Friday, December 4, 2009

every drop counts.

a couple of weeks ago, i rolled groggily out of bed and stumbled over to the sink, as i do each morning. i slapped up the faucet, and was surprised by the spitting, random burst of water that shot out, and then quickly disappeared. i wanted nothing more in the world than to brush my teeth at that moment. we had twenty minutes to leave for preschool if we were going to make it on time. (i never claimed to be a morning person.) i gave an exasperated sigh, and went on with my morning. needless to say, the frustration was immense.

since that day, we have learned that the motor is going out on our water pump for the well we use. there's a trick to getting it to come back on, but it's, well...tricky. i have cussed, i have stomped, and i have pitched total fits about the inconvenience of this problem. when i turn on a faucet, dammit, there should be fresh, clean water at my disposal. that's the way it is, right? i need to do dishes! wash clothes! bathe myself or the kids! water the tree! drink! brush my teeth! flush the toilet! wash my hands!

as these days have passed, i have started to keep a pitcher filled by the sink, in case it goes out. i stopped buying bottled water. i remember a shot in charlie's lifebook video that shows his birthmother with a large plastic jug on her shoulder, beginning the walk to get water. i'm now calm when i make the (much shorter) walk out to the pump house with the screwdriver to turn it back on again. it happens up to 5 times a day. it happens in the cold, in the rain, at night. it's even happened while i was IN the shower. in a few more days, when we are added to county water, and we don't have this problem anymore, i hope i don't start to take it for granted again.

water. it's the most basic human necessity. we need it for almost everything. while we soak in hot, relaxing tubs...gallons of water, someone in the world looks at their thirsty child. can you even imagine? it's not fair. forget not being able to find a certain Barbie doll or Wii game this season. How about not being able to bathe, or take a drink without becoming sick? PLEASE donate something. everyone who contributes to this cause becomes a drop in the well that will be built. enough drops, and we fill it to the top.

Click here to view our page and donate online.

Click here for the Photography Fundraiser Event Information.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Laughing With

so, here i sit, editing my little heart out to Pandora (Bon Iver with a little Ani thrown in) and on comes this Regina Specktor song i had never heard. it gave me CHILLS. as someone who religion is kinda lost on, it made me feel...something. which is progress. i don't know what the something was...whatevs, it's just a good song! listen...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tree Day!

the Saturday after Thanksgiving holds yet another cherished family tradition. we all go together to get our trees, and hang out at the parents' house and eat oyster stew. it's a good way to round out the first holiday weekend. the girls fuss over every tree before finally picking the perfect one, while the men follow with the saw, eyes rolling. of course, once we get home and have to put the tree UP without killing each other, the fun really begins. ;)
Getting all three kids to smile or even NOT freak out is a feat, but today was a nice surprise.

we get to Brown's Tree Farm and Charlie immediately grabs my hand and pulls me, screaming, over to see who was there. Mallory was perplexed, at best.

the kids loved the pony ride!

this year, the decorating was much smoother than the past couple of years. looking back over the old blogs (this is my third bloggy holiday!) i can see a big difference. we must be getting better at this. ;)as we were breaking out all the goods, i thought it's so nice to see all these familiar snowmen and singing penguins every year. our holiday decor is NOT fancy. it's mostly dollar store chic. but i like it.
unfortunately, mal conked out and missed most of the action. she had enough excitement for one day, and i'm sure tomorrow the battle of mal vs. tree will commence. sigh. any tips for keeping toddlers out of the tree??
as of now, the kids are snug in thier beds...i'm sipping coffee and trying to keep adam calm as he watches GA, GA Tech. So far, he is no happy elf. ;)
happy decorating!

Friday, November 27, 2009


i hope everyone had an excellent turkey/tofurkey day. ours was fabulous. we played on the farm, ate way too much, and spent time with the family and friends. there was football, naps, laughter. you know, probably similar to your day...
but this family...must live in fear of the holidays. i found this on, and it was originally posted last year, so this may be old news, but i just saw it and laughed at least 12 calories off. from the blog listed at the bottom, it appears to be a real email!
can you IMAGINE??

From: Marney
As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

HJB—Dinner wine

The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don’t feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don’t care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.

The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).

The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).

The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel – please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife

The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay

The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.

Looking forward to the 28th!!


