Monday, July 30, 2012

Girls Weekend

 For 10 years (yes, 10 years!), my girlfriends have done a weekend canoe trip on the Buffalo River. For the first time, the stars aligned and I was able to go.

I was so excited!! 

We went there Friday afternoon, canoed 8 miles on Saturday and drove back Sunday morning. It was the perfect weekend, catching up with my 18 (yes, 18) best friends and just getting some girl-time in. 

We were a little wild and crazy, so most of the pictures are not to be shared (ever!). 

But I can share these 2 - I think. 

 This is actually the first time they have stayed in a cabin (haha - and just happened to be the weekend that I went). 

We are so "grown-up" with all the minivans. 

This was the cabin - it was 3 in one and worked out perfectly for us. 

We pretty much dominated a little bar (seriously, there were maybe 6 people there besides us). But they knew we were coming and hired a DJ for us. Awesome-ness. 

We also had shirts made for the weekend (in case you are curious as to why we all have on the same shirt....)

All-in-all, it was so much fun. Sorry I can't share more pictures, but since they involve stripper poles, burpies, sleeping people, and a friend that came via a picture on a stick, my friends would kill me if they were made public. 

Here's to next year! 


On Sunday, we all met up again for Ethan's 2nd birthday party. 

I was chasing Abby around, but did get this hilarious picture. Ethan pretty much wandered off after 2 presents, so his momma opened the rest.

She got so much great stuff!

Lastly, please check out my sweet baby (who I missed sooooo much). I went by a consignment sale tonight and found these adorable Minnie Mouse shoes. Abby was in love with them. 

And insisted on showing her stomach when I took the picture.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Club - Three in One

Book Club Friday......And I have three books to share!!!

I missed last week and I have been a reading fool, so here goes.....


The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials. 

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.


Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite authors. Her last book was not that great, but I did enjoy this one. It is about a young girl with a scar on her face that moves to LA with her grandmother to become a writer. Her pilot gets picked up and she has to deal with the craziness of LA. I loved the actors that she worked with and the references to other Hollywood actors thrown in there (names changed, but if you follow celebs like I do, you get most of the references). I rooted for Ruth the entire time and felt this book was an easy read. Weiner does have better books (Good in Bed), but this was in the upper part of my favs of hers.4 out of 5 stars


Come Home by Lisa Scottoline


Lisa Scottoline has delivered taut thrillers with a powerful emotional wallop in her New York Times bestsellers Save Me, Think Twice, and Look Again. Now, with her new novel, Come Home, she ratchets up the suspense with the riveting story of a mother who sacrifices her future for a child from her past.

Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her---though it is stressful---and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.


I have liked everything else that I have read by this author, but I was a little disappointed in this one. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I was expecting a little more like what she wrote in Save Me (highly recommended). To me, this story was unbelievable and took extremely unexpected turns. While normally I love a good twist, this was a little out there when I wasn't expecting a thriller type story. It was good, but not in my top picks for this author. In fact, I have actually gone back and added some of her earlier works to my "to read" list.   3 1/2 stars out of 5 (I think I would have rated higher if I didn't have different expectations)


Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne


Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives.
A string of broken promises that begins with Liz's mother swearing, "I would never hurt you, Liz. You're family," propels her between guest beds in two states searching for a safe home. All the while, Liz is burdened by her stake in a bleak pact with a deceitful adult: to tell the truth about the darkest of her circumstances will cost her the ability to shelter Jaime. As Liz spirals into the abyss of fear and shame that haunts her sleepless nights, can she break free from her bonds in time to fight for her life?


This book made me very sad. It is always hard to read about kids growing up in a less than perfect life. Not to diminish what the heroine went through, but I did expect a lot worse. It was very sad though to read the mother's role (or lack of) in her life. I rooted for Elizabeth the whole time and thought she was an excellent big sis. In the end, it was a pretty quick read. Maybe 3 out of 5 stars.


Whew...if you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there!

If you have read any of these......what did you think? Disagree/Agree?

