Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 already!?!

It's one of the biggest party days of the year!

I can't believe we are ringing in 2010 already! That means I've officially been out of high school 10 years - when and how did this creep up on me!?! I think this may make me officially "old"!

We will be partying in our pajamas tonight - at home - with the kids - on the couch - with an over sized bowl of buttery popcorn & a movie. We probably won't even see the image above - I never thought at age 18 I'd say this - but I don't even care!

Tomorrow we're off for an adventure - just me and the hubs! Hooray!

So anyone that is partying - be safe - get a DD - have a great time!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aubrie's 1st Nursery

My baby girl is all grown up. She has her own full sized bed, but she chooses to sleep with her brother in his full sized bed. They look like this most nights!
I ran into these old pictures today, and thought I'd share.
When we first had Aubrie, we lived in a trailer in the country. For a trailer it was pretty nice, it was open & had cathedral ceilings, 2 bathrooms & 3 bedrooms. It was our temporary home until we had a real house that was all ours. We lived there from the spring of 2004 to October 5, 2007. I still know the exact date that we moved!

She had the most beautiful nursery in this trailer! It was filled with pink, crystals, antiques, & white furniture. I was so excited to bring her home to this tiny 10' x 8' room. My Mom helped me set it up, and before I had her I would just come in this room to sit and admire all her things.
As beautiful as it was - she slept one night in here. She was a difficult baby & only slept while being held. We did the shared family bed. At 11 months she first slept through the night! At age 1, she got a twin bed & did better with her sleeping. We had to lay with her until she was asleep & she often wandered to our room later in the night. When we moved to our new house we got her a full sized bed & started a new bedtime routine. She really did great as long as we laid with her! Now - she sleeps with her brother & it is a blessing for everyone. Aubrie for the most part never in our bed - praise the lord! Even better - her little brother was a champ sleeper and always slept in his crib!

Top Ten Moments of 2009

As 2009 winds down - I thought I'd share my top ten moments of the year in no particular order.

1. I became an Aunt! Caroline was born - I adore Maggie's baby as my own. She's absolutely stunning!

2. Jade quit his job to open Hammond & Reid Land Surveying Ltd. - very exciting!

3. Jade & I celebrated 5 years of marriage! I believe every year should be celebrated as a commitment to each other & a bigger year of love!

4. Aubrie started preschool - I can't believe she's this big already!

5. Abbie got married - so I have another fabulous brother! He's 6'4" so I look tiny by him. I try to stand by him a lot! ha ha!

6. A big decision was made - my sisters & I jumped into the junking business with Ethel Edith. We can't wait for 2010 so you can see what we're made of!

7. Everett has started potty training - on his own free will! I wish this said Everett IS potty trained, but it's a start! He's a stubborn boy!

8. We got the Internet & a new laptop. This may seem stupid, but our computer was from 2001. We haven't had the Internet at home since Aubrie was a baby 4 years ago! So it's a big step for us!

9. I sold my old 1976 Ford Torino on EBay. When I was 16 in 1998 my Dad bought me the sweet ride above for $1,000. I cried first - then I made purple fur seat covers & stuck glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. This year we said goodbye & I sold it on eBay to a guy in the UK for $2000. He even paid to ship it across the ocean on a ship! It was truly mind blowing and exciting! It's going to be some pimping ride for the Brits to enjoy!
FYI - I just got an update from the buyers that they are Starsky & Hutch painting it this spring - woot woot!

10. I started this blog & I think people are liking it! I even heard around my small town of 5,000 that some of you are hiding behind your monitors reading this! So leave me a note & say hi - I'll be thrilled - really I will!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Color Your Life

I often get asked by people that visit my house - "How do you pick your paint colors?"

Well, I'll be very honest - when we built - I originally had different paint colors in mind. I was leaning toward colors, but much less punchy & dramatic than what I actually did. I was thinking of pale turquoises, greens, & yellows.

