Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 year reunion

10 years ago, 1 week after I donned the purple gown and walked across the stage to receive my diploma- I moved.

I moved 1,000+ miles away, to a new home my parents built, to a new state, a new everything. And boy was I pissed! My boyfriend, my BFFL’s, my 89 Summerset Buick, my job- you know at the ripe age of 17 everything is “totally forever” and god forbid my parentals try to screw that up.

Granted, here I am 10 years later with the kick ass (Florida Cracker) husband, great career, new home and a chunky baby occupying our time. For the most part, It’s been a good 10 years and needless to say Florida has treated me well. (Nolan & Charlie are not in that equation)

So when asked if we were going to make the trip up to the reunion….. Why the hell not?!

reunion6I know it’s all cliché and stuff NOT to go to a 10 year reunion especially with the social networking in our day in age, but I didn’t care. I mean come on, I had to throw back to this sexiness! Vintage Ashley 2001.

cheer Of course I wanted to see the peeps I haven’t seen in over 10 years, granted FB already keeps us connected. I wasn’t popular by any means and I would be lying if I denied being nervous that no one would remember me or visa versa. On the other hand there were a few people that I was never real close to in school, and if you told me I would be excited to see them at the reunion 10 years ago- I would have a confused face. Not because I didn’t like them, I just wasn’t close to them. But those are the people that came out of the woodworks after losing Nolan and really left an impression on my heart. (cue sappiness) Funny how 10 years can change a whole lot.

It was hilariously funny to see the guy the had a crush on me since 2nd grade, I was convinced he would have me on one of those Maury type shows as “Look at me now” and he would be some male dancer grinding on me while I had the look of amazement. Ok ok, I’m getting carried away. I will say, throwing alcohol into the mix kept the party interesting, granted I behaved myself but it sure did make for some great conversation.

reunion4We had a blast! Even Chris who wasn’t dying to go like I was even had a great time, evidenced by his duet performance. Ironically, these two husbands were the two who DIDN’T go to Hononegah.

reunion4  So Thank You to the Class of 2001 for making our trip worthwhile. God to honest truth, I needed some good ole Midwest, a trip down memory lane, a real Midwest football game (more on that high expectation later) and definitely some Culvers.  Can’t.forget.about.Culvers.


This is not our entire class, we have to be missing 300 that were either too cool to come, too cheap or just plain old couldn’t make it. Although there was a good amount of our group in the bar watching football- like my husband who made his claim to fame in my reunion by shouting “GO GO GO GO… YYYEEEESSSSSS!” (yeeea, he’s with me)

Until next time… 10 more years

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mom Cut 2011

I don’t know what is wrong with my brain, but every time I see the Kardashian sisters- I am convinced my hair will look like theirs if I keep growing mine out. This is not a lie. So every time I chop my hair, I declare that I am growing my locks back out because ONE DAY- I will wake up and my hair will look THAT luscious.


Wishful thinking.

I fully admit I spent the last 30 minutes trying to photo swap my face into a Kourtney Kardashian picture, but I scared my own self, so I will post a far away picture for your viewing pleasure.


I was starting to get sick of just whipping up my rats nest up into glorified messy bun and hoping I looked somewhat presentable. It took me 20 minutes to blow dry, another 20 to roll and then the second I walked out the door- FLAT! Have I mentioned how much I loathe Florida humidity.

It was time to get this mane chopped.

Last Friday morning we flew into Chicago (for my yet to be blogged reunion) where a dear blog friend happens to live. Laura and I have been dying to meet since winter of 2009 after we found each other on a preeclampsia message board. We both went through hell together and spent many of hours talking about our fears hopes and dreams. Here we are 2 years later, pre-e survivors, BLM’s and both raising 2 perfect little brothers. So I figured what better time to meet than make an appointment at her salon, fresh of the airplane and get the “Mom Cut” from only the best. IMG_3822 I have to say, she rocked my hair.

Thank you Laura for making me feel pretty for my reunion. Thank you for our great conversation about our babies. Thank you for taking time out of your day to come meet us and most of all- Thank you for being the great supportive friend you have been the past 2 years. IMG_3819

P.S. I want to squeeze Carter’s cheeks!


 My Mom Cut 20112981


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Every kid needs a stuffed animal with micro chip, right?

I couldn’t help myself. CC had to have a Build A Bear. Yea yea, I know he won’t remember it and sure I had to convince Chris this was a must but I am so glad we did it for the pure fact I have some of the best pictures of CC making his first bear.

We went with the Koala Bear, named Wally Jr in honor of Chris’ child hood stuffed Koala named Wally. Wally was THE token he dragged everywhere and slept with every night. So we picked out the light grey, slightly larger than original Wally and went to town stuffing. 




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Best part… sent this picture to Chris’ Mom and her response…

“Looks like you need a paternity test, original Wally was Brown”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I threw a bridal shower folks & Pinterest was my brain.

This weekend is finally over. OVER!

My bestest friend, like BFF4L, Valorie is finally getting married. You know, THE VALORIE that I have written about many of times. She made Nolan's video, she threw my baby shower that looked like it was strait from a magazine and most of all she keeps me from pulling my hair out. So I knew I had to throw her the best bachelorette party and bridal shower a girl could ask for.
So you may ask, how did I do?

Well, with the help of most the bridesmaids, Adderall and my bestie Pintrest- I think we kicked ass.

