Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pay It Forward

I was a winner on the 'Pay it Forward' listed on The Adventures of Jen and here is my post! Rules are as follows:

1. Be one of the first three people to leave a comment on this post, which entitles you to something handmade by me (something crafty or yummy).

2. Winners must post this challenge on their own blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, and send handmade goodies to three more folks, the first three who leave a comment on your blog.

3. The gift that you send your first three commenters can be from any price range, and you have 365 days to make & ship your item. (This means that you should be planning to keep your blog at least until you've received your gift and sent your gifts.) And remember, it's the spirit and the thought that count!

4. When you receive your gift, feel free to blog about it, and share the Linky Love. If you're not one of the first three commenters on this post, you can still play. Just create a Pay It Forward post on your own blog, and start your own chain. And encourage your blogging friends to play along.

A fun way to connect with others out there in blogland! Pay it forward....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jenn and her Snappity Snap Snap

Field Trip-Lancaster Science Factory

Since Jenn and I do not have children of our own, we have taken to "using" other peoples children. We borrow Avery when we have some fun new place we want to try out, but would look weird without bringing children with us. After our trip to the Hands on House a few weeks ago I asked when we were going to the Lancaster Science Factory. Yesterday was the day. Chris had off work too so he was able to join us this time.

It is rather hard to tell who had more fun, the four adults, or the 3 year old. I'm leaning towards the four adults.

Jenn and Lyz went straight for the K'NEX exhibit:

Chris had a blast with the black hole:

And I finally found a way to take a picture of myself. One picture, but lots of me!!:

Avery loved everything. I think everyone's favorite part was the parachute launcher. You shoved a plastic man attached to a parachute into a tube and he came flying out the top falling gracefully. Chris would like to build one in their house.

We also enjoyed the magnifying glass thing. Did you ever wonder what the inside of Chris's nose looks like?

Even Delaney got in on the fun by trying to lift 100 pounds with a pulley system:

I just realized that I didn't steal Delaney for a cuddle session yesterday. But I did get this cute picture of Jenn and Delaney.

As we were leaving us four big kids were discussing what other places we can go to give Avery a better education and help her have lots of fun as a small child. Yep, Avery will love the things we have planned for her.

Thank you Lyz and Chris for sharing your children.

(P.S. This is post #300. Wow)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mingo Monday

Just home from a trip to Florida, I have lots of mingos to show off so it was a hard choice. I decided to go with the first one I purchased.

I have lots of flamingos. Way too many to be honest. That still doesn't stop me from purchasing more. Many times while in Florida I would pick up a mingo and coo over it, show it off to everyone with me and then set it back down. For several of them either Lyz or Joni would say "If you aren't going to buy it yourself, I am going to buy it for you." This would result in Jenn rolling her eyes, and me putting it into my shopping cart.

You've heard me talk about my plaster facade. I am starting to realize that it doesn't exist as much as it once did. I am starting to break through. My facade is now many faceted. You see bits of the real me, bits of the old me, bits of the me I am now, and bits of the me I am trying to become. My facade is now a mosaic. Some edges are rough, and can cut you deep, some of them are soft, begging to be touched. But all of the pieces are pieces of me. If you love me for one, you love me for all of them.

The other thing I like about my facade being a mosaic is that it represents the broken bits of me. Yes, I am broken, I always will be a little broken, but I have been put back together. You can see the bits of grout holding me together. My friends. My family. The people I love.

It was the first flamingo I saw at the flea market, and there was never a doubt in my mind that it would be coming home with me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Random Thoughts

  • Fake Babies are weird. We were out to dinner last night and three women over the age of 25 carried in a baby carseat with a beautiful little girl inside. She was covered in crocheted blankets and all sweet. But she didn't move. I used to have a dog that slept with one leg up in the air, but babies don't do that. Jenn and I debated long and hard over if this baby was real, or a doll. Debated so long that we had finished eating 20 minutes before we would actually leave the table. It wasn't until one of the women put her purse on top of the baby that we finally determined it was fake. So weird.
  • Years ago before we got Minnesota Jenn and I were watching Animal Planet and she shook her head and said "I can't believe how much money people spend on pets, it isn't like they are human." I told her she had never had one before, she wouldn't understand. We had Minne less than 24 hours when she looked at me and said "I'd spend a million dollars on this dog if I needed to." Last night I was telling her that I was broken hearted because I had seen a dead golden retriever on the side of the road and we discussed what we would do if we ever ran over a dog. She said she would take it straight to our vet and then adopt it. I mentioned that we might have to give it back to its owners and she got all upset, over a hypothetical dog. It is amazing the way people can change.
  • I wrote my post two days ago trying to be rather lighthearted and jokingly proud of myself for having a good heart. I am shocked by the comments. I really didn't mean to make some of you cry, and I honestly wasn't looking for the wonderful love and support that was given to me. Thank you.
  • Facebook is rather addicting.
  • I am on cycle day 2. I don't understand why the cramps have to be so bad. Isn't it bad enough that our hearts and souls ache everytime we start our periods? Why do our bodies have to go through so much pain too?
  • Even my car is rejecting the cold weather that Pennsylvania has been throwing at us. It wants to return to its lazy days of sitting in the sand too. If the car wants to move to Florida, shouldn't we abide by its wishes?
  • I hate the word its or it's. I never know which one is the right one to use.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The End of an Era

