My People

>> Monday, July 26, 2010

I co-hosted my BFF's baby shower last weekend. Not only is she my BFF she is Lily's godmother. So I was super stoked to find out the Alden's were expecting a little one. See they have been waiting so patiently. Until just the right time. Craig has been finishing up his MBA and after many, many, many, many years of school and residency Meg became a full fledged Pediatrician two weeks ago. Mini Alden is due at the end of August. Perfect timing eh? 

I got the idea to throw a circus themed shower from non other than Meg herself. See her nursery is gender neutral because they decided not to find out what they were having. Going old school. And although I cannot say I am not highly irritated to be able to spoil this child rotten prior to his/her birth it is kind of exciting. To hear "It's a ____!" in the delivery room. How classic is that. It makes me want to light up a cigar right now. 

Just for the record I know it is a boy. I just know it. 

Point being their marvelous nursery is circus themed. No not freaky clown circus but classic toile circus in fabulous colors and patterns. We went a little brighter with the shower decorations. 

Another goal of the shower was to be as green as possible. Well this was my private goal. Unbeknown to my co-hosts. Pretty much every decoration I made was not only handmade but usable. From the Lollipop wash clothes to the bib cupcakes. I handmade the banners out of scrap paper. I used mismatched glass dessert plates for the serveware. The only disposable item we had was the punch cups (which I found out were left over from my shower three years ago!)

I can honestly say it was a hit! The decorations were adorable. The food was yummy. The company was priceless. 

So a few credits. The Red Velvet cupcakes were from Red Velvet in DC (a special treat from Michele a fellow co host) supplemented with Wal-Mart cupcakes. The popcorn boxes borrowed (but from the Target dollar spot). The cupcake picks straight from Etsy. The favor boxes we found online at A lot of my handmade lollipops and cupcake ideas also came from Etsy. The chicken salad from Raleigh's famous Tookie's Grill. The diaper cake, decorations, and banners all from yours truly. The time, love, ideas, and genourosity all from the lovely women below. From Right to Left: Jenna, Brooke, Meg, Me, Michele and Lily below. No child labor laws were broken during the shower. Lily was part of the decoration.

It was a small shower. But Meg didn't mind. We just sat and talked for hours. And ate. And ate. And drank some fabulous Booster Club Punch (pineapple juice and cheerwine. Try it. Love it. I promise). 

We all brought baby books and gifts. We opened them and cooed over the cuteness. 

Lily was a champ through the whole debacle. Which included hauling an Acadia full of decorations and presents from Raleigh to Winston-Salem with four of us riding along. Rushing through set up because we threw the shower at the Alden's house. We set up while they attended their birth class. But we were an hour late getting there thus we were quite rushed. It stormed like crazy the whole way there. People pulled over on the side of the road. My other cohost coming from Charlotte called me panicked because even she was too scared to drive through it. Which is saying a lot. It is like all the forces of nature were working against us that day!

But you couldn't tell by Lily! That child ate enough to feed a small country that day. That may be why she was so good. She had food in her mouth the entire time. After her one cupcake she kept on and on about wanting more cake and how it was her birthday and she needed cake. Meanwhile she has a mouthful of cheese and is saying through the cheese "I want cake!" It was quite entertaining.  

I had to take this picture because: A. I love owls. B. I did not buy the owl which shocked all of our friends. and C. This picture proves that Meg totally does not look eight months pregnant. I give her a hard time for going to much. Go go go. But little does she know nothing makes you slow down like a new baby. Well slow down in some ways and run around like a wild banshee in other ways. She was complaining about how sore she was because she just up and decided to run three miles on the treadmill the day before. Um yeah eight month pregnant running can do that to you girl! 

Meg being super surprised she got the swing from our friend Brooke. I don't know why she was surprised. We have the most generous friends a Mom to be could ask for. Always have. Believe me I know. I was talking last week to Michael about how lucky we were to not buy many big items when I was pregnant. We were so worried. Worried without need. We had to go back and add more big items to our registry between the love of family and friends. We are so blessed.

