June 28, 2013

My Week: I've OWNED it!

When us Southern girls us the word "ya'll" as a complete sentence it means that the following sentence or thought is significant. 
Ya'll.  This has been the best week.  Seriously, the best.  Do you remember when I was all wadded up in the corner over the fact that my girls didn't want me to come to youth camp?  Well, I'm totally over it.  Sure, I've missed them.  A little tiny bit, but not much.  Don't judge.  We all need a break.  I decided that I would make the most of this week and
I declared it and the rest of the world listened.  Okay, only my hubby and son knew about it, but they are my world.

I had a date day with my sweet boy on Monday.  Within hours of kissing my girls goodbye my boy and I settled in nicely with the only-child-thing.
 I love that he loves milk in a coffee cup.  My husband totally rolled his eyes at this photo.  Starbucks and Old Navy.  Happy campers.  Err, I mean non-camp-ers.

I scored mom points when I suggested McD's for lunch.  We never eat McD's so this was a special treat.  I couldn't bring myself to eat it, but I sure had fun watching him devour enjoy chicken parts and preservatives.
 My dear sweet friend called and offered for my son to have a sleepover.  I thought about it for approximately .385 seconds.  With an offer like that, I feel the need to send her flowers and rub her feet.  But then, that would be a little awkward because she's ticklish.

  A few weeks ago I had purchased a Groupon for our favorite Italian restaurant.  Little did I know that it would come in handy so soon!  DATE NIGHT!!!!

We even ended the evening with drinks:
 Campfire Mocha from Caribou is the best!!!  Except for when you drink it at 7:24pm and it's not decaf.   Oh well, it's staycation, so I can sleep in, right?  Since my girls (namely the animal caretaker) are out of town, puppy poop duty fell on me.  So the term sleeping in is relative.

I have had some much needed work-alone-in-the-house time this week.  I caught up on some projects that just never seem to get done in the school year.  My mom let me borrow her fantastic sewing machine and so far I've made 7 pillows and a pair of curtains.

Mid-week, my mom and I had a much needed date-day.  We shopped and lunched and laughed.  We put miles on the car and had a coffee refuel.  We even went to the mall.  It was a little different than when I played bodyguard for my daughter and her friend.  We shopped so long, that we called the boys to let them know that they needed to scrape the bottom of the peanut butter jar and call it dinner, because we were sitting down to California Pizza Kitchen.  Oh the shame.  My sweet dad spent the day with my only-child-boy doing boy stuff that included golf and swimming.  

Another dear friend offered my son a playdate yesterday.  Oh the joys of being an only child!  Actually, he admitted that he is missing his sisters.  From there he went to my in-laws for another sleepover.  Wow, his social life should be published in Towne and Country!  After dropping him off, I met a bestie for a girls night out.  When I have the opportunity for a GNO, I like to try new restaurants that my man wouldn't like.  Do you do that?  I knew we had hit the jackpot when I read words like quinoa and falafel on the menu.  You had me at Baklava.

My week is quickly coming to a close.  Tomorrow we pick up the girls from camp, but until then I am enjoying a quiet house, listening to my choice of music in the car, and spoiling our only child.

June 27, 2013

My Summer Reading List

What are you reading this summer?  I'd really like to know.
These are the books on my list.  Right now I am half way through three of them.  One is checked off the list and the other is still waiting patiently to be chosen.
I flew through The Devil in Pew Number Seven.  It takes place in NC.  I love reading books that take place in settings I'm familiar with.  How about you?   I never read biographies.  Ever.  I don't know why.  Maybe this is the start of a new me.  Hmm...
I'm halfway through Tidewater Inn and it is definitely a good summer read.  It takes place on the NC coast.
The hardest books for me to read are thinky books.  I labor through them.  Maybe it's because I don't want to miss something important.  Maybe it's because it feels too much like work.  Ha!  Tough Guys and Drama Queens is definitely worth the effort.  If you have a teen, pre-teen or a child approaching those ages, I HIGHLY recommend it.
If you are a mom of a boy, I also highly recommend Six Ways to Keep the Good In Your Boy.  It's a sweet, thought-provoking read.
I have always loved a good mystery.  Terri Blackstock is one of my favorite authors.  I can't wait to crack open Truth Stained Lies.  I think it will be a good by-the-pool book!

It's your turn!  Tell me what your favorite summer book is.  Pretty please?!

June 17, 2013

June Highlights

How could I only have two posts in the month of June?  Where has the time gone??  We finished up school and then I started several free-lance jobs that have kept me busy.  Crazy, happy, busy.   Throw in a few days at the pool and June is half over.

1. It has rained enough to make a duck happy.  In NC it is hard to find a good summer shower that isn't  accompanied with thunder and lightning.  Last week we had a deluge and I got mom of the week award when I announced it was time to go play outside in the rain.    Moms, next time it's raining, surprise your kids with this free gift.

2. I discovered that I have a problem with culinary balance.  It was past time for a grocery visit and my kids were in the fetal position due to snack deficiency.  We didn't have a loaf of bread or a cup of milk, but we did have 7 varieties of pickles and 12 varieties of cheeses.  Can't kids live off of cheese and pickles?  What's wrong with you people??

 3. I have been looking for a double walled cup with a lid to take to the pool, but I didn't want to spend $19 on a Tervis tumbler.  Looky what I found at Walmart:

It's even dishwasher safe!

4. It's time for foster puppies again!  This is one of the sweetest, cutest batch we've had yet.  
They make my girl very happy!

5. Last week a dear friend from college days stopped by with her boys.  It had been 16 years since we last hugged each other's neck but we picked up right where we left off.  A nasty storm hit as she was ready to leave so we turned it into a slumber party.  What a blessing life-long friendships are!
 We didn't even plan our outfits!