Seven years ago I was planning a wedding. I wanted new fresh ideas. I didn't want to do the same old thing with the same old vows. I wanted to be somewhat different. I found a website called The Knot, and fell in love with it. It had ideas I would have never found here in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It had planning down to the smallest detail that I would have never thought of. Most importantly it had a community where other brides planning their weddings could get together, pick each others brains and cheer each others plans on.

Seven years ago I met a group of women who I can now call friends. I've never met a single one of them in real life, even though two of them live in my town. I've even helped several of them plan vacations to our area, but have never had the balls to say...hey come see me! I just can't.

When The Knot's message boards began to have problems we found a new home on MSN's Groups, and have been together ever since. Through thick and thin this group of women (and a couple of men) stand with one another. We've been through each others weddings, some divorces, parent's deaths, spouses deaths, births, miscarriages, you name it. Yes, there has been bickering, with a group of women how can you not have some? We've debated through elections, each side fighting for their candidate and usually patient enough to listen to the other side, even though there was no way of ever being swayed.

Today, MSN Groups is closing down. Yes, we have a new board set up, ready and waiting for our relationship to continue. But it still feels like such an end. I will admit tearing up a bit over the last few days. We've been reminiscing about past conversations (my personal favorite being Nuts and Mints...long inside story), we've been thanking each other for being there through our rough spots. Apologizing for when we were younger, ruder, and stupider. These conversations may disappear with the group itself, who knows. At least we'll always have the memories to take with us to our new home.

There are several different groups that I am a part of through them. There is the General group, the TTC/Mommy group, the littler TTC/Mommy group, the Still Trying to get pregnant group, the miscarriage group, the Clueless Couch and even the BithBoard. I know several of you are shaking your heads at this, but it all makes perfect sense to me. This is my internet family.

So, thank you internet family for the past seven years. I look forward to many more to come on the new boards, as cranky as I am to have to leave the old ones.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Best Friends

It gets harder and harder every year to leave Florida. We really do want to move there. A few years ago we thought long and hard about it, but didn't. Jenn's mother was ill and we wanted to be close by.

Jenn's mother is healthier now, so we could leave and feel at peace about it. But now there are other things holding us here. The biggest one is Jenn's best friend.

They have become rather inseparable.

It hurts me a little, not in a bad way. I am not jealous over their relationship or anything like that. I'm sad that I can't give Jenn someone little to love her as unconditionally as Avery loves her. There is nothing Jenn or Avery could do to each other that would ruin their undying love for each other.

Joni and I had a long talk on the drive home from Florida while Jenn was napping. We talked about God, I told her the whole story of how Jenn and I met and became a couple. We talked about fear and pain. We talked about how I want to be someone different, but at the same time I like the person I am. And she told me something that made me glow from the inside out.

She said, "It is such a wonderful thing as a mother and a grandmother to know that there are people out there that love your daughter and granddaughter as much as you do."

There are often times that I worry that I don't show enough love to those around me. When I am feeling my most broken, I am not sure that the love I am trying to pour forth is sufficient enough, but then again I am often amazed at how much love my heart can hold, even when it feels the most broken. Joni's statement was the proof I needed that we are doing right in the world.

Thank you Grannie Frannie for giving us Joni. Thank you Joni for giving us Lyz. Thank you Lyz for giving us Avery and Delaney. Someday we hope to be able to return all that love to you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mingo Monday

For today's Mingo Monday I present to you a Mingo Montage. Many of the mingos that I spotted while in Florida. Some of them are coming home with me, some are not.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Best beach day ever

Too tired to write a thoughtful post, so two pictures will have to suffice.

First, my happy place:

Second, as promised, a picture of me:

Thursday, February 12, 2009


So...I'm not doing a very good job of making sure pictures are taken of me. I keep saying "Make sure we take pictures of me", but then I get all involved with sunning myself in my comfy chair. Or splashing in the waves. Oh wait, Chris took a picture of me, but it is on his camera. I wouldn't share it anyway because it is a picture of my cleavage. Weirdo.

