Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Sundry Post

There are several things I just want to tell you...

...I had a very fun day with TheCarPoolQueen. We took our combined five children out for donuts and a trip to the museum.

...I was worried at first because my kids were so. very. tired. They were walking a fine line toward being unsocial, but after a little Krispie Kreme sugar and they perked up. 

...I too wasn't feeling so hot when I arrived at the CPQ household. It's amazing what a chocolate covered creme filled donut and a cup of hot java (with real cream! Yikes!) will do for a girl.

...The CPQ Triplets scare me just a little, for one reason alone, they are smarter than me.

While sitting in a "class" on birds and dinosaurs (in which we were the only ones in attendance) Baby B raised his hand. The scientist said, "Yes, you have a question?"  

Baby B says something about the genetic coding of DNA in the wooly mammoth, or the carrier pigeon, and that by crossing something-or-other-with-something-else, it would be quite possible to bring the dinosaurs back.

If that sentence didn't make sense, let me tell you its because this 36 year old woman has no earthly idea what he said....but the professional scientist he was talking to, knew exactly what he was was saying!  

Honestly, I'm thinking about convincing TheCarPoolQueen to pull him out of fourth grade next year and bringing him to my house to homeschool me and my kids. 

Ok moving on....

...Often, while running in the early morning, I have experienced various situations. Snakes, deer, dogs, a rooster who crows every time I run by his house. But the hardest thing to encounter while on an early morning run is the smell of someone making pancakes and bacon. It has happened several times in the last two weeks and its like torture, I tell you.

...I have some exciting things planned around the blog during the week of July 6 - 11. On the seventh it my Bloggy Birthday!! Celebrating four years of blogging is fun for me. Who knew I would stick with this thing. Anyway, there may be some fun things around here that week, that may require you to know certain information...so keep reading in the days to come.

...Lastly, (as a Public Service Announcement to the kids) I want it to be known that we are having Spaghetti tonight. We are not having grilled chicken, or grilled chicken wraps, or sandwiches, or grilled chicken salad, or smoothies, or cereal, or anything cold, or remotely like chicken. 

I hope you enjoy it. Because the next seven nights, well, you know what we're having. 

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gladitudes: The Weekend

I'm participating in Gretchen's Glatitudes today. 

Here is my Gladitudes list:

10. Glad that in the midst of a busy weekend, The Mister and I were able to have several great conversations.

9. Glad that my garden is starting to look like it might actually produce something other than weeds. I'm pretty sure I am going to have some cucumbers, sweet peas, and tomatoes sometime this summer.

8. Glad the devotion I led on Sunday evening (at a bridal shower) went well. And that when the hostess asked me to bring my guitar I brought it (even though I hadn't picked it up since Christmas, and thought about "forgetting" to bring it).  It ended up being a really precious time of worship. I would have really been sad to have missed it...rusty fingers and all.

7. So excited for friends who will be married next Saturday. The reception is a luau! How fun is that? Glad I'm finally going to get to wear my Hawaiian shirt again.
6. Glad that The Girl and I gave each other pedicures yesterday. And that we went to see the play The Matchmaker together on Friday night! The high schoolers did incredibly well!

5. Glad my knees are feeling better after abstaining from running for almost four days (even though I did complain to my Physical Therapist about it. For some reason he keeps saying something about my being non-compliant. What?)

4. Glad that when my husband (aka: Physical Therapist) taught Sunday school on 2 Corinthians Four he smiled at me when he read the 16th verse:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 
I guess what he was saying is that it sucks to get old (knees included), but there is always the hope of eternity!  :)

3. Glad that I get to see the TheCarpoolQueen  and her BFF Whimzie in just 10 days!!! Not that I'm excited or anything.

2. Glad for dinner with friends on Saturday night.

1. Glad for a full weekend, and a full week ahead....

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join Em

Several of my bloggy friends are going "random" today.

Me too.

~ There is a church I pass nearly everyday with a sign that reads:

Vacation Bible School
June 22th - June 26th
6:30 - 8:30

I know I should be the last person to be a nit-picker, but, June twenty-twoth? Really?

