December 30, 2008

Vacation happenings....

Lots of catching up with our East Coast friends...
including measuring to see who is growing and who is not...

Preparing dinners.....letting kids clean up....

Devouring dinners.....(yes, Linds is shanking her sister)
So far we have had fabulous ribs one night and outstanding filet Mignon the other....
made to order breakfast from Coach (including leftover steak...YUM)
On the stove presently is a huge pot of chili cooking...wish I had smell-o-vision for you!

Many bottles of good wine consumed.....
Three wonderful boxers having fun....

Kids running outside...being kids....falling in creeks and mud....
The weather is great...wish you were here....
have I mentioned how much I LOVE the PicNik website, especially the collage options???

December 28, 2008

Adios 2008

Some thoughts on exiting this past year.....

On the downside:We have had a less than stellar year as far as business is concerned.
Coach has had to let many employees go. He worries daily about the next few months.

On the upside: Our family and our day to day life is better than most. We are very blessed.
We have made many sacrifices and preparations for what the future may hold for us.

But for this coming week.....

He said:

Fuuuugggetttt about it....

Don't worry, be HAPPY!!!

We are escaping the hot, humid weather of Florida and heading to the gorgeous cool, crisp Mountains.....

A few days in one of our most favorite places with some of our most favorite friends!
Some pics from our favorite place:

The last time the 6 of us vacationed together...this happened:

Costa rica....volcanic ash mud bath.

Does N.C have volcanic ash???

Happy New Year!!!!

December 27, 2008

My Baby is 13 today......

Happy 13th Birthday to my Lindsay!!!!!

You have been a silly little sweetheart since day ONE!!!

You have always been my constant sidekick...and if you were not by my side, I would only have to look as far as your bedroom and you would be playing nicely by yourself or reading a book.
Or possibly falling asleep in a laundry basket.

We have had lots of fun adventures together as a family....

You have a unique sense of fashion....and YES, I usually question that.

I hope you never lose your fun and witty sense of will make life more fun.

The 80's called and they want their hair and clothes BACK!!!!

Please don't go and start acting like a have seen what this can do to your parents!!!

I love that you are not a are not concerned with what others think of you....

I love that you have a great love for your friends....

And most of all....

"I hope you Dance Forever"

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with all of Coach's family here..
my BIL, his wife and 2 of the 4 cousins, Coach's Mom and Stepdad, Coach's Dad and StepMom.
Yes, one big divorced, remarried and happy family.
We had our traditional Italian feast. YUMMO. Lasagna, antipasto, fettucine alfredo and FIL brought over a pork roast that was good enough to slap your Mama. (sorry Mom)

The girls knew the gift list was not going to be long; but full of quality stuff.
They loved it all...the Dolphins Jersey, The skinny jeans that she has wanted forever...a new camera from Grandma (I think it takes better pics than mine!!)

Lindsay made me a lovely gift that only an insane and crazy Mom like me could appreciate:
My very own SHANK!!!!! It is decorated in heart rhinestones and green has my name all over it too. She is so funny.

Lindsay asked her dad what he wanted for Christmas, he told her Peace, Love and Happiness.
That is just what she gave him!!!

The joys of having kids that are older now?
We slept in till 7:00 am.
opened gifts
ate breakfast.
I went back to bed at 9:30 and napped till almost 12:00.

Merry Christmas!!!!

December 23, 2008

Over the river and thru the woods....

To Grandmothers House we go....
oh, wait a minute...that is not how it is for us. It is more like:

Through the everglades and then hellish Miami, to Grandmas house we go.....

Monday we loaded up and drove to cuba, I mean Miami, to have Christmas with my Grandma and Uncle.

My Grandma is 95 & 1/2.

When you are kid, you use 1/2 years, when you are over 90, you go back to using 1/2 years too.

We had a lovely visit. My Grandma is a HOOT. Not a coot, like the Grumpy Grandpa.

This is my Dad's Mom. She is never Grumpy.

We wanted to visit and take her out to her favorite restaurant "Dead Lobster". (red lobster)

But she would not hear of leaving the house. When I spoke to her on the phone she had went to WalMart a few days prior to shop for Christmas presents and could not think of leaving the house again until next year. Yes, that shopping trip wore her "slap" out.

