31 July 2009

amish country

While in Lancaster we didn't just paint the dining room.

Aunt B also took us shopping at the outlets. A very dangerous place for a girl with a love for Coach, Fossil, decorating her house and a credit card. Let's just not even talk about that.

B also took us to this great park that isn't far from her house at all. The only draw back was we didn't plan very well and by the time we made it to the park a storm was rolling in.

Don't the clouds in this photo just look spooky??

Mabry had a blast on all of the different rides attractions playground stuff. The slides were her very favorite.

Don't think Mabry was the only one to have some fun. The grown ups know how to live it up at the playground too!

We were forced to cut our time at the playground short once the thunder and the lightening started.

Hoping to beat the storm before it started to rain we drove around to take some photos of the big old homes Lancaster is known for.

Unfortunately the rain hit and hit hard:

This was the only sort of decent photo I was able to get:

Guess this means we are going to have to come back to Lancaster for a visit.

Not that we need a reason. We love B and Sven and can't wait to see them again!

30 July 2009

we were those parents

On our way home Monday Dan decided to make a very impromptu stop in our nation's capital. My Hubs loves DC and couldn't resist being that close and not stopping to at least see a few of the monuments.

It was a little more of a challenge to find parking than we had hoped. But while slowly circling the streets I was able to take this great shot of the Capital building:

Did I mention this was a very impromptu trip? Which means we were completely unprepared. I left the sunscreen in the car. We had no water. I was wearing a pair of flip flops that were literally falling apart from all the walking I did in New York City. Not to mention it was hot.

Like fry an egg on the sidewalk hot.


On our way from the car to the monuments, Dan and I saw countless families wandering the streets with their fanny packs and tourist maps. We couldn't help but laugh at how all of the children who followed their parents, red-faced and sweating down the street had the same expression on their faces. The I-can't-believe-Mom-and-Dad-are-making-me-spend-my-vacation-being-tortured-this-way look. I'm sure many of you are familiar.

Mabry is so lucky she has such cool parents who would never torture her so.

After an hour and a half of traipsing up and down the National Mall to check out the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Wall, Lincoln Monument, and Korean War Memorial we were back on the road home.

To keep myself busy in the car I started looking through all of the photos and a funny thing happened.

Dan and I totally have one of those kids. The miserable kid with the miserable look.

Apparently she didn't find the fact that I wanted to document her touching every single memorial/monument while in the blazing heat to be fun:

Ok, I admit if my Mom laid down and tried to "walk up" the Washington Monument I'd probably try and look like I didn't know the crazy lady either:

She would perk up and smile if we asked her if she wanted ice cream:

Too bad by that point that offer was made the heat was really getting to Dan and I. Leading to a grand total of zero photos where we all look happy at the same time.

For the record we did end up buying some bottled water and an ice cream sandwich from a vendor on the way back to the car.

We have decided next time we visit DC we are coming in the winter.

29 July 2009

the many faces of mabry grace

I am still plugging away with unpacking and picture uploading and whatnot. I don't know why, but my visitor count to the blog has been way down. Am I becoming totally boring or what?! I am going to chalk it up to it being summertime. Hopefully things will start to turn around soon.

Anyhow, while uploading some of my photos I came across these ones of Mabry. Thought that they would make for a good laugh. She taught herself to make these faces and kept herself wildly entertained as we drove into DC.

28 July 2009

a few (of the MANY) things i learned about nyc

1. Large drinks, even with no ice in them are much bigger in the south than they are in NYC. I thought the guy was joking when he handed me this cup after I ordered a large:

2. Subways aren't really all that confusing or dirty. Though, I would still avoid the bathrooms. At least after hearing some of the horror stories Corey told me.

3. All toy stores should have life size T-Rex's that move and roar in them. (This was the Toys R Us in Times Square.)

4. Rockefeller Center is really, really tiny. Where you see the umbrellas in this photo...that is where the skating rink is during the winter months. Small. Really small.

5. Be careful where you eat. We stopped in Rockefeller Center to grab some dinner. We went to a restaurant that is well known across the country. Imagine our surprise when we opened up the menu and found burgers listed for $18. Sure, we were in the city so there was some expected inflation. But $18 for a burger?! Someone is out of their mind with greed. We thanked our server but said it was a little out of the price range we were looking to spend on dinner that night. Then the server bestowed a bit of wisdom on us. On the weekends they bring out a weekend menu. Everything is the exact same, except the prices are inflated by another $3-$5, because it is the weekend. Oh and during the holidays? Well you don't want to know.

6. NYC pizza that is made in NYC is amazing. I would have eaten it every day for every meal while we were there if I could.

