The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Monday, December 29, 2008

1200 Free Prints! WOW!!

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What are you waiting for? Seems like a great deal to me!!

(Thanks Tina for the tip!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Concert & the Princess

Tuesday night was Jordyn's holiday concert.

I never take good pictures at these things. I think I need a zoom lens, or a new camera. :P

At least I got some pictures taken at home afterwards that were decent.

The concert included songs from the 6th grade choir, instructed by their teacher from Egypt, so they didn't sing anything CHRISTMASY...and some of their songs weren't even festive or wintery at all, but more about having music in your heart...which is nice, but hardly suitable for a Holiday Concert.
The 7th grade choir, Jordyn's choir, directed by the very musically appreciative Mrs. Flynn, had the best songs by far...I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas; Christmas Canon; Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow; and Carol of the Bells.
The 8th grade choir did some parts of Handel's Messiah. Classic, but not what I think of when I think of Christmas.


It was nice that my sister Shawn, and nieces Bailey, & Bella came to the concert with us and then came back to the house afterwards (a rendezvous orchestrated by Bella & Owen).

While they were visiting with us, Owen, Liam, & Bella went up to the playroom. Suddenly, Liam started screaming, and yelling, and downright howling. Bella came running down the hallway and looked down upon us in the living room. We asked her what was going on with the boys...because clearly something was wrong.

She started to explain, "Well, Liam & Owen were wrestling and I was being a princess, and..."

Well we didn't hear the rest of her explanation because I busted up laughing. I LOVE my Princess Bella. But her being a princess did not seem (to me) to be an integral part of the explanation for Liam's howling.

Oh, little girls. So much easier than little boys....(at least at this age).


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Piece of Work

Owen is a complete piece of work.

The other day, he dressed himself.
  • Christmas sweater? Check.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine shorts? Check.
  • Halloween socks, complete with jack-o-lantern pom-poms put on backwards? Check.
And recently, he has been creating pieces of work that he meticulously tapes up all around the house. Doors, walls, his bed, my desk.

Such a piece of work.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roll on, Roll on Roller Coaster

Last year, turning 35 REALLY bothered me.


It just seemed so......OLD. As in, Half-way to 70.

This year, I'm at peace with turning another year older. And even though 36 is now officially closer to 40 than it is to 30, I'm OK with it.

Because, in my head, I will forever be 27.

And this year, I had a really good birthday.
~~~
It started with birthday drinks and fondue with these sexy bitches at the Union on Thursday. Oh, the topics of conversation and the laughter and the drinks and the percentagely of it all.
~~~
Friday brought the annual Glenmoor Gals ornament exchange and since we were also celebrating Patty's birthday on the 12th along with mine on the 13th, at 12:01 am (when I happened to glance at the clock JUST as it became the 13th I exclaimed "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!") - and Domonique busted out the snowman shaped egg nog pound cake that she had made and the gals sang us a lovely Happy Birthday song. These gals are great, and they are all older than me. :P

~~~
Then, on Saturday morning, my actual birthday, my boys busted into my bedroom in the morning as I was making the bed (I know, I know, who bothers making their bed on their birthday? Especially while nursing a hangover from the night before?! I'm just wild and crazy like that, I guess) - they busted into my room bearing these gifts and singing a hysterical (and loud) version of Happy Birthday.
Owen was the "cha cha cha" guy, and as usual, couldn't stop giggling. I SO wanted to videotape them and I almost had them re-enact it, but I had too much to do and needed to get going with my day. Anyway, WHERE these kids got the two loonies to accompany their works of art, I have no idea. Kevin doesn't know either. Maybe they hit the casinos in Windsor while we thought they were in bed sleeping the night before. You never know with these two.
~~~~
The celebration continued that evening when Kev & I met the Petoskeys at swanky Jon Marx before we went bowling (not-so-swanky).


And our good bowling friends, Ron & Cheryl (super cute couple), sent over a Red Hatted Santa shot (who happens to be cousins with the Red Headed Slut). It was delish.

I'm still having a good time.

Roll on, roll on roller coaster.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Baby Trucks

Occasionally Owen gets on these kicks where he wants Kevin and me to have another baby...actually TWO babies. A boy and a girl.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility for me to have another baby since neither Kevin's nor my factory is closed. And I am only 35 (yes, I KNOW I'll be 36 in a couple of days, but please let me treasure these last moments of being equidistant to 30 and 40....soon enough I'll be closer to 40, OK?!? Uggh.)

