Saturday, June 25, 2011

Firsts....& Lasts

Whew!  Busy few weeks here on the Square.  Hope you all are enjoying your summer.  Ours is hot.  And humid.  Lovely.

I had the chance to do something last week that I've never done before--I went on a road trip by myself.

Actually, the Boy came with, but I don't count the 5 year old watching videos in the back as a whole person yet, so the "by myself" phrase still totally applies.

With my girls at camp for 2 weeks and the Husband on a business trip, I called my BFF and told her we were coming.

10 hours and 4 states later, we arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas!  Can I get an AMEN for satellite radio? Love it.  Truly.

Did you know that to get from Georgia to Arkansas, you drive through 4 states?  I didn't realize that.  Thank goodness for my car's navigation system.  That lady in there and I became quite close on this trip.

My BFF has 2 boys of her own and this was their first time to see the Boy since he was a baby.  They loved that he could play real games with them.  Evidently they had my Boy frozen in time as a 1 year old.
This is the one picture I snagged of them together.  My godson is peeking on the left side.

A first for my son, he got to play "boy games" with the guys for 2 days straight.  Running, yelling, Wii (the Boy's personal favorite), Star Wars.  It was so great for him to be around all that guy stuff with not a Barbie in sight.

The Force was with us, though it was the dark side of The Force most days....

A little tidbit about Little Rock--by the river is a park that has these huge boulders the kids can climb on, slide through and generally just play on.  It was the neatest place.  Plus, being next to the river made the scenery extra special.  The day we went it was about 110 (not really, but it felt that hot!) and after the kids were good and sweaty we headed to a fountain the kids could jump around in.

I got this shot with my Hipstamatic app on my phone.  See all the water shooting up?  It shoots up for a minute or two, then turns off.  To get it going again the kids have to push a huge button on another boulder.  I love this idea--no swimming pool fear of kids falling in, yet the kids were having a super fun time getting wet and cooled off.  And the area the sprinklers were going off was textured so the kids wouldn't slip.  I'm sure that detail was thought of by a woman (who was probably also a mom).

My trip went by way too fast.  Isn't that the way it goes when you are having fun?

Heading home I had to cross the Mississippi River---something I had never done in a car before.

I know, I know---a picture of a bridge with rain clouds in the distance---but I couldn't get a good shot of the river at all (darn railings on the bridge!) and I was driving and trying to take a picture at the same time.  I'm sure that is against the law.  Please don't tell....

The river is huge.  I'm sure at other points along the way it is wider, but boy, this was a long bridge and the river looked seriously wide at this point just outside of Memphis.  It was really cool to see.

I tried to tell the Boy about the Mississippi and how important it is, but he just nodded his head and went back to sleep.  See why I didn't count him as an "entire" traveling companion?

Now for a "last".....

A dear dear friend is moving in just about a week and a half.  With her job and packing and the schedules we both have in the summer with our families, it seems like the only time we'll be able to get together is to see each other instead of sleeping.

She is one of those people I grew close to almost immediately, so to have her move away is sad for me.

Kim is on the left.  She always takes the BEST pictures!  This was at a Luke Bryan/Jason Aldean concert in the fall.  We had a blast and I'm hoping that her move will not prevent us from repeating that weekend next fall.

Hug your friends and have a great weekend, y'all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Indulge Me

I realize the Royal Wedding is old news, but I must revisit it for just one reason...

Pippa Middleton.  Who could forget seeing her walk down the red carpet to help her sister out of the car?  Who didn't think "I wonder if she has Spanx on under that dress?"

Maybe I was the only one who thought that.  I was thinking it from a place of sheer jealousy and awe.  The dress was flawless on her and immediately I found myself on Team Pippa.

Not that I don't like her sister, Kate, but seriously.  Would you like to forever and ever be known as "Kate's sister"?  I wonder if she is at all jealous?  Because in any normal world this would ratchet up the sibling rivalry to a warp factor 10!

But back to Pippa...

I think I am kind of loving her right now because I feel like I could raid her closet and wear anything I found.

Wait, I could raid her closet and long for the clothes because I know I couldn't fit even my big toe through the legs of her jeans!  But that is another post altogether.

She wears clothes in such a way as to seem effortless and I love that about her!

This dress is from a store called Zara.  Sounds exotic, but actually it is a European store with cute clothes at really great prices!  How great that the sister-in-law to a future king wears clothes from a store pretty much all of us can afford?

