Saturday, July 31, 2010

One of My Favorite Places in the World

Home is absolutely where my heart is, but sometimes I want a little adventure and DH and I have some favorite places. THIS is one of them:

It is the Ritz Carlton St. Thomas, USVI and it is PERFECT. DH & I just love it there. We are very thankful that we were able to spend our 15th anniversary there. The views are incredible! Can you imagine?

We love how you can see the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea, the sand, and the mountains on St. John. When we travel, we like the 3 L's... Luxury Luxury Luxury. Listen honey, I work too hard at home to go on vacation to work. I want to relax and be pampered. I'd rather wait until we can afford to go than to go somewhere less expensive and not have a wonderful room to enjoy and to not have service. The Ritz is known for its phenomenal service. We love the Club level where we can eat and drink to our heart's content and we were able to get to know special Ritz ladies and gentlemen like Velma, Jessie, and Gerard. We also made new friends from Long Island, Boston, Raleigh, Miami, and Los Angeles. What fun! We LOVE making trip friends.

The best part of our trip was that I was able to spend 5 nights with the man I love. I didn't have to change a diaper, answer the phone, clean dishes, cut anyone's meat, prepare meals, wash clothes, read to anyone, or have our conversation interrupted. Don't get me wrong, I love every bit of doing those things when I am home. However, sometimes we need to disconnect and just focus on each other. It is a joy, privilege, and blessing to do so. I am so thankful that we did! It was a fine way to celebrate 15 happy years! We miss you, Ritz Carlton!

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Cracks Me UP!

I am trying my BEST to teach our little monkeys how to help around the house. I think it's so important for so many reasons. Firt of all, it teaches children to be unselfish and to think of someone other than themselves. If you are serving your family, your focus is no longer on YOU.

Helping me with housework teaches the children to honor me as their mother. The Bible teaches us to "Honor your father and mother", and it is so important. I can think of so many times I did not honor my parents or my Lord. Prayerfully we are teaching our children early how to honor us, as it is a God-given commandment! :)

Housework also teaches our children the importance of keeping a neat home and it gives them the skills to do it. If they go off to college having never cleaned a toilet or folded laundry, I would not have equipped them well. It is our job as parents to equip our children.

I am not perfect at teaching our children or doing any of the above, as you will see in the picture below. I asked one of the children to unload the dishwasher. This is what I found:

It was no one's fault but mine that I didn't explain the job well! I forgot to mention putting things away! However, our little one did stack well, didn't she?!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday, Buggy!

Our Bug is 7 today! I can hardly believe it. I can't wait to finish the story from yesterday. So... the doctor on call told me to call back when my contractions were stronger. I decided I couldn't wait any longer, so I called our new sister-in-law of just 6 weeks, and asked her to come and spend the night with the triplets. Don't you know she wished she hadn't answered that phone call?! Thankfully we're still friends!
**If you can't handle medical terms surrounding a birth, pleae do not read!**
DH & I arrived at the hospital around 11pm. They checked me in and the doctor started challenging me as to why I was scheduled for a c-section the following week. Well, dear doc, let me count the ways:

-My body carried and delivered TRIPLETS by c-section... my womb is stretched and probably very, very tired

-VBACs are great for those who have carried one, not THREE

-With a VBAC on a compromised uterus, there is an increased chance of rupturing the uterus.

