I Love my Husband

I think we can all agree that the “I Love My Wife”/”I Love My Husband” bumper stickers are cheesy as all get out, but I’d like to take a moment to say that I really do love my husband. If this blog is a daily inspiration journal, than while I’m sick and wearing 2-day-old sweats and wiping snotty noses (including my own) with the Elmo Potty Time DVD as dinner time entertainment, my husband is the inspiration I draw from today. He works so darn hard on our relationship, and while this may come as a shock, I’m no picnic to live with every day. A couple of weeks ago, while I was fitting about something that’s not even worth mentioning, Clark did what any mature adult would do and rationally talked through the 10 Steps to Resolving Conflict while I on the other hand, kept my arms crossed and refused to make eye contact. It was right around Step 4, “List past attempts to resolve the issue that were not successful”, that it occurred to me that I was exhibiting the maturity of a 5-year-old. Seriously, in our house, the “time out” zone is the hallway that leads out to the back patio where we keep the smelly trash before garbage day. I tell Salem its where our smelly attitudes belong…. in the trash. Why Clark didn’t send me to the smelly trash corner, I’ll never know, but that’s what I mean. He’s patient and loving….. the kind of guy who leaves voice mail messages, and little notes on the fridge to say, “I love you just because”. Medicine head over here has the intellectual capacity of the red puppet on my TV screen right now singing, “Accidents Happen”. So I’ll just simply say…

I love my husband.

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99 Bottles

Beer Tasting

“Local Microbreweries often offer free tours with beer tasting afterwards. If there’s no brewery near you, throw your own tasting party by buying some of those weird new beers whose taste you’ve been wondering about, and making homemade pretzels (simple recipes can be found with just a bit of research). Buy a couple of different mustards to put on the fresh pretzels and ta dah! You’ve got your own beer and mustard tasting party (though preferably not mixed together).”

In my defense, I had been up at 5am on Sunday to get ready for church before the kids woke up. Before our little beer tasting double date with Ben and Ashley even started, I was ready to curl up with either Clark or the body pillow and call it a night. But, I had gone to the Common Market the day before and created my own six pack (ok… two six packs) of exotic beers, and I couldn’t wait for non-beer drinking husband to finally select a beer that he liked or at the very least could barely tolerate. The tasting began with Ben enlightening us to the difference in shades, textures, and origins. Thank you, Ben. If Clark and I had been on our own, we would have had to make stuff up as we went along. We sampled ales and lagers from all over the world…Belize, Greece, Germany, England. That combined with the Mexican food we had for dinner has made for an interesting tummy situation for both of us this morning. But the good news is, we found a winner!! Turns out my husband who likes girlie drinks actually prefers the stoutness (is that a word? Stoutness?) of a Steelhead brew. No sissy pale ales for my man. No sir-ee. Before the night even started, I could feel myself coming down with the cold “funk” that’s been going around, and sure enough, not only did I fall asleep before our guests left, but I am sick today with a stuffy head and sore throat.

No….. its not a hangover.

Our cheap date of beer tasting was a success! And now our dining out experiences will be even cheaper if Clark isn’t ordering those expensive martinis!

While the Husband’s Away

This was the scene around my house on Friday night.

While Clark was away with some friends at Unite Charlotte, I stayed home with the sleeping babies and had a night to myself. It was glorious. I popped in The Devil Wears Prada and pulled up this book wreath tutorial by Jones Design Company. The rest of the evening went something like this…

This was the first night I’ve had to myself in ages. Nothing like a cold beer and a hot glue gun to celebrate my evening flying solo. And surprisingly, this was the end result!

Perhaps a night to myself every once in a while might not be such a bad idea!

Great Cheap Date Challenge #16

Beer Tasting

“Local Microbreweries often offer free tours with beer tasting afterwards. If there’s no brewery near you, throw your own tasting party by buying some of those weird new beers whose taste you’ve been wondering about, and making homemade pretzels (simple recipes can be found with just a bit of research). Buy a couple of different mustards to put on the fresh pretzels and ta dah! You’ve got your own beer and mustard tasting party (though preferably not mixed together).”

We will be opting for the at home party for a number of reasons:

1. My husband hates beer, however, he has agreed to sample a new variety in the event that he finds something that suits his taste. I can’t tell if he’s starting to develop a complex about ordering girlie drinks in public. For instance, on our last date, we ate at a the bowling alley sports bar. I ordered a Shocktop while he requested an apple martini. I mean, nothing will make a guy bowl a 300 quite like an apple martini, but nevertheless, it is time to broaden the horizons.

2. Those apple martinis are getting expensive!

3. He and I are lightweights– better stick close to home.

4. No childcare.

5. Said children wake up at 7am regardless of whether or not mommy and daddy host a beer tasting the night before.

I can’t wait to see how this date turns out.

