The one where Easter was in the distance, a puzzle eater and my !&%$ tennis arm

I hope everyone had as pleasant an Easter as possible. Generally, we have the girls here and my FIL and MIL too. 
I spoke to everyone yesterday on the phone, but yeah, it’s not the same. 
I did see Linds on Saturday; I had a little bit of Easter stuff for her and her sister so I met her in front of her building. 
We talked for about 10 minutes but it was so freaking hot so I left. 
No hugs. 
That’s the hardest part for me; we are a touchy-feeling family. 
But not in the perverted way. 
Easter bags in lieu of Easter baskets. 
I spent most of the day on the phone either talking or texting and trying to finish a 750 piece puzzle. If I got paid to complete puzzles, we’d be living in your back yard in a tent. Who wants us? 

Also, Max loves sitting UNDER my chair while I’m puzzling. My boobs sometimes knock pieces on the floor and a few times I found him nibbling them. The pieces, not my boobs. 
I know for sure one piece was nibbled beyond recognition and I’m hoping that’s it. 
But, every time I get into a puzzling quandary, I wonder:
“Am I looking for the nibbled beyond recognition piece right now?”

This was the only puzzle I had in the house made for adults and it’s a challenge for me; further cementing the fact that I might not be an adult. 
Linds went to Target the other day for her supplies and I asked her to look for a puzzle for me and I’d exchange her Easter stuff for the puzzle. 
She said they had TWO in the store and she got me the biggest one; 1000 pieces. 
ME: “I can only do one that is 750 pieces.”
Linds: “Well, just don’t finish it then.”

I don’t know where they get it from. 
I really don’t want to complain because of all that is going on and most people have real, solid problems and health issues. But, my arm is killing me. 
The tennis elbow came back a few weeks ago with a vengeance. 
I have one of the brace thingys that is supposed to help and I’ve been doing some exercises/stretches that I found online, but it’s not helping. Sleeping is a b*tch. 
I even noted to Linds on the phone that I would be willing to try some medicinal Maryjane or even topical Maryjane. It hurts from my fingers to my shoulder and guess what? I use my right arm for everything. 
My left arm/hand? It’s almost useless. It can’t do anything for me. So. there. That’s my complaint and I’ll keep moving on with my great life of not living in a tent in your back yard and being healthy otherwise. 
XOXO

Always remember the Lilies {or not}

This post was originally shared in 2011, but it’s fitting for the Easter season and it’s fitting to remember what a character my Grandma was. 

Does any flower scream Easter like the Lily?
Well, for me, there is none other.

As a child, going to church with Grandma I vividly remember the Easter lilies all lined up near the pulpit.

I remember reading through the church bulletin during the Easter service about WHO the lilies were for as they were all purchased in memoriam for someone.

I remember seeing that Grandma purchased one for my Grandpa after he died.
I would look towards the pulpit…wondering which one was ‘his’.

Years later, I would read that there was a lily placed in my Brother’s name.

And two Easters later, my Dad was added to the Easter Lilly collection.

Sadly, our family was filling up the lily section.

Cut to a few years ago when Grandma was still alive and in her mid 90’s; she could no longer get to church for any services.

So Easter morning, the coach and I with the girls loaded up our car and made the hour & forty-minute trek to Grandma’s house in Miami to celebrate Easter.

I had the biggest, whitest lily in the back of the car for Grandma.

When we arrived, she was happy to see us all. She was always happy to see us.

When I handed her the big ole’ white lily…she looked at it, she then looked at me.

I said: Isn’t it beautiful?

Grandma: Lilies always remind me of funerals. And they stink. I don’t care for them. 

Good lord; I should have known.
 great grandma[5]

That woman could not filter her thoughts whatsoever.
So now, whenever I see a lily…I remember HER.

And then my thoughts roam to stinky funerals; then back to her and her unfiltered funny as heck self.

Do you remember when she called me a PERVERT?  Gosh, what are the chances of anyone ever calling me that again?

Wishing everyone a nice Easter wherever you are and with whoever you’re with.

XOXO

I can still hear the squeak of the squeegee

It took me over 2 hours to clean the glass in the family room/foyer/sitting area the Saturday after Christmas.

If I cleaned windows for a living, we’d be living in squalor because I didn’t even clean the top rectangular ones and I was exhausted AND it felt like it took me forever.

I told you we had 5 dogs here over Christmas, correct? Three of them really don’t understand how glass works. Who’s wild idea was it to live in a glass house? 

The house was vacuumed Christmas eve morning and exactly 24 hours later, it needed to be vacuumed again. 
And then 24 more hours, vacuumed again. 
Who invented long-haired dogs anyway? Not.this.girl.