7. Speaking of food, Benihana...best meal I have ever had and worth every single penny.

8. It is fun to take photos inside Grand Central Station. Especially if later on you go home and Photoshop some asteroids (ala Armageddon) into the shot.

9. Brooklyn is HUGE.

10. It is totally possible to fall head over heels in love with a city.

waffles in the dining room

From the way I am feeling today you would have thought I had been away for over a month traveling, not just a week.

What a busy week it was! Dan and I saw NYC for the first time. We visited with family. We helped my sister and her boyfriend with landscaping and painting at their new house. We even made a pit stop in DC on the way home.

There is lots to be done now that we are back. Besides the laundry and the unpacking there are over 500 photos that I need to sort through, edit and label. Guess I know how nap time will be spent this week.

For now I thought I would leave you with the transformation of Betsy and Sven's dining room.

When they first moved in the previous owner had painted the room red and white. There was a cream colored chair rail that went around the room separating the two colors. Needless to say, no one was impressed with the way it looked. Especially if you got up close to the wall and saw the drip marks and areas where not enough coats of red had been applied. Trust me, it was icky.
(Photo courtesy of Betsy.)

There was a lot of debate over what color to paint the walls and the scheme to go with in there. Seeing as it was right off the kitchen and the living room it all needed to flow. Finally Olympic's Belgian Waffle was chosen and the painting commenced. But not before we spent an entire night taping off the entire room and sanding down walls and filling in holes.

It took much longer than Betsy and I anticipated to get it done. The bottom portion of the wall only took two coats of paint. The red, well that was AWFUL to try and cover. First there was the layer of grey primer that we put on the wall. Then there were the two coats of yellow that we thought would do the trick. Then the additional third layer and then all of the touching up.

When we took the tape down we found that the primer had soaked through almost the entire way around the top side of the chair rail. Which meant another hour or so of using a tiny little brush and painting the top of the rail all the way around the room.

Huge pain in the butt, but totally worth it.

The mirror was a steal from the Kirkland's Outlet. The brown sheers were only $10 for both of them from Target. (I have several in white at my house.) Now they just need to replace that light fixture and add a rug.

I forgot to take photos of all the landscaping work that Sven and Dan worked on while we were inside painting. Hopefully Betsy will post some before and after photos that I can link to and share with you.

Well I am off to start sorting through photos. Lots and lots to post about. Hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am to share.

26 July 2009

grocery tossing

I wish I could do this. Then maybe going grocery shopping would be higher up on the list of things I actually enjoy doing.

23 July 2009


This photo of Mabry doesn't really have anything to do with any of the links below. I just thought I would share.

Bizarre Paternity Stories: #3 is just wrong on so many levels but #4 makes up for all of it.

Loving this door: Since the whole plan to turn a door into a headboard isn't really working out, I am thinking I might try something like this. LOVE it! The quote is great too.

Feather Report: I like the concept of this blog. Wonder where they are based out of? Wouldn't really work for someone who lives in say Alaska.

Mabry's 2nd Birthday Inspiration: I am planning to merge this party and this party. Hopefully it works!

Love her Meme's quote: Planning on printing and framing it somewhere in the house. What a good outlook to have. This is what I came up with:

22 July 2009

spreadin the love

Maybe it was inspiration from Katie.

Maybe it was Mother Teresa herself telling the world to, "Spread love everywhere you go."

Whatever it is, I have decided that while I am in NYC I am going to spread the love too. So I have whipped up seven of these little hearts:

I also attached two of my favorite quotes:

Here they are my random acts of kindness all ready to go.

The plan is to just leave them in places here and there all over the city. Hopefully they will bring a few smiles to some strangers faces.

21 July 2009

operation desperate parenting

Mabry is currently feasting on chocolate chip cookie number 2...3?? All in an effort to keep her calm and happy as we navigate gridlock. Figured this was a good time to try blogging from the BlackBerry.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

hair, hair, hair, flow it, show it

Last week I decided to cut my hair. I have been trying to grow it long for awhile now. The problem is the longer it gets the more boring it becomes. I am not the most girlie of girls. So aside from slapping a ponytail holder into my hair or torturing myself nightly with a straight iron, I don't really know how to do much with my hair. Heck, half the time I am lucky if I get a chance to run a brush through it at all during the course of a day.

I'm just sayin.

At the salon I told the girl that it had to be long enough to pull it all up when I cleaned the house or worked out. Other than that I gave her free reign to do what she wanted.

I ended up with an angled longer bob. Not unlike cuts I have had in the past, except the back is longer than cuts of my past. I LOVE it! It goes up in a pony tail with no problem. It looks like an actual hairstyle (rather than the blob I was sporting) and it just fits me.

