Thursday, March 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Madness

I am seriously counting the days (37!!) until the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I believe I will need to get up at 3:00 a.m. in order to watch it live, and I intend to do just that. In case you are wondering, I have not yet picked out my wedding attire, but I'm sure I'll be able to pull something together between now and then. I have had a life-long obsession with the British monarchy, or at least dating back to 1981, when Prince Charles married Princess Diana. I can still remember the day of that royal wedding... unfortunately, I had swimming lessons at Bowdoin College that morning, so I set up a cassette recorder (yes, this was before the VCR had been invented...ahem) and recorded the audio to the wedding. For years after that, I would sit up in my room and listen to that cassette tape, over and over. That led to many scrapbooks made, magazines and books collected, and then the ultimate of all random encounters...running into Princess Diana on Kensington High Street in 1992 while an exchange student in England. Seriously, the chances of that happening are so astronomically slim that at times I still cannot believe that it really did happen to me.

( I found this vintage tin at my local thrift shop the other day - - it commemorates the Queen's silver jubilee in 1977, so I guess that officially makes me "vintage" as well!)

Now, I find myself a couple of years older than Princess Diana was when she died. Her little boy is about to get married and I can only imagine how proud she is now, and how proud she would have been, had she lived to attend his wedding. With all the terrible things that have been happening in the world, especially in the last month or so, I really am looking forward to the happy distraction that all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding will bring.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just Like Grace Kelly

Okay, not just like Grace Kelly, but whatever. If you know me really well, then you are aware of the fact that I have always been madly in love with James Stewart, and that Rear Window is one of my all-time favorite movies. I think I've watched it a million times so far, and am bound to watch it a million more. There are so many things that I love about this movie, one of which is Grace Kelly's character, Lisa Fremont. There's one scene in the movie where Lisa whips out a Mark Cross overnight case, and inside the tiny bag is a nightgown and slippers (a rather scandalous thing for an unmarried woman to do in a man's apartment, back in 1954). I've always been fascinated with that overnight case, and would love to get my hands on one just like it. Unfortunately for me, the actual Mark Cross bag used in the movie (pictured below) sold at auction in 2002 for $5,016.00. Sigh.

Anyway, not too long ago, I found this little beauty at a local treasure shop for a mere $7.50. Not at all like Lisa Fremont's bag, but I love it just the same. I guess all that I need now is a fancy nightgown and slippers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cub Scout Cake Auction

Last night was the annual Cub Scout cake auction fundraiser for our local Cub Scout pack. Cam and I had never been to one before (since we are new to Cub Scouts and all) and it was a lot of fun! Each boy is to make a cake with their father, which is then auctioned off to the highest bidder, to raise money for the pack. Since Camden's dad is off in a foreign land right now, he was stuck with me. As luck would have it, I know a thing or two about cake decorating.

Camden wanted to do a "camp site" cake, and this is what we came up with. There were quite a few other cakes that were along the same line, but they were all unique so that was great. I just could not get over how many great cakes the boys made. In the end, the pack raised well over a thousand dollars.

This is Camden giving a little background information on his cake to the wonderful auctioneer, Mr. Heath. My boy is a natural when you stick a microphone in front of his face.

I went with the intention of letting both Camden and Griffin bid on a cake. Unfortunately, Griff and I got caught up in the bidding excitement and ended up paying $45.00 for a gigantic lemon cake decorated as a target, with a real arrow sticking out of the top. Neither of them particularly like lemon cake, so basically I payed $45 for an arrow that I won't let either of them touch in fear of someone driving it through their eye socket. Camden really wanted me to "win" our cake so we could keep it, but since I'd spent all but $5 of our cake money on the arrow cake, it went to someone else. We had a great time and my mind is already abuzz with ideas for the next cake auction.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