See these are my people right here. Actually this picture shows them all in one shot. This is a rare shot. This is my family away from family. They each hold a special, different place in my heart. None of them are alike in anyway. Each one fills a different need in my life. A different area of my heart. 

It makes me happy that we are together to celebrate such important times in each other's lives. But it makes me sad we are not together for all the little ones. See we have all been separated by jobs, school, family, kids, and just life in general. And these few occasions we are all together make me burst with happiness. They are few and far between for sure. Too often we go way to long without a phone call. Way to long without that hello email. Most of the time when we do call it is like "oh I just remembered you had X going on...did I miss it? " But it is okay. No one gets mad, or hurt. We just gab away like we haven't missed anything and we will see each other that weekend for dinner. But we all know that is not the case. Just planning a night out together is an ordeal these days. Traveling, babysitters, free time. I think Michele and I talked more over the planning of the shower than we had in three years. And I talk to her more than others! It makes me long for those weekends that nothing was going on but we just sat on the porch and talked over a glass of wine. Or just met to go to the mall because we were bored. Life isn't that easy anymore. 

So that day I can sit and say I was really happy. Hell it wasn't even my baby shower and I was beaming. Meg later told me she didn't feel like she got to talk to me that much or visit that day. Perhaps she is right. I was too busy sucking up the moment. Looking around and thinking how awesome it was to be together again.  Observing the laughing, the chit chat. Just us. Just us and a doe eyed two year old. My people. Not everyone can say they have people. I can say I have photographic proof. 



Oh I am waiting so patiently....

>> Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I am waiting oh so patiently for my new baby to arrive in the mail this week. Bought with credit card points converted to Amazon gift cards I have been drooling over this lens for a solid year. But just felt too guilty to spend the money. Instead I religiously put everything on my credit card and paid it off so I could get this with points. Now I am bitting my finger nails off waiting for it. 

This is suppose to solve my low light issues that I face during my indoor photo ops of Lily. It is also suppose to shine during portrait sessions. We shall see. We shall see. 

All I am hearing is the jeopardy song in my head over and over and over again. 



To Hear those Songs Again...

>> Monday, July 19, 2010

I was riding in the convertible today, top down, sunglasses on, hair blowing in the wind and a song came on the radio. You know one of those songs. I get those songs a lot.

The ones that instantly take you back to another time. The ones that make you want to close your eyes and engulf yourself in that memory. Except that wouldn't be safe since your driving. Usually those memories are of a carefree time. A time when the everyday worries seemed small and happiness seemed huge. Then there are the ones that make you tear up just from the emotion the song evokes. To this day I cannot hear "In my Daughter's eyes" by Martina McBride without remembering the day Lily was born.

Dan Seals "I wanna Bop with you Baby" takes me back to when I was a kid. Mom and I would ride with the windows down and scream it at the top of our lungs. Well that and anything by the Righteous Brothers. Or the Beach Boys. Or anything from the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack.

I am pretty sure that Whitney Houston, Madonna and Tiffany got me through elementary school and beyond.  I used to dance around in this horrible red pettiskirt to "I wanna dance with somebody" and "How will I know." Oh and NKOTB? I had the neon shirt with puff paint to prove my loyalty to all things Jordan Knight. I to this day blare "The Right Stuff" every.single.time it comes on the radio. No matter who is around. Complete with the signature dance move. You know the one. Pump the arms.

And Nirvana in middle school. Yeah I totally had a Kurt Cobain T-shirt. Don't hate. "Smells like Teen Spirit" was on repeat in my boombox. By repeat I mean I rewound the tape and hit play again. And I cried the day he died. And listened to nothing but Nirvana for months afterwards while sulking in my room.  I rotated between that and Smashing Pumpkins. Oh and Bush. I loved him (still do!). Oh and my secret love of Better than Ezra. My BFF Sharla and I used to call and request "Good" from 95.1FM just to try and get it on our mixed tape. It is debatable whether I washed my hair with any consistency those days.  I was pretty pissed off at the world for no apparent reason other than it existed. Ah to be a hormone crazed teenager.

