Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fashion with Bug

So, Emma was gifted a super cute matching raincoat and umbrella set.
What can I say?  My aunt, Lesley, knows my girls all too well.
She told the girls to stop by her house because they each had a "surprise".
Emma got the cute raincoat and umbrella.
Caroline got an awesome layered peace sign necklace from American Eagle.
They were both super excited.
Caroline did not take her necklace off.  She slept in it.  Safe, I know.
Lucky for Emma, it rained the day after she got her raincoat.
She put it to good use.
Umbrella: Target
Shirt: Old Navy

The next day was sunny though.
Do you think that stopped Bug from wearing her raincoat again?
I don't think so.
She HAD to wear it.

Dress: Old Navy
Leggings: Old Navy

Big thank you to Keith, Lesley, Carey and Mary George for the gifts.  The girls LOVE them!!  You all are the best!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Those moments in life where you want to say a REALLY ugly word. This is one.

"PAY ATTENTION!" I mouthed to Caroline at tennis lessons the other night.

She had done so well.

"Wow!  Caroline is really doing great," one mom commented.

"Caroline is really good," another mom said.

Oh, stop it.

She is good.  She likes those one man sports that she only has herself to worry about.

She likes tennis therefore she is pretty good at it.

After such a great lesson, I was confused as to why she wasn't paying attention during the last part of class.

"PAY ATTENTION!  GET THE BALL!" I said a little louder this time.

As soon as it was time for ball pick up, Caroline ran to me with panic on her face.

"Caroline, go pick up the balls with everyone else."

"But MOM!"  She had a chunk of hair in her hand that was caked in gum.

Damn.  This is one of those moments in life where I wanted to say a REALLY ugly word.  Like really ugly.

What am I supposed to do?

I thought for a moment.

I did what any awesome mother would do... I tucked the gum wad/hair wad behind her ear, patted her on the butt and said, "Go back out there.  We will deal with it later."


"Caroline, I don't have time to deal with it right now.  I have had enough today.  I am over it.  I will deal with it when I get home."

She pushed on the gum to stick it to the back of her ear and ran out on the court to pick up balls.

We came home.

We tried ice.  It didn't work.

I was over it.  "Whatever, I am just going to cut it out."


"Well Caroline, I don't know what else to do."

We went to the bathroom.  I took pictures to document this event.

First gum wad... check.

How did the gum get in her hair you ask?

She says it just fell out of her mouth and landed in her hair.


What is even better is the fact that I didn't even know she had gum in her mouth.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ice, ice baby

Ice is always so pretty to photograph.

The sun came out just a bit this afternoon and I ran outside to get a few pictures.

Ice + sun= so much fun

I love this picture.

I was playing with the sun when I was taking this shot so I wasn't even paying too much attention to the tree.

I love the one little leaf in the middle hanging on for dear life.

My pillows ice over and the girls thought that was so cool.

Now, ice... please go away.  We don't like you.

Emma Monthly Letter: 52 Months

...Just laying around at Target...

1584 days.

52 months.

In your 52nd month of life, you decided your hair was finally long.

You bounced down the hall with your hand behind your back.

"Look, Daddy.  I can touch my hair now.  It is so long."

Your Daddy flashed you a quick smile and told you it was beautiful.

"Like a princess," you sang.

Yep, just like a princess, Bug.

You've had a little extra pep in your step due to the fact that your hair is finally long.

Maybe a little too much pep.

You are a clumsy child.  If someone is going to get hurt, it is going to be you.

If someone is going to wake up with a bruise on their head and not know what happened, it is you.  (That happened this morning.)

This morning the deck was iced over.  You and Big thought it was cool and ran to get your boots.

You had on Bella Ella (your horse night gown), snow boots and a coat.

Nothing on your legs.

Before I could say anything you were out the door.

Seconds after you ran out, I heard a THUD and there you were.  Laid out on the sheet of ice on the deck.

You came back in, cried for a moment and moved on.

You have always been strong.  Always been a fighter.  The sweet, sensitize child that carries her own.  The protector, giver, caretaker.

But you've always been clumsy.

Clumsy Bug with long hair now.

Love always,


PS- This is your first picture you drew of our family.  You also added a flower and a butterfly.  The butterfly even has a little dotted line trail behind it.  Precious.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Caroline: 78 Month Letter

Dear Caroline,

2371 days.

You have been on this Earth for 2371 days.  Don't worry.  I used a calendar calculator to figure that out.  I didn't count each day.

It has been a trying month for you.  After Christmas break, much to your dismay, you returned to school.

