Tuesday, May 31, 2011


On Saturday night, Abel threw me a totally epic surprise (early) birthday party. (We both agree that the word epic is completely overused right now, but, really, it is absolutely appropriate in this instance!)

It. Was. Amazing.

And I was totally, completely, utterly surprised. (Which was so fun!)

So I thought that we were going out to dinner with our good friends Chase and Ian. We headed over to their house for a pre-dinner drink and met Chase on the balcony. She got us to look over at the back corner of her yard, under the ruse that there was a raccoon back there. Suddenly, out of no where, 30+ friends came out from under the deck and yelled, "Surprise!"

I was shocked:

So much so that at first I didn't even register what was happening:

After composing myself, I went down to give everyone a hug and thank them for coming. I looked around thinking we must be grilling out in Chase and Ian's backyard or just having drinks with our friends.

But, oh no, there was more. Much more.

Abel then tells me that a bus is coming to pick us up to take us all to a restaurant in Annapolis.

I didn't believe him.

Until everyone started shaking their heads and telling me it was, indeed, true.

So we walk out front, turn to the left, and what do we see parked a block away?


Yes, we all piled into a school bus that our friends had pre-stocked with several coolers of beer and boxes of wine (no glass allowed). It was hysterical and a blast at the same time. I mean, when had any of us last been on a school bus? And I know for certain I'd never cracked open a Miller Lite on one!

After a fun-filled 30-minute drive, we caused a bit of a ruckus when we pulled into the teeny-tiny parking lot of Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn with our big, yellow school bus! Not to mention that we had a party of 32 at a restaurant that doesn't take reservations! But, no worries. We socialized in the parking lot with a few extra drinks from the bus and got to enjoy a perfect evening and a great view...

To be honest, my head was still spinning and it was just so fun to hang out with so many great friends.

Before we knew it, we were led to our table--one huge table and another smaller one. (Our group is the entire group straight back and also everyone on the back left!). As we walked in, I heard several comments about the school bus full of people!

 We all enjoyed a fantastic dinner of crabs and seafood and finished it off with a delish homemade cake.

By the time Stu and our school bus came back to retrieve us, we all agreed that this should be an annual event!

All day Sunday and Monday I peppered Abel with questions about how in the world he pulled the whole thing off. Apparently there had been months of planning and lots of help, but the bulk of all the work was his alone. (Numerous attendees told me how hard he'd been working on it and how he'd thought of every detail!) I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing husband and so many fantastic friends!

Here's to a great year!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Poem

My Clothesline Meditation

Standing at the line
Shirt, clip, clip
Inhaling the incense of the honeysuckles
Towel, clip, clip
Old-fashioned ritual becomes meditation
Shorts, clip, clip
In my too-busy modern life

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


If I was the kind of girl who could keep up with a daily project for more than a few days then I'd start taking a photo-a-day of the contents of Lucas's and my pockets!

The other day, just before his bath, Lucas pulled out a (beer) bottle cap, a feather, two rocks, a bead, and-- as the piece de resistance--a mangled and wilted handful of (what looked like) weeds mixed with grass mixed with dandelions (oh, do you call those weeds, too?), while exclaiming, "Oh, yeah, and my bouquet!"

And on another recent evening, I pulled out a small piece of glass (worn around the edges, but still obviously something I was trying to stop Nathaniel from eating!), an acorn, a sticker backing, a rock and a lego.

Lucas's pockets contain precious and prized possessions. Mine contain all the little pieces of stuff I take away from children throughout the day!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

DYI Artwork

I'm so excited about my latest DYI project!

Abel picked this frame up at a flea market years ago and spray painted it black for me. I've had it in our room, on top of a bookcase and leaning up against the wall. But, I wasn't ever completely happy with it there.

Then, recently I've been thinking about all the lovely Save-the-Dates, wedding invitations, baby announcements, and even birthday party invitations we receive--some are just so beautiful that I'd love to display them but our fridge is just a mess.

So...I thought I could use the frame as a display! Sorry I couldn't get a full shot of our dining room but the room has yellow walls (obv!) and a cool black and white carpet. I ordered a spool of yellow and white bakers twine from InspireLovely on Etsy and Abel used eye hooks to make three rows of twine for me.

Photo via InspireLovely

I grabbed some of our cutest recent announcements and invitations and put them up using some fancy paperclips I also had on hand.

I'm so thrilled with the final product and can't wait for our next invitation/announcement/Save-the-Date to arrive so I can add it to the current display or switch something out!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Uncle Eric

This morning a classmate of Lucas's brought a very tiny dead snake in a zip lock bag to school. She was proudly showing it off to everyone so when we got there she immediately brought it over to Lucas. He was fairly unimpressed and told her, "my Uncle Eric has a bigger snake at his house. It's a corn snake and I pet it."

One of the teachers turned to me and said, "I've just GOT to meet this Uncle Eric. Lucas talks about him all the time." Then the other teacher jumped in, "yeah, Uncle Eric said Lucas can have a beer when he's 21."

I do believe the actual quote was, "I'll buy you your first beer when you turn 21."

Rest assured, Uncle Eric, you loom large in the mind of Lucas and apparently his teachers and classmates as well!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!