Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Christmas, come and gone...

I haven't posted in awhile for two reasons -
1. I didn't want to lose the picture of me at the top (totally selfish, I know!)
2. I was busy with Christmas. I LOVE Christmas!!

We had various activities here in the Solo household. Christmas parties, cookie decorating, caroling, church services... the same as across the world. As we were singing in church on Christmas Eve and I looked around, seeing lots and lots of friends and their children, I was filled with amazement. I was wondering how many people across the world were singing Christmas carols at that exact same time. All singing, all joyous, all for the same reason. I'm sure the angels loved it.

Molly did not have an extravagant Christmas list. An Easy Bake oven and Connect 4, which she got, and he threw in the Polly Pocket Jet for good measure.

Do you wonder who is taking the pictures? We have the best neighbor in the world, Rebecca. Not ONLY did she wrap all of the gifts and hide them at her house, but they came over before 7 on Christmas morning armed with a camera and fresh quiche for breakfast!! Boy are we going to miss her and Jim when we move....they are irreplaceable.

Michael had a short list, too. He asked for Lincoln Logs, Battleship, and Sorry. Santa delivered. It will be a sad, sad year when they ask for expensive gifts!! We are encouraging them to stay young and little as long as we can. They grow up only too fast....
Christmas is a funny time when you have kids. I think the best quote was from Michael as he was dumping out his stocking. Our kids get very little candy, so the contents are a bit..."different" from most stockings, I'm sure. Michael shouts out "YES!! My favorite MEAT!!" Santa had delivered some beef jerky. I had to sit there and laugh out loud at that one.
As I sit here and think about Christmas and all that we've done, I will have several favorite memories. A childhood favorite memory is watching out the door to see my grandparents driving down from Amherst, MA. They would have stopped by my aunts and uncles in northern VA and picked up all of the presents and be arriving like Santa's sleigh down the old dirt road. Grandma would have a blanket on her lap and Grandpa would be driving, because she never learned to drive. Can you imagine that today? We would all bound out of the house for hugs, kisses, and of course, to help unload all of those presents!!
An old-ish favorite memory is caroling at the VA hospital in OH with Chris's office. I love carols.
Now we are making new memories. I wonder if my kids will remember they got to eat dinner in their pajamas on Christmas night, and they didn't get dressed for 3 days because they were busy playing!?
Now, my friends, here is my question for you. What do you remember most about Christmas past, and what do you hope your family will remember about Christmas present?? (Even though I'm sure what our families will remember is NOT what we had planned for them to remember!!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Check ME out!

Now, let me tell you the short story behind the picture...

We had a book club weekend in Monticello. Erin is a photographer. A real one, actually. I know, I know, it seems like the "in" thing to do is buy an expensive camera, get a website, and start calling yourself a photographer. Everybody knows one of those. C'mon, don't sit there and pretend you don't. Someone who can't even get the subjects to look at the camera, much less get a decent shot of them. Well, Erin is not one of those. As evidenced by the photo.

I am not photogenic, that's no secret. I usually HATE having my picture taken, that's no secret either. I also don't like singing in front of anyone over the age of 4, but I digress. I knew that she was good at taking pictures. But I had never really been around her because I had my kids way before she started taking pictures. I had decided I did not want her to take my picture. Until she whipped it out. The camera, people...the camera. This is a family blog, remember?

All of the sudden, I realized it might be my one shot in life to get a decent picture. You know, the one to use for an obituary one day, or just to make me think that I - at one time - had a decent picture taken. And here it is, voila!

Please don't send me hate comments about your friends that bought expensive cameras and are great photographers. I already have Erin. She's the butter. Everyone else is just Parkay.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I've made a decision -

I've decided that I always want a table in my kitchen. It doesn't have to be big, or nice, or even totally cleaned off. Actually, a cheap flat surface will suffice. But here's why.

