Thursday, July 30, 2015

Girls Night Done Right

"Well, you are one lucky lady - it's not many women who can say they have such a large circle of best friends with no drama!" the Price Chopper gal says with admiration along with her support of the number of items going toward a Mexican fiesta.

"Yeah, I feel like the luckiest - I'm so grateful," I reply, my Big disagreeing as he shares with her he is NOT going to hang out with those lady friends when he gets home later in the evening.

This month we were celebrating one special gal for all of the 30-something she is. And since she's so incredible, it was only necessary I prepare all of her favorite things for her evening of celebration. With a husband/cook studying around the clock, two wee ones and full work schedule, it was also necessary that the meal prep be extremely easy:
Crock Pot Mexican Chicken to top our chips
on the nacho bar
Summer Corn, Avocado and Black Bean Salad
Taco Pizza Rolls
Nacho bar toppings
Champs, of course - thanks Trader Joe's!
Key ingredient: assistance with cleaning the house!

Funfetti cake, a birthday girl fave, was for dessert paired with Shatto Ice Cream cookies cut in quarters. Couple with Montell Jordan on Pandora, bubbles, Lemonadaritas, laughter, joy, inappropriate stories and tears - it's a menu for success. And all less than $200 and two hours of prep to feed eight with some leftover! 

Come hungry, leave happy and I'm happy. So grateful for these moments, memories...and food! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


At ONE, our biggest concern was when to bring home a puppy, where the hottest night spot was that evening, the right tone of white for our wedding dishes and how many times we could slow dance on our rickety porch of our very first home.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

During TWO, we had to do adult things like pay bills, worry about health benefits, how to scrap together enough cash to take that trip to Vegas and struggle to find that career start. The laughter was abundant, our hearts too. Life was full of light.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

In THREE, another man stole my heart and we never looked back. We were no longer the two of us, but three, and forever turned into sappy piles of mush and joy we hardly even recognized. It was scares and experiences, pictures and first times, tears and endurance. It was amazing.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

At FOUR, it was creating traditions, being sillier than we ever thought possible and learning how to be more than me. More than we. It was trying to remember what life was before: quiet conversations, holding hands, calling during the day and leaving room for date nights. On those rare ones, it was like when we met at 21 - fireworks, too many margaritas and finding a shared spirit between learning to nurture a toddler.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

When FIVE came about, it was connecting with friends - hosting mustache parties, traveling to the lake and holding on to the pieces that led us to balance in life. It was growing in confidence as parents, now trotting along our career paths and putting family first.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

In comes SIX, where expanding our family proved to be trickier than we dreamed. It was late night fights, loads of icicle -illed walls building around us and pondering if we'd ever return to what we were. It was sprinkled with gratitude, going through the motions and celebrating firsts with our family and friends.

You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

SEVEN arrives, and so does our remarkable baby boy. We lose our hearts completely to our two sons, finding our lost souls wandering between the memories they created for us day in and day out. We start to forget about one another, but find it again in small moments over morning cereal bars, watching a child streak naked across the room or during a show that highlights a hysterical moment that reminds us that this is normal. We fight colic, postpartum depression and how to show big love to all these things we cherish so deeply. We fight for us.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

Around the corner comes EIGHT, where we settle into routines of work and travel, daily living and nightly waking. We're overjoyed with our family's amazing milestones and start to dream again as a family. As the two of us. We find grace, we accept, we grow. We start to realize we're different and hold on to what makes us happy about the same.
You said to me: I love you just the way you are. Chase your dreams. Live big. 
My soul is yours. 

Here we are at NINE. I don't know what this year will bring, but with you by my side loving me the way I am, allowing me to chase my dreams and live big? The possibilities are endless.

Thanks for giving me your soul. Here's mine. For I'm forever celebrating ours.

I love you.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Hit Fix

"Quick - rescue it before we hit the basement!" I shouted, my husband's jaw dropping in disbelief at my priorities during a summer tornado in KC. The box lay among fallen branches, scattered bits of hail and a sky more greenish/black then we'd seen in many months.

That's right, I'd rescue a Stitch Fix box mid tornado. I may even do it more than once if ya ask me...