I removed Christmas from the front of the living areas and then I started working on the backside with that big ole tree in there.

I’ve meant to blog a few years ago about my Christmas storage that I’m slightly obsessed with.

I told the girls that when I’m gone, they’re to split my jewelry and purses, and when we’re both gone, they can split my Christmas storage because it’s that valuable. I’ve been adding pieces each year. {Sounds like wedding china} I think I’m done now as I’ve added in a tree storage thingy and light storage this year, and I have three ornament boxes and a wrapping container.

Aside from my family, friends, butterflies, bees, and dogs, storage and organization is my favorite thing. Ever.

I hope everyone is off to a good start for 2020. We had a very quiet NYE; the Coach and I had a nice dinner out at our favorite pizza place, then back to the comforts of our home.
Two of my girlfriends from down the street came over to share some wine and conversation with us.
Any night/holiday that is without complicated plans and includes wine is my kind of night.
Nice and easy. Like me. 🙂

Happy Monday.
XOXO

My Christmas feels were all over the place

We had a great Christmas eve here at our house. The Coach decided to sell a few organs ($$$) to purchase and prepare a prime rib roast for all our peeps. Both sets of his parents were here, our girls, Nathan, Coach’s brother and wife, her daughter, my nephew and our great-niece.

It was a feast for kings and queens and people with an excessive amount of organs.

{Nathan, Coach’s mama and Linds}

 {Lolo and Nathan-they have that ‘newly engaged glow’}
 {Did you know that people who help in the kitchen are my favorite people?}

My great-niece found the stage in the theater and found her calling right there and then! I quickly remembered I had the girl’s old recorders (fake flutes) from school; so an impromptu concert was had.


Did I mention we had FIVE Dogs in the house for Christmas eve and Christmas day? *cough cough* that was a lot of hair.

{Kinsley is a natural attention hog entertainer}

{Her biggest fans!}

We started the evening with Lolo getting engaged and ended with a performance by the cutest 2-year-old ever; that was a lot of Christmas eve excitement for this girl. Christmas morning was just seven of us and I started the morning on a good note. I slept in, had my coffee and the coach made a beautiful breakfast for us while my MIL made the kids some yogurt parfaits; so fancy and yummy.
Then I had a few melancholy moments missing my Mom. Don’t ask me why. She’s been gone for over four years AND she and I have not had a Christmas together in over 23 years, so why was I missing her so much this year? I haven’t a clue other than I’m becoming even more emotional in my old age.  As if that is even possible. 
Christmas has come and gone. It was a good one for the books. I’ve declared that next year I’ll decorate before Thanksgiving so that I’ll enjoy the actual Christmas season more if I’m more prepared. Can ya’ll remind me of that in November 2020? 
XOXO

~~We’re going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married~~Ok, maybe NOT an actual chapel

Our Lolo and Nathan became engaged on Christmas eve this year!

We knew it was coming; Nathan asked us permission back in August.
Do all guys still do that?
I know I was thrilled that he was raised to know this is a good thing, but surely he knew we would say YES. We adore him! Actually, aside from asking the Coach and me, he asked my In-laws, Lindsay, our BFF’s Don and Kelly, etc….I think he might have asked the waiter that night too.
He’s a good one.

Lolo is not a traditional girl (neither is her sister) and had no desire for a diamond. She told me this years ago and I tried to argue with her. “You’ll regret it later, everyone wants a diamond!”

She never wavered in what she wants. She wanted an aquamarine stone. Simple.
Nathan had his Grandmother’s ring and visited a jeweler, asked him to find a nice aquamarine and use some of the diamonds from G’mas ring to come up with something for Lolo. 
He did well; she loves her ring. 
And if I could take a good close up pic of them both, they both have aquamarine colored eyes.
I can just picture my future grandbabies right now.
{Christmas day: “let’s take a picture, but I’m breaking out, and I don’t want to put on makeup, so avoid my face”}

I’m so thrilled for them.
But 10 minutes later she decided to burst my wedding planning bubble.
She doesn’t want a traditional wedding at a hotel, a church, the beach, etc.
It’s going to be small in an unusual venue and we have to wait until she finishes Grad school.
It looks like I won’t need to shop for my Mother of the Bride dress for a few years, but then again, I have time to lose some weight.  She waited a long time for her Prince Charming and it will all be worth it.
BONUS: The Coach and I were engaged on Christmas Eve, so I declare that it’s good luck.
We’re so incredibly happy for them both!
Wishing everyone a safe and happy beginning of 2020. XOXO

Party party, fill your hearty.

Before another day goes by, if you’ve not seen a comment from me in a while, it’s because of your blog settings. In other words, it’s you, not me.