Even better I found this little posting and thought, hey my hair is pretty wavy and these directions seem pretty easy. Maybe I could actually do this to myself with a somewhat OK result. The only change that I made was instead of buying the Biolage and Nexxus products that she uses (which would have totaled over $30), I bought the $5 John Frieda ones (Daily Nourishment Leave-in Conditioning Spray and Take Charge Curl Boosting Mousse) in the haircare aisle at Walmart. They smell great, are still alcohol free and I think I actually pulled it off:

My new haircut and style

I can hear my Mom saying, get the camera out of your face so we can really see. So here you go Mom:

After Mabry's nap she came out with her lopsided pigtails and curled up on my lap to snuggle and let me rock her. I am so glad she has entered into this cuddly stage. I could spend hours in the recliner just rocking her.

Anyhow, I kept running my fingers through her hair trying to play with it and style it and by the time she jumped off my lap she had sort of this rooster/Elvis thing going on:

Oh my goodness did Mama just take a photo of me with this hair?

Looky here Mama. There are to be no photos of this. Do you see this angry face and waving fist? I mean business.

OK, fine. You want to keep clicking away with the camera? Then I'm outta here.

Her look is a great illustration of why I don't usually attempt to style anyone's hair.

20 July 2009


Niagara Falls in Motion from Matthew Wartman on Vimeo.

Is that not the coolest video? It makes me want to go get my passport and head up to Canada right this second. I have been there a few times as a kid, but would love to take Dan and Mabry.

18 July 2009

cooking and projects

A major draw back to Dan's surgery has been his fickle eating habits. One day he decides he is ready for solid foods and downs a steak. The next day he wakes up with this deep dark fear of developing a dry socket and refuses to eat anything more solid than some over cooked ramen noodles. I am not good at cooking food for 1 1/2 people. It doesn't help that no matter what I prepare for Mabry Dan will longingly look at it and say, "Oh chicken. I wish I could have chicken." So then of course I feel guilty that I am eating chicken while he eats ramen. The dentist gave him the go to try and eat a little more, but Dan is a stubborn guy. We may be purchasing lots of stock in ramen before this is all over.

Another draw back is that the TV has been totally taken over. If it isn't a military documentary it is Fox News. Poor Mabry is not enjoying all of the cartoon withdrawal.

See, he is killing her. One missed Disney cartoon at a time.

I am about half way through the Time Traveler's Wife. It is a really good book. A little strange and hard to get into and follow in the beginning. I am interested to see how it turns out. For once I am exercising some self control and have yet to read the last few pages of a book.

Do many of you, dear readers, line dry your laundry? I have thought about starting here. Especially since it is so stinkin' hot most days. Then I saw this Simple Mom post and that whites come out even brighter when dried in the sun and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. I know it might sound stupid, but I have no idea what I am supposed to do to make a clothes line. Google to the rescue. When Mabry wakes up from her nap I think I am going to try and talk Dan into helping me build this.

I love weekend projects!

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend. Looking for something to do? I just added a ton of links to my tutorials page. Check it out!

17 July 2009

her beautiful name

Mabry has started to do so much talking. The hard part is that most of it is still in babble, making it all but impossible for Dan and I to follow.

Today when I woke up I could see her from where I was laying in the bed and I told her to scoot off the end of the bed and come over to me. (She has learned how to flip herself onto her belly and push backwards off the end of the bed to get down.) The only thing this did was upset her causing a massive amount of tears and gut wrenching sobs. She kept shaking her head and putting her arms up for me to get her. The original plan in my mind had been to stand firm and make her get down off the bed on her own. But did I mention those heartbreaking tears? So after a minute or two I went and scooped her up and brought her into my bed with me.

I told her she needed to be a big girl and start getting off the bed when I told her too. Her eyes became big and she started babbling as fast as she could and then she said "BOOM" and smacked my pillow. I asked her if she was trying to tell me she was afraid of falling off the end of the bed and she shook her head yes.

Maybe I speak a little babble after all.

Then she really shocked me. She pointed at Dan (who was still sleeping) and said "Dada." The she pointed to me, "Mama." At Sheebus, "Sheeeee." Finally she pointed to herself, "Ma beee." She said her name and it was in English!!

Dan has been doing really well since his surgery. He is obsessed with the possibility of a dry socket and keeps asking me to recall facts from over a decade ago when I had mine pulled. Slowly but surely he is returning to his old self.

We are still planning our NYC trip and can't wait to see Hannah and Corey!

