Thursday, July 07, 2016

Farewell to the Pink

Way back when we found out Valerie was a baby girl, we did her nursery all decked out in pink.  I searched and searched for the perfect bedding and found the cutest crib set.  Pastel colors and butterflies. It had the quilt, bed skirt, curtains, and matching wall paper.  I bought the whole set!





 Two years later when we learned Veronica was a girl, we decided to move Valerie into the spare room so the new baby would have the baby themed room.  It was just a plain room, so I wanted to decorate it to be more girly.  Again I searched and searched, and eventually decided on a pretty butterfly border that was a bit more grown up than the baby's room.  I wanted something that wouldn't be too little girlish that she could keep for years.  Since our house was fairly new, we touched up the paint and filled in the remaining nail holes, and we also painted the bottom half of the wall a pretty shade of pink.  The wall was a very light cream, so the pink was a nice pop of color.







Well, my firstborn is now eleven and a half and she announced she hates the color pink.  Her favorite color is a teal blue.  I've been waiting for the room change request to come, so I told her we could re-do her room this summer.  She could even ditch the butterflies if she wanted, but to my surprise she protested saying the liked the butterflies.

I picked up some paint colors and we decided we would go with a similar theme, but blue instead.  I painted the top half a light blue and the bottom half a pretty teal color.  I picked up new mini blinds and ordered some gorgeous teal curtains.  I painted a section of wall a day by shifting the furniture so I could get around it.  Then I cleaned everything from top to bottom, wiping down everything and even cleaning the floor by hand!!

I think it came out awesome and looks like a brand new, pre-teen bedroom:





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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The 4th

This was the second year we didn't host our big July 4th party.  For about eight years in a row, we had a big 4th of July celebration.  It was come one, come all!  We'd rent a water slide and invite everyone we knew.  We had food galore and fireworks after dark.  It was an all day event - come whenever, stay however long you'd like, leave, come back -- whatever worked for you!  It got to be too overwhelming and it began to feel like people were taking advantage of our hospitality.  We'd always request side dishes to help with the food, and some would give me grief about it or show up with nothing.  Every year we'd say everyone was welcome to bring some fireworks and nada --  they'd gladly want to pop ours but wouldn't buy a sparkler of their own.  Then we realized that the party invitations were never reciprocated.  Friends would do things with others through out the year, but we were never included.  We nixed the idea of a party last year, and this year we didn't bother either.

We had a quiet Independence Day at home.  We cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, and I made my Mom's bread pudding because the kids requested it.  Veronica wanted to put up the decorations, so we did. We watched some TV, gave those Bunch-o-Balloons things a try (auto fill water balloons - huge FAIL), relaxed  in the pool for a few hours, and popped our own fireworks at dark.

Maybe someday we will re-visit the idea of the party again.  It was fun, but it also was a lot of work.  I know both Valerie and Veronica looked forward to our party each year and were sad when we didn't have one.  

How was your 4th of July?


These did not work!!  They hurt when they hit you and did NOT pop until they hit the ground.
That's not how water balloons are supposed to work







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Sunday, July 03, 2016

We are sixteen going on seventeen...

It was July 3, 2000.  My chat ICQ friend asked me to meet him for pizza at Pepper's in Thibodaux.  I had never been there and hadn't been to downtown Thibodaux in years.  My Mom said to go, it would be good for me to get out.  He gave me his phone number, and I called him.... first   That was probably a first because I've never been much of a phone person to just randomly call people.  I remember talking about the cats - my cats, and he told me he had a bunch of cats, too.  Hmmm ok a guy with cats - cool.  We set a time and I got ready and drove the 30 minutes to meet him.

I wasn't expecting much.  We had been chatting just about daily for a little over a month now.  How that came about is another story, but we had some mutual acquaintances so it wasn't as if I were meeting someone totally random.  I arrived first and the restaurant was empty.  I picked a booth to sit and wait, and it turned out it was his regular spot.  The only pics I had seen of this guy were on his webpage, mostly of him dressed up for Halloween.  There was one of him at work in coveralls showing off his Taz tattoo.