First grade.  Man, it is a tough one.  You were slammed with a penguin research project (damn you, core curriculum) and you made your first C on a test.  You showed it to your Dad first.  Actually, I think he just got your test papers out of your folder first.

He talked to you about it.  Why did you not answer these two questions?  Why did you not follow directions and write the equation?  What in the world?  You did this as an addition problem when really it was a subtraction problem!

You teared up.  Your little heart was broken.  You walked in my room as I was working on the computer.  In those short 20 or so steps you took to get to me, you had already thought up excuses for every single problem you got wrong.

I wrote down those answers but they were wrong so I erased them.  You can't see where I erased them because the teacher gave me a really good eraser.

I didn't hear her say to write the equation!  She hasn't told us all week to write the equation!  How was I supposed to know?

I added those number because I read that question wrong.

You had messed up.  You messed up and you were trying to make things right.

In your little first grade brain, you were trying to make it better.

We have moved on and you know that you can do better.  Lesson learned.  Take your time, kid. Slow down.  You don't have to be the first to finish on everything that you do.

As for your penguin project, you are doing the research at school.  You were asked to build a penguin at home and bring it in.  You got a royal penguin.

Do you know who much I love penguins?  Oh, I love them.  Because of my love for them, I think you find them extra cool too.

Most kids will bring toilet paper roll penguins, styrofoam penguins, paper penguins.  Not you, my go-big-or-go-home child.

You will show up Friday morning with this....

Drawn by Grandmom.

Cut out by Poppy.

Painted by Caroline & Mommy.  (We have to finish painting the eye and add his head feathers.  REAL feathers, I might add, per your request.)

Go big or go home.

Paper just would not do in your eyes.


It had to be made of wood.

You, my sweet child, will always keep us on our toes.

On the bright side, you will always keep us young.

(I am going to be an optimist in this situation.)

Love always,

PS- You shucked your first oyster during your 78th month of life.  Pretty cool, I think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


So far, I know I want to read:

- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

- The Shack by WM. Paul Young

- Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

- Life As I Blow It by Sarah Colonna

- The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

- Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly

- The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

- Jigsaw by Ted Mill Brogden

- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

- To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee

It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong (why have I not read this book yet?  Dooce is my favorite blog ever and I haven't read her books.  Shame on me.)

- Dear Daughter by Heather B. Armstrong

- Bossypants by Tina Fey

What other fabulous books should I read this year?  I need loads of suggestions.  I have to get through 28 books.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


My Nana recently gifted me with two fire engine red ceramic vintage bulls.

Most people could care less.

But me?  I am so excited.  More than excited really.  I am superduperoverthemoongiddy.

Here's the story...

I recently went to Bonfire's with my Mom and she noticed a bull they had out as decor.

"Nana had a bull just like that."

It was ugly.

It was brown.

It was big and bucky.

In other words, I loved it.


Come to find out there were actually TWO big, ugly brown bulls in our family.  One of which is now sitting comfortably in my uncle's dining room.  The other's whereabouts are unknown at this time.

Brandon was not giving his up.

So, I moved on.

I gave up.

"One day when you least expect it, the bull will be found," I told myself.

Well, no such luck.  However, good things come to those that wait.


Two bulls instead of one.


Not brown.


So kick ass.

So awesome.

So me.

Nana saw them and snatched them up.

She gave them to me because she is the best Nana in the world.

I love her.

I love them.

I have moved them around a million times today.

I am going to find the perfect place for them.

They belong to ME and I couldn't be more thrilled.

My Nana rocks, yes?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Youtube Link Overload

Jon Schmidt is the most amazing pianist I have ever seen.

Being that we live in an age where "pianists" aren't the coolest to most people, he actually makes playing the piano cool.

Have you ever seen someone play the piano upside down?

Jon Schmidt can.

Have you ever seen someone play the piano with their toes (check out 2:50 on the video)?

Jon Schmidt can.

How about their nose (check out 2:58 on the video)?

Or elbows?

Jon Schmidt can.

I challenge you to go to youtube and search for him.  Watch one of his videos and your life will forever change.

He is awesome.

So awesome.

So, when I found out about The Piano Guys and saw that Jon Schmidt was part of the mix I was so excited.

Then I saw that the cellist was Steven Sharp Nelson.

Hello, have you ever heard their Love Story Meets Viva la Vida?  (click it, I dare you)

Anyway, long story short these guys are awesome.

Just watch this video.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Why there is no Fashion with Big

Caroline was born with guns blazing.

Eyes wide open (literally).

Ready to take on this world and not back down.

