Birthday, Bagged Lunch, and Brawls- OH MY!

Last week was crazier than normal…
Daddy’s birthday was on Monday.
My hubby turned 32, which is nice because I like him being a year older than me-
it’s soup for the soul… my soul.
The kids made him a cake and decorated it all by themselves!
Don’t believe me?
Check it out.
I stopped by Buffalo Wild Wings (it’s like crack for him)
and picked up dinner- a special birthday treat because we NEVER get take out.
the words on their take-out boxes are so appropriate…
We also got Daddy a watch and a movie for his birthday.
The kids picked the watch (well, with my help…
otherwise Daddy would be wearing a Spiderman or Dora watch).
Kaia wanted to get Daddy a toilet for his birthday…
and while I thought it was a very considerate gift,
we went with the watch instead.
Grammy came over to have a piece of cake with us.
It was quite a birthday!
On Wednesday, Aidan had his first field trip!
and he was excited to help pack his bagged lunch for the day…
I let him slip in some extra treats.
His class went to Belvedere Plantation,
where he got to bring home a pumpkin.
He told me all about the pumpkin patch,
and the animals at the petting zoo.
He had a blast!
He kept swinging his pumpkin around by the stem,
 and I told him that the stem would fall off…
and it did.
… and this is how he decided to fix it…
Yep, that’s sticky tape.
And I guess he wanted to decorate using one of the ever-popular “No carve” methods this year.
This pumpkin now has “Aidan” written all over it with sharpie.
David’s football game was Friday.
We knew it was going to be a high-emotion game,
because it is where David and Hylton’s head coach used to coach two years ago.
When the weather was cold and rainy on Friday,
I decided not to go.
Instead, I took the kiddoes over to my sister’s house for a delicious taco dinner.
When I got home, I started the laundry and waited anxiously for David’s call after the game to get the score.
I normally hear from him right after the game or so,
but it was 11:30PM before I got his text.
Apparently, a brawl broke out after their game while the two teams were lining up to shake hands.
It was started by members of Potomac’s team and even involved their coaches.
The cops came and arrested a couple of parents who were threatening Hylton’s team.
Luckily, despite some bumps and bruises, no one was badly injured,
the entire thing was caught on film at the end of the game tape,
so you can see that Potomac started it.
That is one game I’m glad my kids didn’t see.
BUT David’s team remains UNDEFEATED.
They now have a 9-0 record.
Only one more regular season game before playoffs!
Go Hylton!
The weekend was crazy too,
(it’s kinda a common theme around here)
and I will be sure to fill you in soon!
Trick-or-treating tonight!
Happy Halloween!

…and we all FALL down!

As you know, we had lots of fall plans last weekend.
David’s team won again, the score 7-0.
Their game was actually featured on Fox News’ Game of the Week

Talk about a nailbiter…
but now we are 8-0 overall and scheduled to play the Potomac Panthers on Friday,
the team David used to coach for two years ago… should be interesting!
On Saturday, we had Fall Festival at Hazelwild with the Hamakos.
The kids had a BLAST and their favorite thing,
to my surprise,
was the haunted house!
Here are some shots from the day:
(Note: this is one of Kaia’s classmates.  Addi always says she wants to kiss him.  Addi is 3.  That is all.)
Family picture flop.
Family picture flop. again.
Then we were off to the best Halloween party of the year!
Check these decorations out!
I didn’t even take a picture of the dinner spread
the candy apple martinis!
(which I had three of…)
Needless to say,
after such a fun-filled day,
the kids fell asleep in the car on the way home.
We have another busy weekend ahead of us
and I am LOVING the smell of fall in the air-
the holidays are just around the corner!

Google Keyword Search

I’m strangely proud to say that the following keywords
have directed people to
this week:
“Top Gun Volleyball Scene”
“Girl Eating Popcorn Crazy”
“Arrange Photo Frames on Wall”
“I love you, Daddy”
and perhaps my personal favorite…
“Monster Margarita”
Keep searching, America!

Fun Weekend Plans

Happy Friday!
Got plans?
I’m PUMPED for a full weekend of fall events
David’s football game tonight
(where I’ll be cheering for Hylton to beat Woodbridge,
and thinking of David’s best friend, George, who is tying the knot at the same time),
a fun Fall Festival at Kaia’s school on Saturday with the Heavenly Hamakos,
a happenin’ Halloween party with the Higgins & McFarland Family,
… and all of that probably means that I’ll have a laundry date on Sunday!
Not quite the culminating event that I would prefer to cap off the weekend,
but if it means that I’m living it up the rest of the time,
then here’s to Laundry Sunday!

