Monday, March 31, 2014

Keepin It Classy

There's a first for everything. This past Friday night brought about a first of two different natures.

Let me start with the positive. Bryan Adam's rocks my face off. Hands down, he is one talented man. The years of touring he's gathered under his belt have not impacted his vocal chords one bit. He sounded just as amazing in person as he does on his CDs, which is the mark of true talent. I've been to a few concerts before where you left totally disappointed in an artist's voice when it's untouched and real. And although I won't name any names, a-hem...Randy Travis, I just left feeling mislead. Not the case with my friend, BA. He is beyond talented, funny, and genuine in a "I'm going to say exactly what I think and you can do with it what you will" sort of way. I left the theater feeling like we all got a glimpse into his true personality outside of what he promised in a concert performance.

Now onto the not so positive side of "first" time experiences. Let me start off by saying that the concert theater was THE hottest venue. And not like hot as in cool or trendy, but straight up like 100 degrees inside. Praise the Lord I had dressed in layers or this preggo would've died a hot, sweaty death while being serenaded by 1990's ballads. Not the worst way to go, but still... Turn down the dang heat, would ya?

Okay, I digress. A bit of foreshadowing for you...before the concert we had the perfect seats to people watch as the crowds rolled in. With one group of 30-40 year old dudes entering the room, I pointed out to the Hubs, my brother and my mom that "those guys are carrying 4 beers each". I'm not sure if they've never heard of making a second trip to the bar or if they were afraid the beer would sell out, but they all proudly walked in with their 4 beverages each. Big mistake. Big. Huge.

Once the concert began, it was clear this crowd was here to party with BA. I've never heard a more lively crowd before. People were constantly screaming out song requests and professing their love for BA the entire time. Because the venue is a bit more intimate in nature than a coliseum, voices travel pretty easily. Halfway through the second song, it was apparent that a few folks were having a serious conversation and we were all just along for their ride. To give you some perspective, we were seated in the balcony seats, they were seated in the floor section, and we could STILL hear them over the song.

Just like that, at the end of his song, BA stopped what he was doing and asked who had decided to talk through the song. About 20 people frantically pointed the group of dudes who had the 4 beers each. Busted. I saw that one coming a mile away. BA then kindly asked them to "shut the F up". Boom. I guess you can do that when you the one on stage with the microphone and big bouncers between you and rowdy mob of loud talkers. Fast forward two more songs and the same homeboys clearly were not going to stop talking. BA stopped his show for the second time. He asked the lighting guys to shine the spotlights on those fools so he could see who they were, told them the rest of us "didn't pay good money to listen to them talk" along with some other choice words. Amen! He then had them kicked out. Needless to say, the theater erupted in applause and support. We were later told by an usher that 20 people had been kicked out by the police for disturbing the peace, etc...

People, cannot we not keep it classy? Why on earth should an artist be forced to stop his own show and ask you to please stop talking? Why? Why is that not a respect that is ingrained in you as 35+ year old? A 4 year old, maybe, but a grown man? It's just sad and there were a few thousand people who were embarrassed for you and for our city. I doubt he'll come back. I wouldn't! You paid good money to insult him and to let the rest of us know that you're way more important than us. Good work. I'm hoping you had some time in handcuffs to process the importance of your conversation that just couldn't wait. For your sake, I'm glad you opted to not launch a conversation during Summer of 69. I'm certain you would've had your tail whopped by a few hundred people surrounding you. That's one BA song that you just don't mess with or else...

And in the future, I highly recommend purchasing one beer at time, followed by a nice, refreshing bottle of water. We saw where 4 beers got you and it wasn't pretty. When Bryan Adams asks you to "shut up", you do it. It's that simple. Thanks for keepin it classy.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday High Fives

I wish I had more high fives to share, but this has been a long week full of more low fives than high. BUT, I shall not dwell on the lows with this post, so here are some smile makers for you:
  • Sweet friends who sent texts of encouragement or to simply to check in on the river house progress. Seeing your names pop up and knowing you thought about us made this long and stressful process a bit more bearable. Thank you!
  • Donut holes.

  • Booking three new weddings this week.
  • A thunderstorm last night. It's a small, yet tangible sign that spring still exists.
  • Seeing my two favorite geese, Pearl and Merle, making their way back to our yard today for nesting season. I felt like two of my long, lost friends had come home.
  • Knowing I'll get to see this man rock out tonight! "I got my first real six-string, Bought it at the five-and-dime. Played it 'til my fingers bled. It was the summer of '69."

  • Feeling what I'm guessing to be the tiniest little kick from Small Frei. I'm not sure if it was, in fact, a kick, but it's happened twice now and was sudden, short and unlike the other flutters I've felt. Hey, I'll take it.
  • The opportunity to match a donor up with a campus project that made them giddy with excitement. What started off as a "you may like to know" conversation, ended in a "I want to help fund that" conversation. Uncovering gifts is always a great feeling, but seeing a donor float out of the room from truly connecting with a project is incredible.