She definitely marches to the beat of her own drum.

So, when someone recently asked "Why don't you do a Fashion with Big segment on your blog too?"

I chuckled a little.

Obviously, my Caroline is NOT a dressy bessy like her sister.

She does have a few staples in her closest.

1. Cotton shirts with the occasional cardigan...

Some are Crew Cuts, The Children's Place, Old Navy, 7 For All Man Kind, Polo, etc.  She could care less.  As long as it is cotton and comfy.  She is down with it.  Dresses are a battle that I don't like to fight.

2.  Merrell Tennis Shoes

She picked these out.  She thought the toggle was super cool.  The fact that they are waterproof is even more cool.  She will jump in a puddle in a hot minute.  "Look Mom!  Waterproof!"  Yeah, but your jeans are not sweet child.

3.  Launch Slouch Boots

Big got these for Christmas and they are already scuffed so badly.  Damn scooter.  She loves them.  She says they are "com-fort-a-ble".  Therefore, she wears them.

4.  Pants/Shorts

Girlfriend loves jeans, khakis, and athletic shorts.  She HATES leggings and skirts.  Let's not even talk about tights.

So, in short, Big isn't into glitter/glitz/glam (thought she does love a peace sign).  She has a few key pieces and they all equal comfort.  She has her own sense of style but in a much different way than Bug.

Both girls are always dressed cute.

The girls are just so different in so many ways.  Fashion just happens to be one of them.

I guess since Bug doesn't express herself in so many words, clothes are her way to express herself.

Big expresses herself in words and she has NEVER been short on them.

Fashion with Bug {13:2}

This is also one of Bug's favorite outfits.
She normally wears a skirt AND leggings with it but she didn't mention the skirt yesterday morning and I didn't bring it up.  Ha!
Shoes: Uggs
She insisted that I curl her hair.  She also requested her purple sparkle jacket and pink & purple bow.
This kid loves animals.  She loves dogs, cats, goats, pigs... you name it, she loves it.
There is a black and white dog that has been roaming the neighborhood during the day.  While we were taking pictures yesterday morning, she came to visit Bug.
It made Bug's whole morning!

She is not trying to bite Bug's face off.  She loves Bug so much she tries to lick and kiss her over and over again.  Gross, I know.
The dog is not very fond of me because I am constantly yelling at it to get off Bug.

 Bug wouldn't come inside to get her backpack and snack.
She HAD to stay outside with black and white dog.
Then she let black and white dog get in my car.
Gross, I know.
I yelled.
Black and white dog hopped out.
We sanitized hands, faces, etc.
We were off to school.
Don't you worry though.  Black and white dog came back for an afternoon visit.
That Bug makes me smile. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Mexicos.

Me: "Bug, what a great picture!  I love that igloo you made."

Bug:  "Thanks."

Me: "Did you learn about igloos today?"

Bug: "Yes."

It is like pulling teeth getting information out of a 4 year old.

Me: "What do you know about them now?"

Bug: "They are made of ice where it is cold.  We, like, live in the middle, kinda at the bottom.  The Mexicos live up at the top near Santa Claus."

Me: "The what?"

Bug: "The Mexicos."

Me: "Oh, but Mexico is at the bottom (of the map)."

Bug: "Ugh!  See, I colored a picture of one.  They live in igloos... at the top (of the map)."

Me: "Oh, you mean eskimos."

Bug: "No.  I mean Mexicos."

She was done with that conversation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Now that we are 9 days into the New Year, let's discuss what I will be doing this year.

I loved reading Ashley's post and Shayna's list is so awesome.

Mine isn't great but it fits me.

Here is the list from last year.

I am slowly saving the world one beer can at a time.  I am driving a more environmentally friendly car.  All of the light bulbs in my house are now energy saver mercury light bulbs.  So I have done good with the going green.

I did do the Dukan Diet... for a few days.  It was terrible.  I lost 20 pounds and have kept it off.  So I accomplished that challenge last year too.

So here are my new list of challenges.  I like the word challenges better than any other word because that is what these are going to be.  Challenges.

Challenges for 2013

1.  Read 28 books.  Shayna had this on her list.  I think it is fantastic!  We are on day nine and I am finishing up book one.  If you read a book every 13 days, you will accomplish this goal.  It can be done.  28 books during my 28 year of life.  Awesome.

2.  Print more pictures.  I take pictures of my children but the most recent printed photo I have of Caroline is when she was 3 and Emma when she was 2.