So, being the wonderful Granddaughter that I am...we brought the Seafood to her.
We made her some mahi mahi, shrimp scampi, rice, and fresh asparagus.

She was in heaven.
I would not tell her what I was bringing to cook and this turned out to be a good idea. She said for days she kept asking my Uncle: "what do you think they are going to make?"
At her age, any surprise is a good surprise.

She always makes a big deal about Lindsay's birthday (it is the 27th) by getting her a birthday cake when we come for cream cake even!!

She is so funny.

We are singing happy birthday to Lindsay and just when we get done, Grandma screams out:

"dammit we forgot to put candles on the cake!"

This wonderful old woman has outlived 6 brothers, her husband, her son, & a grandson.

This past year, thanks to my cousin's son not knowing about birth control, Grandma became a Great-Great Grandma.

I heart her so much.......

December 22, 2008

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

A little story for your reading pleasure. And a little bit of history as to why I am a little loco. :)

When I was a kid I would spend a great deal of time with my Grumpy Grandpa.
My Mom's Dad.
Well, I did not call him grumpy to his face. Actually I don't know if I thought he was grumpy back then, but when I grew up and remembered all the things he did and said, he most definitely was grumpy.

He used to call me names like Shaggy dog. (My bangs were too long)

He would make comments about how I ate like a slob and he should just feed me in the bathtub.

He hated cats. He would see cats outside his trailer (yes, I spent a great deal of time in a trailer park) and he would run out with a rag soaked in turpentine and put it on the cats butt to irritate the cat and keep the cat away from his trailer. I seriously don't know why he did not want the cats near his trailer, but whatever......

He thought everyone in the world was lazy except for him. (much like my father)

He taught me how to dip toast into coffee at around age 7.
Years later, this became my breakfast of choice in high school.

He loved his beer and cigarettes.

When my brother died, he came to the funeral. Someone said that he resembled my brother and he said: "oh, I look dead?"

I think he must have been dropped on his head a few times when he was a kid, cause he was just never "right".

My Mom, Aunt and I still talk about how different he was.

He had a few favorite was: arranuts. What he was saying was, "oh, nuts." but it always came out arranuts.
Many years later when I was a teenager and he lived w/ my aunt at the time, we made him a birthday cake. We decorated it with nuts on the top and wrote on it arranuts. cause we are nuts like that.

One of his other favorite phrases was: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph." Whenever he was frustrated or mad, this would come out. Such as the time I was playing in his car in the driveway and I accidentally put the car in neutral and it rolled down the hill and towards his neighbors car.....
I think I got the "Jesus Mary and Joseph" and some choice cuss words too.

anyhoo...... skip to present day.
I suppose my time spent with him had some lingering affects...such as Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

I really did not realize how much I say it.
I don't say it in meanly...more in frustration..... kinda like a, Oh, I forgot to turn on the oven; "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" or Oh, who spilled tea on the counter and did not clean it up; "Jesus, Mary and Joseph"

So the other day, Lindsay and I were at Kohl's. We picked up and purchased a very cute small nativity scene. I really loved it and it was a good price and oh, so lovely. It is one piece all glass and it has only Jesus, Mary and Joseph and a lamb and palm tree.

We buy it. We get in the car.
Lindsay opens up the wrapping and looks at the nativity again, telling me how much she really likes it.
Then out of the blue, she points at it and says loudly and sternly:

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph"
I looked at her and started cracking up.
She sounds just like me. I sound just like Grumpy Grandpa.
The cycle has not been broken. yet.
must. break. cycle.

Anyone else pick up some phrases from your Parents or Grandparents that you are not proud of?

December 21, 2008

The party is over....

It was one of the best that we have had...everyone seemed to be in a festive mood....even in spite of the worst economy we have ever experienced.

I always get a little "Sybil" just before my guests arrive....I may have actually scared my family members who were trying their best to help me in the kitchen....I sounded a bit like this:

"Oh my gosh, I forgot to make the salad, where are the crackers, go get the silverware out, open up the Sterno, NO, don't light the Sterno until I have the water in the chaffing dishes, run this stuff to the compost, why is the chocolate not melting, Light the candles, get the ice in the ice bucket....."

Yeah, I pretty much just start flipping out and barking orders at anyone who is in my general vicinity.