What changed my mind was a visit to my local Ace store. They had these brochures of "personalities". I can't remember their names, but things like Casual, Modern, Timeless, Worldly, Dynamic - you get the point. These were basically fold outs with prepainted & decorated rooms with these themes of paint colors. I kept being drawn in to the brochure with the really outrageous & bold colors. I just couldn't get over how much I loved them. I believe my favorite was Worldly. However, I kept thinking - Can I pull this off? Is it me? What if I hate it?

Then, my husband said - if you hate it - we repaint, and my Mom said - go with what you love. I kept being drawn to the bold colors - so I went with it. Then the battle was on to which bold color goes where.

The week I delivered Everett - Jade took a week off of work. Then, he painted most of that week with my sisters & brother in law. I asked my Mom to come visit Everett for an hour & I went to our new house to check out my paint choices. I melted the moment I walked in the door. I remember thinking - this is so perfect. Every color was just right. I was thrilled!

So - here are my colors - and yes I ALWAYS carry paint swatches in my purse - for a just in case moment! When we built - I wanted textured knock down walls. It's not normal perhaps, but I like to "redecorate" a bit too much & nail holes are always an issue so my knock down hides that! I think the knock down really plays with my paint colors in wonderful ways. Plus, in real life my paint is bold, but not electric or shocking like some of my photos show. Even with a cool turquoise color - it feels warm and cozy. I hope my photos in the new year with a new camera improve!

(please note - this is a photo from my summer look - but it still portrays the paint in my foyer)

So here we go - all from Ace unless noted otherwise:

Living Room/Kitchen/Foryer: a dark turquoise - Forgotten Secret A38-5
Master Bedroom: a fun green - Limeheart B29-5
Master Bathroom: One shade lighter green than master - Picture Perfect B29-4
Aubrie's Room: a cornflower blue - Patch of Blue A43-5
Everett's Room: a barn red - Lady in Red A11-7
Kids' Bathroom: a basic tan - Dulce De Leche B20 (Kilz Brand)
Basement: a fun canary yellow: Thai Silk 91212 (Walmart)
Laundry Room: truly tide orange - Indian Paintbrush A17-6
Basement Bathroom: very girly pink - Toni's Smile A8-4

Oh - and if you read this and you need someone to create names for new paint colors in their spare time - please call me b/c I'm available!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Just Wanna Dance!

My little boy is a handful.  He was the easiest sweetest baby you'd ever meet.  Then, he started walking.  Now - he's 2 years old and 100% boy & absolutely a wild man!  He breaks anything new I buy immediately, rubs food all over endless things, but he still gives the sweetest kisses & hugs.  Oh and now he says I love you Mommy - I love it!

He also loves to shake his booty and dance.  We also can not drive anywhere without a Jason Mraz CD on so Ev can sing.  I agree with his thoughts here.

He made me just feel awful as a Mom recently.

I dropped his sister off in her sweet tutu at her dance & tumbling class & he burst into tears.  He bawled for 15 minutes straight about how he wants to dance!  The poor boy can't sign up for classes until he's completely potty trained.  I told him this, but he's just not convinced.  We are working on it and he does really well, but he's not consistent.  So until then - I'm afraid I'll have many a dance nights with a bawling boy who just wants to dance!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


If you don't know me, you don't know my alma mater.  I'm a Saluki through & through.  So is Jade - he joined me my Sophomore year of college.  Remember we started dating when I was 14 - so we were still a pair.

That's right - I went to Southern Illinois University - Carbondale - also known as one of the largest party schools in the US.  I hold an Agriculture major - can you say WHAT?!?  I know you are confused right.  Well, I even went so far as completing a major in Animal Science - Production.  So - if you are listening - I seriously have a degree all about Beef, Dairy, and Hogs.  Oh my goodness - I have put my hands in some not so pleasant places!  

It may be shocking to you - I know - but I love animals & it's really the only thing I've ever been interested in beyond home decor.  I don't really work with animals - well I don't at all - but I work in the Accounting Ag Industry.  My Dad has a large cattle herd - and well Jade has some.  We live by the cattle pasture - it's a way of life here.  I did really well at it & I know some absurd things about animals.