Then there was high school. First loves, proms, graduation. I can still see the dust in the air as "Just to see you smile" by Tim McGraw plays on my high school sweetheart's truck radio behind that Dallas Flea Market. And remember that horrible Vitamin C "Graduation Song" Oh wow that song was horrible, but lets be honest I rocked out to it during that senior year. Oh and "Good Riddance" by Green Day. Yeah it was like three years old but we rocked it like it had just come out. The Weenie Roast!!! Was anyone else lucky enough to attend any of these? Do they still do it? I saw Green Day, Everclear, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers. I swear I saw Billy Idol. But good lord that was a long time ago. My head hurts remembering that day.

And no Thistledown party was complete in college without standing on the coffee table and belting "Proud to be an American" by Lee Greenwood at the top of our lungs until we couldn't sing anymore. Or the cops came. Whichever came first. Then Christal, Allison, and I drove to the Keys my freshman spring break. Blaring Old Dirty Bastard's "Baby I got your money" I mean seriously what was wrong with me? I am ashamed of some of these songs. Or the next spring break mantra of "Just a Friend" by Biz Markie. I still blame my friend Casey for that one. And the one too many hands of Devil's Square on the back of that red cooler. Whew.

 I haven't missed a Kenny Chesney show in ten years. I liked him before he was even big. I have attended everyone of them with my husband.

We went back to the classics for our wedding song. Most people our age haven't even heard of "Moon River" but every time I hear it (usually in an elevator) I can't help but sway to those waltz steps we worked so hard on. Five years later we still haven't brought ourselves to watching the video of that dance. Out of sheer embarrassment. Although we hear it was good.  Not nearly as good as the Shag we learned in 2007 at Red's in Raleigh, dancing to the Embers every Tuesday night. Michael still grabs me when "I love Beach Music" comes on.

Then "My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas. Which I still love as one of my favorite groups. She is named like a princess. I have to love Fergie. The Super Bowl Party that a recording of me dancing and singing that song like was in the crowd. No you can't see that video no matter how nice you ask.  I later had that song dedicated to me at a friend's wedding. No one needs to see my shaking my humps...or my lumps. It was bad.

Now my days are filled with dance tunes that Lily loves. Usually a Lady Gaga or Michael Jackson song.   With an occasional treat for Mommy in the Black Eyed Peas variety. What can I say? Lily likes to jam. She demands "Turn it up song!" Which is every song with a beat. Oh and she has a crush on Michael Buble. But who doesn't? Lord forbid we put on anything rock. Lest we hear a protest from the back seat.

And more often than not I will hear a song that makes me cry just thinking of Lily. Like "Don't Blink" or "There goes my life" Why is it the country songs always make you cry? But a kind of good cry. Like the ones that make you soak in this exact time in your life. When Lily was born George Straits "I saw God Today" was big. That song will always hold a special place in my heart.

Luckily I outgrew my horrible taste in music. Well I don't know if I outgrew so much as went back to some of the actual good music I have listened to in the past! To go to a Weenie Roast now! But I hope music stays a big part of Lily's life. Much like it has been a big part of mine. Because nothing like a  song can bring a memory back to the front of your mind in a heartbeat. There is always that song you thought was just in the background of that wonderful time. Even if it is a horrible, horrible song. Any music is better than no music.

Any songs that bring back that 'one time' for you?



No Filter

>> Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This weekend I went to my friend Dana's baby shower. In the middle of the shower with everyone admiring her cuteness Lily looked at me and said "Ahhhhhhllll Shhhheeeetttt" Well that can only mean two things in my world

1. All Set!

Yeah we don't ever say that. So pretty sure that wasn't it.

2. Ah Shit!

Yep pretty sure that is what it was. Right in front of everyone. It never fails does it? At the worst most embarrassing times is when stuff like this rolls out her mouth. It is like Mommy after one too many Margaritas.