And sometimes we feed into his baby kicks by asking the kids what we should name the baby if we have another one and which room should they baby have. This sort of talk really gets Jordyn's knickers in a twist, so sometimes it's just fun to play it up simply to watch her revolting teenagery responses.

Well, last night, Owen was on a baby kick of all baby kicks.

He even cut out a picture of a little mat/baby gym thing from the Toys R Us ad and brought it to me. "Here mom, the babies will like this."

Then he asked me, "Are there baby trucks?"

Me-"Baby trucks?"

O-"Yeah, when is our babies going to come on the baby trucks?"

Me-"Well, babies don't come on trucks, honey."

O-"Can we call now for our babies to come?"

Me-"Call for our baby?"

O-"Yeah, who do we call? Is that how you do it?"

Me-"Oh no, sorry honey, I don't have the number. Your dad has the number, go ask him."

And he went running off to ask Kevin for the number.

Yeah, I think we should squash this fantasy pretty quick.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Have a good day at work

On the days that I actually GO to work (sometimes I work from home) Liam always tells me to "have a good day at work".

It just warms my heart.

And then I reply, "Thanks, have a good day at school."

Not sure where his thoughtfulness comes from, but I'm glad it's there.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Detroit is Beautiful

Being born and raised in Detroit's 'burbs, I have developed a protective love for the "D".

Whenever someone bad-mouths it, I get offended and am saddened that the city is not what it once was, even though "what it once was" is not something I have any direct memories of it being, since those days existed before I was even born.

I surely don't know ALL of Detroit. I know it on the periphery...season tickets to the Tigers, season tickets to the Fisher including performances at the Gem and Masonic, a handful of Red Wings games, many trips to the Fox, a brief stint at Wayne State University, a time or two visiting the DIA or the Detroit Opera House, a couple of months working at the Renaissance Center, a couple of trips to the International Auto Show, getting lost at Cobo Hall when I was 5, and things like that. Heck, I've never even been to Eastern Market, (although I hear great things about it)...so I don't claim to know Detroit intimately.

But, I still love it as if I knew it inside out. And I long for it to thrive.

Certainly the trouble (o.k. the enormously deep shit) that the Big 3 are in doesn't provide a bright outlook for the city. And that makes me very, very sad.

For those of you who, like me, love the "D", (and even for those that don't), check out this guy's photography of our city posted on flickr. I started going through the collection entitled "Detroit is Beautiful", and can't wait to find time to sort through the rest of his Detroit collections.

These photos simultaneously evoke my feelings of love and sadness for this city.

I pray that it once again will thrive.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The extra-special December continues

Tonight it was Owen's pick for our Christmas-y / winter-y family countdown to Christmas activity.

He picked "listen to Christmas music". So, after returning from dinner at Bdubs, we popped in the Rockin Around the Christmas tree CD, made some break & bakes, and ate them ooey-gooey fresh out of the oven with a little bit of milk. Aaahhhh.

I'm really loving this December.

I was going back through some old blog posts and came upon one where I talked about my feelings LAST December.

Last year was lonely and I only really got to experience the season on the weekends when I was home.

I'm so glad I get to enjoy the holidays with my friends and family this year...every single day of the season.

This December truly is extra-special.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You'll poke your eye out

I was browsing through some blogs when Liam came into my office. I was commenting on one of my friends' blogs when he saw a familiar face on the computer screen...my friend Amy's son Carson...who also happens to be one of Liam's best buds.

So he insisted I click on it. It was a Youtube video of Carson singing along to Singstar.

"Mom! Mom! I want to be on Youtube! Take a video of me being funny and send it to Amy!"

So, I did. And here it is.

If there was ever any doubt that we descended from apes, this clears it up.

Delicate Snowflakes

As part of our daily December calendar activity, Jordyn got to pick what to do last night (each kid will get their turn to pick). The rule is that the activity has to be Christmas-y or winter-y.

At first, she thought about going sledding, but it's too dark (and cold) to do that after dinner.

Then she decided she wanted us all to go out for dessert. While that would have been a fun thing to do, it didn't really follow the "rules".

So, I gave her some more guidelines, "Jordyn, pick a Christmas movie, a Christmas book to read, or a Christmas craft."

She chose a craft (more work for me, but hey, it's all in an effort to make December that much more special). "Ok, so what craft do you want to make?" I asked.