I'd tell you all about the Bachelorette Party that took place 2 nights before the shower, but then I would have to post R-rated pictures of a 6ft blow-up unmentionable (which got signed by Blake Shelton & Jarrod Neimon- thank you very much). Yes, I am not lying. The party consisted of a special chauffeur, tailgating and a concert under the stars.

2 days later, us ladies threw this together.
So with out further ado,
Valorie's Wine Tasting Bridal Shower
The do-it-yourself wine table. I found the wine barrels on Craigslist for a steal. We went with a burlap table cloth and a chalkboard runner, compliments of a pin I found on Pintrest.

Actually, here is my brain of the operation- my Pintrest board for the shower.

In the kitchen, we had the main dish, Baked Ziti and man did it taste divine! The table was covered in burlap & chantily lace, just perfect for the rustic wine charm I had envisioned. Those candles were inspired from a pin on pintrest that has been floating around also. I order a bunch of wine corks off eBay for cheap, used the vases, put a Yankee Candle inside and filled the space with corks. Wa-la... easy peasy.

Another inspiration found from Pintrest was chalkboard wine glasses. This was necessary considering we had 20+ attending the shower and would need a way to identify the glasses. We used Rustoluem chalkboard paint, Dollar Tree wine glasses (yes, the clerk ringing us out that day said she wanted to go where ever we were heading) and a chalkboard paint pen. The guests took these home as a favor along with their mason jar cupcakes which I failed to take a picture of.

The tables had flower center pieces with burlap runners and classy tin folding chairs.

Oh and I can't forget the white wine sangria recipe I found on Pintrest. O...M...G it was delish! I used 2 bottle of wine wine and 2 bottles of Fresca along with frozen bag of fruit and ladies and gents- we had heaven served in a glass. It was AH-MAZING!

Best Friends.
I had to throw in the infamous flamingo pose.

I'm not lying when I say I would do anything for this girl. I looked up to her when I started my career, I leaned on her when we lost Nolan, I held her hand through her sons last open heart surgery, she rushed to us when CC was born, and now I will be at her side when she gets married. 31 days left!!

The party was a hit! We did it girls! We threw a party only Val herself could throw! And she deserved that and more!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 Bags, no bra and Mom of the Year…

We’re home. Home from one of the most interesting cruises we have ever been on. I am going to have a hard time putting into words what our last 4 days was like out on the great blue sea. Ahhhh yes, I should have known we were in trouble when I stood on the back of the ship and got the feeling we were being cropped dusted by a large blue & red whale. Something about that just weirded me out. Regardless, it was nothing a rum drink in a overpriced souvenir cup fancied with a paper umbrella can’t fix. Right?



So yes, we ended up with 5 bags just for our cabin. I am pretty sure I packed every single thing we would need FOR THE BABY. He may or may not had some high heels shoved in his case. But yes, I may have brought 3 suits, 100 diapers, clothes to last a month and even an extra sheet for the crib they provided. But it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized, I forgot to pack bras. Yes. Go me. I made due, but I had to laugh at myself when I had 6 pairs of shoes to choose from but no bra. awesome.2529

CC was in LOVE. He has to go be the easiest baby to cruise with. Sit in stroller, eat, sleep… repeat. Sure he had unlimited amounts of food coming from every direction, endless girls falling out of their bikini tops and plenty of attention to keep him occupied.

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First stop… Key West. We woke up around 6am before we even docked and perused up to Lido deck to watch the sunrise. There we met up with Aunt Maggie who was making her rounds trying to find a cup of coffee and food. Although I found out food is NOT available before 7am, I practically got my hand slapped while trying to sneak a chocolate muffin out of the buffet 10 minutes early. Seriously?! Any who.. Gpa & Nana found us out on Lido and we all watched us pull into port in our pajamas.


And friends, I fully admit… I officially won the “Mom of the Year” award. How you may ask?2692

It started at Hog’s Breath. Chris and Gpa wanted to stop for a drink because that’s where they all hung out on their “guys trip” a few years ago. Ok fine, we get it. But when we all walked in, the song “If I die young” came on, and between my sisters and Mom we flooded the bar out with tears thinking about how Charlie is missing from our group. So there goes the first round of drinks. 

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Our next stop was because Kelli just HAD to show us this one place she LOVED. Ahhhhh Irish Kevin’s… yes. I smell trouble. We wheel CC on in and the bartender shouts “Shots for Tots”

2778 2796 Yes. I’m racking up points to earn this Mother of the Year award. We stayed there until the place filled up with people and we figured it was time to move on. Keep in mind, it was only 11:30 in the morning.

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Alright, so we start walking down Duval street peering into shops and making jokes when we stop dead in our tracks because OMGit’sFatTuesdays!!!! Let me give you some background. Our wedding cruise, we made some very fine memories at a Fat Tuesdays in Cozumel. It was a great time- so we couldn’t just pass up a slushy spiked with yummy rum.

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And yes… it dawns on me… CC is bar hopping. Guilty. Go ahead judge. But hey, it was a family affair. Nana, Gpa, 3 aunts and his Mom & Dad were with him. We were “sight seeing.” 2932

We all made it back to our ship safe and sound and mostly sober. We were back to hoarding food from the buffet and changing diapers… Just another typical afternoon with the baby aboard the Fun Ship.29542958

To be continued……