31 May 2010

The trip.

Jake & I ventured to Louisville, Kentucky for a little getaway.

The Swell Season played The Brown Theatre in downtown Louisville on Saturday night.

Thursday we celebrate 10 years of marriage.

Everything just sort of fell into place and felt right.

So, we went.

What a sweet surprise from the old man!

We saw Big Boy in Indiana.

We stayed in a super cool hotel.
We were surrounded by incredible modern art,
including this interactive art installation by the elevators.

The 'big bat' was a couple of blocks down from our hotel.
We didn't tour the Louisville Slugger museum/factory, 
but we did stop in and get the kids some fun souvenirs. 

I, somewhat, successfully gave Jake a crash course in the manual photography trifecta...
ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
He did pretty darn good for a 15 minute lesson.

Let me caption this photo like this:
We are NOT champagne & strawberries kind of people.
Jake ordered this to surprise me, 
and we laughed the whole time we drank and nibbled.
Then did stupid stuff like this...

This is Jake in a hotel robe, with champagne,
making pretend million dollar deals on the phone.
VIP in full effect.

Are we the only thirty-somethings that do stupid stuff like this?
I sure hope not, because, man-oh-man, we have some fun.

Then, dinner, and off to see the other man in my life...

They did a cover of 'Gold' by Interference,
It was a-maz-ing!!!

It was such a great 30 hours!

I love that man...Jake isn't so bad, either!  Wink, wink.

28 May 2010

School's out for summer...

I got some great ideas for 'year-end' teacher gifts from here. {eighteen25 blog}

I wish I had some great summer time activities to do with the kids, too.

They'd have to appeal to a 9, 7, 5, and 3-year-old. 

That's tough.

Aside from a couple of summer enrichment classes
{Jake is taking CSI & kickball, Pete; golfing & cooking},
and the pool...we are kickin' it old school:

sidewalk chalk, water balloons, bikes, sprinklers, paint, the ice cream truck, BBQs, books, fun.

On a side note...I think the photos are grainy because I just noticed my ISO was on 1600 from last night. 


I'm always a work in progress.

27 May 2010

I think I've got it...

I can't believe these images came from camera.

Better yet...I took them.

It's insane in the membrane.

25 May 2010

9 years ago & today...

This was me 9 years ago from this very day
  along with the little bundle who made me a momma.
All 7lbs. 12 oz. of him.
I look like I'm 12 and Big Jake looks 13.
Also, I have that beautiful glow that one can only
acuqire from 14.5 grueling hours of labor.
The reality was this:
I was barely into my 23rd year, and 1 week away
from my 1st wedding anniversary.
But, I still have that beautiful glow that one can only
acquire from 14.5 grueling hours of labor.

Here we are today.
Jake has grown into such an amazing kid.
I have grown some amazing crow's feet,
and added some junk to my trunk.
I can't believe he's nine.
Good grief, where does the time go?
Happy Birthday, to my first born!
May all of you wishes come true...
you deserve it.
I can't say it enough:
I love, love, love you to the moon and back!

24 May 2010

Hooah: a boy celebrates 9.

Welcome to Jake's 9th Birthday Party.
We're so glad you could make it.

The table has been set with all kinds of goodies:

a cake made with love by the birthday boy's momma {that's me},
goodie bags with dog tags, tattoos, and candy,

pudding cups with cookie crumb topping,

candy bars, sour punch sticks, jars full of toy soldiers,

juicy watermelon, kettle corn in paper cones, Tootsie Rolls, caramels,
Army Jeep boxes filled to the brim, and canteens for every soldier.

There's face painting to get camo'd out,

and a super challenging obstacle course made by the new 9-year-old's dad.

Presents galore, too, including the coveted, 'The Clock Without a Face'.  Yippee!

But, what birthday party would be complete without an ecstatic guest of honor.

Jake had a fantastic time at his 'Army' party.
we did it all without guns.
The toy soldiers had guns, but you can't win 'em all, I guess.
Another party, another year...in the bag.
He, seriously, needs to quit growing.
I mean, pretty soon, he'll want to get his drivers' license.
Whatevs to that.
I love you, sweet boy.