Then during dinner last night she looked right at me and said "Mommy you suck" then continued to eat as if nothing happened. Thanks for that one Michael, oh by the way he was laughing...really hard. Hey she had to have heard it somewhere.....

Quite opinionated isn't she? Don't know where she gets that either.



I showed you Verizon!

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

The end is here Verizon. Wanna catch up on the three month battle? Click Here

Dear Verizon,

Now who is laughing with my 99 cents a month discount! Yeah I did it. Good-bye crappy phones and hello lover....

Granted my new lover is a little more "mature" as I like to put it. What can I say I like an older man?! I just didn't buy into the hype of the new shinier version. :cough cough and I am cheap cough cough: But whatever I still love it! Now let's see if you can keep up with me shall we?

Oh and the dropped calls from the crappy LG Phone are no more!

Welcome to the 21st century baby! I don't think Michael will know what to do when he can complete a text message or a business phone call. Wait he can surf the web too! This is unheard of. Now I don't blame you for LG's crappiness, but I do blame you for not replacing it so unfortunatly I have to end it between us.

Now I have to admit I will miss you but mainly because I hate change not because you pleased me in anyway over the past three months. But all good things must come to an end..... Peace out girl scout!

Your Once Loyal Customer Whom you Really (I mean Really) Pissed off,


Dear AT&T,

I swear if you make me eat my words, you will wish you were never born. Trust me.

Love Your Apple Junkie,




I Basically Gave my Child up for Adoption!

No not my real child. My dog child. I feel so horrible thanks to my guilt ridden husband.

First a little back story. We are not a three dog family. Well we never intended on being one. Until that one day in the December of 2005...or was it 2006? Anyways. We rescued Cesna from our evil neighbors who never gave him any love and he was stuck outside all of the time. Of course we took him in with the intention of finding him a new home. Until I found him a new home...

Then my husband bascially had me crying with guilt about how sweet he acted and what a good dog he was. Then we kept him.

Four years later I am living in dog hair tumble weeds, with a two year, a husband that is like having another child, a brother in law that IS another child, and three dogs that I have no time to give attention to. :sigh: Lily loves Cesna and regularly belly flops on him and actually rode on his 108 pound back once. For which she proceeded to try and ride our 50 pound basset mix and 8 pound poodle. Yeah they were having none of that. By far he is her favorite.

But a girl can only take so much.

Then my Brother in law moved in and fell in love with Cesna. They play, they wrestle, Kevin lets Cesna lick him all over his face (uh gross!) etc. etc. He decided when he moved out he would take Cesna with him.

:Angels singing in backgroud:

The best of both worlds! I get to see him all the time because lets face it, Kevin will need to eat and watch our NFL Sunday Ticket. But his constant hair shedding and general prescence will not be irritating me on a daily basis. I may be able to sweep without yelling "MOVE!" four times per room. Why do they always lay where you are sweeping? I don't get it!

So Cesna was off this weekend along with my 20 year old brother in law. It is like a have a whole new house. With loads more room and an abudance of groceries. But when we went to visit the Bro's new pad yesterday Cesna tried to leave with us. It almost made me cry. Kevin said he is not eating either, and kind of just lays around (ummm completely normal by the way!). The other two dogs are moping and Lily asked my where Cesna was last night. WHY DO I FEEL SO GUILTY!!! The two dogs barely even played with Cesna since he was kinda of a loner. But I broke up the Eads pack and apparently now they are pissed! WHY DO I FEEL SO GUILTY!!!

Because long before Lily these three were my babies. And although everyone tells you they take a back seat when you have kids, you never believe it. That won't be us! I know this is what is best for both of us. My day to day life will be easier. My house will be cleaner, our morning routine will be shorter. It will be easier to travel. People are more accepting of the two smaller dogs. It will be cheaper to buy food. We now go through about sixty pounds of food a month between the three of them. Cesna is getting way more attention than he could ever imagine. More than we have to give. And that means the two at home are getting more since we don't have to spread it out as much. Not to mention with Michael traveling so much it is torture to take care of everyone while he is gone.