-The doctor who was managing my care agreed that a c-section was best

For some reason, she wanted to argue with me and tell me that I should try a VBAC .... and I was only 1 centimeter. I'm sorry but starting at 1 and having hours of labor to go, while putting the baby at risk, is not my idea of a good time. In comes the drama. The doctor realized that my water had broken... TWO DAYS EARLIER. Suddenly she became frantic and said I needed an immediate c-section. All of this happened while DH stepped out to call and friends and family to tell them that baby #4 was on his or her way.
In walks DH, only to find a very panicked Mama Henley. I had become completely nervous, and I think I was having a panic attack. Words were bouncing around like, "We need to get the baby out NOW. The baby is in an unsterile environment and it has been over 48 hours. Let's prep her for surgery NOW." I was scared to death. DH prayed for me and asked for anti-anxiety meds. They said I couldn't have anything for anxiety or nausea until the baby was born. I wasn't going to need anything after I knew the baby was okay, but at this point, I was TERRIFIED of losing our baby. I do trust the Lord, but I admit that I was afraid.
Thankfully, our 4th bundle of joy, whom we were convinced was a boy, was born at 1:00AM on July 28th! SHE weighed 7 pounds even and was 20 1/2 inches long. Our precious baby girl was perfect and was affectionately named after both grandmothers.

I had adored Dr. Smith at our practice. However, the 2 women in his practice steered me completely WRONG. I switched practices to use the doctor we had when the triplets were born. I just couldn't risk having that kind of care another time. It proved to me that we should all take ANY kind of medical care into our own hands. What kind of experiences have you had where you had to take your car into your own hands?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7 Years Ago...

Seven years ago today I was the proud mother of two year old triplets who was expecting a very special surprise on August 6th. I had no idea that our baby bunting would decide that she had no intention of waiting that long. On Sunday night, July 27, 2003, I had no idea what glorious gift we would be given the next day.
The night before on Friday the 26th, I had thrown a small birthday gathering for my sweet DH whose birthday is the 29th. I decided to celebrate his birthday early since I was scheduled for a c-section on August 1st. We had our dear MH come to help with the children while I prepared for the party. Somehow we had time to run to Dos Taquitos to eat before our sweet guests arrived. As we left, I felt like perhaps my water had broken right there in the parking lot. I called my doctor who was on call AT THE HOSPITAL. In other words, it would have inconvenienced her in NO WAY had she asked me to come into the hospital to be checked. She did not. She told me that it sounded like I was fine and to not worry about it.
Therefore, I had DH's party and worried all night that something more might happen in front of our guests. It didn't, so the next day I SAT ON THE GROUND and painted chairs. Remember, I have trusted the medical professional and believe that there is no way my water broke.
Sunday morning the 5 of us went to church. While I felt uncomfortable, I sat through the service and came home afterwards. That evening my brother and his new bride brought over some delicious lasagna and we enjoyed a great meal together. I continued to feel ill and started feeling like I had the flu. Then, I began to have contractions.
I called our wise medical professional, who informed me that I was not having strong contractions because I was speaking too well. Never mind that they were less than 5 minutes apart, mind you. At 10pm, I called her back and then told her that I was going to come to the hospital (where she was ON CALL) because I could not scramble for help with 2 year old triplets any later than that. She told me I would most likely be sent home, but DH & I packed our bags anyway and went to the hospital.
The story will be continued tomorrow as we celebrate the birth of our fabulous blessing #4, our dear Bug. We love you, Buggy!

Tuesday's Tip

Do you love ice cream cake? Baskin Robbins makes a wonderful mint chocolate chip cake! I love it! Well, I have the best tip for you when you are cutting your Baskin Robbins or Coldstone ice cream cake. Run hot water over your knife blade. This creates a clean cut and keeps the cake from falling apart when you cut it! Thank you to my friend, Janie's, mama for this great tip!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Terrific Tortilla Soup

Last weekend we were privy to a fantastic dinner of tortilla soup served poolside Chez Mama Henley. The best part is that I didn't even have to cook! Our dear friend, Wendy, made dinner for us after I had invited them over for swimming and dinner for the children and take out for the adults! Wendy called and offered to make tortilla soup instead. I must admit, I had my doubts. Would soup really fill us up or would we all be hungry after dinner? Wendy said it was our mutual friend, K's, recipe, and boy, is it a DELICIOUS one!! It is now a new staple at Mama Henley's house. I made it again last Monday night and now we're making it again THIS Monday night. It's super easy, FILLING, delicious, and healthy! You are going to slap yo' Mama Henley over this one!

