Thursday, September 22, 2011

To Do: Make an EEEEEEasy wreath!

My last name starts with E, if you didn't already know that.  Of course, you probably aren't stopping by my house if you didn't (or I hope not anyway).  But just in case you missed the E on the mini flag in the front landscaping, or don't notice our monogram above our bed, or miss the cursive E on the crock holding my kitchen utensils, I thought I would give you one more opportunity.  This one is a little harder to overlook since it's right there in the middle of the front door!

I've had the same flower arrangement on my door for the past 2 years...except when being replaced by occasional holiday decor.  Unfortunately, the way the door sets back, it seemed to hit you in the face as you opened the door.  That's always a great way to greet visitors!  Plus, the wasps seemed to enjoy it as their new home.  Again, not a pleasant welcome.

I found this super E-asy (get it?) craft project on that handy, dandy website Pinterest.  To make yours, here's the directions.

She fails to mention that you'll likely lose the tips of your fingers from all the hot glue.  And I had to also cover the back due to having a glass door.  I went with a burlap ribbon too instead of satin.  But E-asy it is!
Here's the finished project.  (Except this new program won't let me put your head on your right shoulder and use a little imagination.)  Or better yet, stop by sometime!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To Do: Embarrass myself just for this blog!

OK blog fans--I want you to know I did this all for YOU!  (and Matt)

While we were at the Razorback game, I was told that there was a certain Arkansas celebrity in our section.  I looked down, and there he was.  Guesses?  Here's a distance shot.

It's Kris Allen!

So, after much convincing (much!), I told Matt we would see after half-time about getting a photo.  Of course, by the time we got back to the stands, it was nearly time for the 2nd half to start.  Matt will tell you there was like 3 minutes left.  I will tell you that the crowd was seated, fired up and all eyes were on the field. So Matt yells "Hey, Kris.  Can we get a picture?"  Poor guy, just trying to enjoy the game.  I literally was squatting on a bench a few rows back because I was so humiliated.  It's not like we were the only ones asking for a picture, but I felt like it was something either drunks or 10 year olds did.  But Kris just nodded like it was no big deal and came to shake my hand.  Did I tell you I was embarrassed?  I think I told him that and then said "you know my friend, Chassity Jordan!"  I mean, I thought we would bond over having a mutual friend.  He just nodded.  Nothing.  (Chassity, have you been lying to me all this time???)  So blog fans...a drum roll please....

One shot.  That's all I got.  Matt was literally shaking like he had Parkinson's or something.  I can't believe the photo isn't blurry.  He will tell you it was from beer and then holding the camera (our small camera at that) up.  I will tell you that he was just as nervous. 

And of course, one of Kris' friends jumps in the photo.  I had no clue.  It wasn't like I could ask to look at the photo and tell him that it looks like I have a double chin, could we try again!  They told us to buy his new album.  Matt said something corny like "Hey man, I watched you on American Idol"  (No, I'm not making that up!).  Oh, it was memory.  All for you!

Note: We noticed as we were leaving after the game that many fans chose to ask for a picture after the game.  How lame!

* Matt would like for me to add that he had the camera in his right hand and nachos and a drink in the other, thus the shaking.  Oops, I forgot that detail.  I wasn't thinking about him!

* My friend Chassity has since sent Kris a text giving him crap about scoffing at her name.  Maybe Kris will now be a blog follower...ha!  I bet he is talking about me on Twitter right now.

* Chassity also noted that the guy in the background of the photo is Kris' brother.  That's what the dude told me, but I sure didn't believe him.

To Do: Call the Hogs

Confession: I feel a little two-faced when I don my red & white Razorback apparel.  But, it is what it is. 

I feel like it's ok to be a Razorback football fan and an Illini basketball fan.  Yes, that's called a "fair weather fan". 

Saturday we went to our second University of Arkansas football game.  Two times a year, the football game is actually held in Little Rock, instead of Fayeteville.  Tailgating is to the extreme!  This was our first experience with the LR atmosphere--it seemed like people went for miles! 

We got to hang out in the Sysco tent with our neighbors.  The boys went about 10am.  The girls came around 3pm. 

