navygreen: (Sugar Cookies!)
I'm baking cookies right now for Jordan. When I brought the idea for a bake sale to Jack's school, the principal told me there was nothing planned, but that they would keep me in mind.

Fast-forward a couple weeks, and now bake sale donations are due on Thursday. Conferences are this week and next, with the book fair lasting a week and a half as well. I'll be doing another donation next Tuesday too, I think.

Speaking of cookies, I've got so very many to share! I'm going to kick off with these guys:

Thomas the Tank Engine cookies.

I made these for [ profile] hetterrific's John, who was celebrating his 2nd birthday. I found a picture of the Thomas graphic used on this year's batch of invitations, and I traced around the shape to hand-cut the dough. Once I had made a few shapes, I realized that I had inadvertently made perfect little gravestones, too...

The back of the trains looked like gravestones.

See more. )
navygreen: (Fall: pumpkin)
I had spent the most lovely, happy of days hanging out with my besties and their beautiful, fun children. The only thing missing in my life on that day was my special AnnieMcFranniePants and her little family.

The memories are so vivid, so wonderful, and today, so bittersweet!

Our little animals.
Lily, John, Jack, A.J., and Catherine.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch was an annual tradition during our years in Nebraska. We went to the patch each of our eight fall seasons, and it only was better and better each year. Most years, we also went on a separate trip to the smaller Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Patch as well. Still, Vala's was the big ticket.

This last year, we set out to enjoy everything "one last time," and we made every second count. Heather and her family were moving to New Mexico the next week (which is why we visited Vala's the first weekend it opened in the season), and we were headed to North Dakota two months after. Marissa brought Lily for her first real "Patch experience," and she was just the perfect age to dig in and enjoy. It was an amazing day!

There is no way I can condense this post to just a few pictures, so I'm going to put most everything behind a cut. [ profile] katielovesmatt, this is the place your dreams are made of!

So many pictures! )

Taking a picture here one last time.
Taking a picture under the 'Pumpkin Moon' one last time, on one last year.



Sep. 15th, 2010 09:43 pm
navygreen: (Sugar Cookies!)
You know what's sad? It's heartbreakingly sad that exactly two months ago today Heather and her kiddos arrived here for a visit... but that they're not still here even now. :-(

It seems like it's been a while, and then it also seems like it was just yesterday. Having her and the kids here was like waking up to warm, comfy hugs every day. It was home, you know? I really miss my Zippy.

On the topic of sad, it is disappointing that I also never, ever posted about Catherine's birthday party cookies - ones that I made almost a month before they even arrived at my house! How I neglected to post them here, I really can't say! So, without further adieu, here's a cookie for your viewing pleasure:

Catherine's monkey cookies.
Catherine's Monkey Girl cookies.

You see, Heather had sent me the link a couple months before of the party invitations and whatnot. Then, of course, she sent me an actual invitation (if only we could have attended! That was Catherine's first birthday that we'd ever missed. *cries*). And then, a little bit before the party, Heather changed her mind and went with these decorations instead. Still, they were close enough to the original invitation that I kept up my first plan.

See more. )

Then, just a week or so later, someone who had seen these cute girly monkeys ordered a couple dozen monkey cookies for a baby shower. When she said it was for a boy, I knew that some things would need to change. I stuck with most of the same design, but the little boy monkeys turned out like this:

And see more. )

Now... I just need someone to have boy-girl twins. How cute would these be on a platter together?! *wink*
navygreen: (Rock - you do.)
Heather (and the kids) arrive tomorrow afternoon. I just glanced at the weather forecast, and we're looking to be between 79° - 83° the entire five days she will be here.

On a whim, I looked up her home zip(!), and I found that she will be missing out on temps of 101° - 103° while she's visiting.

I'm sure she'll be SO. SAD. Ha! In fact, I hope she remembered to bring light jackets for the body shock! :-)
navygreen: (Kermit the Spaz)
My scrapbook room looks incredible, and I'm loving it. Tomorrow will be CLEAN! Day, and I'm planning on using the upholstery attachment on my floor rug when I vacuum the hardwood floors. I can't wait!

I helped Jan for hours with her pictures. We had a great time, chatting it up. She had some juicy stories to tell me (concerning a whole host of folks I don't even know, but it was still fun to follow along), and then we ended the evening watching some cop cars a few doors down on my street - ooooh! She and her son Payton arrived a little before 1pm, and they left at almost 9pm (with a break in there for him to head to baseball practice, then come back).

