Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big wheels keep on turning, Proud Mary keeps on burning

C'mon. You know you're singing it in your head right now.

Rich installed the beautiful mahogany steering wheel that his folks sent him for Christmas on his 1961 Chevy truck.

the "after" steering wheel

It looks as if it were made for his truck, which is a copper color.

the "after" steering wheel

(And yes, Rich is in desperate need of a real key chain. The little pieces of plastic are really tough, aren't they?)

Our friend Garet (from the motorcycle accident) helped him install it. They actually used a tool called "steering wheel puller". Who knew?

the "after" steering wheel

Here's a quick peek at the steering wheel - not the original - that came with the truck from the previous owner. Yuck.

the "before" steering wheel

That was our Sunday. Steering wheel install + the Oscars. What a day.

the Phees

Sunday, February 20, 2011

birthday gift

My in-laws sent me a very, very nice tripod for my birthday last weekend.

Within 2 minutes, I had it out of the box and my camera attached to it.

Too bad I can't figure out how to properly use my self-timer.

tripod_020911 (1)

After 30 or 40 takes, it got a little better, but not much.

40 | 365

my bologna has a first name . . .

Ever seen a slightly annoyed, totally filthy kid demolish a bologna sandwich?

bologna sandwich

Now you have.

He looks like he stepped straight out of Lord of the Flies.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

keep your distance

Viewer discretion advised: there are some gruesome photos down below. If you're squeamish, stop now.

On Friday, our friend Garet was in a motorcyle accident.

motorcycle injuries

He was on the freeway. The cars were coming to a stop. The woman behind him didn't stop. She hit the back of his bike and he went tumbling end over end.

motorcycle crash

Thank God he had a helmet on.

The woman wasn't texting or anything of the sort (that we know of).

motorcycle crash

She was just driving behind him (like you would behind a car) and didn't stop soon enough.

She was really upset. Especially because her husband had just purchased a motorcycle.

motorcycle crash

I'm posting this because my husband rides. And he rides as responsibly as he can.

I'm posting this to beg you to keep at least double the distance behind motorcycles than you would a car. It's a different experience to rear end a person on a bike v. a big metal car.

So next time you're on the road and a loud, big ol' bike is in front of you, keep your distance.

big. blue. ball.

singing in the rain

Lately, Charlie insists on bringing this big, blue ball home from "Meena's house" every night. Which means every morning, we have to schlep this ball back down to her house. And today, it was raining. My hands were full with the camera. And he was walking very slowly, bouncing the ball and enjoying the drizzle.

scenes from a rainy day

In the past few weeks, Charlie has grown so much. Not just physically, but emotionally and intellectually. He has started stringing words together. The other night, he told me "I like this towel." In reference to a new hooded towel I snagged for him. It made my night, I was screaming and clapping and crying over his ability to string those words together and to tell me that he liked something.

He tells me he is happy. Which is the best thing you can hear from your child.

He points things out, constantly. "Daddy, the blankie on the floor" or "Mommy, you hear that?"

He's into his books, arts and crafts, playing games. He has a favorite movie ("Cool Dog", it sucks but he loves it).

I'm in love. And so happy to be a mama.


Friday, February 11, 2011

cake to the pop

My very talented sister-in-law, Robin, is learning a new skill.

Cake pops.

Robin's cake pops

She whipped these up this morning and is going to ship them out to me (ME!) today. Woo hoo!

I'm envious of her crazy-ass baking skills. And the perfect hue of purple that she managed with these pops.

Thanks, Robin.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

summit + a sinus infection

Let the travel begin.

I'm in sunny San Diego for a conference. My sinuses are still killing me but I'll rally. Because I'm a huge nerd and this sort of thing is right up my alley.

I'm also a sucker for a nice hotel . . .

I love a Westin

And a gorgeous venue.

gas lamp district

Oh, and a beautiful sunset.

blue and pink

I miss my boys. Looking forward to the mini reunion later this week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


This is what happens when we give the kid a scarf and a mirror.

He proceeds to rehearse some sort of monologue. And he was VERY embarrassed that I was videotaping the entire thing.

But he pushed on.

Warning: it's 2 minutes long. Feel free to enjoy just the first 30 seconds. You'll get the gist

Or view the video here.

Super Bowl Sniffle

I'm sick.

That horrible cold that has passed around everyone I know finally hit me. I could feel it coming on yesterday. Today, it's here in full force. I've spent the morning with a box of Kleenex & some Vic's Vapor rub.

We also spent the morning trying to convince Charlie that his "ouchies" are healed up from earlier this week. (Bug bites on his arms caused a nasty, itchy rash-type of thing.) But to no avail. He stomped out to the living room with his Monkey band-aids insisting medical help. So we obliged.

chazzy and his booboo

chazzy and his booboo

Last night, Charlie and I snuck over to Katie's house-of-sick-children while Rich watched some fight on someone's TV. While two men were duking it out on TV, Katie and I made cookies.

valentines cookies

valentines cookies

Baby Presley sniffled away in her buzzy chair. She's not quite 2 months and has this awful cold. But she suffered through it like champ.
baby P

The big kids (C + G) duked it out over some toys and finally flopped on the couch for a movie. The adults enjoyed some cookie dough, red wine and Yahtzee. Just the way I like to spend a Saturday night.