By the way, I stumbled on a few noteworthy dating sites this week. Simply Modern Mom’s blog features a dating category called Project 52: Date Nights. The idea behind the Great Cheap Date Challenge and Project 52 is to encourage couples to take time out of their week to do something simple and creative with one another without breaking the bank! Check out this date night pledge

Try slipping this under the remote this weekend, or go ahead and plan the first one and invite your spouse to a night of fun for just the two of you. Feel free to borrow any of the Great Cheap Date ideas found here. Also, for more creative date ideas, check out The Dating Diva’s Blog. For a thoughtful and creative idea at virtually NO cost whatsoever, check out their recent post entitiled, “Tonight’s Going to be a Good Night”, and tell me your husband would not get off the couch for this one!

I’d am curious to know what was the most memorable date you’ve had. (If you’re married, hopefully it was with your husband. Ha!) Comment below with your dating memory, and feel free to share some of your most creative ideas with the rest of us.

Have a great weekend!

MODGENES GIVEAWAY!!!!

In honor of this being my 100th post, I am excited to announce this very special giveaway. I’ve been chomping at the bit to share it with you for the last several weeks so consider this an early Valentine’s gift for being one of my adored readers. I am so enjoying this inspiration journey with you. Your presence and your comments mean more to me than you know…. tear… sniff…. sniff. Now on to the good stuff!!!

It all began a couple of months ago when I stumbled on this print by ModGenes on Project Nursery’s blog.

Wedding Song Custom Print

Clark and I wrote Salem’s name into Edelweiss from The Sound of Music when he was just an infant. We’ve sung it as a nursery rhyme to him ever since. This particular print matches perfectly with his nursery theme! Needless to say, I fell in love with their collection of customized prints. AND the best part is….

Drum roll please….

Modgenes is giving away an 8×10 of this print to one lucky subscriber to Lady Lullabuy’s blog! You can customize it with your wedding song or your favorite nursery rhyme, or you can select an 8×10 from one of these customizable featured items.

LOVE print

ABC-I Love you print

I love this Lots of Love print!

This would be a precious wedding or baby gift. You can customize it with your gift-ees name and special occasion date in a variety of vibrant colors!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This giveaway is open for ONE WEEK ONLY until midnight on Friday, February 4, 2011. This will give you enough time to choose and customize a print for someone you love this Valentine’s Day. Or, if you prefer to boycott the love holiday, choose a print for yourself as a way of showing yourself the love… just because you’re worth it!

ENTRY DETAILS:

Step 1. Make sure that you are subscribed to Lady Lullabuy’s blog.

Step 2. Comment on this post telling me who you want to share the ModGenes love with this Valentine’s Day…. even if it is yourself!

EXTRA ENTRIES:

Step 1. Update your Facebook and Twitter status to say:

“I’ve just entered the ModGenes Giveaway on Lady Lullabuy’s blog, and you should too!”

Step 2. Leave an additional comment for EACH status update.

Step 3. Follow ModGenes on Facebook and Twitter.

Step. 4 Follow Lady Lullbuy’s Blog on Facebook and Twitter.

Step 5. Leave an additional comment for EACH “follow” from Step 3 and 4.

Step 6. Look in the mirror and say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”

Step 7. Comment back here admitting that you actually gave the above love to yourself.

That’s a total of EIGHT opportunities to win! Be sure to check out ModGenes Etsy shop for more unique prints and gift ideas!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!!!!!

 

Chalk Talk

I am beginning to think that if you live in a house with children (or a visionary husband) you need to make good use of chalkboard paint. Granted, chalkboard painted surfaces are cropping up everywhere these days, but there’s a reason for that. Perhaps a few of these examples would prove useful around your house. I know they would in mine.

I am already visualizing my home school room even though Salem just rounded age 2! It never too early to prepare, right? I love these Erasable Labels from Martha Stewart. If Salem had his way, they would all be labeled “drum sticks”.

If you haven’t already visited Jones Design Company blog, pour yourself a cup of hot tea and brace yourself for a dose of inspiration like you’ve never seen before. In a word Emily is brilliant. I recently told her that if one could have a blog “mentor” she would be it for me. This is a wall in her home office. I could see Clark and I scribbling lyrics all over that space. Here are a couple of other examples of fun with chalkboard paint.

Image via image via Milk and Honey Home

This table by Design Sponge got my wheels spinning for this weekend’s Unfinished Projects Party. I just re-inherited a hideous cabinet that I lent to Christyn. It is an eyesore in my foyer, and I can’t stand to leave it there looking like something better suited for the Pit of Despair.

Try Benjamin Moore Studio Finish Chalkboard Paint

…or if you’re in a more colorful mood, check out Hudson Color Chalkboard Paint, and paint ’til your heart’s content!

 

Baby K’Tan

I am grateful for the extreme security precautions at our international airports, but I never would have made my flight with Amelia, my suitcase, and my sanity without my Baby K’tan carrier. Look at all the different ways you can wear this sling:

(images via Baby K’tan)

My midwife, Leigh, from the Carolina Community Maternity Center, let me borrow one after I had Mia, and I wear it almost everywhere… to church, the mall, the market. I tried other slings and carriers, but I love this one. It simply slips on and off without the hassle of adjusting annoying straps or buckles. And I’m pretty sure Mr. Corporate America sharing a row with me on the plane appreciates that my K’tan doubles as a nursing cover.