(kindly submitted by Kara at

i would totally show up with pizza. or Krystals.

keep enjoying your couches, people! it's a looooong, gorgeous weekend.
tomorrow...we break out the Christmas. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moan.

hehe. forgive the suggestive title, will ya? you know you twilight freaks REALLY go for the boys. and i do mean BOYS. several times during the movie, i almost slapped myself. "he is SEVENTEEN! calm yourself!" phew.

okay, so the movie. due to my first ever peer pressure experience where i was NOT the person doing the pressuring, my girlfriends and i decided at the last minute to see the midnight preview. i also had tickets for friday night, so OKAAAY, i went again. i should be able to put together a proper review. if you have not seen it, and plan's a hint. don't read this. i'm going bullet style, 'cause i got no review skills.

-i really, really liked the movie.

-i didn't feel AS giddy as i did watching Twilight, but i realize that New Moon is in fact, better.

-i thought the actors did MUCH better this time. Kristen Stewart didn't fidget quite as much, Taylor Lautner seemed much more confident, and Rob Pattinson, well. I mean, he IS Edward.

-Taylor Lautner's body. (please, i know, it's sick. don't report me.)

-spirit Edward was a little cheeseball, but i got used to it. i LOVED the vision of he and Bella, underwater after she jumped off the cliff. The whole underwater scene was really cool.

-i loved when the Volturi painting started to move. it was visually beautiful, and a great part of the story.

-Aro and Jane kick total ASS. best bad guys evah. well, except Lestat. cmon.

-The comic relief was great again. without Mike, Eric, and Jessica, the movies would be totally laughless. other than a couple good cracks by Alice.

-i loved that i found myself rooting for Jacob at times. that's how good some of his and Bella's scenes together were. i felt like a traitor, but man, it felt good!

-the CGI was "eh", but i didn't care. the wolves were awesome.

-when jacob phased in mid-air, even though it was in the trailer i saw 586 times, i was pumped. such a good, suspensful moment.

-victoria bored me this time, other than the water scene.

-some of the camera work made me dizzy! when Bella lies down in the woods, i got quesy, and that never happens to me. also when sam jumps off the cliff. eeks.

-i missed the other Cullens. one of my favorite things about Twilight was all the Cullen time. here they were not as involved, but it is true to the story.

-what the heck happened to Edward's silver Volvo?

-i thought emo Bella was great, and really sad. she could have looked a LITTLE more haggard, but i thought it was fine. the nightmare moments were heartbreaking!

-watching Bella come back to life as she and Jake worked on the bikes was adorable...

-but it was weird when she threw the slice of pizza and he caught a tool.

all in all, i enjoyed New Moon. i'm not nearly as Twihard as i was last year, but it's still a really fun escape. and big thanks to my Adam for going with me and only making minimal jokes throughout. ;) bring on Eclipse, June 20th!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

about a girl...

almost 2 years ago, i peed on a stick. as i sat there, waiting, my heart began to beat a little faster. doubt turned into shock as the blank screen turned into two small, pink lines. it was in that instant that i knew i was going to have a daughter. i don't know how i knew, but i did. 10 weeks later, i was lying on a table for an ultrasound. still not a moment of doubt, and the nurse confirmed what i already believed. a girl. apart from thoughts of bright tutus and pigtails, i considered what it was going to mean, raising a girl. obviously, i am one. and so, my perspective of what her life would be was a little clearer for me. i thought about my relationship with my mother, and how i so want that for she and i. i felt, and still feel, privileged to be a part of such a sacred bond.
as i watch my daughter grow, and oh, she is growing, i feel lucky and amazed every day. she's mine, and i'm hers, for now, and i hope in some way, for always. she's stubborn and sweet. loving and independent. she likes spicy food and babydolls. she loves to sleep, and dance. she's engaging, and when i watch others play with her, and enjoy her company, i swell with pride that i get to be the one to keep her. to get her dressed and watch her grin when she loves what she's wearing. to share my jewelry with her, and indulge in her cuddles whenever i can.
i am trying to remember to put her down and let her walk more. let her explore this world that i hope she finds as beautiful as i do. she's not even 2, and i find myself already wanting to make her understand how special she is, and how beautiful and smart. i want her to be confident and strong, and i know firsthand how hard that journey will be. but i made it there, and i know she will, too.
i will look around soon, any minute now, and she will be a real, live girl. with homework, crushes, crazy curly hair, and doubt and happiness. a few brief moments after that one, she will be a real, live woman. with friends, and a partner, and a favorite wine, and a home, and maybe children of her own. and still with a mother who will hope that she is happy deep down to her soul. i hope we are always close. i can't wait to see what this sweet little being will paint on this world.
i love you, mallory j.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's the zip for the North Pole?

