Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Highlights

I am so thankful for many things that occurred this year. Frankly, it's hard to pick the highlights....but here's my attempt:

Obviously, Clara's birth is at the top of my list. No explanation necessary.

Kenzie turned 12. A true miracle. (In addition, Kenzie's ACL surgery went well and my parents have done an amazing job caring for her during the recovery.)

We celebrated Alain's 40th birthday!! I met Alain when he was 21 and I'm still amazed at how long we've been together. It makes me so happy to share this birthday with him. I'd try hard to describe how much I love this old guy but, trust me, there are no words.....

Any trip to NYC is a highlight of my year. Yes, I know it was predictable but I don't care. I love New York.

Aunt Valerie came for a visit. And I do love me some Aunt Valerie. Only she and Lil' Wayne understand me. Hee hee...

The Sheep Dog Trials. It was just a happy day and I loved it. (This is also one of my favorite photos from this year!)

I became a Mom again and there was no post-partum depression. It may seem silly to choose something that didn't happen as a highlight but, you can trust me on this one, I was scared and it was such a relief to not relive that nightmare.

My friend Dori planned a brunch to celebrate Clara's upcoming arrival. It was so sweet and my friend Elizabeth made this gorgeous cake. And, the cake just seemed so Audrey.

Hubbsie turned 10. He definitely started to slow down this year but he's doing great!

I made two amazing new friends this year. Nathalie and Elizabeth. Otherwise known as Donna and Martha (as in Hay & Stewart). They have been my saviors. I enjoy their company more than I can express here. They inspire me and make me happy. Thank you, ladies. (Since I don't have a photo of us to share, I'm doing the next best thing and sharing photos of three of our littles together. From our hilarious trip to the Pumpkin Patch. I've checked the box "Take Trip to Pumpkin Patch" from the Suburban Mom checklist! NOTE TO SELF: GET A DAMN PHOTO OF SELF WITH NAT AND ELIZABETH!) Now that I think about it, this entry should be near the very top of the list!

The Mother-Daughter Beach Trip with Sophie. Hilton Head in April. Time alone with Sophie. This is not only a highlight of 2011 ~ it's a highlight of my life. I will never forget it!

The Beach Picnic on the last night of our family's beach trip in September. Everything about it was divine....just perfect. The sunset. The food. The wine. The nature. Our new family's first beach trip together. It could be my favorite moment of the entire year. So I'll end with this one....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is This What Our Life Has Come To?

To answer my own question, yes.

And I wouldn't have it any other way!!!!


Grandma & Grandpa, thank you for taking care of ClaraLu for a few hours so that we could enjoy some alone time with Sophie! We loved it so very much....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Suburban Field Journal

Recently I noticed a sign on the border of our county....... it states that we are a "Golden Fit Community". I had no idea what that meant so I looked it up. The below is taken directly from the Fit Community website:

Fit Community designations and grants reward North Carolina communities for creating and implementing a sustainable action plan to avoid or remedy preventable chronic health problems in their area. This community has been awarded a gold level status which means that we've made outstanding achievements in these areas.

Really? REALLY?

I'm not sure who took the time and effort involved in applying for this designation for our county. They obviously don't shop where I do.

Less than half a mile in each direction of this very sign are two shopping centers. Stop by on any given day and this is what you'll see.....

Shopping Carts EVERYWHERE

Even those people parked RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE STORE can't be bothered to walk the cart a mere 20 feet to keep it off the sidewalk.

Some people can't even be bothered to AT LEAST park the abondoned cart on the grassy island. Nope. They just leave it right out in the parking space. It's now someone else's problem.

This is a very nice part of town. You'd think people would be better socialized and take more pride in their surroundings.

Think again.

Golden Fit Community? I don't think so. How can we be fit if we can't take a short walk to put the cart back where it belongs? Something so simple.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What's Wrong With These Pictures?

At first glance, nothing. It's very sweet.....Clara and Daddy snuggling....

But wait, shouldn't it be the other way around? Well yes, especially in the middle of the afternoon when this picture was taken. Clara's reflux continues to haunt us. It's been a VERY rough few nights. As you can see, we'll catch a wink whenever, wherever, however we can get it. Last night, I slept two hours. Luckily, Alain woke up at 6:30 this morning and I got to have another two hour nap. Whew. Times is tough, my friends. But thank goodness this is my second child and I can keep reminding myself that it won't last forever....

We still love you to pieces, Clara Boo. Even if you don't seem to value sleep as much as the rest of us....

PS ~ Years from now, if and when you see Christmas photos from 2011, please remember that I only slept two two-hour shifts the previous night. Because this sister looks K.N.A.C.K.E.R.E.D.!!!

