Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

It all started with an email asking if we were all free Thursday night? After everyone coordinating schedules it was planned for 8:30. Lindsay was the ring leader and she was keeping the surprise a secret from all of us. It wasn't the first time something like this has happened. I have been summoned to late night hot tub councils, and back yard meetings, and so although I was dying to know what we were doing I waited somewhat patiently.
I was told to wait till 8:30 for my call to come to Lindsay's house. After the call I was told to grab my camera and look in my mailbox. There I received my first gift and clue to my surprise birthday scavenger hunt. The "surprise" meeting was only a surprise to me. I followed the clues all over the neighborhood criss crossing back and forth stopping at friends' homes to pick up my other clues and gifts.

Along the way I scored awesome loot like Team Jacob stuff, glitter body spray, a little flashlight, a bookmark, travel razors, and a Sesame Street t-shirt that says "It's all good in the HOOD". Each one had an underlaying joke or common thread to some neighbor experience and I was laughing all along the way.

The last clue led me to Lindsay's house where there awaited the girls, singing to me, and with cake, and my "real presents". I got cupcake frosting lip gloss, nail polish, drip dry or the equivalent, and two sets of necklaces and matching earrings.

In the end we sat and chatted and played my brand new "New Moon" card game. Where Lindsay really rocked it out and scored the win and impressed me by guessing Mentzer's and my dream cars. I love these girls.

And this morning when I woke up and saw this from last night, I was just as happy all over again. I love surprises, I am really big on birthdays, and my BFF's are the best. Even without all the stuff I know that we will laugh every time we are together till someone almost pees themselves. And last night our ending photo shoot did just that. But those pictures are for our own secret neighborhood archive. Oh the blackmail that could come from that vault of secrets.

Friday, July 23, 2010

From The Archives

While I was in Florida Travis captured this moment.

I'm so glad he did, because I would feel sad had I missed it. This is so Issac. How can you see this and not smile?

And yes he also painted my office for me.
Man my husband is a total stud.
I love that dude!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is It Totally Ridiculous?

That I can walk into a store see this....and just be grinning ear to ear - totally happy.
And it's not that he's hot-although he is, I mean super hot.
But that I now have many memories with my friends about him and these movies.
And it reminds me of being a teenager, of being young, and being uninhibited, free to be ridiculous. And I love that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hiking In Govenor Dick Park, Mt. Gretna

What do you do when your daughter's Activity Day is cancelled and
she was really excited about it?
Well you just plan a family hike instead.
And that's just what we did.
It was fun and we hiked to the tower that looks over four counties.
And...it was only eight levels of climbing ladders to the top.
And we found lots of little critters along the way.
And also this weekend we had a family reunion. Of course it's huge. And I don't know way more people than I know, but it was still fun to go. The food was banging and the kids loved the games and the candy/peanut scramble. And I know where I'll be using that candy. Oh yeah on vacation which starts on Friday. Touring New England staying in the coolest places and doing the raddest things. New England or Bust!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?

We go to the free summer movie program at Regal Cinemas,and the Corn Wagon.
On rainy days we go to the North Museum.
But we mostly stay up late, trying to absorb every fun moment together as a family. So a lot of car sleeping occurs during the day, but so do the moments that will last forever.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Skills

Swimming lessons were okay when we tried them with Bella when she was 3 or so, but not as good as I had hoped. Therefore I didn't do them with Wyatt or Issac. But both are swimmers. And nothing motivated my four year old to learn to swim like the knowledge that he couldn't jump off the diving board until he could swim to the ladder by himself, pool rules. So nothing like a pool membership and the oppurtunity to swim everyday helps a child learn to swim faster. And in no time they were all jumping off the diving board with Issac leading the way. And it wasn't long till Wyatt was ready for the high dive, 3M, and once again Bella and Issac weren't far behind. And then Wyatt decided to dive off the high dive and I'll let you watch that for yourself. video video

video

As you can see the pressure of the high dive bust Bella's swimsuit at the behind. And Wyatt's diving wasn't a success the first time as his freezing mid air caused him to belly flop. But he and the others have been practicing on the low dive with moderate success. And Wyatt has done his first forward sommersault.

As former captain of my high school's diving team I couldn't be happier. And I may just be brushing up and pulling out some of my old skills too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baron's Ridge Bookclub for Kids

In the last of the All Caught Up series, I present our newest and coolest neighborhood tradition a children's book club. We had our first one last Thursday and we have the next two or three scheduled. Kids ranged in age from 1-11 years old. We picked a book that every parent, pretty much the moms, read to their children. We then met and did a group reading, a small discussion about it, a related craft, and a yummy snack.

