Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?

It's that time again. Time for grown men to gather with their clipboards & binders, their pens & highlighters & most important their neverending lists of rankings from every sports related website imaginable. Yup, it's time for Fantasy Football 2010.

We hosted the draft at our house last night & for about 2 hours our living room was filled with name-calling...not insults being thrown...but names of those football players who were considered most likely to help achieve the Fantasy Football Championship!

Our completed draft board...quite colorful if I do say so myself!

I have to admit, it is quite a bit of fun. I'm the designated secretary as we do the draft the old fashioned way with no technology. However, I also have to confess that I have a team as well. The only girl in a league of 12 teams (but did you know I got 2nd last year?) Yup, go me!

Names, names, & more names

The season doesn't eventually start until next Thursday, but we're all ready to go. Wish me luck...hopefully I can take down all those boys again this year!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Secret Life of CeeCee Week 3

It's Week 3 over at Book Beginnings & Bookends. I've long since finished the book, but I'm still enjoying answering the questions & seeing how everyone else feels about this book.

So...on to the questions this week over Chapters 21-35.

1. Do you think Tim is the one sending the money?
I think he has to be. Unless there is another character that has yet to be revealed, I think he's the only option. However, I still don't think it makes sense why he's sending it to her. The first $5000 is certainly questionable, while I think this was basically to bribe her into joining his scheme--however, the rest of the money just doesn't make sense. He doesn't really seem like the generous type or even the type who would be sending money her way out of guilt.

2. So far, there's been a lot of discussion on CeeCee/Eve and her choices. What choice(s) would you make differently from her?

Wow, so many things. First of all, I'd like to hope that I would never have gotten involved with a man like Tim which hopefully would have kept me from falling into this never-ending downward spiral of bad choices. I'd have not gone along with his plan, I'd have turned myself & the baby in, etc., etc., etc.

3. What do you like about Jack? Are there things about him that you don't like?

Jack is real, and trustworthy, and in my head cute in a quirky way. At this point, there's really nothing that I see that I don't like. I have to believe he loves Eve for who she is (or at least who he thinks she is). His love seems to be so constant & unending which is certainly something Eve will be fully drawn to.

4. What are the differences between CeeCee/Eve's relationship with Tim and Eve's relationship with Jack?

Night & day. Eve & Jack's relationship isn't built upon deception or manipulation. I think Jack & Eve truly love each other & would go to the moon & back to make each other happy.

5. Do you think Eve is to blame for Cory's fears? What could she do, specifically, to help Cory feel like less of an outsider?

Absolutely. She is sheltering Cory & protecting her to a fault. It's easy for me to say this since I'm not currently a mother; however, she has to let her live her life. Especially as she continues to grow-up, how will she ever learn to survive on her own with her mother always right next to her never letting her experience things? Falling down (either literally or figuratively) is part of life and Eve needed to express the fact that even if Cory did fall down--she was there to pick her right up and help her on her way. Instead she prevented her from ever falling down at all.

6. Do you think Eve appropriately answered Cory's questions about her father? Do you think Cory will question her father more as she grows older?

Cory will definitely want to know more about her father. I honestly don't know what an appropriate answer would be to Cory's questions. What's Eve supposed to say? Oh honey, your daddy is alive but I kidnapped you when your mother died. Obviously that wouldn't have worked either; I think Eve is naive to think that her present answers will be sufficient & while she certainly can't fully address the situation right now, she needs to start preparing for when that will happen.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend Rewind

I can't believe that summer weekends are practically coming to an end. With Labor Day next weekend, that seems to be the unofficial/official end to summer. Hubby & I took advantage by having a full, but very relaxing weekend.

We started off Friday night with a Springfield Cardinals minor league baseball game. They are the minor league affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals and always promises to be a good time. This was the last Friday night game of the year which meant a Fireworks Extravaganza for the Friday Night Fireworks. They even setup the local symphony on the infield to play music during the extended show. It was a perfect Friday complete with a corn dog, nachos, & peanuts. I love the ballpark!