6. Our favorite baseball team has made it to the college World Series.  
I showed my full support by introducing my kids to the real reason I go to sporting events:

7. We decided to try the food truck rodeo.  It smells infinitely better than a real rodeo.
 Unfortunately half of the population of NC decided to join us.  The lines were insane.

8. One of the hardest parts of leaving our old house was my hydrangea bush.  If I could have dug it up and hauled it to the rental house I would have.  So instead, we planted three when we moved to the farm and I am already enjoying the first blooms.

9. Father's Day was celebrated a little differently this year.  One of our girls is sick, so I stayed home with her.  Before my handsome boys left for church I snapped a picture.  Bow ties make me as happy as hydrangeas.  Is that a southern thing?
 I celebrated my dad this morning with a kayaking date.  I had to type this today because I won't be able to move my arms tomorrow.

June 16, 2013

Easy Key Lime Cupcakes

I love Key Lime.  I love easy.  Someone must have told Pillsbury!  The summer collection is out (found mine at Walmart) and calling your name!  The collection also includes pink lemonade and dreamcicle, but I haven't tried them yet.
You can buy the icing, but it doesn't taste homemade, so I'll share my easy Key Lime Buttercream Recipe.  

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , firm but not cold
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp. key lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. milk 

  • Follow the directions on the box to bake the cupcakes.  Once the cupcakes are cool, poke the  middle and add a couple of drops of key lime juice (I like Nellie's) to the center of each cupcake.

  • Beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla, 1 tsp. key lime juice and milk; mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream. Frosts over one dozen.  Put frosting in zip loc bag and snip a corner off.  Use the bag as a pastry bag and swirl the yumminess onto each cupcake.

  • June 6, 2013

    Coffee and the Urban Dictionary

    Every phase of motherhood brings its challenges and joys.  Every. single. phase.
    My oldest child is entering high school next year and I feel like I am putting on hiking boots and stepping into unknown territory; or maybe putting on my fireproof suit and grabbing my flame thrower.  Potatoes, pototoes.
    8th grade graduation breakfast

    We celebrated our last day of school in style.  I was an emotional kangaroo bouncing from elation to tears.  Elation that summer break has arrived; tears because it was the last day I will ever homeschool my oldest child.  Sigh.  Where is the chocolate?  I need some pronto.
    Last day of school 2013

    Since my child will be going from homeschool to the second largest public high school in our county, I may be freaking out a bit.  Yes, I know she can handle it.  I know she's well rounded and will do great.  BUT.  But it is the idea of throwing my lamb in with the wolves that has me undone.  The problem is that I remember high school well.  I remember the lewd comments from not-so-gentlemanly boys.  I remember thinking that my parents didn't even know what french kissing was.  I remember too much.

    And yet, here I am.  The MOTHER of a HIGHSCHOOLER!!!  I think that should be a cuss word.  Take that, you mother of a highschooler!  How did I get here?  I thought I was just getting the hang of the wonder years and preteen years.  Heck, didn't I just get married?

    I am facing a year of letting go.  For goodness sakes, I had to let go of my youth this year when I "turned old."  The fact that I am slowly stepping out of the mommy spotlight for my daughters hit like a ton of bricks this week.
    Brick #1: I was asked to go to their youth camp on the Mom Squad.  Their looks of horror and disdain was my first indication that our relationship might be changing.  I guess my coolness is no longer appreciated.  
    Brick #2: I took my daughter and a friend to the mall this week... on a Saturday night. (enough said, right?)  I was wise enough to give them space and not be all up in their business but close enough to give the "mom look" to some googly eyed boys with their pants hanging down past their plaid boxers.  But then it hit me.  I'm the mom and they are the teen shoppers.  Shouldn't I be pushing a stroller and drooling over the Baby Gap window?  Why was that such a hard pill to swallow??
    Sweet girls with their candle scent of choice.  Mine chose the one that smelled like a cute boy.  Sigh.
    Brick 3: While at said mall, the cute twenty-something girl that served our Starbucks was a former student of mine.  Yes.  I taught her 4th grade the year I was pregnant with my soon-to-be high schooler.  Where's my cane?

    So I did what every other normal freaking-out-mother would do.  I called my bestie for drinks.  We're wild: coffee for me and tea for her.
    She just completed her first year as a M of a H.S. so she's totally in the know.   As I pelted her with questions I drooled over her breakfast choice.

    After a 2 hour caffeine injection she brought me back around to reality.  Reminding me that it's going to be hard, but we're going to make it.  And that we'll grow old together.  Um, I think we've already hit that milestone.  

    Anyhoo, I looked at her in all seriousness and said, "I have an important question for you."  She was expecting a deep, spiritual question but this is what she got:
    "What does S.W.A.G mean?"
    The only swag I know about is the free stuff Meg's sponsors give away on craft weekends.  I got a clue that it had a hidden meaning when I noticed it screen printed on a shirt in an urban themed store at the mall.
    After she recovered from laughing, she realized I was dead serious.
    I need to be in the know.  I need to know what the cool phrases are if I want to have intelligent conversations with my daughter, come August.
    So my M of a HS friend whipped out her iphone and said, "there's an app for that."  We pulled up SWAG on the Urban Dictionary.  Yes, totally rockin our M of HS coolness at the coffee house.
    Apparently there are many definitions of SWAG, but "free stuff from craft weekend" didn't make it to the Urban Dictionary.  There were some ugly words and ridiculous slang terms, but overall we learned that SWAG really means "appearance, style, or the way he or she presents them selves."  My favorite definition was "Something We All Get tired of hearing."
    Let me be very clear.  I do not recommend the Urban Dictionary.  It is filled with nastiness and profanity.  Over our coffee, my friend and I decided it would not be an app to download, but we at least answered the question of the day.