Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Puppy Love

We've had a four legged friend visiting for the past week and Charlie was hit hard with the love bug. Our friends were out of town for two weeks so we decided to spring Gracie from the kennel a week early so she could spend some time with Charlie. She was pretty happy to get out of there and into our back yard.
I wasn't sure how it was going to work out since we already had two at home. One being Meeko who isn't keen on new visitors of any kind, much less the four legged variety. But it worked out great. Gracie was able to keep Charlie entertained which meant Meeko got a vacation from his big brother.


Grace and Charles became fast friends and were inseparable. Charlie followed her everywhere. Even out the back gate when Markus was taking out the trash. Lucky for us, Markus was quick on his feet and was able to apprehend both doggies.
Gracie went home yesterday and Charlie has been lost. He wants to know when his furry friend is coming back.

I even tried giving him extra attention last night by letting him on the couch with us. But he opted to pout lie on the floor.
Poor Charles. We promise Gracie can come back for a visit anytime.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Music Monday: Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis is coming to The National Friday, July 3rd. She is in the LA based Indie Rock band, Rilo Kiley but has 2 solo albums that rock. If you are local, check her out. If you are not, check out her album Acid Tongue. I love it. She is a little bit indie rock, a little bit alternative country. The songs range so much that you get a bit of everything wrapped up in her sweet voice. Here is a taste of her style but it's so eclectic that this doesn't do it justice.

Black Sand

Friday, June 26, 2009

Follow Friday: The Mommy blogs

Whenever I need a good laugh, I can always count on these ladies. They manage to be funny while juggling careers, husbands, and raising a family (some of them have 5 kids!!!). AND they find time to blog about it. Kudos from someone who has a hard time keeping up with life sans children. I can't imagine what it's going to be like once we add little creatures who rely soley on us for their daily needs. That is a scary thought!

Check out Carolyn...Online, Is There Any Mommy Out There, and Baby on Bored next time you need a pick me up. No topic is off subject with these ladies so you never know what a post is going to be about. I love their honesty. They put on the internet what I'm sure a lot of moms think but don't actually say.

One of my favorites is from AnyMommy where she describes what it is about her kids that would drive her to drink if she wasn't 38 weeks pregnant. Check it out here. Another is Caroylns deep south primer where she describes her vacation in the south. If you have ever vacationed in the south, I'm sure you have had a similiar experience. Free entertainment, people!

Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white summer

I love sleepy beach towns. They are becoming harder and harder to find these days as real estate along the coast becomes overpopulated with big named hotels, fast food chains, and tourist traps. But these locations have held on to their small town charm. I picture Markus and I renting a beach house one day with our family at one of these beaches. Riding into town on beach combers, grabbing an ice cream after a day spent at the beach, eating seafood with our bare hands, and falling asleep to the ocean breeze.

Seaside, Florida is a beach community on the Florida panhandle in Walton County. I've never been but the pictures look nice. I also like their motto, learn to feel small again. This beach town was the inspiration for the town in The Truman Show.


Avalon, New Jersey isn't the sleepy beach town it used to be when my friend Erin was growing up there s but it hasn't lost all of it's charm. I've been going to Avalon for the Fourth of July since 2003 and I love it. It's got beautiful beaches, plenty of night life with live music almost every night of the week, and great food. You can walk or bike into town for a cone from Avalon Freeze, grab a slice late night from Circle Pizza, or hit up the Windrift on Tuesday for all you can eat wing night. I am going to miss Avalon this summer!





I've also never been to Charleston, South Carolina but I have a feeling we would get along well. There is nothing better for this southern gal than a beach town with old historic homes and palm trees. Add a Firefly iced tea and a wrap around porch and I wouldn't leave! Maybe that's why Markus and I have never visited, he is scared I'll want to move there. Not a half bad idea. Until I can actually visit this town, I'll picture myself strolling these streets, looking at beautiful southern architecture.
Where is your family headed this summer?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's summertime and the living's easy

Summer doesn't carry the same weight for me as it did when I was in school. When the calendar was split into routine/homework and non-routine/fun activities. But that doesn't mean I still can't enjoy what summer has to offer. I was reading Meg Duerksen's Whatever blog today and came across her post, Summer List 2009. What a great idea! She sat down with all 5 of her kids and made a list of what they want to accomplish this summer. Here is my own grown up version of the list.


