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Miscellany Monday

Let's catch up with a bit of miscellany, shall we?

Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary last month.


That sounds crazy but it's true.

Our actual date fell on a Wednesday, so we celebrated with Blizzards at Dairy Queen with friends after church.

We celebrated a bit more that Friday with a late lunch at Perry's Steakhouse which was really nice. I had never been there before so it was a treat.
We tried their fried asparagus with crab meat, which I know sounds like an odd combination, but trust me, it was gooooood. Scott got their famous pork chop (they carve it table side, like it's a thing) and I got a shrimp and spinach salad that turned out to be more sauté than salad, so I was kind of meh about it.

After lunch we popped over to see Jurassic World which turned out to be more entertaining than I thought. I really don't know how Bryce Dallas Howard ran from all those dinosaurs in those high nude heels though. That? I am not buying. Genetically engineered dinosaurs? Maybe. Running in heels? Nah.

And to finish off our date we stopped by Cheesecake Factory to get cheesecake to go (Godiva for me and Chocolate mousse for Scott), as you do. Of course I went into my whole spiel to Scott about how every time I order Godiva cheesecake it always makes me sing Lady Godiva...children at your feet...lalala like The Beatles.

He kind of looked at me funny before saying, "I think you mean Lady Madonna."


Yeah. That.

In other news, Annelise and I got pedicures a few weeks ago to kick off summer.

It's not something I let her do regularly because they just don't last on her but I really needed one so she got one too. She picked a blue polish and I got Mod About You by OPI, which is a super light cotton-candy-pearly-pink.
So...I hadn't ridden my bike in a few weeks or five and look what happened.
Guess I won't be riding it any time soon either.

There's a teeny tiny mama bird (maybe a wren?) that built this nest and then each day laid one teeny tiny egg until there were five. It was so fun to see a new egg each morning! We've seen her sitting on them a few times but she always flies off to the corner of our garage when we go in.

How long before there will be baby birdies? I have no clue about these things.

Annelise lost her iPod/iPad privileges in mid-June due to rather excessive in-app purchases that we didn't know about until we looked at our credit card statement. So we had iPodGate2015 investigations followed up by deprivation and reparations in the form of chores to earn it back.
I have to say it was so nice for her not to be glued to her iPod or our iPad playing Minecraft and reading or playing Legos or whatever instead.

In related summer-y news, stay tuned for posts about our recent VBS and our annual Schlitterbahn schlepping.

Happy Monday, y'all!


Five for Friday

01.) Annelise had the BEST time at her friend Grace's birthday party/sleepover this week. Her mom deserves a medal, like seriously, for taking four girls to Galveston and not losing her mind or a child. They went on the Duck tour, which is a newish thing down there, following suit I'm sure of the success of the ones in Boston and other places. She said she didn't really pay too much attention to the tour because, you know, she was talking to the other girls and eating Sweet Tarts, but she does vaguely remember talk of the 1900 hurricane and Jean Lafitte (the famous pirate) so she did absorb a tiny bit of history. They also went to Stewart Beach for a good long while, see beach jumping photo below.
You'll have to imagine three other girls also jumping off to the other side of Annelise, I didn't think I should post bikini clad girls to the web without permission. They finished the day back at the birthday girl's house for more food, a glow in the dark Nerf war and then at some point they finally slept.

02.) Because of all the fun and the late night Annelise wasn't too keen on going to her last day of basketball camp. Mean mom that I am, I made her go. The nerve.

Oh look...she got most improved player!

If she hadn't gone she'd have missed out on that, wouldn't have gotten her camp shirt and missed out on the last three on three and five on five games. I know, I'm so mean.
I'm always setting miscellaneous items on the stairs or banister for her to take up and put away or whatever she needs to do with them. I am always finding Nerf darts in all kinds of nooks and crannies around here so they are often on the banister for her.

