September 29, 2013

13 Years!

Today is our anniversary ... we were married thirteen years ago on a beautiful, sunny, cool fall day. It was a lovely wedding.  I love my husband dearly and although marriage isn't always easy and this year has been a bit difficult for a myriad of reasons, I still chose him and I cannot imagine my life without him.

For better or for worse, in good times and in bad ... as long as we both shall live.


September 27, 2013

An Open Letter to Self-righteous Soccer Moms

It's possible I should open this letter to include all parents who have their kids involved in sports because over time, I've discovered the problem is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, across all sports. And frankly, I'm embarrassed for my gender.

I was a bit nervous at the start of the soccer season because Boo was the only new kid bumped up to this team for the fall season. I  knew the moms had been together for a few seasons and that often spells trouble for any newcomers.

I wasn't wrong.

The clique of mothers has a ring leader. And if the ring leader doesn't like you for some unknown reason, even though she's never attempted to speak to you, well, you're out of luck. You're an outsider (when she's around.)  When she's not around? The other moms will talk to you. 

Seriously? Are we 12? No, we're not. But it almost feels like middle school all over again.

I don't automatically assume that because we have boys on the same soccer team that we should all suddenly be friends, have dinner, and go shopping together. True friendships usually don't work that way.  But is it necessary to act as though I don't exist and to not extend a friendly "hello" and sincere "how are you?"

I always say hello and it's barely reciprocated, while eyes dart to the ground.

Not anymore. I'm done.  If you won't take 2 minutes out of your precious day to acknowledge my presence, why should I bother? 

My son is struggling a bit on this team because they moved up a level competition-wise so he's still working it out. But it's clear to me that these other self-righteous parents don't think he should be on the team and this is the reason for the cold shoulder. Really? The other 11 boys have been playing together for 4 seasons. ONE new kid is not the reason we've lost 2 of 3 games. Oh, and let me remind you that they are NINE YEARS OLD.

It got back to me that a parent has said that the PARENTS should have a say who is allowed to join this team. Are you frigging kidding me?  This is not club soccer.  If I had only known before the season started that this is what I walking into, I would have run away in the opposite direction.

Get off your high horse and your assumption that your kid is the next David Beckham. He's not.

September 26, 2013

More Sweet 16 Stuff

Now that the party planning in under control, a place has been booked, and a DJ too, now I can focus on the details.  We aren't going super elaborate with the party decor b/c normal people don't have time for that but I think the party will still be nice.

For the tables, I have tin pails  for the centerpieces. I'm going to fill them with either tissue paper or basket filler and tie balloons to them. I'll probably need a weight/rock in the pails to keep them on the tables!

I'm making a bunting out of craft paper and jute to string along the food and dessert tables.

The dessert table is where all the action will be ... There will be cake, cookies and brownies and a small candy bar.  I found awesome glassware cheap at two different discount stores near my house. I'll also be using some silver wrapping paper around some different sized boxes to add some height to the table and the treats.  I really hope the table ends up looking like it does in my head!

In the mean time, I've also been working on these two things:



I customized the candles to go with the colors we chose for the party.  I simply took the candle, and using a razor blade, gently scraped off the red lines. Then I painted the inside of the numbers with craft paint and used silver glitter glue as the outline.  It turned out great! And SO easy to do!!

And the giant J ... any idea? Stay tuned. That also got a purple puffy makeover!

September 25, 2013

Ultimate Party Food List

I don't know what life is like in your little corner of the world, but around here, Fall is prime time for get togethers of all kinds.  It could be all the Fall birthdays or it might be football but whatever the reason, planning the food can be a challenge. I get bored of the same appetizers and main dishes served over and over again.

I have a friend that serves the same food at every party she has, no matter what the reason or the season. Baked Ziti, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese gets old ... I don't care how easy it is to prepare for a large group of people. Sometimes you have to put in a little more effort and creativity!

I came across this massive list of all things party food. It seriously has anything you might be looking for (except for "fancy" main dishes!)  

I currently have three parties I am planning, all three within 6 days of each other. I may be slightly crazy. Or, I may be crazy by the time it's all over.


