The July Wedding

The past couple months was dedicated to wearing the “Wedding Planner” hat.

When a good friend of mine became engaged, I told her part of her gift would be her flowers. As in I would make them for her.This included the wrist corsages and boutonnieres in addition to those for the bridesmaids. Not to mention the mini-bride, junior bridesmaids, and flower girl.

Flowers snowballed into decorating details for the entire reception. At first I was a bit shocked and concerned, but once we started working together, everything fell into place.

I spent almost every weekend since April working on some aspect of her wedding. The hardest part was over – she knew her colors and what types of flowers she wanted. The rest was the minor headaches – tablecloths, center pieces, head and cake table, backdrop, etc.

My children helped on Friday to decorate the community hall. Afterwards, my darling daughter comments that when it’s her turn to get married, she will not have green. To which my wonderful son agreed.

This is a close-up of the shadow box I made for them. I made their invitation with their names and date as the central visual point. I also used some left-over ribbon and roses to decorate the outside.

The decorating took us four hours yet the take-down was a half-hour. The kids couldn’t believe the difference – I explained putting the decorations up everything has to be perfect, but taking down, as long as nothing gets broken, the decorations can go into any box available.

The head table and the backdrop.

               The view of the head table from the entryway.

Sitting in the chair is my teenager, anticipating the moment we can exit the building as he watches me take a few shots.

                                                                                   You can’t see them, but there are green and purple Gerber daisies to place in the tall vases with the same color water beads. I also had colored water in star candle holders, with two candles floating in them. (My youngest smiling for the camera.)

 The newly weds posing for pictures.

At the end of the night, both of their mothers came up to me and complemented on how everything looked. But I really made their nights when they asked how they could help take down and I told them to just go home and relax.


Five Question Friday: 3.23.12

Yeah, I know it’s a day late, but at least it’s here. 🙂
Join in the fun with Five Question Friday.
You won’t regret it.
1. If you were free to just hop in the car and drive, where would you go? Or, if you could hop a plane and go anywhere, where?

I would go see some of the sites around the country – I would love to spend a few weeks exploring the North Western states. There’s a ton of pretty landscape up there or so I’ve heard. We would start in the North and wind our way south, ending in Arizona. I think that would be fun, educating, and exciting. No reservations just driving and stopping when we get tired.
Flying to England and exploring some of the places where our family lived and worked would be on the top of the list. I would love to travel through England, to the Netherlands, to Ireland and possibly going through Germany towards Italy. My father’s family came from the northern countries while my mother’s side was all from Italy. But the cost of flying 5 people over there is something I don’t want to look at. 😉
2. What’s your most recently read favorite book?
I am reading the Hunger Games trilogy. I think that is one of the biggest series out there at this time. It’s nice to having a discussion with someone far away who is reading/has read the same book. It just makes the long distance seem a little less farther away. 
3. What’s your favorite Spring Break memory?
Spring Break started just after my birthday, so the week started off great for me!
My family didn’t go anywhere or do anything during the week we were off from school. I’m trying to remember if anything exciting had ever happened during that time frame…but I can’t think of any. While living in Texas, I’m sure I spent a good amount of days with my friends at their homes and while in Jersey, I believe that time was spent at the beach.
I do remember going to the local swimming pool with my siblings and meeting our friends there. I think we would spend the entire day playing in the pools, trying to keep cool from the 100+ degree temperatures. I might think of something later, but for now, my spring break memories consist of being at friends homes or with friends at the beach or bothering the life guards at the swimming pools. 

4. What do you put in your child’s Easter basket? Or, for those w/o kids, what was put in your childhood basket?
I usually put a few favorite candies in the baskets, the chocolate bunny is a staple – no exceptions, it has to be there!
I buy them each a TY Beanie Baby – I usually find odd ones around Christmas and hold them for a few months.
I also get them something they each wanted – usually under $20. Like a book they wanted or some small Lego set. (Again, under $20 and usually purchased around Christmas. After all, why not take advantage of the sales while they last?)
5. Do you get a summer haircut?
Not specifically. I do get my hair trimmed and sometimes colored, but not for the reason of “summer”. It’s more like it’s time for another trim. 

Five Question Friday: 1.27.12

Ok, I’m a bit off – seemed to have been a busy last few weeks and squeezing time to be with the family was hard enough, so yeah, the blog suffered even worse. I mean, lets face it, family comes before blogging. Shocking, I know. But it’s the truth. So on with this week’s Five Question Friday…for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the link – just click the picture. 

1. Do you swim in the winter?

That would be a no. I believe the last time I swam in the winter was when we still lived in New Jersey and weekend ski trips were part of life.

Of course, there was the time we traveled and the hotel we stayed at had an indoor pool. Does that count? I’m not sure…

I don’t usually swim in the winter.

How’s that for clarification? Yeah, that’s good.