And aren't I glad I did, because she delivered these little beauties:
The shorts that changed my life! Kut From the Kloth's Corynne Distressed Boyfriend Short
not only fits this lady of substance, but are extremely comfortable and doesn't leave
me too self conscious of my most loathed body part that is the legs. Plus, they are
a great addition to my wardrobe since my best gal pals have informed me capris
are no longer. Love, love, love and kept!
Daniel Rainn Sicily Pintuck Detail Silk Blouse in yellow: amazing color
and just the right blend of character with classic. Had the budget allowed, I would of
kept this guy as well, but the fact that I had to wear something underneath in
these high temps and it was a bit boxy on me swayed me just enough the
other way. A great find though! 
Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank - adore! This was a keeper
despite it's horizontal stripes (why enhance the size 14), but the compliment of colors,
unique cut at the bottom and ridiculous comfort made it a keeper. Plus a $38 price tag!
Fab add to my casual but still hip mommy desired wardrobe.

Pixley Edmond Chevron Print Henley Shirt: swoon! I think I squealed
when this one came out of the box. Incredibly soft and comfortable, it's cut
fabulously, coming in at the waist, covering arm flab and giving a peek at the
chest, all with a tabu pattern and incredible comfort. Keep!
Muse Prudence Eyelet Dress: the sucker didn't go over my hips,
but the color and cut seemed great for casual to dressy. Bummer!
Tish: you did it again! I swear I'd take you for some summer brew right this second if you lived closer, my virtual friend.

What's been working for you in your fixes lately?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Monday Momfessions: July 6 Week

1. When your two-year old pulls the defibrillator alarm in the US's third largest airport, you go ahead and just walk away v.e.r.y. slowly. Turn red, look around to make sure there isn't actually someone that appears they need assistance (aka avoid waste), then promptly hide at a different gate, avoiding your husband's glare that didn't even see it happen but just KNEW. Thank goodness Americans have suddenly become creepily immune to screeching alarms. Twelve minute response time - really?!

2. The amount of naked wrestling time has only increased since KC has hit temps in the 90s. We've had to remind both boys that clothes are required outside the home. Suddenly, they've become homebodies. Of note: undie Nerf gun fights in the backyard are acceptable.

3. I ate the last Oreo. Again. And I didn't even feel guilty about it. Not for one second. They even heard the crackling of the package and came running and I just blankly stared them in the face while popping the black and white deliciousness into my pie hole...

4. Sibling rivalry is going to be the death of me. I keep trying to stay positive, smooth on all those essential oils and do some educational reading to cope, but find that I only want to throw said book and mix vodka with the oils every time it begins. I feel a bit like Jessie on "Saved by the Bell..."

5. Seeing our oldest do good deeds absolutely on his own and with his own intent may be the coolest thing ever.

6. They should make support groups for when your favorite teachers transition from daycare. It should be the kind of support group that serves alcohol.

7. "Aw, SH*T." Yep, he said that. At school and in front of grandma. Damnit. I mean, shoot. Darn. Augh...

8. The little one has embraced a new sales tactic that moves him from demon to angel in nanoseconds. When he wants something, he becomes like that cat in Shrek with the big eyes, very gently caresses both sides of your face, looks lovingly into both of your eyes with his big blue ones, cocks his head and say "HAVE ONE?!" If you try to look away, he only becomes more insistent and even uses multiple languages. It works every time. I should tell our sales team at work...

9. Kindermusik is an incredible program I highly recommend. Allowing the playlist in the car that suddenly leads to toddler addiction is another story. Not only does it help you near the definition of insanity, it's not good for the ego when you accidentally leave it running and pull up next to a car of young bucks, the hot guy you always see at the grocery store or that ultra hip Mom that you want to be. Anything for the kids...

10. Avoid employing a hot, female swim instructor for your son. You may think they are too young to notice, but watch any private lesson and quickly learn that around five, learning seems to be decreasing and a Kindergartner's version of flirting increases. Oye.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Let's Go Royals!

"First, I'll have a burger. Then a hotdog, popcorn, nachos and a pretzel. Next I'll have a ..." Similar to his mother, the child anticipated ballpark gourmet almost as much as a hometown win at our annual trip to the game.

Decked out in our gear (I had to make the investment in a woman's jersey - I mean, how cute is that?! And to go back and monogram it someday with "BoyMom?!" Swoon.), we loaded the car with nearly 15 bottles of water given the hundred-degree heat, some snacks a few Shandys and left anxious and excited for a Royals win.

Well, two of us...

The day had already been packed with sports, swimming, errands and a large Mexican meal, so he needed just a bit more time to rally. The bonus of this meant some bonding time with the Mister over ice-cold brewskies and bright orange fingers from a rare indulgence called Cheetos (maybe not the best choice with that new white jersey, but hey - YOLO.)