Tampa Tortilla Soup

one rotisserie chicken or 4 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Pull meat off of rotisserie chicken or pull apart cooked chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces)

one onion, sauteed in olive oil until limp and well-cooked

(1 tsp. minced garlic) one clove garlic, sauteed with onions once they have cooked

1 large can creamed corn

1 cup salsa (the fresh salsa at Publix is FABULOUS!... use medium for more heat)

4 cups chicken stock.... I used the broth that I used to cook my chicken breasts and then added some Progresso broth to it

1 /4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp chili powder

**I season to taste with the cumin & chili powder**

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon lime juice

Saute' onion in olive oil until well-cooked and limp. Add garlic and saute'. Then add remaining ingredients in a large pot and heat through for about 10 minutes. I like to double this recipe and feed another family too!

Serve with salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips (Wendy recommends the lime ones!), shredded cheese, jalopenos, cilantro, or whatever else strikes your fancy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What Will Transpire in Season 4??

Can you STAND it? Mad Men SEASON FOUR premiers tomorrow night. Fans can hardly hold their excitement! DH and I have made sure the DVR is ready to record the show. The show intrigues me with its character depth, the amazing couture, and the way it characterizes a unique time in history. Since I was a product of the 1970s, I did not live during this time. I find it all very interesting, don't you?

The only problem with the show is all of Don's indiscretions. For some reason his mistakes tend to make me testy. Suddenly I think I am Betty Draper and I feel wronged. So, sometimes DH discourages me from watching the show! When you read a book or watch a show, do you begin to think of yourself as the character?

Will you join the crowds who are watching Mad Men tomorrow night? I know I will!

Check on the Ole Bucket List

DH has heard about Jost Van Dyke for years. It is an island in the British Virgin Islands that is famous for two places, Foxy's and Soggy Dollar Bar. Foxy's is where MTV comes to show live the biggest New Year's Eve party in the Caribbean. You can only reach Jost Van Dyke by boat, and you have to go through customs when you arrive.

We recently visited aboard the Lady Lynsey. It was fun to see this beautiful island while abstaining from the perils of Foxy's and Soggy Dollar Bar. For this once in a lifetime visit, we did buy t-shirts! Have you ever been to Jost Van Dyke? What did you think?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy 15 years, DH!

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary. I can hardly believe we've been married for 15 years!! It seems like just yesterday we met at the University of Georgia. It's not possible for us to have been married for 15 years. However, I am so thankful for a marriage that has grown and matured through the years. Today we've been asked many times what the secret is to 15 years of marriage. Granted, a long marriage is one that is 40 or 50 years, but by today's standards, it seems 15 years is LONG. Marriages are often short-lived in our modern world.
There is no secret to a good marriage. You've heard the answer a million times. Truly, I believe we are still happily married because we both believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. He is our firm foundation. Without Him, we would not make it. Thankfully we have remained faithful and have fallen even more in love today than we were 15 years ago. That didn't seem possible on our wedding day, but it is true.
DH and I have faced many challenges and struggles, as we all do. I believe Christ has equipped us to go through these things together. We have grown stronger because of our challenges.
Thankfully DH also makes me laugh. He is so funny. He can turn any situation around just by his sense of humor. He also loves and respects me. He is tender-hearted.
I pray that our children will also have long and happy marriages. In fact, I'm already praying for their spouses. At dinner the other night, I heard a man tell his young bride that he did not believe in fate. He told her that if she had done something (I couldn't hear what), he would have quit pursuing her. Well, I do believe in predestination. I believe DH is the man God chose for me. And, today I am so grateful. Happy 15 years, DH! May we have at least 40 more!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday's Tip for Being a Good Hostess

It is summertime, which means you may be having visitors! We LOVE having visitors here in the land of sun and fun. Therefore, it's important that I try to be a good hostess. For those early visitors, I was not too good. However, the more entrenched in Florida we become, the more I try to be an outstanding hostess:).