~ Swimming at the pool has been a challenge for me this year. I have had a hard time "getting in" with the moms there. This is weird for me because honestly, are we all still in junior high?
I've tried being friendly; Smiling; Trying to make eye contact. Some of the women have been down right rude. Why can't women just be nice to each other?

~ However, I have gotten so much reading done at the pool, it borders on ludicrous. 

~ Right now I am more than half-way through In the Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker. It's good!

~ Let's go back to the pool again. I read this post on Finding Balance and it was such a good one for me to read. I wish I wasn't guilty of comparisons, but I am. I came home and read the following quote from this (very long) post on comparisons:
Comparison is the quickest road to failure. It's a forked path. One way leads to Discontent. The other leads to the sister-cities: Never Starting or Quitting
Both roads lead to Nowhere.
The thing that smacked the most? 

I wrote it.

~ I have spent almost an hour this afternoon at Cake Wrecks (thanks CPQ) laughing. I thought I might pee in my pants with the post on June 25th

~I'm disappointed because The Mister's promotion ceremony is scheduled for July 31th st, and I will be in Arizona. I am so sad because I have always been there to pin on his new rank. 

~ I am suddenly very happy because I just realized it was Friday! Yay!

~ In a weird way, I am already feeling ready to start school again. Of course, we've been finished since Memorial Day, but school was tough last year. I am surprised I am feeling ready to begin again. I actually miss it. 

~ All right, The Mister just called and I haven't even begun to think about what to make for supper! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Of Blankets and Alligators

I have been wanting to show you this picture for some time now. The Girl had a birthday in early February. It was frigid outside and I was longing for warmer weather.  So I made her this cake, in celebration of the heat to come.

And now we're here. 

Time's a tickin' away.

But I didn't come here today to talk about summer and cake.

I am here to talk about blankets and the alligator death roll.

You may not know what the alligator death roll is, so let me tell you what Wikipedia says:

Alligators consume food that cannot be eaten in one bite by allowing it to rot or by biting and then spinning or convulsing wildly until bite-size chunks are torn off. This is referred to as the "death roll." A hard-wired response developed over millions of years of evolution, even juvenile alligators execute death rolls when presented with warm fuzzy blankets chunks of meat.
Now back to the issue.

You see, I am a lover of all things cozy and warm. 

There is nothing better than a blanket.

Summer or winter.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to sit in an air conditioned room with a fan blowing on me, and a light blanket to snuggle under. 

I also enjoy this when I sleep at night. 

Which makes The Mister say funny things about me, and brings me to the next subject...

A conversation with The Mister.

The scene: Late last night as we were tucking ourselves into the bed for the evening.

The Mister (TM): Hey, are you gonna let me have some covers tonight? Or am I going to have to fight you again?

La Vida CoffeeGal (LVCG): What in the name of all things sweet could you possibly be talking about? I am no cover thief.

TM: Last night you tried to do the alligator roll again. Amazingly, I was able to stop you at the pass. It was critical that you didn't get into the full roll. I might freeze to death.

LVCG: I do not believe that I do the alligator roll...and also, I am not a cover thief.

He also tried to bring up allegations that I sleep in the middle of the bed. 

I pled the fifth, but I told him I would try not to keep the covers from him...although I wasn't exactly sure how it would work out since, you know, I'd be asleep and all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Encouraging Pencil Pusher

I found a fun gift while window shopping in Michigan a couple weeks ago.

I was looking for something fun to bring home to the kids. 

Honestly, I was thinking t-shirts or water bottles, or something original like that, but what I came home with were these:
You'd've thunk I'd brought home gold. 

The kids loved their pencils. 

They quickly divvied them up, as if I had whittled, painted and monogrammed them myself, and they have placed them in their rooms in spots that are easily seen.

I suggested they put them in the pencil drawer, so they would could use them when school starts. They said the were "never going to sharpen them". They wanted to keep them where they could read them.

Which made me laugh. 

And made me think.

I too was drawn to those pretty little pencils. Drawn by the power of words.

They can build us up. Or tear us down.

Oh, that I may always use good ones!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sweet Surprises

If you know me in real life, you probably know that I love mail. 

Well, lets back up the boat.....

I like fun mail. 

Especially fun mail in the form of packages.

Not only do I enjoy fun mail but I also have a bit of an obsession with paper, most specifically pretty stationary.