Sigh, beach.

Today Jenn and Avery spent a long time doing their favorite activity at the beach...wave jumping. I took a video while they were in rather shallow...until Jenn freaked out when she saw another sting ray. Usually Avery makes them go out much deeper. If Avery isn't at the beach...Jenn doesn't get in the water, she is afraid that a shark will get her. I'll give her credit, most of the shark attacks you hear about in Florida are less than 5 miles from our beach.
Video of Jenn and Avery wave jumping:

We also attempted to get Delaney in the ocean...she wanted no part of it.

We fed the birds some more today, can't you hear them saying "mine mine mine mine mine:?:

The problem with feeding the birds is that they start to fly overhead in large flocks. Then one of them will surely poop on you, or in this case, Joni:

Tonight we went to dinner at the infamous Chinese buffet. It is infamous because once upon a time we (Lyz, Chris, Jenn, Lyz's aunt, and I) got into a rather large, rather stupid fight.

When we got back to the hotel tonight Jenn met another friend. The frog. She will be trying to catch one of these now too I'm sure.

Tomorrows plan is to head the the flea market. We heart the flea market!!!

For Mrs. Spit. We don't know for 100% certainty that what Jenn has is sun poisoning. We used to blame it on the fact that Jenn was on both the Depo shot and taking birth control pills. Last January she had an ablation(sp?) so she no longer takes either pill. We were so excited last year in Florida when she didn't get the friendly rash. But it is back this year again. We think it might be an allergic reaction to a mix of the ocean water and sunblock...but we don't really know. I do have those of you who aren't interested in what Jenn's weird rash looks like, please stop reading here.
Her hand:

Her foot:

Her leg:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beach and Ruths Chris

Slept in a bit this morning. Jenn's sun poisoning has returned with an evil vengeance, so she had taken some Benedryl last night to get the swelling to go down, and just didn't want to wake up in the morning.

We headed to the beach to meet everyone. Lyz has a cabana so that Delaney can be out of the sun, and Jenn shared it with Delaney today...aren't they cute? Two little beach bums sleeping the day away:

On the way home from the beach we stopped to take pictures of my dream house. I fell in love with it several years ago. It is for sale again. I want it. Maybe we can save up lots of money for next year and rent it.

I love the little tower on top:

When we got back to the hotel Jenn went lizard hunting:

All she caught was a tail.

After showers and primping we headed to our favorite restaurant, Ruths Chris. Mmmmmm. Jenn ordered a rib eye and shrimp with au grautin potatoes. I had the petite fillet and shrimp with broccoli au grautin. For dessert Jenn had the warm apple crumb tart, and I had the molten chocolate cake.

We ordered wine at the start of dinner, even though neither of us like the stuff. It just felt fancy and like the right thing to do to celebrate our anniversary. We asked the waitress to rec one for us. She suggested the Riesling, and we agreed to it. When she walked away we saw that the winery that makes it is called Fountain Bleu. Blue people. Meant to be. When she brought it to us, we thought it tasted pretty good, tasted like apple and honeydew melon. Did you catch that? Honeydew. The wine was meant to be. (After the first sip I didn't like it anymore...someday I'll learn that I just really don't like wine.)

Tomorrow we plan to head to the beach again. This is my kind of vacation. Sigh (a happy peaceful sigh.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Busy Awesome Day

We got up super early to meet the "boys" at the condo they are all staying in my pj's so I could sleep on the couch until the girls woke up. The "boys" were heading off on a day of deep sea fishing on the Sea Spirit II.

On the "girls" side of the day, once everyone got up we all headed to the beach. I drove. My car. All by myself. I have never driven in Florida before...I was quite proud of myself.

After awhile of being on the beach, Chris called to tell us that we should be able to see their boat...and we could! It was funny trying to get everyone to see was quite far away.

Lyz trying to point the boat out (by saying it was just to the left of the three wispy clouds):

So we all (Grandma Franny, Joni, Toni, Alix, Lyz, Avery, Delaney and I) piled into one car to drive to the dock to welcome them back.

Here they are!

Ignore the first guy then it is:Mike, Matt, Chris and Jenn.

Jenn loves to fish when she is playing Animal Crossings. Her favorite fish to catch is the Red Snapper, and when you catch it the game says Snappity Snap Snap. Jenn was able to catch a real one today. Sadly it was too small to keep. She did get a picture with it, but on a disposable camera that I haven't had a chance to develop them yet. I didn't trust my camera on the boat!