03.) I'm also such I mean mom that I made Annelise go to the pool (at my dad's house) with me this afternoon instead of letting her stay home by herself. As if I've ever let her stay home by herself (although I might at some point eventually, she is almost 12 and all). 
Even though she wasn't all fired up about going to the pool (it's BORING, mom!) she settled in with popcorn and a book (required summer reading for sixth grade, Wonder; she read it last summer but is re-reading to refresh her memory). She did eventually swim but not for long and still managed to pester me with "When can we go home-isms" left and right. Joy.

Sidenote: Since Annelise is a full-fledged moody tween and there's often, um...drama, I've recently resorted to responding to her complaints by singing a few lines from Linda Ronstadt's Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.
Because I am nothing if not sympathetic.

Another good one is Tragedy by The Bee Gees.


04.) I blocked her moans and groans out as well as I could by escaping into this delightful book.
Seriously, it's got me all wrapped up and I could hardly put it down to type this post. It's a carry-on of sorts from Life After Life (amazing!) but focuses more on Teddy. I also highly recommend her Jackson Brodie series.

Honestly though I've been a quite off my reading game this year. I always set a goal to read at least my current age (46 for January 2015 when I set it) and keep track of things on Goodreads. I've always surpassed my goal but Goodreads informed my I'm currently 14 books behind schedule for 2015. Oops!

05.) I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, but we are totally hooked on American Ninja Warrior.
(Monday nights, set your DVRs!)

Are y'all? Do y'all eat Oreos while you watch? We do and then of course feel shame and guilt...but...you know, Oreos!

Happy Friday, y'all!


Life Lately.

Annelise finished up her soccer season Saturday with a tie, which after a few clobberings by teams with bigger kids earlier this season, this was much appreciated.
We sat along the sidelines and tried not to melt into the grass (fail) and think cool thoughts (not really that helpful) while cheering her on. The team celebrated their season with a pizza party afterwards under the shade of the bleachers. Her team has had the same groups of kids, along with a few newbies here and there, for several years now and it's really great to see them grow in their skills and abilities. There are two girls that have been on Annelise's team for a couple of seasons now (here she is with Cadee) but the rest have all been boys.
Scott's brother Ron and his sister Karen came down for a visit Saturday and to see Annelise play, which was totally an act of love because it was HOT out there y'all. We retreated to Jimmy Changa's after the game to cool off and stuff ourselves with yummy Tex-Mex, as you do.
Annelise is going to a girls' basketball camp at my old high school four mornings this week which has been fun. Well, fun might be stretching things a bit since she's not a fan of getting up and out of the house earlyish (it starts at 9:00, whoa) but she likes the skill practice and the three on three games they've been playing so it's all good, yo'.
Girl's got her sleepy game face on here, watch out.

In non-sports related news, we went shopping for a new dish rack (after 20 years--it was a wedding present--ours broke) at Bed Bath and Beyond (I don't normally like to shop there but it was convenient at the time) and ended up getting Annelise a new comforter set instead (they didn't have any dish racks that met my criteria, as in, super cheap).

I told her we could look since she's been begging for something updated for over a year or longer and she's had the same one since transitioning out of her toddler bed somewhere around age four or five. I know. But in my defense her old set was from Land of Nod and was super cute and therefore hard to part with (at least for me). We had almost given up hope because everything was either too mature or too expensive but then as we were almost out of the bedding area there was a table with bed-in-a-bags for dorm rooms and there was something there that we actually both liked and more importantly, it was not expensive. Winning! It's a classic black pattern with grey and mint accents, in other words, really, really cute. She has an antique style iron frame twin bed that has a trundle bed underneath but I think as she's gotten older she wishes she had a full or queen size, even though that would cause her to lose most of the room in her room...so we're twinning it a while longer. Like maybe until college.

While I'm too lazy to go upstairs to snap a photo I'm not too lazy to show you what it looks like on their website. You're welcome.

Of course a new bed set led to the rearranging of her bedroom furniture which led to the rearranging of some of her wall decor which led to the hunt for a cute chalkboard or cork board (we found the former at World Market) which also led to shopping for accent pillows (still looking) and a cute side table or ottoman pouf for her incidentals (iPod and water bottle, you know) (we found a cute wire flower table at Kirkland's, which, yay! but their potpourri almost knocked me out).