"Let's make snowflakes!"

Wow, I haven't made paper snowflakes in forever. As a matter of fact, I sort of forgot how. Fortunately, Kevin (of all people!) recalled the proper paper folding technique and all was well with the world. And we went about creating the most beautiful, delicate, white paper snowflakes.

Just as delicate as the snowflakes, however, is Liam's emotional state.

He ended up having a melt down because his snowflakes weren't any good (according to him). So, that translated into nobody liking him, and he went to bed in tears.

Not EXACTLY how I had intended the extra-special December evening to pan out, but that's my little drama queen for ya.

Fortunately he woke up today in a good mood. I think he was just tired.
Anyway, the snowflakes turned out quite nicely and they look spectacular and festive gracing the sidelight windows by our front door.
Now the inside of the window matches the outside of the window.

Snow.




And the winner is....

The Stouts...First Christmas Card of the season.

Did I mention how much I love Christmas? Send me your cards, PEOPLE! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Envy - an oxymoron?

I'm very envious of this lady's decorating ability. Next Thanksgiving, I want my kitchen table to look just like hers.


(Seriously, click on the link and let me know if you are as utterly amazed and as thoroughly envious as I am.)


We're both Heathers. It's within the realm of possibility that my house might look like hers next Thanksgiving, right? I mean, I've got an entire year to plan for it and purchase the necessary items, how hard could it be? Granted, she's some sort of textile designer and a master seamstress and crafter, but I've got skillz, too, man. Or, at least I TRY to have skillz.

Instead, my Thanksgiving table looked like this...
Not even a tablecloth! For Shame!! And certainly no silk fall leaves adorning the adorably slip covered chairs. What was I thinking?!?
and this...
At least the boys' table had a table cloth and matching cloth napkins. Oooh! Oooh! Don't forget the pumpkin centerpiece!! Nice touch, dontchathink?
and this... Now, I must admit that while the girls' table does have a table cloth, it certainly needs to be pressed and it is certainly NOT festive. At. All. And they had a centerpiece pumpkin not sure where it went, but there was a pumpkin at one point! I try. I try.

and this...
Poor Jordyn and Bailey are relegated to eating at the counter. No table cloth, no placemats, no pumpkin, not even a BACK to their stools. Sorry girls.


But, look, I did adorn these special cream soda bottles with a cute little label and ribbon for each of the kids and then put them in a cute copper tub. I thought that was kind of special. But really, during the holidays (and at all times, I gues) it's not the decorations you surround yourself with (although, I do really love, love, love them), it's the people you surround yourself with that matter. And here are my peeps.



Monday, December 1, 2008

Let the Countdown Begin!

I love Christmas.

I just absolutely love this time of year.

I love the songs, and the lights, and the decorations, and the presents, and the festivities. All of it. I love, love, LOVE it.

And I love the fact that I already put my Christmas cards in the mail (this morning). All 143 of these handmade goodies. Yes, I stayed up until 2am last night putting the finishing touches on them (even though I started them in October) and signing & addressing & stamping them, but it was worth it. One of my biggest holiday projects has been checked off the to-do list.


And the shopping? I FINISHED all of that on Black Friday and the subsequent Blacker Saturday (Santa Bucks, baby!), with the exception of 6 presents - 4 of which are gift cards. AND everything that I've bought is already wrapped (gift bagged - same thing) and under the tree (or in Santa's workshop...a.k.a. in hiding).

And last night I made up one of these countdwon to Christmas calendars. I made one of these two years ago and Jordyn requested that I do it again this year (seeing as how I'm home this December instead of in NJ every week, like last year!) So, of course I obliged. I'm glad she remembered this calendar and enjoyed it enough to ask me to do it again. It's our way of making December extra special as we count down to the big day. We do something Christmas-y or winter-y on every day of the month leading up to Christmas Eve and Day.

Let the COUNTDOWN begin!

And, OK, when the snow is this gorgeous, sometimes I love that, too. However, it would make me extra special happy if it would all melt away on January 1st. I would just love, love, LOVE that!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So much to be thankful for

We had a spectacular Thanksgiving this year. And we have so very much to be thankful for.

As Thanksgiving passes, I hope we don't lose sight of the importance of gratitude and giving thanks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

$1.85

...for a gallon of GAS?!?! Get OUT! That's amazing! And really just makes me smile.

