Friday, October 28, 2011

Saturday in Photos

I shared our annual photos the other day, but I really want to share some of the other photos that we took as well. (By we, I mean Lucy and me. Lu has become quite the little photographer). I like them, and I want them here. Plus, I never get Bud to smile for me anymore, or to pose for photos, and he did. (He also kissed me goodbye at school today. In front of people. What's up with that??!!)

The problem is that I already have another entry ready to go. So. What I’m going to do is post these first, and then I will post the entry separately in a little bit.

I had really wanted to wait to go out to Letchworth until Sunday when it was going to be a bit warmer, but this ended up working out ok. Plus the cold weather, and the fact that Bud won the game ball in his flag football game for being the MVP (for sharing his flags with another kid who forgot his--it's not all about winning) gave us an excuse to get out of the car and throw the football around to warm up. Superfun Family Time. I wanted to stop at a family diner on the way home, but was outvoted and we went to Friendly’s instead. It really was a fabulous day--although I am still not over Friendly's being out of pumpkin ice cream. I wanted that pumpkin pie sundae.

First Scenery:

Now Kids:
(Any photo I am in was taken by Lucy. Also the photo of the single tree)

Lucy’s Self Portraits (here, I see where people say she looks like me):

And Finally, what happens when kids are just DONE having photos taken:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shutterfly Card Winners

Good morning! I am grumpy that the weather forecast calls for snow this week, and cold cold temperatures on Halloween. At least though, I am able to give some stuff away! And I am expecting good mail (Birthday gifts!! That I ordered with a gift card!!) today or tomorrow. I hope anyway. So there's something to look forward to.

The following gals who commented have won!

Carrie!! (With express instructions that I receive a card or announcement.)


Mommy Daisy!

I will email you all your code for 25 free photo cards. Congratulations!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Through the Years

In the Fall of 2005, Hub, Bud, Lucy and I took an impromptu trip to Letchworth State Par. Hub and I had been going for years, usually around my birthday, and we just needed to get out of the house that day. Hub happened to take Bud’s photo on some stairs. The next year we happened upon the same stairs (not an easy feat…this park is GIGANTIC), and took a photo of Bud and Lucy together. And just like that, a tradition was born. We’ve taken the kids’ photos every year in October since 2005. It has been 40 degrees, and it has been 80 degrees. In 2008, Bud and Lucy dropped poor baby Liv on her head (stellar parenting having a 3 and 4 year old hold a 3-month-old on a set of stone stairs). Liv refused to cooperate in 2009—I think to get back at us. I love how each year, things change but they also stay the same.

Some of you have seen these all before (minus 2011, of course). I know; but I can’t help myself. Here are the photos:








Friday, October 21, 2011

Shutterfly Holiday Cards Review (AND GIVEAWAY!!)

**Note** This post is going to sound like I am gushing, and really I am. Even if this were not a sponsored post, I would have the same feelings about Shutterfly. I have never been dissatisfied with anything I’ve purchased from them, and trust me, I’ve purchased many things.

Is it ever really too soon to begin thinking about your Christmas card? I for one, am taking my annual Letchworth photo this weekend, and that is usually my old Christmas card standby. If something more Christmassy comes along photo-wise, great. If not, Letchworth it is. For the past several years, Shutterfly has been my go-to site for all things photo related. The mouse pad next to my work computer? Shutterfly. The calendar I make for my parents’ Christmas gift each year? Shutterfly. The book of memories from our summer vacation? You guessed it: Shutterfly. My address labels? Also. Shutterfly. And of course, my Christmas cards ALWAYS come from Shutterfly.

One of the great things about Shutterfly’s Christmas card selection is that there are so many to chose from, that you can find a background to match just about any photo you have. Do you want to send a Christmas card with your beachy summer photo on it? I think it’s weird, but you will be able to find a background to match. Maybe you have several children and want to highlight each one—there’s an option for that too. Favorite colors? Check. Santa? Check. Maybe you’d like a more religious theme? They have that too. I kid you not when I tell you that Shutterfly has something for everybody.