In my mind nothing seems to be going right and no one is moving fast enough for me! Meanwhile Coach is telling me to chill and the children are afraid to make eye contact.

We were laughing about it this morning...I said something to the fact that when I get like that, I would like to be OUTSIDE my own body and watch to see what I look like to other people. I bet it is not pretty. But it only lasts a few minutes and then I am normal again. Well, normal for me.

I almost had a heart attack when I could not get the Chocolate fountain to flowwwwww properly....Coach to the rescue and chocolaty goodness for all.....

This is my silly friend Stacy. I just love her, she and I do nothing but laugh together.
A was leaning in for a picture w/ her and she brought up this little tidbit that she recently learned from a good friend of hers that is photographed a lot at high society functions.
What the friend of hers said to do for a good picture w/ no double chin is to do this.
Put your chin out forward (like a turtle) and place you tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your upper teeth.
Well, this scenario brought out lots of laughs all night long....
Me: trying to do the turtle neck.

My other most favorite friend in the world Dawn. She was a birthday girl at our party so she got to use my precious Birthday girl wine glass.
Coach and I were talking about how much fun the party was this morning and he said that Dawn and I both laugh alike. or did he say a lot?
could be both.
Raise your hand if you have ever cradled a bottle of vodka and tried to do the turtle neck at the same time...

Ohhhh the end of the night.....I did not get to bed til 1:30...that is late for this gal.

December 19, 2008

getting ready freddy.....

Surely I am not the only person who vacuums their lanai furniture. Am I?

Well, this time I got the kids to do the vacuuming for me...which makes me so happy....but why did they bring in the dusty cushions INSIDE to vacuum them??? Oh, you can't have it all I suppose.....

Getting the bar ready....priorities.

In lieu of me standing at the bar making the martinis...I give everyone the recipe.

Smart, right? I have my moments.

So, are you naughty, or nice???

It is a gorgeous sunny day...warm breezes....80 degrees. It is supposed to go down to about 61 tonight which is perfect for our parties since everyone usually mingles outside and inside.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Wonderful Friend Dawn!!!!

I can't wait to see you tonight......

Suz and Dawn @ our 2007 Christmas Party

This, That and the Other thing....


So flippin' happy to have some things behind me. (besides my rear)
All Christmas cards are done and mailed. My few boxes that needed to be mailed are done.
My drilling by my wonderful dentist done. I'll get my new crown next year, but my temp looks good.
Lindsay's birthday celebration with her friends was a great success.

6 girls + lunch +minature golfing +movie = broke and tired Mama.
She had a great time though and she is worth it. How many times do you get to turn 13?

BTW, Madagascar 2 is very funny!!!


The bathroom renovation.....

The electricians came, they saw, they made lots of holes.
I sure hope we have a GOOD drywall person to clean this up.

that is just a tidbit of the holes...the ceiling is much worse. :)

The Other Thing:

The cocktail party....I am almost ready for that. Ok, not really almost, but a little bit.

I don't think I will see any kids here, aside from one who has never been a bother at the party anyway. She will help Lindsay watch the dogs in the playroom.

Soon, I will be washing all my glasses (martini, wine and cocktail) Pulling out the ol' chafing dishes and setting up my serving plates....usually I already have that stuff done.

I am neurotic, I know.

I asked Lo and one of her friends to help me with the party on Saturday.

Linds pipped in that she wants to help also...Coach quickly jumped in saying she did not need to be around "all that alcohol".

Quick as can be the child looked right at ME: and said: "I am around alcohol all the time"

I did not consider wine to be alchohol...but whatever....I have ruined her. :)

We are not saving for college anyway...just therapy.

And then this morning......

You know when you try to do something on your own to save someone else time?

Even when you know you have NO business doing it yourself????
Like our leak under the kitchen sink???

I thought I would take care of it instead of waiting for my busy as heck husband.

I took care of it all right.

I made a flood and now I can't use my sink or dishwasher today....

On the brightside....the floor around the sink area is the cleanest part of the house.

December 17, 2008

Rolling along....

The bathroom remodel...feel free to skip this if you have better things to do...

It took 2 men only one day to destroy and remove all the old bathroom innards.

What we did find????
a lil' bit of mold. ewwwww....But we know why and where it came from so no biggie.
Just some smell and replacing of some drywall.

Moving onward and upward.