20 May 2010


I have some good, more-sink-your-teeth-into-it posts in the works for next week.  I promise.  Lately, my attentions have been elsewhere.  Like doing stuff like this...

18 May 2010

The tale of a dress.

(I apologize for the suck-butt photo,
but I lack low-light skillz)

There once was a dress from here.
It was the prettiest dress I had ever seen.
It was the most beautiful blue color.
And, much to my amazement, it was adorned with little ivory bicycles.
It exuded charm.
It pleaded to be my own.
I promised once it was discounted, we could strike a deal.
It would come to live at 'House of Grebe'.
It would have many adventures here.
Picnics, summer parties, dinners at the 'Boathouse'.
It was kismet.
A discounted dress, in what I thought was my size,
came to me all the way from the Tuscon, Arizona store.
The LAST two-wheeled dress the Saint Louis store could track down.
My knees buckled with joy the day it arrived.
I tried it on, and styled it up straight away.
What's this?
Too big?
Waaaaaay too big?!?!?!
This cannot be.
Nothing is ever too big on me.
But alas,
I had to bunch about 6 inches of waistline along the back with my belt.
It was awful.
Oh, the despair.
And, it had pockets.
Pockets have never betrayed me in such a way.
It had to go back.
For, I had no intentions of gaining weight to make our relationship work.
Return day was bleak.
I shed a silent tear of anguish as it passed over the counter,
and was thrown in a bin of unwantededs to be put back into inventory.
Afterwards, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep.
Other dresses tried to come into my life,
but they just didn't measure up.
Bicycle dress left an unfillable hole in my heart.
A void.
And, so it goes.
The quest continues.
A quest, I fear, will be a lifelong search in vain.
I love you, Bicycle dress.
I will remember you always.

17 May 2010

Monday happy.

I'm officially allotting enough money to buy 3 huge stems of
white hydrangeas every week.
They are gorgeous, and happy, and alive, and wonderful.
These have been going for OVER a week.

This is a crappity crap photo,
but the point is to show you how happy my husband makes me.
I wasn't sold on the totally open cabinet,
and contemplated putting the doors back up with glass.
I wasn't sure how I'd do it, and just decided to let
the open cabinet 'grow' on me.
Then, Jake did this for me yesterday:
took the panels out of the cabinet doors, and added glass.
I love it.
I keep looking at it, and smiling.

The glass with the new corbels at the bottom,
make it look like those cabinets were meant to look like that.

So, even though the sky has been peeing rain for the past week,
I am happy on such a dreary Monday.
Big Jake, you're alright.
You may stay as long as you like.

14 May 2010

On perception & insight.

I have always had a pretty firm grip on how others may perceive me.

Even when I was younger.

Despite that wonderful gift, I have always had difficulty changing my naughty ways.

I mean, I'm not a horrible person or anything, just hopelessly flawed.

Isn't everyone?