Markus' made a list of his own. I'm just glad boating isn't buy a boat!
Beach
Yankees game
Picnic
Boating
Golf
Drink beer

What is on your families 2009 summer list?

Top 5 ways to kiss your relationship goodbye

Here is my top 5 list of what to do if you want out of your relationship. We have seen celebrities make these mistakes over and over and yet people still do them, thinking they are the exception to the rule. I'm not saying that if you avoid these things then you are in the clear. Just saying this will speed up the process.

5. Proclaim your love publicly by saying things like “we will never get divorced”, or “that won’t happen to us”. Once those words leave your mouth you might as well contact your divorce lawyer. Never say never.

4. Renewing your vows because the first ceremony wasn’t lavish enough. Not judging, just saying Jon & Kate did it and look where it got them.

3. Get married spontaneously in Vegas. This scenario works out for no one except Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz and that was because it was a Hollywood movie. Unless you were already planning on getting married, avoid quickie Britney Spears weddings at the Little White Chapel.

2. Get tattoos together. Especially matching ones, names, initials, or some other crap celebrities do. The only thing permanent in this scenario is the ink you just put on your body.

1. Get your own reality show. Enough said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is Weeds getting you high?

Is anyone else watching this season of Weeds finding it as disappointing as I am? I was so excited for this show to come back on the air. But 3 episodes into this season I am finding myself wishing it over. I blame it on the new intro with no music. Bring back Malvina Reynolds and the covers of her "Little Boxes" please.

Monday, June 22, 2009

One more reason to like the guy


Hip hip hooray for my president today. President Obama signed an anti-smoking bill that has been in the works for almost 10 years! You can read more about the legislation here.

Music Monday: Relax

It's Monday, another work week. I'm in the office alone. I love being in the office alone, especially in the mornings. It gives me time to drink my coffee and wake up. I'm not much for talking first thing in the morning, I like to listen to music. This morning I decided to listen to one of my favorite Sarah McLachlen songs. It's all instrumental and the first time I heard it I was driving through the WV mountains alone on a sunny fall day. Perfection. I always saw myself walking down the aisle to this song as the sun was setting on a beach somewhere. But it didn't exactly happen that way. Now it almost sounds like a lullaby. Maybe one day I can rock my babies asleep to it. That would be nice. Enjoy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Week End

I was going to blog about how excited I was to have my husband home for an entire weekend but plans changed and he is stuck at work until tomorrow evening. So I have to readjust the view I had in my mind and be glad that I get to spend an entire Sunday with him. Wooohoooo!!!

It's been a busy week around the H house. My cousin and her boyfriend are up from Florida staying with us until they can find an apartment of their own. Rachel just graduated high school and thought moving to the fan would be a fun change from the sun/sand/beach thing she had going on in Florida. Obviously, the kid hasn't experienced a winter in Richmond in awhile. It's been fun having them around though, and coming home to someone other than the dogs. Rachel and I have always been more like sisters than cousins which is exactly the relationship I have with her mom. We are even separated by 12 years, just like Teri and I.

My grandmother has been in the hospital with pneumonia since Sunday. So I have been taking my lunch and visiting her at the hospital. Each day she looks stronger and able. She is getting released today to at outpatient rehabilitation center to help build her strength. As far as the cancer goes, it's still there but not progressing. So the main focus right now is treating the pneumonia and getting her strength built up. It's going to be a huge adjustment for her but I think it was God's way of telling her she was doing too much.

The Morales twins are trying to make an early escape from Lindsay's comfy uterus. Lindsay prematurely went into labor yesterday morning and is at the same hospital my grandmother is in. The doctors are giving her medicine to stop the labor and so far it is working. She is still having contractions but not progressing so say a prayer they stay in the oven a little while longer. I visited with her today and when I walked in Lindsay was reading a magazine and Carlos was in the recliner with his laptop. If she wasn't hooked up to an IV and heart monitoring machine, I would have thought they were on vacation. I took a picture but I doubt Lindsay wants it on the Internet, sorry folks. No pictures this blog. Boooooring!