In he walked a few minutes late wearing a Taz shirt.  I knew right away it was him and my first thought was hmmm he shaves his head.  He's bald.  He didn't tell me that.  He had a small soft sided green cooler (a purse???)  which later I learned was how he carried his medicine around.  Diabetes meds.  We had some sort of chicken pizza, then went across the street to a bar where he worked security sometimes and we had a few drinks.  It too, was empty.  Someone mentioned a band was at a bar in Houma, so we headed that way to see "The Chee-Weez."  It was pretty crowded there, but the band was great!  At some point, the guy I was with went to the restroom or to get a drink, leaving me sitting by myself for a few minutes.  Some dude came out of no where and started chatting me up.  When the guy returned, the chatty dude eyed the big bald guy up and down and pretty much stopped mid sentence and faded away.  (lol)

It was a fun night out and I wasn't really sure about this new friend of mine.  It wasn't really like a 'date' date since we had just hung out for the evening.  Over the next few months though, he grew on me....













It's crazy how fast the years have gone by.  Sixteen years ago today, Clint and I met!  Sixteen years sounds so long, yet it seems like yesterday.  It's as if this is how it was supposed to be all along. I barely remember life before him and the kids!!


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throw Back Thursday!!

I was looking for some old pics and ran across these.  It seems like so long ago we were stressing over this house!!  We had a lot of red tape to go through getting started and it seemed like nothing but delays.  We used a floor plan that we liked and customized it to our liking.  Construction began in late July 2003 and we moved in two days before Christmas. (How ironic that Valerie was born almost one year to the day -- December 21!)  It was just me and Clint and it seemed so big and roomy.  It's definitely bigger and nicer than what we grew up in, but with two kids we sure have grown into this house!!



















I shamefully admit we still have a few things unfinished.  Nail holes that weren't filled in, moldings that need to be painted.  Oops.  We've slowly been re-painting each room and updating.  So far we've gutted the master bath, updated the dining room, painted our bedroom, the hall bath, the hallway, and the utility room.  We've changed the landscaping a few times.  I'm in the middle of painting Val's room now (pics to come.)  Someday I hope to paint the living area and totally re-do the kitchen, but those are big projects!  Here it is today.  I took these when I went out to check the mail!



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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tourist Trap

Clint took a day of vacation last Thursday and we had a family day in New Orleans!  Our last visit to the aquarium was with my Dad, and he has been gone nearly five years.  It was past time for another visit! It is rather pricey, but it makes for a nice indoor outing to beat the heat. I thought that going mid-week would be better than a busy weekend.  Well, I thought wrong.  Everywhere we turned, there were campers on field trips.  Hundreds of them in large groups.  We tried waiting off to the side for the group to pass, but they just kept coming and coming - wow.  I know we are all there for the same reason - to enjoy the aquarium - but maneuvering around such large groups was not fun at all.  Even nine year old Veronica went on a rant about how the counselors weren't doing a very good job and were very rude since they had bumped into her numerous times and didn't say 'excuse me' or anything.  We still enjoyed our visit and eventually the crowd thinned out somewhat.


View from the parking garage







After we were done at the aquarium, we walked over to the "Tourist Trap"  aka the Riverwalk Outlet Mall.  We hadn't been there in years either.  It used to be a regular mall, but now it's an "outlet" mall.  The cruise terminal is nearby, so it seems geared toward luring the tourists in.  There are a lot of regular stores but there's nothing discounted about their prices.  There is a lot of tourist geared merchandise - New Orleans clothing, nick-nacks, spices, Mardi Gras themed stuff, and food items.  I admit it is fun looking through all the junk stores and even the kids like looking at the souvenir type stuff.  I saw this in several stores:



The highest price?  $8.  (I've seen it higher than that down at the French Market - another Tourist Trap!! ) You can find this at Wal-mart for three bucks or so...

Of course we fell into said Tourist Trap and had to stop at the real Cafe Du Monde for a treat.  You can't go to New Orleans and pass up beignets and coffee!




On our way back towards the aquarium, we stopped for a bit to sit by the Mississippi River to watch the ships pass.  It was breezy so the heat wasn't all that bad.

There's the river

Not sure why Val is making that grumpy face!


Selfie by the Mississippi



Our final stop was the IMAX theater right next to the aquarium.  I had been here only once before and it was so long ago I don't even remember what I watched.  We saw "Secret Ocean" in 3D.  All the campers seemed to have gone back to where they came from and the theater was nearly empty.



After the film, it was time to head for home.  Lucky us hit I-10 in the middle of 5:00pm traffic!  Actually it wasn't so bad.  Traffic was moving and we didn't hit any gridlock spots.  We made it home with in a couple of hours time.  It was a fun day with the kids --  hopefully it won't be so long before we make it back for a day trip to The City.


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