Archive for the ‘Family & kids’ Category

What I Love Wednesday – Super Late Edition

In Family & kids, The Arts, What I love Wednesday on December 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I’m glad I wasn’t able to do What I love Wednesday yesterday because you would have been deprived from the glorious artwork created in my very own home this evening.

Ladies and gentleman…. may I present to you….. The Pink Sticky Note Collection by JW Hughens. Some of you have seen JW create and sell art on-the-spot at a local fundraiser and tonight he engaged his parents in a bidding war over one particular piece. Inspired by the success of his sales, he raised his prices and made more! Some of the pieces shown below are still available, and JW is available to create custom masterpieces if you are looking for a special holiday gift.


What I Love Wednesday — Thanksgiving Eve Edition

In Family & kids, What I love Wednesday on November 25, 2009 at 10:49 am

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I love my pink Townie bike. Maybe I’ll ride it today.

I love my 1968 VW Beetle. Maybe I’ll sell it today.

I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I’ll have to start today.

I love my f-i-l. He’ll be here today!

Broken Arm & Broken Heart

In Day-to-Day, Family & kids on July 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Wednesday was a day I have dreaded and hoped would never happen for exactly 8 years and one month. I was in the middle of a new business meeting that was about to move across the street to Vivace for lunch when I was told Dave was on-hold and it was urgent. Oh boy. It went like this:

Dave: “Jackson broke his arm and we are on the way to the ER.”

Me: “Are you serious?” (Yes, stuipd I know!)

Dave: “YES I’m serious. We’re going to the hospital.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll meet you there.”

I hung up the phone and cried so Misty drove me to the hospital. I walked in and Jackson asked if I was okay and said he was worried about me. Worried because he knew I was going to cry. And then I did again but just a little. It’s hard when you’re suppose to be tough for your kid. Then I was fine and even watch the doc reset (or try to reset) the bones which is really not a very pleasant thing.

More on his arm and pics soon. He’s a tough boy. Hard seeing him in pain.

Lessons Learned from 8 Birthday Parties

In Day-to-Day, Family & kids on June 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

Each year I look forward to planning my son’s birthday party. Some years have allowed more time for prep and planning than others, but each has taught me something interesting. I’m sharing the lessons here for the consideration of other parents as well as for any life-lesson value they might provide for all of us.

1st Birthday: If you have an adult girlfriend who has ever ended a story with “and I woke up and didn’t know where my wig was” you should consider that her goodbye hug to your one-year-old might resemble something more like a dance than a simple squeeze from a fellow mom. (Although it was quite enjoyed by my uncle, husband and f-i-l.)

2nd Birthday: If the design of the cake involves ingredients that will allow the cake to stand-up on its end without falling over, chances are you won’t really want to eat that cake. (But man that was a cool looking school bus cake!)

3rd Birthday: If Dad’s taking the photos and Mom is presenting the birthday cake to the birthday boy sitting at the table, Mom should wear a turtleneck. It doesn’t matter if it is June. It doesn’t matter if you think what you are wearing is not low cut. Trust me and pull out the turtleneck.

4th Birthday: Lesson #1 – The book Stone Soup makes a great theme for a birthday party and kids could care less that hot soup is not what you would usually serve in the middle of June.  If we had adult Stone Soup parties once a year, the world would be a much happier place. Lesson #2 – Just because you’ve offered peace and love to the universe by being a 4-year-old who asked to have a Stone Soup party, it doesn’t ensure that some snot-nosed little brat won’t come along and blow out the candles on your birthday cake.

5th Birthday: You win some, you lose some and some get rained out. Literally rained out. When the Bulls can’t play and roads are closed because of the biggest flood of the year (perhaps in several) happens the day of your birthday, go to plan B.

6th Birthday: Perception is everything. You may serve pizza around 5 p.m. at your kid’s birthday party, but if he doesn’t think of it as dinner, he will tell everyone that his parents didn’t feed him dinner on his birthday.

7th Birthday: Sometimes the best part of the party is what happens before the party actually starts or when it has ended. (Have you ever seen the huge inflatables being inflated?)

8th Birthday: Lesson #1 – No matter how much red food coloring you put into your homemade cream cheese icing, it will still be pink.  Lesson #2 – If you put your meant-to-be-red-but-in-reality-pink icing on a chocolate cupcake, put a candle in the middle of it and then remove the candle, it might look like something not appropriate for an 8-year-old party.