Other than that, it's been a normal work week. Oh yeah, I did get to attend a fundraiser for our mayor Wednesday night. It was a who's who of local politicians and high ranking city officials. Not really my cup of tea but the food was really good and it was open bar!

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Follow Friday: Food Edition

Some of my favorite blogs are about food. They feature great recipes and amazing pictures. What more could you want, right? I first came across eat make read from a Tastespotting post on no bake cookies. They were amazing and I have been an avid reader ever since. The author lives in Brooklyn, shops at her local farmers market, and is always coming up with new concoctions with local produce. Some of my favorite posts though have been about her excursions in and around NYC. And every now and again she gives a drink recipe in her Happy Hour series.

Another blogger I like to follow is Alejandra Ramos from Always Order Dessert. That's my motto, too! She also lives in NYC and blogs about her life through food. It seems like she is always in the kitchen trying something new. I have made a few of her recipes and they are delicious.

And again, since I don't like a post without pictues, here is a picture of Meeko this morning being a sleepy head. He actually growled at me when I got him up to go potty.

Let me sleep woman!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dreaming

Sometimes I like to look on the MLS to see what's out there, just to see. And sometimes I dream BIG and don't put a maximum price in my search criteria. Today I came across some blog worthy properties. First, I found this piece of land located in Albemarle, Virginia. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous. I could go from city girl to country girl with land like this.

And wouldn't this house look nice on that land?

A girl can dream and this girl dreams BIG!

Obama's so fly



and to the PETA folks...GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's in the bag

I'm on the hunt for the perfect handbag. They are like cars, you don't really know what you are getting until you take it out for a test drive. You want something that looks good but is also functional. Something that has room but doesn't look like a minivan. It takes time to find the perfect one. And it's usually through trial and error. You can quickly run out to your favorite store and grab something that catches your eye but chances are, just like the car, you are going to end up paying too much and have buyer's remorse because it's not functional. And don't even get me started on handbags that cost as much as cars! I'm all for having a nice handbag made of real leather but unless you have the bank account of Paris Hilton, you do not need a Louis Vuitton, real or fake.

My perfect handbag would be something that looks and feels good, is colorful but can go with any outfit, has room for everything I might need in a day, and organized. This last one is key. I HATE digging around for my keys or trying to find something while standing in line with everyone waiting for you to search through your cluttered purse. It's embarrasing and makes me feel so unorganized. I'm willing to pay a decent price for this bag as long as it can stand the test of time and trends.

But where do I find this bag? My usual shopping spots have turned up nothing to write home about. Now I'm on an internet search. I have found a few that look like they meet my criteria. Now I'm on a mission to see if I can find them locally so I can take it out for a test drive. Do you think the salesperson would mind if I walk around the store with my items in the purse to see if it's a good fit? I promise I won't accidentially walk out with it!

click photo above for larger view

1. The Sak - convertible satchel

2. Kate Spade - union square cross-body mini phoebe

3. Matt & Nat - oversized pleated satchel

4. Kate Spade - union square simone satchel

5. Kate Spade - union square opus

6. Anthropologie - much obliged shoulderbag

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Celebrations

Last weekend Markus and I threw a baby shower for the Morales at our house. Lindsay and Carlos are expecting twin boys in July and we wanted to do something special for them before all the craziness of being new parents begins. What could be more special than throwing a shower in their honor and inviting their friends with children for practice??? You should have seen our house, there was almost as many children as adults. At one point I looked around and thought, so this is what parties will be like from now on. Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun to have the little ones around, I just never imagined having that many in that house. I usually relate more to the kids table than the adults table but something has switched in the last year. Maybe it's that I'm married now. Oh yeah, that must be it. Nothing to make you feel grown up than the responsibilities of being a wife and husband. But back to the party....

Lindsay looked gorgeous in her fuchsia dress. She had that pregnancy glow. I wish I had a picture to show but I was a bad host and forgot to take pictures. Carlos was drawn to the kids, especially the babies, and they were drawn to him as well. He is going to be a great father, it just looks effortless with him. I can't wait to meet Phillip Gabriel and Carlos Oliver in July. They are already loved by so many and are blessed to have such a wonderful family anticipating their arrival.