3.  Take more video of my children.  Ryan was browsing my blog last night and came across this post.  I could watch that little Bug sing over and over and over again.  We laughed together while we watched the videos.  It made me so happy that I saved video like this.  It is something we can watch together in 15 years.  It just makes my heart so happy.

4.  The biggie... blog more.  Most of you are rolling your eyes.  She is going to blog more?  Yeah right.  See the above challenge.  I need to do more posts like this.  Not for myself or you (my readers) but for my precious girls.

So, those are my challenges.  What are yours?? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cutting my hair.

I shared this on Instagram, but I wanted to share with my blog too.


After being able to wash my sheets yesterday, I was feeling like a new person.

I was so excited.

Then, I had a moment with my hair.

I walked by the mirror in front of our entry and scared myself.

I was beginning to resemble Morticia Addams... again.

I grabbed a nice sharp pair of scissors and headed to the bathroom.

What I thought were sharp scissors were obviously dulled by the trims I gave the girls a few days ago.

I had to do something.

I went to Caroline's room, grabbed Bug's star scissors and cut a little over an inch off of my hair.

I used the dead ends as a guide to keep the cut pretty straight.

So, yes.  Add "cosmetologist-who-works-with-children-scissors" to my resume.

I think I've got mad skills.  I could have done a crap job with those things.

It was luck.

I've got it on my side since I didn't wash my sheets.

Sorry my hair blends in my with shirt.  #blackhairprobz

Monday, January 7, 2013

Old Christmas

If you are close to me, you know I am superstitious.

I am OCD on top of that.

In other words, I am crazy.

If I forget and I have to come back in the house to get it, I have to sit down and cross my legs (superstitious).  I have to cross and uncross them 3 times (OCD).  Do you follow?  It is strange.  I can't help it.

Anyway, my great grandma Reba was superstitious as well.

There is this thing called "Old Christmas".  I have always heard the term but I just did a little research and found out what "Old Christmas" is.

You can read all about it here but in short, in 1582 the Julian calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar.

However, Protestant Europe kept the old Julian calendar for almost 200 years longer than everyone else setting them back 11 days when they switched calendars.  Therefore after the calendar switched, Christmas was moved back from January 6th to December 25th.

These protestants raised hell claiming the 11 days had been stolen from them.  Blahblahblah.

North Carolina was oblivious to all of this calendar changing/loss of 11 days.  (Opps.)

So, North Carolina was still celebrating on the old Christmas date, January 6th.

And so "Old Christmas" was born when we started celebrating with the rest of the people on December 25th.

According to the website, some people don't remove ashes from their fireplaces during those days because they were superstitious.

Then there are those crazies like me that will not wash my sheets from Christmas (Decemeber 25th) to "Old Christmas" (January 6th).

If my Grandma Reba told us not to do it, we better not.

To be on the safe side we've carried on with the tradition.  My Mom, Aunt, and Nana will not wash our sheets.  What have we got to lose?  We don't have to wash sheets AND we don't have bad luck.  It is a win/win.

Washing sheets between Christmas and "Old Christmas"= bad luck

That is not something I have ever wanted so I do everything in my power to keep luck on my side.

So now that you understand "Old Christmas" and know that I don't wash sheets during those 11 days, today was the day I could finally wash these babies that we got for Christmas...

1600 thread count.

Smooth as silk.

Merry day after "Old Christmas"!

Here's to a good nights rest on a super soft, *fresh* bed.

Sweet dreams.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fashion with Bug 2013

If there was ever a little girl who loved clothes, it is Bug.

She gets more excited over clothes than toys.

These are her two favorite things right now...

1st favorite... Sparkly peace sign outfit

Skirt: The Children's Place (similar here)
Boots: Ugg

2nd... Sparkly outfit with Emily

Bug is excited about her first day back to school!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013



Christmas Eve is over.

Christmas is over.

The trees were down the day after Christmas.

Boxes were taken to the trash dump.

Brown family Christmas in Harkers Island is over.

We have eaten.

And eaten.

And eaten.

The number on the scale is scary.

New Years Eve is over.

We ate... a lot.

New Years Day is over.

School started back today.  As much as I was ready for it, I dreaded it.

I thought preschool started Monday... it didn't.  It started today.  Emma wasn't there.

January 2nd is almost over.

I will upload pictures eventually.

I will share Christmas stories soon.

But tonight, it is over.

The day is done.

I am laying on the couch, watching DVRed shows and movies.

I am also reading The Diary of Anne Frank.

Goodnight world.

See you with my still-full-belly tomorrow.

(Did I mention how much we have eaten in the last week?)

I hope you all had an awesome and FULL Christmas and New Year.