Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I am liking storyboards lately.... here's one for October


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day

aahhh...Sunday. I was able to sleep in until 8:30 this morning and then Steve made me a yummy breakfast that I ate out on the porch and then I topped that off with a nice long walk to the lake. Can I just tell you it was such an incredible, amazing Fall day today. The sun was shinning and the weather was crisp but not too cool. The kind of weather that has you starting out with a jacket and within 20 minutes or so it can be found tied around your waist. Love it!

I have plenty of work to do for the rest of the day but I got to play this morning so no complaints are coming from me. I also am tempted to go to a friends get together later this afternoon but that may involve cocktails and then I most likely won't want to work later. hmmm... what to do...

Here are some photos from my walk to the lake and a few from yesterday when Ellie and I took a late afternoon ride into the country.

Brown Creeper
brown creeper. even though 'creeper' is in his name, I love these little guys. they can be tricky to see as they tend to blend in really well with the tree trunks.


Fall at the Lake
fall in central virginia

Camouflaged rather well
earthy, crunchy brown colors of fall

Old Tractor
old tractor in the woods

Yellow Rumped Warbler
yellow rumped warbler showing off how he got his name.

Lots of birds
lots o' brown headed cowbirds that I startled in a pasture

heron flying off

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday weekend

I think I need a personal assistant. Today was one of those days that felt like there wasn't enough of me to go around and everyone needed something. Glad today is almost over and I can go and snuggle into bed soon.

Lemme see ...lots going on over the last few days -Emma's birthday was Friday, Ellie's birthday party was Sunday, Steve left for Tennessee for work today, I had to leave the comfort of my bubble several times today and run errands (so hate that!), I am super super busy with work stuff, it's bizarre to see my website in another language (Tickle Bellies is going international), the candy corn is taunting me each time I pass by the bowl, I think my camera is on its last legs, the tree frog is back on the front porch and he brought a friend, Monday night TV was great last night, my thumb is still really sore, Ellie has another loose tooth, Ellie and I are getting used to our nightly growth hormone shots, Emma found her earring today that she lost at school on Friday (she cried for 45 minutes over it on Friday - they were new birthday earrings), I had a fabulous carmel hot coccoa today at Starbucks and I made $250.00 today by really doing nothing except placing a large order for blank labels for another company using my distributor...I think that was the highlight of my day...that and the caramel hot chocolate.

Here are photos from over the weekend...

Candy corn is evil

Emma's birthday Cake. It was so yummy.

The 14 year old blows out the candles.

Sephora body wash and shampoo from MaryAnn

Kanye was so over me wanting to play with him when he wanted to sleep.
Payback for 3am bed pounces isn't fun is it sweet boy?!


More scary Halloween in the kitchen

Ellie's 8th birthday party with 7 of her friends. It was a wonderful time!

The girls made their own sundaes. Bellyaches to follow...

The girls also beaded necklaces for themselves and their American Girl dolls.

Happy Birthday Ellie! xxxxoooo

Friday, October 15, 2010

Year 14...

Today is Emma's 14th birthday! At 10:29 pm tonight it will be official. Cannot believe all this time has gone by. I do believe we weathered her first teen year rather well. And I am hoping the next 365 days are just as smooth.
Tonight she is opting to go to a high school football game with friends instead of out to dinner with her parents. Really? My feelings are so hurt. :) We will go shopping tomorrow night to spend some of her birthday cash so maybe we can sneak dinner in then. I have no photos yet of the birthday girl but I will take plenty tomorrow. I do however, have a photo of Ellie to share that I took this morning. She is always around to indulge me. Love that.

Sweet Ellie

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Now, that's going to leave a mark!

Today Ellie and I drove around to deliver her birthday party invites. We were having fun until I decided to shut the SUV door on my thumb. OK...I really wasn't rationally deciding to do this and I really don't know how it happened...but boy did it hurt. As soon as I released the door, blood started squirting all over and then the pain arrived in all its pulsating glory. The poor dad whose house we were at did not know what to do. No one else was home and I am thinking he doesn't normally take care of any of the 'emergency' stuff when it happens. I was bleeding all over and he gave me a tiny Halloween Dora band aid. It was actually kind of funny and he could not for the life of him, find their first aid stash of supplies. I think I will be dropping off a first aid kit for him later this week. I did leave with ice and lots of paper towels and many apologies on his behalf.

Ellie felt terrible about my injury. She is just so sweet. It really looks worse than it feels and having a black nail for Halloween will be pretty cool. I am going to load up on some Tylenol (20 of them sound pretty good) and go to bed.

Here's a photo of my thumb. Hope it doesn't gross anyone out.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's not easy being green... but it sure is cute!