Last night was an evening that I had always dreamed of, yet one that you can't plan. I had gone to the gym, so I was only wearing work-out clothes. I was preparing dinner, unloading and loading the dishwasher, etc. Molly was doing her "math homework" for kindergarten which involved hiding a certain number of her ten bears in a cream cheese tub. She had to figure out how many were hidden by counting what was left on the table.
I had just gotten a book in the mail. Not just any book, mind you. The Book. The book that I had ordered a few weeks ago. It was from Snapfish and was our trip to Europe from August. I had used a coupon that came from Oprah (don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about here...!) and ordered the book. SO, Michael was sitting here reading the book with me helping out with hard words, like architecture. He was LOVING looking at the book and reading it. Loving it I tell you.
I was doing mommy stuff, and they were doing kid stuff. All was well, all were happy. Right there at the kitchen table. Mixed up with their Playmobil Advent calendar toys. I couldn't have planned his good reading, or her good math work. All I could plan was the yummy dinner. Sitting at the dining room table eating that dinner with Chris, Michael, and Molly was pure heaven.
Oh, the icing on the cake? Molly's headband that she was wearing was reindeer antlers. Complete with bells. I can't look at that sight and not smile.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Thankful Life

I usually reflect at Thanksgiving at all of the blessings we have in our lives and how good God is to us.

I was able to go to the kids' elementary school for Molly's feast. Who wouldn't be thankful for THIS??

My mom, dad, and brother all came up for the week, arriving after the game last Sat. night. I was excited to tell them all about the game, the tailgate, and what we had been doing lately. It was our last tailgate for many years (except for the Blue/White game) and although it was a sad thought, our friends helped us really enjoy it. Perhaps too much.

I'm thankful for the family we always tailgate with, go to church with, go to brunch with, have children's choir with, have dinner with, and go ice skating with. I guess we do a lot together each week, huh? Here we are at our tailgate. Prime real estate, I tell you.

My family sat around a lot this week and laughed playing games, watching football, movies, and going to Wegman's. I think my mom started a new tradition. Why cook when you can just order Thanksgiving dinner from Wegman's and enjoy the day together??

Oh, we did go to an Amish house for lunch again. The day was extended by trips to the Amish tackle and boot shop, then the soap and candle shop, and finally the dry goods shop. They had all kinds of things there. I looked at the Amish bonnets, wondered if I could dress up as an Amish lady for Halloween next year, and decided it probably wasn't in great taste. But that would have been cool, huh?

Here is my mom sitting around while I took a picture for her Facebook page.

Today Chris took the kids to Millbrook Marsh. I am thankful for this family of mine.

I'm thankful for a wonderful husband (he really is, I'm not just saying that...) and two beautiful, healthy, happy children. I wonder what I have done to deserve all of this. I'll never know. But I AM thankful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Did you hear?

Who passed his comprehensive exam and now only has to defend his dissertation in May?? Yup, my hubbie. Christopher James Solo. Soon to have a PhD.

Life is good in the Solo household. Real good.

We went to Great Wolf Lodge with Heather and Scott last weekend to celebrate. What an incredible time THAT was!! The kids were all old enough to play together while the adults rode slides, or they could go down the slides with us. The kids played like cousins all weekend. Just good ol' playing. And loving every minute of it... It was relaxing and fun with a best friend along. And to top it off, guess who we met for dinner?

Heather and I took the kids out of school for the day on Monday (yup, we teachers value our kids education!) and then on Monday night we stopped in D.C. to have dinner with Mark. A pretty perfect ending to a pretty perfect weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things I Want to Remember

- Molly got upset with Michael because she was left to pick up the game. She came out saying "He force-fielded. I have to pick up, but I won because he force-fielded." I think she meant he forfeited.

- We were talking about moving across country to Colorado again next summer, and how the dog and the cat don't get along. We discussed possibly getting two rooms, one for me and Michael and Bandit, and the other for Chris, Molly and Jamba. However, it would have to be a hotel that allows pets. Michael chimed in "Like the Hampster Inn?" I think HE meant Hampton Inn.

- Chris has the kids making a scrapbook for earning a Scouting badge. Michael glued a picture of them going into a haunted house at Acacia fraternity. His caption? "I whent to a hatetit hous." I don't think the brothers at Acacia would agree.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Explanation

That picture WAS the parade. The WHOLE parade. We walked around the block. That was it. People in the cars waved to us as we walked by, and the truck held up the traffic for us. We may have been small, both in stature and number, but boy, did we have FUN! It just cracks me up, still.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!!

We had our Veteran's Day Parade at school today, and it was the best ever. Check it out!