Well, folks, that's about all I have in terms of highs. This week has been a challenging one.

On the flip side, I'd love to ask for your prayers for my grandfather who was admitted to the hospital and awaiting a possible surgery. His name is Stan and I'm sure he'd love your prayers if you're willing to send a few his way. Thank you, sincerely, in advance!

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Run Your Race


Sometimes you just have to put down the pen and let someone else do the writing. Someone much smarter, more eloquent, and with better hair. Today, for me, I'm turning it over to Jen Hatmaker. If you don't know her name, I'll just go ahead say "you're welcome" now.

Jen is by far one of my favorite, if not the favorite, Christian speakers, authors, moms, etc... She stands for everything you know to be true, but does it in such a real and transparent (and often times sarcastic) way, that you can't help but get it. She makes me belly laugh until I snort and she can bring you to tears in the next breath. She's fantastic and her words and delivery have got to be straight from the Lord. They just have to be.

On her blog Monday, she wrote a post entitled "Run Your Race" and I knew I wanted to share it with you all. It's challenging, yet inspiring, and has certainly made me think.

What is the race that YOU were MADE to run? What is something that you are so very good at without needing to think about or try too hard? What can you do that would make the rest of us sit back and smile? Off the top of my head, I can think of some special people in my life who you can just tell were made for certain things. And for those that I can't quite pinpoint, I'm guessing they know deep down inside and have not yet shared it with the rest of us. Don't wait, let it flow!

My call out to each of us, thanks to Jen's prompting, is to figure it out now. Not tomorrow. Figure out our very own race and let's run it. Unapologetically and without fear. And when people say "man, you're really great at _______", we can say "I know, isn't it crazy?! The Lord has blessed me with such a cool gift. Thanks for noticing!" versus our usual "oh this, it's nothing really."

And in Jen's much more eloquent words "Let the rest of us grin at you while you run your race. Let us be proud. Let us be inspired and grateful that God made you to do this thing and you are doing it LIKE A BOSS. The timing is never right. Forget that. It won't just fall into your lap. That’s fake."

Take a sec and read her challenge. And then go out there like a boss. I'll be right here warming up my smile and teary eyes for you (and myself).

http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2014/03/24/run-your-race

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Name Game

Can I just start off by saying all those baby name books that claim to have 1,000 names, should really be called books that have 935 really random, comical, "I'd never ever name my child that" names and roughly 65 real people names? If you do not already own one, save yourself the moola. Thankfully, we were given a book to use from friends of ours. Otherwise, I'd be back at Barnes and Noble requesting something a bit more helpful like "Baby Naming for Dummies" or "Names That Will Not Get Your Son Whooped On The Playground" books. True story.

Although we're working on it daily, I'm convinced we'll be those  parents who are not allowed to leave the hospital without declaring a more concrete moniker than Baby Boy Freiberg.  I've seen that Lifetime movie and it didn't end well.

I can, however, declare there are a few names that we have successfully vetoed for one reason or another. They either gave us a laugh or took us longer than 30 seconds to pronounce correctly.

For your reading pleasure, I give you the following "real" names, according to the 1,000 names disclaimer:
  • Pierpont- Tim actually likes this one. Me, I think it just sounds like a bridge in a bad part of town.
  • Pepe- This one makes me laugh and I like to randomly work it into baby conversations with the Hubs.
  • Nemo- Yep, this was actually in the book. Tim dismissed it immediately as we'd "constantly be trying to find him." He's a funny one, that Hubs of mine.
  • Fritztopher- Okay, I totally made this name up one night, but I secretly love it. And I really like Fritz. Tim denied me the joy of Fritztopher, but go ahead and say it out loud. You cannot say that name and not feel happy. Really.
  • Remus- Um, I don't even know. Book authors, seriously?
  • Layafette
  • Achilles
  • Festus- This one is way too close to "fetus" for my liking. He'd be destined to be tiny and frail.
  • Balfour- I'm pretty sure this is the name of the company who makes high school class rings.
  • Philangee- I do believe we studied these in anatomy class. No thanks.
And there you have it friends. People actually get paid to come up with these names AND people actually go out and buy them with the hope that buried amongst the rubbish is the perfect name. I'm apparently in the wrong business. I KNOW I can do better than Philangee. How about you?



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hello, Second Trimester!

Boy am I glad to see you, second trimester! You're a breath of fresh air. With the first 3 months behind me, I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of this thing they call pregnancy. Well, at least until bathing suit season.