2. Do you love or hate winter?
I actually love winter. Don’t pass out on the floor. I know what you’re thinking – freezing rain, icy roads, and snow that never seems to stop fluttering down from the clouds.
But since we moved to Indiana, there isn’t a lot of snow. And when it does snow, it mostly stays on the grass for a few hours before disappearing.
The weather does get icy, but not enough to make me hate the winter.
I love how the tree lights sparkle and there seems to be more time playing games around the table. Well, when work doesn’t push deadlines at us, of course!

3. Do you put makeup/actual clothes on when you know you’re going to be home all day with just family?
Only if I’m absolutely sure no one, not even daughter’s boy friend, is coming over.
Otherwise, I’ve my make-up on and dressed.
During the week, though, I usually change into a pair of flannel pants and a big baggy sweatshirt if I don’t have to go anywhere – even if the boy friend comes over.

4. How old were you when you had your first alcoholic beverage?
I was 16 and it was a can of beer – which is nasty regardless of my age. I didn’t like it then and remember pouring it down the drain. Some of my friends laughed at me for being so wasteful, but I think I was doing them a favor – one less nasty beer for them to drink.
I don’t think I had another alcoholic beverage until my wedding two years later.

5. How many ill calls in a 12 month period do you think are acceptable?
This is a tough one. I work at a company who offers PLT (personal leave time) that works as both vacation and sick time. If I am sick, I use of those days, which increases every few years. For instance, as a newbie, we get 10 days a year, which increases during your 3 year anniversary.
I would think no more than 10 times a year, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. No one can predict when their little ones are going to be slammed with a stomach bug, only to share it with the entire house. But I think 10 is fair…for now…

5 Question Friday: 1.6.12

Click the image and follow the link to join in the weekly fun. 

1. What is the weather like where you are and do you like it?

Crazy. Can’t make up its mind.

Last week started with snow and 28 degrees and ended with sunny and almost 70.

Do I like it? I like how the snow lasts until noon and the sun is warm. Otherwise, it’s better then having feet of snow and inches of ice.

2. When you’re sick what do you seek comfort from?

My blanket and pillow on the couch. The dark is also my friend when I don’t feel good.

3. What do you need to do before the end of the month?


In the land of work, I have several claims that will expire if I don’t get them through by the end of the month. On the home front, not much has to get done. I’ve been packing away Christmas and hope to have all of that all put away by month end – well, except my usual all-year Christmas tree and things. I also have some regular going through/ packing that I would like to have done.

4. Have you ever served on a jury?

Nope. I was called to go twice. I had been excused one time due to having a new-born and the second time because I was in the hospital recuperating from major surgery.

5. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Never thought about what animal I would be. Let me think…okay, a few days later and lots of time to think. I think I would like to be a giraffe. 

Oh, now I’m suppose to answer why? I like the height. No one really hunts down a giraffe for their spots. They are amazing animals to watch – they walk gracefully, they are quiet and usually well-tempered. They don’t eat meat which means they don’t attack innocent animals just for a meal. The flip-side, adult giraffes aren’t in the cross-hairs of lions, leopards, and other such fierce animals. So yeah, I’d choose to be a giraffe.

Five Question Friday: 12.30.11

Come join the fun! You know you want to! Click the picture for the link to some crazy or thought provoking questions. You never know what you might learn about yourself!

1. What’s the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?

Prior to September, it would have been my wedding dress – 20 years. But my parents came out and brought a pullover I had purchased when I was a teenager working along the boardwalk inJersey. Talk about a life-time ago! But hey, it still fits and it’s just as comfortable now as I remembered.

How old is it? Twenty-two years old.

What condition is it in? No holes, no frayed ends, no stains, and no wrinkles.

2. How many random blog readers have you met?

Define met. And are we talking those online or in person?

I have learned that several of my friends, coworkers, and other various acquaintances are bloggers. I didn’t know they were bloggers. I mean they never went around wearing shirts or hats advertising “hey look at me! I’m a blogger!” And it never really comes up in conversation..”how are the kids? Work? Blogging?” “I have so much to do today – the kids are sick, I have a dentist appointment and I can’t forget to blog.” My life doesn’t work that way. The only way blogging comes up in my conversations is when someone in my real life says “hey I found you on twitter. I didn’t know you blog too!” Then it turns into a blogging conversation – which leads to an interesting conversation and a half.

As for meeting random bloggers I follow – I’ve never met anyone. I’d love to meet some of the ones I follow. They are hilarious and have similar interests. Heck, I followed one by mistake and have ended up learning I had a lot of things in common with them. But meeting them in person? Nope. I’d like to – although some of them don’t live on the same continent as I do, so that might prove difficult. Unless by some miracle I win the lottery. But last I heard, in order to win that, you have to play it.

3. Do you let your kids stay up till midnight on New Years Eve? (Or, if you don’t have kiddos yet, did you get to stay up until midnight as a child?)

Yes…and yes!

I remember being in elementary school and my parents would let us all stay up to watch the ball drop. There would be many neighbors outside honking car horns, fog horns, or banging on some pots all yelling “Happy New Year!” But the second the singing and cheering was over, it was off to bed.