In other news, Scott hammered the two nails back into my dish rack and I'm good to go for possibly another 20 years, so there's that.



Miscellany Monday

Hi there.

It's been a while.

I'm making a Herculean (or possibly a Hail Mary if you prefer sport references) attempt to catch up on the ol' blog. Brace yourselves.

Last weekend The Girls and I, along with two not so little girls, went to see Newsies with a group a ladies from church. I missed the craze over the movie back in the early 90s so I didn't know too much, if anything, other than there were some dancing boys selling papers in New York, so I couldn't really sell it to Annelise based on that shallow summary, but spending an afternoon with Macy (the adults were just transportation and monetary sources for things like lunch, Starbucks and such) was a highlight for her.
The good news is she ended up liking it. Not, mind you, on a Wicked level, because hello, WICKED, but she enjoyed it just the same.
We had great seats smack dab in the center on the second level. After the show we had to pose for pics in the newspaper cutout, I mean how could you resist an opportunity to be on the front page?
In awkward yet related news, Annelise and I missed our Diehl family reunion over at my Dad and Peggy's house that afternoon. I thought we might be able to catch the tail end of it but...nope. I had gotten our Newsies tickets months before the reunion was even planned and it was a matinee so it turned out to be smack dab in the middle of the reunion. We didn't pop over before the show because no one had arrived before we were leaving for lunch downtown and anyway, dress clothes and full hair and make-up don't mix well with the HEAT. 

The Girls (and the kids and the dudes) had a get-together on Memorial Day at Pat and Robyn's house for lots of eating, lots of ping-pong, lots of swimming, lots of hanging out chatting and lots of basketball. I was a dud (remember sometimes I am a selfish curmudgeonly hermit?) and stayed home but Scott and Annelise went and had a great time. 
In related news...I bought Annelise her first bikini. She's always been a tankini girl, and still is, we got her one of those too, but she's been lured in by the siren call of bikinis and I caved. As far as two pieces go it's very tame with a halter style ruffled top and not too skimpy bottoms. Modest two pieces might be an oxymoron and I fear we've started down a slippery slope, but I was also afraid there'd be some sneaky rebellion when she got older if I made a huge deal out of it and never let her wear one. So...here we are.
Last week was also the last week of 5th grade for Annelise.

They had Field Day on Tuesday, which was definitely a highlight for my sporty sports girlie. The rain even held off (the Houston area had been flooded the night before, Scott worked from home that day because so many roads were under water) so they could have most of it outside. Winning!
We simplified our end of year teacher gifts this year since she had three teachers, which I hated to do, but my wallet sang a different song, and didn't do the summer beach bags like we've done in the past.
We did cute mason jar mugs filled with Crystal Lite packets, candy, nail polish and Sonic gift cards with tags that said "Hope your summer is cool and colorful" because we're cheesy that way.
Wednesday I picked her up early and we hit Sonic happy hour because the last week of school is kind of dumb. Thursday was only a half-day so we celebrated with lunch at Panera and a brief shopping spree at JC Penney.

Sidneote: I had a mild anxiety attack while trying to shop for her in the JUNIORS department.  What the what?!?! She's at an awkward stage where the kids' sizes are not quite big enough but she's not quite old enough for junior clothes. We did find a few t-shirts and one pair of denim bermuda shorts (a size 3---seems so weird). We looked for shorts in between bermuda (mid-thigh) length and the very popular denim underwear, but to no avail. She doesn't need a ton of summer clothes since her preferred outfit consists of Nike tempo shorts and a t-shirt, but she does need a few things, so we'll have to keep hunting.

The first day of summer dawned Friday and several hours later we got up and went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
And yes, she ate almost all of that.

She played one of her last two soccer games Saturday while we baked and sweated profusely on the sidelines. I really don't know how she can run around in this heat when I can barely sit in it. After schlepping from the parking lot over to the fields and getting our chairs set up I was a dripping mess. I looked around longingly for a pool to jump into and sadly there wasn't one.
Sunday was our Senior Celebration at church, which is always a treat (well at least for the handful of times we've gone), but this year was even more special because Troy and Heather's son Reid is graduating.