Sure, I still have my waves of random nausea and fatigue, but they are a walk in the park compared to the way I felt for the first 90 days or so. I'm definitely feeling more human and am starting to really enjoy this journey (Tim, I bet you questioned whether or not you'd ever hear me say that circa month 2, am I right?!). Plus the slowly growing belly bump makes it feel so much more real. Although I don't feel consistent movement each day, the bump makes me feel connected to the little man. I can reach out and touch him via his "bump cave" and know that he's in there and growing. Pretty amazing feeling!

Courtesy of the first month, I got to experience all day nausea (fyi, I'm pretty sure the doctor who coined the term "morning sickness" was a man or a woman who never carried a child, cuz that junk is ALL day long, especially at night), fatigue like I've never known, odd cramps and aches, and one must not forget a week long, flu-like illness that brought about high fevers, chills, sore throats and coughs with no reprieve since I couldn't take anything to kill it. I was a roaring good time to say the least.

Fast forward to one week shy of 5 months and I feel like I'm back in business. I have started to cook a bit more and can actually clean my house again. Dust bunnies had to take a backseat when my decisions were between having a clean kitchen and dust-free home or trying to stand up for 2 hours with intermittent vomit breaks while cleaning. Bring on the dust bunnies, friends. If you visited my home and my bathroom was sub-par, I seriously make no apologies. It is what it is. I was in survival mode. You don't like it, just don't look at it, okay.


Nesting is also in full swing at our casa. I'm on a mission to de-clutter (praise the Lord for constructive cravings that actually burn fat!). I've purged closets, pantries, laundry areas, etc... Next up, the basement. I'm going to need to reinforcements for that one though. Hubs, consider yourself warned.

And for the more comical side of the second trimester...an increasing appetite and the occasional meltdown. If it's a sweet or savory carb, I want it. If it's a donut, I will fight you to the death for a bite. I try not to buy these delicious circles of heaven, but find myself caving from time to time. I think I've found the secret to craving success though; donut holes. They're much smaller portions and often times one does the trick. Sometimes 4 are required pending the day's stress level. If I've reached a stage 5 donut hole day, look out. What? You people get your wine and your beer; I get donut holes, okay?

 
 
And because I couldn't pass this one up...
 
 
2nd trimester, I could rock you forever!
Or at least for the next 3 months. I better not get too cocky here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday High Fives

Well, well, well, Mr. Friday, we meet again. I don't think there's ever a day that I don't love seeing your face. If only I could see you more often.

On this sunny, warm (hello, high of 57!) day, I must give credit where credit was due this week:
  • Thanks to two Pinterest recipes for bringing a bit of freshness to our meal rotation.
  • Breakfast meetings and an event that offered me a delicious, hot breakfast three out of my five work days.
  • Making an offer on a house we both love. Low fives to what has turned into a 4 day waiting and negotiating game. This process gives new meaning to "hurry up and wait". I'm no geographical whiz, BUT I'm pretty sure that although Arizona is in a different time zone than we are, it is not a 12 hour difference. Let's just say that whatever timeframe this seller gives you on when she'll respond, you can confidentially tack about 12 hours onto her estimate.
  • Dropping Sprint like a bad habit. I can now make and receive phone calls in my house, get my voicemails on time (if at all) and send and receive picture texts! I'm big-time, folks. Now if I can just remember that I no longer have to sit at the end of our very long driveway to make calls, I'll be good.
  • A sweet, little blue celebration from our small group. It was so fun to walk in and see the table decorated for our little man.
 Sorry these first two photos are sideways. They have a mind of their own and refuse to be turned.
 

  • An unexpected package, which I called "Cinderella Day in a Box" from a dear friend, Zee. I really struggled the weekend of Cinderella Day and knowing I wasn't there. I had to take a break from Facebook for a few hours to avoid all of the awesome photos. They made me so happy, yet sad at the same time, so getting this package made me feel like I still got to be a small part of the amazing day. It meant so much!

  • Not seeing Juan Pablo on our TV screen on Monday night.
  • Partaking in my 2nd Shamrock shake of the season.
  • Tackling a few areas of our home for my 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Although it is still nothing to look at, our laundry closet looks SO much more organized. It was mounds of chaos before.

  • Seeing grass! Piggy is so excited to explore again and not navigate 3 foot tall banks of snow.
  • Having the windows cracked open.
  • Exercising my right to vote!

  • Receiving a sweet call from my grandma thanking me for the post I wrote about my grandpa. She shared that it took her awhile to read it. I told her it took me awhile to write it. I try to be very honest and open when I write, but I also try to be cognizant of the fact that my stories are often times not just mine to write. I try to tell "our" stories with care, respect and honesty, and if I'm lucky, every once in awhile, it brings something to the reader (i.e. a memory, happiness, joy, or a shared emotion).
  • Knowing it's Friday! Holler!

Happy Friday, Y'all!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Smell a Rat



For the last four days, there have been two giant, inflatable rats greeting the enterance to my job. Cool. Not. I've only had to pass pickters twice in my life, and in both instances I can't help but think "don't you have anything better to do?" *Side note, these are union workers and not employees of the business they are picketing.