Philip had a lot of studying to do down in Missouri, and he was bummed about missing tonight's episode of Memphis Beat. It was a good one, too. I had recorded it, and then I started it up as the boys were eating dessert (s'mores) at the bar. I guess they got sucked into the storyline from listening for the first ten minutes, and then they were snuggled tight to me watching the rest of the episode. I told them on a commercial break, "You guys don't have to watch this boring police crime show with me, you know. You can watch something else if you want in the playroom," but they both quickly assured me that they wanted to see how it ended. Funny guys!

I also watched the pilot episode of Covert Affairs tonight. It had originally caught my eye starring Piper Perabo (I absolutely adore Coyote Ugly!), and the show didn't disappoint. It had very clever twists, and I love her blind, male sidekick. Also, I caught a neat surprise: several glimpses of the sweet hunk from Center Stage (Maureen's boyfriend). I'm excited to see more from this show.

I finally turned my wall calendar over. I'd been hesitating, as June was a second "Jacob month" this year. I figured I'd better switch it, seeing as it's almost the middle of the month.

Tomorrow night, Heather and the Zippers will be in a hotel room in El Paso, sleeping near to the airport to prepare for coming to see us. We are all SO EXCITED! Someone was asking me last week if I was worried about Minot disappointing them... and I didn't even blink. For one, I'm not - we're really enjoying the Minot area. It's very cozy, and we've not found ourselves in wont of anything (other than Chick-Fil-A, which we didn't have in Alaska or Nebraska, either). For two, again, I'm not - Heather's not coming to see our town: she's coming to see US! And we want to see THEM, more than we care about showing them around. I really just can't even explain the kind of feel-good fuzzies I get when I think about seeing her again. She just... lifts me up just by being near, you know? Or just by hearing her voice on the phone. She's that kind of friend, and I've missed her so terribly. I can't wait to give her a hug - almost ten months has been far too long a wait!
navygreen: (Scrapbook)
Someone please come put away all my scrapbook stuff. Please?

My friend Jan is coming over tomorrow, and we're going to scan in her wedding pictures and see if I can work some "magic" on them. Her pictures are all very dark, and she's wanting to spiff them up before scrapbooking. Her son Payton is the same age as Jack, and they played on the same indoor soccer team, so they'll be having a playdate while we work. Normally, I'd leave scrapbooking stuff out for a fellow scrapper, but I know I won't be finishing anything else before company arrives on Thursday.

Speaking of which, Heather and the kids arrive on Thursday! I've got Wednesday planned to clean and organize everything properly for her little ones, and I hope we can have some relaxing, great "catch up" time. Then, my parents will be arriving on Monday sometime, and Heather leaves on Tuesday morning. Then the boys and I leave with my parents on Thursday, and we won't be back until August 10th.

So my scrapbook stuff needs to be put away, or else little kitties will dig through things in the three weeks while I'm gone. And although kitties love to be "helpers," when it comes to scrapbooking, they're really not that great at it. *wink*
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
Guess who is coming to visit in exactly one month? My Zippy!

[ profile] hetterrific and kids will be here for four days, kicking off a month of vacation/visits/road trips/insanity. I can't wait!
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
Happiest of 1/2-Birthdays to my fellow partner-in-crime-birthday, my Zippy [ profile] hetterrific!

I'm 30-1/2 now, peoples. GAH!
navygreen: (Mars heart)
I got the decorative shelves in the hallway arranged with pretties last night, and I was really tickled at how they turned out. I wanted a special, safe place to shine some of my favorite pictures. I have my godson, Douglas, in one frame, and then special frames as well for Heather's Catherine and John. I also have the framed portrait of our entire family with Heather and Shane at her graduation - it's close to six years outdated, but I just love it so much, and I can't replace the picture inside with a newer one. I also tossed a few baskets up there, as well as our special seashells from the beach this summer, and I felt creative in displaying Catherine's picture, in particular.

And then, just now, Jack and I were in the living room, trying on tennies and making sure to have he's got the appropriate fit for tomorrow. As he was tying his laces, he said, "I saw all the pictures on the shelf this morning."

"Oh, really?" I asked. "Did you notice them on your way down the stairs then?"

"Yup," he answered, and then his voice softened and became quieter. "But they made me kinda sad, Mom."

"Why is that, honey?" I asked quietly, too.

"'Cuz it makes me miss 'em even more," and tears were in his eyes.