Best part: people watching of course! 

Oh, and this "tradition" just cracked me up.  You would have thought there was another shooting in the area, but nope, instead like 20 police cars are escorting the buses that the players are on. 

Everyone ran to the street and started waving like they knew them.  I was told "we DO know them!"  For all we know, with the tinted windows, the buses may have been empty!  It just made me chuckle.

Another tradition is called something like "running through the A" (I'm sure I'll be corrected).  

Because the game was held the eve to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the crowd was asked to dress in either red or white, depending on your section #.  Seemed like a great idea until I found out we had to wear white.  Luckily, I had a white shirt, but after hitting at least 10 stores, I gave up on trying to find Matt one.  I literally found 1 t-shirt and it was a size small.  Matt (like many others) just went with a plain shirt instead.  I thought for sure that everyone else surely faced the same problem and the red/white scheme would flop. 


I have to admit, it was awesome!  The student section (and cheerleaders) had special 9/11 blue shirts.  Even the hog in the center of the field was patriotic.  A moment of silence and a flyover by the local Air Force topped it off. 

We had been looking forward to this game for awhile--and had a great time!   

Can't wait to Call the Hogs again....Wooooooo Pig Soooieee!! 


Monday, September 12, 2011

To Do: Remember 9/11

When the slogan came out 10 years ago saying "We will never forget", they weren't kidding.  It's impossible to forget.  I didn't realize how true that slogan would be years later. 

My DVR is still filled with nearly every documentary that was available this weekend.  I'll watch them all.  It's amazing that 10 years later there is so much I'm still learning.  I watched several shows over the past week or so--learned about the building of the memorial; watched again the only video taken inside the towers (CBS special--must watch!); discovered that nearly everything in the buildings just vaporized, including bodies; Found out that Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett's widow and daughters now live in Little Rock; Heard the stories from ticket takers and air controllers and put a face to the man who was ordered to shoot down the planes.  It all is still so hard to take in and comprehend.

My story of "where were you" is somewhat embarrassing.  I was the Pre-K Family Coordinator, working that day in Blue Mound, at the same school building where I attended K-8 grade.  My office was totally secluded--up the stairs on the stage in the gymnasium. 

Because of P.E. classes, I usually kept my door closed.  And when I'm at work, I love silence--so no radio.  I read on someone's Facebook page yesterday that she was getting her son ready for the first day of Pre-K.  Because there was lots of tears and chaos on the first day, I usually helped out in the Pre-K classroom on the first day.  Needless to say, because of that distraction or the lack of internet and radio, I didn't even hear about the attacks until I went to lunch.

My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Blakeman, told me about a plane hitting buildings in New York.  I figured it was sad, but didn't really realize the impact.  Then, I remember my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Edwards, coming into the teachers' lounge talking about terrorism.  I really have to admit that I didn't know what that meant.  It wasn't something I had ever faced before.  Once the kids cleared the cafeteria, we went and turned on the giant t.v. in there.  This was nearly noon, so we just watched in horror as they replayed the days events.  I just remember seeing how shocked and saddened the other teachers were too. 

Ironically, the school decided that day to not tell the students.  They told them that something historical had happened that was sad that their parents would be talking about.  To this day, I still find that decision odd.  But then again, I just remember how shocked and scared we were.  I guess at the time it seemed best not to have all the kids scared. 

After school, I went straight to Dippin' Merv's (Matt's business).  I just had to see him.  I watched the tiny 13" t.v. with Matt and talked with all the customers who came in to also watch and just talk.  There was a gas station next door and across the street.  We watched the prices at each station increase constantly, and the lines overflowing onto the highway.  I remember the panic that we would never be able to get gas once the tanks were empty.  Our little town was 15 miles from town.  I knew I only had like 1/4 tank but I took my chances because I didn't want to wait for what I heard was hours.  I also remember the panic and fear that we all felt we were going to die that day.  Here I was, thousands of miles from New York, living in a town of 1200 in the middle of corn fields.  But, I felt like we could be next.  A rumor started that if ADM, a giant soybean production site, in nearby Decatur would explode, we would all die. 