First of all, be sure to ask your guests if they have any favorites that you might have on hand. For example, I am a girl who loves her Diet Dew and Diet Pepsi. When I have visited FB in NYC or B in TN, I am welcomed by a fridge filled with Diet Pepsi. My sweet mother-in-law does the same thing, and it is a wonderful touch. If you know your guest only drinks bottled water, then try to have some on hand. If they have a sweet tooth, then you need to go to the Farmer's Market in Raleigh and pick up a caramel cake or visit Wright's here in Tampa for one of their culinary delights. On the other hand, if your guest has let you know that she is watching her girlish figure, then try to keep the Zapp's chips at bay, and pull out the carrot sticks!

Secondly, you will want to make sure you have a comfortable guest room. It is recommended that you spend a night in your own guest room so that you are aware of any problems such as the temperature, a poor pillow, or dirt or a foul smell or whatever! Buy comfortable, inviting linens that will entice your guest to sleep. It's also important that you use a calming paint color in a guest room. In our house, our son's room becomes our guest room. Therefore, I give the room a heavy cleaning before each guest arrives. I dust, organize, and scrub. My dear parents couldn't bare to tell me that I did not have any hangers that would fit their clothes! They finally fessed up and I immediately went out and bought some nice velvet covered hangers for our guests' clothes. Be aware!

I like to put stamped postcards from our city in our guest room, along with a pretty pen. Friends can send a note to a loved one about the fabulous time we are having together!

It is also nice to welcome your guest with a gift, though I am often forgetful and do not do this every time. I bought the CUTEST bags at that hold a bottled water and snacks for a guest's journey home. I have filled one for my mother-in-law for her next visit! It is the perfect welcome gift and the bag is GREEN!

At night, I try to leave a special piece of chocolate like Toblerone, Godiva, or some other special treat on their pillow when I fold down the top sheet. Again, this does not happen for every guest or every night!

Sometimes I'll put pretty music on in the room or light a candle in their bathroom or some other special touch. I try to keep their trash can emptied and will often clean their bathroom during our guest's stay, just like you might find at a nice hotel.

How do you make your guests feel special?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tip on Monday

My friend, J, has the best ideas. Since she is not a blogger, I am totally stealing her tip for Tuesday's Tip on Sunday! When speaking with her about our upcoming trip for our 15th anniversary, she had a wonderful suggestion. Of course we are packing bathing suits and good books to read, but she suggested one other thing. She said that I needed to be sure to pack my travel candle. What is so funny is that I have looked at the lovely Seda France and Voluspa travel tin candles in the stores many, many times. However, for some reason I have never purchased one. Well, J says they add to a romantic weekend, so guess what I am off to buy tomorrow! Also, be sure to pack some matches! Just be sure that both items are in your checked bag, not your carry-on! Toot a loo!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Artist Ben Johnson

Years ago DH and I discovered an artist we just LOVED. We are not Art History majors or owners of a huge collection of priceless art, but we fell in love with Ben Johnson's work. His paintings evoked great feelings in each of us. Someone told us to buy art that evokes feeling in you, not necessarily what everyone else says you should buy. Our favorite art work in our home is our paintings of our children by Art Gallery Originals. Our favorite artist of things other than our children is Ben Johnson. (One day we also want to own a large Kennedi Benjamin painting as she is another great artist who has also become a wonderful friend!) When we first discovered him in 2004 in Martha's Vineyard, he was painting a lot of paintings of sheep. With our strong belief in a Savior who is known as the Great Shepherd, these paintings had both personal and spiritual meaning to us.

Imagine my surprise when DH bought our favorite painting from the Field Gallery for a surprise anniversary gift for me. I absolutely could not believe it! First of all, we were the proud parents of 2 year old triplets and a baby, so art was not a priority. I also could not get over the fact that DH was so thoughtful... or that I now owned a piece of Ben Johnson's artwork! It first lived on the wall in our Master bedroom just above our bed. It was a reminder of how the Heavenly Spirit holds us up each day, no matter what we are going through at the time. It was also a sweet picture of 2 people (sheep) who love each other, nuzzled closely together, with one supporting the other. I love it. Today it proudly hangs in our dining room!