I picked up all the lighting fixtures today. One thing we have learned is to have a professional lighting person draw up a plan. We did not do this when we built our house.
But when we did a large addition a few years ago we had the professionals draw a plan.

There is nothing better than good lighting in your house. Like Night and Day, you could say.
I am all a twitter about the new bathroom. Even though, with all the other stuff going on, it is a mere afterthought. Except when I get up at 3:00 am to use the facilities and I have to instead walk across the house.
geeze, was that me complaining again. **smack**smack**

My, I mean OUR new faucets came in today also. I have made good choices so far.
In the a.m. our electrician and our flooring guy are here first thing to look things over.

Coach is still having trouble getting a plumber to call him back, you would think they would be banging down the door for work, but NO.

The new view into the bathroom. I wish I had smellovision, so you could smell what I smell...ewwwww....

I did not show this view prior....this is looking into the shower from the window. Before it was all walled in except for an opening to walk in and out. No door. New shower will be glass from drywall up and a door coming and going. In other flippin' privacy for moi. :)
Yes, it is a shower on steroids. Two heads. And a bit drafty. I tried to go smaller, but my other half would not hear of win lose some.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis




December 15, 2008

Let the destruction begin.....

Someone asked for before and after is the before. After will take about 4 weeks from now. This may be the most boring thing I have written about yet.....

Our master bath for the last 11 years.....

The view from the bedroom. The door on the left is le' toilet...door on right is closet.
Those are not going anywhere....
Ahead on left where the two towel bars are, that will be glass into the shower.
The privacy days are over...and just when I needed to be COVERED up while showering...
10 years ago it was a prettier picture. :)

My sink and to the right of the sink is a sit down vanity area.

Where I try to pluck, floss and exfoliate my stuff.

Yes a tv in the bathroom. And yes we really have a problem.....

Le' ginormous tub.
It really is TOO big, I sink when I try to bathe.....the new one is better sized for my shortness. Also, the motor on this baby sounds like
an 18 wheeler pulling into the driveway.

New tub=quiet and nice sized.

Coach's sink side.

In the future this will be my sit down vanity area and the other side will be the double sinks.
Yes, I get my very own side.
Oh, wait, I already have my own side, what am I excited about?
I suppose I get the other side now....Oh, heck, I get it all. He does not care. I love you honey....

One guess as to what was my favorite color 11 years ago?

What was I thinking?????

Below is my new tub and faucet....I mean OUR new tub and faucet....they have been sitting in the garage for a few months. I keep saying I am going to run the hose out there and light some candles to try it out.

I can have a calgon moment in the garage, can't I?

December 13, 2008

Christmas Cards

This Christmas, may you find luxury in simplicity, light in the darkest places, and may you have blessings that endure times of change.

How perfect is that quote?
I don't know who wrote it, but it is one of my Christmas cards that I am sending out this year.....speaking of which, I was SOOOO pleased to find Eco-friendly cards at Target.
The cards are made with recycled paper
(50 % post consumer fiber and 50 % sugar cane or cotton)
and soy ink.

Most likely you can eat them too.
With organic butter of course.

Would it be inappropriate to add a note in the cards like this:
Send daughter needs pants without holes....

December 12, 2008

I need the whisperer....

......The DOG whisperer......

Really, I don't ask for much.

This is a big house. I tend to all of it, like a Marriott housekeeper....on most days.....ok, some days....

I only ask for a few things. Well, I ask for more, but that is unreasonable. So, I give up.

One of those things is for the furry inclined members of our household to stay off of ONE piece of furniture. Not the glass dining room table (I gave up on that), NOT the lovely black felt pool table, (gave up on that too) NOT even our new lovely black bedroom furniture.....that by the way shows EVERY LITTLE MINUSCULE PIECE OF DUST KNOW TO MAN KIND......ahhmmmm...

What I have asked of the feline/canine folk around here is to avoid the ever so small, teeny, tiney, little faux suede, baby sized love seat in the living room.

That is all I have asked for.

Damn it.

Yes, they have made me bring out the curse words now.

Excuse my french.

Although, I took french for ONE year, I don't remember any of that....

What the hey?????

It's like they are teenagers...just rebelling.

Can I take away the car keys? The computer? cell phone???


Yeah, Cocoa thinks she is a cat perched up on the back cushions.....makes me crazy!!