Saturday morning I had to work while Hubby had class at the same time. It worked out great & we met back at home for lunch at practically the same time. We had no specific plans for the rest of the day so we hopped in the car and spent the afternoon running errands. We marked a tree we plan to go buy in the next couple of weeks to plant in our backyard, we made a stop at Orange Leaf since we were both having withdrawal from our favorite fro-yo, we picked up some landscaping stones for another fall project, & took care of a few other things on our list. Once we were back at the house, I snuck in a quick little nap before a fabulous dinner at home. Hubby grilled pork tenderloin and some bread while I was in charge of the mac & cheese and corn on the cob. It was such a great meal for a fraction of the cost if we had gone out. It amazes me how much money you can save when you eat in!

Today we had another wonderful, but convicting church service followed by a yummy lunch at Qdoba. Hubby is spending the afternoon working in the yard while I'm doing some inside chores like laundry and cleaning our floors. We're hosting the 3rd Annual Football Fantasy Draft tomorrow night so a little bit of pick-up was definitely necessary.

Tonight we start up small group again after our summer break. Some big changes are in store for our fabulous group & tonight we've got to hash those out. With growth almost always comes some growing pains and we'll be figuring out the details tonight. I'm sure I'll have a whole other post dedicated to the new group dynamics! I just hope nobody gets their feelings hurt to badly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time for a Mom Day

Yesterday I treated myself to a day of vacation for a mental health day, which in my world is also known as a Mom Day. I realized with all of my extended vacation occurring early in the summer, I hadn't taken a day for myself in quite sometime...so I took advantage of working for my dad & scheduled a day out with my mom.

We spent the morning shopping from store to store, we ate lunch at one of my favorite places (which Hubby doesn't really care for), and we spent the afternoon at our local mall doing a little bit of back-to-school shopping for both of us. I came home with some great finds from Banana Republic & now I'm ready to break out some of my fall clothes. We had such a fabulous day just hanging out, shopping, & talking about whatever came to mind. I love the wisdom she has to share about all things & I can truly talk to her about anything without worrying about judgment.

One of the tasks of the day was to find a new bedspread for my parents' room as they upgrade to a king-size bed from a queen. I certainly know my mom's taste & we found the perfect set at Kohl's. She had to go on a hunt to find it in a King, but she was finally successful on Ebay and even ended up paying less for it than she would have at Kohl's. Score! She texted me last night after she clicked "Buy It Now" to let me know that it was hers. After a little bit, she texted back..."We work well together" with my reply being "Definitely. There's no question about that."

I've said it a thousand times, but I am so incredibly thankful for the relationship I have with my mom. We are seriously two peas in a pod & love to shop together. We both fully understand each others' tastes & have such a blast. I honestly can't remember my mom ever buying me something that I didn't absolutely love. Clothing/fashion was never a conflict in our house because we had such similar tastes...sure, there was other conflict-but it was never about clothes.

Thanks Mom for being so incredible, I promise we won't go so long without a scheduled Mom Day next time! Love you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Secret Life of CeeCee- Week 2

Finally. I had good intentions of getting my discussion questions up early (or at least on time) this week; but obviously, my life had other ideas. Between a nagging headache and busy days at work, there just hasn't been much time to catch up on reading blogs, let alone put together coherent thoughs for a book club discussion. But...I'm here now, so here we go.

It's Week 2 over at Book Beginnings & Bookends which means much more drama in CeeCee's life.

1. Where do you think Tim and Marty are at this point in the story?
~I honestly have no idea. They seem to have quite the connections with their little group, so I imagine they are probably pretty set with new identities and no thoughts at all of CeeCee.

2. What were your thoughts as CeeCee was helping Genevieve deliver her baby?
~Craziness. Seriously, I can't even imagine going through such a huge ordeal. I mean come on, she's delivering a baby because she didn't listen to the experienced pregnant mother in the first place. I keep thinking that she must be completely overwhelmed with how everything is falling apart. I think you really see CeeCee's courage begin to appear here. Again, her decisions are certainly not the smartest but once she makes a decision she sticks with it until the end...even if we all don't agree with it.

