Sunday, April 13, 2014


No, I have not let go of the fact that I could be holding a new baby by the end of the week.  A TINY BABY in my arms in the next week to ten days!  It is happening!  We are counting the minutes, but we are trying to be cool.  Part of that being cool thing is because we don't know what the heck is going to happen.  Right, we've seen babies and been around them, but this is going to be totally different.  I think we will feel strongly about and love this little baby girl more than we can even comprehend yet.  Can someone please tell me what is going down?

There is this tiny part of me that is being rebellious.  Really?  Us?  Grandparents?  We have friends who are parents of babies and toddlers.  We do not know where we fit in... so I bought a car seat, we got a 'pack and play,' we have diapers, wipes -- pretty sure we are good to go.
The big event of the weekend was the season premiere of "Mad Men."  Well, that and the Masters golf tournament.  With the expected snow this week (*eyeroll*) -- we built a fire, and while the rancher was on the phone, I put the 'pack and play' together.  As this task was being completed, I became frustrated with the amount of safety tags and safety information affixed to this piece of baby equipment.  He got off the phone just in time to see me pour a glass of wine, and grab another pair of scissors.  He quickly jumped in before anyone got hurt.  See those little owls on the mobile?  Each one had FIVE little tags attached to it.  I swear, we cut 50+ tags off of every part of this thing. 
I know, this shouldn't be what it takes, but Lily likes her fermented grapes.
Seriously?  A 36 page manual did provide some of the answers to the couple of questions I had.  Probably could have figured it out by myself, but I thought the manual might be faster.  Uhm...., no.  The rancher went after the phillips screwdriver and the Exacto knife.  We proceeded to cut and clip every single tag off of all 46 pieces of this very important piece of baby equipment.  The caution and safety tags are senseless.  Who really reads those things?  It's like those permanent safety notices they iron on to the headliner in your car.  I mean, the people that these are meant for, are probably unable or unwilling to read them.  For instance, don't leave the baby on the changing table unattended.  Okay, thanks.  Great idea.  And any person that has any money to buy one of these things, does not need to be told that you should keep plastic away from babies while they are in the bassinet or bed.  How about you keep plastic away from infants at all times?  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  As I've said before, not my first rodeo.  I was just irritated at the assumption that anyone needed to be told these things.  And I was doubly irritated that we had to take approximately 30 minutes, maybe 45, carefully cutting these tags out because they are unattractive and unnecessary.  Sheesh!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keeping It All In

As I have mentioned here before, we will soon be grandparents.  And just to be clear, it is not the international kids who are having the baby.  It is the local kids.  :)  During the last 8 or so months, I have been pretty chill about it.  Excited, but it's just something that has been hard to digest.  Am I really old enough?  Clearly.  Do I know how to do anything but parent?  No, but surely we will catch on eventually. 

Shouldn't I be getting ready?  Don't I need to go buy some diapers or something?  Maybe I need to be stocking the pantry so I can cook for them.  Maybe I need to stay out of the way.

Yesterday I was told, this event is definitely happening before the end of the month.  Most likely much sooner than that.  Do I need to pack a bag?  Is it rude to go to the hospital and wait?  Do they want us to do that?  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I need to charge all my camera batteries.  And my iPad.  Could be lots of sitting around, and waiting.  Or maybe we won't get there in time.  The baby isn't being born in our little town.

I need an online class or something ASAP - Grandparenting 101.  I'm going to google University of Phoenix right now.

Last weekend we watched a movie and in one scene a dad was holding a newborn.  I froze.  All this time, I've been thinking, we've got this, we've done it before... but it has been 24 years since the last time we did it.  They tell me things have changed.  I get it.  But also, the more things change, the more they stay the same...


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

No Whining or Complaints

I like to think that the glass is half full.  Therefore, I want to share with you some things that I like...

People --
1)   Erin Andrews.  Beautiful, smart, and she likes sports!  Bam!
2)   Maks (Russian, can't spell his last name) on Dancing With The Stars.  I like some attitude.
3)   Vince Vaughn.  The guy is hilarious.  We would have him over for dinner any night of the week.
4)   Kevin Spacey.  He reminds me of my Uncle Mark, who was one of the funniest people ever.
5)   Grace Kelly.  She lived a fantasy life.  From what I hear...
6)   Phil Mickelson.  He just seems like a really good guy.  Thanks for being a stand-up man.

Stuff --
1)   Bling.  I can't explain why.  I like sparkly things.  Glitter on shoes, sparkle on a hat...
2)   Bedtime.  I am not happier anytime during the day than when I hop into bed at night.
3)   Fire.  A fire in the fireplace or in a pit is my happy place.
4)   Magazines.  I feel like an addict.  I like to keep up with trends, and I like pop culture.
5)   Sports.  Any of them.  I can watch it on television.  Try me.
6)   Makeup.  New, old, as long as I don't break out, I love it.
7)   Fermented grapes.  Hobby, not habit.
8)   Long haired cattle dogs.  Sweetest and smartest pets ever.
9)   Movies.  Chick flicks, action, humor -- not picky.  Love them.