I just read that Ben Johnson's new works will be on display beginning tomorrow at the Field Gallery in Martha's Vineyard. I wish I could go! He has some interesting new landscapes and still life paintings. He has been painting a lot of birds as his interests have turned towards Ornithology.

I think these 2 landscapes are also gorgeous. His paintings are so peaceful and calm. I just love them!

I hope you'll visit his website. However, if the painting of the 6 sheep is still available, please don't buy it! It's on my "Dream On, Baby, it's Never Gonna Happen" list!!!!

Are you ready to plan?

I love a good calendar. An agenda that can go with me wherever I go is one of my closest friends. I love to have my days planned and to know where I'll be in the coming days, weeks, and months. Are you the same way? Last year my fabulous sister-in-law gave me the Lilly Pulitzer 2010 agenda. I have LOVED it. It is so pretty and makes writing down commitments FUN! This year's agenda will be for 17 months, beginning this August! How great is that!

In the past, I have loved the Quo Vadis Daily planner. You can see it at I have ordered the 2011 calendar in lavender, my signature color. I love Tiffany blue, greens, and pinks, too but the lavender called my name.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fat Friday

Trolly Stop hot dogs is a Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina institution. If you are in Wilmington or near Wrightsville Beach, you need to stop. It is a place famous for its many varieties of delicious hot dogs. Personally, as a good native North Carolinian, I love the North Carolina dog with slaw, chili, and mustard. I don't mind some onions on top too!

The menu is creative with North Carolina names for the different styles of hot dogs. You order inside, pay with cash, and sit outside watching the people and boats pass by as you devour your dog. Life is good.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm so excited!

Brianna at the Pink Pelican just contacted me!!! Since we have 5 little dahlins, she is going to send us 5 packs of these precious Lilly animal crackers!!! We are SO excited!!! Thank you, Pink Pelican!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

God is sovereign, even over the little things

When DH and I do go away for our anniversary, it will be a miracle. It will be a miracle because it's not everyday that you can leave behind 5 children and enjoy time with just one another. Another miracle will be that not only have I found someone to keep them, but that I will actually get on the plane and go. Worry is a sin that is a daily struggle for me. If I hear a story of a death or illness or any ill-will, I become convinced that the same thing is going to happen to me or someone in my family. God does not want us to worry. After all, He reminds us over and over again that He has a plan for each of our lives. He loves us. He even knows the number of hairs on our heads... and keeping track with mine must keep him busy since I am always losing hair! I must surrender my worry at His feet. I must hold out my hand and trust Him with my children and all of our safety. Do you struggle with this? Will you join me in praying against my worry over this trip? I so need His peace!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sleeping Porches

Ever since I was a little girl, I have thought sleeping porches are wonderful. I love to be around people, and the idea of sleeping in the same room with friends or siblings seems fun. One of my friends grew up with a family beach house in Atlantic Beach that had a girls side and a boys side upstairs. The rooms were filled with beds so that all of the cousins could sleep (or perhaps play) together.

In college, I remember visiting our friends at the Tri Delt house at UNC where they had a sleeping porch. It was kept extra cold and the beds looked comfortable and inviting. One of my best Camp Greystone friends also had a sleeping porch at the KD house at Alabama, as did my friend at the Tri Delt house at Ole Miss. No alarm clocks were allowed. Rather, you had to find a responsible friend who would come and wake you for class. It seemed very Old South and wonderful as an outsider. Perhaps it was a nightmare in reality, but it seemed fun to me.

Sleeping porches were initially built for the hottest summer nights in hopes that the residents might catch any amount of breeze as it passed by the hot house in an era before air conditioning and locked windows. It was also thought that the cool night air had healing qualities and might fight off tuberculosis. Madeline made the look of an orphanage bedroom look fun in the book about her growing up in Paris. Camp Greystone even has a wonderfully inviting infirmary full of colorful beds.

