Monday, May 13, 2013


I have been getting my hair cut at The Upper Hand - River Oaks for what seems like forever!  Even though I moved out to the burbs ages ago, I still drive back into town because I can't leave them.  Maybe it's the chocolate chip cookies... or the wine.... or maybe Tony, who is hands down the best hair washer EVA... or Rachel, the owner, who makes you feel so welcome.  They seriously rock, if you need a new salon!!

My hair dresser, Jessica, is AMAZING.... She has been by my side through thick and thin.  Job Stuff, Boy Stuff, Fertility Junk, Raising kids... She knows it all.  Really, why do I feel the need to share my deepest secrets the minute my bum hits the chair??  She even makes last minute house calls when I am desperate for me AND the kids!  (Here is when she came to give the babies their first haircut!)

Several times, I have been in the salon and have seen TV cameras rolling.  A show called Mirror Mirror on The Live Well Network comes into to film short segments every now and then...  Tips on beauty products, hair/nail/skin care, etc.

Back in December, Jessica called me and said that they were wanting to do a makeover for a deserving mom and that they immediately thought of me.  (so sweet!)  My initial reaction was no thank you... from being burned in the beginning, we have declined all show/publicity offers... Plus the last thing I wanted was a new blond crew cut.   Ha!  But after Jessica described that it was a mild makeover, more of a pampering day and after she told me all of the fun products I would be introduced too (and get to keep!) my love of all things beauty beat out my aversion to being on TV and I said YES!

They came and filmed my morning routine....  Rebecca, the host of Mirror Mirror was ADORABLE!  She was like my new BFF instantly!  Having cameras in your face was somewhat flustering... And having 3 extra people in a tight space wreaked havoc on our factory-line routine, but I got through it only sound like a dork a few times....   I feel compelled to tell you that the clip makes my house seem WAY more chaotic that it really is.... Creative editing or the kids were off/wound up because of the excitement.... Probably a bit of both!

Ellen and Rebecca
Ivy, Mitchell, Luke, Brie, Sidney

Then we went to the salon.... SO much fun.

My faves:
1- Color/shine rinse that I have been wanting forever!  It gave my hair just a boost of color and the shine took some of the dull mousy out.
2 - Product called LiBrow.  My eyebrows are turning Gray!!  What the heck??  I was thinking about dying them, but Rachel gave me LiBrow which is a serum that darkens and thickens them.  Am loving it!

My not-so-faves:
1.  The pink lip stick.
2.  The cheesy hair toss for the after pic.  

I really had such a good time and truly felt so special!  Everyone was so amazing!

Stephen bolted before they got there that morning...  Just "happened" to have a really early meeting...  :)  But he did take me out and splurge on a fancy dinner!! Thanks Aunt Mimi for watching the bittys!!!



Being a mom is definitely the hardest, most rewarding job I have ever had!  Am loving it!!

Am so blessed that I've had a great role model that has paved the road for me....


Am so blessed to have two mother-in-laws that would do ANY thing for us...


MaMa Jude

And am so blessed to have two amazing, strong grandmas...



My heart is full!  Love you all!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Easter!

Easter was a whirl wind weekend... not surprising as everything is whirl wind in our lives.  I am starting to think that it is me... I get so busy with so much of nothing and then I realize Easter is this weekend, so we must pack every craft, baking, decorating, fun activity that I thought of (or saw on Pinterest) into 3 days!  Most of the time half of them don't get done and put on my list for next year when I definitely will NOT wait until the last minute.

Saturday we spent with Stephen's side of the family...

Ivy, Mitchell, Brie, Luke and Sidney
(Lalaloopsy dolls... cute or creepy? I vote cute, Stephen votes Creepy!) 

Stephen's cousin Lisa hosted this year... This girl can throw a party!  She is my soul mate when it comes to party planning!  (Except she actually implements the things that have to go on my list for next year!)  We had brunch, which is my most favorite meal EVER and had fun just hanging out, playing and hunting eggs....


Girl Cousins
Laura, Elle, Lisa

Stephen and Ivy

Briellen is obsessed with Ava's room... She only left once for the egg hunt!

Wild Boy Cousins
Luke - Mitchell
Ethan - Jacob

MawMaw with her girls
Kaeli Sidney Ava

It truly is hysterical how excited the kids get before the egg hunt!  They seriously can not wait for the door to open... and when it does, watch out!

All of the Cousins

My philosophy on events where candy is available in mass quantities -- Let them open it all, gorge themselves and then at the end of the day toss it ALL.  First of all, it eliminates the fight of, "You can only open X amount of eggs... Okay only 1 more... Well, one last one..."  Second, it eliminates the consistent pestering of wanting candy on the subsequent days.  Lastly (and probably the most honest reason,) is I would eat the entire bag in the night when everyone was sleeping and I was having a pity party and was promising myself I would only have one more!!!!!   My philosophy would probably be different if I had a kid who ate themselves sick, but most of my kids eat a few pieces and move on...  Most, as in not all, because my Ivy girl is just like her Mama and likes to eat!

Eating the Loot

This was our first year to dye eggs together...  Definitely not the fun crafty eggs of my years past!  It was barely controlled chaos in a vinegar haze.  I am hoping they (and me) will have more patience next year.  (And maybe I'll have everything already prepared for them next time.  Sharing was a titch challenging... It's a miracle none of the buckets were spilled.)



Thanks Nonna for helping me!!

Final Products
(Ummmm... Mitchell, really?)

Aunt Laura had a cute idea of planting jelly beans....  Then the next morning the kids go out and they have grown into lolly pops!

Planting Jelly Beans

All Planted...

Looking at the Lollypops


I got the girls leotards because they have been asking to go to gymnastics or dance class because they want to wear leotards...  So I thought that if I just got them the leotards, I could buy myself some time... but I am sure you can guess that I was way wrong... Now it's even worse!

Easter Day we went to church and then family lunch at my parents house.  Every meal is an event at my parents...  Tons of incredible food and amazing friends and family...  Love seeps from every crevice of that home!!

Papa and Nain
(Have I told you that Nain (said like the number 9) is Welsh  for Grandma.... My mom is half Welsh.)

Uncle Neal, Bibi and Aunt Mimi
(Bibi is "Aunt" in Balinese)


Our "little" Fam!

Mimi Brynne and Aiden

These two are inseparable!



"Do you like my hat?"

My parents yard is perfect for egg hunts!  We hide eggs in front in really hard places for Margaret's boys and eggs in the back for the little kids.

Look at all this space!

And here they are waiting/ off again!

I don't know who had more fun... us hiding the eggs or the kids finding them!


Sooze and Aim


Aunt Mar helping with the hunt

The Wagners -- Our besties... Love them!

Clever spot to hide and egg, Uncle Neal

Uncle Damon going all out to hide eggs!

Trying to get egg hidden a little to well...

Still trying...

Ivy tried and did NOT want to get down until she got it out...

And of course, our fabulous bunny cookie from Mrs. Sandy!  Our friend from church who came to help me every week, when the babies came home!!