3. After Genevieve died, what would you have done with her baby if you had been in CeeCee's shoes?
~I definitely would have gone to the authorities. I always feel such a sense of guilt with any difficult situation; and this was BEYOND difficult. However, it's so hard for me to imagine dealing with this as a 16 year old girl.

4. Why do you think CeeCee/Eve is still holding onto hope that Tim will come for her?
~It all goes back to most of the discussions we had last week. CeeCee is so focused on being loved & feeling obvious expressions of love that she can't help but long for him to come back for her. A 16 year old girl has such a hardtime recognizing when someone has taken advantage of her; she just can't accept the fact that Tim wasn't all he was cracked up to be.

5. How do you think Eve will establish her new identity in Virginia?
~SCAPE seems to be an incredibly well-functioning organization so I think she's definitely going to be just fine as far as surviving. When it comes to actually pulling it off, I think Eve will adapt to her new situation. As has been shown so many times, Eve has some serious courage and drive to push forward even in bad situations--I think this situation will be no different. Plus, she has a baby to care for now. If she's not going to turn herself and the baby in, she really has no choice but to suck it up & move on with her life.

6. What do you think of CeeCee/Eve now after she has gone through with the kidnapping, the delivery of the baby, the escape, and the relocation?
~I'm just so sad for her. She made one really BIG bad decision and look at how her life has changed as a result. I want someone to just sit her down and speak some truth to her; which I do think Marian will do to a point, but she's still raising a baby who's real mother is now dead and let's be honest, the baby's dad is somewhere mourning the loss of so much. I'm sad that she has no one besides Marian to turn to & that she thinks her only hope is to continue going along with this crazy plan. And I'm with everyone else, did she really think she cut her hand on Cory's hair? Wow, that was a hard part to get through but everything else is great!

If you haven't read through the entire book (which I can't believe anyone who's reading could actually stop on the designated sections)--I can't wait for you to keep reading. It's such a great book & just keeps you interested all the way through. See you next week!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Summertime Weekend

With another August weekend behind us, I can't help but think that the heat will be coming to an end sometime soon. However, that doesn't mean we didn't take advantage of another summer weekend. Soon enough, it will be frigid & we'll be longing for these warm temps!

Friday night Hubby treated me to dinner at 1 of our top two favorite local pizza joints! It's such a hole in the wall, but I love the cracker-thin crust & small square pizzas. After dinner we headed to a new local dessert place called The Cup.

It's a cupcake bakery that has over 30 different varieties ranging from old favorites like red velvet, double chocolate, or tuxedo (chocolate cake w/ vanilla buttercream) to specialty flavors such as Summer Crush (orange cake w/ orange buttercream), Banana Split, or Grasshopper (chocolate cake w/ mint buttercream).

We decided to try out some traditional flavors on our first visit & came home with red velvet & tuxedo. Yum...I definitely look forward to tasting all the yummy flavors in our future visits!

Hubby played in golf tournament on Saturday & Sunday with a friend of his from high school, but we were still able to spend the mornings & evenings together. I spent Saturday cleaning the house and running errands. I was able to pick up my new computer and I also had an Express coupon that got put to good use for 2 new tops & a pair of dress pants. Guess it was a mini back-to-school shopping spree! After the boys got home from the tourney, we grilled hamburgers & had homemade french fries...finished up with brownies ala mode! Thank goodness Hubby & I finished the evening by taking Bogey for a walk...we certainly needed it!
Today Hubby's tee time wasn't until early afternoon so we were able to go to church together. Our church has experienced some major growth which is leading to some pretty big changes but it's so exciting to see what God is doing in our young congregation!

After church, I was able to once again take advantage of my parent's pool. I'm so thankful that they don't mind us visiting so often. We'd have been spending a lot of time indoors this summer if it wasn't for the refreshing pool! Bogey & I had a great afternoon enjoying the peace & quiet of life in the country. It's so peaceful & relaxing to have so much land & open space to enjoy. Bogey certainly enjoys the ability to run free!

