there was SO MUCH laughter.

You know that part in the movie The Breakfast Club when they make Brian Johnson (the Weird Science kid) write the detention essay for all of them and he's all "Dear Mr. Vernon... blah blah blah you see us as you want to see us... a brain, and an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal" and you're supposed to be all they're so DIFFERENT BUT YET ALL THE SAME!?!

Yes. Our college group is a bit like that. Only no one taped anyone's 'buns' together or got burned by their old man with a cigarette for spilling paint in the garage. (That I am aware.)

(Edited to add: In reviewing this, I think this analogy makes ZERO sense but I'm so happy with the 'taping the buns' reference that I'm not deleting it!)

Anyway THE POINT IS: Mike, the owner of the adorable bed and breakfast we stayed in made a comment in passing about how it was so wonderful that we all stayed friends even though our career paths couldn't be more different! And that, my friends, is true! Among the eight women there, I believe we had a doctor, a lawyer, sales person, elementary teacher, artist and administrator, production manager, internet geek, and a CFO! I find our different paths quite fun.

And you know what else? THESE GIRLS ARE FUN. And I loved having the weekend with them. And I love my husband for taking care of things (Nate) at home so I could do this.

And you know what else? BRANSON. is. ridiculous.

Hello. Welcome to Branson.

They have ENORMOUS ship museums. AND MIGHT I ADD THAT THE EXHIBIT here was called "Dogs of the Titanic." Oh, yes, it was.
We stayed on Table Rock Lake, about 20 minutes outside of Branson. We had girls from Tulsa, Little Rock, Kansas City and Dexter, MO so it was a good meeting spot!

Here was the view from our back decks:
We rented out all four rooms of the bed and breakfast which was amazing b/c we had free range to roam and laugh as loud as possible... though, um, the owners did live downstairs and they SAID we weren't too loud but at one point I remember the conversations were more like screaming than speaking.

It might have been the wine. Though I think most of us are LOUD in nature without the help of alcohol.
Saturday we did some damage at the outlet mall:
And then some damage to our livers:
Which lead to some damage to, um, our dignity? OH YES WE DID!! Jealous?


Photos courtesy of my iPhone and Jackie, whose post about our trip is WAY better than mine.


a rainbow of awesome?

I am working on a big post from my super amazing girls weekend. You shall read it SOON. (8 women. One b&b in Branson. Much wine. It's gonna be a fun read. Promise.)

In the meantime, I've been mulling over this idea in my head for awhile now and thought I'd post an image of a sketch I created this evening. I've been wanting to do some organizing of the mass quantity of books and toys in Nate's room. (Honestly, he doesn't have that much but there is no receptacle or bin to place said playthings.) I started looking online for toy boxes and was discouraged. So, I drew up my own plans. My rough sketch - please excuse - shows bookcases that would be painted in various colors with that color family of books and toys placed upon the shelves. I can't decide if I should take the time to do it for Nate's room or wait for the next nursery (whenever that may be) plans - pretty sure we'd have to bolt them to the wall either way, yes? I feel like maybe the idea is cuter in my head than it is on this sketch!


anxiety threat level ORANGE


Trying to pack again.

Leave in AM.

Incident with a paring knife and Nate this AM (everyone is fine; my heart is still palpitating).

My old age is preventing me from remembering all the details of our trip to St. Louis.


There was a trip to Grant's Farm, and a wedding, and some drinks with two of my favorite people (my sister and my husband), and, uh, some playgrounding, some Ted Drewes, a mini-bday party for Nate, friend visiting, grandparent playing and movie watching. What am I forgetting here?

Let's just look at the pictures. That will be fun.

See? Mi hermana y yo with our two free and fresh Budweiser products at Grants Farm. Though we do look a leeeetle shiny, this photo does not allow you to FEEL THE HEAT. Summertime in the Midwest = swimming through the air at all times.

But look he (she) likes the heat!? Or maybe the free milks Nate is about to feed him/her. Freakish little animals.
The playgrounding. That is me and Karl speaking to each other. Ridiculous.
The Ted Drewes crack cocaine frozen custard. All the lines went back this far at all the windows. Right out into the street where the police people yelled at you.
Apparently it was too noisy for Nate? No idea what he's doing here. We can clean up for weddings. See?
An attempt at the ever-elusive Family Pic. Good thing Nate is looking at the camera.
I am leaving Nate and Karl in Little Rock this weekend for a trip with some college friends. Crossing my fingers for ZERO paring knife incidents here or there over the weekend! Or, really, EVER AGAIN.


print: it smells so good!

We have safely returned to Little Rock from our St. Louis adventures. I will be posting about the trip soon but wanted to share with you this delicious-smelling packet of paper that was waiting on my doorstep!

Please excuse my appearance. We had spent seven RAINY hours in the car today with a 2 year old. The last hour was something like this: "Mommy hold you. Daddy hold you. Sit lap Mommy. Take buckle off Mommy. Go playgrownd. Go libwawy. CHOCOLATE!!! Mommy hold you. MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKKKKK." When we finally got home and got out, we were exhausted. He, however, was just getting started.