I mentioned above the photo book I made at the end of the summer. I find these books are great for personal use—in fact, Liv’s baby book…is a Shutterfly photo book, and they also make great gifts. You can take the time to painstakingly place each photo in the exact spot you want it, or if you give Shutterfly the group of photos you’d like to use, they will lay it all out for you. The result is amazing either way.

One thing I’ve never purchased from Shutterfly are their birth announcements. Honestly, in the haze of newborn motherhood, I’ve never considered sending a birth announcement at all. But man, these photo announcements just might have made me reconsider if they were around when my kids were born. Look how cute they are! Do you think Hub will let me have another baby just so I can send some birth announcements? (Yeah. I don’t think he will either.)

In conclusion, I think Shutterfly is great. I really really do. They have tons of products, let you store tons of photos for free and if you subscribe to their emails, they’ll often send you amazing deals. If you aren’t using Shutterfly already, I would strongly urge you to begin. Right now! Immediately!

And now for the fun stuff!

As a part of this promotion, Shutterfly has given me 25 free cards to share with 3 lucky readers. That’s right! 3 of you will win 25 cards each. All you have to do to enter is click on over to Shutterfly’s card page and look through their card selection. Then come back here and tell me which card (or cards) you would consider ordering. Heck, you can tell me which card I should order, because I don’t think that I’ll be able to decide. I will leave comments open through Monday, October 24, 2011 at 11:59 PM (eastern time) and will draw the 3 winners sometime on Tuesday. Be sure to leave an email address so I can let you know you’ve won! Good luck, and happy shopping!

**Again this was a sponsored post and I was compensated for writing it. All opinions expressed are my own.**

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thinking Happy Thoughts

My plan for yesterday was to write a complaining entry about how my actual birthday sucked and after a day of The Sads, it ended in a complete meltdown on my part when Hub did/said something that made me feel like my birthday was not in fact my special day. Instead though, because it is over and done with, and because I had a fabulous weekend away in spite of Friday, I am going to write about things that are making me happy right now.

1. After hearing me complain forever about what a pain it is for me to go upstairs from my office to refill my coffee mug, Hub and the kids bought me a stainless steel insulated carafe. Now I can carry my whole pot of coffee downstairs and refill at will. (I was previously using an intricate system of travel mugs.)
2. They also got me a composter (as opposed to my old coffee can), and watering cans for my plants.
3. This was our view all weekend---and though it was gloomy, I still found it beautiful. At one point there was a rainbow that stretched lengthwise across the lake. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo…but it was gorgeous. (This was also from one of my favorite wineries-The Thirsty Owl, further fueling my owl obsession)

4. This photo, that I insisted Hub take after I’d had too much wine, and not enough to eat.

5. I began drinking wine at noon both Saturday and Sunday. I never get to be so carefree. And my drunken trash talk always amuses my husband.
6. I ate the best sandwich and bowl of beer cheddar soup on the way home Sunday. I am plotting a reason to drive 3 hours just to go back.
7. Zumba. Not just for the dance and exercise…which is great, but also because I feel like I have good friends close by for the first time in a really long time. If they have seen me sweat and still want to hang out, we must be good friends, right?
8. I am cooking a turkey today, with all the fixings, even though Thanksgiving is only a month away. Turkey is good stuff.
9. It is October 18 and we have not yet turned on the furnace. See above. The turkey cooking all day will warm the house.
10. Hub sold FIL’s car yesterday. This is bittersweet because we love the car and his father loved this car like you would not believe. It only holds 4 though, and therefore is not practical for us. But yay for the cash.
11. We are having our furnace redone in the near future. Hub has been doing a lot of networking, and met a really good guy. Hub has to do all the duct work himself, but we are getting everything at cost. PLUS central air.
12. I’ve been asked to participate in the Shutterfly Holiday Card blog promotion again, and this year I don’t just get free stuff for me, but I will get free stuff for some of you guys too.
13. Hub and I went to a huge outlet mall before we hit the wineries on Saturday, and I scored big time at a place called VF Outlet. They get overstock from several department stores who don’t have room, or maybe over ordered etc. It is good stuff, but cheap. I got 4 huge bags of clothes and shoes for the kids and me (mostly me) for $150.
14. My Uggs. I know it is ridiculous to spend so much on a pair of boots, but they seriously make me happy. And my last pair lasted 2+ years (and I still have them…they are just grungy and they leak). So I think it is a good investment.
15. I went to a 31 party a few weeks ago, and I ordered this huge organizer for my office wall. I also got a bag for my craft supplies.