Here is everyone with their catch:

Jenn caught 1.5 sharks (One broke the line as it was being pulled onto the boat), a red snapper, 2 sea bass and a lane snapper. Only the shark and lane snapper were keepers:

We then headed back to the the car also had Jenn riding in it!! Let me tell you, Delaney loves the beach:

After quick showers and dinner Lyz, Avery, Jenn and I headed to Fan Fest...a way to promote the Daytona 500. It was a little small, but we still had fun, especially Avery. They had a kids zone with lots of bouncy things:

It was cute.
We also got to meet some of the Budweiser Clydesdale's:

And the Chik-Fil-A cow:

We stopped for ice cream on the way back to the was yummy.

Tomorrow our plans are beach (duh) and dinner at Ruths Chris...our favorite place to eat in the whole wide world!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Exhausted

So a post of pictures...

Me and Avery wave jumping:

Jenn and Avery going deeper:

Followed a stingray around for a bit:

Got Delaney's feet in the sand (after burying Jenn and Avery):

My favorite picture of the day:

Then we buried Delaney:

Then we fed the birds:

And here is a fun video of the bird feeding:

Tomorrow-Jenn is going deep sea fishing. I'm heading to the beach again. We'll meet back up later for Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway.

Mingo Monday

For Mingo Monday today I present my beach bag. I bought it a few years ago here (in Florida) at the flea market. It happily fits two huge beach towels, sunblock (which I have to buy in bulk), Jenn's contact supplies, the camera bag and whatever else I feel like stuffing in it.

It is beautious.

It has these cute beads on the handles and the zipper...

They are what really sold me on the bag. I just think they are adorable.

It's all stuffed up and the time you actually read this, it is probably sitting next to my beach chair, soaking in the sun...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Florida day one and two

Day .5

Friday afternoon Jenn picked me up at work and we headed to get Jenn's hair done, my nails done, and both sets of eyebrows waxed. We then stopped at Lyz's so Jenn could rinse the hair off and then....WE WERE ON THE ROAD!! We stopped at the first exit in Maryland to pick up Lyz's mom Joni and then drove straight through.

Day 1

We stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast and were greeted by a flock of turkey vultures. If I've never told you before...Jenn likes to take pictures of birds. Our camera was packed, so the camera phone would have to do...

Upon arriving in Daytona Beach we stopped at Joni's mom's house and gibber jabbered for a bit, then headed to the beach. Ahhhhh the beach. I love the beach...even though my face doesn't show it

Jenn started taking pictures of birds:

And then my skin started turning that loverly shade of red that I love so much. Lyz had made be promise before we left that I wouldn't get too burnt before she got there, so I covered myself up.

After a few hours Jenn was exhausted so we headed to our hotel for a nap, and then did our grocery shopping and stopped for Slurpees and Taco Bell for dinner. We slept quite well through the night

Day 2

and woke up happy and refreshed in the morning. I actually woke up before Jenn and putzed around the room for awhile.

We had breakfast, packed up the beach bag and headed back to the beach to join Joni and Frannie (Lyz's grandma). We had some great talks. I learned that Frannie's first son (she had 11 children) died when he was 8 1/2 months old. We talked about Bernie, her husband who passed away in November. We had only met him a few times, but we shared our good stories about him too.

Joni had brought an old peanut butter and jelly sandwich so that Jenn could feed the birds. She had fun feeding them from her hand, and from the top of her head. Yes, Jenn put a piece of sandwich on her head to feed the birds. he he he.
This would have been the most awesome picture...if only I had got Jenn in it.

But here are a few that are pretty cute:

It got pretty chilly and we all realized that we were all wearing sweatshirts and walking around to keep warm so we left the beach. We headed back to the hotel and changed to go out to dinner. I was so excited to wear new clothes. I have tons of crops and skirts and shorts, but very few shirts. Lyz had told me last week that Tara told her that Old Navy was having a deal where all their clearance was half off...dude awesome, THANK YOU TARA!!! I bought 6 shirts and a dress for $37.00. Amazing.

Here I am in one of my new shirts. I realize I never take enough pictures of you are going to see a lot of me this trip!

Here is a close-up so that you can see my pink hair. (don't worry's fake)

Now I am sitting in my comfy recliner blogging, getting Mingo Monday ready to go, and happy. Soooo sooo happy.

Oh...funny story today. Jenn put her contacts in (she normally wears glasses, but Florida brings out the sunglasses for her). She's whining that they don't feel right. They are all weird. But I wanna wear them. Whine.

10 minutes later I hear "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". She put the wrong contacts in the wrong eyes. Silly girl.