P.S. I found the camera!! On my dresser.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Where's the Camera?

Remember the old Wendy's commercial that said "Where's the beef?" (If you do, you are OLD.) Well, I feel like saying that for my blog. I have pictures on the camera, I just can't FIND the camera.

Imagine a picture here of the kids trick-or-treating.

This is Abby, Molly, Michael, and Carter.

Here is a pumpkin that Chris carved, too.

Now, imagine a picture here of Chris and I heading out to a formal on Sat. night.

When I find the camera, I'll post the pictures. Any ideas where it could be? We didn't take it to the formal with I have no idea. I guess if I cleaned the house, I'd find it. That's a big if.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Fun Friends

This is the email I got yesterday:


Most of you have heard me mention this pseudo-book club idea, now the time has come to make it happen! With all our schedules far too busy to actually finish a whole book (okay, perhaps that's just me), I would prefer to spend my time with the ladies eating, drinking and poking fun at the celebrities in tabloid magazines. Want to join me?

What: Magazine Club
When: Thursday, November 6th
TIME: 7:00 pm
Where: My house

We will be discussing the latest US Weekly and Star weekly celebrity rags. Just go to the store on Monday of that week and pick up the newest edition.

The intention is that the articles will fuel heated discussions as to the lack of reality in Hollywood, general silliness of those in the magazine and how both magazines are using the exact same photos/stories. Mostly though, it will be about drinking, eating and adult conversation! Hope you can make it!

Let me know via email if you can come!

See why it gets harder and harder to leave this town?? The funniest part? I was reading the email to Mark and called the magazine U.S. Weekly!! I can be SUCH a blonde...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another week gone.We took the kids to the pumpkin patch last weekend. I didn't even bother to take pictures. Seriously, if your youngest kid is in elementary school, they are too dang old to take a picture with a pumpkin!! If you want to see cute kids in pumpkin patches, check out my friends' blogs. They all have cute kids.

We brought it home and Chris carved jack-o-lanterns with the kids. They were in seventh heaven.
I tried to take pictures, but didn't have much luck.

Also, Michael joined Tiger Scouts. It's like Cub Scouts, but for first graders. Here he is in his uniform - so proud!

I've also been letterboxing on campus a few times. The first time we went with friends, I took Jean, Alexander and CJ with us.

Take notice that Alexander is missing from the photo. Here's why:

Hey, when a boy has to go, a boy has to go!

The kids finished soccer today and started ice skating lessons this evening. I'll have to remember a camera next time!

They grow up so fast, but each 'stage' is so much more exciting than the last. The pumpkin patch pictures we've outgrown, but now I get to listen to them chattering in the back seat about who they are going to "vote" for in their school election. Michael informed me that he wants to vote for Obama (he doesn't know his first name) because McCain wants us to fill our gas tanks every two minutes. I wonder which friend at school he heard THAT from? Molly wants to vote for McCain. Just because.

They really do crack me up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Is Here

Last weekend we went to a fall party. We got the EVite to the "2nd Annual Fall Festival" and all of the RSVP's were talking about how great it was last year. Hmm, I thought. Last year? Gosh, I didn't GET that invite.

So, I RSVP'd with the comment "Why didn't I get an invite last year?" The reply? "Well, it was the first month or so of school ( I taught their daughter last year) and we didn't want to look like we were trying to kiss your butt..." OK, it's not like they get report cards!!

We went last weekend, and check out the fun had by all at the Weyandt's.

This weekend is Homecoming. Mark and Kevin, two of my best friends from college, are in town for the parade and game. It's wonderful to be back together. We figured out we have known each other for 21 years. Boy, does that make me feel old.

That's just a random picture of Mikey when he was little.

Molly had a playdate the other week. The little girl was coming home with her on the bus, so the day before we all cleaned up. The kids were dusting, taking down dirty laundry, putting away toys, etc. I was vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, etc. We all worked pretty hard for just over an hour. Finally I said "Hey, thanks! The house looks pretty good." Molly replied "We didn't need to clean the house, Mom." I said "Sure we did - your friend is coming over tomorrow!" Molly's retort? "Well, when I went to her house last week, it was a DUMP. They had stuff behind the couch and everything!"