Anyway, the point of this post is: I had part of my blog printed in book form for (no other reason but) my own personal enjoyment. I started with the year 2009. It is my intention to print every year, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I printed through blurb.com and it wound up being around $50. I'm pretty happy with the whole thing - though it took me FOREVER to get it the way I wanted it. The blurb software imports all the blog posts and images you specify and then you edit it to the layouts of your liking. The importing? Easy peasy. Creating layouts I was happy with/editing it to make sense/changing the type on every single post? Not as easy. TIME CONSUMING. But, I think, worth it to for this fine addition to my bookshelf. (Modest!)


all star break

Does anyone even watch the All-Star Game anymore? (Oh, right, does anyone watch baseball anymore?!) No? Well, then, let's all admire Nate in uniform.

I'm prepping for some serious out of town-ness (read: packing suitcases, the BANE of my existence) (and by packing suitcases I mean THINKING about packing suitcase because I haven't actually packed anything and won't until about, oh, 10 minutes prior to leaving!) and obsessively drinking coffee and doing laundry and cleaning (I know...WHAT has gotten into me?). REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ARKANSAS, ya'll. Watchout!


slip and tarp

I didn't put a post up about the 4th of July but we did make the annual slip and slide HAPPEN. Well, I should say that Karl made it happen whilst I sat around bitching about how redneck an adult slip and slide is in your front yard and why do you insist on doing this every year and on and on and on until the tarp is all soppy and covered in dishsoap and the next thing I know I am diving headfirst down it like a 12 year old.

(Warning: Your closet will in fact smell like french fries for up to two years if you use vegetable or canola oil. I know... FROM EXPERIENCE.)
Eventually, everyone will participate and there will be brackets! Winners and Losers....er Consolation Brackets!
Eventually the sound of fireworks will freak these people out and you will have a party in your bed whilst the sky explodes out of doors:


nate turns 2: part duex (the FREAKING OUT part)

So, everyone was all "Isn't it crazy that Nate is TWO?" and "I can't believe it! He's so old!" and I was all "Yea. I know. Clearly." Turning two seemed solid. No big deal. All those things I thought we be done by two (potty training, bedtime paci removal), I thought psssshaw, no rush, he's just two. He's still my sweet little boy.

And then two things happened:

1. I picked up Nate's registration packet for 'school' this fall. (He's going on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I will most likely be working part time for a bit...more on that later.) I opened it this weekend and amongst the thousands of forms (Yes, you can put sunscreen on my kid. Yes, he can have juice.) there were two that made me pause.

First, A SUPPLY LIST! A supply list PEOPLE! And not one that says like: mobile, diapers, change of clothes, wipes, picture of mom and dad. Oh no, it was a request for A BOX OF KLEENEX AND A TWO-PACK OF PAPER TOWEL ROLLS. If that doesn't scream big kid SCHOOL, I don't know what does. (Parents everywhere can attest to the toilet paper/paper towel purchases for classrooms across the country, yes?)

Right behind that, tucked in the back all innocent-like was a big paper with a number on it. For my car window. FOR THE CARPOOL LINE. (I know, I started breathing into a brown paper bag when I read it too.) I remember when I started taking Nate to school and how super envious of the carpool line I was. How nice, I thought... they don't even have to get out of their cars. And now? Well, now I think ARE YOU KIDDING ME? He's way too young, I need to walk him in myself and kiss him bye and, dear God, he's going to SCREAM BLOODY MURDER!
Ahhhhh my first time parenting worries OUT IN FULL EFFECT!!

And the second thing:

2. We had Nate's two year doctor appointment on Friday. The appointment was great (Well, great if you think Nate screaming through the whole thing like an infant is as amazing as I do. He hates the stupid thermometer under the armpit and it's all downhill from there. Not frustrating AT ALL, I swear. Additionally, I think he might remember the poking and prodding and chest x-rays from last visit, because he started in with the "go home mommy" the minute we got off the elevator. Sigh.) Well, hopefully he'll lose that fear because he doesn't have to go back UNTIL HE IS THREE. (If you haven't gotten it already, this is the fact that freaked me out.) THREE YEARS OLD. A WHOLE YEAR AWAY. A whole year of crazy development I might add. I mean, they're supposed to go every few months for a progress check, right?! I mean how am I supposed to know what percentile he's in for god's sake?!?!

And. One final note for this post. It doesn't really fit with the whole THEME of this post (you know the whole me FREAKING OUT about ridiculous things theme? What? You didn't get that?) but it was too funny not to share. At all of Nate's well visits, the patients get a book (It's part of a program to encourage reading to your babes. Hooray!) He's gotten some cute ones, and, after crying through his whole appointment yesterday THIS is the book the nurse hands me.

the locks to the love

On Wednesday, I cut off 12.5 inches of my long, hippy dippy hair and donated it to locks of love.
The motivation behind the drastic cut was as follows:

The pool.
The chlorine.
The still wet 2 hours later ponytail.
The tangles. (I was even breaking my poo-lessness pledge b/c of the tangles.)
The 45 minute blow dryer/straightening time.
The breaking. The splitting. Sigh.
The "your hair is so long" comments. (WHAT DOES THAT MEAN PEOPLE?)

Here it is after.
Sigh. I hate it. MAKE IT COME BACK! Nah, I'm teasing. I don't LOVE it, but it's fine. (I do love washing it and not finding twenty foot hairs on my pillow in the AM.) Plus, with the way my hair grows, I'm sure it will be back in no time.