I get it if you want to picket on major matters, but when you're out there over menial matters and sitting in your heated car for four days next to two three story rats, I'm guessing you could probably accomplish more if you were actually at work like the rest of us. Newsflash, no one really cares. I'm a bleeding heart, so you know if I don't care, it's probably a lost cause. Zero news crews have shown up. No one else has joined in your crusade. It's just you two lone wolves taking on the world. Who's really winning in this instance?

My favorite part about the ginormous rats is when I asked the Hubs "have you seen the giant rats on campus?" and he replied "yeah actually. Is there a book fair or something?" Priceless. I'm not sure how rats or mice equate to book fair marketing, but I loved the fact that he saw them and had no clue how they tied in or what they stood for. Again, lone wolves, who's really winning here? I'm guessing it'd be our bookstore if anyone else has the same thought process as the Hubs.

Carry on if you must, but I'm guessing your wives have some tasks that you could do at home if you'd like to find something a bit more productive to do.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting

I don't do waiting very well. I'm guessing most of us don't. I also struggle with the unknown and change, to some extent, so right now is not my sweet spot. Yesterday we got word that another couple had made an offer on the house that we really, really like (I love it!). That gave us two immediate options: 1) cry, wail, and say the old "there will be more houses", or 2) we could make an offer too. Like stat.

What do you think we did? If you think I laid down and started crying, you chose the wrong option. We kicked this puppy into HIGH gear. There were texts and calls to our agent, there were numerous calls on the Hub's part to a broker to see if we could get pre-approved asap, and there was what I felt like could be warning signs of contractions due to my increasing heart rate. I kid on the contractions, but I'm fairly certain that much excitement and hustle could be felt by our little man. The hardest part is not knowing what the other family offered and if we're even the ballpark or sitting out in the ballpark parking lot unaware that we're not truly part of the game.

Within a span of a few hours, we were pre-approved and our offer had been sent. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

And now, we wait. I knew we wouldn't hear anything last night so I remained calm. Today, not so much really. Let's just say my phone is practically glued to my side right now. Will there be other houses if we don't get it? Of course (at least that's what people keep telling me). Will we survive if the other family gets to live in our that house? Most definitely. Will I be sad if it isn't part of the plan for us? Sure. How sad, you ask? I'm not sure yet. Maybe call me in a few hours and you might find out first hand. We shall see. Only the Lord knows if we'll raise a family in the "river house". Until the path is revealed, we're waiting, trusting, and taking some major deep breaths.

In the meantime, I'm trying my best do "waiting" a little better. I'm trying to have it appear to be calm and collected, with a touch of grace. I doubt I'm fooling anyone, but I'm trying, dang it.

And until we meet our fate, I leave you with a couple photos of what's got me all in a tizzy. *Keep in mind, the d├ęcor and paint choices will change. Those belong to the previous family.


 
 Obviously this chandy will be replaced and updated, but I love how open and airy it feels as you walk into the home.
 
 
 Nice Freiberg Law Offices home office (2nd location).


 
Hello natural light! Do pull up some couch space and stay for awhile.
 
 
The screened-in porch/bar. I'd foresee many gatherings out here after it's given a little sprucing up. This is one of two bars in the home. The minute we saw the 2nd one, I told the Hubs "you do realize that we'll never be able to leave our teenagers home alone on a weekend, right?!" Two bars and deep water access do not a smart parental decision make when one has teenagers.
 

I just die with all of the natural light in this place.
This is the view from the river. Hence the nickname "river house".
If you're going to take away my ocean, at least give me a river, please.

 
 The private dock to hours of sun and water fun.
Was the Hub's new kayak at Christmas foreshadowing?
We shall see.

 
 
 
And if it doesn't work out and this isn't meant to be our river house, I may just be ruined for any future, landlocked house as our search continues. Although, I can probably be persuaded with a pool.
There's just something about walking into a home that makes you feel like you're on vacation that seems a bit priceless.
 
Praying and waiting. And then praying for peace whatever is decided.
At this point, it's out of our hands and in His.

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's a BOY!



We've got a serious case of the blues in our household. Blue hoodies with animal ears, sailboat outfits, and blue onsies that is. Our Small Frei can officially be referred to as he or him or Sir or Mr. Hansdome Pants.

Thanks to having a baby later in life, my age qualifies for me genetic testing and we obliged. We knew the results would not change how we felt about our little bean and/or our plans, but we knew that if by the grace of God were given a baby with a Trisomy disorder, that we'd want to be prepared by joining a support group in advance and learning as much as we could to help us prepare for such a special blessing. Along with the testing came the option to find out the gender a few weeks before we'd have our milestone ultrasound. We thought "why not?" So we went for it.