Jade got his degree in Advanced Technical Studies - Land Surveying.  He is now opening a land surveying business with his long time friend.

Back to SIU - I lived two years at Thompson Point in Felts Hall.  Here I met some amazing friends.  I am very blessed to still have them in my life.  I lived in a coed dorm & the boys were always up to crazy antics - which was very entertaining!  I had a blast in this dorm.  Then, I graduated to an apartment with 3 amazing girls, but I can't think of the name of the place for the life of me.  Again - I made even more friends & loved every minute of it!  My last semeester - I graduated in 3 1/2 years (pat on the back)- I lived an a huge big nasty 6 bedroom house.  I loved and still love SIU.

I will admit I was a partier.  If you are wondering - no I never did drugs.  I just really liked my Budweiser at that point in my life.  Which is kind of hilarious b/c I was this 5'4'' girl drinking a heavier beer than my now husband.  But - you know I was so very cool.  I love to dance & socialize so I enjoyed the party scene at times a bit too much.  However, if you can pull out a 4.0 and go out at night - then I felt I was doing OK.

Southern Illinois has a lot more to offer though than the parties.  It is absolutely stunning!  It's like a completely different state!  (Seriously I saw houses here without electricity - shocking I know!)

One of our favorite places was the Spillway in Murphysboro.  It had these beautiful waterfalls & at the top was the lake.  The Spillway was basically a dam for the lake.  We had a great time here.  Loads of college kids would come out on nice days - it was the place to be!

Another gorgeous place was Inspiration Point.  If I had to drive there today, I'm not sure I could.  But you drove down this really long road & up the hill.  If you see up on this cliff - it's a point.  You walk out on this boulder hanging in the air & you can see for miles.  It's scary, but stunning!

Here is the view!

I don't know this kid, but gorgeous picture & that's exactly how you are - exposed - in the open - high in the air on a rock!

There were amazing places all over like this - Bald Knob Cross, The Little Grand Canyon, Fat Man Squeeze (yes this girls hips were too fat to fit through), Giant City Park (tons of very cool rocks), Garden of the Gods, and even a huge wine country.

So basically - if you are ever looking for a place to see some stunning views - I highly suggest Southern Illinois.  There is so much to offer for the eyes.  Also - if your kids decide to go to school here - don't cringe.  They will honestly get a very good education & they will fall in love with my alma mater as well!

*All images are from Google Images or Flickr*

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Tunes

OK so I just added music to my blog recently. Do you like that on blogs or hate it? Hope you dig it. Anyway, I thought I'd explain myself a bit.

I am in love with Jason Mraz. Not the person - he's really not that attractive -quirky but not my type - in his little hats. However, his music makes me happy! To see him live is even better! I tried to refrain myself a bit b/c I have so many favorites I just couldn't play them all! And Kris Allen is I hope the next Jason Mraz b/c I totally loved him on Idol!

Ben Folds Five, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, John Mayer - these are all artists that remind me of my husband. We fell in love when I was a mere 14, and Jade has always had a powerful music addiction. So old music often reminds me of us when we were young. He was in a band - yes I'm not kidding. The name was Welfare Christmas - oh yes those boys were creative on the name front weren't they! He was the lead singer & he played the guitar. It's a talent he brings to our children's genes that I definitely do not. He doesn't do the guitar as much as he'd probably like, but music will always be a huge part of Jade's soul.

The truck song I just heard. Jade added it for me, but it's so true to my life. I really learned the worst things & words in life - on the school bus - in the back. Thanks Robbie Tilford for that!

Tim McGraw is for my Dad. He insisted he walk Maggie down the aisle to this song & he had Abbie burn us this CD for Christmas that year. Every time I hear it I have to get a grip. I love my Dad & I'll always be his little girl no matter how big I get.