Here's what I know about myself:
  1. I am a control freak.  For better or worse.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse.  It's just the way I am.  Isn't there medication for that?  Part of my controlling is because I want things to be just so, and the other part is because I really just want to help people.  I love it...helping people, not having things just so.
  2. I am often times viewed as bitchy.  Here's my theory; I have certain standards.  That isn't a bad thing, really.  When judgement is used properly it can be a wonderful thing.  I could whip out 2 Bible versus that say use good, discerning judgement, for every one that says don't judge.  Example, "By all means, use your judgement, and hold onto whatever is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21, or "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?" Luke 12:57.  I just like to surround myself with good people.  People that I see redeeming qualities in; good mothers & fathers, positive role models, people who see the goodness in me, loyal, nurturing, funny.  People who I can have an equally reciprocated relationship with.  It may not be even-Stevens all the time, but at the end of a life, you like to look back and say that you both learned from each other.  You could rely on one another.  When one is weak, the other is strong. 
  3. I like to gossip.  There I said it.  I'm not vindictive, just curious.  I'm nosy, not mean spirited.  I don't use it to purposely hurt people.  I'm trying to teach myself that curiosity killed the cat, and quite frankly, at the end of the day, gossip gets you nowhere.  And, I don't get any personal growth for having heard it or shared it. So, why is it so darned satisfying?  I think, sometimes, it makes my life seem so normal, and normal is good.  The theory that it could always be worse.  Here's my pickle:  I KNOW it could be worse without having to hear first or second or third hand accounts of how.  This is a work in progress.
  4. I'm shy.  Yes, it's true.  Sometimes, painfully so.  Because of my shyness, I do one of 2 things; overcompensate and act all loud and goofy, or sit in a corner and laugh politely here and there.  Ironically, I do NOT like to be the center of attention.  At all.  But because of one of my compensation techniques, it appears I do.  It's my way of forcing myself into a social situation, acquired many years ago when climbing social ladders was of utmost importance, which, now, I could care less about.  All too often, it backfires.  Again, a work in progress, I guess.  Old habits die hard.
  5. I'm incredibly honest.  This is both good and bad.  Over the years, I've encountered many people who, although they asked for my truthfulness, couldn't handle it.  Sadly, those relationships ended.  Many of my friends and family have come to rely on my honesty.  They know I won't beat around the bush, and I'll give it to them straight.  Reciprocally, I expect the same thing from my relationships.  I'm a tough cookie, and I can handle it.  Really.  I don't think a lot would surprise me. 
  6. Despite the shyness, I am confident.  I know my self-worth.  I don't let myself get walked on or abused or manipulated.  I have no room for that in my life.  I am a good judge of character, and so this hasn't really been a problem.  Because of that, I've generally tended to avoid these kinds of issues. 
  7. Once you get past my seemingly snotty, controlling, OCD exterior {which doesn't take nearly as long as it might appear}, lies a very loyal, loving, supportive, faithful interior.  Even though I like to 'coffee talk', I can take a secret to the grave.  My heart is full, and my eyes are open.  I love to show people a good time, and like it when everyone is laughing.  I'm happiest sitting at home with my posse watching Disney{okay, HGTV}, and just hangin'.  I take my commitments very seriously.  Most importantly, I'm happy.  I have had much sadness in the past 5 years, but despite all of it, I've never felt more secure or content.  I have a deepened relationship with God because of these hurdles, and a renewed spirit. 
Basically, I'm too old to be interested in who doesn't like me, because I have enough good people that do. 

Is that so wrong?

I think not.

13 May 2010


Because I'm tired and still feel like I smell like puke & poo,
even worse, that's not my own {yum},
not to mention I've been trying to get the house in order for my mummy
to watch the kids while we're in Louisville 2 weeks from now,
{I don't care what anyone says, getting things prepared for someone
to stay in your house and watch your 4 kids is a lot of work},
I will leave you with a bit of eye-candy.

Just some of my favorite interiors floating around the web. 

from the book 'Room for Children' by Susanna Salk
Designed by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects 

Tracy Bross Design
Photo by Jonathan Wallen

image from here

And, just because it's funny...

Mom jeans always put a smile on my face!

12 May 2010

Hair today...

Good news, here.
Ohdeedoh featured Miss Rosie Kathleen's 3rd birthday party.
You can check it out right HERE.

Also, as some of you noticed...
my hair is gone.
I can't believe how much of it I had.

It filled half of a 'Chipotle' take-out bag.
{Don't you love my 'size' reference?}
I'm not gonna lie...seeing hair like that kinda grosses me out.

to recap,
I went from this:

To this:

Oh, wait...that's not me!
That's the sweet & fab, French actress extraordinaire, Audrey Tautou.
Silly me.
Well, I look nothing like that pretty little pixie,
but I can tell you that my hair does.
I, really, just don't feel like trying to take a close-up picture
of myself at this time.
Maybe, I'll have Rosie do it {wink, wink},
or Big Jake could do it when he gets home from work.
You'll just have to wait and see.
Peace out, pop-tarts.

11 May 2010

the motherhood plight.

The stomach bug is certainly making the rounds in House of Grebe.  To all you moms, this is not a new experience to any of you, but one that is worth every ounce of self-pity I wish to give myself.  I don't begrudge any mother self-pity during the pukes.