I'm so mad at myself! My sweet boys were dressed to the hilt for St. Patrick's Day - - green shirts, green hats, and even green hair...and I didn't take a single picture! I even remembered it after Camden went to school and vowed to take a picture of them together as soon as Cam came home...and I forgot a second time. Drats. As you can see, I did remember to take a picture of my brisket. Nowhere near as interesting as my boys, but delicious none-the-less. I usually boil brisket on the stove top, but this year I decided to try a slow cooker recipe. I'm happy to say that it turned out great! The only change I made to the recipe is that I used low sodium beef broth instead of beer (because that's what I had on hand) and the flavor was great. Also, I cooked it on low for 8 hours, rather than high as the recipe stated. I'm glad I did this, because the internal temperature registered as done after only 7 hours on low. I think if I'd cooked it on high, it would have turned out like an old leather shoe! This is definitely a recipe I will use again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some Signs of Spring


Tulips popping up!

Digging in the dirt

Bike riding

Getting ready to "untuck" the the Sweet Dream for the season
Today, unfortunately, is dark, rainy, and dreary. I just know that spring is coming, though. Just wish we could skip all this rain and get right to the good stuff!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baby Goats

Today at Story Time, I had a co-worker bring some of her baby goats in for the children to see. She brought 4 total, and they were so cute! They were great with the kids, and seemed to have a high tolerance for being chased, petted, and held by small children. Griffin was particularly fond of the goat pictured here, which, he tells me, is named "Cutie Face".

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


The boys both wanted to dress like Paul Bunyan for school today, so out came the black and red plaid shirts. The shirt Griff has on is actually Camden's "original" Paul Bunyan shirt, back when he first became a fan of the gigantic lumberjack. These two really crack me up - - they have such fun pretending.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A New Week and a New Attitude

Okay, I realize the new week started a couple of days ago, but I declare today the end of my Week Of Pouting. Yes, I've been feeling pretty down-in-the-dumps for the past week, but enough is enough already. I almost can't stand myself anymore. I know for me, once I get feeling that way, it is super-difficult to pull myself out of it. I've gotten better lately at just "going with it", but picking an end date to the drama. Today is that day, my friends.

I woke up with a new attitude, and was super efficient getting the boys ready for school. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are key days for me - - these are the two days of the week where, for 2.5 hours on each of these days, both boys are in school. So, I do lots of list-writing, planning, and thinking about how to spend those precious 2.5 hours. Errand-running without children? Exercise? Housework without interruption? Cup of coffee and a magazine? (That last one sounds the most appealing by far).

Today, I chose exercise first. When I returned from my walk, I realized I'd locked myself out of the house. Unfortunately, this was all my overtired, emotionally-drained little psyche needed, in order to have a big ol' meltdown. Once I got into my house (about a half-hour later), I consoled myself with the hottest, longest, uninterrupted shower in recent history. I'm sure I drained the entire hot water heater (my mother would be horrified) but I did not feel the least bit guilty!

Next, it was off to the grocery store for a few odds and ends, because, any mother knows that a trip to the grocery store without small children in tow is pure heaven, even if in reality, we are still running boring old errands. Luckily for me, my local grocery store contains within it a Starbucks, so I treated myself to a mocha. The super-nice gals who work at Starbucks were telling me about some new treats they will be selling soon...cake pops, red velvet whoopie pies, and salted caramel sweet squares...all in miniature size. Much to my delight, they forced me to take a salted caramel sweet square, and it was out-of-this world delicious, and it confirmed my belief that any sweet with the word "salted" in it is to die for.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Riley Speaks....sort of

The boys have been long-time fans of the PBS show, "Martha Speaks", and recently Griffin's been asking me to buy some Alphabet Soup to see if we could get Riley to talk (the premise behind "Martha Speaks," in case you aren't familiar with the show, is that a dog eats some alphabet soup, which gives her the ability to speak). I quickly learned that Alphabet Soup is hard to find! I don't know how many stores I looked, before I found some!
Griffin was very excited for our little "experiment" and could hardly stand the excitement.

Riley was very excited to be eating something different, out of a human dish, in the middle of the day...