Allison from Slice of Heaven sent me eight of the the sweetest hand stamped cards. They were so beautiful that I had to show you how talented she is:
Thanks Allison! This was the first "contest" I ever won on the internet (and I've been here awhile) and I didn't even have to "enter" in this one! 

Since we are talking about things that are sweet...

The magnolias are just gorgeous right now. 

They are so southern; So incredibly hearty, and yet beautifully delicate. 

At church Tuesday night a friend gave me the one pictured below. At first I wasn't sure what to do with it because it was all close up and looked kind of like a light bulb with foliage. She told me to put it in some water and it would open up. Sure enough, come mornin', it looked like this:
I was so surprised! I hadn't realized that they were so fragrant but when I walked into my kitchen, filled with dishes and a crazy mess, it smelled citrusy and fresh. So I closed my eyes and pretended it was as clean as it smelled, and it made me feel happy for the privilege of waking up in North Carolina. 

This morning while I was running I would catch a whiff of that lemony scent and just knew I had either passed a magnolia tree or was comin' up on one. I'll miss that smell when the blooms are gone.

This morning I took our dog out for a walk and realized we have some sort of wild blackberry/raspberry bushes in the woods across from my house. I wonder if I could actually pick them? Do any of you southern girls know if raspberries could actually be growing "wild"? That would be VERY cool! 

(Could I sound more like a city-girl?)

OK, I must get laundry and the house tended to today or I will be forced to work on the weekends, and I make it a point not to do work on the weekends (as much as possible, anyway).

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Day

Hola! Peoples!

I cannot begin to tell you how much I have missed blog writing and blog reading and tweeting. 

However I feel lighter having taken the time to focus my mind and energy in preparation for last nights Salad Supper event at my church.

Although I missed all my social media buddies I loved some of the other things I was able to accomplish in the last ten days.

For instance I've read three really good books (Days and Hours by Susan Meissner; Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore; And a biography of George Washington Carver (whose author I can't think of at the moment). If you are unfamiliar with Goerge Washington Carver, his story is amazing! I had known he was the inventor of peanut butter  but he was actually an amazing scientist that God used to change the course of agricultural history for all of us.  He overcame great and amazing obstacles!

I also spent a lot of time writing for the benefit of my own personal journal and preparing to speak to the ladies at my church last night. 

Speaking of, can I just give a big ole' cyber hug to those of you who prayed, commented, emailed, and tweeted (for) me this week? 

Normally before I do these kinds of things I am so tremendously nervous I can hardly function. But yesterday I felt calm all afternoon. I felt ready, and in complete peace. That is nothing short of answer to prayer, and don't just appreciate it, but feel unbelievably humbled by it..

You know what else I appreciate? My mom and dad. Often when I share the story of Gods work in my life I am reminded of how much I love them. When God was handing out parents He gave me good ones.

I also was so excited the Carpoolqueen came to eat some salad and cheer me on. She has had quite an exciting life as of late and it meant a lot to me that she was there. 

(Also, just between you and me, I had asked her several months ago if she would be willing to come speak to the ladies of our church for next months Salad Supper. She graciously accepted. So if you're local, mark your calendar for July 14th.) 

We took several pictures, but CPQ was feeling the need to be incognito because of her top-secret job in the CIA that she never talks about. No, I'm kidding, that was just a rumor. She felt she was suffering from a bad hair day and after our photo session churned out a couple of rejected shots, she opted to show us that cute little flip her hair does at the back of her head.

Listen, you saw it here first

No where else on the Internet is there a close-up of the back of CPQ's head. 

Today I have very few things on my To Do list...I hope to make some of these, to make carrying the swim towels a little easier. I am going to get the fabric ready for these. And I plan to catch up on at least half of the 350 unread blog posts that sit in my reader. 

Its going to be a good day. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009


What a week I had last week. 

Between the root canal and our canine, Kona the Wondermutt, (she got into some trouble with a a sharp object somewhere in our neighborhood and had to spend the night in the hospital Wednesday night for 10 or stitches) Wednesday proved to be a day from Hades. 

But I lived through it and walked with soft steps the rest of the week. 

This next week may be a little quiet around here still. Or at least until Wednesday or Thursday as I prepare for an event on Tuesday night....