I just had to laugh.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Presidential Candidate... It's someone we know!

There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know!

Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I Hope I Don't Regret It

I've taken a plunge, and I really hope it's for the best. I've actually opened up a Stampin' Up website. For those of you in the dark (ok, almost ALL of you) I'll try to fill you in. I DO sell Stampin' Up, but I don't SELL it. Does that make sense? Imagine a Tastefully Simple chick who eats all of her stuff, and will sell it to her friends, but doesn't have any "shows". Well, that is me. But instead of food, it's stamp crap. Oops, I mean Quality Stamps and Stamping Products. ha ha

The pro? My friends from other states can now order without me having to log it in for them. They can order without having to WAIT for me to log it in is more like it. And it gets shipped directly to them.

The con? I don't want to be a naggy salesperson! It is my Hobby. Not my Business. I'm afraid it won't be as fun if I take it seriously. Oh, and I have to pay $14 a month for the darn thing!

Sort of like the studio. I know, I know, you are still waiting for pictures. We closed it for the month of August, and just re-opened it in late September. Here is the problem: It is our Hobby. We don't want to take out a loan from the bank to get it going, because then there is real $ involved. But with no money, we can't advertise. And we can't pay anyone to work there. So it has to be us working there hoping people come up. We do have a sign now to put outside and that brings people in, but not a lot.

But it is SO much more than just the studio! It is our hang-out, our fort, our place to laugh, have a drink, and bitch about life in general. If we had to take it Seriously, then it wouldn't be the same. Does that make sense?


Let me tell you how well my Mom knows me. So, I'm on the phone to her today, telling her I'm cleaning my side of the bedroom. She tells me she as to do the same thing, that she's done the nightstand, but not the floor. I tell her "Oh, I've done the floor, and now I'm working on my NIGHTSTAND!!" Her reply? "Yes, but what does the BED look like??" I had to laugh. I had all my clothes in piles All. Over. the. Bed.

At least I get my messiness honestly. I'm just like my mother. I hope I stay that way.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The First Day of Kindergarten.

It feels like so much of my job is done. I mean, I KNOW they are still little, and there is so much ahead of us. But there is also so much behind us. Playdates now ride the bus home with her, and I probably won't know the parents. I liked it when their playdates were MY friends' kids. It was more of a playdate for me, I admit, but I trusted them with my kids if I had to run somewhere quickly. Now, these parents - gosh, when I send Molly to THEIR house - what if they have a loaded gun in the house? What if they smoke crack? I need to KNOW this. And I won't. Probably ever. It's hard for me to lose that control I have over their lives.

She now comes home with STORIES. Of what they did. Of who said what. Of who did what, and what the teacher said. She and Michael chit-chat on the walk from the bus stop, comparing days, what they ate for lunch, who had what "special" (art, P.E., music, computer lab, library), and what happened to their friends today. I love to hear it, but it sometimes makes me feel so. What's the word? Disconnected?

Tomorrow she brings her first playdate home on the bus. She's SO excited. I wonder what we'll find fun to do...

It can be hard sending small people you love SO SO SO much out into the world to start spreading their wings. I just hope people are kind to them. I think of that when I'm teaching my class, now that I have kids. I know that these little tots have parents who love THEM as much as I love MINE. It has made me a much different teacher. And I do love those tots. Just for that very reason.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lame Blogger That I Am...

I went to our Book Club Reunion and didn't even take my camera with me! I took 2 containers of Creamery Ice Cream with dry ice, but forgot my camera. I truly am a crappy blog friend. But oh well, you can just read Erin's blog.

It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the beautiful drive down to UVA and back - perhaps because I was by myself? Listened to what I wanted to, ate what I wanted to, stopped when I wanted to, drank what I wanted to, and called whoever I wanted to on the phone. The 5.5 hour drive went by WAY to fast!

On the way home I stopped by the Va Farmer's Market off of 522 near Winchester. Yummy pumpkin pie, apple butter, peach preserves, and 3 kinds of apples found their way into my car! Oh, so did a gallon of cherry apply cider...