Now, I'm off to take some Advil Cold + Sinus and disappear under some blankets.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stanley Steemed

I love Stanley Steemer.

They almost make me want to keep my carpet and not replace it with beautiful hardwood. Almost.
so fresh and so clean, clean

stink eye from the stinky dog

my cutie

. . . snacks on these.

Then washes it down with water from a big boy cup.
big boy cup

seriously, Ma? really?

Chazzy, in our spare room. Playing on my new comforter on the futon. Giving me "the look".

seriously, Ma?

two Shaws + two dogs + 2 babies-to-be

They must like even numbers.

This morning I was at a local park, taking photos of one of my favorite people (ever on Earth), her husband, their two dogs and her pregnant belly.

Ann and Bobby Shaw are THE nicest, most gracious and generous people you will ever meet. I've known Ann for 6+ years now. We're car pool buddies, colleagues, and luckily for me, friends.

Shaw_02042011_99 sunshine

Ann and Bobby are expecting twins in late May. I could not be more excited for my friend. The day she told me she was pregnant, I cried. And now, when I pick her up in the mornings, we chatter on & on about diapers, cribs, and polka dots.

Shaw_02042011_65 (1)_bwbeauty text

But this couple already has children. Kolby and TC.

Shaw_02042011_20_lomo light

TC came first, then Kolby. And Kolby definitely acts like the baby of the family.

Shaw_02042011_38 colby pale and white

But TC is the gentle giant.

Shaw_02042011_16_edit bw

Thank you, Ann & Bobby, for letting me snap some photos. xoxo

Shaw_02042011_45 (2)_lovely

Thursday, February 3, 2011

let it snow (more Muskegon, MI)

Last night I sent a request out on Facebook, asking for my friends' and family's snow photos.

And they delivered. I love this mini project!

My nearest & dearest friend, Lynnie, sent this. The view of her deck from her slider window.
Lynn Buikema's snow

A friend from high school, Katie, posted this + many others. It was hard to choose just one but I picked her backyard filled to the brim with snow.
Katie Dangel Fisher's snow

Suzette. An old friend of Rich's (Gabe) Mom. She posted this and I love, love, love the bokeh.
Suzette Heeres' snow

My Dad sent this piled up snow from his company's parking lot. It's piled high, y'all! (And most importantly, he learned how to use his cell phone camera.)
snow, Cunningham & Co

Another near & dear friend, Jen (Boelkins) Kitchka posted this on her Facebook. And I stole it. Love me some Daisy.
Jen Boelkins

My brother's girlfriend, Sarah Shaw, sent this to me last night. Her driveway is completely blocked in by the mountain of snow.
snow, Sarah Shaw

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

let it snow (Ravenna, MI)

My Aunt Janet & Uncle Dave's house.

They live out in the country. Real country. As in, they have to drive a long way to get to a Starbucks.

2011 blizzard, Ravenna

let it snow (SoCal)

After all the snow photos from friends and family and after the news reports of inclement weather, I need to share my own personal blizzard photos.

2011 Blizzard, SoCal

2011 Blizzard, SoCal

We’re really suffering out here, aren’t we? This is why I live in my (very overpriced/upside down) house.

let it snow (Muskegon, MI)

The snow photos keep hitting my inbox.

This time, from my father-in-law, in Michigan. Gorgeous lake effect snow that he has to plow and shovel.

in-laws, Michigan snow

father-in-law, Michigan snow

office space

Rich's new job is going swimmingly well.

All of his friends (and previous coworkers) are teasing him because he's fancy now ... he has an office. Unlike most of us who live in cube land.

Rich's new digs

let it snow (Chicago suburbs, IL)

My siter-in-law, Robin, sent this photo to me (yes, I messed with it - you know I'm an editing fool) -

Chicago snow

snow, Heeres' yard in Chicago burbs

She woke up this morning to 20 inches of snow with 4 to 5 foot snow drifts. Seriously.

I was telling her last night how strange it is that I'm involved in the weather but not "in it". My clients, vendors, friends and family are all impacted. I see the updates on Facebook about snow days and staying warm and keeping off the roads.

And then I walk out into 65 degrees, sunny and breezy palm trees. It's surreal.

2/3/11 Update: An old high school friend, Kim (Younts) Berki shared these photos of her Chicago-land snow. She's WAY pregnant and according to her post, she was shoveling, too. C'mon! Pregnancy is the best excuse to sit inside and drink hot cocoa.

snow, Berki's driveway in Chicago burbs

snow, Berki's driveway in Chicago burbs

To all my snowed in homies . . . stay warm!



Happy 60th birthday.

Thank you for being alive.

You & I were talking the other night. I was busy running errands and tired. You were relaxing at home, watching an old Stallone movie. I was jealous of your relaxing night and you said to me "Bet you wish you were me."

Yes, I do wish I were you. For the first time in a long time, I do. I wish I had your strength and tenacity.


As you turn 60 (and don't look a day over 50, I swear!), also celebrate your 6 months + 3 days of sobriety and re-entry back into life.

Celebrate 60. Celebrate life. I'll be doing that for you on this end of the country.

I love you.