Vance-Anthes Wine Festival

I’ve mentioned my longtime friend, Kim, before here,
so you already know how much I heart her.
We got to hang out over the weekend at my house,
and apparently the “Vance-Anthes Wine Festival”
happened to be at the same time and location.
There was lunch.
Chicken crescent squares made by yours truly.
There was Riesling.
There was heart-to-heart conversations where we both laughed, listened, and sipped.
There was Moscato.
There was the creation of a brilliant business plan… or so we thought at the time.
There was cornhole with the kids.
There was Gewürztraminer.
There was NO judgment on my part when we opened the third bottle… just to clarify.
There were gymnastics moves on my lawn (some perfectly executed and others… not so much.)
There were underdogs and reverse underdogs on the swing with Kaia-boo.
There were some adult underdogs.
There was a promise to do it all again soon.
And there was a mommy in bed before her kids that night.

Who let the dawgs out?

Somehow my 5 year-old knows this song….
and he corrected me on how many “barks” to sing after saying, “Who let the dawgs out?!”
He claims it’s only two,
but I know I am right.
Who let the dogs out?
Woof, woof, woof, woof.
There are four.
It didn’t matter though, because his version is adorable,
and quite appropriate for him to sing at Hylton’s football game on Friday night.
They are the Bulldogs.
They are 7-0!
I took all three kids with me on Friday,
and they LOVED it.

We packed up some hot chocolate and snacks.
I made the kids go potty before we left, when we got there,
and I still had to take them all the way back up the hill to the potty at the end of the 3rd quarter.
I had the double stroller with me because I thought I would be carting all three sleeping kids back to the car after the game, but they were actually all still awake and found a burst of energy under the Friday night lights.
They had so much fun,
they are already asking to go to Daddy’s football game this week.
So we may have reached the point when our little family can start consistently cheering on Daddy’s team
in person on Friday nights.
They called Hylton’s bulldog,
the J-M-U Duke Dog all night…
and I’m kinda okay with that.

Care to dance?

I. love. weddings.
I love everything about them.
The opportunity to dress up.
The emotion of the day.
Watching a couple pledge their love to each other.
The open bar.
The food.
The cake.
The dancing.
The open bar.
(you knew I was going to repeat that, didn’t you?)
Last weekend was the perfect fall weather for a wedding.
My cousin, Jason, married his patient girlfriend of EIGHT years, Ryan, in Stroudsburg, PA.
It was everything I hoped for and love about weddings.
A little wedding pre-game at the hotel bar with my sistahs…
Transportation to and from the wedding.
NO ONE has to be the DD!


Beautiful string duet playing current and relevant music.
Getting to see the M.O.G. (Mother of the Groom), my favorite Aunt DeDe!

A beautiful and personal ceremony…
Isn’t she a knockout?
The cocktail hour was AMAZING…
see how happy I was?
even though a different appetizer was served every few minutes,
Chris still felt the need to pretend to eat my sister.
The drinks flowed like wine…
After we filled up on appetizers and beverages,
it was time to move to the dining room
for a full seated dinner…
I had the salmon,
but there was also steak to choose from…
… and if that didn’t fill you up, you could have SECONDS.
The men were in total disbelief.
AND, of course, there was cake.
… and dancing…
We were awesome… but I’m sure you can see that.
Here’s my older brother and his lovely wife…
Shin had to work until 2AM on Saturday morning,
then they left early that morning to drive to the PA wedding,
and woke up at 6AM on Sunday to drive back to VA so that he could make his 3PM shift.
Then there was a lovely brunch hosted by Ryan’s parents on Sunday morning,
which we hit up before starting our drive home.
I missed my kids,
but they were in Kimiki’s able hands during her fall break.
She made it very clear to me that they didn’t miss me that much, because they were having so much fun.
Thanks for that, Kim.
So hopefully someone else will tie the knot soon,
’cause I need to get jiggy wit’ it.

66 Minutes of FUN… allegedly.

For working parents,
spending time with your kids can’t always be about quantity.
We have to focus on QUALITY.
So even though I got to spend the entire day with Addi yesterday,
and most of the day with Kaia,
I still only got to spend 4 hours with all three of my babies
from the time Aidan got out of school,
until bedtime.
The Challenge?
Kelle is in a word- fantabulous.
She inspires people to suck the marrow out of life.
“You take what you are given and you work with it. You smile and you love the bejesus out of everyone around you for every second you’re blessed to do it. You make it work, and you give it–you give them–your all, your passion, the secret part of your heart that says things you want them to hear. Like “you mean more than any of this.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
Even though they are her words,
it is exactly what I feel in my heart.
I hope at the end of the day,
my kids feel that they mean more to me than any of this.
So, challenge accepted.
60 Minutes to give them my all.
Rather than rushing the kids home,
turning on the tube,
making dinner,
soaping them up,
I buckled them in their car seats,
and told them we were going on an adventure!
Every day we pass by Peek’s Nursery, which is now set up for Halloween.
So we spent the first 33 minutes there-
running through the pumpkins,
going down the makeshift slides,
looking at the flowers…

Chivalry is dead, folks.


