Thursday, June 30, 2011

Other thoughts

Lately it seems this journal has been mostly about the kids... mainly because that's who I've been spending all my time with! Yesterday, though, I finally got the chance to get out of the house and have some other thoughts....  and where would I go but shopping?  Off I went with my long list of things I "needed" -- the most significant of which were some throw pillows and curtains for our bedroom.  After 3.5 hours and 10 stores, my mind was mostly a-muddle, but I do remember having a few observations during that time....  So here are a few of my

Thoughts While Shopping:

1.  I really need those little clips that stores use to pin back the clothes on the mannequins giving them nice defined waists.  Where do I find those clips?!

2.  I also really need a personal shopper/coach/decision-maker to go with me at all times.  I am one of the most decision-making-impaired people I know.  At one point I was sitting on the floor in the store with 11 different throw pillows lined up in front of me, moaning.  I ended up buying most of them to end the agony, but now I will be taking most, or more probably, all of them back to the store and trying something else.

3.  When all else fails, head to Stein Mart.

4.  There are a lot of cool things out in stores these days!  Who knew?!  Now I'm finding all kinds of new things I "need."

5.  The thrill of buying new make-up is still just as strong as it was when I was 16.  I still believe the new lipliner/concealer/mascara is going to transform my face into a model's.

6.  Even though I haven't spent a lot of time in dressing rooms in recent years, I still remember my systems for maximizing efficiency in trying on multiple items.

7.  My batting average is still extremely low when it comes to choosing good items to try on.  (Related to point #2) I would estimate that my ratio of "hits" to "misses" is 1:24.  Those dressing room attendants must hate to see me coming.   And then even when I pick out the 2 or 3 things I will actually buy... I end up taking at least 2 or 3 of them back a week later.

So now I am home with a bunch of things to return to the stores... and I'm no closer to finding a color scheme for our bedroom.  All I know so far is I have a butter-yellow bedspread with dark sage-green sheets.  Oh, and a dark cranberry throw blanket.  If anyone has any ideas on wall colors, curtain colors, or pillow colors, do let me know!

In the meantime, I'm just happy to have some non-kid thoughts once in awhile.  Even if they are in an area of complete weakness for me!

When you bring only the kid-size chairs by mistake...

....  watching a swim meet gets nice and cozy.  Being so low to the ground means you're closer to the water level so I guess maybe it's a good perspective...?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Dichotomy

This is Pete's annual ATF weekend with his college friends, so off they've all trekked into the mountains of North Carolina.  Steve and Bryan flew into Charlotte so I got a quick picture of 1/3 of the group before they left... and an ATF-wannabe who insisted on being in the picture.

 Pete's brother-in-law Al found the shirt Pete is wearing at the Mall of America -- it's pretty perfect for this group! 
While it may sound like a rhetorical question, the answer for this weekend anyway, was "Dave!"

So they're roughing it hanging out in a very nice place for 4 days. (Their cabin has a hot tub for crying out loud.  The older the guys get, the more comfy the places get.)  As I've heard it, they've hiked, played football... and sat in the hot tub, in addition to their regular looooong conversations.  Nine strongly opinionated men... I sure would love to be a fly in that cabin.

Meanwhile, as Pete is enjoying his second vacation in two weeks (not that I'm counting or anything), I have been enjoying some quality time with the kids.  Our time together has included the requisite minor crises:  an ant invasion, a child with a fever, a power outage with no phones and no working flashlights (thankfully the outage was very brief), broken glass all over the kitchen floor, kids waking up in the middle of the night --and way too early in the morning, etc.

The highlight of the weekend, though, was taking the kids to meet Gracie -- their 4-footed new... aunt?  My parents have adopted a new baby, I mean, golden retriever puppy, and she is the cutest little thing!  We all had fun visiting with her...

Added bonus:  getting to visit with Mom and Dad and little cousin Titus, too!  He's quite the cool dude these days!

So it's been a good weekend here overall.... although probably not as interesting or adventurous as Pete's.  We'll look forward to hearing all about it when he comes home tomorrow!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scenes from BYEC yesterday

Despite the increasing heat as the morning wore on, Back Yard Explorers Camp was in full, happy swing here!  The main events for this day were a scavenger hunt and team competitions.  And, of course, Capture the Flag.

Incidentally, according to Blogger, this is my 700th post on this site.  I can never be accused of having nothing to say!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I love this picture.
And, yes James, even I can see that it's blurry.  But it was the best I could do as I was trying to be sneaky with the camera.  Colsen had asked to play a trick on Strider, and wanted me to be his accomplice.  So, after Cole had hidden in Strider's closet, I yelled to Strider, who was downstairs, to come up and "clean up this messy closet right away!"  Strider came up and I tried to hide around the corner with a camera. 

When he opened the closet door, Colsen screamed -- and Strider screamed even louder!  Needless to say, he was VERY shocked and surprised!
He even did this afterwards:

Colsen was quite pleased with himself, and had to call Uncle Deuce, our family prank-expert, right way to to say, "I totally got Strider!"