What's Wrong With These Pictures?

At first glance, nothing. They're beautiful blooms.

But then I remind myself that it's late December and my peach tree shouldn't be blooming. After a few days of almost 70 degree weather, Mama Peach Tree is really confused. In the past, she's always bloomed in February. Never December. I'm not sure what this will mean for our peach output next Spring/Summer. Only time will tell....

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas!

To all of my friends and family who celebrate Christmas, may you have the happiest of holidays this year!

{Image via Isle of View}

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Books Read In 2011

For years I've been meaning to list the books I read. Finally it's happened. Here they are in order. The books listed with little stars next to them are my favorites!

1. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang ~ Chelsea Handler
2. American Wasteland ~ Jonathan Bloom
3. Nurture Shock ~ Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
4. Cheap ~ Ellen Ruppel Shell
5. Simple Prosperity ~ David Wann ***
6. Makeshift Metropolis ~ Witold Rybczynski
7. Planting Dandelions ~ Kyran Pittman ***
8. Only Pack What You Can Carry ~ Janice Holly Booth
9. The Pillars of the Earth ~ Ken Follett ***
10. What I Thought I Knew ~ Alice Eve Cohen ***
11. Perfection ~ Julie Metz
12. Up For Renewal ~ Cathy Alter
13. In Praise of Slowness ~ Carl Honore
14. When Did I Get Like This ~ Amy Wilson
15. Message From An Unknown Chinese Mother ~ Xinran ***
16. Simplicity Parenting ~ Kim John Payne, M.Ed.
17. The End of Country ~ Seamus McGraw
18. Dreams of Joy ~ Lisa See ***
19. False Impression ~ Jeffrey Archer
20. The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett ***
21. Out of Our Minds ~ Ken Robinson ***
22. Cinderella Ate My Daughter ~ Peggy Orenstein

Note: What's really funny about this list is that I read all of these books but three before Clara was born on July 25th. Since then, I've only read three books. I don't even know how I managed to finish them! Oh and how I do miss reading!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Winter!

Tomorrow is officially the first day of Winter. Oh and I love Winter. The stillness. The quiet. The coziness. Warm fires. Hot drinks. Fuzzy blankets. Snow. Snow. Snow.

To celebrate the coming of winter, I'm sharing one of my favorite pins. Since Charlotte is so warm and barely has winter at all, I gaze at this one longingly on a pretty regular basis.....

Pin via

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Flip My Latkes In The Air Sometimes

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. There are many reasons for me to be excited. Eating latkes. Lighting candles. Giving presents to my girls. Reading Hanukkah stories. Alain's dreidel cake. Um hello, jelly doughnuts! But what excites me most? Well, it just so happens to be this video...

I can watch it as many times as I want without shame at this time of year.

Sophie and I saw the Maccabeats in concert just over a week ago. It was fun! (Although I was disappointed that my two favorite guys weren't there.) We met Yonatan while we were waiting in line for the restroom and he was the nicest guy. Sophie turned all shy because she recognized him from the video. Their show was happy, interactive and fun! When the guys started singing "Candlelight", the crowd went would've thought Elvis himself had just taken the stage!

So Happy Hannukah to all of our friends and family who just happen to celebrate the Festival of Lights! Hope you enjoy the video!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Suburban Field Journal

Let's set one thing straight ~ I like Christmas lights and decorated houses at this time of year. In the spirit of Clark Griswold, it's fun to drive around and see what people have created. Children love it and get so excited. As do adults!

But this? This is ridiculous. Is this really necessary?

An inflatable reindeer taller than your house? Seriously?

I had to look up the cost of just one of these beasts. Prepare yourself. It's $350. Even I was estimating around $200. WTF?

I could sit here all day and list the myriad of things I'd do with $350. Important things. Things to help other people. In this economy and living in a town where thousands of people have been laid off recently and nonprofits are struggling to survive, it's almost offensive to drive by this. Imagine the money it takes to pay the electricity bill to keep this embarrassment lit and inflated!

And you want to know the best part?

This particular house had a matching Santa to go with it.

I wish I had that kind of money to waste on absolutely nothing.

And can I just say.....I am so, so, so very thankful that I am not this person's neighbor.

PS ~ I'm feeling bad that my suburban posts are so negative. I want for my blog to be my "happy place". At the same time, this is a topic that interests me to no end. So in order to compensate, I wanted to share this positive story, also regarding Christmas lights and decorations.... I read this article over the weekend. We visit this house every year and the lights are unbelievable. And I was so pleased to see that the owners donate all the funds to St. Jude's. Yes, that's more like it!
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