Linking up Here:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Enjoying the Weather

After yet another fever/cold, Abby started perking up on Saturday. So we headed out of the house and had a great weekend.

On Saturday, we went to the ball park to watch Daddy play softball. When we left the house, it was very cool and overcast. I was excited to do yardwork when we got back.

By the time we got there, it was hot! Way too hot. We hung out in the shade with our chalk eating ring pops.

When we left, Abby told me that it had been a great day. I asked her why. She said because she got to watch Daddy play softball. So sweet.


On Sunday we went to Nashville extremely overpriced water park. Luckily, we went for Verizon family day, where we didn't have to pay full price!

Abby was NOT happy about the wristband that she had to wear. She complained about it the whole time and the minute we were in the car, she tore it off.

They do have a really neat kiddy pool. It has a giant mushroom that spits out water. Abby wouldn't get near it, but she loved to look at it.

See that joy in her face as she was running away from it.....

She did feel that Mermaid Barbie was brave enough though.

She loved swimming in the 1 foot pool. She was on her knees most of the time and hopped like a frog through the whole thing.

A new attraction they have is Cowabunga Tower (or something like that). It was an amazing jungle gym that spewed lots of water. Abby didn't want to get on it, but she circled the tower playing with all the toys.

She was so freaking adorable and did so good when I sat down and just let her play.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photo Catch-Up

Here are some photo's from the previous week:

What my mornings look like.
Abby sitting on the floor eating breakfast and Ali praying that she drops some!

A skirt that she made in day care.

Hair cut this weekend. She is such an old pro at hair cuts!

Playing in the bounce house at Landon's birthday party.

Abby doesn't mess around with cupcakes.

The gal loves her sweets!

Her school offers tumbling classes starting in the fall. We have debated putting her in them, but they offered a "intro class" on Tuesday so I signed her up. She came home so excited and loved showing off all her moves. I just hope I can get her in the class!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Club - The Island

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand


Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement.

It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles.
I thought this was a great summer read. It was a sweet story of sisters, mother and aunt. There were enough twists and turns to keep me interested throughout. My only issue was the names of the characters - Birdie, Chess, Tate. Totally silly names. And I kept thinking that Tate was a boy, as I totally think of that as a boy name. Other than that, I enjoyed this book. It did remind me of a Danielle Steel novel with the happy ending tied up in a bow.
Linking up Here:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Things They Say

I live with two crazy people.

(Abby working on our craft project)

On the way home from dinner tonight, Stu was telling a story. If you know him, you know that sometimes his stories can be long and a little winded.

During one of the pauses, I said, "Stop at the wine store".

He said, "Shut up!" real mean.

I was like, "Geez, why not?"

He said, "What??? Oh, I thought you told me to stop telling my story."

We both got a good laugh out of that one.

(Abby passed out on the way home from church)

Abby loves to ask what time it is, although she has no concept of time.

Tonight I told her that it was time for bed. She immediately looked at the clock.

Stu said, "What time is it, Abby?"

She replied, "Clock O' Eight"

At least the gal knows her bedtime.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stuck Inside

Well the verdict is in....poor Abby has strep throat and a double ear infection.

Although, judging by her actions, she is perfectly fine. Seriously, where does this gal get her energy??

But we are stuck inside from the general public.

At least we get to enjoy popsicles.

She was pretty excited about her red, blue, and white treat.

Licking from bottom to top.

I think she is doing much better, but we will probably stick close to home tomorrow so she can rest.

The good thing is that I stocked up on a little project that I have been wanting to do for awhile.

Hint: It involves 11 frames (for $11 at Goodwill) and lots of paint.

I'm so excited!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mean Girls

Abby went to day care today while I was off so that I could get some stuff done. She (I thought) was feeling a lot better. But I got a phone call about 4:00 that she had a fever and I needed to come get her. Luckily, I was on my way anyways. I wasn't planning on taking her tomorrow, so that worked out.