I'm waiting on Hubby to get home & we'll most certainly spend the rest of the evening relaxing--Bogey is certainly doing plenty of that after his long day at Grandma & Grandpa's!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Up in Flames

This morning as I was telling Hubby goodbye, I mentioned that I wasn't really in the mood to go work today. Of course, I came but my wish was granted in a way I would have rather avoided.

After experiencing 2 different complete shutoffs of my system and a new power cord, I was just working right along and all of a sudden an extremely strong burning smell filled my workspace. While there were no flames, I wasn't so sure they weren't coming so I quickly unplugged everything. Needless to say, my workday was shot...since we obviously don't just have spare workstations lying around our office.

Thankfully, we haven't been all that busy today so I headed off with my parents to see what was possible with my smoldering system. We were told best case it was the power supply, worst case it was a fan and the harddrive was shot. Well, we left the computer tower & headed to lunch. Once we got back to the computer repair shop, the look on the tech's face told us everything.

While it wasn't actually in flames, my harddrive at work literally had small black burned spots on some of the components. Lovely. I hate to even admit that I hadn't backed up my documets recently. Thankfully everything can easily be recreated or obtained from my e-mail server. Geez...I just don't have good luck with electronics at work.

I'll have a brand new system on Monday, unfortunately I'll spend most of that day reloading sofware, recreating my favorites list, & recreating documents. Why me? This certainly isn't my first go round with office electronics!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School Shopping

Ever since May 2006 happened one major event has been missing in my life. That's the year I graduated from college with my masters, and with it went the opportunity and excuse to go back to school shopping each year. I loved going back to school shopping. And now that I'm in a big girl job, in the real world, and completely removed from the world of Back to School...I can't seem to justify a shopping trip. Even when I was in college, I still remember giving myself the excuse to plan a shopping day with my mom & go pick up a few new things for the new school year.

A new pair of shoes, a new pair of jeans, a couple new tops...awww, those were the days.

When I was a little girl, there definitely weren't the excessive abundance of childrens' clothing shops that there are today. I remember it being such a huge deal when our local Limited store opened up an area in the back of their store devoted to little girl's clothes...that was the true beginning of Limited Too. Then came Abercrombie which was totally not what it is today.

Today marks the first day of school for our local school district. I spent 13 years at that school which meant I had 13 first day of school outfits. Can I go buy myself a first day of school outfit to remember the good ole days? In elementary school, my brother & I would load up in the car with my mom & head to the mall for the entire day. A first day of school outfit was always high priority but so were the shoes, the jeans, the accessories. As the years went on, the first day of school included arriving 2 hours early for band or volleyball or football practice so the outfits were definitely not quite as cute...but they were still there.

An "official" first day of school shot. Gotta love those Umbro shorts! (I tried to figure out what grade this was, but no such luck)

A few weeks ago I told Hubby that I missed back-to-school shopping. Of course I also missed the fact that my parents' paid for the shopping spree. Come to think of it, I could use a new brown purse, a couple new pairs of dress pants along with some fall tops to go with it...maybe I'll use my "Golf Widow" weekend coming up and go back-to-school shopping, big girl style.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Secret Life of CeeCee--Week 1

About a month ago, 2 of my favorite bloggers (Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride & Rachel @ In No Simple Language) mentioned they would be starting a blogging book club & I couldn't have been more excited. I am an avid reader & frequently take advantage of my local library, but was thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of an actual book club. If you're interested, head over to Book Beginnings & Bookends to join up!

So...our first book is The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. I'd never heard of this book or the author, but jumped in with both feet & managed to read then entire book in a little less than a week. I had plans to try and stick with the schedule and only read the assigned chapters each week, but my no-plans weekend got the best of me & I finished it up completely on Saturday. I promise not to post any spoilers & I'm going to do my best to go back and think about how I was feeling before I new all the details contained in the later chapters!

Now, onto the book club discussion questions...

1. What was your first impression of Tim?

At first, I really wanted to hope that his feelings were genuine & that he truly did care about Ceecee. However, there was a part of me that was skeptical that a college boy would be at all interested in a 16 year old waitress. Once the money came in, I became even more skeptical. If it was Tim who sent the money, what 22 year old boy would give a 16 year old $5,000?