Every time it hits here, I always imagine my Grandma Mary Nell having to deal with 8 children and the tummy virus.  I am immediately humbled.  Top 8 kids with the fact that my Grandpa was a fireman, and was often gone for several days at a time, so, if she got sick, too...well, I'm sure you're picking up what I'm putting down.

She was quite a lady.

Made of tough stuff.

Four kiddos is a breeze.

A walk in the park.

Things I have to remind myself during these times.

Until it has passed {which I hope is in the next 24-48 hours}, I will be laying on the couch feeling sorry for myself, in between disinfecting the house top to bottom, holding back hair, cuddling, cleaning up kids, puke buckets, sheets, and more cuddles.

And, please enjoy a clip from the movie we've been watching on heavy rotation during our time of quarantine:
{I chose quite an appropriate one, if I do say so myself.}

10 May 2010

Monday musings.

Mother's Day looked a little something like this.
Pleasant, nice, great weather, good food,
close family, fun, relaxing, bliss.

The wee hours of the morning after weren't so
pleasant, nice, or blissful.
They looked something like this...
and so it goes.
2 down, more to go, I'm sure. 
My husband let me sleep a bit when Pete was puking.
A continuation of Mother's Day, or because he is just plain awesome.
If I didn't have to get my cavity/filling fixed today
because of the extreme pain it's currently causing,
we'd all be snuggling in bed.
In between puke loads of laundry, of course.

My tummy hurts, too.

07 May 2010

Motherhood snapshot: a day in the life of Grebe.

6:30/6:45 - Wake-up.
6:45:37 - Make a cup or gallon of coffee.
7:00 - Fight with Pete to get up, get dressed, or eat breakfast. Or all three.  He's not a morning person.  At all.
7:15 - Everyone is dressed and settled, unless Betsy is having a melt-down from Big Jake or I hollering at Pete to get up, get dressed, or eat breakfast.
7:30 - Big Jake off to work.
7:30/8:00 - Kids watch an episode of  'The Suite Life' while I finish getting ready for the day, and make beds upstairs, or sometimes I blog.
8:00 - The troops brush teeth, get on shoes, go out to the bus stop, which, luckily, is at the end of the driveway.
8:05/8:15 - Referee the boys during the wait. This can include, but is not limited to; making sure the kickball game is played fairly, keeping them from swinging sticks at each other, or backpacks, or throwing rocks across the street into the neighbors yard.
8:15 - Boys are on bus and off to school.
8:20 - Betsy is on bus and off to school.
8:20:17 - Rosie starts whining that she wants to go to the grocery store.  This can mean Target, Hobby Lobby, Costco, the actual grocery store, breakfast with Aunt Jill, cousin Kate, and Grandpa Sarge, doctor's office, post office, or, basically, anywhere that is not home.
8:30 - Feed Chopper his special diabetic food, wait for him to finish, give him a shot of insulin, let him out to pee for the 438th time that morning, wait for a neighbor to bring him back because he escapes from the yard every other day.
8:45 - Shove some sort of nutrition into my gob, or skip the food and blog if I haven't already.  It depends.
9:00 - Out the door.
9:00/10:30 - This time is usually for errands, the park, breakfast dates, playdates or more errands.  I TRY to do Target on Tuesday or Wednesday, and the grocery store on Thursday.
10:30/11:00 - Put stuff away from said errands.  Maybe fold a basket of laundry.  Do a light pick up around the house.
11:30 - Make another humongo cup of coffee.
11:45 - Betsy gets home.
12:00 - Make lunch.
12:20 - Clean-up lunch.
12:21 - Start warning the girls of their approaching nap time.
12:22 - Go downstairs and clean-up the boys junk, make their beds.  Bring up another basket of laundry.
12:35/1:00 - Fold laundry, make the girls chocolate milk, put them in bed.
1:00/3:00 - This time is for laundry, cleaning, crafting, sewing, gardening, baking.  SOMETIMES a little cat nap myself.  It really depends.  Mostly cleaning.
3:00/3:40 - Girls start waking up, if they haven't already.  Geesh!  I try to get dinner started or finished, like, if I'm making homemade soup, lasagna, a crockpot meal, or something like that.
3:45 - Boys are home, and in full effect.
3:50 - After school snacks, lemonade, homework.
4:30 - If it's nice the boys will go outside with their friends and ride bikes up in the cul-de-sac.  We have a TON of kids in the neighborhood.  If dinner is pretty well started, I'll take the girls out, too.
5:30/5:45 - Big Jake is home, and we sit down to eat.  On Wednesdays & Thursdays, we have a quick grab and go dinner; grilled cheese/soup, semi-homemade pizza, baked ravioli, because Jake has football and baseball practice, and Pete has Accelerated Reading Club.
6:00/6:30 - Big Jake cleans-up dinner {thank you, honey}, and I give the girls their bath.  On Mondays at 6:30 the boys have religion class at our church until 8:00.  Otherwise, they may read or watch a show on Disney.
7:00 - Boys start showers.  They are on a rotating schedule as to who gets in the shower first.  If I were them, I'd go first every night to get it over with and to get all the hot water I want.  When will they learn?
7:30/8:00 - Big Jake goes through their bags, and signs off on homework.  {Again, thank you, my dear.}
8:00 - Betsy goes to bed.
8:30/9:00 - Boys and Rosie go to bed.  Once they are in bed, I go for a run. 
9:30/10:00 - Big Jake watches TV, might fold some laundry because it never ends around here {much appreciated}, catches up on email or Facebook.  I come back from the torture of running {which, by the way, I ran 3.4 in 31 minutes Tuesday night, thank you, very much}, drink some water, get in the shower, and, then, do a combination of the following; talk and laugh with Jake about our days, catch up on DVR, laundry, Facebook, reading my favorite blogs, emails, bills/checkbook, calendar/schedule, or sometimes, but rarely, go straight to bed.
11:00 - Almost always in bed by this time, but we usually talk some more. 
11:30 - Sleeping and dreaming of having someone to do it for me all over again the next day. 