My sweetheart Jack. I love the way he gives a piece of his heart to everyone he loves. Sometimes, though, his little broken heart hurts too much. This was one of those times, and we hugged for a bit and shared a few tears over missing our loved friends. :-(
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
The cat's out of the bag now. ;-)

For her birthday, we gave Heather a special gift... one that she would cherish, but that would really best be given to her children. (But aren't those some of the best gifts? The ones that make your kids smile, and in turn, make you smile even wider?)

We picked up a copy of All the Ways I Love You, and then we recorded into the book all of our voices reading the story. She will forever have the boys' young voices, and her kiddos will always have a story that can be read to them. They will know how much we love them and think about them every time they pick up the book.

I almost cried while reading my line at the end. So here, have a listen. And while you're at it, wish my fellow Zippy a happiest of birthdays on this glorious birthday that we share!

navygreen: (HP: Shoebox - lovely molecules)
I'm on my third load of laundry already, and it's a gorgeous day out. I hope to take advantage of this by being extremely-very-majorly productive today.

I started the day with a quick call to my bestie to tell her that I missed her. That always puts a smile on my face, too. And I could hear little Catherine in the background saying, "Mama! Mama! Mama!" Love that little girl, I do.

I did some more holiday shopping last night, and now I've got a dining room FULL of gifts that need to be wrapped and boxed for shipping. That's high on the agenda today, but I need to swing out to the store to get some shirt boxes first. I'm considering baking cookies while I'm wrapping, too.

I'm paying bills right now (well, I was... then I stopped to make an entry, that is), and I'll be heading out in just a moment. I am excited and happy for this big, beautiful day!
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
I do not want tomorrow to come.

Tomorrow, my very bestest best friend moves away. She's moving to New Mexico, and I know, I know... it's not the end of the earth. It's not even a different country, and it's not halfway around the world.

But it's too far for me. It's too far for me to call her and say, "Hey, I'm gonna drop off those pictures/boxes/gifts/papers/random objects you wanted, and I'll see you in a minute, okay?" And it's too far for me to run over and snap pictures of Catherine's first days of preschool/kindergarten because I'm just as excited and happy and thrilled for her as she is. And it's too far for me to take my kids trick-or-treating like we've done every year because her neighborhood is more awesome than mine. And it's too far for me to be there for John's first birthday in time. And it's too far for me to make Thanksgiving dinner and give her some of our ham because she never makes it herself, yet she craves it sometimes.

And it's too far for us to throw silly birthday parties together for our joint-birthday. And it's too far for me to do all the tours and house-shopping with her. It's too far for me to help her unpack her kitchen and put everything in just-so places, and for us to see a rainbow together while doing so. And it's too far for me to see Catherine stomping around in her froggy shoes, and for me to teach John all the wonders of Coca-Cola. It's too far for me to get to hug their little arms and kiss their little cheeks. And it's too far for me to baby-sit her precious kiddos while she runs an errand, and to feed them too many mandarin oranges. It's also too far for me to kitty-sit for "Hidey" Milo and "Escapee" Tasha.

And it's too far for us to go on vacation, and then bring back Chick-Fil-A for each other, dropping it by each other's house on our way back home. And it's too far for her to make it to all the boys' school concerts. And to all their book fairs. And their carnivals. And their birthdays. And now I'm just being selfish again...

It's too far for me to fall into her arms when I need her hugs - her special, 'we-don't-do-it-all-the-time-but-she-touches-my-soul-when-we-do' kind of hugs.

This past Friday, the 25th of September, marked seven years to the day that I first walked across the street and introduced myself to Heather. These seven years have been the very best and worst times of my life, and she's been there for every second of it. I can't imagine any of it differently, and I can't imagine it without her. She's in every part of my scrapbook, every part of my life, and she holds a very, very special place in my heart.

Two weeks ago, Catherine and I chatted on the phone. I'd been talking to her mama, and she wanted to say something special. When she was ready to get off, she said, "I love you." And I know I will get to hear her say that on the phone now, but I'm sad for all the goodbye hugs and sweet, goodbye kisses on my cheek that I'll miss.

And I know that New Mexico isn't the end of the earth. I know that I'll trip to see her, and she'll trip to see me. And I know that we'll have to pick certain events/holidays to travel and share with one another, and that we'll always have internet and phonecalls.

But it's too far not to still hurt, and to hurt so deeply.

Lastly, it's too far for me to ever have a chance at being even half the friend and family to her that she has been to me. She is my sister, and she's not too far away to love.
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
My best friend Heather is the very best, best friend in the world. She really is.


