below: Our collection of hoodlums pre-trick-or-treating on Halloween

It’s a Disney crew: Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, Jake, Woody & Buzz!

Below: My littlest little checking out a few jack-o-lanters

Below: They looooove riding the train at the mall.  It’s a special treat!

Below: Fall is so beautiful in our town

Below: On our way to the NC mountains to pre-select our Christmas tree

Below: Me on our tree expidition

Below: Daddy & big little man looking for a tree

Below: Mama and little little man taking in the scenery

Below: Another of my favorite streets in our town

Below: My big man & I amusing ourselves at the doctor’s office before his 4-year check up

Below: My handsome nephews, my boys and I on an outing to see the horses near their house

Below: For your amusement, this is be in the morning before I am fully caffeinated.

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Hey y’all, remember me??

Hey y’all, remember me??

I deserve to be flogged for staying away for so long!  I was keeping a running post about all of our September/October activities that I intended to post after all the Halloween shenanigans were wrapped up.  However, I was delayed from that task by a sudden and scary event and continue to be behind in most areas of my life at the moment.  My husband had emergency open heart surgery on November 3rd (he was transported from our local hospital to a specialist at a teaching hospital not too terribly far from home late night on November first).  He made it through and we were sent home last Wednesday.  He has several more weeks at home with mama Dot playing wife, mother and nurse for a bit.  We are finding a temporary new rhythm as a family and I have lots of help with the kids and the meals – all things I am enormously thankful for.

I will work on wrapping up my Fall Hijinks post and try to do a more detailed account of our (ok, my hubby’s) crazy surgery scare.

For now I say Happy November, friends!  I will be back on track as soon as I can, please forgive me!

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A quick mountain getaway…

A quick mountain getaway…

This past weekend we packed up the boys &headed for the hills to meet our dear dear friends at the perfect midway point for us both ~ beautiful Asheville, NC!  It was a whirlwind quickie, but we made good use of our time, with our itinerary looking a bit like this:

Friday evening ~arrive, unload, late dinner on the patio at a cantina

Saturday morning ~ breakfast together, then menfolk watched the three little boys while the mamas went window shopping

Saturday afternoon ~ lunch together, then mamas took over with the kiddos while the daddies went to golf!

Saturday evening ~ another precious couple met us all at the hotel with their stunning daughter who was to be in charge of the kiddos that evening while we got fancy and went out

Sunday ~ packing, breakfast, quick stroll downtown and departure….

WHEW!

We must definitely do it again sometime!  Here are a few moments from our adventure:

The boys riding the piggie statues

Aunt Amy, Adison & Evan

All five guys checking out the “firetruck house”

Adison & Evan and “the cool old fashioned truck”

(L to R)  Amy & Grey, me & Matt, Julie & Paul

My honey bunny and me

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GOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!

GOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!

Well, folks.  I hit it.  150, I mean.  This past Wednesday morning.  Again, Mrs. Chatterbox is at a loss for words to properly express my elation/joy/hysteria/pride.  I will revisit my starting stats from June 1, 2012 and provide my measurements from today, September 7, 2012:

June 1, 2011 starting weight: 246.8

September 5, 2012 goal weight: 150.2

96.8 pounds lost!

Bust: 50  / 37                      13 inch difference

Waist: 45  /  31                14 inch difference

Abdomen: 54  /  39.5          14.5 inch difference

Hips: 54  /  40                  15 inch difference

Upper Arm: 17  /  12          5 inch difference

I will post a picture from the beach last week (not perfect, but I’ll try to get a new one taken ASAP!) and one of my first “before” shots.  I asked my consultant about attacking three more pounds to make it a nice even ~one hundred~.  So I might do that.  It’s on like Donkey Kong!  Those three would be just for me.

It’s late – I will most likely fluff up this post a couple days down the road.  Just HAD to share!  Whooooopie!

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August Adventures: Part II

August Adventures: Part II

Just in the last couple weeks we have celebrated my littlest man’s second birthday and had an extended beach extravaganza with Auntie & Daddy!  What fun it has all been.  I am oddly still surprised at how rapidly time slips away from me, from us all.  When I was (a wee bit) younger and in school myself, I thought time went pretty fast and was sure it would slow down once I graduated and settled into a post-student life.  I guess that happened for a while, but then my kids came along and zoooooooooooom – it is going even faster!  How is that even possible?  I look at my first son’s birth date pictures and swear it was just the other week ~ he’ll be four in October!  It is truly wild!

We have had a lovely lovely summer with lots of fun activities, play dates with friends, and some wonderful family time.  I love summer and always have.  The lull in school work and busy busy schedules is a welcome shift in our house.  My parents loved having us home, which I think affected our emotions towards the weeks upon weeks of what could have been utter and total boredom or being sent off to camp for the duration like so many of my friends were.  Sure, we went to summer camp when we were old enough and expressed the desire to, but it was just a couple weeks.  Our parents loved to travel with us, they wanted our input on possible destinations, we spent the days at home with my mother playing, crafting, toodling around the house or around town.  We would end the majority of our summer days at the pool, arriving in the late afternoon after the hoard of teenagers departed and would swim to our hearts content until daddy joined us after he got off work and we would dine poolside together.

The way I experienced summer as a child has  led me to adore the lull myself, as a mother.  I might eat my words in a few summers, or declare myself mentally unstable for thinking this, but man I have loved it.  We did not change our wake/nap/sleep schedule at all – that kind of deviation is not worth the hassle for our little family.  But we found a new routine.  A softer one with more special outings, more pajama mornings, more afternoon treats…and it was a little slice of heaven.

Preschool starts next week for us and we have a lazy Labor Day weekend and a full extra day with daddy home to enjoy it and prepare for the week’s full schedule leading up to the first day of class.  We meet teachers, I have haircuts lined up for both boys, and I have to finalize the addressing of my little sister’s engagement party invites (that’s a whole different blog post right there!!)

Here are a few snippets of our final days of summer in the Carolinas.  Happy Labor Day, y’all!

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