Isn't this little tree frog just redonkulously cute? He was hanging out on our front door for a few days last week when we had some rain. He would sleep on the glass door behind the flower container during the day and at night he would feast on on the buglets that the front porch light would lure in. I haven't seen him in a few days but I am glad he stayed with us for a little while. Fingers crossed he comes back again.

Here is where he hung out during the day. We could watch him from inside the house and Ellie thought it was the coolest thing ever! If only the cats could see up that far on the door, I am sure they would be in agreement with Ellie.

Here he is after I woke him up (so rude I know). He hopped, and boy can he hop far, onto the side of the house. Love the little alien suction cup toes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

a visit to the state fair

The girls and I took a quick trip to the Virginia State Fair over the weekend. The weather was just too nice not to go. Much to Ellie's disappointment, we bypassed the rides. I am so leary of traveling rides and those individuals that assemble them. I always think someone forgot to tighten a bolt or run a safety check. That's all I need is to be 8 stories up on the Ferris wheel when our lap bar gives way.

Instead we spent our time enjoying all the livestock and fair food. The animals were great, especially the piggies. There was a momma and about 12 little piggies that were the absoute cutest little balls of pink blobs ever. Sadly, I could not get a decent photo because someone had slipped those piggies some redbulls. They were in hyperactive mode running all over. Sliding, skidding, pig piling on top of one another. We had lots of laughs thanks to those little guys. We also saw a 4 hour old calf. The mother still had some signs of birthing around her and the girls were grossed out, yet mildly intrigued. Oh to live on a farm....


Friday, October 1, 2010


Wow... what a city and what a wonderful time we had. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and breath-takingly beautiful the windy city is. It was less crowded than NYC with a tad bit slower pace, the shopping was more reasonable, the city was pristine with flowers around every bend and the architecture was absolutely incredible. In comparison, we did miss the street vendors selling items and food on the street corners and the energy of NYC is a bit different - it's a little more seductive and spirited in the big apple, however, we all really fell in love with a big way.

Our main reason for going to Chicago was to speak on behalf of St Jude. A true honor and we are so fortunate to be able to share our story about what this hospital means to us and to Ellie and her quality of life. We did this Monday night at a dinner for Kmart managers and executives. The dinner was held in the Sears Holding complex in Hoffman Estates, IL. What an impressive place. I don't know if you were aware that Sears merged with the Kmart corporation several years ago (... you probably did know that and I am the only one living under a rock that had no clue.) Kmart is a huge player in the upcoming Thanks and Giving campaign for St. Jude. They raised the most money last year out of all the campaign sponsors and this year they were formally recognized as St. Jude's corporate partner for 2010. Last year they raised close to 7 million dollars in the 2 month time frame of Thanks and Giving. Isn't that amazing! Like I said, it was a privilege to share Ellie's story. Tony Thomas (founder Danny's son) spoke before us and he really gave Ellie such a build up calling her a superstar and playing her commercial with Jennifer Aniston. The best part was being able to tell them all that she just celebrated her 8th birthday and is cancer free. Wonderful words to say over and over again!

Tony Thomas
Ellie and Tony. He looks a lot like his dad.

Steve and I have already talked about going back to Chicago for another long weekend sometime in the Spring. We learned that 80 inches of snow is normal for the Windy City in the winter months so I don't think we will go in the immediate future. It was also quite the romantic city with many cool hotels, clubs and restaurants. A nice getaway without the girls would be fabulous. I think Emma may kill us though because she was really loving all the shopping in Chicago. That girl has fashion in her blood and loves to window shop. We did treat her to her first leather coat on this trip. (I think we were just feeding the monster though.) Ellie loved the American Girl Doll Store and brought one of her dolls with her for a makeover. We have now been to the American Girl Doll stores in Chicago, NYC and LA. Mall of America in MN is next on the list. My girls are just like me with their love for being in a big city. It was really a wonderful time! Here are my favorite photos. You can check them all out by going to the photo link on the right side of the blog.

The view from 94 floors up at the John Hancock Towers
Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive & Lake Michigan. Beautiful!

Favorite Photo
This is my favorite photo from our trip. How I love my girls!

Stage Ave - Chicago
Stage Avenue = lots of shopping

Downtown Chicago
Michigan Avenue.... beautiful church in the background. Look how windy it was...

Love the architecture
The architecture was incredible.

Some window art
Art Studio downtown

catwalk pose
I was taking a photo of the flowers and noticed Ellie's pose afterward. cute!

Heshey Store
Emma in the Hershey Store

W Hotel Chicago
Our hotel lobby... 2 disco balls. That's how we roll.

A segway tour - what a great way to see the city

Me & the Mister
photo by Emma

Ellie & Kit
Ellie beaming at the American Girl Doll Store

Giordono's Pizza
Giordono's deep dish. :)

Family of four
In our hotel lobby right before heading to the airport to come home.