2. If you were in CeeCee’s position, would you be willing to help your boyfriend in the way that she is willing to help Tim?

Absolutely not. It's hard to consider this now as a 27 year old who had a wonderful family & upbringing...but thinking back, I would hope my naive 16 year old brain would have been smart enough to say no when such a crazy & illegal idea was brought to my attention.

3. Why do you think CeeCee is so eager to please Tim?

She's missing out on love. Period. Unfortunately I've had so many female friends who have done some crazy things just to gain attention & the love of a boy, or even a family member. Maybe not something as drastic as CeeCee's situation, but the results are still hurt, devastation & betrayal. It's definitely a sad situation, but she is starving for love & doesn't now where else to turn.

4. Who do you think has it harder? Tim or CeeCee?

CeeCee...definitely. She has absolutely no one to turn to except for her roommate. While it seems she had a wonderful mother growing up, those memories & ideas are fading & she is being influenced by any small bit of attention thrown her way.

5. What character trait(s) about CeeCee stuck out the most to you in these first ten chapters?

Throughout each scene, I see her meekness & her intelligence. She's a 16 year old girl, who's had her fair share of struggles in life but instead of making her stronger it seems those situations have paralyzed her. She appears to be very smart, it's just that her feelings for Tim are clouding her decision-making ability. I also think she shows brief glimpses of her courage; however, at this point she's still a little girl with no worthwhile guidance.

6. Do you think CeeCee is as mature as she seems?

While CeeCee has certainly been through a lot, I don't necessarily think those experiences increase your maturity level. As I've said before, she's still just a 16 year old girl with 16 year old brain processes & her ability to deal with situations is certainly lacking. While I think her experiences will definitely shape her future, her immaturity still seems to be getting the best of her!

Again, if you want to join up with our fabulous blogging book club...click here!

Book Beginnings & Bookends

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A No-Plans Weekend

I honestly can't even think back to the last weekend Hubby & I had with absolutely no plans. No weddings, no planned double-dates, no work, no class, no anything. This weekend was one of those. The only obligation we had, which really isn't an obligation at all, was church this morning. The rest of the time was free & clear, free for us to do with whatever we chose. It was glorious!

Friday was an impromptu dinner out with my parents, followed by another trip to Orange Leaf for frozen yogurt, and topped off with a cheezy, romantic movie at home on the couch. Yes, I'm addicted to Orange Leaf. Yes, it makes me feel like I'm eating something healthy with all the yummy fruity flavors. Yes, I realize all the sugar probably makes it bad for me. Yes, I will continue eating it as I can't contain myself.

Saturday we again had no plans so we spent most of the day around the house doing a variety of things. The tempearture was ridiculously hot again so it was nice to spend most ot the day inside. Last night we headed out for Mexican at a local place downtown called Maria's. Yummm! Hubby had also been wanting to see "The Other Guys" so I obliged. It was funny, but probably not something I would spend $$ on to see in the theaters. However, I have to admit that Will Ferrel & Mark Wahlberg are quite the pair!

Overnight we had a cold front make its way through which included crazy-high straight line winds & a nice rain. Thankfully, it truly was a cold front & temperatures were about 10 degrees cooler today & the humidity seems to have dropped to practically nothing. We had a wonderful sermon at church this morning, followed by a quick lunch & then we headed down to my parents' house for an afternoon at the pool. I was afraid that it might not even be warm enough to be outside, but the clouds finally cleared up & the weather was absolutely beautiful. With all the warm temps, the water was actually only 2 degrees cooler than the air temperature which made for a wonderful pool afternoon.