To Do --
1)   Travel.  Anywhere.  Anytime.  Long trip or short.  Not picky.
2)   Sit on the back porch.  I prefer no bugs.  And a glass of liquid.
3)   A two hour lunch (or three) with a friend.
4)   Drive in the car.  As long as I have radio reception, it's all good.
5)   Have someone blow my hair out straight.  I can never do it right.

To Eat -- 
1)   Fried Rice.  Anywhere, anytime.
2)   Practically anything on the grill.  Steak, shrimp, vegetables, bacon...
3)   Any combination of salad and chicken.  Any.
4)   Don't try to sneak pecans into anything you want me to eat.  I gag.
5)   But I can eat almost anything if you give me a glass of iced tea with it.  

I like to be positive.  And if I'm not, I pretend to be.    :)


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bobbi Brown continued... Part 2

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After having one of Bobbi Brown's national makeup artists here a couple of weeks ago for a home event, I found that I had so many pictures and so much info to share.  Rogelio Reyna lives in Miami, and in the words of The Anchorman, Ron Burgundy, he is "kind of a big deal."  After growing up in our little town, he chased his dreams, and he found a career that he loves.
It is always great having him here.  He is so knowledgeable, he knows what women want as far as their makeup, and he wants you to learn how to recreate his professional touches onto your own face every day.  

So here is what I had to do.  Pick up the phone.  Call my friend, Katrina.  And tell her I need a cool looking cheese and cracker tray, and maybe another hors d'oeuvre.
This is what I got.  
Oh, I asked for it.  I said, "Yes, that sounds great."  
"Of course we need that, just add it to your list..."
"Well, sure, we need a vegetable tray.  Oh, I forgot how good those mini shrimp cocktails are -- okay, let's do those, too."
"Okay, that chutney will be awesome and autumnal, but that's it."
"Yeah, you're right, we don't have any sweets, just add those tiny spice cupcakes, then we are done."

Oh my gosh, it was over the top.  Fabulous.  She is the bomb.  And I am a loser because I didn't get a picture of her being the bomb.  And somehow we didn't get a picture of this either, but she (her son) brought this unbelievable drink.  We called it the "Bobbi," and her son consulted a mixologist friend in Maine to obtain this delicious concoction that tasted like apple crisp.  They rimmed the glasses in a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Good grief.  I didn't even want her working because it was a Sunday.  She apparently is the rancher's secret twin sister.  She doesn't know how to not work.
Everyone he touched looked like a million bucks.  He is just a rock star.

I just had to add this picture to make fun of myself.
A)  Awesome picture of my unorganized pantry in the background.
B)  One of us is pregnant, and it's not the one in white who looks pregnant.

Thanks again to Rogelio for bringing a piece of the big city to us.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Bobbi Brown Big Guy

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Yes, it happens from time to time.  Big deal things happen in our little town.  We do lay claim to several famous, successful, and wonderful people making a big difference in our world.  We have citizens in our community who give huge amounts of their time, as well as money, usually very quietly, to improve the quality of life for others.  There are people who have grown up here, and left here to make their contributions in other locations.  Wherever you are, and whatever your goals are, don't you just hope that your loved ones can wake up every day and be thrilled to death to be doing what they are doing?  That's what we have always talked about at our house.  The rancher has been the example, because his eyes pop open automatically every morning, and he can't wait for his feet to touch the ground so he can start running.  
Not literally.  He's not a runner.  

Recently, a friend of mine that grew up in our little town returned to share his passion.  His name was familiar as he grew up several years behind me, but we have become more acquainted as adults.  Roger lives a very exciting and busy life as an executive makeup artist and educator with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.  He travels extensively on the East Coast, as well as representing Bobbi Brown and educating other artists in the U.S., Latin America, South America, and Mexico.  Chile and Argentina are frequent stops for him when he isn't trekking back and forth between his home base in Miami and working in New York City.  I think he is the Hispanic director of education for Bobbi Brown in the United States, too.  Even though I may not be getting all his titles and affiliations perfectly accurate, it is safe to say, he is a pretty big deal.

