Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Last week we celebrated Sarah's "golden" birthday. I don't know if everyone calls it that, but that's what we call it when your age and the date of your birthday are the same--example thirteen on the thirteenth!

We took her out to dinner the night before her birthday and let her open her gifts from us when we got home. She LOVED getting to open things one day early! We also got "cool parent" points. Smile.

Her big gift from us was a Nook. Sarah is a HUGE reader and almost always has her nose buried in a book. She's wanted an ereader for awhile so we researched them and decided upon a Nook. She's loving it! The first book she downloaded was Waterfall (the author is a friend of ours) and once she finished that, I let her download The Help
She also got a pair of TOMS and a really cute purse! I think our days of American Girl and Barbie are over...Sarah is quickly becoming a young lady.
Some friends of ours gave Sarah a bouquet of thirteen gold balloons and all sorts of "golden" gifts like Golden Grahams, Rolos (gold wrappers), gold pens and gold nailpolish in a gold bag! She loved it. It was so fun!!! And so thoughtful!
I felt really bad for Sarah because most of her friends were out of town the week of her birthday and that put a crimp in her big party plans. She ended up having one friend come hang out and spend the day/night with her. I took them to see Monte Carlo and with the exception of her diabetic friend's blood sugar plunging way too low from too much insulin (and scaring me half to death) they had a pretty uneventful evening! Overall it was a really low-key birthday!

We love you, Sarah! You are such a bright spot in our lives and we are so proud of you! You are beautiful...inside and out! Happy Birthday, sweetie!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

5 minute post

I'm giving myself five minutes to write a post. In other words, expect a lot of rambling!

My dermatology appointment went well yesterday. I had him look at six spots/moles that were worrying me. He said all of them were normal and looked fine, including the age spot on my face! He said my skin looked great (yay!) but that my arms and shoulders were way too brown (I knew that was coming). I asked how often I should come back for a full-body check and he said every 3-4 years! Great news. I feel so much better knowing things are okay. After my breast lump scare this spring, I don't ever want to take my health for granted!

We are experiencing what the meteorologists here call the monsoon season. We've had rain and thunderstorms almost every day for a week. I LOVE it. I especially love the moisture and how it cools everything off in the afternoons. The only thing I really don't like is that it usually continues raining through dinnertime and that has forced me to cook inside versus grilling! I made this last night and it was delicious. (I'm still avoiding sugar but I figured 1.5 tsp of honey wouldn't hurt!)

Speaking of avoiding sugar, I found a soda that I can drink! Thanks, mom! It's Zevia and it tastes pretty good if you're feeling deprived! It's sweetened with stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners (which I'm also avoiding these days because even though they're calorie-free, they exacerbate my symptoms).

Okay...that was more like 8 minutes. Sorry about that. Happy Tuesday. The kids and I are off to hike with some neighborhood friends and John is taking Jack to the vet to get his nails clipped and his rear end "massaged". John definitely got the short end of the stick.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday morning confessions

1. I'm going to the dermatologist today to get a few moles and spots checked out. I'm a little nervous because I've never been very careful about protecting my skin from the sun, and the sun in Colorado is INTENSE. I'm currently sporting sunburned shoulders and am dreading the lecture I'm probably going to get about that. I wish I didn't love the sun so much. Sigh.

2. I really thought I could pull off a summer bible study but I'm afraid I can't. My group only meets twice a month but I haven't been since early May. I'm going to miss (again) this week because of Sarah's birthday and we'll be out of town when they meet later this month. I'd love to say that I'm working through it on my own, but I'm having a hard time staying motivated without the accountability.

3. We offered Sarah cash instead of a birthday party this year and she took us up on it. She was getting discouraged because a lot of her friends were going to be away and unable to come to a party. I told her she could have a friend or two sleep over instead and so that's what we're doing. That certainly makes it easy for me, but I feel guilty for not doing more. Especially because this is a kind of big birthday.

4. I keep hearing about Pinterest and how much people love it. I wish I could get excited about it, I really do, but I don't need another way to waste time on the computer. Giving up Twitter was liberating for me and so I think I'll be just fine staying far away from Pinterest. If you love it, please don't hate me.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Ketchup, with a side of iPhone photos

I haven't been blogging much but that doesn't mean we're not enjoying summer. In fact, we're enjoying it immensely. Here's a little of what we've been up to!