The book club. An interesting group of ladies. Sometimes they make me feel so OLD even though they totally don't mean to. They are all just having babies, and I was done having babies before I even MET these girls. I feel like they are where I was in life when I met them, almost. I was older. And the kids were older. I could have hugged one of them when this weekend she said "Now, I see it must have been a bit of a struggle to even MAKE it to book club..." And, they realized that I never talked about my kids during book club, because they didn't have any yet. They would NOT have wanted to hear about MY kids when it was a foreign concept, right? But now that they all have babies and toddlers, I just smile when they tell a story and exchange advice. Sometimes that life of mine seems like so long ago, and to be honest, sometimes I don't even REMEMBER that life. That first two years with both kids is sort of a hazy blur.

Or perhaps I just go through life in a hazy blur. But it's certainly a happy life! Can I just tell you how much I LOVE my life? Walking downtown to meet friends for lunch on a beautiful sunny fall afternoon. Watching Michael play soccer with his friends, and having him shout to me from the field "I got hit in the chest. I just kept on playing! And I got hit right here. And I just kept on playing!" So proud of himself. Almost as proud as I am.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thought for the Day


I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.' He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..... 'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.'

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is the view of Heidelberg from the castle.

The end of the Europe trip.

So, we left Rome in the evening, and headed back to Germany. We got to Hahn late late in the evening (Or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it...) so we stayed at a hotel there by the airport. The next morning we got on a bus to Ramstein to see Claudia, and to have dinner with DeAnna, another bridesmaid. Here we are, enjoying time together. The three of us haven't been together in YEARS, so it was sort of like old times, but instead of living by Wright Patt, we were hanging out in Germany. It was the same, but different. ha ha

OK, so I didn't like the one of the three of us. But here is one of them that I do like. We were sitting by one of the castles that we saw...but don't ask me which castle.

OH, we went to Triere. We saw a dude with...ummm...warts? I took a picture in the hopes that Erin could help the poor man.

Rumor has it that she's some sort of wart doctor, or something like that.

The highlight of the whole trip? Something I didn't even get a picture of, but I'll do my best to describe it.

We flew back to the States on a chartered commercial flight from Ramstein to BWI. Most of the plane was filled with troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. We landed and it took about an HOUR for our bags to come through. The section of the airport was only for military - we had our own immigration, our own baggage claims section, and our own customs. As people were finally getting their bags, we heard the biggest commotion outside of the door to the "real world". Cow bells, whistles, was a little boggling at 11:30 at night. So, when it was our turn to follow the crowd through the door, I was moved to tears. There were over 50 or so volunteers there to meet those troops. They shook Chris's hand and thanked him for serving our country. They hugged me and thanked me for supporting him while he served. The gave the kids baggies with cookies, waters, chips, fruit, etc. And they knew that we were only coming back from vacation. We were loaded down, had the kids, and the two car seats stacked on top. They didn't care - they were there to thank whoever came through that door. None of those volunteers were family members of the troops on the plane. They were just there to say "Welcome Home."

I can't wait until I live in a city and can volunteer to be there for the troops returning from wherever. I hope they appreciate it 1/2 as much as we did.

Monday, September 08, 2008


We paid for a flight to Rome on Ryan Air. That airline is an adventure in itself. But I digress. SO, we get to Rome at about 11:30 at night after a plane, a bus, and a taxi. We ring the doorbell. Whose doorbell, you might ask? Well, Chris's college roommate, Matteo - his parents live in Rome!! They are actually also in charge of the dorm rooms for the PSU study abroad students. And since we went in between semesters, we got to stay in the rooms for free! Good timing, huh?

The location was incredible, right off of Piazza Nervona. Did I even spell that right? Anyway, on the piazza in the evenings there was singing, and one night there was an opera and a string quartet followed that! It was nice to have his mom right down the hall, too. Since we showed up with the kids late at night she already got stuff in like they were her own grandkids...milk, cereal, fruits, yogurt, pastries, juices, a bottle of wine for me and Chris...we were totally spoiled. Here we are in Rome.
This is the view from his parents terrace...

This is the view looking UP to the terrace from the piazza. Cool, huh? See that small statue in the middle of the photo?

Well, it is barely on the upper edge of this picture. Pretty cool, huh?

We went and saw the Vatican, and climbed up to the cupola. Beautiful. Impressive. Awe-inspiring.

We went to the colloseum. Is that spelled right?