Passing through "home" to see his parents, he called a few months back and wondered about doing a Professional Master Class type of presentation in my home.  We have done this before, and he is so good with what he does, I didn't hesitate to say yes.  (I always need a good reason to deep clean my house.)  He had one day available, and we made it happen.
Here's how it goes down.  He brings in what appears to be an entire Bobbi Brown makeup counter from Nordstroms, and sets it up in my living room.  Women are packed and pushed into every corner, and he proceeds to show us new products, new techniques, and emphasizes some of the old tried and true rules that every woman should know.  He has an abundance of concealers and correctors, and he picks different women from around the room to show certain techniques related to covering age spots, or developing the perfect party night smokey eye, or the accurate use of bronzing powders and blushers.  
Skin care is not overlooked.  He speaks and teaches about all kinds of moisturizers and their different purposes.  Bobbi has not forgotten anyone.  One of the things I like best about her products is how you can multi-task with them.  There is this Extra Soothing Balm (below) that I use in about 6 different places on my body.  I believe it was designed as a layer to be used around the eyes.  But I also use it around my lips on fine lines; I use it on my cuticles; I use it on my elbows, knees, heels; I use it on my neck and d├ęcolletage.  
Can you get any more versatile?
Having used Bobbi Brown products for quite a few years, Roger has taught me so much about makeup and application.  A self proclaimed makeup slut person that overindulges, I use things that work.  You know how I love my beauty boxes and trying new products.  Bobbi Brown is one of those companies that stays current, develops new and improved products constantly and encourages a girl to feel good about herself by taking proper care of her skin.
On the super cute teenagers, he used and emphasized age-appropriate techniques, as well as teaching all along the way about proper (and so important) skin care.  He showed them how to get out of bed and be at school in 15 minutes by doing 3-4 important steps, and he also showed them how to glam it up a bit for stage or cheer performances, as well as special events, 
like the prom.
He worked so hard.  I bet it was worse for him than fashion week in NYC.  Except he wasn't working with a bunch of divas.  He was on his feet for well over 12 hours.  I think he barely took a drink of water.  Everyone loved his stories about A-list actresses whose makeup he had done.  He told about being in their homes, about interacting with their families, how sweet some were -- now that I think about it, he didn't tell any critical stories about anyone, although I am sure he has some.  But no kidding, "so-and-so" who is the face of this other 'well known makeup', is really using Bobbi Brown.  Name after name after name.  You had to be here.  
I don't tattle.
We had the opportunity to order products at a discount, and for those who were able to stay and wait, he gladly matched everyone to their best colors and made recommendations.

Gosh, we had a good time!  In fact, it may be worthy of a two day post.  It was that good.  I have lots more pics, and I think I will finish this tomorrow.  Additionally, I have a couple of other great makeup gurus in my arsenal, and I want to share them with you.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Music Lover

I love music from all genres.  Seems like I have a song as an earworm...  I was trying to think of my favorite all time songs, and these were the first five that came to mind.  I know there are others, but my all time fave is "Hotel California."  No explanation.  Just have always liked it...  I pulled all of these from You Tube and pasted them here.

 Mike + the Mechanics  --  "The Living Years"

 Carpenters  --  "We've Only Just Begun"

The Eagles  --  "Hotel California"

Billy Joel  --  "Just The Way You Are"

The Calling  --  "Our Lives"


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hey, Bro!

My brother is just a couple of years younger than me.  He has a lot of redeeming qualities, so it's hard to sum him up in just a few words, because he is kind of like Mr. Chamber of Commerce.  He has always done a little bit of everything while pouring himself into a full time job that typically required lots of travel.  
A)     He is taller than most people in my family.
B)     He is very successful, and he would probably be the first to tell you that school and college were hard.
C)     He married a precious and beautiful, big-city girl, who teaches college level algebra and calculus.  So they are both smart and are celebrating 25 years this summer.
D)     He is what I would call, "very thrifty."  Big plus.
E)     They have two kids, nearly 10 years behind mine, who are very personable, good humored and intelligent.  They are going to make great adults.  Meal time at their house is a riot.
F)     He volunteers in more ways than I can count.  I mean, more ways than I can count.
G)     He manned-up, and they are going to allow their first born to attend college on the east coast.  Well, practically.  South Carolina.  After all, she must have been smart enough to get herself there.

Her senior year is coming to a close.  Lots of lasts coming up.  In an effort to lighten the mood in his household, I am offering up some photos I have held for just such a serious occasion.
  These pics were taken over a year ago at the wedding in our backyard, but this was the rehearsal.  Things were a bit more casual.  It was July.  (i.e. = hot and windy)
See how cooperative his kids were to be in pictures with anyone?  
I love this one with the GP's.
Okay, enough with the polite and lovely pictures.  
Here is part of the family I enjoy holidays with...
I guess he thought I wasn't funny enough.  I could have lowered that glass, too.
I can't imagine where they get this side of themselves...
Okay, here we go.
He never reads my blog.  My goal is to get his attention.
Sorry, Gerri, surely you knew what you were signing up for when you married him.
Package deal -- you always get the family, too.
Oh, yes, you are welcome, Miss Clemson.
And just to show you that it doesn't have to be summer for them to provide our entertainment...
This is normal.  I just have to keep taking pictures, because anything can happen.
They feed off of each other.  They keep me in stitches.
Congrats to Catherine on the college decision!  So exciting!