We're back at home now with no evening plans. I'll be catching up on laundry & picking up the house while Hubby studies some more for his next exam. Wow...if only we could have one of these weekends once a month. I love being busy & having fun events to be a part of...but man sometimes you just need a break.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An Engagement Story

Four years ago today, I was living at home, working for the family business, & spending most weekends hanging out with Nick as much as I possibly could. Friday, August 11, 2006 started out as any other normal Friday. I headed to work & had plans to spend the evening relaxing with Nick at his apartment in Springfield about 30 minutes away. We didn't have anything special planned, probably dinner out somewhere quick & easy followed by a movie back at his place.
As I got off work & headed home to change for date night, something in my head told me that I should put a little bit of extra thought into what I wore that evening. As I walked out the door, I even recall my mom saying something like "You look nice tonight, honey...be careful & have a good time."
I drove to Springfield, anxious with anticipation, but unsure of what I was anxious about. The drive was about 30 minutes, but I remember that night it seemed like an hour. I pulled into the parking lot, headed up to his 3rd floor apt & knocked on the door. No answer. Knocked again. No answer. I finally got out my key to his apt & let myself in, assuming maybe he was just in the shower or in the back of the apartment & couldn't hear my persistent knocks. I started calling his name. No answer. I walked through every room of his 2 bed/2 bath apartment & no one was there. The weird thing was that I had already noticed his car still parked in the parking lot. This part gets a little fuzzy, but I'm fairly sure I grabbed my phone out of my purse to call him--and then I noticed the note taped to the television.
I quickly read the details....and I knew. This was the night I was going to go from girlfriend to fiancee'. "You can tell by now I'm not here. If you would be so kind to come pick me up at the park...the one by Horton Smith where we usually go. Look hard & I'm sure you'll find me. Love, Your Favorite." Unfortunately I think the note somehow got destroyed in all of the excitement and the only thing I have is a photo where I can zoom in and almost read most of the details. There was a second note taped to the tv that included a map of exactly where he would be at one of the parks' where we spent a ton of time.

I grabbed my purse, ran out the door, hopped in my car, & drove as fast as I could to the designated meeting place. As I got of out of the car, I forgot the map & this is not a small park. I thought I knew exactly where he would be, but I was wrong. I started glancing across the open fields & across the pond. Finally, I grabbed my phone & called. He had been watching me the whole time & was sitting probably about 100 yards away...in the only direction I hadn't looked.

Nick had prepared a full picnic dinner, complete with a nice blanket, glass dinnerware & flowers. We had a dinner of KFC, biscuits, cheese & fruit. Again, the details are a little fuzzy. It's sad that this is the first time I've actually written out the story. Guess I should have done it sooner. Anyways, we ate...a little. We both knew what the night was about, but Nick had his timing all figured out & he wasn't going to ask any sooner than he had planned. We small talked about the day & random topics before finally gathering everything up and taking it back to my car. Apparently, his mom had dropped him off and helped him set everything up only moments before I actually arrived.

He said we should go for a nice walk around the pond & I of course obliged, waiting not so patiently for "The Moment." We walked & talked & walked some more...and we finally came back around to this beautiful hosta garden that is a central part of the park. Within the hosta garden is a small rock bridge that sits behind a fountain. (this location is actually used for weddings quite frequently). Poor Nick, there was a family that was lingering just a little too long on the bridge but finally they went on their way. Nick lead me to the top of the bridge, said a whole bunch of really mushy stuff that I can't remember at all and asked me to be his wife. And of course...I said yes.

A recreation of the moment...a few months later during our engagement pictures.

Even though I knew it was happening, I still remember feeling this incredible sense of shock that I was actually wearing an engagement ring & Nick & I were actually going to be husband and wife. It was certainly not a surprise that we were getting engaged, we had actually already planned what our wedding date would be before the official engagement & I told Nick that I needed at least 9 months to plan and I didn't really want much more than that. Needless to say, I knew an engagement was coming...but as for the details I was completely clueless.

We sat in my car and talked for awhile before Nick mentioned that we should head downtown to our other favorite park. I kept wanting to call my family but he convinced me to just enjoy the moment for a bit. He knew that once I started calling my friends & family, it would be a never-ending process. We walked around the park & finally we headed back to his apartment to simply relax & start making some phone calls. We walked in the door....and SURPRISE!!! My parents, both sets of my grandparents, his parents (his dad had flown in from Michigan that day just to be a part), and his sister, her husband, & our oldest nephew Hunter were all waiting for us with a surprise engagement party all planned out by my precious husband.