Ok, I'm just noticing how incredibly bad these pictures are. I have to check the camera settings, I guess. Why can't a simple point-and-shoot be a SIMPLE point-and-shoot??

I'm on the phone to Heather while I'm trying to post this. Now, I can't remember for the life of me what it is! lol While talking to her, all I can think of is Astrodome. And I know that's not right. Let me see if I can think and talk and type at the same time. Nope, can't do it.

You know, it's where they had the early church, and it rains through the hole, and the kids loved it! Um...palodrome? No....ok, total blonde moment. Sorry.

And I know this could have been taken anywhere, but I loved it. One of my favorites. The kids sharing ice cream cones. Oops, gelato. We ate a LOTTA gelato every day. It was so hot!!

We also went to see the Spanish Steps.

Now, what's missing, you may ask? How about the Sistine Chapel??? WELL, it was CLOSED. For TWO days. And we had TWO DAYS left!! Stupid Day of Ascension....ha ha

We'll see it next time. I have about 300 more pictures from Rome, but have to go catch the kids off the bus. Last post for Europe - Germany!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some promised pictures.

This is McGuire Air Force Base terminal. The terminal from hell. Lots of these people were SLEEPING in the terminal. For DAYS. With their KIDS. I don't care if I never see it again.

It took us a week to get out of here. We sat in this airport through SEVEN (7) flights over five days to Germany. We did get called for one of them, they checked our bags, we lined up to get on the plane, and THEN we were told there were no seats. After 5 days in the airport, Michael finally had a small meltdown and had tears running down his cheeks, saying "Why CAN'T we get on the plane?..." About broke my heart. We finally said screw it and went down to Dover, DE to try for a flight somewhere on Sat. Anywhere, at this point. We were meeting some really-really nice people in the airports and all, but we just wanted to get somewhere.

So, we ended up that night on a flight headed for beautiful Rota, Spain!!

It is a Spanish naval base right on the ocean. We didn't have a whole nights sleep on the plane, but the kids were excited to be at the beach! The base had a private beach, and after dinner we did head down to the public beach. This is taken at 8:15 at NIGHT. I don't think I've ever seen so many people on the beach so late in the evening!!

No joke, there were people Every.Where. At 8:15 at night. It didn't get dark over there until almost 10, though, so it's not like they were rushing home. Nope, they all were rushing to get ice cream. I think Europeans eat an average of 9 ice cream cones per week. Gelato, excuse me. Michael's favorite flavor was cantelope, and Molly's was chocolate. The chocolate was like eating a spoonful of chocolate icing. THAT rich. And THAT yummy.

The next day we flew to Hahn, Germany and rented a car to drive to Claudia's house. She was one of my bridesmaids and I've missed her so much! The next day we drove back up to Hahn and caught a flight to Rome. I'll save Rome for the next entry because that one is a 3 day-er...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Something is better than nothing. Right?
Here are Chris and the kids in front of the Trevi Fountain.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just in for a day...

We're back from Europe. All was well, and I will post pictures when we get back from the beach Labor Day weekend. I've enjoyed reading all of your blogs and can't wait to catch up soon!
In a nutshell, the kids did incredible, the traveling was tiring, but the sights were worth it. :-)

If you have a minute, check out Shinyoung's blog on my sidebar. It is a short clip of Little Susie and her antics. I don't know which I liked more - the look on Little Susie's face, or the giggle of her mama!

Monday, August 04, 2008

My Peeps

I had a girls evening out last night. They almost cancelled because they thought I wouldn't be able to handle it, leaving for Europe and all. Oh, they of little faith. The kids are packed, and we don't even leave until after lunch!! I'll pack my bag after their eye appointments this morning.

So, we went out for a couple of hours last night. These are the girls you can talk to about the state of your marriage, your kids and their accomplishments (or their failures), the local news, the football team, national news, choosing kindergartens and the effects that will have on them - not only this year, but in the future and on the entire know, THAT kind of stuff. In the picture are Michelle, Ann, and Nicole. Michelle has kids at Grace, Ann's kids go to the Catholic school, and Nicole's kid will go to the local charter school. And mine will go to the local public school. We've all made different decisions for different reasons, and we all support each other in the decisions we've made. I think we all made the decision that was right for US, as moms with kindergarteners.