We know that finding out the gender is not everyone's cup of tea, but for us it made sense. We like to plan and prepare, and a very wise friend had shared with us that finding out allows you to pray more specifically throughout the pregnancy. Once we know his name, we'll be able to pray for him by name, which I love. In the meantime, I've already started praying that he'll be strong yet soft in the right places. That he'll be a fighter, which he's already proven through a rocky first trimester, but that he'll use those skills to defend his family and the things he knows to be right and just. I pray that he's fun, silly, and adds so much joy to our family and his future friends and classmates' lives. I pray that he loves the Lord at a young age, and although it may ebb and flow at times, that he never loses that love. And I pray that he's healthy. Lord, I pray he's healthy!

And what else can a doting mother do aside from prepare and pray, you ask? Shop! And so I did. I hadn't bought a single thing for our little bean just yet, as to not jump the gun, so when we saw "male" in writing, I threw caution to the wind. Here is what I'm already learning about little boy clothes:
  • They're so tiny. When I pulled out a newborn onsie to show Tim, his response was "he's going to be that small?!" My response was "probably not for long, but for my sake, I pray that he is that small." At least for the delivery! Can I get an Amen?
  • Baby bow ties and fedoras melt my heart.
  • Seersucker also melts said heart.
  • Girls have way more options. Designers, let's step it up, shall we?
  • 60% of boy clothes have tractors and dump trucks on them. Why? Are there way more farmers and excavators having babies than I'm aware of?
  • 80% of the graphic onsies say "strong like daddy", "my dad is cooler than your dad", "handsome like daddy", etc... I, of course, bought the "my dad is a super hero" one for Tim to take a picture with after he finishes his 3rd Ironman (Hello, super hero!!). It was a no brainer as he certainly is OUR super hero. But I would've loved one that gave his momma a shout out too. Where's the "momma's little handsome pants" or "my momma's a germ-a-phobe, but I still love her" gear?
  • Did I mention they're so tiny. I could've bought way more than I did. Here are two that I couldn't resist:
I love this one. Love. This one just says "well hello, ladies. I've got the world's smallest pocket, my pop of yellow, and I'm ready to rock this pack'n'play. Care to join me?"
 


 
One day he'll love to ride bikes with his Iron daddy. Until then, he shall wear bikes on his faux tie. 

And we cannot forget the beloved nursery. Little bean's theme will be a navy blue, nautical retreat. I had randomly collected a few nautical touches here and there on my vintage hunts over the last year "just in case" it was a boy, so we've at least got a few touches to add to the vision board. Here are a few of my inspirational photos from our friends at Pinterest, although I definitely want it to be our own and not a replica. Think maps, propellers, anchors, whales, etc...

Love the bedding in gray and navy.
 

 
I just love the brightness of this one. Wouldn't you want to play in there too?
 

I'm pretty sure I need this whale mobile from Etsy. Yep, almost 99.9% sure. It's perfection.



Now, for the hardest part.....the name. If it was a girl, we were 100% set. On the boy names, we just can't seem to agree. The Hubs suggested Beauregard on our way to dinner Saturday night. I'm going to pretend he was kidding. No offense to any Beauregards out there reading this blog. It truly is a lovely name.

Cheers to having the best case of the blues you can have!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Summer of '69



Y'all, I'm going to see Bryan Adams in concert. I cannot tell you how excited I am for a little B.A. unplugged. A TV commercial for the concert came on the other night and I kid you not, I almost cried. I'm blaming part of that on pregnancy hormones, but the rest of those emotions are the real deal.

Bryan Adams' So Far So Good  was my very first CD, along with the Cranberries. I remember squealing when I pulled back the wrapping paper on my first CD over dinner with friends at the Olive Garden in 1993. He just takes me back. And let's face it, he ranks right up there with Keith Whitley and Travis Tritt on his ability to write amazing ballads.

The Hubs agreed to go with me, along with my brother, so it begs to be a fun evening of good food before the show followed by a swoon/guitar fest!

The best part about his tour is that in 2012, while riding down the road with the windows down and B.A. cranked way up, I turned to the Hubs and said "what happened to Bryan Adams? Where is he? I miss him!" I believe he said something along the lines of "I'm pretty sure he was in a South Park episode at one time." I, then, confidently stated "I'm going to go on a one woman crusade to bring him on tour to Rockford. I'll start a "bring Bryan Adams back on tour" petition if I need to!" Side note, I do think the Hubs should go on a one man crusade to get me backstage so I can meet B.A. himself.  Hint, hint, Tim.

Two years later, B.A. made my wish come true, while also saving me a ton of crusade work. Gotta love it!

For your listening pleasure, I leave you with one of my favorite B.A. jams (although I truly love most of what comes out of his mouth). Hubs, wanna slow dance?

Any other Bryan Adams fans out there?