As soon as Riley was done slurping up his bowl of soup, we commanded him to speak. I'm sorry to report that he only produced a normal old Riley bark. Griffin was not impressed. I'm pretty sure he stomped his feet a few times and declared that the soup "didn't work". Riley, on the other hand, wanted another bowl, which he didn't get.

The End.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My New Toy

Steve really surprised me this year on my birthday when he gave me this beautiful Sony a290 digital camera. I have wanted a camera like this for a long time now, but I didn't really ever think that I would own one. By the time my birthday rolled around, I was feeling extra proud of myself, because I received the package in the mail about two weeks prior to my birthday, but I quickly put it in my closet and didn't peek once. I think I am still slightly overwhelmed by this camera and all of its settings, but in the past week or so, I've really been taking a lot of pictures and getting myself familiar with how it works. I love the photo quality and just can't get over what wonderful pictures it takes. Can't wait to figure out all of the wonderful things I will be able to do with it!

Saturday, March 05, 2011


Double rainbow over Emmett ~ 3/3/11
For me, this is the absolute worst part of a deployment. At least this deployment anyway. The last time, I was working full-time, so I was blessed with the distraction of my job, the two hours of commute time each day, coworkers, and dare I say, the break in the monotony.
These past few days, I just cannot seem to escape that terrible lonely feeling. I thought today would be better, since it is the weekend and Camden is home, but I feel like I could climb the walls. At the moment, I can't fathom that there are 7 more months of this to get through.
The boys and I are planning to go to a matinee this afternoon, but I'll tell you, with Griff asking every 5 minutes if it is 4:00 yet, I'm starting to wonder if 4:00 will ever get here! I know this will all pass soon enough, and we will be back into our regular routine, but for now, it just plain stinks.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Griffin's New Sweater

A few weeks ago, Camden received a new sweater in the mail, made by his Nana. Griffin immediately asked, "Where's MY sweater?!!?" So, no surprise that Nana got her knitting needles right back out and went back to work. Griffin knew his sweater was on its way to Idaho, and asked me every day for a week if his package had arrived yet.
Thank goodness it finally came, and not only did he get a lovely new sweater, but also a hat to match. Griff was excited to wear them right away, and reports that both the hat and the sweater "work good". Thanks, Nana ~ we are continually impressed with your knitting skills!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Building the Merry-Go-Round

Steve was itching to add something new to the backyard playground while he was home, and we decided on a merry-go-round. Thanks to Tuesday Morning, we got a great deal on it. I picked it up after dropping him off at the airport, and my father-in-law and Griffin got right to work on it that afternoon.

Griff takes his projects pretty seriously, and was rather impressed with himself. My father-in-law was very patient with him, and I think they had fun with their project.

So far, the merry-go-round is a big hit. The boys just love to play outside, and they do a great job taking care of their outdoor equipment. Now, if it would only stop raining so we could get out there some more!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

My Steve

Steve left this morning.

Sitting here tonight, I can't believe the past two weeks came and went so quickly. The boys and I had the most wonderful time with him! We packed a lot of fun into 15 days, that is for sure.

R & R is a strange thing. It is something all four of us were waiting and waiting for, but once it arrives, there is a sense of dread that it is going to pass too quickly. I'm happy to say that both Steve and I felt like the pace was relaxed, and we spent our time wisely.

Steve put Camden and Griffin's needs above all else, which is what he does in every-day life anyway. He is such a devoted, involved, and loving father, and he amazes me. I am so proud of him.

One invaluable thing that comes from a deployment is the gift of perspective. I think all marriages could use some from time to time. Being apart really gives one pause to reflect upon what is really, really important in life. Friendship. Respect. Comfort. Understanding. Unconditional love. I'm happy to know that I have these things with my husband. I love him more than anything in the world.

When Steve left this morning, he left love notes for each of the boys, so they would find them when they woke up. This afternoon, when Griffin and I were out playing in the yard, I found this written on our walkway:

Seeing it totally made my day today. I love you, Steve. We miss you so much already.
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