Strider and Rayna have also been having fun lately dressing up their little brothers... For some reason, the wig and bathrobe combo is hilarious.  Here's Colsen :

His funny "trick" is to "drop clothes out from my belly!" (and then he lets all the padding underneath fall out).

And here's Milo:

"Alright, alright, no more pictures!" 
Silly kids.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recent conversations

Rayna asked me where I was going one day as I was getting on my bike.  I told her I was going to the town center to have my eyebrows waxed at the hair salon.  When I got home, she was eager to greet me:
"Wow, Mom!  Those are cute eyebrows!"

As we were driving one day there was this conversation...
Colsen:  What is THAT?
Pete:  It's a trailer being pulled by a pick-up truck.  The trailer is like a whole house.  It has a kitchen, and a bedroom and a bathroom and a...
Colsen (interruping):  But where is its garage?  Why doesn't it have a garage??
Pete:  Well, I guess they didn't think they needed to have one because --
Colsen (interrupting):  But how are they going to fix stuff??

Another day while we were driving...
Strider:  Mom, how old were you when they invented calculators?

This morning...
Colsen:  Is Daddy going to work today?
Me:  No.
Colsen (going up to Pete):  Daddy, why aren't you going to work?!  We need a lot of money so we can buy an iPad or something!

Strider:  Colsen, would you say, "If friends were flowers, I would pick them?"  Is that true for you?
Colsen:  No!  Because I wouldn't want my friends to die!

Last week as we were going to bed one night...
Me:  So what's the title of the talk you're giving in Raleigh?
Pete:  Oh, it's long and it has a colon in the middle.  You don't want to know.

This afternoon as Pete was getting ready to go out with Colsen we had this conversation:
Me:  Colsen, are you ready to go "do research" with Daddy at Lowe's?
Colsen: What is "doing research?"
Me:  It's an awful lot like shopping.
Pete, walking into the room:  You don't go shopping at Lowe's!

Next time I head out to Stein Mart, I'll have to remember to say I'm just going to do some research.  :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pete in action

If anyone wants to see what Pete's been up to lately...

He traveled to Raleigh yesterday to give a 30-minute talk at a lunch for the John Locke Foundation, and I found this little clip of part of the conclusion of it on their web site. 

Today he gave also talk to a bunch of high-schoolers at a Free Enterprise Leadership camp, and tonight he's in the classroom with his MBA students for 3 hours, so he's been a busy speaker lately.

So proud to be married to someone handsome AND smart!  :)

p.s. This photo makes me smile... It's little Kai watching Uncle Pete online.  So now if he sees this blog post, he can get totally weirded out -- Kai seeing Kai seeing Pete.  :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Feels like home

The birthday gift I received from a lot of my family members this past year was something I had been wanting for a long time: a lamp post!  A few weeks ago Dad and Dan came over to help Pete set it up, and now....  our house feels more like a home to me.

I've always loved the concept of a lamp post (probably ever since I first read the Narnia books)-- we even had one on our wedding invitations. 

Incidentally, my friend and mentor at the time who painted this picture for us has since gone on to be quite the impressive professional artist. I feel blessed to have a Jennifer Edwards original on our invitation!  (She just opened an etsy shop with some of her creative and adorable pictures -- check it out!)

And now, 13 years after that invitation was designed, I feel blessed to have a real-life, three-dimensional lamp post at last!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

A Daddy worth celebrating...
The breakfast preparations....

 Rayna wanted to use napkin rings, and apparently this is how she thought paper napkins would fit in them best.  She's pretty clever!:
Afternoon activities included a long bike ride...
Pete said this was his 2nd favorite Father's Day ever -- because nothing could ever top Father's Day of 2008.  That was the day I floored him with the news of my unexpected pregnancy -- with the little one we would later know as Miles Quentin.

The man sure loves being a dad!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Back Yard Explorers Camp: Balloon Day

To kick off the festivities for BYEC today, we decided to do a helium balloon release!

If anyone finds one of the cards attached, please let us know! 
We're doing an experiment to see how far the balloons go....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Minnesota trip, part 2

Colsen (desiring to travel anonymously apparently), Pete and the Bains got to go around and see some of the big sights of Minneapolis/St. Paul!

Of course no trip would be complete without an excursion to the Mall of America!

 While there, Cole got to walk around with Sue,
... play games with the cousins.....                                                  ..... hang out with Lego-made Woody....

 .... and visit Soul Daddy restaurant with his own soul Daddy.
(Strider had given them strict instructions to stop by this place, since it was the winner of one of his favorite shows, "America's Next Great Restaurant.")

Then the next day they journeyed into St. Paul to go to a zoo.

 From what I've heard, some of the best attractions were the gorillas....
 .... and a polar bear...
.... who went swimming!

Sounds like a fun day.

And a very fun trip overall!  My guys had a great time!