Now, when is the grocery bill going to shrink?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Loving the Forecast

Freezing and snowy all week. :(

Monday, Nov 17
Few Snow Showers 32°/24°

Tuesday, Nov 18
Flurries 33°/22°

Wednesday, Nov 19
Light Snow 32°/28°

Thursday, Nov 20
Few Snow Showers 36°/23°

Friday, Nov 21
Few Snow Showers 35°/25°

Definitely not loving the forecast.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NOT Hung Over

Last night was our every other week bowling night and today, I must proudly claim that I am NOT hung over. I guess that's what happens when all you drink during the evening is Aquafina. Hmm. And I bowled pretty well, too. (Which is to say that I exceeded my 118 average twice...130 and 122 and then a respectable - for me - 115).

I considered telling everyone who was curious about me not "drinking", that I was pregnant, but the last time I joked with someone about being pregnant when I wasn't (April Fool's Day 1995) - I ended up (you guessed it) PREGNANT! So, I decided that wouldn't be a good idea. I wouldn't want history to repeat itself!! Or would I?

I'm still a little tired today, though. Bowling starts at 8:45 pm, then we get home around 12:15 am (when we're not inclined to go to the BAR after bowling), and then last night we finally fell asleep around 1am or so.

But, even though I'm a little tired, it's nice NOT to be hung over. Maybe I should try that more often...although the multitude of shots the other team was doing last night looked mighty fun, so the likelihood that I'll have a hang over the day after the next time we bowl is pretty good.

We'll see.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Belated Halloween

We had a stellar Halloween this year.

The weather was gorgeous, it fell on a Friday, the kids loved their costumes, we didn't have a bazillion costume parties/events to attend ahead of time (like we usually do)...just Halloween itself, and it couldn't have been more perfect.

I worked from home that day so that I could attend Liam's class party. I took Owen with me to attend the Halloween parade.

Later that night, we trick-or-treated in the old sub with the best of friends. We say that the reason we go back to the old sub to trick-or-treat is because the new sub is still so under-developed, there aren't enough houses near by. But even if we didn't have empty lots on either side of us in the new sub, and then empty houses on either side of those empty lots, I think we still would go back to the old sub to trick-or-treat just because it's so much fun. We had a real sense of community in the old sub that we don't have, and may never have, in the new sub.

My vampire Jordyn went begging for candy with her friend Alicia, who went as a "Prombie" (PROM queen + zOMBIE = PROMBIE). Alicia is one of the first friends Jordyn met when we moved into Glenmoor in 2000. We lived on the same street. It warms my heart that they have maintained their friendship even after we moved away (despite the fact that they are in different grades).

My Ben Tennyson Liam and my Bumblebee Transformer Owen went out haunting with our BFF's Amy & Joel's sons Spencer (the skeleton grim reaper guy) and Carson (the vampire). Kev & Joel took the boys out and they had a wagon in case any of the boys got tired (translation - they needed a transportation method for their cooler of beer).

It's great to see all of the kids we've known for so long but haven't seen much since we moved away. Aim and I hung out at the house with SueLynn and passed out candy (and drank wine). We sat outside the ENTIRE time!

After the kids had hauled their loot of candy home, we had a wee get together at the Petoskey's. The kids were all directed to the basement (including Jordyn and her "boyfriend" Mason). Amy's white chicken chili was delish!

Hanging out with Amy, Joel, Kendrea, Joe, Patty, & Brad was good fun. We don't get together nearly enough.

I love Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

3:38

I've been working hard during the week and playing hard on the weekends. Every night when I get home from work, I am mentally and physically EXHAUSTED. So, I've been going to bed around 9:00pm, reading a little, and then usually falling asleep by 10pm, no problem. Sawing logs. Sleeping deep.

But, for the last 2 days, I have bolted upright, as if I've missed my 5am alarm, only to look at the clock and find that it is 3:38 in the morning. TWO DAYS IN A ROW! 3:38. Not 3:37 one day and 3:39 the next. 3:38 both days.

Do you think I should play the daily 3?

Weird.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Man

Eight years ago today, I married this man.

This man who still makes me laugh (much more often than he makes me yell), even though he flips me off in almost every photo I take of him.

This man who bought me fall flowers today, to decorate the dinner table as we ate the yummy steak he grilled.

This man who can make a black russian with 3 stripes.

This man who takes pride in his lawn and LOVES his tractor.

