Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Funny Story:
I was just reading Happy Housewife's Blog and it made me think of a funny story.
I had a friend who (very sadly) moved to California. She had the most adorable son named Alexander. He had a larger than life playroom with gazillions of toys. He also had these adorable Pottery Barn Kids Chairs. They were blue and white gingham. One of them was embroidered with "Alexander". The other one said "Friend". At the time, my girlfriend was trying to get pregnant. That took about two seconds and so when she became pregnant I let her know that when she had the baby, be it boy or girl, she would have to name it "Friend".
Seriously! Otherwise, she would have to pay for a new chair with new monogramming, etc. Am I wrong?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Getaway

Friday afternoon Dr. Daddy and I managed a weekend getaway sans children. We drove the kids an hour and a half to meet my aunt (in the POURING rain) who then took the kids to Richmond for the weekend. We then made our way to The Homestead. We attended a medical society gala on Friday night which was lots of fun. Then on Saturday I had a short conference and we were off to play.
To my stunned amazement Dr. Daddy agreed to go with me to the Southern Accents Showhome. Holy mother of all things painted and upholstered. This is the most amazing private home I have ever been in. Not necessarily all my taste but seriously sweet. The kids' rooms, especially, were darling. If you have the opportunity to visit this home you simply must.
For dinner we went to the 1766 Grille at the resort, which is one of my alltime favorite restaurants. Afterwards, we played wedding crashers and snooped around a wedding being held in the ballroom. It has long been my assertion that BabyGirl will be married at The Homestead. Of course, I've already started saving up for the big day. There's the college fund, and then there's the wedding fund. No joke!!!
We did miss the kids (just a little bit). They LOVE The Homestead and were not too happy when they realized we were going without them. Happily, they had a great time at Aunt Bobbie and Uncle PeeWee's and it seems that the grown ups had a little fun themselves.
Alas, now we're home and the laundry has piled up once again...

ADDENDUM! I wanted to add that I just finished reading the new Southern Accents that features the showhome. The pictures do not do the home justice AT ALL. It is MUCH more beautiful in person...

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I unashamedly admit that I have been a longtime Britney fan. Now, don't be confused when I say this and think that I approve of her recent behavior. I'm as flummoxed as the rest of you. However, it seems that Miss Britney is having the last laugh. I just listened to her new CD and it's REALLY GOOD. I'm not quite sure how she managed to come up with such a great club/dance CD whilst exposing her crotch at every opportunity and doing her damndest to lose her kids. I mean, the daily tanning sessions alone would do me in. But this girl seems to have gotten it together long enough to put together a CD that will surely net her another few million easy. I've read the tabs and listened to the news for the past year and while I was disgusted by much of what I saw I somehow couldn't believe that this girl who HAD IT ALL could have fallen so quickly. Now I'm wondering if it was all for publicity? Ya think? Anyhoo, it makes for good dance music and that's never a bad thing...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You know it's bad when...

You know it's bad when you have so many amazing responses to your blog that all you really want to do is get all these wonderful women together for a girl's night out!!! I feel like I have 100 close friends that I haven't ever met in person! Thank you so much for all your sweet responses.

My Best Friend

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother" - Oprah Winfrey

For the longest time fall was my favorite time of year. The crisp air, brightly colored leaves, football and the excitement of kids and Halloween just made me happy. Then, on October 23rd, 2000 my mother died of cancer at the age of 41. I was 24, newly married and had lost my best friend.