And VOILA! They are bald! St. Baldrick’s event was amazing

In Family & kids, Raleigh NC on March 8, 2009 at 12:28 am

Thanks to everyone who has donated to St. Baldrick’s and continues to do so. The event here in Raliegh, NC at Napper Tandy’s was amazing. I’m so proud of the Striving for More team.  I hope you enjoy the photos. diane-stbs-22

helping kids with cancer and remembering a special girl

In Family & kids, Raleigh NC on March 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm
Dave and Diane get funky-do's prior to head-shaving day to raise more $ for St. Baldrick's

Dave and Diane get funky-do's prior to head-shaving day to raise more $ for St. Baldrick's

Sweet Colleen

Sweet Colleen

A year ago my husband and son shaved their heads at a St. Baldrick’s head-shaving fundraising event. While I do not work on the account, St. Baldrick’s is a client of “my” agency, Fleishman-Hillard. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way….

While I was watching my then 6-year-old have his head shaved, proud and crying, the mother of the little girl Dave and Jackson chose to honor in their fundraising efforts introduced herself. [Enter Diane.] Diane apologized for Colleen not being able to make it due to recently having chemo, not being able to walk at the time…… hello, more tears.

Diane is a force. I knew that the moment I met her. I felt a connection that cannot be easily explained, but was worried that I would seem like a stalker if I asked her to be my best friend on the spot. A few weeks passed. I sent an email that said something along the lines of…”I know we don’t really know each other but what can I do for you?” Diane’s response is the perfect example of why I love her. She told me very specifically, very clearly and completely unapologetically what I could do for her. This, this and oh yeah this.

I had the honor of making jewelry with sweet Colleen and seeing her a few more times before she died last summer. Today, Jackson and Dave will join Colleen’s parents, Diane and Vince, on the Striving for More team to shave their heads in honor of Colleen.

Oddly enough, Diane just called to say she’s already down at Napper Tandy’s where the event is taking place. Diane is extremely close to being the top fundraiser for this event. Please consider donating in honor of Colleen, to help other kids with cancer, and to help Diane feel like she has done something amazing to help other families who are and will be dealing with the pain that her family has suffered and continues to suffer. As St. Baldrick’s continues to fund research for the treatment of childhood cancer, perhaps not as many mothers will have to go through what Diane has.

The event is today! Please donate now! http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/shavee_info.php?ParticipantKey=2009-56318


In Family & kids on January 31, 2009 at 11:42 am

In keeping with the theme of birthday blog entries, today is my brother’s birthday. I was at his house just a month ago for my birthday, and wish we could be together today. If we were, I’m sure we’d be laughing our heads off about something.

I can almost never be around my brother without getting the hiccups. It’s been like this since we were kids. I’ve written about how funny Dave is, and Doug is funny in a completely different way. From a young age, we’ve seen humor in things that most kids wouldn’t and many times in things that we shouldn’t find funny. And that just makes it more funny. It’s like laughing in church. Once you start, you can’t stop.

I’ll never forget the first holiday our parents were  separated.  We were having Thanksgiving dinner with my dad’s family. I was in 5th grade; Doug was in 7th. The adults were extremely uncomfortable with the situation and didn’t really know what to say. Dinner was served without much conversation, in fact. Then came chocolate cake. Someone who was trying to break the silence said, “This cake is GOOD.” The response: “And MOIST.”

There! We had six whole words out there. A few minutes and bites later a different family member offered, “This cake is MOIST,” to which someone replied, “And GOOD!” Hmmm…. six more words uttered, yet the same six words.  And so it went around the table a few more times before the dishes were cleared about how good and moist, how moist and good the cake was. Each time Doug and I would exchange sideways glances trying not to laugh so hard we’d spit our good and moist cake out of our mouths. As soon as we were excused from the table, we ran out in the yard and laughed at how uncomfortable the adults were.

It might have been the same day that my dad was trying to get us ready to leave my grandma’s (not an easy task since I don’t think we ever wanted to leave there) when he became extremely frustrated with us.  Doug and I were sitting next to each other putting on our shoes and we would tie our shoelaces together and then try to walk.  My dad was just ready to go so finally he took advantage of the fact that Doug and I were sitting right next to each other and he put a hand on Doug’s head and a hand on mine and banged our heads together. It wasn’t very nice. I’m sure it hurt. You can probably guess what happened. Doug and I took a quick look of shock at each other before we started cracking up. It was hillarious. My dad threw his hands in the air.

I guess family holiday gatherings provided a lot of opportunities to laugh at things maybe we shouldn’t. There was the Christmas that a family member made personalized gifts for everyone. It was an incredibly sweet gesture. I didn’t want to laugh as the gifts were unopened to reveal that some of the recipients’ names were mis-spelled on their homemade presents, but one glance across the room at my brother had me quickly exusing myself to get more of my grandma’s sweet tea. I was in my 20’s then, but when we got outside, Doug and I laughed like little kids.