::Appointments, appointments, appointments! Doctor, dentist, vet, orthodontist, etc. We've known for awhile that Abbey was going to need some orthodontic intervention. We went for a consult last week and set up the first of her treatment appointments for the day after we return from vacation. Fun, fun, fun---cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching! (She looks a bit apprehensive, huh?)

::Lots of fro-yo. That's frozen yogurt for all you uncultured folks (get it? cultured? yogurt? I crack myself up). John and I are Pinkberry snobs but the kids have decided they like LuLu's almost as much. I think they really just like that they can add their own toppings at LuLu's. Well, that and the hula hoops! If you're local, you need to check BOTH of those places out and tell me which one you like better! 
I've cheated on my no-sugar restriction a few times...and all of those cheats have been with fro-yo. It didn't really affect how I felt, but I ate white flour last night for the first time in 7.5 weeks and felt pretty yuck. I think I'm going to try to eat gluten-free indefinitely.

::I like my new bi-focals and I really like how well I can see with them! I'd been warned that it can take up to three weeks to adjust to them but thankfully, I was fine after a few days. I wish I had NOT gotten the transition lenses though because I don't like how dark they get in the sun. I know that's the point, but I'm vain enough to not like how they look. Oh well. Live and learn.

:: New flooring! We ended up going with a wood laminate and we love it. LOVE it. The one we chose has a hand-scraped finish which seems to help disguise footprints and smudges. I also love the color and the alternating plank size. We're so pleased! 
:: Celebrating 21 years of marriage! Our anniversary was last week. John and I are going to Santa Fe in a couple of weeks (sans kiddos! yay!) so we decided to celebrate our actual anniversary with our kids. We went to one of our favorite places--Bella Panini--and had a really nice dinner with our three favorite people. The girls made this fun banner for us and hung it over our bed. Sweet.
::Other stuff that I don't have any lame pictures for?

Hanging out with friends

Grilling almost every night and dining al fresco! Colorado evenings are AMAZING.

Enjoying pics of our newest cousin! Annapearce surprised us all by making her debut several weeks early. We can't wait to meet her in a few weeks when we go to Arkansas.

Getting ready for a certain tween girl's conversion to TEENAGER. Sarah will be 13 on the 13th! She's excited about her big day and her excitement is contagious!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I Love the 4th of July!

July 4th is my absolute favorite holiday and my favorite day of the year. I love EVERY SINGLE THING about it!

We began the day with our traditional neighborhood pancake breakfast and flag raising ceremony. It's always a fun event! We LOVE our neighbors and our 'hood!
 The kids made new tie-dye shirts this year. I REALLY like it when they get into wearing red, white, and blue!
I didn't have any face paint and the girls wanted "tattoos" so we just used our Sharpie markers instead. Inventive, huh? I love love love Miss Abbey's freckles!

After breakfast, we headed down to the Monument 4th of July parade. It's the best little slice of Americana that I know of and one of my favorite traditions!!! There are floats and horses and marching bands and politicians and sports teams and cheerleaders! Oh, and elephants!  Lots of local businesses and churches have floats and they always throw candy (and other fun treats) to the kids. It's such a great parade with lots of local flavor. Emily and her family joined us and sadly I don't have one picture of her cute little family!

It was REALLY hot at the parade this year. We came home afterwards and grilled brats for lunch and then just chilled! We made some homemade ice cream and grilled chicken kebabs for dinner. YUMMY!

Our community has a really great fireworks show but it is sooooooo crowded. We usually stay home and watch them from our cul de sac with our neighbors. The great thing is that we can actually see TWO fireworks shows from our street and when it's over we can just walk inside and hit the hay instead of sitting in a gridlocked traffic for an hour! Our kids love hanging with all their neighborhood friends and SO DO WE! It's always a lot of fun and a great way to end a great day!

It is SO dry here so we weren't allowed to shoot any of our own fireworks or even light sparklers...and  we had to keep explaining to all the kids who are so used to doing that every year why we couldn't this time...I'm not sure they ever totally understood why none of their parents wanted a $600 ticket!

I always feel so blessed at the end of this day--blessed to live in the USA and have all sorts of freedoms and blessed to have amazing friends and family to celebrate with! I hope your 4th of July was fantastic!