When I was 13 years old my biological mother melted down. Mental illness, prescription drug abuse and a codependent relationship with my father made it impossible for her to mother me any longer. Subsequently, I moved in with her sister and her sister's husband (my aunt and uncle). They had three small boys, ages 1 month, 3 years and 6 years. I moved with them from Virginia to Kansas and lived on the Army base with them for a year. It was then determined that my uncle would be stationed in Germany. Eventually, my aunt and uncle asked if they could adopt me and I became their daughter. They treated me as nothing other than their own and my mom and I were best friends. Since I was 13 and she 30 when they took me in, we were closer in age than a traditional mother/daughter team.
My mom was the most amazing mother, sister, Army wife and friend I have ever known. She was smart, witty, beautiful and caring. More importantly, she was sarcastic, dry humored and a straight talker. Everyone who knew her loved her and craved her presence. She practically single handedly raised my brothers and I since my Dad had to be way so much because of the military. She was the consummate volunteer. I honestly don't think I ever heard her turn down a request for help. She practically raised several of my Dad's soldiers wives as well.
My favorite memories of my Mom are ones that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. Sharing a 1 pound bag of peanut m&m's after school while I cried about boys, sharing gin and tonics at the beach and laughing until we practically peed our pants, shopping for antiques and spending way more money than my Dad knew about.
When my father called me to tell me my Mom had cancer he had to hang up three times and call me back before we could finish the conversation without bawling. I think we thought if we couldn't say it that maybe it wasn't true. My Mom was so brave and refused to start chemo until after my wedding. She wanted to dance at my wedding and she didn't want to be sick. Her cancer was already stage four when they found it but she was determined to fight as hard as she could. She wasn't ready to leave my brothers, who were 10, 13 and 16 at the time. She wasn't done with them yet, she said.
When my mom died, five months after being diagnosed, the grief was overwhelming. I felt so lost and empty. Our priest, who is also my father's best friend, tried to comfort me by telling me that my mother had been so good that God had to take her early to help him in Heaven. "She wasn't THAT good", was all I could think of to say. I just wanted her back.
Since then, I've had two kids, my father has remarried an amazing woman who has become my newest best friend, and my brothers have grown to college age and somehow have survived without her. My Dad took on the role of father AND mother and couldn't have done so with more grace. Every time we're together we talk about Mom. It always includes a funny story and we manage to laugh instead of cry. I still think of her everyday and my biggest regret is that she never got to meet my kids. She never got to give me parenting advice but the best thing she did give me was an amazing upbringing that taught me how to be a mother.
It makes me sad when I hear my friends complain about their Moms. I only wish I could do the same.
Several years ago on this day my dear friend Christy brought me a bottle of the most wonderful merlot I've ever had. We drank the wine in celebration of my Mom and of her life. I've done the same each year since.
For all of you out there who have mothers please don't wait until Mother's Day to celebrate them. Next time you see them share a glass of wine and laugh with one another. If you have a daughter, strive to be the kind of mother you would want to have.

My mother and I at my wedding...surely laughing about something we'd said about my mother in law.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I have been a long time fan of Hollywould shoes and bags. Designer Holly Dunlap provides an amazing spectrum of shoes and bags ranging from preppy to sexy. She made a name for herself as the woman who (almost) single handedly revamped the entire Lilly Pulitzer brand about 8 years ago after it had been defunct for so long. She then took off with her own company called Hollywould. I usually just eye her shoes at Neiman's or Nordstrom with feelings of envy because I simply WON'T pay $250 for a pair of ballet flats. So, imagine my delight when I discovered she's debuting a line at TARGET!!! You heard me, ladies. Right now it's mostly heels and formal shoes but I'm hoping that come spring she'll have more casual options with ballet flats and peep toe flats.

Here are some of her shoes offered at Neiman's and other fine stores:

And here are some of her offerings at Target:

The line debuts TODAY so get out to Target before they're all gone!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sad Mommy