I believe in God as my Savior and so I know I'll spend eternity praising him in heaven. Brad Paisley's song is one I want at my funeral. I may be weird, but I have my list all wrote out for Jade - just in case. I also have to pull myself together on that song. I talks about meeting your grandfather in heaven & I just visualize Grandpa Everett & it kills me. He's been gone 5 years and it still blows my mind when I think about it. I will also will get to meet my brothers. I won't go into details, but I have twin brothers 2 years younger than me. I don't remember if I got to meet them as they spent their time on Earth, but I know once I get to heaven they will be razzing me like crazy. I imagine they look like my Dad, but one day I'll know for sure.

Disney World

My top vacation spot is absolutely positively Disney World.

I really don't think there is a happier place on Earth for me.

Everything about it just makes me happy while I am there. I have been 3 times in my life, age 5, age 20, and age 22. When I went for the second time at age 20 - my entire family went - Mom, Dad, Abbie & Maggie, Jade, and Abbie's friend Courtney. It was so much fun. The moment we walked in the park Mom & I had tears in our eyes. We were thrilled! At 22 - I went back with Jade as our 1 year wedding anniversary. I was in Orlando for a Pet buying show and he got to tag along. We extended the trip & hit a Disney Resort & the parks for a few days. We had an absolute blast here together!

My favorite stop in the Magic Kingdom is the Swiss Family Robinson's Tree house. I seriously refuse to leave the park without going here. I loved this movie as a child. Their tree house literally blew my mind. So I have to go through it every time - I just love it.

Another favorite of mine is Mickey and Minnie's houses. They are just so intriguing to me. Every detail was carefully thought out and these houses are just absolutely darling!

Whenever I go I am one of those weird tourists with almost a map of the day figured out. Jade thinks it's just hilarious, but hey - you know what you want to see right!

So - my hope is that sometime in the near future we get to take Aubrie and Everett. I think it would be ideal to go sometime after Aubrie turns 5! I can just picture her in a big princess get up meeting Cinderella - oh how that brings a tear to my Princess eye!

So Jade & I need some to do some diligent savings to make this plan real - you know a trip to Disney isn't the cheapest trip in the world! I can't imagine driving - so hopefully there are some cheap flights too!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Trust your friends with everything - but your hair!

OK - I'm obviously not blogging today, but I scheduled this blog for your viewing pleasure.

Some of you know this story, some of you do not.

My best friend since 2nd grade is Melissa. We were blessed to have two little girls the same age that also love each other. This spring Melissa was very pregnant & preparing to sell her house. I offered up Jade & my landscaping talents to help her spruce up the front of her house because no pregnant woman needs to be digging holes. So while we all are out front working - the boys played outside & the two girls were in the house.

We just kept bragging them up - oh they are playing so good together. We'd peek in the window & the girls were playing house and beauty shop. They were having a blast! Then Melissa went inside really quickly to grab something & I hear a very stressed "Annie - everything is OK, but come here fast!" So I run in the house & yes - the girls have cut their hair.

I wish I had Millie's glamour shots, but I don't - so please enjoy Aubrie's.

Can you say mullet?

Yes - those bangs are scalped!

Notice the nice feathering all the way down like an 80's cut.

Melissa & I were dying. Now maybe normal Moms would cry, but Melissa and I laughed hysterically for at least 20 minutes. We both peed our pants completely. Keep in mind she's pregnant - and well my only excuse is my lack of bladder skills post nearly 9 pound babies. We COULD NOT get a grip. It was hilarious b/c their hair was sooooooo very bad. We were dying! How do you tell a 3 year old that scissors are not for hair when you are in hysterics? Not very well!

The whole way home, Aubrie just gushed about how gorgeous her hair was, and what a great job Millie had done. She was just sure that Millie would soon be getting a license to cut hair.

So later that night - the ONLY way to save this was - the dreaded perm! Thank the lord Maggie is a hair stylist b/c she saved the day!

The next day Millie also visited Maggie & got her beautiful kind of curly & pretty long red hair cut really really short!

They loved their new styles.

The hair situation ended up just fine, and the girls are still two peas in a pod when they are together. It's been 8 months and Aubrie's is about to where we started. However, they now know - no cutting hair without a license & being married (it's the only way they know they have to be adults to have a license).