All of these images and visions have made me long for a sleeping porch or fun bunk room now that we have 4 sleeping beauties and 1 sleeping prince of our own. I think it would be fun to add a sleeping porch onto a home! It would be filled with beds outfitted with the most comfortable and cozy linens. Perhaps I'd paint it a pale Florida blue or I might just use the colors of my bedroom with DH which is Monterrey White or perhaps Monroe Bisque (I can't remember) with a pale peony ceiling, since pale pink evokes calm and sleep.

What are your thoughts on a sleeping porch or fun bunk room?

***Many images taken from Pottery Barn Kids***

Tuesday's Tip on Travel

DH and I have burned some rubber on the roads leading out of Florida into Georgia. We've been to the NC mountains, Macon, Georgia, Atlanta, Raleigh, NC, Hilton Head, SC, Savannah, and to the beach in North Carolina. These trips are not for those with weak stomachs. All of these routes take a minimum of 6 to 10 hours. We add to our excitement by carrying five children with us on these excursions. Two of the five have known carsickness. I have learned the art of traveling quickly, lightly, and with little vomiting action. Here are my tips:

-Choose a place to visit that has a washer and dryer. If you are staying with someone else, ask in advance if you can use their machines like you are at home. Bring plenty of detergent, Shout, and dryer sheets, and leave them with your hostess as a thank you for letting you use her machines. Being able to wash your clothes will save you when it comes to packing.

-Pack as lightly as possible because clothes procreate in your bags. For a 2 week trip to North Carolina, I only packed 3 pairs of underwear per daughter (with the exception of our 3-year old who needed more just in case). This did mean that I had to stay on top of our washing, so if you think you'll have little time to wash, add a pair or two more.

-Choose 2 great looking outfits for yourself and up to 3 smocked dresses or cute outfits for your children. If you are staying for just a weekend, you only need 1 or 2 special dresses for girls, and a nice pair of shorts or pants for a boy with 2 polo shirts.

-Plan your outfits in advance so that you know what you need for each occasion. We dress up to play Bingo at the beach, so I packed matching dresses for our girls and a nice shirt and shorts for our boy.

-Pack one pair of shoes for the beach or pool. Little children do not need a new pair of shoes for every bathing suit while on vacation.

-Pack 2 or 3 bathing suits and swim shirts.

-Pack 2 pairs of playclothes/ shorts and t-shirts and 3 pairs of socks.

-Pack one pair of nice shoes for children that will match every outfit. We chose gold Sun San sandals for our girls.

-If at all possible, do not pack towels and sheets.

-Leave the family pet at home if you have a good pet sitter/boarder.

-DO pack a cooler with water, drinks, and snacks like fruit or cheese sticks.

-DO fill a water bottle with ice and water for each child but encourage them to not drink it all at one time.

-Do bring a book per child for them to read, one or 2 games, and some art supplies for rainy days.

-If you are going to leave extra early in the morning, give the children a bath and then have them sleep IN THEIR CLOTHES. Leave out their toothbrushes, toothpaste, ONE hairbrush, and their shoes. Those things can easily be added to the car in the morning. This eliminates a big pile of pajamas and a struggle to get dressed when you are trying to get out the door. Our family of 7 left at 6 am because the children slept in their clothes!

-Go to the grocery store and buy yogurt or make hard-boiled eggs or buy fruit to eat in the car on your way so that you don't have to stop for breakfast.

-Get on the road early before their is a lot of traffic and your trip will be shorter! If we can do it, you can too!

-Pack new DVDs or ones the children haven't viewed in a while for entertainment as needed.

-Give Dramamine or Bonine to those who get car sick.

-Invest in a GPS. It makes a huge difference!

-Leave for your trip with a FULL tank of gas. Refill it when you are are down to a half tank!

-When you stop for lunch or dinner, use the restroom, but then eat in the car. This will save you a lot of time!

-Pack a nice hostess gift. Offer to bring a cooler full of casseroles or to buy food when you arrive. You should also bring your own alcohol.

