Thursday, May 24, 2012

We Said "Cheese!"

Or in L's case: "PASTA!"

We're not quite sure where that derived from outside of the photo shoots he so gracefully poses for on school picture day, but if it means he'll crack a smile for the camera, we'll take it.

Though that was not so much the case on this sweltering morning where we attempted to take our first professional family photo, we're still pretty pumped with the results. Check them out here by clicking on "access gallery" and enter "Choate" for the password. For most enjoyable viewing, select "click to view a slide show of these images."And do it soon - they'll only be available for another week.

Finally, to our rockin' photographer Melissa: thank you. Thank you for understanding it's necessary to walk a half a mile when your preschooler needs a snack, that much of your photo opps are spent correcting and answering questions from a curious learner, that little boys require rolls in the mud and near falls into ponds and that when Mama begins to sweat, it all starts to go downhill. You made the most of it, and for that, we appreciate you.

Thanks for making us say "cheese!" They are memories we'll cherish for a lifetime.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nutso for Nordys

One intense work day later and in an effort to completely avoid packing, I found myself at none other than Nordys, the land of utopia when one needs a little retail therapy. Better yet, it's the half-yearly sale for women and kids. So despite having no business being there whatsoever, I found myself with three packages in the crook of my elbow this evening, including:

Ok, so these weren't on the sale rack, but come on...the new TOMS ballet flats that just arrived this morning?

These items may have landed in my bag as well:


I anticipate being in BIG trouble lately with the hubs, thereby receiving a lecture on Dave Ramsey and how this doesn't align with our "get rid of all our stuff" plan. But I can't help it:

I'm nutso for Nordys.

Hit the sale this week! You will be too.

And grab a pomegranate lemonade while you're there too, won't you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dance Like No One Is Watching

So much love, joy...and killer moves. Even better?

It all goes down in his undies.

Rock on, little man, rock on. May the spirit you feel in your heart in this very moment live on with you forever and may you always dance like no one is watching.

Not even Mommy with her spycam...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sip 'N See for Ms. Maggie

"What the heck is a 'sip 'n see'?” my Mom asked, her eyebrows furrowing as she helped me balance a preschooler on one hip and a load of GAP baby clothes on the other.

“It’s a light party with libations and delicious food after a friend’s baby is born so you can check out the darling bundle of joy and provide well wishes to the new Mama,” I said, waiting for her response of how “in her day we didn’t do all this over the top stuff like weddings, buying potty watches to train our children, etc.”

Perfect for the gal who delivered before the shower was put into motion or perhaps a Momma welcoming her second, sip n’ sees are a delight. Plus, who doesn’t want their new baby doted on for their infinite levels of cuteness?

Take a look at this fine group of gals enjoying their friend Maggie’s sip 'n see for new baby Colin:

Don’t they look like they were just having fun over the choo-choo cookies, yummy lemonade, Sunday sandwishes and hugs among friends?

It’s because they were.

Congratulations to Maggie and her new baby boy and for their amazing journey ahead.

Now go plan that sip n’ see for your Mama friend that deserves it…it’s sure to bring you and her glee! 

Nearly Bronzed

“Girls – we gotta get some bling. This gal loves metal around her neck!” I said, working to lighten the mood as we stood with our hands on our hips, rotating our aching knees and toweling off two hours of sweat from our brow.

As our team captains shouted game plans, we dove ball after leather white ball, flinging our over-30 bodies into formations they hadn’t seen in quite some time. We laughed, apologized, used profanity, wrangled perfect strangers into being line judges and laughed again as we struggled our way to the top. Saturday evening we forged our way to the championship games and tonight…

We were nearly bronzed.

No, not the “slip into Celsius tannery” type, but the Olympic medal type. But for Corporate Challenge.

Another great season under our belt and only four points from the victory.

So will we really retire?

Not me. I’m holding out for that bronze around my neck and my picture snapped just like the ol’ glory days. We 30 and 40 somethings don’t have many of those moments anymore you know. Instead it's mostly about the sprained wrists, bruised knees and barrels of ice to indulge in when we return home. There's a reason M packs the first aid kit...

So ya, I’m still holding out for the gold, silver or bronze.