Both of my kids have loveys. They were both shower gifts from friends who gave me great advice on how to raise babies and why the lovey is so important. I didn't breastfeed but I still wanted that connection with my babies when I was feeding them. So when my milk came in (and did it ever) I slept with the lovey in my shirt for a few days so it would get my "scent". Both kids immediately latched on to their loveys and that was IT. BabyBoy still sleeps with his "Lionel" the lamb but he really isn't so attached anymore. BabyGirl, however, is still pretty attached to her "Ellie" the elephant. Or so I thought. I found poor Ellie on the couch this evening after putting BabyGirl to bed. She forgot all about her.
Believe me, there have been times when I cursed myself for getting the kids attached to these things. We've lost them and had to search FOREVER to find them. We even found Ellie at the bottom of our outside trashcan one night. That would be ME who found her. Dr. Daddy slept soundly in his bed completely unaware of my strong sense that we had lost a family member when we couldn't find Ellie that night. When I finally found her I was in tears only to creep into BabyGirl's nursery and find her sleeping with some other dolly. When I woke her up to show her Ellie she smiled so sweetly and said "You're the best girl in the world, Mommy".
Tonight when I took Ellie into BabyGirl's room after finding her on the couch she said the exact same thing. "You're the best girl in the world, Mommy". I wonder if she'll still be saying that when she's 16?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Preppy Flowers

As you've probably figured out (unless you've been living under a dumpster for the past few months) I love flowers. Love to grow them, love to arrange them, love to buy them! One of my favorite color combinations is pink and green. I've had pink roses on the brain this week, as I have 65 table arrangements to do for the Annual Pink Ribbon Gathering for Breast Cancer Awareness that is held in my town each year. It's a huge event that draws up to 700 women each year. So, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite pink and green arrangements from years past...

Now, these are not all arrangements that I have done. Some of them are ideas I've taken from florist websites. That's a great way to get ideas. All of them, however, are easy arrangements that you could do yourself at home. Great places to purchase flowers include Fresh Market, Kroger, florists and outdoor markets. Give it a try! You'll be surprised how easy it is after you get the hang of it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lazy Weekend

We had a lazy weekend with both nights at home. I normally love to get out and have a grown up night out at least once a weekend, but it was REALLY nice to hang out at home all weekend. The kids actually managed to behave quite well and we only had to open the Valium once or twice. (Just kidding) On Friday I drove two hours to pick up our new rug for our bedroom. I was so excited! When I got there I realized that there was no way it was going to fit in my car without major construction. So, we had to hang it out the back about five feet and tie the hatch down. Poor BabyGirl was smashed into the corner of the car. No cares for her, though. We got to go to her favorite Chick fil A in the state so she was quite content. I got the rug home and on Saturday Dr. Daddy and I tackled putting down on the floor. What a freakin pain. The man is crazy. I think we measured within an inch of my life! (this is where the Valium comes in!) Finally, after taking apart and reassembling the bed TWICE (the creaking bed drives my type A self nuts when we're doing you know what) and moving three dressers several times, we got the rug down. It really looks better than I could have imagined. My bed bench is back and has been recovered and now all I have to do is make the curtains!!! My goal is to have them made by Halloween.
Yesterday, we had our photo shoot. Note to self: DO NOT use grape heads as bribery. They turn teeth purple. Duh. Should have stuck with the lemon. Other than that it all went pretty well, considering the kids are three and five! They weren't horribly behaved and I couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. And, BabyGirl waited until almost the end to fall on her stomach and smear mud down the front of her white cable knit dress.
You can see some sneak peeks here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Say Cheese!

Fall seems to have finally arrived around here. The weather is absolutely gorgeous. I had to bite my tongue yesterday morning while playing tennis. I so badly wanted to complain that I was TOO COLD but didn't dare for fear that mother nature might take it out on me later. Having my bare legs that chilly reminded me of high school football games when we had to wear those short little cheerleading skirts with no leggings!

I'm also psyched that it's cooler because my kids are being photographed this weekend for our Christmas card. Stefanie Weber, who is absolutely the best photographer I've ever worked with, will be taking their pictures. They'll be in winter clothes and I was terrified that if it didn't cool down they would be roasting and complaining mercilessly (much like the LAST time Stefanie tried to photograph them). Here are a couple samples of her last effort:

Amazing, right? Here's what the kids will (hopefully) wear for this session:

BabyGirl will wear this adorable BabyGap dress, Hanna Andersson tights and red Primigi Mary Janes.

Assuming he cooperates (and this is really going out on a limb) BabyBoy will wear this shirt by Hartstrings, cords from Janie and Jack and a cord jacket by Beaux et Belles (monogrammed, of course!)in khaki cord with khaki and white mini check lining.