This is a tradition I have with my own kids. We let them stay up or if they want us to wake them up, we will. We don’t go outside, though. I think we’d scare the neighbors. The neighborhood is usually tucked in for the night or several of them are at bars or friends homes celebrating. Either way, we stay indoors, calling our relatives at each hour marking off the New Year for the time zone they live in. Then it’s off to bed for a few hours.

This year, though, it won’t be just us celebrating the New Year. My husband’s parents are visiting and we plan to play some games throughout the night until we all decide it’s enough.

4. What are the gas prices where you live?

Is this a joke? Which day? What time?

Yesterday morning gas was $3.29, by the time evening came and I had to buy gas the price was up to $3.39. This afternoon the price was down to $3.32 which then went up to $3.36 by evening.

It makes me wonder what they are thinking…but then I realize they aren’t!

5. What is one resolution that you know you should do but are too afraid to try?

I don’t have any resolutions I’m afraid to try.

My one resolution this year is to cook more healthy meals. I already have been doing that, but I want to cook different meals. I feel as if we have been in a rut – cooking the same meals week after week. It happens because of budgets (we know how much it will cost), ease (we know how to make it so the entire family will eat), and time (we can schedule our meal prep accordingly without worrying we won’t have time to eat before going to [enter weekly commitment here]). 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Celebration

  My youngest son’s elementary school held a performance for families. It was entitled: “A Pirate’s Christmas“.

It was a twisted tale of how White Beard (AKA: Santa) helped the pirates understand that it is better to give then to receive. Or in the case of the pirates – to take what isn’t theirs.

The little boy, in the footsteps of his bigger brother, hammed it up.

But then again, I think all the 4th graders were having a blast while exaggerating their performance.

Once White Beard and his merry men brought the pirates to the North Pole, the head pirate – sorry, I can’t remember the name – convinced his followers that White Beard was off his rocker. Or was it off the boat?

Either way, the pirates learned and accepted that the practice of giving was much more lucrative than taking what they wanted, when they wanted, how they wanted, well, you get the picture…

During the performance these little pirates and elves sang Christmas songs drenched in pirate verses. It was a cute little show – one I will enjoy sharing in person with my parents once they make “the move”.

Note to self: Sit in the bleachers – the floor seats have extreme limited sight…as in I saw glimpses of the stage through out the show thanks to many children and adults who moved around. Thankfully my husband was on the aisle and was able to get many pictures and videos of the performance. So yeah, next year – I’m sitting up high. 🙂

Five Question Friday: 12.2.11

It’s another glorious Five Question Friday!

Check it out by clicking the image and join the fun. It’s crazy, it’s random, and it’s FUN!

1. What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?

This is a toughie. I have to pick one?!

Well, let me think…I can do this…alright, I can’t. I know it’s “cheating” but I have five to eight trees up at once and if they were all decorated the same way, it would be boring. 

Yeah, I’m a freak of nature. I know this. As does my husband, but thankfully, he doesn’t mind. 

Any who – I love snowmen and Santa ornaments. I mean, come on, they are adorable and always smiling. Face it, have you ever seen either grumpy, sad, or upset? Yeah, that’s what I thought. 

 Have I ever mentioned how much I looooovveee this season? I didn’t think so.

2. Do you finish your Christmas shopping early or are you a last-minute type?

Early. Last minute. It’s all how you look at the calendar. 

I start shopping for the next year the day after Christmas if it’s a really good deal. I don’t buy things for the kids that soon – their minds change so many times it’s too soon to make those types of decisions. However, I do take advantage of those after Christmas sales for other people. Things that don’t go out of style – unique ornaments, jewelry, books, Christmas decorations, you get the point. 

Although, I can and have and probably will again get the kids items that never go out of style. Cars, models, Lego sets, board games, and such are items I can pick up throughout the year. The kids have certain things they like that never change – for example, my daughter collects snow globes. These are easy enough to get and beat the lines and craziness of holiday shopping. Any clothing they want usually gets bought in October when I do my lay away shopping. 

So to answer the question – I’m an early shopper. I spend the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas shuttling the boys around to buy gifts for each other, but otherwise, I sit back, relax, and watch Christmas shows while wrapping. 

3. When do you turn on your heat?

The heat goes on when we get cold. This house has nothing on the west side, which is where the living room is, and when the winds blow, the living room gets cold real fast.

Otherwise, we don’t really have a set time when we turn it on other than when it’s cold and needs to come on. I don’t do the cold too well – but then again, I’m freezing in summer. 

4. Do you ever wish your blog was private?

I’m of the mind where if I didn’t want others to read it, I wouldn’t write it online. That’s why I have a journal, isn’t it? 

5. Do you put your deodorant on before of after you put on your shirt?

These questions can’t get more random, can they? Wait, I better now ask that. I remember one time there was a question about our washing habits. Yeah, personal stuff. 

Deodorant goes on after the shirt is on. Otherwise it makes a nasty mess of your clothes. Who wants to spend more time deciding what to wear because of a silly mishap with the deodorant? I sure don’t!