This past weekend I attended a bachelorette party on the Chesapeake Bay celebrating the final days of Misty being Ms. Morton. Misty's maid of honor has a house down on the bay and was nice enough to have Misty and 14 of her closest friends down for the weekend.




It was the perfect bachelorette party. Lots of girls, a pool, food and booze, and the perfect host to show us a good time. I won't go into every detail but judging from the way Misty felt Sunday, I think she had a good time. I know I did!

One other thing to add to the celebrations, my cousin Rachel graduated high school on May 30th! I wasn't able to attend but nonetheless, I'm so proud of her. Congratulations, Rachel!!!

Bre & Rachel - class of 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Positivity, people!

I believe you can truly judge ones character by how they face the world through tough times. A positive attitude is easy to maintain when life is carefree and worry free but quite another story when faced with difficulty. It's so easy to get caught up in your own life and worries and forget people around you have the same amount, if not more going on in their lives. I try to remember all the positive people in my life and think how would they handle a situation. One of those people is my soon to be 86-year old grandmother, Vivian Chenault. She always has a smile (and makeup) on her face, no matter what life has thrown her. She makes the best out of every situation even though she has seen her fair share of hard times. Even the day my grandfather died she was looking on the bright side and staying strong for her family. I know that was probably the toughest day of her life but she handled it with such dignity and grace.

Markus with his new bride and grandmothers
Some of you had the pleasure of meeting her at the wedding and can attest to what a wonderful woman she is. I was the most nervous to tell her that we had decided to get married in Jamaica, on a beach, without the presence of our church. She is a pretty religious lady and I thought for sure she would want me to get married in our church. Being in her mid 80's I also wondered if she was going to be able to make the long flight down to the islands. I couldn't imagine getting married without her presence and wrestled with if this was enough to have it in Virginia. In the end we decided that we would make the sacrifice of not having all of our loved ones there in order to have the wedding in our hearts. I was thrilled when we told our family and they were so supportive. Grandmama Chenault was so happy for us and never once complained of the wedding being so far. She and my dad immediately went out and got their passports and she told everyone she was going to Jamaica to see her eldest grandchild get married. Soon after we made the announcement the wedding would be in Jamaica, my grandmother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. That didn't stop her from seeing me get married. She made sure her doctor knew she had a plane to catch mid November and wasn't going to miss it for the world. It was such a blessing to have her on the beach with us that day. I will never forget it as long as I live. She told me after the ceremony that she was proud of me for going down the aisle, even though it was raining. That when they announced I had said let the show go on she thought to herself that's exactly what she would have done. That made me especially happy to know.

Meme and Grandma Chenault before the ceremony

We get the test results today to see if the 2nd round of chemo worked. As I type, she is in the hospital for the 2nd time in a week fighting pneumonia. I talked with her today and even though her voice sounded a little weak her spirit was still there. She was already looking toward the future and making plans to continue our baking lessons. She said the hospital wasn't exactly where she wanted to spend the weekend but it was nice to get some rest and be so well taken care of.


I don't know what the future holds for my grandma or for any of us. But I know that she lives her life to the fullest and has had a blessed life. I'm not finished learning from her but I hope I have learned enough so that when she is no longer here her spirit can live on through me. She inspires me to always keep my head up and I hope that I can be half the person she is one day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Follow Friday

It's Friday at 3:54 p.m. The end of another work week with the weekend just in sight. I like to end my Friday by catching up with some of my blog friends. I don't always get a chance to read them during the week and my reader is full of new posts. I thought I would share some of my favorites, just in case you would like to end your work week as unproductive as I do after a semi-productive week. Did that even make sense? It's been a long day. Anyway, some of these show up in my "blogs that I follow" and some I just randomly check in on.

My favorite "design" blog is written by Erica from Urban Grace Interiors. She has my dream job of being a work-at-home interior designer. She has great style and her blogs are always fun to read. She also shares details of her life and through that I have found my next favorite blog, which is written by her twin sister. Darby's blog, titled Fly Through My Window, is about a stay-at-home mom which just so happens to be my 2nd dream job. Darby is very crafty. She is always sharing recipes and ideas on how to keep 3 kids entertained through crafts. Another great blog I found from Erica is In(side) the Loop. Courtney started her blog in Houston, TX but has since moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and started another blog, Shrimp & Petroleum. Following Courtney in her travels throughout Southeast Asia helps with my wanderlust.

