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Monday, March 30, 2009

Central Texas Hikers

Sunday we packed up and headed out to the Williamson County Regional Park for a trek in the woods. Brian loaded up a backpack with a ridiculous amount of weights (I'd say the equivalent of a 9 year old child) in training for all the ruck marches he'll be doing when he tries for Special Forces later this year. I carried Wilder in our fabulous craigslist find of a child backpack and, with Savannah in tow (more like in the lead,) we blazed through the new trail.

The unceremonious entry to the peaceful Nature Trail.

It ain't Alaska, but getting out in nature has the same effect: invigorating, inspiring, incredible. We loved it.
This is where Brian left me after he got sick of hearing me thrill on and on about how happy I was to be hiking again as a family. Okay, so he didn't leave me (his pack was too heavy to run away.) Really it's us connecting back to the main road, heading to the parking lot.
Tada! It was a fun adventure that took us driving through some beautiful areas and walking through neat Texas flora. We're planning a trip to Colorado next month and can't wait to hike in the mountains again. For now, we're training up and finding new trails and treasures where we live. Oh, and as a note- I have decided that the term "hiking" can be assigned to any outing where you walk outside AS LONG AS you are wearing a backpack. So kids hike to the bus stop, hike to their lockers between classes, and I hike a very pedestrian trail with no change in altitude. Walking + Backpack = Hiking.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mon Petit Chou

We play with our food at my house. It's a matter of principal -and haberdashery. On Saint Patrick's Day, what better way to tip your cap to the Irish than parade around wearing a cabbage leaf?

And when you get tired and hungry, just eat your hat.

Mom and son sporting their cabbage caps.

BTW, "mon petit chou" is one of the only phrases I remember from my high school French classes. It is a term of endearment, translating to "my little cabbage."

Boys Life

Two new best friends, Wilder and Brian. Within minutes of playtime, his daddy taught him new ways of simulating machine sounds and introduced him to airplanes -both being one and controlling one.

Here they go-cart around the house.
Wilder's airplane introduction, complete with those adorable sound effects.
Ball playing skills being honed in the backyard.
They have so much fun together; I love having my boys home!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bringing the Blues to West Baghdad

Video flashback circa August 2008.
Jamming in Jamia, SRV style.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Welcome Home, Brian!

Um, life's a little busy right now (wink, wink)... so I'll mainly just leave this post as pictures.
These photos are courtesy of my sweet sister-in-law, Brooke, who was our official photographer. Had it been left to me there'd probably be only three. Tops. Thank you, Brooke!

It was an official family event -the first of Brian's homecomings that his entire family was able to celebrate his arrival home! In the words of MiMa, "Happy, happy, joy, joy!"

We are ecstatic to have Brian back and, honestly, I want to marry him all over again! I forgot how perfect life is when we're all together as our little family. Currently the boys are playing all over the living room -chasing the dog, wrestling, flying Wilder's toys around. Life. Is. Good.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Got The Call!

Restlessly tucking myself into bed, my phone rang. "Who in the heck is calling me at 10:30pm?!" said the old lady (that's me.) It was a gal from the FRG (Family Readiness Group, ie the folks who usually send out pointless forwards somehow related to the Army and The Family,) "This is (so-and-so) from the 1-22 FRG? Just calling to let you know your soldier will arrive at 1700 tomorrow."


I tossed and turned, squeezing my pillow, crying with joy that my husband will be home so soon. I ended up having to get out of bed and wear myself out with a bit with preparation. So, I waxed my upper lip and painted my toenails while re-cleaning the bathroom and making 8 To Do lists for tomorrow.


I won't get Wilder up to celebrate with me, though it's a tempting thought. I can't wait for tomorrow, yet I have so much to do! Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!!!!!!!!! But for now, goodnight!

Update on the Homecoming

I know, I know, you've heard it before. Brian should be on his way now. Really. I am not certain that he has left Kuwait yet, but he is (or has been) there and will be headed stateside very soon. We're hoping for his arrival tomorrow or Saturday, but later is also possible.

Brian has been deployed 1 year to this day. It's wonderful to know that he will be home so soon, though it can't be soon enough for me. I'm staying busy with appointments, friends, errands, and wrestling with my little goofnugget-of-a-kid. Yesterday was great since I knew Brian wouldn't be arriving then or today, but NOW... this morning I could hardly hold down my oatmeal, I was/am so excited about maybe, just MAYBE getting have my most favorite person in the world back in the next day or two. Where's my paper bag! Deep breathing, deep breathing.

As always, I'll keep you posted!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Caution: Noisy People

Goody, Goody

The Book Exchange party I had on Saturday was delicious, as well as fun -thank you so much to those lovely ladies who were able to make it! As promised, I made some edible delights and I'm proud to say all three were recipes I'd never tried.

Individual cheescakes with graham cracker crusts, topped with cherry pie filling. Sheer brilliance. As Brian is a cheesecake lover and I am a lover of Brian I am sure these puppies have a permanent spot in my cooking repertoire now.

The peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate are gluten free (with one of my dear friends in mind) and simply scrumptious. I altered the recipe a bit (see link for original) and they still turned out excellent.
Another variation on the classic toffee bar. I added instant coffee granules and a bit of water to the sweetened condensed milk while it was boiling. Topped with melted chocolate pieces instead of the no-cook fudge frosting.

It was a rather delicious affair with wonderful women and yummy treats. I hope you try some of these recipes -they are downright awesome.