16. Speaking of crafts, I can’t stop thinking about this one: Picture Frames . Ever since Mrs. Irritation linked to it last week, it is all that I have been able to think about. Totally doing it. ASAP.

There. Now that wasn’t so hard. And I am feeling better. You should try it. Sometimes it really is just the little things.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PSA: Don't take your kids to the library

I don’t know why the children’s librarian thinks it is a good idea to stack books on angle on top of the short book shelves. Yes, it most definitely highlights some titles that I may not have otherwise seen, pulling them from the crammed spaces where they usually live, but seriously, this is not a good idea. The shelves, as I said, are shorter. Child sized if you will. Short enough where my 6-year-old can see over them, and short enough for my 3-year-old to be able to reach the top with her gangly and wild arms, to “just look at this one!”, inevitably on the end where one wrong move sends these precariously lined books tumbling, one after the other domino style, until they are all lying flat.

I look around the library; mortified. It would appear though, that nobody has seen what just happened. Phew. I start picking up books just in time for Liv to make it to another shelf. It seems like slow motion as I whisperscream “Noooooooo!” and then there go all the books from another shelf. And another after that. And as I corral her on the carpeted area so I can clean up a huge mess, she notices that the carpet has letters on it! In a circle pattern! So she begins to jump from letter to letter, calling them out loudly, exclaiming “I! Know! My! ABCs!” over and over again. I hastily grab her and carry her to the grown up books, as we like to call them and I start looking around. I’m frazzled and I can’t remember what I’ve come for, so I start running through some author names in my head. Jennifer Weiner, I conclude, is the mood I am in. I put Olivia down, and then Lucy starts to read what I am looking at. “How can someone be good in bed, Mom?”, Lucy asks loudly, “Is that like when I get sent to bed for not behaving?” My face is red. I am dying. “and is her name Wiener???”

It is clearly time to leave. Lucy is in line ahead of me; proud to be checking out books with her very own library card for the second time. She is a pro, placing them on the counter and listening intently when she is told the due dates. “My mom is getting a book about wieners”, she tells the librarian, who raises an eyebrow and stares at me. Christ. I am in the line where a high school volunteer is working, and Liv, who hasn’t tried my patience enough, starts pulling on the back pockets of my jeans. She giggles and begins swaying from side to side, enjoying the ride my ass is giving her. And then, right there in the library checkout line, my pants are no longer on my waist. No, that can’t be right, but in fact, it is. My 3-year-old has pantsed me in the library. Well thanks Jesus for long cardigans, I guess. I am still not at the counter, so I cannot put my books down without bending over, and we know that’s not happening, so I maneuver my pants back up over my waist with one hand, while Liv decides to crawl in between my legs on the floor. At this moment, what with the one handed wriggling and the book holding, I lose my footing, and start to compensate so I don’t end up on the floor with my ass hanging out. This of course is when I step right on Olivia’s thigh. She is wailing now, and screaming that her mommy stepped right on her, just as it is finally our turn at the counter. It is all I can do to stand in line, acting cool, calm and collected as the older gentleman behind me does his best to stifle his snickers.

Neither of the girls thinks anything is out of the ordinary as we get in the van and drive off in to the sunset even though I am tight-lipped and pissy. Why would they? And of course, Lucy delights in telling her father all about my wiener book, and stepping on Olivia over dinner. Hub just glances at me, and shakes his head, already knowing the full story.

As I’m tucking the girls in at bedtime, Liv tells me what a great time she had with me at the library today. Wasn’t it funny when all those books fell? I suppose it was, I tell her, finally able to smile about it.

And in hindsight now, as I am writing about it, it was. (Sort of)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saly Vlogs (OMG)

I can't believe that I did this. I am not nearly cool enough to be a Vlogger...seriously. And I really don't know how to get the right eye contact with the web cam...and least I took a shower today, is all that I'm saying

I forgot to say where I am from at the beginning of this...which is outside of Buffalo, NY about 15 minutes from the Canadian border. I have lived here my whole life. This was hard, you guys!! it is!