Another favorite is dooce, which is written by Heather Armstrong. Somewhat of a celebrity in the blog world, Heather was fired from her job in 2001 after blogging about work and now blogs freely and lucratively from home. Rebecca from Girls Gone Child is another blog I like to check up on. She is a work-from-home mom blogging about life in LA and what it's like being a unconventional mother of two.

I have more that I'll share later. Happy reading!

*And because I think posts without pictures are boring, I leave you with this:

That's Charlie, wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Another Music Monday

Sometimes you just need a song to get you going in the morning. This morning was one of those times. I love The Be Good Tanyas. Their music is always uplifting, even if the words are a little depressing. It works best if you listen to it LOUD in your car with the windows down and the sun shining bright.



Hope your week is off to a good start. I'm happy the sun is shining and it finally feels like summer round these parts!

Friday, June 5, 2009

For my Lady Friends

It's that time of year again, swimsuit season. I don't know one woman over the age of 25 who gets excited about getting into a bathing suit. No matter what your body type, there is always something that you are trying to hide because let's face it, a bathing suit is really just your bra and undies made of our spandex and nylon. They are revealing!

Introducing my new best friend: The one piece. It used to be that one pieces were for children, grandmothers. & professional swimmers but now there are so many choices that the one piece can actually be sexy. Here are some of my favorite bathing suits I have found this season in no particular order.

Anthropologie


J Crew

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Relay

Last weekend was my Relay for Life walk that I posted about here. It was a HUGE success! Our event raised over $150,000 for the American Cancer Society and our team personally raised $2,820.00!!! It was such an amazing event to be a part of. Words can't describe what you feel being surrounded by people who have fought or are still fighting their battle with cancer and loved ones honoring those they have lost.

Our team: Melodie, Darlene, Angela, Christina, Suzi, Sarah, Shannon, & Chris
My very good friend, Christina, was one of the survivors we honored Saturday night. She won her battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma 3 years ago and has been cancer free ever since. It was an honor and blessing to participate in the walk with her. It was something Suzi and I had wanted to do for a long time and I'm so happy we were finally able to make good on our promise to Christina. I'm hoping it becomes an annual event between all of us.

The luminary for Christina was right beside the luminary candle for my Mother-in-Law who lost her battle to cancer 14 years ago. Unfortunately, I never got to meet Annikki but I feel I have gotten to know her through the stories her friends and family have shared with me over the years. She was an amazing woman, mother, and wife and I look forward to continuing our relationship by honoring the woman that she was.


Opening Ceremony Survivor walk

Our camp site

I didn't really know what to expect about this event. I was nervous about staying up all night and if I could really do it. I knew that there would be the adrenaline rush in the beginning but was worried about the hours between 2 and 6 a.m. Fortunately, the event planners had plenty of activities throughout the night to keep us awake. When we weren't walking on the track we were sitting around our "camp" talking, playing games, and EATING! There were tons of kids at the event which made it very lively and also helped us stay awake. They were in the field between tents playing all kinds of games. Christina introduced me to a game called AC/DC which I swear is a made up Liberti game b/c she kept adding rules as we played. Around 2 a.m. there was a lip syncing contest for all of the kids. This was VERY entertaining. Most of the groups had choreographed dances and costumes. One of my favorite performances was a group of 4 boys lip syncing to Journey "Don't Stop Believing". Here is a clip from their performance, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

video

Unfortunately, our event was cut short and ended at 5 a.m. due to inclement weather. Christina and I had just gotten in the tent to take a cat nap when it was announced that lightening was showing up on the radar. Not a good thing when you have 800 people in an open field with metal tents. Everyone had to scramble to get their camps packed up because soon after the announcement was made it started to rain. Markus swears it was his mom who showered us at our wedding and now he is convinced it was her Saturday night saying hello and making sure we knew she was present. It's good to know someone up there is showering us with love!

Thanks to all who contributed to our fundraising and made this event possible. I'm already looking forward to our next Relay. Hopefully next time we will be able to make it to the end!