The next day at school, Mrs. Edwards (the most patriotic person I've ever met) had ribbons for us to wear.  We wore them every day for weeks.  I kept that ribbon for many years, but realized today that I must have finally gotten rid of it.  I wish now I still had it. 

But ribbon or no ribbon, I know that the memory of that day is ingrained in my head forever!  We really won't forget!

To Do: Girls Weekend!

It came.  And it went.  Our Girls Weekend flew by!

My friend, Sophie, had been planning on coming out from Alabama  for awhile.  We decided to wait until we knew the baby's gender...because it's not a Girls Weekend without shopping.  So a couple of weekends ago, Sophie left her kiddos and hubby behind to come see ME!  How sweet!  We didn't have much planned, but of course, our days filled up.

Friday we went down to Hot Springs.

She had been before, but requested going to tour an actual bath house.  It's something I had only done once myself, and still find it so fascinating to step back into that life. 

It was of course hot in Hot Springs that day so we probably could have both stood to use a bath!

We spent the rest of the day shopping!  We went to several great antique stores (hunting down letters of course for the nursery), went to a nice pub for lunch, and then headed towards home.  But...on the way, we went past the brand new HomeGoods store--one of my ultimate favorite stores!  I heard the new store was opening the next day, but we drove by to see if by chance maybe I was wrong.  Guess what?  We saw a bunch of old men coming out with shopping bags.  Yes!  We cruised up and down the isles to park, then headed in.  An old lady greeted us as the door and asked for our "invitation."  Crap!  But a little sweet talking and in we went.  We felt so special!  Oh, but it was like the day after Thanksgiving in there.  Craziness I tell ya.  We walked out with only matching ghosts for our yards this fall--but a good laugh too!

Saturday, we headed to Little Rock to do, yep, more shopping!  We racked up some letters at Hobby Lobby and Gordmans then had lunch at one of our favorites--Jason's Deli. 

I forgot to mention that on Friday, there was big news here in Arkansas.  3 men accused of murdering some Boy Scouts years ago in West Memphis were let out of jail suddenly.  Freed.  It's all too complex for me.  But sounds like DNA evidence has since come about not linking them.  Apparently everyone in the state seemed to be pretty excited about it.  The Memphis 3 was made into a movie and of course, true Arkansans know all about.  Sophie and I were clueless but became obsessed with the news coverage. 

On Saturday, we decided to do another history lesson and learn more about the Little Rock 9.  We went to Central High in downtown Little Rock...but unfortunately, they don't do tours on the weekend.  Still, the school was stunning.
This is the site where 9 black students rebelled segregation, risking their lives just to go back to school.  I'm sure it's something we browsed over in history class at one point in school, but these people are legends around here.  Hopefully one day I can do the real tour.

After our sightseeing trip, we then met Matt at the movie theatre to go see The Help.
Seriously, if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I'm telling you, you need to stop reading this blog and do it now.  I did both and loved both!  Matt even loved the movie! 
That night the three of us tried out a restaurant we had heard about in Benton.  It's called Ed and Kays.  From the outside, it looks like an old, run-down diner (not quite like Cothams).  They are especially known for their mile high meringue pies.

 But...our waitress failed to tell us we should order them first and of course, we just missed getting the last piece.  But my fudge pie and Sophie's german chocolate pie weren't too shabby. 

I wish every weekend could be this fun!!  Thanks Sophie for coming to visit!  Ya'll come back now you hear!

Friday, September 9, 2011

To Do: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Here it was, almost the end of summer, yet Matt & I still hadn't made it out to a single baseball game this year.  Leave it to us to wait till their last weekend at home. 

We packed up the leftovers from our yard sale, then headed to the ballpark in downtown North Little Rock with our great neighbors/friends for a minor league game.  Jeremy was able to score us some great seats too! 

 Yes, when I say great seats, I mean "behind the net".  You may recall me telling you about my sister Sherry's near-death experience last summer when a line drive came so fast we couldn't even speak up, and hit the seat right next to her.  I also nearly got hit last year while leaving the concession stand, with food and drinks in both hands (not that I could have caught it anyway).  So when our view consisted of the life shield, I was relieved. 