Rereading the note...still taped to the television. This is the one I can zoom in on...

Opening our first wedding gift from my mom...an entire box of the most current bridal magazines!

My Grandma Smart & I cutting the cake for to celebrate the special occasion!

We celebrated the entire evening, complete with cake & champagne. The night couldn't have been more perfect. On a side note, Nick had actually had lunch with my parents sometime about a week before & had asked their permission. Of course they granted it. The amazing thing is that my grandparents managed to keep the whole thing a secret from me. With the engagement party the night of, everyone close to me knew what was going on except for me!

Thank you Nick for asking me to be your wife 4 years ago, I could never have imagined how happy you would make me each & every day of my life.
Our first engagement picture!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Accidental Girls' Weekend!

Accidentally, on purpose, this weekend tuned into a girls' weekend without me ever having to leave town. Hubby had class & a golf tournament this weekend so it actually ended up working out fabulously!

Friday night was the first of the weekend festivites, dubbed Mx3 by our hostess--Mexican, Margaritas, & Movies. All the girls' from our small group met up for some yummy Mexican food, strawberry margaritas, & an old 80s movie...Shag. The food was delicious, the laughter was more than plentiful, & the margaritas were yummy! However, in my opinion I do have to admit that the movie was less than stellar. Apparetnly I was born a few years too late to have the incredible nostalgic memories associated with the movie as most of the other ladies in attendance. I have to admit, I might have dozed off for a few brief moments...but was wide awake as the end credits began to roll. Andrea, Amy, Andrea, & Kelli...guess we'll have to try again with another 80s chick flick that I was too young to appreciate at the original release date!

Right before the movie, we requested a group picture from Andrea's fabulous husband Derek--who was also behind making the strawberry margaritas--and he quickly obliged. As we were trying to get situated and have everyone looking at the camera, he just started clicking away which resulted in quite the hilarious flip-book grouping of photos. Lydia (Andrea & Derek's precious little girl decided to join us for the photo op before bed).

TAKE 1: Notice Lydia on the right...she was entertaining us all with her funny faces!

TAKE 2: Not quite ready...

TAKE 3: Perfection! These ladies are all so beautiful, inside & out...I can't believe God blessed me with such amazing friends!

I'm looking forward to many more Mx3 evenings to come! Even if they do involve movies that I've never heard of & never seen!

Yesterday was my Saturday to work, but the afternoon involved more girl time! My old college roommate Jeannine is back in town for a few days before heading all the way back to Orlando. We're having a little dessert gathering at my house tonight, so she decided to spend some quality time with me! Yeah!!! Saturday was incredibly laid back with some random shopping, milkshakes & french fries, & a nice nap. Sunday we headed to church with Hubby before the second round of his golf tournament. Jeannine & I grabbed lunch, picked up Bogey, & spent several hours with my parents' at the pool. It was SOOOO hot outside, being in the water was the only option & thanks to several sunscreen applications we both managed to avoid any major sunburns!

We finished off the evening by making a lemon cake (Jeannine's favorite) and watching Meet the Parents on TBS. What a great weekend!

More girl time tonight with some of my favorite girls' from college...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Raindrops on Roses

Just like most of you, Hubby & I have been working hard not to melt in the last few days. With temps in the upper 90s and the heat indices in the upper 100s, it's been hard to be motivated to do anything. Well this morning, we had an answer to prayer...a nice gentle, summer rain. Oh I love waking up to the sound of rain falling against the window & thunder rumbling across the sky.

I think that rumbling thunder might be one of the most wonderful sounds God created. I love the thunder that literally seems to roll across the entire sky. The thunder that seems to go on forever, continuously, only stopping to change tones or to allow a small lightning bolt to pass through. The kind that doesn't produce storms containing tornadoes, or hail, or power outages from lightning strikes.

What made this morning even better was the rain that followed, the hard steady downpour of a fabulous rain that we had been literally praying for in the last couple of days. A cold front moved through & while the relief will most likely be short lived, I'm so thankful for a cloudy days where the highs haven't hardly reached into the 80s.

