Wednesday, April 25, 2012


* Baseball and softball continue on. It makes us busy with too many too late nights but the kids love playing and I love watching them play. Todd does too he just doesn't love the game itself as much as some of us might.

* For Easter we attempted to go boating. We had the whole picnic set up at the park thing going and had a lovely time, perfect weather. But the bay was packed. I mean ridiculously packed. So alas no boat. So the next weekend we aim for round two but due to wind/chop it was a no go. So what is outside, new and different, and not expensive? Tampa Bay Downs - the local horse races. Because we are the best parents in the whole world teaching our kids nothing but good wholesome things we let them bet there allowance for the week. Tristan came out ahead, Tori came out even. I am going to call it a lesson in statistics and deem it highly appropriate! Seriously...this is studying at it's finest right here!


*  In another brief moment of unplanned time we decided to play basketball as a family, a little two on two. So here's the thing...despite that I am a semi-tall girl and Tori is a semi-tall girl for her age...we have 0 basketball ability. Which my son kindly pointed out when dividing teams. "Mom you're with me since I am good, Tori you're with dad since he's good, maybe it will be fair that way." The good news is - confidence is not an issue here. So that was a bit of a mess...took like an hour to get to 21 points. And then we went to the tree swings. For those of you that went to East Lake with me remember the church on the hill? They have continued to host many an event over the years - after football parties, flag football leagues, boot camps, etc. And back in those trees they have a rope swing. I mean the kind you have to climb up the precariously leaning full size ladder to be handed the giant rope and still have to do a quick pull up on to get your legs around the massive knot at the end. And then you swing a good 6-8 feet off the ground in Tarzan like fashion. Every kids dream swing, both big and small kids!


* Tournaments start in May, a long weekend to visit much missed friends is coming up, Tori turns 12 (!!!) in less than a month and school is down to the last 6 weeks! Where does time go?!?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I wish what you were about to see was gorgeous pictures of my home with some newly redone features. Like for example...pretty new carpet to replace the old and stained carpet that lingers from the original install. Or better yet shiny new laminates in their place. Or maybe a marbled counter top to replace my once expensive but still ugly green kitchen counters. Or pretty chrome metal replacing the crazy brass shower frame in our master. Heck even a fresh coat of paint to liven up a wall somewhere.

But nope. Our yard keeps sucking up our money. For the record if you are shopping for a house and the realtor (and your friends - oh you know who you are) say this neighborhood has such beautiful MATURE landscaping - Run. I mean like your life depends on it, Olympic sprint, Michael Johnson, freaky fast run.

But alas...along with more dollars than I would like to think about, our "mature" cypress pines that dominated our front yard alongside the overgrown palmetto bushes, are gone. Mulched into oblivion. And our yard...well it got larger.
And after a day without baseball, some tree shopping at a local nursery and some back breaking labor...we found these awesome garden stones hidden in the greenery.
We also added mulch, raked magnolia leaves, poured more lava rock, pulled weeds, washed porches and rocking chairs and fixed the flag. The front is looking good. I mean minus the dirt patches...but no worries. 3 of these are just sitting wait for Todd to get home today!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kayaking Debacle of Spring Break 2012

It's the last official day of Spring Break (Friday) and Todd and I are both off work. The weather is GORGEOUS. We live just miles from a beach while spring breakers around the world pay 100's and 1000's of dollars to get there. The only legitimate option was to go to said beach.

So we did. But while for some of us the beach is a haven, for others it is a placed filled with wretched sand and salt and a lack of entertainment. So entertainment we must find.

So we rented kayaks. I cannot repeat enough how gorgeous the weather was. Perfect blue skies, a light wind (please note!), and temps in high 80's but not with the heavy humidity we usually experience here.

So off we go, across a little cove to check out some gigantic houses. And we putz around a bit...watching horseshoe crabs scurry a long the bottom, a few birds nose dive, some fish jumping. We do live in Tarpon, so we dug up (and put back!), a few of these:


And now it's time to go back. So we turn around and begin paddling. Now might I add that the whole darn cove is like 500ish yards across. Which granted is not nothing but its not huge we turn around. And this is where the fun ends. Tori is telling me from my kayak she is tired and stops paddling. Tristan is all but in tears because his arms hurt and he's not getting anywhere. And Todd is having a conniption fit. Yelling over the water - this is crazy, we aren't getting anywhere, my arms hurt, what part of this is fun, etc.

Now here's my confession: I am a horrible wife and mother. This total breakdown, a good 400 yards from the rental station, against the chop...yeah it caused me to break into giggles worthy of a middle school girl up way past her bedtime at a sleepover. And then I could not paddle either because I was laughing so hard I was gasping for air. And did I mention it was against the chop? If you stop paddling not only do you not move forward but you get pushed backwards...

The good news is we made it back. Without any further tears.

The bad news - kayaking just became a solo sport for me.

From when kayaking was still fun:



Monday, April 2, 2012

A Return to the Kitchen

Remember this post where my skills in the kitchen came into question and ultimately failed?

Well in an attempt to eat at home more, to lose weight for the umpteenth time, and for overall general healthiness I got back in the figurative saddle again. And with the help of pinterest, a few food network hints, and a few you tube tutorials I am trying new recipes.

And the funniest thing has happened...I have had success. Would I call myself a cook? NO! As compared to some of my friends (Hi Rhiannon! Angelle! Laurie!) am I still the Chef Boyardee in a room full of Emerils? YES!

But progress is progress.

And I have been fairly versatile thus far...some apps/sides, some meals, some desserts, some super easy kid friendly and some less so! So far:

- oven baked fried pickles (yum)
- chocolate mint brownies (yum)
- crispy southwest wraps (eh - good idea, need to add more flavors next time)
- lemon cookies (i vote yum, everyone else was an eh)
- carmelitas (to die for!)
- slow cooker honey sesame chicken (double yum - big favorite)
- green chili sauce enchildads (double yum)
- ham and cheese sliders (double yum)
- slow cooker baked potato soup (yum)
- salted caramel butter bars (if heaven had a flavor this might be it!)

And right now in my oven is a honey BBQ meatloaf with garlic parmesan baked fries. I am not usually a meatloaf fan but I make chicken about 5 nights a week and we need something different!!