Wish us luck!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Call for help!

I need some creative help! Some friends of mine are having a party at their farm and asked me to make their invitations (print them, really. It's not like I'm crafting them). The party will be November 3rd, outside at the farm, bonfires, beer, food, jeans and cowboy boots? (their words not mine). Anyhoo, they want to make it an annual thing and asked if I would help come up with a name. So far, all I've come up with is first annual "Autumn under the Stars" and first annual "Fling at the Farm". Oh, there was also "Fall at the Farm". Personally, I think it would be pretty hilarious to call it the first annual "FALLing Down Drunk" party, but they aren't that kind of folk. Not enough to call it that, anyway. So, does anyone have any ideas for me? I know you're all out their just teeming with creativity. Bring it on!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Food Wars

My kids are embarassingly picky about food. Over the years I have been guilty of short order cooking just to keep everyone happy at dinnertime. I always had this vision of my adorable family sitting down to a lovely dinner and having precious conversations about their day.
I know, you just choked so hard some of it came out your nose. That would imply that your family dinners are much like mine. Complete chaos with whining and fighting and bargaining the likes of which "Let's Make a Deal" never came close to. Well, I was T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D to see Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah yesterday talking about her new book Deceptively Delicious. She has made an art of adding different fruit and vegetable purees to recipes so that her kids will be healthy eaters. Sneaky? Yeah, just about as sneaky as your kids when they creep into the cabinet and steal chocolate. Not feeling so bad about this now are you?
Her recipes for Chicken Nuggets and Macaroni and Cheese look especially good. She even has a recipe for Brownies! I intend to try all of the ones posted on Oprah's Website first. If they work out you know I'll be logging onto Amazon to order right away.
For those of you whose kids love veggies...I'm happy for you. I really am. Okay, well I do hate you just a little bit. I know I've done this to myself but now is my time to reconcile! I'll let you know how it goes.

Until then, here are a couple of pix from the archives. There ARE two foods my kids never refuse. Corn and chicken legs!

Friday, October 5, 2007


No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. It's been a crazy week! I was in Chicago for an AMAA conference this weekend (if you don't know what that stands for you wouldn't care anyway!). It was lots of fun and I got some great shopping in. Of course, who wouldn't, when walking down Michigan Avenue go straight to J. Crew? Of all the choices I had, this was where I ended up for the longest time. Old habits die hard. I did pick up some great pieces.

Our conference was at the Drake Hotel which was lovely. Beautiful flowers everywhere. I was amazed at how clean Chicago is. Really a beautiful city. I'll have to plan a girl's trip soon! We ate lunch at RL. I was blown away. If you love Ralph Lauren you simply must visit this restaurant (and the store next door) sometime in your life.

When I got back home on Monday evening I was pleasantly surprised to see that Dr. Daddy had made an attempt to clean up after the kids. I knew I wasn't going to have much time for that this week because I had to do some floral arrangements for a friend of mine. She works at a non profit that mentors kids through golf. They were having a fundraiser and she wanted to do something fun for the food tables. Here's what we came up with.

These were youth sized golf bags so they weren't too tall. I also did these for the bar tables. The logo for the organization is blue, orange, green and white. Thus, the color scheme.

Once I finally got done with all that I was able to sit down and catch up on my blog reading! I was happy to see Happy Housewife's blog about china patterns. I am obsessed with table settings. My husband actually already had china when we got married (something my MIL and I actually agreed on). We have the Wedgewood Strawberry and Vine pattern which is ivory with embossed strawberries and vines and leaves. Love it. Recently, I've begun to collect the most exquisite salad plates by Anna Weatherley.

I'm hoping that someday I'll have enough of this pattern that I can mix and match with my Wedgewood and have a stunning tablescape. Who am I kidding, though? They'll probably just sit in my china cabinet looking pretty because I'll be afraid to let anyone eat off of them. As my mother used to say...Fashion, not function!