I have been sewing. Just not much for the shop. I have made camera strap covers, some kitchen towels for my sister and some mending that has been sitting in a pile waiting to be done for over a month now. I did make one purse and managed to get it listed yesterday. I am going to try and get at least a few more done this afternoon while Mabry naps.

Would anyone be interested in hosting a shabbysheebus giveaway on their blog??

15 July 2009

someday i won't write a rambling post

Dan made it through his surgery with no problems. They ended up only taking out three of his teeth instead of all four. I guess the 4th one is so high up under the gum line the dentist was afraid he would put a hole in Dan's sinus (bone?) (cavity?) if he tried to take it out. So I guess Dan will just have a little extra wisdom compared to the rest of us.

Thank goodness our friends Jessie and John agreed to keep Mabry overnight on Monday and watch her Tuesday morning. I don't know that I could have kept her quiet and happy starting at 6:45 AM in the dental waiting room. There were a few times where I wasn't sure I wasn't going to throw a tantrum because I couldn't change the channel on the TV in the wait room. Sports Center isn't my idea of a good time ever, but especially when they are just showing two guys who are not doing a single interesting thing sitting at a table because they are on the radio. What's up with that? Seriously ESPN, a TV show showing two guys talking on the radio, not your best idea.

Most of yesterday was spent on the couch for him, which gave me a chance to do a little bit of cleaning out in the office that I had been avoiding for the last three months now. I also took some scraps of material and made a few camera strap covers. I had wanted to try and make one of these for awhile and figured why not? So while Dan and Mabry both napped I got busy piecing together what I had.

This is the cover I made for myself. I would have taken a photo of it attached to the camera, but that would have been a little difficult. Just doing this has renewed my want to learn how to use the camera and all of its settings more.

Someone isn't too happy at the idea of Mama having the camera on her at all times:

Now that I am done interrupting Mabry's breakfast this morning I should probably wrap this post up. Later this morning we are going to see the newest Harry Potter movie. I am so excited!!

One last thing, we are going to be making the trip to NYC soon for just a day or two. Has anyone ever been? Have any suggestions on things we just must see? What about things we should skip?

14 July 2009

ps another link

I couldn't help but add this link in with the ones from earlier today. While surfing around Etsy I came across this posting which was too funny not to share.

I realize how immature this makes me look. I am ok with that.

For the record I was searching the word "retro" in hopes of finding some fun new fabrics to use.

I would also like to point out (courtesy of my sister and Dan who both noticed this when I showed them) that there is actually a description at the end of the post on how to use this item. Please also note the word "customer" in the very last line.

Ok the 12-year-old me must resume laughing now.

photos, links and not much else

Today is the big day. Dan is getting his wisdom teeth taken out. I had mine out years and years ago. I don't remember much about it. I keep assuring him that this means it really wasn't all that big a deal. He seems to think that it means it was such a traumatic experience that I have blocked it out. Maybe I ought to sit him down and remind him about a little thing I like to call GIVING BIRTH.

Anyhow, since most of my Monday was spent cleaning, organizing and all of the fun stuff I usually spread throughout the week I don't have much brain power left for a thought provoking post. So instead, I thought I would share a little bit of link love with everyone.

**The photos that I spread throughout here are from the same photo shoot as Sunday. I had brought Mabry in and she was starting to get a little sick of her Mama aiming the camera at her. I am sure you can tell as they go on.**

Watermelon Basket Carving: The above photo is one that I made this past weekend to take to a birthday party BBQ. Having never done of these before I felt the need to Google a how-to video for me to follow along with. This site had all kinds of ideas and photos. Who knew you could be so creative with a melon?!

(Ok Mama, I will lay here and let you take a photo of me. But this is the last one. Got it?)

Top Ten Things: Being a first time parents I am constantly questioning if I am teaching Mabry everything I should. If there are things that I am forgetting, things I am expecting her to know and forget that she is just little, etc. etc. I found this to be helpful.

(Now I am pretending to sleep, which means you shouldn't be taking photos of me.)

Library Ladder: I love lots and lots about this house but my favorite room, hands down, is the bathroom. I am now in the market to find a way to incorporate a library ladder in our house too.

(Alright, fake sleeping didn't work. How about I just shove Sheebus in the camera. Take his picture, not mine!)

Paper Pot: While I can't bring myself to a place where I can justify $38 for a tissue dispenser, I think these rock!

(Fake nap didn't work. Sacrificing Sheebus didn't work. How about this sad, pouting, almost temper tantrum look. Get the message? Shut the camera off!)

At Home Spa Tricks: Great ideas, tips and tutorials to pamper yourself at home. Anyone care to join me for a girls home spa day??
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