We ended up having 50 guests this year at our annual cocktail party. (I think this marks the 20th year?) It went from 40 to 50 within a day; apparently, it was ‘bring your adult child to our party’ year. Most said it was to have a designated driver, so what could I say. I like for people to enjoy themselves and I’m against driving under the influence. Unless your under the influence of listening to Duran Duran because that is some good stuff.

We opted to have a photo booth this year which really isn’t a ‘booth’ but it’s a standing camera/light that we put in front of a black curtain. I already had lots of Santa hats in my arsenal, so that was fun.

{the Coach with a few of his ‘softball Moms’. They do love him}
Our surprise musical guest was Ben Allen, of the Ben Allen band. They are locally famous in SWFL. Ben just opened up for Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker the weekend before and we’ve had him perform at our Songwriters for Vets too. He’s a great guy who is in great demand in our community. Our guests were thrilled to have a one on one with him at our house.
Ben with the softball moms. Those moms really get around….
{Linds, Nathan, Lolo, Coach, and Suz}
Back in the day when we had parties, I was inundated with hostess gifts; mostly wine & booze. I enjoy the wine, but it really became too much. So a few years ago I asked peeps to forgo the gifts and bring an unwrapped toy that we donated. The following year I asked people to bring in toiletries for the homeless and boy did they ever! I couldn’t believe the amount that people brought; turns out, people really do like to give. 
This year, we changed it up a bit more. {the backside of our invite, I was holding it weird, it was printed beautifully in real life.  I still mail invites!}
A while ago the Coach had these walnut drawer’s that the shop was going to throw out because they were made the incorrect size. He thought they’d make great boxes for our upcoming party giveaways. On the day of the party, he drilled holes in the sides and pulled rope through for handles, then he went to wally world and purchased random snacks/candies. We threw in shredding & some extra bottles of Crowne Royal we were trying to unload and then let our guests drop in bottles as they entered. Everyone brought at least one bottle, some brought two.
In the chaos of the night, I didn’t get a pic of the finished boxes, but I stole a pic from a winner from her FB page. 
This was such a big hit; we had 6 winners in total. (the sixth gift was an eco-shelling-dolphin boating tour that a friend donated)
Ya’ll we raised $1340 in a few hours.
I’ll split it between the two charities. We will continue this tradition as everyone said it was the most fun party ever!!
It was such a rewarding and exhausting day. We had people show up at 5:30 and the last peeps left at 1:20am.
It was all smooth with my caterers until we realized the bartender was quite impaired. I thought he was weird upon arrival, but brushed it off that he was quite eccentric. It took about 20 minutes and him cutting his hand trying to open a bottle of Tito’s incorrectly {it’s a twist cap!} to realize he was messed up. Luckily we have first responders as friends; (we had 3 on hand!) our friend T.W took him out of the party area to a bedroom and cleaned him up. He was bleeding quite a bit but didn’t need stitches. The caterer was beside himself, sent another bartender over within the blink of an eye and came here himself to oversee the rest of the night.
The next day, I really didn’t get much done. I was DONE after two weekends of hosting parties. But I couldn’t rest too long because we were then hosting Christmas Eve. The fun never ends!!

Lots of party & Christmas to talk about, but first it’s her birthday!!

Today our little nugget turns 24. I can hardly believe it!! Whenever my girls talk about how old they are, they usually say Gross. 
I suppose they want to be children forever, but that’s not how it works, that’s not how any of this works.
I’d love to go through Lindsay’s whole birth story detail by detail, and let you in on all the joy and fun, but, that’s not the kind of blog I have.
But, had I known her birthday would end up so close to Jesus’s birthday, I’d probably have claimed a headache.
But then again, I would not have my super sweet, funny, intelligent love muffin that I have.
So, she has to practically share her birthday with Jesus, I’ll take it. They’re both good sharers.

Linds was the easiest, calmest baby. Well, that is until I left her home alone with dad on the rare occasion the first year. She liked me, she really, really liked me. 
But eventually, she liked us both. Even her sister who wasn’t that into her little sister. {I’m proud to say, they adore each other now, it only took 22 years or so}

{She’s a pretty cool chick with her own sense of style; who else can get away with slick shades and a snoopy robe?}

{She loves her Padre’ and 90’s music} 

{She loves her sister and making spreadsheets}

{She loves her boyfriend in New Zealand and she loves the country of New Zealand too}

 {She doesn’t hate a camera}
{She was such a cute and easy toddler, she could have been a professional toddler model or at least a professional toddler}

{She’s always loved getting into her food, luckily, she has slightly better manners now, but still loves food}
{She’s is a huge part of my heart, has a lot of my sassiness and quick wit; our family is blessed to have her}

Happy 24 Lindsburger!*cheers* to a fantastic year to come.
XOXO