He was gracious enough to pose for a photo with all the birdlets and it really hit me that we'll be celebrating them in only a handful of years. Stop. It!

Since we had a potluck after church (I made the obligatory taco soup and lemon cake because that's just what I do) we didn't get to go out for Scott's birthday (we're going tonight instead, all is well).
We did manage to fit in cherry dump cake and vanilla ice cream (not Blue Bell---yet) yesterday afternoon which promptly lead to a sugar coma. His R2D2 birthday card also inspired epic Star Wars quoting, but that's okay. We figured it would.

And that's a (long) peek at life lately.
Happy Monday, y'all!




Once again I seem to have drifted into only posting once a week, if that.


In case you missed all the Facebook and Instagram posts, Mother's Day was Sunday. Sorry if that was  a little snarky, I've just always had mixed--leaning toward bitter--feelings about that particular day. Seeing all the homages stirs up all my simmering feelings of sadness, anger and jealousy that I don't have my mom or grandmother and haven't had them in my life for 30+ years. I was feeling all nostalgic so I dug through some old pictures and really only managed to make myself feel even worse because I don't have many photos of all the family together and the ones I do have aren't very good, think Polaroids or Kodak Instamatics, and are random candids. My mom took lots of photos of me but we hardly ever seemed to pose all together. Sigh.


I did enjoy celebrating being a mother to this girl.
We ended up at Cheddar's for lunch, which was not in my top pick of places to eat but somewhere we thought we could get in without too much of a wait on such a busy dining out day. Annelise ordered a steak (!!) and ate the whole thing (!!). What in the world? She's growing like a weed on Miracle Gro!

In the spirit of keeping things real and not letting a smiley photo fool you, we did have an *episode* later that afternoon over the state of her room (read: shantytown slum) that included raised voices, okay, yelling, high emotions, okay, seeing red and don't forget,  tears. So Happy Mother's Day and all that.

But her room is clean.

In other news, she performed twice last week with 5th grade band, once in chapel and then at Fine Arts Night.
I could only see the top 1/4 of her head and a smidgen of trumpet during the performances, so she obligingly posed beforehand for documentation. They sounded okay, but I didn't recognize any of the three songs they performed. Interestingly, sixth grade sounded really good so we're hopeful for the future.
After stretching out my yearly supply of contacts into almost two and realizing I was down to my last pair, I bit the bullet and went to the eye doctor last week. 
Annelise gave these earrings, complete with cheesy pun on the tags, to her teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. Simple, easy and she said they liked them. Hey, since they're not too spendy, order some for yourself too!

Friday could not come fast enough for Annelise. Why? That was the big 5th and 6th grade band field trip to Schlitterbahn in Galveston. She was up and ready by 6:30 for a 9:00 am departure, so um...yeah, girl was ex.cit.ed.
She had a BLAST, big surprise, and was also exhausted (although she wouldn't admit it). 

And finally (is anyone still reading this?)...

New kicks, neon no less, provide excellent motivation for working out.
It's true.



Miscellany Monday

I didn't mean for two+ weeks to pass between my posts, but, alas, it did.

And now it's May.


Let's catch up with a few random things, shall we...

01.) Years ago we got a Chipotle in our area so Scott and I dutifully checked it out. We liked it except for the fact you have to buy chips and salsa, which is the opposite of every other Tex-Mex place, so we boycotted Chipotle on principle (although I suppose most fast food Tex-Mex places make you buy them but I consider Chipotle a step above). Last week, for some odd reason out of the blue, we tried it again.

As evidenced by this awkward selfie on the patio.
Needless to say we all three are now hooked on their bowls and have somehow managed to eat it three times in the last two weeks.