Go Figure

I finally got to talk with Brian last night. It appears they have been continually delayed (as he says in his comment on the previous post) and has no idea when they will be leaving Iraq. Could be as late as the 11th. I put nothing past our great Army.

Anyhoo, I am much more at ease knowing that I won't get a surprise call soon saying, "Hey, we're in Dallas. I should be at Fort Hood in about an hour!" Phew. I'll be glad if I get that call, but for now I don't have to freak out. Quite frankly I feel like taking a small road trip, but I won't. Life shall continue as normal and maybe I'll clean a bathroom or something.

Today feels perfect for starting a new sewing project, so that is what I propose to do. Dresses or a quilt -that's my crushing dilemma, which I think I can handle.

I'll keep you posted on Brian's expected arrival (mainly because I can't shut up about it :) It was great, great fun IMing with him last night and I can't wait to have my buddy home!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Pardon me while I flip out.

Brian supposedly left Iraq for Kuwait (and then for the U.S.) yesterday, but I haven't heard from him yet. Therefore I can safely suppose one of several scenarios.

A) Brian indeed left Iraq and is in Kuwait
1) where he was whisked on to a commercial flight and is, at this very minute, making his 30 hour journey home.
2) where he is sitting on the tarmac with a few hundred other soldiers, waiting up to three days for his flight out of there. And unable to get to a phone.

B) Brian did not leave Iraq; after arriving at the Baghdad airport he was told there was a slight delay. They have no idea when the plane will be ready and he can't get to a phone or a computer.

Last deployment when Brian was in Kuwait -just a few hours before boarding his plane for home- he and his guys were turned around and sent back to Iraq for four months. It was DEVASTATING. Part of why I am having such a difficult time with waiting and not knowing when exactly Brian is coming home is because, as all military wives know, ANYTHING is possible in the Army -particularly anything REALLY, REALLY crappy. Did you know that on Mother's Day on every Army fort in America they play "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" over the loud speakers? Okay, so they don't really -but they should.

Personally I would greatly enjoy being sedated and someone watching Wilder until, oh, eight hours before Brian's flight comes in -whenever that is... Just enough time to vacuum again, clean the dishes, sweep the floor and get myself pretty. It's just a wee bit hard to breath, properly digest my food, not eat everything in the house, and go about life as normal.

Yes, yes, I know this time will pass, but it's not very fun. At all.

Honey, come home -fast!

We love you!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Wilder can say toast. Amazing.

I asked him if he wanted another piece (I cut one slice into strips) and he toddled from the living room where we were hanging out and went right to the kitchen by the toaster. "Tst! Tst!" he said as he traveled. I handed it to him and he smiled, "Tst!"


This nifty, versatile clutch is made with love and whimsy (and some great '80s butterfly fabric!) I used the previously mentioned "Bend The Rules Sewing" book by the lovely Ms. Karol and indeed bent the rules a bit from her basic pattern. Now you can adjust this great bag to four sizes!
What can you use it for? Here are a few ideas that came to mind.
First off, this is a great little bag for traveling. I'd use it for my undergarments -a big step up from the ziplock bag I generally use. Or stationary; put your favorite pen, a set of stamps, cards and even your journal so they aren't floating around your purse or backpack in a jumbled mess. It's also a clever way to group your toiletries and makeup. But if I was 8 years old, I'd want to use it to hold doll clothes. You pick how you'd use it!

This is the first giveaway I've done, but anticipate making it a regular thing, if not weekly! It's up for grabs and ready to send your way, so don't be shy -just let me know if you'd enjoy it :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I have only participated in a Swap group once before, but it was such a fun experience I'd love to do it again!

Here is my proposition:
-A monthly swap
-New theme each month
-Mainly use items you already have or things you hand/home make
-Be creative, share creative ideas, inspire others through your swappage (though no need to be a "crafty" person)
-$10 out of pocket cap, though no need to spend any money at all except for shipping
-4 month commitment (though we can go longer if we decide to!)

Sound fun? I think so! Email me or post a comment and let's get a group started! (March 18th deadline for an April start.)

Puppies Need to Eat, Too

"Now, Puppy? You need to sit here. Sit. Stay. Yeah, just like Mom tells me."
"Da jagu, bu jabba jabba. That means 'hurry up with the grub, Mom!'"
"Are we done yet?"
And sometimes, you just need to eat a puppy.

Bottoms Up!

Tada!!! Man, was I thrilled when I finished these little pj bottoms; pleased as punch. I have only properly sewn with a pattern once before -9 years ago- and even then it was a slightly disastrous success. True, these p.j.s won't fit Wilder for another year... but perhaps there's a cousin who would fit them now. Timmy??

White-knuckled, I'm about to attempt my next project: a dress for one of the nieces. Seeing as how I haven't mastered the skill of proper sizing, it may be for someone else's niece, but I'm determined to keep at it!
Onward Sew!

Kitschy Cozy


As part of this month's goal of sewing and conquering my severe aversion to using patterns, here is my first attempt at a tea cozy using a very basic pattern from a fabulous book.

Bend-The-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol has lots of fun, easy projects for any sewing level. She presents basic projects and very simply explains with easy to follow illustrations for each step. And she encourages individual creativity as you alter the item to your taste! There's an entire flickr community dedicated to Karol's great book!

I learned just a few things doing this project -like make sure you make a tea cozy big enough to go over your desired tea pot. Yeah, just little things like that... And make sure your creation matches your kitchen or taste, or someone's you know otherwise you'll end up with a tiny tea cozy that goes right in the garage sale pile. :) Kitschy or catastrophe, you decide.
Or perhaps it would make a better hat...


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