This is the last post for awhile, probably. I'll try to post from over there, but no promises. I have a million thoughts in my head about packing and what I need, what we don't need, etc. I'll breathe a huge sigh of relief when we hit the road, I think.

Oh, a quick note. My old roommate Jodi came to visit this weekend. We hadn't seen each other since 1991. She was a little sister at the house with me in college, and it was GREAT. She has the same laugh, the same mannerisms, and is the same Jodi. We also met up with a brother at the house from when we were there, Drew. Chris called a sitter, and out we went! Good times were had by all. The next morning we went to The Diner for lunch, and who should we meet up with? A different brother from when we were here!! He was passing through town with his kids and happened to eat diagonally from us. He recognized Drew and came over to chat.

Here are me, Drew, and Jodi.

So, after a weekend filled with friends, we're off. I'll be in touch. I'll have my peeps call your peeps. :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008


For those of you lucky enough to live near a Cheesecake Factory, check this out. And order the avocado eggrolls for me!!

We just had our college reunion this weekend, and had so much fun. It's pretty incredible that almost 20 years later, we still get together and are just ourselves, but a little older. None of us have really changed all that much. I didn't take pictures (because I just didn't FEEL like it!), so they are all in my head. We went out a lot, hiked Mt. Nittany, and just enjoyed being together. It's amazing that after all of these years, I still have a "soft spot" for my close guy friends from college. Yeah, most of them are married with kids, and so am I. But that doesn't stop me from loving them.

This weekend a college roommate comes to stay with me. I havent' seen her since we lived togeher back in 1990-1991, and I am excited to say the least. She's bringing the 3 girls that she has and her new boyfriend so I can "check him out". I didn't get to do that with the husband, and she doesn't want to make anothet mistake. I'll let you know what I think of him. ha ha

This time next week we'll be packing bags, loading the car, and dropping Bandit off at a friends. Why? You might ask?

Well, we are going to EUROPE!! All 4 of us. Chris bought me two extra memory cards for the camera to take. We'll start in Germany, staying with Claudia, one of my bridesmaids. Then, we have a trip to Rome to take, and if we have time Mikey wants to see the Eiffel Tower. So, Paris might be a quick trip. We have to be home by the 21st at the latest, because we have a beach house in NC from the 23rd to the 29th. Then, the first home game is the 30th!! And school starts the next Tuesday. We are flying space available to Germany, so we hope to get out in the first couple of days. It could possibly just be a vacation in New Jersey, and we lose the money on the Rome trip, but we're REALLY hoping not...

Ok, that paragraph was a total ramble. But I don't feel like re-doing it. Sorry about that.

And here's a picture for the sake of a picture.

I love this man. We were watching a Cops ( you know, spouse appreciation time!) or something like that, and there was a drug dealer whose street name was "Go Hard". We STILL laugh about it. I really do adore him. Those are Mikey's pretend hot dogs, in case you can't tell. In case you actually care. ha ha

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Confession. Well, two.

I must admit something. I am almost totally computer illiterate. I can't email an attachment. I can't even get the pictures off my camera and put them on the computer. Chris has shown me how a zillion times, and I still screw it up. So, while he's out walking the dog I'll blog and try to add pictures later.

Another confession. Chris and I had our first weekend away without the kids. And we loved it. I didn't even really miss them. I mean, I missed them, but I was fine without them. Does that make me a bad mom? I knew they were in the best hands possible, thanks to Rebecca. She lives next door and is a police officer and a great friend. She moved right in and took over for the weekend. How in the world do you say "thanks" for a favor like that??

So...guess where we went? We went to Mitchell's wedding- he is the cadet we sponsored that we just think the world of. He graduated in May, so that was the trip to Colorado Springs. And then he got married in June at the ripe old age of 22, so that was this trip. It was so much fun, and relaxing, and we just talked, and laughed, and walked, and ate out, and went out to the bars...just enjoying each other. Boy, do I still love that husband of mine.

Where did we go, you might ask? Here is your first clue.
That one is not that easy, so here's another:

Still stuck?

Ok, and here's the final giveaway!