Oh my.  Tone on tone.  I've only recently become enamored of this look and she, again, looks effortlessly chic.  Like she jumped out of bed and just "happened" to put this on.  Do you think she has a stylist?  Because if she does, I can blame my lack of fashion expertise on the lack of a stylist and not my laziness.

By far, my favorite dress (besides the bridesmaid dress!) I've seen Pippa in.  I love love love wrap dresses.  They hide a multitude of sins, make it easy to wear Spanx underneath and give everyone a "figure"!  I added the Spanx comment for those of us in the *real* goal is to not need spanx.  Yeah.  I know.  Good luck with that, right? :)

A maxi dress.  Usually not my favorite if I was choosing for myself, but on her it looks glamorous and flowy.  On me they look like a maternity dress.  No woman who has had children wants to look pregnant when they aren't.  Love the print, love the fabric, love her carefree attitude.

Out of all her outfits, this is the one I could actually see myself copying.  Her expression says "I don't like being photographed at this particular moment" or "I'm going to do the smile thing with my mouth but I just can't get the rest of my face involved at the moment".  Either way, this is something I could pull together and then actually leave my house.  I know, I know...white pants, white shirt, colored blazer and a belt.  Just call me Rachel Zoe! But baby steps, right?  Right now my workout pants and holey t-shirts are the uniform of choice.
Who knows what my husband and kids would say if one day I actually got up, took a shower, and got dressed?

I don't think they could handle it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

What are YOU doing this summer?
I'm asking myself that question right now and I'm getting......
I'm getting.....
"Hello God, Are You There? It's Me, Margaret".
I haven't resorted to asking God to figure out my summer vacation plans yet, but it is getting close.
Last year we did a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas for the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire State Park.  Then we flew to San Francisco for...well, for everything that town has to offer.

This is us during the Fire Truck tour of San Francisco.  Completely cheesy, but I highly recommend it, even if you don't have little kids with you.  My kids were the only ones in our tour group and we ALL had a fantastic time.  The guides sang, joked, rang the bell on the truck and we waved at everyone.  Plus we learned a lot about San Francisco along the way.  So if you go, seriously, do this tour.  Really.  It was so fun!

The dilemma is that we had such a fun time on that trip that we are struggling to think of a destination that will be as fun as this one.  Oh, and there's one thing about the planning I forgot to mention....

I'd rather NOT be in a bathing suit.  Like not at all at any point in time would I like to be in a bathing suit on my vacation.

That is a whole lot of pressure, stress, and self-consciousness that I just don't need or want on vacation.

That being said, it starts to limit our summer vacation destinations a little bit.

Maybe Seattle?  We could do some day trips to British Columbia, Canada?  Or maybe we head to South Dakota to see Mt Rushmore?  That one would require an RV (possibly) and I'm not sure I'm RV ready.

We were thinking the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica, but I'm trying to stay away from those because of the bathing suit factor (BSF).  The BSF is about a 10 on a scale of 1-10 in Costa Rica.  Not good for me.

So let me get back to surfing the web.

Thank you for letting me vent.  I know that this is super silly to worry about given the current state of the economy and that we are lucky to be even planning a vacation---but I am still consumed with this task at hand. 

Y'all have a great weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011


My state has chosen to skip June temperatures altogether and move straight to late July - early August sizzling temperatures.  My grass is brown and crunchy, my poor potted plants by the front door are practically shriveling up before my eyes and the pool we frequent is, in a word, packed.

What does a family do to beat this unbearable heat?  

You buy a water slide, of course.

Keep in mind that I live in a subdivision with a Homeowners Association that fired off letters to us about the placement of our GARBAGE CAN.  I don't know what they will think about the 18 foot tall inflatable water slide that is about to be perched in my front yard. 

The kiddos saw the box at about 7pm one evening and that meant it HAD to be put up right then so it would be ready for use the next morning. 

Thank goodness my guy was around to figure out how to thread the water tubes all around the slide.  This picture doesn't show the 110% humidity my husband was experiencing.  I was tucked inside my air conditioned house the whole time. 

 The Oldest got in on the action and helped Dad get the hoses secured.
Kids are so helpful when they want to get something done.

After about 15 minutes (which would have been an hour and fifteen minutes had I been putting this thing up) and it was up and inflated.  No water, but the kids didn't care and were so excited to be on it before bedtime.

Cue the redneck music.  Grab a wife-beater t-shirt and a Pabst Blue Ribbon and you've got yourself a redneck water park!  

In my time away from the new found HOA violation (also known as my 18 foot waters slide!),  I've found some great sites with summer activities that I wanted to share.  Click around on these and maybe they will help alleviate some of the summer boredom that always finds the kids.