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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adult Decisions

I have a confession to make. I've fallen in love. I think about my new love a lot. In the car, while at work, and when I can't sleep (which is usually because I'm in love and consumed and slightly terrified). I find myself day dreaming and "playing house" in my head on a daily basis. But don't fret, my pet, it's with a house, not a man. My marriage is safe and sound. That much I've got under control. The rest, well, I don't even pretend to have that nailed down.

Over the last few months, largely due to my town home woes, I've come to the harsh reality that being an adult is hard work. Sure, we get to stay up as late as we want, or at least until our husbands harass us to get off the iPad or turn off the Real Housewives and go to bed. We get to eat candy for dinner if we want to and can have a sleepover on school nights with our best friend. But darn it if all of the decisions thrown our way aren't hard. I would like a life coach who makes all of my hard decisions for me. I can handle the fun ones, the trivial ones, the "where do I want to eat dinner tonight" ones, but I'd like to delegate the "which house should we buy" and "should we NOT buy and add on" ones. Those ones give me heart palpitations.

There's still a ton to decide, but hopefully we'll have an update to share with you all soon. In the meantime, I'll just be over here day dreaming alongside of my heart palpitations and adult woes. What I can share with you is a few fun facts about my new love:
  • It's FULL of natural light. Like floor to ceiling light that makes you smile right when you walk in the front door. The kind of light that makes you want to grab a good book, blanket and get cozy in its beams. The kind that makes it seem like mornings would be just a bit brighter and less daunting. The kind of light that makes having coffee in your jammies seem like a mini-vacation.
  • Its got a view that makes me want to smack my current windows and tell them to ante up. A view that makes me want to call in sick to work just so I can look out of my window. A view that'd make me question if I was in the right house.
  • It's got the space to grow for a growing family. There's room for multiple kiddos, guests, and toys galore. It's got the space to say "hey, new love of mine, I feel okay committing to you for awhile because I can tell you've got my back."
  • It could be the home that we'll bring our first child home to this fall. No pressure at all.
  • It could be the home that houses countless family holidays, birthday parties, 4th of July  parties, and other random reason that I can find to host a party. If that is a challenge, I graciously accept. I can see the memories unfolding before my vary eyes as I type.
The drawback to choosing my new love and walking away from my current home is:
  • Leaving the first home I shared with my Hubs. Leaving the home where he carried me (all while I carried Piggy) over the threshold at 3am after a 17 hour drive home.
  • Leaving the house we worked so hard on to make it "ours".
  • Leaving the house that made us want to pull our hair out and joking deem the "money pit" for the first few months of marriage. Okay, maybe this bullet point doesn't make a strong case to stay put.
  • Leaving the sunlight in our living room. I really do love the light, especially in late afternoon when the sun spills into the room in all the right places. Those beams make me smile too.
  • Leaving the AMAZING location. The Hubs and I both work less than a mile from home. My commute would jump from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. Yes, I realize that's not far. I'm spoiled, okay.
  • Not being able to meet the Hubs at home for lunch every day while we watch so many reruns of Sex and the City that I can quote 75% of the episodes now. We've seen them all. Fives times each.
  • Leaving our sanctuary of a private and secluded backyard, on a full two acres in the middle of town. We have wild turkeys, deer, fox, eagles, etc...
What to do? What to do?

Alright, who wants to be my life coach? I can pay you in hugs, root beer floats and lots of natural light if you'd like to come and sit in either home and help us hammer this all out. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, March 10, 2014

40 Bags in 40 Days



Does anyone else ever feel like they're drowning in a sea of clutter? Well, that's about to change at the Freiberg plantation. Hopefully.

Thanks to one of the blogs that I read, I saw a little story of a family who spends their Lenten season "decluttering" and I was inspired. Over the 40 days of lent, their goal is to purge at least 40 bags of items to donate or trash. Surprisingly, she shares that she often ends up donating or purging way more than 40 bags without much attachment. I'm hoping I'll be as successful (although I might take a garbage bag and box method)! And though I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, I think it'll be nice way as Christians to participate in the Lenten season in our own way.

If anyone wants to join me, I've included a link Here for her helful hints on how to make the next 40 days successful, and hopefully, somewhat easy.

If you'd like to map out your plan of attack, like I plan to do, you can find a free printable here. Because let's be real, pink and gray chevron patterned to-do lists are just more fun and festive, right?

I plan to post a few updates on our progress over the next 40 days, so please help keep me accountable! Let the purging begin!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday High Fives

This has been a long week. Anyone else out there feel the same? I'm guessing the mid-week snow emergency wasn't doing us any favors along the way.