Meanwhile, I’ll take the other kind if you have some. My legs are looking pretty pale to be sporting summer attire. Good thing I won’t be able to move them for a few days anyway after these volleyball shenanigans. 

But it was totally worth it to be nearly bronzed.

Go team CHA!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wish I Would've Thought of That!: The Expanding Your Family Version

First there was this.

Now this.

Tears. Laughter. Anticipation. Artistry. And so much love.

Swoon! Congratulations Penney family and thanks for reminding us what life is really about...

Now if only I had half the talent, creativity and brains Mrs. Lindsey does - this is EXACTLY what I would adore to do when expanding my family and sharing it with the world.

Precious. Fun. Wish I would've thought of that!

This Mother's Wish List for the Upcoming Day

What's on your wish list, Mama?

An Appreciation for Teachers

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." - Henry Adams

Especially when the kids are bright and spirited...

So Miss Stephanie and Miss Deanna received a set of OPI nail polishes today, all with fun spa or vacation type names and a handwritten note that indicated they deserve a break today. And the rest of the crew? A cookie cake and a heartfelt note on the impact they've made on our son and how grateful we are for them loving him unconditionally and growing him day to day.

But this will hardly touch the surface to illustrate the gratitude, unconditional thanks and appreciation we have for these teachers working so hard to mold, shape and create the little being he chooses to become day in and day out. A boy so magnificent, curious and sweet that spreads magic every moment his eyes are popped open. And even in those hours where he's fast asleep.

So thank you teachers and educator friends, for the tireless grace and unending gifts you provide our children each and every day. We appreciate you immeasurably.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Why's the WEEKend Hafta END?

Our first family photo session, a play date with little dude's future Mrs., the Brookside Art Fair, celebrating a friend's big 2, regularly scheduled dinner with the fam, complete with a side of tornado, a sip-and-see for the most gorgeous new baby boy and a dinner drop off for a beautiful woman who is conquering cancer.

Does life get much better than this?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Momma's Hot for Hot Mama

“No really, you should head out there…like tonight! I mean, look at this scarf!” my dear friend said, her knees bouncing in perfect rhythm as she balanced between building her quads and managing her Prosecco, her beautiful son’s eyes gently settling for his third snooze.

 And so I did make my way down to 119th and Roe, passing by Trader Joe’s and dreaming of the chocolate covered potato chips, marveling at the open air happy hour at La Bodega and trying my best to bustle past Charming Charlie. The sign, small and red, but perfectly branded read: “Hot Mama.” So was it maternity? For Moms who had been around the block? Or perhaps the younger female still on the dating scene? Because none of these were me…

 But no.

Instead, it was a place filled with a palette of bold, beautiful colors, perfectly strewn against one another among clean, polished wood floors, the air smelling somewhere between a spa and a delicious candle store. In the middle stood a small set of toys and animal crackers, behind it gorgeous displays of well-priced costume jewels. Perfect platform sandals perched among unique handbags, while pause points contained layers of comfortable, stylish clothes that really hit the “I don’t know if it was because I became a Mom or 30, but I needed a new style” feel.

Suddenly, a warm, friendly voice greeted me, complimenting my dress and asking with genuine sincerity on what my mission was. To which I shared:

 “Our first family pictures are Saturday. Help!”

For more than an hour it was a mix between a happy hour, therapy session and personal stylist session as we shared stories of our children, discussed the growing thickness of my tummy and thighs and the ying and yang of life and how they don’t at all work on commission – their only goal was to serve. I found myself talking with her as if I’d known her for years, even exposing her to my wobbly bits we’d been discussing just minutes before in an effort to find just the right thing. And indeed we did:
Innocent, yet with some personality. Says I’m a Mom of the most amazing 2.5 year old but I still have some “me” left in here. But hand over the comfort because this Momma is on the move. I love it. Simply love it. Not to mention the list of five items I created a wish list for the hubs to just wander in sometime before May 15…

I don’t even think they had such a concept as a wish list, but THAT’S how cool this chic was. And this store – I die!

And my first brush with Hudson and Joe's jeans...ah!

Nordstrom (gasp!) and LOFT, watch out. Hot Mama is about to give you a run for your money.

Er, my money.

Stop by today and be blown away. Gah knows this mama was hot for Hot Mama!