-Bring your camera and make sure the batteries are charged and that you have a new memory card.

-Pack a travel journal if you like to write.

-Leave your room better than you found it. Wash the sheets, clean the bathroom, vacuum, or sweep.

-Write a thank you note to your host/hostess while driving for all of those hours!

-Drive carefully and be safe!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Reading

DH and I will soon celebrate FIFTEEN years of marriage! I just can't believe it. We were married when I was a wee babe of 23. Now I understand why my parents hoped we'd wait a year! We were babies. However, we had dated for a long time and we knew that the Lord had chosen us for one another. Fifteen years later, there are no doubts in my mind that DH is "the one". He is a precious blessing to me and our five children. He is intelligent, a hard worker, smart, determined, full of integrity, and about as funny as they come. I am so thankful!
I'm even more thankful that we are going to spend some time away together, just-the-two-of-us, later this month. We are going to sleep, sleep some more, take naps, swim, sail, and sit by the pool. So, I need your help, dear readers. I need a good book to read. However, I have a few requests... it must be interesting but light-hearted, I can't read about harm to a child, I can't read about someone going crazy and killing a family, and I can't read a lot about death or stalkers. Years and years ago I tried to read "The Lovely Bones", and I couldn't do it because I had become a mother. Before our triplets were born, I could read anything and the more psychotic the characters, the more I enjoyed dissecting their minds. However, now those kinds of stories haunt me if I am away from our sweet ones. One time someone called at 2am the night before we were going out of town. I almost couldn't leave town because of the unknown caller. You get my point. I love Southern literature. I love to laugh. We all love a good love story. What do you suggest?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two Angels

We recently spent some quality time in the great state of North Carolina. North Carolina hails many great leaders and special people, including our five children who were born there. Imagine our delight when we came across two angels in the Old North State. Upon driving into the city limits, we made two immediate stops. As you can see, the first stop was to meet a very tiny angel our children call "Cousin". He is one of the cutest and sweetest babies you'll ever see! The children had not yet met their only boy cousin, so they were quite excited! We all fought over who was able to hold him next. Even I had to wait in line!

Our next stop was to see another angel, and she is pictured below in her wings and all. She is the children's only girl cousin, which makes her quite unique as well! We call her "Mott Mott" as a nickname. She is hilarious and best friends with our Hurricane. She is also beautiful, sweet, and a delight to us all.

The morning after we arrived, we drove to a small NC town to see a third angel be baptized. I have not uploaded those pics yet, but I will do it soon! Her mama is like a sister to me and was the triplet's very first baby sitter! What a great trip in the company of angels!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

HE is the BOMB

My DH is the sweetest. I had no idea he had read my blog yesterday, but he did. He then went to Monkee's and BOUGHT the Flower Bomb perfume. Is that not the sweetest thing EVER??

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flower Bomb

Oh. My. Goodness. I love some good-smelling perfume. I recently visited Monkee's in Wilmington, NC, where they have fabulous clothes, shoes, and jewelry. I totally could not pull of the sequined bandana necklace, but that was a good thing since it had a $345 price tag. As I browsed with my sisters-in-law and mother, we were all overcome with happiness at a fantastic smell. Imagine our delight when we discovered the source. Wafting through the air was FLOWER BOMB by Viktor and Rolf. It is fabulous! I sprayed it all over myself so that I could continue to enjoy it. It reminds me a little bit of Prada or Mademoiselle by Chanel. What a delicious scent! Do you wear it? Have you smelled it?

Tuesday's Tip

Sometimes in a woman's life she must travel apart from her husband. I learned an important tip from a very wise woman. She says that when a woman leaves town and leaves hubby at home, she should leave a piece of sexy lingerie hanging in the bathroom as a little reminder of his sweetie. Another tip is to spray the room or his towel or his pillow with his favorite of your perfumes. Our men need to be reminded of the special love we have for them and what they will have when you return!