This week, I'm thankful for the following pick me ups:
  • Putting a TV in our bedroom. Until last weekend, we were a one TV family for the last 21 months and I really like it. I liked watching almost every show with the Hubs and when someone didn't like a show, they could read, etc... That being said, I asked for cable in our bedroom as one of my Christmas presents and the Hubs delivered. My Sunday afternoon nap with a little Lifetime Movie Network in the bed was glorious. Apparently I am easy to please. It's just so dang cozy.
  • Dinner at Marc's Fusion in my near future (like 4 hours near future). Marc's sushi is incredible, and with two of his rolls being non-seafood as well as thoroughly cooked, this pregnant lady is pumped for some baby-safe sushi.

  • Parenthood. I know, I know, I give this show a high five almost every week, but I cannot help it. It's a high point in my week every week.
  • Spending lots of time with family last weekend, and especially seeing my cousin's daughter, Elsie. She's almost 2 and I've only seen her twice. She was sleeping those two times so I sort of feel like I've been missing out on watching her grow up, which made lunch even more fun. She's not quite 2 yet and was talking up a storm and was so fun and easily entertained in the restaurant. I told my cousin "whatever you're doing with her, I want you to teach me. Please." Maybe I can talk her into holding a few parental seminars for me? I would pay big bucks.
 
  • The sun is shining today and I didn't even have to zip up my winter coat. I'll call that a win!
  • The start to a visible "bump". I'm definitely in the "is she expecting or just putting on some winter weight?" stage, but I'll take it. It makes it all the more real.
  • Raisin English muffins with peanut butter. I've had one almost every morning for 3 months.

  • Getting a lease agreement signed for my home in South Carolina! We'll have carried a mortgage payment on it for 7 months thanks to a renter who decided she'd rather be evicted than continue paying rent. Peace out, second mortgage! I will NOT miss you. AND word on the street is that it's going to a fabulous new renter. I'll give you a hint, she's already lived in it once and is one of my favorite people. Praise the Lord for answered prayers!
  • Partaking in my first Shamrock shake of the season. Just as magical as I remembered.
  • This season of the Bachelor being over in one more week. I don't think I could take one more episode of Juan Pablo and his face touching, hair behind the ear tucking, etc... ABC, PLEASE pick someone new that we haven't seen yet to be the next Bachelor/Bachelorette. This is the one area that I don't support recycling. Pick someone new and shiny!
  • Manchego cheese. Love.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wherever You Guys Go

Today marks the third anniversary of my grandpa Howard's passing. Today marks the third anniversary of getting the call that he was gone. Time makes things easier, but it never takes away the truth that someone you love is no longer with you in body. In the end, he's in a better place with our Lord and we'll see him again.

I can still remember so many of the phone calls that took place just weeks before March 6th, 2011. My grandpa, who had been healthy at Christmas had gone into the doctor in January and February for some minor ailments and was suddenly given a diagnosis that left him with roughly six months to live. I got the call that said six months and my heart sank. I was living 1,000 miles away and I just wanted to be there. I needed to be home.

With the six months prognosis, my parents and I had scheduled for me to fly home in two weeks to be with family, see my grandpa, etc... I envisioned a few more trips in my future over the remaining months as I didn't want to see him just one more time. I'd need more time.

Within two days, I got the call that he had roughly two weeks. My ticket was going to be moved up a week to get there in time. Within in 24 hours, I got the call that he had roughly six days.  Six days??????????? Are you sure? Six, as in 1,2,3,4,5,6??? But I had a huge event that I was chairing that weekend! How could I leave? How could I not leave? I remember calling one of my best friends, in total shock, to tell her that I was flying out tomorrow and the event was in their hands. I thought they'd be mad. Instead she said "I'm coming right over" and she within minutes sat on my floor with me as I cried. I remember trying to pack for my visit and a funeral, all while packing up 5 months of event prep work and supplies to leave behind. Six days????? Six days.

The remaining days with my grandpa were some that I'll treasure for the rest of my life. Thanks to an amazing boss, I was cleared to be there as long as necessary. It was such a blessing to be given that time to sit next to his bed in my grandparent's den. I sat there with my family for days. I slept next to my mom in a tiny bed, but it didn't matter. I even got to see him request his last beer, which is ironic as he rarely drank and RARELY drank beer. My uncle ran to a bar, bought like three beers and seven of us sat around his bed with our shared beer in dixie cups as he sipped his through a straw. We laughed and he smiled. It was the simple things, yet they were way more than simple in our hearts.

There are also two moments, aside from the beer, that I can still feel to this day. One haunts me and one comforts me, however but both are ingrained in me.

The one that haunts me and makes my throat tighten as I type is one moment of transparency when the truth of what was coming was evident on my grandpa's face. He was breathing quickly, his eyes looked frightened and a few silent tears rolled down his cheek. My mom asked him if he was in pain. He shook his head no. She then asked if he was scared. He silently nodded his head yes. I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe either. What do you do? Say? How do you comfort someone who knows his fate is days away? And then what I remember is my mom asking "can I pray for you, dad?" He again nodded yes. So she prayed. She prayed through her own fear and over her own tears. She remained strong for her father who in that moment couldn't be stronger any longer. I was so proud of her and in awe of her courage and faith. And when the "amen" came, there was less fear in his eyes. I'm guessing there was a bit more of it in ours, but less in his and that's what mattered.