Check out their website for more products and carrying positions. This one just so happens to be my favorite…

My litte pea in a pod!

P.S. I still owe you, Leigh!

According to Uma

 

(image via Fandango)

I have a terrible memory. That’s what my friends are for… to do my remembering for me. You could relay a story of where we were, who we were with, and even what we were wearing, and I may still have no recollection of said event. That has to mean something awful that perhaps a shrink will capitalize on one day, but I like to think of it as living in the moment. Carpe diem, right?

I watched a movie tonight called “Motherhood” with Uma Thurman. Great film. However, if we’re going with a depiction of real life, I know more mommies (including myself) who most days feel about as sexy an umpa lumpa…. Not at all like Uma. But I’m willing to go with it. Uma’s character is a world class fiction writer trapped in the everyday, raising 2 children in NYC. Her blog entitled “The Bjorn Identity” (brilliant) is a satirical blend of the convoluted parenting theories of other playground mommies and a few unspeakable fantasies of friends through which she may very well live vicariously. I promise not to be the movie spoiler, but one of her closing monologues is set to the tune of passion becoming a dim memory in the wake of motherhood. It sort of sounds like a book I’m reading right now. Just to give you an idea of what its about, the current chapter is called, “Whatever happened to me?” Sound familiar?

Like Uma, I too can be excused of hiding behind irony when I post throughout this blog. While most days I am at the core of me generally satisfied with the path my life had taken, I wonder if it is at all the case that I have my terrible memory to thank for it. You see, I have an enviable marriage (because my better half makes it so), staggeringly beautiful children, friends I don’t deserve, a community of faith that receives me in all my neuroses, varied creative interests and activities… I can “count my many blessings and name them one by one” to quote one of my two-year-old’s Bible songs. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days when my voice filled arenas and my name was written on a backstage door… when I’d have to adjust my watch to the present time zone and trade sleep for sightseeing in whatever city we happened to be playing music that night. I don’t at all miss the constant sense of rootlessness- that home was somewhere far away, the foreign beds, the early flights, or that saline taste in my mouth that comes from eating to much restaurant food. No. But there are some parts, that when my sense of forgetfulness fails me, I miss very much.

I have sworn not to use this self-publishing platform to vent or wallow, and certainly not to reminisce. But sometimes the deepest inspiration can be drawn from relating to real life, flesh and blood, vulnerability, don’t you think? Perhaps a salt and peppering of that in between date night challenges and Etsy finds wouldn’t hurt every now and then.

I think of you when I write from day to day, sitting in your cubicle, at your kitchen table, or at a stoplight, laughing or perhaps thinking, “did she really just post her indecent nursing exposure on the Internet” (see Ta-Ta Tacos post). And I pray that if you’ve read this far, you would know that I too am walking this tightrope journey called marriage, motherhood, and, for crying out loud, just plain being a woman! It isn’t easy. It isn’t “Uma” sexy. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Would you?

Frapton

I have been away from my boys for 3 days now and I’m itching to get back them. The latest update from the head Beasley is that Salem has watched all of Rush in concert, the Phil Collins 1st farewell tour (volume 1&2) and his favorite, Eric Clapton which he affectionately calls “Frapton”. When it was nap time, Salem played an impromptu round of hide and seek. This is how Clark found him…

I’d say it is time for mama to get home. 

I’m crippled without my Mac, and as a friend of mine once said…”Man cannot live by iPhone alone.” It would so happen that I would be oozing with inspiration from everything to wedding favors to wallpaper, Norwegian pop artists and paper mâché, all while technologically limited in the land of PCs. So, be sure to check back tomorrow for some fresh thought. 

Cheers and happy Tuesday!!

Bowling with Benefits

 

Big Balls. Little Balls. 

Have yourself a middle-American afternoon dressed in garb appropriate for a miniature golf game, or head to a putting green and whork out your whacks there. If you hate chasing those little white balls, head to the bowling alley (you do have your own shoes and bowling ball, yes?) for a cutthroat bowling tournament for two.”

Clark and I spent all day Friday looking forward to bowling a few frames at the Epicenter’s Strike City Lanes. We were placing bets, and I must say, the stakes were getting more provocative as the day went on. We showed up psyched because regardless of who won, we knew we would both make out okay. I should have been tipped off by the bouncers freezing outside the front door. Strike City soon struck out when we discovered it cost $45 an hour per lane. Excuse me? This is supposed to be a Great CHEAP Date Challenge. So, bowling for benefits turned into Shocktops and cheese sticks at the snack bar. I wasn’t too disappointed as we exchanged perhaps the first uninterrupted conversation of the entire week. It is a wonder how 2 people can share a name, a bed, and a checking account and in 5 days time only manage to squeeze in enough dialogue to ensure the garbage made it to the curb before trash day. I’m pretty sure we looked more like a newly dating couple than a married couple with 5 years and 2 kids under our belt, since the waitress did ask us if we wanted separate checks. I’ll take that as a good sign. Cheap Date Challenge #15… Good times without the embarrassing bowling score.

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