When I leave town, I love to leave little love notes all throughout the house. Some are found under his pillow while others are on top of his coffee maker and I usually put one in between his clean t-shirts because I know he'll find it in a few days. I always remind my friends, "Keep the fire in the fire place!" How do you do this in your home?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!!!

We love the 4th of July. I have not yet uploaded this year's pics, but it's fun to look back at the fun we had last year. The festivities always begin with Uncle and Mrs. Sam arriving at the parade.

Then, the whole island paused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Everyone is decked out in their red, white, and blue, which promotes patriotism.

The children love the trampoline jump. This year they were first in line!

We also have our annual cousin picture over snow cones that happily drip down all of their dresses and shirts. Each year I tell the children that they can have as many snow cones as they want. They love not having rules one day a year! This year one of our girls ate four!

It's always fun to swing in the hammock with everyone at the end of the day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fat Friday / Ocean Prime

Oh. My. Goodness. Now last week I discussed how I love to support local restaurants. And I really do. However, what a treat we enjoyed when our dear friend, David, visited a few weeks ago. Since he is an Independence Day baby, I wanted to honor him by telling you about the wonderful restaurant we enjoyed together. Wow.
Ever the gentleman, David called and asked a simple question, "Surf or turf?" "Well", I replied, "since we don't know how long we'll have surf, let's try surf." David said he would take care of things and called to let us know we would be dining at Ocean Prime. I had no idea what to expect from a restaurant that happens to be a chain and is located by my favorite mall. The water around the restaurant reflects beautiful lights and a fun atmosphere, but I had no idea if the food would be good or just acceptable. DH & I were happily surprised!
As we were leaving home I told our sitter where we were going. She said that the tuna tartare appetizer was her favorite. Having made it myself for a 30th birthday party for my sister-in-law, I couldn't want to try it! It did not disappoint! Fresh tuna marinated in lime juice sat atop crunchy crispies over avocado with ginger ponzu sauce. Fantastic! DH loved his oysters and I believe a lobster bisque. It was also wonderfully tasty!
For our entrees, David had scallops which he seemed to enjoy. They were a nice size and cooked well and accompanied by fresh French green beans. DH had "the best blackened snapper he'd ever had". It was seasoned perfectly as well. He ate every morsel. I loved my crab cakes and we all enjoyed the creamy whipped potatoes and green beans. We did not save room for dessert, but I am sure it was heavenly as well! So, eat local, but when you visit a city that has an Ocean Prime, you should try it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One of my Ya Yas has moved to town!

Did you girls read "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood?" I just loved all of Rebecca Wells' books. They share the trials and triumphs of life in the south. Personally I really enjoy good Southern literature and movies like "Steel Magnolias". They are a great reminder of the value of friendship. Friends are so important. Friends are there for you in good times and in bad times. They will move mountains to spend time with you and they always pick up right where you left off, just as if no time has passed. I am blessed to have many friends just like that.
Childhood friends are more like your ya yas because they have grown up with you. They know what it was like to spend the night at your house, or to visit your grandmama, or how you talk in your sleep and sleep with your eyes open. Childhood friends have stood the test of time. They remember the time you were so mean in the 7th grade, but they've since forgiven you and can now even laugh about it. They have a good memory about things you may want to forget, and likewise, you remember things about them they have long forgotten. Every friend you have fills a special part in your life. I feel so blessed to have such special friends and am thankful for every single one of them.
Well, bless my little heart. One of my childhood friends, or ya yas, has moved to my town in Florida! Can you believe it? That lil dahlin' lives just a mile and a half away. We are having the best time together. We can laugh about the time we threw potion on the boys after hiding in the ditch and we can laugh about 2 of our friends sneaking away in big sis' car only to have the horn get stuck. Therefore, they drove through town with a horn continually beeping and causing attention to their secret adventure. It is easy to help one another because we've known each other forever. While my friend thinks I have been a great help to her, she just doesn't know what a GIFT she has been to me. It is so nice to have her in town for spontaneous swims or child swaps. Ya Ya dear, welcome to Tampa! I'm so glad you're here!