But it is still hard. I take comfort in the fact that we will see him often and that Kevin dog sits alot of the three will be reunited during these times. And that he is better off. And that there is a good chance brother in law will be so poor through the rest of college that we will get him back.

I just want you to know that I completely blame my husband for this. I was so happy until he started in on me.

Sometimes it is hard to do what is best for your babies. Human and dog.



Old Fashioned Fourth of July

>> Saturday, July 10, 2010

This Fourth of July we tried something a little different. We celebrated it in the USA unlike last year when we were in Switzerland. I will say it was good to be home with Lily this year. Something about family and sparklers and some good Southern food makes a perfect holiday. BBQ Ribs, Grilled Corn, a famous (or at least should be) American Flag cake decorated with NC finest strawberries and blueberries. Yum Yum.

We head out to the Garner, NC celebration at Lake Benson.

Along with every other person in the county....

We had a blast. We could not have had better weather. We actually come to this park all the time. In fact this very field is where Lily's adorable two year old pictures were taken (see header!). I love it because it is never crowded and there are tons of fun playgrounds and it is on the lake. 

We packed a picnic lunch and hung out in the field. The town had blow up houses and the playgrounds were open. They had live music and vendors. 

The girls had so much fun just running around and eating junk food. Most of the day they got carted around in the wagon.

Lily and Morgan swung for almost thirty minutes. This is by far Morgan's favorite activity. 

But we all know that Lily's favorite is sliding. We never did convince Morgan to go down it though. 

Thanks to Mimi the girls had matching outfits which led to "look at the twins!" Seriously? I don't think this one could have more Finley genes in her! Just like her Daddy. 

Of course I don't have any room to talk. This one is a spitting image of her Daddy too. Always looking up to him.
Me and my favorite niece! 

Tanya and Morgan

I love that sparkle in her eye!

Trying to get both of the girls to take a picture with me. Yeah it wasn't happening. 

Sliding Addict

The girls were so good together the whole weekend. Even sharing there Little Debbie Patriotic Snack.

Yeah it was a good day. That ended with a fantastic fireworks show that Morgan was scared of and Lily fell asleep through about halfway into the show. Who falls asleep during a huge fireworks show? An Eads baby that's who! Oh last but not least homemade ice cream served by Miss Garner herself. Oh yeah.



Found These....

>> Friday, July 09, 2010

I know I have been a little slack lately. Honestly I just looked on my camera and realized how far behind I really am!

I did find a few on my camera from June and I thought I would share. These are unedited ( I really am far behind!)

Birthday celebration with Mommy and Daddy at Frankies! Wow it was hot that day. Can you tell? We actually took a break after nine holes to cool her off.

What's up white Tiger Woods? Interesting fact. In the ten years we have had together...not once have I beat him in putt-putt. This is just him rubbing it in. 

Miraculously Lily got a hole in one every time. Could be because she hit and once and then carried it to the hole. But these are just details.

Playdate with Luke from the Faby Family Blog (click here). Try getting a picture with this little guy! Lily was chillin though.

Worse part of this day? Seeing Lily going under in a toddler pool and that moment of panic that hits your heart when you are sure she is going to drown although it has only been a half a second. Never has my lard arse moved so fast. Yes it can happen in even the shallowest of water. Always be within arms reach. I was thankfully. Sad part? I was panicking and she was asking to get back in the pool. Kids.

On Lily's Birthday we got her a toddler pool. As if seeing her almost "drown" didn't scar me enough. Yeah she loved it. 

I loved the yellow polka dot bikini

And the baby belly

Father's Day 2010. Just a little something I whipped up with my loving it Organic Batter Blaster. Check out my Impact Dash Article on it HERE.  Get it. Love it! Cute pancakes galore and no mess. Oh and yummy. 

Yeah that is a star...I rock.

I just threw this in because I love it. Thinking about making it the new header. Any thoughts?