Nov. 13th, 2008 07:55 am
navygreen: (Birthday!)
Today is our birthday! Today, Heather and I are 59! *throws confetti*

We're headed out to breakfast in just a few minutes at Wheatfield's. Later on, I get to have ice cream with Marissa at ColdStone. It will be a day of yummy things!


Oct. 24th, 2008 10:14 pm
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
I've seen the baby! Twice! Oh, and I have pics!


But you'll all just have to wait until Heather posts first. *evil*
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
I want a milkshake from ColdStone.
Like whoa.

Ice cream here doesn't sound nearly so appealing.

I thoroughly enjoyed two things today. Firstly, Heather and I went to a matinee of Mamma Mia!. I thought it was every bit as good as the play when we went to see that, though each is really different. We laughed a LOT - probably just as much as we did during the play. And wow, I had to pee so badly by the end of the movie!

Secondly, I have giggled ridiculously over Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog today. I watched all three episodes today (the first before the movie above, and the last two after dinner tonight). I'm late to the boat on this one, but no matter. I will definitely be buying these episodes from iTunes anyway, as I want to watch them often and at my leisure on my iPod.

And Heather enjoyed them, too. We talked about the first part while waiting for the movie to start (and I'd not known she'd heard about them or planned to watch it), and then I called her in the middle of the second one to giggle about a handful of particularly good lines.

I love real-life friends that love stupid, silly stuff as much as me.

Aaaaaaannnnddd? I still want that milkshake.
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
hetterrific Heather and I just had a thought at the same time. Again. Yep, we totally share a brain sometimes.

I was thinking ahead, making mental note of A.J.'s swim lessons on Saturday morning at 9:30am, and how I would be taking him. Then I thought of Catherine's first Aqua Tots lesson starting at 10am, and mused, "Hey, I should ask Heather if she'd like me to take pictures of her and Buglet in the water together." I'd be there anyway, and it would only mean staying an extra 30 minutes. Plus, I knew that A.J. will enjoy the extra time to play with the air hockey and pool tables, too. I figured she wouldn't decline the offer, but I picked up the phone to verify.

So I rang her, and she answered. But she said almost immediately, "Um, Catherine has a favor to ask you. She was wondering if you might be willing to take pictures of her on Saturday at her swim lessons? Her dad is coming, and he might take a picture or two, but... well, she isn't really very confident in her dad's picture-taking abilities." And I laughed and explained that was EXACTLY what I was calling to ask about!

So, yes. On Saturday, I will be taking a few pictures of Little Miss in her beautimous swimming attire for her first swim lesson. I'm sure she will love the experience!
navygreen: (Food)
Remember when I posted that Heather made me chickie soup earlier this week? Well, I took pictures as the soup was steaming on the stove, just before portioning out bowls of the golden goodness. Mmmmmmmm!

Nothing tastes so good as the love she put inside. :-)

Four more pictures. )

*iz ded*

Feb. 25th, 2008 02:49 pm
navygreen: (Office Space)
I'm beat. Really, I can't believe I lasted all four hours of my shift at Runza today. I'm sooooo tired now. As soon as I pick up the boys from school, I'm laying down for a nap. I'd told Philip that he'd likely be making dinner once he got home, and then he could wake me when it was time to eat. However, I just read that Heather has been making her homemade-with-love chickie soup for me tonight!

This is such good news. You really have no idea. Philip has done an awesome job this last week, calling around various restaurants each day to find those that were dishing up Chicken Noodle as their "Soup of the Day," then going to get it for me. On Saturday I even had Chicken with Rice. But Heather's chickie soup is by far the bestest.

For now? Zzzzzz...
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
On Saturday, the Zippys had plans to take on the town. It was so nice to get out with Heather for an afternoon - it's just something we don't do nearly as often as we should, anymore.

Where did we go? Well, first, she picked me up at the house (all my boys stayed home, giddy at the prospect of getting the oil changed in the car... okay, maybe not really giddy...). We had decided on WheatFields Bakery for lunch, and it was a wonderful choice! There was just so. much. good. food, and we didn't know where to begin. Heather finally settled on shrimp & cheese fondue, and I chose a chicken salad plate (because I wanted the pastry and fresh fruit that was to come with it). While we waited for our food in the very crowded little place (a sure sign of good eats!), we browsed over the delectable desserts. We were seated right in front of the bakery buns and pastries, and we walked over to see the cakes, mousses, cheesecakes, and cookies. Oh, I wanted one of everything!