And lastly, if you've ever gone through the stages of death with someone, you know that one of the stages is "busy work or tying up loose ends" while another is their bodies wanting to travel or "catch the train or bus". Just like the handbook hospice gave us said, grandpa started fidgeting with his hands, almost as if he was tying things in knots or jostling keys.
At one point my mom and I were sitting on either side of him and my mom asked "what are you doing, dad?"
"Grabbing my keys" he replied.
"Where are you going" she asked (knowing he had no keys and couldn't get out of his bed)?
"I'm going wherever you guys go."

To this day, I'll randomly hear his voice say "I'm going wherever you guys go" and I know he's there. It's the most comforting moment that I was given by him in those last few days. He may not have even been aware of what he was saying, but I knew what it meant.

He's in our hearts, our memories, and at every family gathering. He's there. He's got his keys and he's gonna go WHEREVER we go. Wherever.

We miss you, Grandpa Howard. Always will.


Grandma, Grandpa and their children.
 



Lighting lanterns in his memory. It was a gorgeous night and sky.
 


Grandma with her lantern.
 



The blue heart, made out of one of his shirts, that I wore on the inside of my dress
on our wedding day. He was right there.
 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Fat Tuesday



Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all! Not that this day means anything special to most of us, but who am I am to pass up wishing one well on Fat Tuesday? If you know me, you know I like to celebrate, plan parties, and have things to look forward to which led me to celebrating Fat Tuesday.

There will be no bead tossing, no floats, surely no drunk bystanders, BUT there will be New Orleans cuisine. Having any excuse to cook something totally different than I normally would, I started this on and off tradition back in 2006. Now that we're a family, it's an annual thing that I hope our future kiddos will think is a fun, mid-week break once a year. And there WILL be beads and masks once we have kiddos to partake in the fun. Good ole, CLEAN fun with the beads though. No one will be getting any beads for flashing their pull-ups!

To make this random Tuesday a bit more festive, I bring you our meal this evening:

My Shrimp Etouffee is usually the bomb.
Last year, I accidentally tripled the tomato paste and killed it (not in a good way).
And of course, we had company for that meal; go figure.
This year, I'm bringing my A-game back!


 
 
 
Maque choux will be my newest addition to my New Orleans line up.
Fingers crossed it's delicious!




Last year was the first time that I attempted to make a King Cake.
Living in the south, there was no shortage of bakeries that sold these delicious treats.
When I went to buy one last year, I learned quickly that no one in town carries them.
Lucky for me, I found a quick and easy recipe that was a close second to the professional cakes, although certainly not as pretty.
 

 
Lastly, we'll drink our body weight in Hurricanes! Just kidding.
These will not be on the menu, however knowing I cannot partake in a fun cocktail every once in a while, makes me want one.  
Maybe we'll drink fruit punch in fun cups instead?
 
 
 
And lastly, to get you in the Fat Tuesday spirit, go ahead and find your Mardi Gras name.
My name is apparently Bourbon Street Confetti. Hey, I'll take it.
I can handle being a little confetti-esque today.
It sure does beat being any of the other things laying around on Bourbon Street this week!
Anyone out there get Sparkles Jambalaya?
If so, you should TOTALLY wear that on a nametag all day long!
 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stuck

I've debated whether or not to write today for fear that it'd be ugly. Like "girl, your ugly is showing! You might want to tuck that back in before anyone notices" kind of ugly. I'm going to risk it though. This site is transparent if nothing else, right?

I'm stuck, y'all. I'm anxious and I feel trapped. I need to get out of here for a little while. I've joked about this winter and the awful weather over the last few months, but all joking aside, it's taking a toll on my head and my heart. I'm succumbing to the gloom and the frigid and the "I just want to stay inside and nap forever" thoughts. 

I've always struggled with anxiety and most likely will for the days to come. And I'm okay with it. I have ways to cope and I have prayer and a God who is the ultimate Xanax. But sometimes it just envelopes me. Ever been there? Ever felt trapped? It's not a fun feeling.

I need a break. I need a vacation where the only item on the agenda is to be still, feel the sun on my face, see the sights whatever they may be. Take a nap with the windows open. Lower my heart rate. Be me and carefree before I become "mom". Sleep in, stay up late, eat way too much because I'm on "vacation". Read a book and not talk for awhile. Explore. Do whatever my heart desires. Remember what it feels like to drive with the windows down. Crank the radio up. Smell the salt water. Plan fun things to see and do, and then find cooler things along the way and take a detour. Be me in my simplest, most relaxed form.

And, that, is what I envision it to feel like to be un-stuck.