This man who LOVES St. Patrick's Day and his Irish heritage.


This man who LOVES to fish.


This man who LOVES to bowl.

This man who LOVES his kids. And whose kids absolutely ADORE him.


And most importantly, this man who still LOVES me after all these years.


I love you Kev!
Happy Anniversary...


Monday, October 13, 2008

My Nuts

Owen has recently gone on a nature gathering kick.

We went to the Homecoming parade on Friday and he found pine cones. He scooped a bunch into his shirt and brought them home. He was very excited about this pine cone haul.

Then we went to my nephew's birthday party on Saturday and he discovered acorns. As we were leaving, he scooped a bunch into his shirt (a very handy carrying-nature-things apparatus, apparently). I looked back at him strapped into his car seat with his lap full of acorns.

"Hey Owen, what do you have there in your lap?" I inquired.

With a proud beaming grin on his face he replied, "My NUTS!"

Oh, you know I couldn't contain myself.

I told you, that kid cracks me up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Victory and the Bonus

Much to my dismay, Jordyn is not a joiner.

When I was in school, I joined EVERYTHING.

Not only did I join everything, I was the captain, editor, president, officer, whatever of everything.

Jordyn's first year of middle school came and went with out her so much as joining the Art Club.

I told her that this year, her second year of middle school, she had to join two sports and two clubs. However neither of those has come to fruition.

She reluctantly agreed to try out for basketball (hello, she's 5'6" at 12 years old, people!) but when try-outs actually came around, she called me from the school in tears that she just didn't want to do it, what if she embarrassed herself, and besides she doesn't even LIKE basketball!!! Of course, I went and picked her up instead of forcing her to go through that trauma.

Cross Country? No thanks, she doesn't like to run.
Volleyball? Nope, the ball hurts her arms.
Cheerleading? No way, THAT'S for the "plastics". Huh?

So, yesterday Jordyn comes home from school and tells me that she has been elected to Student Council as her homeroom's class representative. (At least that's what she thinks it is, she's not 100% sure if it's Student Council or something else, she'll have to double check when she goes to school today).

WHAT? No Way!! She JOINED something?!?!

So, I asked her, "Do you mean to tell me that you raised your hand as a volunteer to be elected?"

"Yep!" She responded with a proud smile upon her face.

***THIS, people, is the victory.***

"Well how many other people wanted to do it?" I inquired.

"Eight. I got 5 votes and everybody else got 2 or 3 votes."

***This, folks, is the bonus.***

I'm so proud of her.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm retired from prayers

So Liam, my ultra good bestest in the whole wide world bed time prayer pray-er has retired. Last night, as I was tucking the boys (who share a room) into bed, I asked Liam if he wanted to say the good night prayers. His reply? Nah, I'm retired from prayers.

Nice.

How does a SEVEN YEAR OLD retire from prayers?!?

So, Owen piped up and said that HE would say the prayers. And wouldn't ya know? His prayers are the exact same ultra good bestest in the whole wide world bed time prayers, too. His prayers are a verbatim carbon copy of the famous retired pray-er Liam's bed time prayers. Owen has had over a year of listening and learning and copying to rely upon.

Dear Jesus, thank you for our moms and dads and for our brothers and sisters and for everybody that we love. And I pray that Liam has a good Pokemon dream and that I have a good Thomas dream. Amen.

Amen, brotha-man, amen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things we love right now

I had a wonderful evening with my family last night. We were all doing things that we love to do right now and I just had to capture it with my newly repaired camera.

Jordyn read one of her Twilight series books. This from a girl who used to HATE to read, and now she can't get enough. Just LOOK at the size of those books!!

Liam watched Cartoon Network. Uh, yeah, it's kind of ridiculous that the cartoon characters are bigger than he is. Didn't realize that until I took this photo!

Owen played with trains in the hallway. He's a train guy all the way. And he's currently going through this phase where he won't look at the camera. Nice.


Kev grilled up some mean steak for dinner while drinking an ice cold beer. Dinner was DELISH! I sliced up my steak and spread it over a field green salad with goat cheese, walnuts, grape tomatoes, grilled onions, and balsamic vinaigrette. YUM!
And I...I watched a gorgeous autumn sunset across the lake while taking in a glass of German Cabernet Sauvingon. Hanging on to the last traces of summer as we melt into fall here in Michigan.

And when this was gone, we dipped into the box of cab sauv. What a perfect evening.