I don't know what to say about that. #addictivepersonality

02.) We had a wonderful ladies tea at church weekend before last. Everything from the decor, the company, the food and most importantly the two lovely women that spoke from their hearts and God's word made the event perfect.
03.) When I got home from Ladies Day Annelise was bursting at the seams to show me her Lego creation. She had an extra credit assignment for math to design and build her dream room to scale, so of course she decided to make hers out of Legos.
Notice her defense system of dual cross bows by the bed and a pizza on her nightstand.
A mailbox conveniently located by the front door along with a garage for her ATV (I think it might also double as a boat) and purple motorcycle.
I got a kick out of all her details!

I also got a kick out of the fact she did this purely on her own and was ready to turn in two weeks early. Math has been a little touch and go this quarter so an opportunity for extra credit was MUCH appreciated.

04.) I've been experimenting with a few self-tanners to get a little glow going.
I've used the Jergens Natural Glow off and on the last few years and have always liked the gradual color that develops.

The other two self-tanners are recent finds and I must admit, I likey.

I ordered the Dr. Gross glow pads from Amazon after reading a few bloggers (like Big Mama and Shay) sing their praises. I like that the tanner is on the wipe and all you have to do is swipe it all over your face, neck and chest (carefully of course). So far I've only used two wipes, maybe once a week or a little longer. The color is a tiny bit strong at first (I put it on before bed and the color develops overnight) but then wears really well and looks natural. Since I use my Clarisonic daily though I don't think any self tanner will last for too long on my face.

The Tanwise bronzing sunless mousse is my newest obsession, thanks to an Instagram post last week.   I've never used a mousse before but it goes on really smooth and the bronze color helps you see where you are applying it so you can avoid streaks. There is an immediate color, which is a nice brown, not orange-y at all, then the self-tanner builds over time. I used a mitt to apply which makes everything so much easier and less messy. The reviews compare Tanwise to St. Tropez, but it's much cheaper ($12.00 vs. $30.00!). Also? There's no funky self-tanner smell. I'm hooked!

And I guess that's enough miscellany for now.

Happy Monday, y'all!


Six for Saturday

01.) We have had a deluge of rain these past few days which resulted in a cancelled soccer practice earlier this week and a cancelled game today, much to Annelise's dismay.

The Shipley donuts we had this morning helped to brighten her mood.

02.) I know the donuts pretty much cancel out my workouts, like ordering a Diet Coke and a pizza, but it's our Saturday tradition. We don't get that many like we used to (hey, progress!), just one each, okay, and donut holes, because cute and tasty. 
03.) Annelise had achievement testing this week (not the mandated state tests, but still...). She liked it mainly because she got to bring a blanket and book, have snacks and bigger breakfasts. Eggs!!

Reading + eating = bliss.

(She started reading The Hunger Games recently and is hooked.)

04.) I was totally geeking out over my new labels for my essential oils (my April ER order arrived this week). Now I can find things so much faster. Yes, I need to invest in better storage, especially since it appears I am out of room, but I haven't seriously looked for anything yet since this leftover tin from Christmas pecans has been working just fine. #fancy
05.) I'm using several of my oils every single day, for my skin and hormonal issues and I'm so glad to have others on hand when needed, like for headaches, allergies, colds or digestion issues.
06.) Yesterday I tried Ningxia Red Nitro for the first time before my Les Mills Pump workout. It's a little tube of energy goodness! I don't think I will use it before every workout but I was planning on doing Pump and T25 for cardio so it seemed like the perfect time to try it out. I also put some En-R-Gee on the bottoms of my feet (one of the fastest ways to get the oils into your system) for an extra boost.

Maybe it's all a placebo but I think I had a little more oomph.

Lately (well, twice now) I've been choosing the option to pump up the music and mute the trainers (their spiel gets a little annoying after doing the workout over and over) and it's like a whole new world of Pump. #whateverworks

I managed to get in five, count them 5, workouts this past week, which feels awesome. Today is a double down day with T25 (one day a week you're supposed to do two 25 minute workouts, whee) and I'm scared but also excited because Beta is really, really a lot of sweaty fun. Some of it is crazy challenging for sure but the good news is it's only 25 minutes!

Happy weekending y'all.
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