On the way home, she tells me a story about how a little girl, we will call her "S", made fun of her and called her a baby. S and another little girl "P" are her two best friends at school.

Let me just tell you, I had to fight every ounce of my being not to say "Well next time she makes fun of you, call her stupid". I seriously thought about it. In the end, I gave her my normal advice of "just tell your teachers". She said that she did and S called her a tattle-tell.

Let me at this kid.

I never in a million years thought I would be dealing with this at three.

And she is changing teachers/classes at the end of this month. I adore her teachers and am beyond devastated that she is moving. I am just praying that she gets good teachers again. And maybe S stays behind, but I don't think she will.

Now, off to get a good nights sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a long day. I already assured Abby that she could go to the doctor tomorrow. Poor baby!

Book Club - Mob Daughter

Mob Daughter by Karen Gravano


Karen Gravano is the daughter of Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, once one of the mafia's most feared hit men. With nineteen confessed murders, the former Gambino Crime Family underboss—and John Gotti’s right-hand man—is the highest ranking gangster ever to turn State’s evidence and testify against members of his high-profile crime family.
But to Karen, Sammy Gravano was a sometimes elusive but always loving father figure. He was ever-present at the head of the dinner table. He made a living running a construction firm and several nightclubs. He stayed out late, and sometimes he didn’t come home at all. He hosted “secret” meetings at their house, and had countless whispered conversations with “business associates.” By the age of twelve, Karen knew he was a gangster. And as she grew up, while her peers worried about clothes and schoolwork, she was coming face-to-face with crime and murder. Gravano was nineteen years old when her father turned his back on the mob and cooperated with the Feds. The fabric of her family was ripped apart, and they were instantly rejected by the communities they grew up in.


I'll admit it - I love reading/watching about the mob/mafia. A few years ago, Hubs and I rented the entire Sopranos series over the course of a few months and I was captivated. I found it absolutely fascinating and would love to watch it all again.
This was a really great read. I didn't follow this story in the news or watch the show Mob Wives that she is on, but I still loved the story. What her and her family overcame was nothing short of a miracle. She led a rough life, but in the end realized how important family is.

Linking up Here:


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Firework Fun

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

I am so grateful to have a few days off work as I am still fighting this stupid sinus infection.

I picked Abby up early on Tuesday and we made homemade cookies.

She had so much fun! She loved stirring everything up and only got about 10% of it on the floor.

Stu came home and made delish kabobs for us.

We went to the fireworks that night (Smyrna did them Tuesday night).

Abby was so excited to go (that girl is all talk). Once we got there, she crawled up in my lap and whined that she wasn't going to look.

She did warm up to them once they started. It was so stinkin' hot outside and I had been attempting yard work prior, so I was about to sweat to death. But we found a great spot this year and made it home 5 minutes later (as opposed to the hour wait in traffic the year prior).


I thought that since she was up until 10 PM, she would sleep in. No such luck. She came in our room at 5:45 and immediately threw up on the floor in the bathroom. After cleaning that up, she got in the bed and watched Toy Story. About 8:30, all of a sudden, she started vomiting all over our comforter, sheets, herself, me. It was traumatizing for all of us.

I have no idea what made her so sick, but she seems better now. There is nothing worse than watching a 30 pound baby heave her stomach up.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Staying Cool

I hate being indoors in the summer! But it is so stinkin' hot that we just don't have a choice.

I went outside to get the newspaper this morning and it was already 90!

Small recap of our pretty uneventful weekend:

Saturday night is usually mani/pedi night. This weekend was no exception. She is so grown up doing her own nails.

After spending 2 half days in the house, it is pretty sparkly clean. Abby helped with the sink in the master.

Stu got home from a weekend of softball (he is nuts) around noon on Sunday.

I told him that I MUST get out of the house.

So we packed up and headed to one of my favorite places....

The Opryland Hotel!

I didn't get many pictures, but it was so cool (temp wise) there. We walked along all the walkways and rode the boat.

I am only working a day and a half this week...yah! Hoping that it cools off though!