I hope the rest of you experience some relief from this sweltering heat. I'm so ready for fall!

Images from Google Images

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guilted into a Box

In my last post, I mentioned that Hubby & I tried a new to us, but old to the location, Italian cafe'. I'm a review addict when it comes to almost anything & I'd read several reviews that just praised this place for having great Italian food, in big portions, for cheap. The crazy thing about this is that the restaurant was located about a block from the college I attended for 5 years...seriously, how did I never know about this place back then? Because it really was fairly cheap!

Alright, let's get back on track. We arrived, took a look at the menu & ordered. I remembered basically right before we received our food, that a couple of reviews had mentioned ordering the lunch portion. When I see lunch portion, I obviously normally think this means that I can only order a smaller sized dish at lunch--however, I should have asked this time. Hubby & I both ordered pasta dishes & when the waiter sat down our plates, I'm sure my mouth hung open. It was one of the largest plates of pasta I'd ever seen...easily enough for probably 3-4 people. I'd already had bread & salad and after only eating for a short time I was done...full...stuffed.

I'm normally good with pasta leftovers, but we had plans to go watch a movie & I also didn't want the pasta to make my car smell horrible. After some internal debate, I decided on a box since I still had enough pasta for 2 people sitting in front of me. Hubby was less than pleased with his dish & I just knew that he'd decline any offer for a box. Imagine my surprise when the waiter asks "Would you care for a box?" and we both respond "Sure." What? Hubby didn't like his meal, why would he box it up and take it home to smell up my car!

Apparently, he was guilted into a box. He felt bad for having so much left in front of him & declining a box so he said yes & knew he would take care of it later. So...we both walked out of the restaurant with heavy, full to-go boxes. We drove to the movie & promptly discarded both to-go containers in the nearest trash can...Hubby, because he didn't like his meal to begin with & me, because I'd decided I couldn't handle the smell that was bound to exist once we came out of the movie theater.

So I say all this to ask...Are you ever guilted into a box? Do you ever just get a to-go container to make the waiter/waitress not feel bad? Seriously, how silly is this?!? I'm gonna pay for the meal, I've eaten what I want, and I don't want to take it home...what is so wrong with that? Nothing!

Credits for this post idea definitely go to Hubby...thanks Hubby!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend Rewind

First of all, thanks so much for all the compliments on the bathroom! We are still just loving it & it turned out just as I'd hoped it would!

Next, in regards to my Great Expectations post--Hubby & I were both thrilled to have not one, but two fabulous date nights this weekend. Of course, no expectations were in play so everything went off without a hitch.

Friday evening we had dinner at a local Italian cafe. It's been there forever, but we'd just never tried it out. We were pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere & most of the food. Hubby just decided he should of ordered something else--so I think we'll definitely be trying it out again! After dinner we headed to see Salt...which I highly recommend if you enjoy action movies. Similar to a James Bond type movie, but with a woman as the lead. We finished off the evening by taking advantage of the post-game fireworks for the Springfield Cardinals. Definitely a great cap-off to a fabulous evening!

Hubby had a class all day on Saturday so I spent Saturday morning doing basically absolutely nothing. I was able to take Bogey down to my parents' house and enjoy some pool time during the early afternoon. When Hubby was done with class, we spent a few hours sweating to death!!! We worked in the yard, & I couldn't believe how hot it was outside. Yikes...can't believe it's going to be even hotter in the coming week! We treated ourselves to dinner at Chic-fil-A (I think it's possible we go here like 2-3 times a month) and dessert at Orange Leaf. As expected, neither disappointed & we came home for a movie on the couch.

Seriously...two great date nights in a row! What could ever be better than that?!?

This morning Hubby &I headed to church and then parted ways. He headed to the golf course with some old high school friends. Seriously...is he crazy?!? It's 100+ degrees outside! I ran some errands and I've spent the rest of my afternoon relaxing and doing laundry. Guess it's time to prepare for another week...it's gonna be a scorcher!!!