I hope you find the list as helpful as I have!  I saw the Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread on Pinterest awhile ago (#25 on the list) and that is on the appetizer list for my son's 9th birthday party with the family!

Enjoy!!

September 24, 2013

Apple Cider Doughnut Holes

I found this recipe in the October 2013 Rachael Ray magazine. All I had to do was read that apple cider was in ingredient and I was sold.  I gave them a test run this weekend and while they were good, they needed a little more sugar in the batter, in my opinion.



Recipe (as it was written):

1 cup apple cider
4 tbsp butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
6 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
- - - - - - - 
Cinnamon Sugar:
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
10 tbsp sugar

Step 1:  In a small saucepan, boil the cider until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 6-8 minutes.  I didn't measure it ... just boiled it for the time and what was left, was left!  Add the butter and stir until melted. Let cool.  Whisk in egg.

Step 2:  In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in cider mixture until just blended.

Step 3:  The directions tell you to fry the donuts, but I used my cake pop maker. Much healthier!  I dropped the batter by the teaspoon and shut the cake pop maker ... less than 5 minutes later I had perfectly round donuts!

Step 4:  Allow to cool and coated with cinnamon sugar.

They were good but like I said, when I make them again I will add more than 6 tbsp of sugar to the batter. I would add at least a 1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar.

Enjoy!

September 23, 2013

Weekend Sports Recap

We're a good three weeks into the Fall sport's season and it's been .... interesting.  I'm very close to abandoning kid's sports all together.  Why must some parents be so snotty? It baffles me.  Soccer parents are an interesting crew, especially on this team.

Boo's soccer team won their 1st game on Sunday. They are now 1-2.

Bud's football team lost on Saturday. They are now 2-1.

And the Senior team The Husband is coaching lost again. They are now 0-3, which is wreaking havoc on the coaches and what they need to change, do different, etc ... but the reality is, our team is small compared to the other teams in the league. Small doesn't compete well against big and fast.

For added fun on Saturday night under the lights, it poured - P O U R E D.  It started around half time during the Senior's game.  We were all soaked. The kids watching the game were using the grass as a slip-n-slide. They all had a blast!


September 20, 2013

Way Too Early

School is just one giant petri dish. Today marks the end of the second week of school and I've got a sick kid already. Really?!?  My kids are generally healthy kids and don't pick up everything that goes around. I've always considered myself very fortunate for this reason. But when my kids are sick, it's like the world is ending. They don't know how to handle it and they are c-r-a-n-k-y.

My 6th grader is missing school today and I shutter to wonder how much work he will have to make up. The homework has been very heavy this week and he's not used to having so much. The joys of getting older, I tell him.

So I'm hoping this is just a head cold and/or allergy related. He sometimes has some issues with seasonal allergies and rolling around in the grass at football probably isn't helping matters.  This morning he sounded like he swallowed a frog, couldn't breathe, and he was miserable.

I tested him by reminding him that if he missed school, he'd likely have a lot of work to make up so decide if you really feel that bad ... he said "I feel that bad" and went back to bed.

He *never* goes back to bed.

So he's home today and I'm not looking forward the the mound of work he'll need to make up.

Sigh.


September 19, 2013

Scarf Tying

I came across this picture of tying a scarf on Facebook of all places ... I can't wait to try it out and thought I'd share it here too.


I have tied my scarf somewhat like that in the past but it was on accident. Now I can do it this way on purpose!


September 18, 2013

The Funk

I have so much going on right now between work, school, sports, keeping up with household chores, the Sweet 16 party, and Boo's birthday that I'm in a funk ... I long for longer days. I wish I felt like my day job was actually accomplishing something. It might make it easier to go to work everyday. Most days I feel like I'm just wasting my time and I sit and think of the thousand things I could be doing instead.

But change is hard, especially when you have no idea what type of job to search for and it's easier just to stay where you have (some) job security.  I think I'm just bored with my line of work in general but now what? Nothing seems appealing to me nor does going back to school.

I'm sure that sounds lazy but I'm not a lazy person and going back to school doesn't always solve the problem! I have a BS degree in Accounting and 18 years of work experience under my belt, most of that spent in an auditing position.  But I'm bored, really bored....