After landing at BWI Chris took me down to Richmond and dropped me off at Heather's for the week. For those of you that haven't met me in real life, Heather is my best friend from home. We used to live together and teach down the hall from each other in the elementary school. I haven't spent a whole week with her since we lived together! It was fun, too. And nice that I could just be myself. You know, like when you THINK I'm going to say something, but I totally say something ELSE. And then I laugh because I crack myself up. I was that Susie for a whole week. She, Scott, and the two kids brought me back home for the 4th of July and stayed for the weekend. It was sad Sad SAD to see her go, but nice that I could spend that time with her.

Sunday was our 7th wedding anniversary, and today is Chris's birthday...throw into that stamping a few nights at the studio, swim lessons every morning, Arts Fest here in town, getting ready for the Grand Opening of the studio this weekend, applying for passports for the kids, getting a new drivers license for me, (thanks be to God that picture from the Colorado license can finally be thrown in the trash!)...well, you just have one busy Susie. Happy, but busy. Honestly, I'm not one to be sitting still for very long unless I either have a good book or a friend on the phone!

Other things to share:

-The 4th of July in State College rocks. A 45 minute fireworks show put to music, a baseball game, a 4K run, a festival....too much to do! We made it back from Richmond in time for the fireworks, but not much else.

-We're teaching the kids to play Monopoly. I bought a Littlest Pet Shop version, but they still have to count money and pay rent and buy things. The only difference is they are buying Littlest Pet Shop things and buy cat carriers and dog houses instead of houses and hotels. They LOVE it to put it lightly. We still have to play with them at this point, but soon they will be on their own! Boy, are they growing up. Monopoly is proof.

-Molly the Titanic
She had to go off the diving board at swim lessons, but there was a lifeguard in the water for safety. Well, the one lifeguard lowered her down, and she went under. She sank. And she didn't come up. Finally the other lifeguard went down and got her. She came up pretty happy, as she had been holding her breath. But when we asked her why she didn't swim to the top, she said really calmly "I don't know how to swim..." You'd think she'd at least TRY!!
I guess that's about all for now. I swear, I've been really really busy, but it seems I can't remember anything to blog about!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

I promise I'll blog again soon.

I've just been really really busy. Hopefully tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One in a Million

You know how when something happens, you say "Wow, that was a one-in-a-million!" Or "They're one-in-a-million!"

Well, here is our One in a Million.

Chris went to Japan last month, right? He bought Mikey a sumo wrestler keychain that Mikey ADORED. Note the past tense. Yup, on the walk home from the bus stop, the keychain fell OFF the bookbag and crashed to the sidewalk, where it promptly shattered. Picture the child crying all the way home holding pieces of his sumo wrestler. So, of course one of Chris's favorite phrases is "Daddy can fix ANYTHING!" This sumo wrestler he couldn't fix.

Picture a Daddy trying to figure something out. He gets on the internet to buy a NEW one. Of course! Only problem? None to be had. He tries googling it. All he managed to find was a pretty girl in Canada that had taken a picture of one. As a last resort, he emailed her to see if she would part with it for love or money. (Preferably money, since he IS married.) The chances? About one in a million, we figured.

Luckily for him, and for Michael, she emailed back. Not only would she mail it, she would accept no money. Talk about a one-in-a-million!

The kids got a package from Canada this week. Here are the details:

Not only did she send the sumo, Jen sent all kinds of little toys. Now mind you, Molly LOVES everything little. She's carried "treasures" as we call them in her hands since she could grasp. And these are some cool treasures!

Inside that crocodile are little crocodile "sandwiches" made out of bread and everything! And that little water bottle opens with a fake little straw! And in the egg on the left is a little "towel" to clean up with. It's all so intricate and detailed. Right up her alley.

And to top it off, check out this nice letter.

So, Jen, you have obviously read the blog to know about the kids and Bandit. You have an incredible heart to make these two kids so happy. These two kids that I love, but you don't even know. You are One in a Million, that's for sure.

Worst Wife of the Year Award

Goes to - you guessed it! Me. I didn't even blog a Father's Day thing. I suck. Sorry honey. You KNOW we adore you. Right?

So, here is your Doodle.

And here is your Toonies.

Happy Father's Day, honey. Sorry about that. But on the bright side, I didn't spend any money doing this, right? :-)