Our food arrived, and it looked scrumptious. Heather's tealight burnt out shortly under her fondue pot, but the cheese stayed warm enough for her to dip her chunks of shrimp, veggies, and ciabatta bread cubes. My salad arrived, but... it didn't look right. Instead of a cold chicken salad plate with fruit and pastry, our waitress brought me a honey-fried chicken salad (a HUGE breast of honey-fried chicken, cut-up, and tossed over a bed of fresh greens, toasted hazelnuts, bacon, and shredded gruyere, served with a Creamy Ranch Herb Dressing). I was so hungry that I asked her to leave the salad instead of waiting for a correct one. It was so good! I typically don't like ranch dressing, but this one had a bit of a tangy kick, and it was PERFECT for blending with the sweet, honey-fried chicken (which was VERY sweet). Heather had a few bites of my salad and agreed. After our meals, we shared my pastry - a Shaggy. The 'Shaggy' was a large, fluffy croissant rolled in cinnamon-sugar and toasted almonds. It was delicious!

Even as Heather packed up the leftovers of her fondue (I didn't take my salad home, though there was half of it left), we remarked on how incredibly full we both were. We gazed some more at the desserts on our way out, only to learn a wondrous thing: they had free samples of many of the desserts at the counter! We both chose the Oregon Cherry cheesecake - a rich, pink cheesecake with swirls of cherry and a chocolate cookie crumb crust. It was the perfect amount of dessert, and we marveled that anyone could eat an actual slice at one time.

Then we rolled out the door and over to Heather's car. Honestly, it's a miracle that we still fit into our seats. ;-)

A short, pleasant drive later found us pulling into a parking spot on the Main Street of downtown Louisville, Nebraska. I grabbed my camera, and we headed into Coop-de-Ville for a chick-fest: a free chocolate buffet! Heather had received an invite earlier in the week from their mailing list, and that's how our entire girlie afternoon plans had begun. Of course, we were *so* full from Wheatfields that we weren't sure we could handle more chocolate... but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?

We browsed the super-fun rooms of massive girly decor, and we giggled over cute pillows and hilarious travel mugs. We mused over Christmas decorations (yes, in February!), and we pondered martini-shaped candles and redecorating our own homes with more pink and pizzazz. Finally, we entered Cafe Poulet for a bit of the festivities. Heather helped herself to a few pieces of chocolate, and I asked permission to take a few pictures. I also ordered a Pink Hot Chocolate before sitting down with my own chocolate spread: valentine M&Ms, a krispy chocolate bar, and a fudge brownie. When my hot chocolate arrived, it was covered in whipped cream and hot pink sprinkles... and it was definitely pink!

Neither of us could finish our goodies, but we leisurely enjoyed our time chatting as we tried to finish up. I burned my tongue on my first few sips of hot chocolate, but it was still so very good. We walked all around Cafe Poulet, and we entered the tiny bathroom together (not to use, silly!) just so we could laugh over the ornately decorated toilet seat and fun girl phrases pasted all over the walls. The pipes were even covered in hot pink fur!

We left Coop-de-Ville after I paid for my hot chocolate, and we walked a block up the street to enter Feathers. Feathers is a fun, hip, girly retail shop, and we laughed and giggled as we pored over the items in each room of the house (the shop is in a remodeled, older home). I ended up purchasing a few baby gifts while we browsed, but I resisted buying anything for myself (though the temptation was great, I promise you!). We ooooh'd and ahhhh'd over a great many things before finally stepping back out into the cold wind of Main Street and heading back to Heather's car.

There is one more shop related to the two we visited - Art Chicks - but both of us had been there previously, so we decided to head back home (a fun place for lunch, you are required to play 'dress-up' in their costume room before sitting down for your meal). We stopped at Baker's for Heather to grab some milk, and at Hallmark for me to pick up a few cards on the way home, and then she dropped me off. It was a very nice afternoon, and I'm so glad we got away. :-)

Me and Heather in fifty years
Me and Heather in fifty years.

More pictures - beware of the pink! )

And though it was a quick turn-around (which is a good thing!), we also went out together on Wednesday night. I had given Heather tickets to see Phantom of the Opera at the Orpheum Theatre for Hanukkah, and it was an amazing show! We arrived early, and we both dressed up. In fact, if I'd worn black slacks, we'd have been twins! (Instead, I wore a red sweater, short black skirt, black tights, and strappy black heels.) I loved the show, and I'm glad I can now say that I've seen the off-Broadway production. It was really hard, however, not to burst out singing in so many of the songs. I resigned myself to trying to tap my heels quietly instead. ;-)

(Oh, but neither of us brought a camera to the play. Sorry!)


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