Tonight before dinner, Marlena and I sat down with the littles to write some letters about how good we have all been this year. (I totally was.) Charlie wrote some of his himself, by copying letters I had written. My little genius.

(Marlena used baby Cullen's letter to ask for personal items, including, but not limited to, a pair of skinny jeans and the New Moon soundtrack...but I digress.);)

Cullen doesn't mind. :)

Mal just cannot decide, apparently... determine if Santa will indeed be bringing any of this loot, is the elf. You may have heard of Elf on a Shelf. Ours appeared this weekend, via my awesome mom, and Hallmark. We let Charlie name him, and so the tradition of Indiana Jones' watchful eye was born. I think most people wait until Thanksgiving to break out the elfage, but...I can always use the extra eyes. ;)

The World According to Chuck.

This is fun for me, and close to my heart, being the picture lover that I am . Adam's work camera was no longer useable for him, because the display screen broke. The camera still worked, though, and so he gave it to Charlie. Best idea ever. Looking at the photos this morning from the past few weeks was so much fun. He hasn't seen these yet, but he will no doubt be proud of his artistic vision. Enjoy the view from Charlie height. (Captions also by the artist.)
Bouncy ball!

Mommy driving carefully.

A suckah.


Captain America, sideways.

Mallory in the carseat.

Daddy's picking up Mallory.

Daddy, sitting.

Daddy, about to grab me.

My feet, and my leg.

Banana. (But really, it's the sun.)

Down the stairs.

My mommy's room!

The kitchen, with my walkie-talkie.

That's where Daddy keeps the Wii remotes!

Charlie Boshanks.

A cookie on my little table.


Da fwah. (floor.)

The man's got skills. :) Give your kiddos a camera (an old one) and see what they come up with!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fickle Musician...

Mallory has a new love, one that Adam swears he taught her, but I dunno. I think she's a natural. So of course, I grab the camera and get a shot of my baby's incredible talent. I did refrain from calling Oprah, barely.

Cute, right??

And then...just like that, the music business became too much, and Mal quit, before the pressure overtook her life and she ended up in baby rehab.

My girl is so smart. I guess we will have to work on her many other natural gifts instead. ;)

Here's another vid of my musically inclined kids having one of thier many jam sessions a few weeks ago. may wanna turn down your volume...a lot.

Party on!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

on the road, again

I am sitting on my couch, rested, showered, and really happy about the great times we have spent with family in the last couple of weeks. We literally have not been home for more than a few hours in 8 days or so. Adam was scheduled to computerize a brand new ChicFilA in the Charlotte, NC area, and I immediately volunteered me and the kids to be travel companions. (Adam at least faked being thrilled about this;). His aunt and uncle live there, and we never have had a lot of time to spend with them. We had a great time...other than my nervousness about the kids breaking stuff (they didn't!). Dodie showed us around Charlotte, and I fell in love with the city. It's beautiful...the perfect southern city with a ton of charm. It's a lot different than the good ole ATL. (though i love her, too).
Some photos from our time with Rick and Dodie!
Best cookies ever...gotta find me a Trader Joe's nearby!

Rick is an awesome grillman...runs in the family!

At the Children's Museum...

Checking out the Shipwreck exibit.

Mallory totally jacked my necklace that morning.

So, on our last day, Adam picked us up from the (beautiful) house around 5 to head home. Just had to make one more quick stop by the restaurant. Which of course led to almost SIX hours of waiting, driving around with the kids in the rain, panicking, singing every song I could remember from childhood, doing donuts in the parking lots, and eating lots of KFC mac and cheese. Adam now says that I jinx him when I tag along...I don't agree. :) Surely that printer cable issue would have happened anyway, right? The kids were GREAT in the car. We walked them at all the rest stops, fed them planty of french fries, and listened to the Chicken Dance cd at least 63 times. :)SO, they're fine, we're insane.
More stories from the road, coming soon!