Ready to roll, we parked near the Chiefs stadium, following the floods of the crowd of the sold out game. Feeling the energy, we navigated the the streams of people, already flushed from the anticipation of what the next nine innings held and likely the warmth of the sunny day. Finding our seats, Big L discovered he needed a bit of a height advantage and chose Daddy's lap.

Together they talked for hours, delighting in every last detail of the game, learning the ins and outs of base stealing, local cheers and how to read the scoreboard. At home run time, he was tossed in the air among thousands of fist pumps from the strength of his Daddy's forearms. And me? I taught him the importance of choosing a song and knowing all the cheers.
It was so much fun, we missed our opportunity once again to check out the Little K, our son choosing the opportunity to catch a foul ball vs. bouncing around with a crew of sweaty peers.

Homers, Hosmers, hotdogs and handholding - it was an incredible evening. And we got to celebrate Father's Day for this guy:
Life can't be much better than this.

Check another one off the summer bucket list and let's go Royals!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Care For a Wowbutter and Jelly?

"Mom - it was so amazing. We made puppy chow today. With stuff that really tasted like peanut butter! Or, that's what my friends say..." our oldest gabbed on, perhaps almost as excited about this food as when he anticipates the large menu of ballpark goodness before a Royals game.

Immediately intrigued, I happened to pick up from school that day and ask his teacher what all the commotion was about. She quickly propped open a nearby cupboard (perfectly organized and labeled I might add - those Kindergarten teachers!) and whipped out this:
Wowbutter! It's claim to fame being "it's just like peanut butter but better." As a peanut butter lover I was skeptical, particularly noting that the stuff was mostly made from soy, but a quick lick from a plastic spoon left me delighted. And very relieved.

A few months ago the "food bullying" and feeling left out for having a food allergy had started for our near six-year old, with friends peer pressuring him to "just go ahead and try it," or licking their fingers after Reece's cups and rubbing it in that this journey into goodness wasn't going to be an option for him. Luckily he's a beautiful blend of compliant and a pleaser, but the pleaser part can be tricky sometimes, because you just don't know the moment he may give in. Now, he has options.

And Wowbutter and jelly sandwiches. Nearly daily.

The tub sits proudly on our counter and is constantly requested, paired with crackers, vegetables or sometimes just grubby little fingers. Found in your local grocery store, they also come with easy-to-read labels indicating it's peanut-free and GMO free, given it looks remarkably like the creamy stuff.

So peanut allergy survivors, delight! And give your kiddo a taste of the good stuff. Happy snacking!

Friday, June 5, 2015

When National Donut Day Goes Too Far
"Oh yeah - it's your fourth favorite holiday," my husband says, his words slightly jumbled together at our attempt to have a conversation before 6 a.m. "Go and have yourself a sprinkle donut the size of your head."

The thought of purchasing the rings of death began to circle in my not-yet-functioning brain, the result of waking to each lightning strike overnight that shook the entire house. Would I go Fluffy Fresh? Make the trek to Lamars? Swing by Yos? Cheat and just grab Hostess?

National Donut Day is not the one in which you cut corners, so alas it was decided: Fluffy Fresh it is. Even if you do have to write a CHECK because they don't accept cards. (Note to husband: I have no idea where the $11.47 went to). Lamars would have been ideal, but it was 25 minutes out of the way and well, that place on HHI managed to shut down, regardless of having the type of gooey goodness I still dream of five years later.

And so it became that at 6:50 a.m. a white box in which dreams are made of entered my car with the anticipation of sharing with my colleagues. Knowing my boss may consider making this same move, I shot her a quick text:

"It's national do it day! I'm going to celebrate accordingly."

That's all it said.

Luckily I took a moment before pulling out of my parking space to realize how this could have been interpreted. Damnit fumbling fingers and voice texting. This could definitely land me in HR. Do it day?! Really?!

A career limiting move for sure.

Luckily my supervisor is the kind of rockstar diva who understands where I'm coming from and let me send a recovery message before quickly sending me donut emoticons. And then we shared the story with tears streaming down our faces when the sales team got it.

Gah bless her. Especially since a text attempt last week ended similarly in that it appeared I was doing drugs in the employe lot.

Maybe the lesson learned here is: quit texting your boss. Or at minimum proofread first. Or maybe it's to at least have a donut first...

Happy D day!