… and it was fun.

But I’m gonna be straight with you,
not all 33 minutes were sunshiney, feel good, minutes…
Kaia got her foot stuck between one of the hay bales and the huge tube slide, which resulted in a heroic mommy moment- the kind where a mom exhibits super strength and lifts a VW car off her child-
it was just like that.
Aidan forgot that we don’t throw rocks, which resulted having to correct him… several times.

Everyone fought over who was going to help carry the yellow mums that we got to jazz up our porch.

No one was ready to get back into the car when the trip was over and Peek’s was closing,
which resulted in some major whining.

I could’ve stopped then and made it 33 minutes of fun.

But instead, I pretended that the HUGE BLOW-UP Frankenstein at Peek’s
was trying to get us, and we had to get out of there STAT!
The kids’ thought I was hysterical,
the frowns were turned upside-down,
and we were off to our next adventure.

Every year we take our kids’ pictures in front of Spotsylvania High School,
on top of the spirit rock that sports the year of the graduating class.

(SHS is where David and I started dating,
and it’s nice to have the year painted on the rock for obvious scrapbooking reasons…
not that I have time to scrapbook anymore.)

so we spent the last 27 minutes or so of our “power hour*” at SHS.
(*totally different meaning than when I was in college)

You may remember this momentous occasion from last year…

Maybe you can get an idea of just how momentous of an occasion last year’s successful picture was
from this year’s outtakes?

Then Aidan wanted to take a picture…
Then Kaia wanted to take a picture…
Then they started posing around the flagpole…

And we spent the rest of the hour playing freeze tag in the front of the school.
Then, it was time to go home,
and start going through our nightly routine.
Homework, dinner, bath, storytime, bedtime.
And when I heard little voices from the girls’ room and poked my head in to tell them it was night night time, not talky talky time,
Kaia said, “Mommy, we were just talking about all the fun we had today.”
And when I went to tuck Aidan into bed,
he said, “Mommy, we forgot to say our Hail Mary.”
I squeezed my boy,
 and told him how proud I was of him for reminding me to do such an important thing.
And we prayed together.
And I thanked God for all my little blessings,
and for every second of fun we were blessed with yesterday
that we could
“love the bejesus out of everyone around [us]…”
We took what we were given, and we worked with it.

And one, and two, and…

So, I don’t want to get ahead of myself or anything,
 because I’m not one to get overly excited,
*cough what-are-you-lookin’-at cough*
but I’m pretty sure my girls are going to be recruited to play the lead in The Nutcracker one day.
Better buy your tickets NOW,
that’s all I’m sayin’.
‘Cause I KNOW talent when I see it…
…and this is it…
Talent was definitely not the girl who was picking her nose in class.
Talent wasn’t the little Miss Goody-two-shoes who was practicing her positions before class started when the teacher told her it wasn’t time to start yet…
okay, maybe she was talented.
Talent is *right* here.
and *here.*
It doesn’t matter that Kaia got pudding on her leotard right before class started.
It doesn’t matter that Addi didn’t want to spin around with the magic wand at the beginning of class-
sometimes you just need to watch everyone else go first to size up the competition.
It doesn’t matter that they kept waiving to me throughout their class,
even though we were only 5 feet away from each other.
It doesn’t matter that Addi had to go poopy with 15 minutes left to go in class,
or that she tugged on her teacher’s pants when she returned and proudly announced,
“Hey, Dance Teacher, I went poopy on the potty!”

They tip-toed like princesses sneaking into the garden,

and were quiet little mice eating their piece of cheese.

It doesn’t matter that they still have trouble seeing over their adolescent potbellies,
in fact, their little bellies make them even more talented in my eyes-
can you imagine a prima ballerina jumping and spinning with a chubby little belly??
She couldn’t do it… not like my Addi.

Maybe I’m just a proud mama,
but I believe they have a gift.

Can’t you see it?
Well, I don’t care what you think.
They. Are. Beautiful.

GNO GDO (Girls’ Day Out)

Last week was a crazy work week,
involving more late nights away from my babies than I prefer.
And by the end of the week,
my babies were missing me.
And I was missing them.
So I plan to take a day off from work tomorrow
to give them the quality time they deserve.
I will drop Aidan off at the bus stop,
take Kaia to preschool,
spend a few hours with Addi doing girly things,
then watch my girls’ FIRST DANCE CLASS,
cuddle with them at rest time,
pick Aidan up from the bus stop,
make a tasty dinner,
(being sure to take my time and let my kids help with the process),
and then enjoy the challenge of 66 minutes of fun
all while Daddy is coaching a football game.
Game on.