That was until...the boys went to grab some food and Lindsay and I were just chatting away (but thankfully watching).  Of course, here comes a darn ball right towards us.  Lindsay grabbed the baby and took tornado-like covering.  I think I just gacked and screamed.  It's hard to tell, but see the man in the white shirt 2 rows behind us--yep, he got hit. 

 Even though it was a little hot, we still had a good time.  Jonathan got to see his first baseball game.  He's such a good & happy baby--and obviously just a doll! 

 Look at his face when the cheerleaders came out!  (And notice all of the other guys' reactions in the background too)

 Katelin was a good sport too...and like me...loved all the good food the best!

And I'll leave you with a sign that we truly were in Arkansas for this game.  Notice anything unusual on the menu?  Needless to say, I just stuck with a cheeseburger. 

To Do: Paint a Razorback

This project was on Matt's to-do list, but I can finally tell you about it. 

It all started this summer when Matt & our neighbor, Jeremy, were helping each other build decks for our houses. Somehow, that led to Matt paiting a ginormous Razorback on the wall in Jeremy's garage.  (He's a big hog fan if you couldn't guess).  Matt used a grid over a picture print out to help him eyeball the design.  Pretty impressive, isn't it? 

He recently convinced the next house over, Simon's, to have Matt paint the Razorback on his garage floor.  (Note: his garage is immaculantly clean). Jeremy is determined that Matt is also going to paint "Go Hogs" on the back roof, so all the planes that fly over have a view.  Boys!

Anyway...Matt showed off pictures of his Razorback mural to some buddies at work, and then came the next task.  CAT was asking staff to give donations to be auctioned off, with profits going to United Way.  Matt has a good heart, and has also  lived with a former non-profit worker long enough to know to give to UW.  So, his donation was that he would paint a Razorback for someone else.

Here's the funny part: The winning bidder--The VP from Peoria, IL!  You may want to know Matt is already called "Goldenboy" at work by some peers.  But this would surely put him over the top!  We wondered if Matt was going to be flown to IL to draw the chief or a big letter I.  But nope, the VP had another idea.

His plan was that he wanted Matt to draw some sports symbols on the Little Rock Plant Manager's wall--yes, the top dog here.  But here's the kicker: Not only was he going to draw them when the Plant Manager was out of town for the weekend, but the icing on the cake was what he was drawing.  The PM is a huge Bears and Cubs fan.  Here's the final product:

Yikes!  The PM was actually on his way to Peoria to meet with the VP.  Somehow they managed to show the PM at the meeting what had been done while he was away.  The PM was convinced it was all done in PowerPoint.  Sorry!  And the VP is making him sit in front of the wall in a few weeks via a video phone conference so he can make sure that the PM has left it up for awhile.  As of today, Matt still has a job  :)

In fact, last weekend, he started another painting project.  "Goldenboy" is livening up the sterile, plain walls with the CAT logo right outside the cafeteria doors.  This time, his handy assistant got to help! 

It still needs a few touchups, but it's looking good!  

Gee, I wonder what will be next?

To Do: Week 23 Appointment

Oops, I wrote this on Sept 2 but forgot to post it.  So add a week (and a lb or two)

Monday I went to the baby doc for my check-up.  All is good in his caccoon.  It's hard to believe that 4 weeks ago I was feeling his first kicks.  Now, Mateo makes it quite well known when he is awake--which is mostly at night!  Eeks!  And come 5am, he is raring to go, just like his daddy.  He'll probably come out saying "the sun's a burnin;"  His heartbeat is around 150, which is high for a boy.  Doc says that just means he is active.  No kidding!  I'm telling you, he is going to be hyper. 

It feels kind of silly to stand againest the wall and show off my bulges (because they appear in both front & back!)...but I hear ya.  I finally convinced Matt to at least let the pose be away from that drab, khaki wall that made me look sick.  So instead, we went with our flowers that look sick after enduring a brutal heat wave this summer.   Since 90% of you live far away, here is my 23 week pose. 

I've grown quite a bit since last month.  Or at least I feel like I have!  Gaining a pound a week doesn't sound so terrible until it starts happening.  Not that it's terrible--just happens fast!  I went up 4 lbs and grew 4 cm out--which both are right on target. 