Which brings me to the point of this post.

On Tuesday night I will be speaking at our church and I would love for you to be there.  If you live in the area and have Tuesday night free, I would love for you to be my guest at our Salad Supper.

If you are interested, please email me at la-vida-dulce(at)hotmail(dot)com, or the email below, and I will give you details and directions. 

Until then, Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

10 on 10: Things I'll do Today

There is nothing I like more than a list.

Well, that's not entirely true. 

But I do enjoy The List, and today I am going to play in the carnival Mer, of Life@7000feet, is hosting.

Without further wordiness, I present: The 10 things I will do before and after the second half of my root canal (the post and temporary crown) later this morning.


1. Finish this delicious cup of hot coffee. Maybe have a second.

2. Shred. So I can burn off the Root Canal Anticipation energy.

3. Take the mini-van to the tire shop to figure out why the front left tire is always losing so much air.

4. Find receipt for aforementioned tire -- We just bought it nine months ago.

5. Start putting game face on. (When going to the dentist, I am stoic and calm on the outside, and crying like a girl on the in)


6. Drink tequila shooters a grande, non-fat, Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks to calm my nerves. Hope I don't dribble on myself.

7. Drive back to my side of town on new T &T (tire and tooth)

8. Chew something (anything!) on the left side of my mouth. 

8-1/2. Be thankful for a good dentist, health insurance and being able to smile with all my teeth again.

9. Take a nap. To rest up for the....

10. Drive north for dinner with a friend.

So there is the La Vida List for the day.

Happy Tuesday!

-Pool Side Randomness-

I am sitting at the pool under a shade umbrella, sweating.

I had forgotten how the shade here may bring respite from the scorching rays of the sun, but with the humidity this girl is always "glowing".

In other news, who knew I would suddenly find myself in a blogging slump? Certainly not me! I have a lot of things swirling in my head these days, but the time and energy? Its poorly lacking.

To combat my busy-ness I have managed to SIESTA for an hour of reading three whole days in a row. I didn't SIESTA much last week in an attempt to get things done after a weekend away. 

I may have over done things last week based on my energy levels this weekend.

On Saturday night I literally fell asleep watching a movie during pizza night. I was in a deep sleep by 7:45. The Mister woke me up at 9pm and told me to go to bed.

In my defense we were watching Mall Cop. Want my review? It was so good I slept through 3/4's of it....

Pool time is coming to a close. Do you think the dinner fairy will have come to my house while I was away?

A girl can dream.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Fun-day

Today we have a big day planned with the Carpoolqueen and babies A, B, and C. 

While I am certain it won't be a dining-on-sushi-and-sipping-coffee-while-leisurely-window-shopping kind of day, I know its going to be really fun for our little families. 

A few things before I go....

I know I am pulling from the archives a lot these days, but I need to get a few things done this morning so I thought a post from the past would be appropriate.  Plus, it does have some purpose. (There may or may not be a big party with giveaways here on the old blog in July when I celebrate my fourth Bloggy Birthday. There may be La Vida Trivia involved...I'm just sayin'.)

The Dreaded Day is a post I wrote three years ago, and I still feel the same today. I have yet to buy my suit for this season, and I am d-r-e-a-d-i-n-g it.

And finally, if you haven't seen me around your blog in awhile, its because I am setting blog reading and Twittering aside for the moment. Life has been very full here at the La Vida House and I am having to take a break. But don't give up on me. I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Archives: No Birds Today

This morning I am pulling from the archives. Not only has the week proven to be exorbitantly busy, but to add insult to injury, I must have a root canal done early this morning. 

This post was originally posted almost four years ago. I had just moved here from Texas and had just started this blog.

The good news is that I have made great strides in my navigation skills, and with age has come wisdom: I know longer shop at Wal-mart (unless ABSOLUTELY necessary!)

Still use the bird phrase...some habits die hard.

La Vida Dulce: No Birds Today - July 13, 2005

I should have known that today would be a bit of a bummer when I got up, got ready, got the kids dressed and presentable, and started loading up to go to the dentist, when I realized that my appointment was not today, but tomorrow.

So we had to reschedule what I had planned to do tomorrow and get it done today...