And there are dozens more stories like this. Happy Birthday, Doug! I hope you get to spend the day with your family, and that somebody gets the hiccups today. And of course that your birthday cake is good. And moist. And moist. And good. And good. And moist. And moist. And good.

I love you! –Your Lil Sis

Happy Birthday, David Hughens!

In Family & kids on January 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm

It’s been quite some time since I blogged. Facebook (and occasionally Twitter) have become my blogging. Maybe I’ll become a special occasion blogger. Hey, today happens to be a special occasion… it’s Dave’s birthday.

I love you, Dave! I would never do anything that would publicly divulge your age, but I do want to tell you some of the things I love most about you.

1. You are patient enough to work with kids.

2. You can still act like a kid.

3. You are the best dad in the whole world to the best kid in the whole world.

4.  You know all (okay, most) of the words to the 2nd verse of You are My Sunshine.

5. You know when to admit I’m right. (Like a RECORD baby.)

6. You stand by me in difficult situations. (Even if you’d rather just sit in the car.)

7. You send me flowers.

8. You know what kind of flowers to send.

9. You know what kind of flowers not to send.

10. You like to go grocery shopping.

11. You like to cook.

12. You like to rub my feet. (You do like to rub my feet, don’t you?)

13. You always get a real Christmas tree.

14. Family snuggle.

15. You have a shiny shirt with emboidery mud flap girls.

16. You own a tux.

17. You look great in either.

18. You’re a good tipper. (Tipper, not stripper people!)

19. You love Mamaw Bonnie as much as I do.

20. You like to take family trips.

21. You make the crowd laugh more than the person hired by the comedy club.

22. You’re not embarrassed to ride my pink bike around the neighborhood.

23. You had the same design in our wedding band tattooed!

24. You cry at mushy stuff. (Yes you do!)

25. You like my Thanksgiving dinner.

26. You like my Christmas dinner.

27. You pretend not to notice that my Thanksgiving dinner and my Christmas dinner is the same thing.

28. You like old b&w Christmas movies.

29. You do Flight of the Conchords better than Flight of the Conchords.

30. You don’t mind when people tell you that you look like Adam Sandler.

31. You think Dude Where’s my Car is as funny as I think it is.

32. You liked Harold and Kumar even better.

33. You made the first year easier than they said it would be.

34. The second year, well, you made it pretty easy to make it through the 2nd year.

35. The third year, I really didn’t think it could be as good as the first two years.

36. The fourth year, well, you made it feel more like the first year.

37. You’ve never once threatened to pack your shit and move to Carpendale.

38.  You understand the need to IM from one room to the next.

39. You know how to fix stuff. (No matter what your dad says.)

40. You’ll break out your Wrangler Dave suit at the drop of a hat.

41. DaveStar.

42. You let me tell you about my day even when you are exhausted.

43. You rarely point out that you still look younger than me even though you are NOT.

Love you baby. xoxox

10 years, one week, 2 days

In Family & kids on October 12, 2008 at 8:13 am

Dave and I celebrated our tenth anniversary last Friday.  On October 3, 1998, we stood with our toes in the sand at Grayton Beach, FL and said “I do”. The bottom of my dress washed in and out with the tide. Everyone said it was going to be ruined. I said I would never wear it again anyway.  Our small wedding party then followed the boardwalk to The Red Bar and Dave and I danced to “Its a Wonderful World.” That night we stayed at Patrones Hideaway Village, a very magical place where hens and roosters and variety of other small animals roamed free amidst the beautifully overgrown plants and flowers — a place that no longer exists.

Last Friday, we made chocolate chip bannana pancakes for dinner with JW and toasted with the same champagne we drank when we got engaged. With JW at a friend’s Saturday night, Dave and I went out to dinner and a movie.

Dave sent flowers to my office early in the week so I could enjoy them for several days leading up to our anniversary. He’s sweet like that. Kelly Odom does the best arrangements in Raleigh. Dave is also having a ring made for me which isn’t ready yet, but I can’t wait to get it!

16 Gulf Blvd at Indian Rocks Beach

In Family & kids on August 19, 2008 at 5:47 am

We’ll depart from our beautiful beach house tomorrow, but I don’t think this will be the last time we see it. I’ve absolutely loved this house… the gorgeous hardwood floors, the fact that all 3 upstairs bedrooms have windows on 3 walls, the fact that the beach is right outside the front door. Am thinking that Tampa is such an easy Southwest flight that we’ll be planning our next trip soon.

Had to include a video just of the house and another fun one of the boys (and the bird that chased me from the yard up to the porch and into the house)….