Next month it will be time for my glucose test.  It's one of my biggest fears in pregnacy.  I seriously will cry if I can't have my breads, potatoes, and sweets!  Especially since I've noticed that I'm almost always hungry! 

So that's what's new with Mateo and me.  We are quite a pair :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

To Do: Organize Photos

One of the projects I wrote down to on my to-do list as soon as I quit my job was to organize the giant tub of photos that were in the guest closet.  Oh, it was a dreaded project. 

But it's done.  Well, as done as it's going to be!  I didn't label pictures or empty albums, but I did take all of the loose photos and categorize them.  Here is the ta-da:

All of the scrapbooks (once upon a time when I made those) and completed albums went into one tub.  Then I have random pictures in one box, college in another (though most are in albums), and family in another.  It's one of those projects that I can now say "why didn't I do that a long time ago?"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To Do: Make a Nursery

Earlier this spring, I was telling you that I really needed to clean out the closet in the office.  First of all, it's "supposedly" the safest, most interior room in our house--considering tornado warnings happen about as much as heat advisories here!  Secondly, the office must now become the nursery.  (After much debate, we kept the guest room--ha!).  I can't believe I am showing you the BEFORE picture again:

But fortunately, I do have an AFTER picture this time!  I literally pulled everything out (sold a good portion of it at our yard sale), wiped it out, and moved a few things to the guest bedroom closet.  And now, that closet is starting to fill us with cute little boy clothes, diapers, books & toys, and fun goodies like that. 

Ok, but really, you haven't waited weeks for me to write just to see an empty closet! 

What many of you want to know is...what is the theme for the nursery?  And as much as this girl loves themes, there really isn't a definite theme!  If anything, I guess the theme would be considered "vintage".  Here is a sneak peak at our plan:

* As you can see from the photos above, the walls are a mustardy yellow color.  We just painted that room last fall and decided to just stick with it.  Once we get the furniture, we may change our minds, but for now, we will consider that part done.

* Our furniture has been ordered (and I'm hoping that it arrives this week so we can put the assembly on our to-do list this weekend).  Unfortunately, the room is small, so we could only get the crib and dresser on the right.  But oh, I love that tall dresser too!  The color is called cinnamon, so sort of close to an oak color.  We learned from our own bedroom furniture that the dark pieces are striking, but are truly dust magnets. It's hard to see in the picture, but both pieces have dental like molding on the top. 
* We debated for weeks about whether to go nautical (with a painting by Matt) or to go vintage.  But we finally decided that the vintage theme was just "us" and it fits the rest of our house well.  So the main feature wall will be above the dresser.  Here is our inspiration:

Searching for a variety of letters is an adventure, and one that we have already found to be challenging, yet fun! I won't show you what we've find until our final reveal.  So far we have 9 of the 26 letters.  Luckily, I have a handy husband that can cut out about any letter we don't find. 

* Our crib bedding is pretty neutral.  Yes, I know I could have put it on our registry, but I went ahead and ordered it online because I wanted to see if this is what we really wanted to use.  I couldn't find it in the stores and sometimes the Internet images aren't too accurate.  But luckily, it was as cute as this picture!   
* Finally, we plan on adding a variety of vintage decorative touches including old toys. 

Hopefully before Christmas we will be unveiling the final result!

To Do: Actually Blog!

Well my goodness, it's been awhile, eh?  I will tell you that I will try to get better, but I know it's not the first time I've said that either!  And to top it off, the blogger dashboard has changed--scary!

Alot has happened since my last post August 12th: I deep cleaned about 1/2 of my house; Sold a bunch of junk at my yard sale; My friend, Sophie, came to visit me for a girl's weekend; I got to babysit one of the world's cutest (and best) 11 month old's, Quinn for 5 days; Went to a baseball game; I went to my baby doctor; I've done a bit of baby shopping AND Christmas shopping; We started working on the nursery; and probably oh so much more.  (And probably a whole lot of nothing as well!).  Maybe one day I'll tell you more about some of these adventures! 

Stay tuned!