I had been putting off "tomorrow" just by the simple fact that it was to be a "Walmart" day. As most people I know (especially those with chirldren under 12), I have a love/hate relationship that goes with the dreaded Walmart visit. Quite frankly, I'd rather go to the dentist. But sometimes you can't beat the fact that even the Ramen is cheaper...

A friend here told me that there was a Super-Walmart that was not that far, and yet, it was in a different town..."Only about 20 minutes away"--a local phrase that I find myself muttering under my breath as I try to read my Mapsco and navigate down a foreign country road...How I long for the day when I can be driving back roads and short-cuts and actually get to where I am going.....but I digress.

This morning, after driving all over 3 different counties (and I am not kidding) the kids and I never found the Super-Walmart. We did however find a stretch of highway that would take us back to our county and some familiarity: Super-Target.

After taking two hours to get to Target (that is only about 20 minutes from our house), I get my list and begin shopping with two children who are complaining because they "never" get to look at the toys in Target...never, meaning not since last Monday.

Then I got home and the cellular phone issue that our "cellular phone guy" said would be taken care of last month, is not, and we received not one, but two, bills in the mail.

I had a friend in Fort Worth who, when her life was going completely as planned, or if something really awesome happened, she would say "It's like I am walking around with a bird on my finger!" (Think Mary Poppins).

There are no birds today.

Actually, I did buy ice cream this morning...things are starting to look better...

Monday, June 01, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

As I gave the detailed description of my long weekend to the kids I realized how much MEH and I crammed into 72 hours. We know how to be together. I should be tired, but I'm not. Which is so nice.  

Getting to The Mitten proved fairly easy with the exception a few issues.

Snafu #1: They had closed down the airport for over an hour due to lightening. I almost missed my flight in Chicago. I made it by the skin of my teeth (and on the prayers of my Tweeps). 

The troubles didn't end there...(both for my flight and my teeth) only I wouldn't know it until it was time to fly back...
The picture above is the yummy lunch we had on her back deck on Friday afternoon. We had stayed up on Thursday night talking until 1 a.m., and yet we look so spunky here!

Right before we retired to the back deck for that first lunch, I looked out the window and thought I saw an emu out in the back yard. Pictured below is the sweet Sandhill Crane family that lives the the back yard. Aren't they sweet?

After lunch we did a little shopping in a quaint town. We sampled chocolate-covered Michigan Cherries and had a latte. We also got a pedicure and visited the Costco. Later that night her man grilled up some delicious steaks, and MEH made some killer garlic mashed potatoes. She also made my most favorite of her recipes Coconut Pound Cake. She has graciously posted the recipe...go on over and say hello!

This is where Snafu #2 came to play. While chewing some lovely french bread I pulled out my crown (again). I felt weird walking around without a tooth but Marie assured me that it wasn't noticeable. So I pressed on.

On Friday night we watched a movie (can't remember the name) in the Biding My Time Basement Movie Theater. Let me tell you, its posh. If I had that set-up in my basement I wouldn't set foot in a movie theater again....and I LOVE to go to the movies. 

On Saturday she took me up the road a piece to Kensington Park for a nice long walk. We saw birds, and water, and greenery. It was beautiful!

Those geese and their babies were EVERYWHERE. They were so sweet. 

Later that day we went out for more shopping (I found an Anne Taylor shirt on sale for $9.00!!)
we also found a great Mexican food restaurant that was really delicious. 

Since we hadn't had nearly enough butter, sugar, and chocolate, we stopped by the DQ for Blizzards to eat at home while watching What Not To Wear. It was the perfect evening, even with Snafu #3: Through a series of events my flights back home had been cancelled. After about 10 minutes of freaking out and 20 minutes on the phone it was all figured out. My return flight ended up being bette, eliminating a 3.5 hour layover in Chicago.

On Sunday we went to church. It was awesome to worship where Marie and her Man are doing ministry. The worship team is awesome, and the sermon was great. It was a nice morning.

The picture below is the neighborhood pond. That isn't their house, but the pond was so pretty.

This last picture is one of my favorites. It on the Biding My Time front porch. I did some quiet time there on Saturday morning. It is really such a peaceful place.
Thanks MEH! I had such a great time visiting with you and your sweet family. Can't wait to come back!