This is how Melissa & I ended up with one of the funniest stories we have ever shared together & why we are so glad we are best friends. Any other Mom may have bawled or have been really ticked off, but we peed our pants in laughter - we are obviously also two peas in a pod!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Merry!

I can't believe it's seriously Christmas Eve!!! So - I wish you all a very merry Christmas & safe travels!

I'll be at the most wonderful house that was - I believe - built for Christmas! I can't wait - Toots & Howard - here I come!

I'll try to take pictures b/c my Grandma's house is fabulous!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I change my hair almost as often as I change my underwear. Well - not that often b/c I of course do that daily, but pretty much. It helps that my super awesome sister Maggie does it for me! I get pregnant & for some reason I stick to brown & grow it out. Probably b/c I'm too tired & lazy to go to the salon! Then I have kids & I cut it off to young up my look. I color it like crazy - I'm never afraid to go platinum blonde, firecracker red, blazing brunette, or even a famous brown with chunky highlights. I have seriously done it all - none of it is very subtle - except pregnant Annie. It's fun - it's just hair - and it always grows back!

A month ago I was side-swiped. Now I'm back to Halle Berry super short. I love it! I am all over brown now, so I imagine I'll be coloring soon - Mags pencil me in! You're a dear!
So what are you doing with your hair? Any changes in the upcoming year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yes - I think I can dance!

OK - I'm a crazy person.  I LOVE So You Think You Can Dance - so does Jade.  I know that's funny, but he really loves this show too!  So (Abbie I know you totally feel me here) I really think I can dance. 

I mean - I can normal dance; I danced in cheerleading and I love to shake my Shakira hips if I ever get to go to a club. 

But - I'm just sure watching these dancers that I can do what they do!  So in my mind I visualize myself doing the Samba - and well I'm quite good!  God made these hips for some reason must be to shake them right! 

Now - I have 3 problems, I need a costume, I need a partner (Jade can strum a guitar & sing with the best of them but he's no dancer), and I need a dancers body to fit into my costume!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My 5 Obsessions

I was tagged by Tiff - Maggie's sister in law for my top 5 obsessions.  The deal is you spill it all to the world - and then tag 5 people to do the same.

Here we go - beyond the obvious - God, Hubs, Kids, Family & Friends -

1.  Glitter - in any form - I literally would roll in it!  I don't care that I'm 27 - gliter on anything makes it better!

2.  Vigoss Jeans - What can I say - they fit my curves & don't bunch up in the back.  My butt is bigger than my wais t and pants usually gap in the back for me - these don't- I dig these jeans!  With Kohls having sales literally every 3rd day and offering prices that are ridiculous - you can't afford not to wear these jeans - make your butt look good today people!

3.  Furry Winter Boots - Don't tell the hubs, but I'm a bit overboard here - I have count them - 4 great pairs of winter furry boots for skinny leg jeans!  I also obsess - should I wear skinny leg jeans??!?!  Probably not with my larger than Shakira hips, but I do it anyway!

4.  Trees - I seriously am Annie Appleseed.  The spring plan - American Beech Tree & a Saucer Magnolia - that's just the start of it!  Since we built - we are surrounded by trees in the woods, but not in our yard.  So our goal - fall color & spring blooms!  I think we have planted 20 hand picked trees so far.  After visiting the St. Louis Botanical Gardens -the Beech Tree officially makes Jade weak in the knees - seriously we're getting one!

5.  Dolce & Gabbana Handbags - of course the knockoffs - but for $45 at a purse party I can't afford not to!  They come in all colors & crazy colors at that - which fits my wild over the top style personality.  I'm currently carrying this one.

Oh & rejoice - I have the internet now at home!  No more blogging 5 blogs at a time on the weekend & scheduling them out for me!

Lastly - this is tough b/c I don't have many followers yet, but I tag the following faithful readers (I hope faithful):
Anna, Mary, Leanne, Jillian, Elise


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