Our first book was The Curious Garden. It featured a city that had been left to debris and smog, but one little boy loved to be outside and play despite this. Eventually he found an access to the abandoned overhead railway and climbed up to find a small patch and grass and weed. Tenderly he nursed that little area until it grew healthy enough to spread along the railway. Eventually the town saw the impact the boy had made and by the next summer all were planting and grooming their areas. Eventually the city was beautiful and people loved to be outside once more.
The fabulous host, Lindsay, really knows how to rock an event. Nine families attended and each child of the nineteen children went home with their own planted sunflower. Have I ever mentioned how much I love where I live?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Celebrating Freedom

3 fireworks displays
1 set of home fireworks
2 parties/friend gatherings
loads of food
and limitless amounts of fun

remembering soldiers everywhere

July 3rd

{Girls' Spa Day - foot massages, facials, and back/shoulder/neck massages}

Friday, July 9, 2010

Birthday Party Turns Into Campfire Singalong

Our neighborhood is a tight knit group of friends. And so when Sophie girl, the blond in the light blue dress, had her birthday she invited the other little neighborhood girls. They played princess games and had a blast. Meanwhile her dad was downstairs distracting the brothers and neighborhood boys. There are a lot of little kids in our neighborhood. Eventually all the boys and girls ended up playing together on the slip n' slide and the kiddie pool. The party ended, but as the kids continued to play nicely we all hung about chatting as the men came home from work and joined us. The chatting led to dinner time and hesitant to end the fun we all ordered pizza, stromboli and sandwiches which we ate in the back yard. Eventually we started the outdoor firepit and made smores. John, starting the fire, had a guitar his wife got him when he wanted to learn. It had never been played let alone tuned. We got that baby out and we played it doing campfire singalong songs as best as I could pick them out. Which was not good, but we laughed still.
And at a little before 11pm when all the kids were spent, the adults too, I mean we girls had been up the night before doing the Eclipse movie thing, we divided up still laughing as we entered back into real life bedtimes and Saturday work.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Entering July

What better way to start the month then with a girls' night.
Yes we went to see Eclipse.
Yes it was good in the same way the other movies were good, entertaining, ridiculous, but tons of girly fun.
Yes I am one of those girls who goes just to watch Jacob shirtless. And on occasion I might make a cat call or comment regarding his state of semi undress. But that's what girls' nights are all about.
No my friends and I, we don't do anything halfway.
Yes we all got matching t-shirts insofar as your team orientation was concerned.
Yes we put our last names in iron on letters on the back. And one husband who shall remain nameless even donned a matching shirt upon our departure. I'll let you read what it had to say for yourself.
Yes his head is purposely cut off, because he would like to remain anonymous and he was afraid to end up on the blog.
Yes we got ourselves the candy for team Edward and Jacob.
No it wasn't good candy, but it still made us laugh.
Yes one of us bought the bucket of popcorn that is plastic with the twilight picture on it.
Yes I inherited a bucket from my newfound friend from the row in front of us. He only wanted the refiillable popcorn. I only wanted the bucket. And so at the end he turned it over to me, half filled with popcorn no less.
Yes some girls behind us said I would not want to meet that team on the soccer field referring to me and my hood rats.
No they wouldn't because we are fierce.
Yes it was a good time.
Yes I was very tired the next day from staying up late. But what can you do? Girls just wanna have fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Celebrating James and Adriane Graver

The First Dance as Husband and WifeDaddy/Daughter DanceAll of those in attendance
Just Dance: The DJ put James in the middle of a circle and women were to come in and dance with him.
Or two guy friends there at the end - I may have pushed them in there. I can't be sure.Cake cutting, Bouquet Toss - Go Mom!, The Wedding Party, and Beautiful Bride!Congratulations James and Adriane!

Coming Home Again

a. arriving back in Philly tired but happy
b. erin catches some shut eye in the airport in Orlando
c. while gone the kids learned to karaoke
d. the beautiful skies
e. my broken rental car radio would always switch from the fm station to loading ipod
~i was not loading my ipod~
f. i came home to brown and undrinkable water
~high turbidity, nitrates, and cryptosporidium~
g. erin mimics my sleeping on the plane
h. my face after finding out our plane in Orlando was delayed five hours
i. bella decides to get out my recipes and do the cooking
~here is the corn bread she made from scratch~

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tired....Will Update More Later

Bachelorette Party

video
Nothing says bachelorette party fun like Mexican food, oh my good!,
Mariachi Bands doing suggestive dances towards the bride to be,
making the bride to be dress ridiculously as you galavant around the town having cars and men honk, scream, wave, and "try" to expose their naked rear ends in your general direction. Lucky try was the operative word as I sped my oh so tiny Hyundai Accent rental car, filled with six girls, away to the safety of eye saving sights in the direction of the bowling alley.
Where we bowled, ate cake, and actted ridiculous. Then our bachelorette party converged back to the bride and groom home-to-be to join the bachelor party where they played cards, barbequed, and watched world cup, and the real fun began.

Till the Big Night

A lot of the interim time was spent in pools, whether city hotel pools we snuck into or family and friends' hotel pools. We played football, Louis and James squirted people with their noodle/pool jet contraption, and Adriane showed us her future mothering skills by singing lullabies and rocking her bridesmaid, Erin, all while in the pool.

Friday night we had the wedding rehersal at the park on the lake where they were to be married. After we headed to a...you guessed it pool to swim and ordered pizza. Apparently Florida in the middle of the summer is not good for much of anything but swimming.

The Big Night

...was beautiful. I took hundreds of pictures. None of them doing the affair justice. You'll have to wait for the professional pictures on this one, but here are some to tie you over.