September 13, 2013

Sweet 16 Party - How NOT to Plan One

We're in the midst of planning a Sweet 16 Birthday party for my young sister-in-law but the drama makes me want to run away and hide.

Problem #1  My (big) SIL wanted to plan it since it's her half sister.  She picked a date 3 months ago, cleared it with the family but NEVER booked a place to have the party!

Problem #2  As luck would have it, Bud has a football game at 6pm that night and The Husband's plays at 8pm.  We just got the finalized football schedule late last week and on one was anticipating games so late on a Saturday!

Problem #3  The place my SIL thought we could have the party is c-r-a-z-y expensive,  $2,500 - $3,000 crazy. Insane. Not happening.  So then the frantic phone calls started to other local places started YESTERDAY and every place we were calling was booked. Not surprising, since the party date is October 5th!

We did finally get lucky and found a local hall to host the party for $500. We will supply all the food and DJ arrangements are still being worked out.

Meanwhile, the party is three weeks away and invitations have not been sent.  I love my SIL, I do ... she's a great person and would do anything for you, but party planning is not her forte.  I've been scouring Pinterest and I've found a lot of good ideas to incorporate into the party.  

But first and foremost, I'm thanking God for one-hour photo printing:


I created this using the Ribbet website. Love that website!




September 12, 2013

A Rough Start

Sixth grade is off to a rough start. I'm not sure if he's in denial that school has started or if this is just tween moodiness rearing it's ugly head. But I am certain we will be having a come to Jesus moment because there is no way I'm dealing with this for the next nine months.

We've had two nights of homework so far and both have driven me to drink. It's cheaper than bail money, right? I kid, I kid ... but if you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about.

Let's see if he forgets his assignment book for a 3rd night in a row!

A friend of mine is highly recommending this book and since she has a son getting ready to graduate from high school and he's still alive, I'm going to read it!




September 11, 2013

Remembering

I didn't know anyone directly impacted by the attack on the Twin Towers in NYC that fateful day 12 years ago but I do remember exactly where I was when I heard about it.

I was at work listening to Good Morning America on the radio. I doubt I'll ever forget the fear I heard in the anchors' voices that morning when everyone realized what was going on. I'll never forgot how eery it was leaving work that day because the streets of Philadelphia were empty. I'll never forget how quiet the skies were that day and the days that followed. I'll never forget the heart-wrenching stories that began emerging and all the people desperately searching for their loved ones.

I was just a few weeks pregnant at the time and didn't realize just how much the world would change. You hear lots of talk about "pre 9/11" and "post 9/11" and my children will never know a "pre 9/11" world.

So today I'm taking a moment to remember all the victims, the family members, the policemen, the firefighters, and other first responders that were there on that day, many of which risked their own lives to do their job.  Thank you for bringing out the best in humanity in the midst of such evil.


September 10, 2013

He Graduated!

So this handsome pup graduated from training this past weekend ... no more every Saturday AM treks to the trainer's house which is a good 40 minutes away from my house.  I'm sure we'll head down every now and again for a refresher course (which is permitted, encouraged and free!) but after almost nine months, I need a break.


Don't get me wrong, he's still a punk sometimes. He is, after all, still a puppy but it's nice to have complete control of him without the use of a leash. It has come in handy a few times already!


September 6, 2013

Evening Scenes, Part 2

This evening scene is from Bud's football scrimmage ... Sweaty, sweaty boys that wouldn't have it any other way!



We're looking forward to a great season with this new team.

First official game is tomorrow night! Wish them luck!


September 5, 2013

It's Christmas!?!

Today is the 1st day of school!

This is the best commercial ever. I know, it's old but I still think about it every September!


All joking aside, it's time to get back to normal and get down to business. They've had more than enough couch and ipod time!

Wishing my boys the best for a great year in 4th and 6th grades!


September 4, 2013

Juice Boxes for Moms

Available at a liquor store near you, I hope!


They are all really good!

September 3, 2013

Overheard on IM

The joy of marriage:


me: i may kill him

friend: hide the body well.  he is a cop - they will look hard for him

me: you think?

friend: <>

me: i'm not so sure; they may throw a party when he and his mouth leaves

friend: LMAO