I look at what I've just written, and I think how most people would think it's monotonous, mundane, boring.  Maybe it is, but I'm so thankful this is my life.  No drama, no surprises.  For the most part anyway.  It's all mine, and I am blessed.

I, also, decided to make myself some steel-cuts with fresh strawberries after reading this.  I REALLY need to start eating a good breakfast, and get the metabolism working in overdrive.

Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!  You deserve it if you day is anything like mine.

See you all Monday.

P.S. I'm not a blogger who uses MckLinky, but was thinking about doing a monthly recipe swap with it.  I feel like I make the same stuff for dinner, over, and over, and over.  Don't you?  Any takers?  Comment or email me.

06 May 2010

Happy Birthday, Jilly-bean!

Happy birthday to my older {not by much},
shorther {by a whole lot} sister!
I can't believe you're 27 and I'm 25.
Wink, wink.
My, how the years fly.
I love you!

05 May 2010

hump day bullets.

  • I love coffee.
  • I love cannolis.
  • I love cannolies with coffee.
  • Rosie just farted on me.
  • Thank you Julie for my gift.  You couldn't have shared it with a more font-crazy person.
  • Now, let's discuss this sign business...shall we?
  • My filling fell out, and it's time to get it fixed.  Ouch!
  • I really want this.  My running is getting way better, the Nike + iPod sensor is just what I need to take it to the next level.  It tracks your progress, and 'tells' you your times,distance, etc. while running.  And you don't need the shoes...just a pouch or a tutorial to make your own pouch.  A HUGE motivator.  For me, anyway. 
  • There is only about 3 weeks of school left.  I really have to mentally prepare myself.  Last summer far exceeded my expectations!
  • Jake and I leave for Louisville to see them in 24 days!
  • I am in full party planning mode for Jakey's Army party. {Try doing an Army party without guns.  It's tough.}

inspiration board
  • I love this goofy photo of my mom & me at my cousin's wedding on Saturday night.  She'll probably disown my for posting it, but i think it's hilarious.  I don't care how high her eyebrows are raised, she is one sexy 56-year-old.

  • I want to be Ohdeedoh's next blogger.  I guess you have to apply, though, huh?
  • That's all I got.