birthday fun...

yesterday started the weekend celebration of my birthday. my birthday isn't until tuesday, but gustav looks like he is going to take over that day...so why not start celebrating early!
let's be honest though...i probably would have started celebrating early even if gustav wasn't coming.

yesterday morning i went to beagle bagel to have breakfast with cannada. she's living in dc now, so i soak up all the time i get to have with her! we had a great breakfast, but the highlight of the morning was when these little babies came in with their moms. there was a red-headed toddler that was so precious. she was carrying a pink carebear with her. cannada commented that she used to have the exact same one. we continued talking and all of a sudden i felt something furry on my arm. the little girl walked over to me and handed me her carebear! i would have picked her up, but i didn't want the mom to freak out. that pretty much made my morning...in addition to hanging out with cannada! (the pic below is from one of my slumber birthday parties...notice the sleeping bag cannada is in!)

after that i headed to my dad's. we visited for a little while and then he decided he wanted to get out in the world for lunch. we drove to sonic so he didn't have to get out of the car. my dad is the greatest griller in the world. i think the majority of my friends would agree. when i take care of my dad i become his personal chef, so i've had to learn how to grill. there is no way i'll ever be as good as him, but i've been having fun. for my birthday he decided i needed my own grill. they delivered my grill yesterday, so we went to my house to test it out. it has a cool rotisserie thing, so i cooked my first whole chicken on the grill! i saved the chicken for lunch today b/c i had a whole evening planned with my sister. i have a feeling my supper club is going to be really excited about this new addition to my house.

back when i was in high school my sister would come back home and hang out with me for the day. my dad used to let me skip school to hang out with her. we would do all sorts of girly things...like get our hair done, shop, nails, movies...just whatever. we started calling these "designated sissy days." after she had her sweet babies we had to change it to "sissy nights." we had a fun sissy night last night. we went to dinner at p.f. chang's, hung out at my mom's, went to see a movie and she spent the night at my house. we had so much fun!! i have the greatest sissy in the world!!

there is a new facebook trend right now. you can get a picture and yearbook yourself. we decided to do our whole family. here are the results:

here is my mom rockin the 80's...

thom looks like he might need a hot oil treatment...

his wife, katy is stylin...

my sister in the 80's. i think she looks like ms. hand from FPDS...

her husband, michael. such a cute couple...

it sort of freaks me out how well this one worked. this is clint after he joined new kids

his wife, brooke, lookin good in the 60's...

and me. haha...


has anyone ever written their garbage man a letter of apology?

...because i wanted to today.
i recently cleaned out my pantry. i had cans in there from college that have since expired by a couple of years. i opened a couple to see if they were ok past the date, and just to let you know...the expiration date is there for a reason.
i feel sorry for my garbage men.
thanks to them i now have a clean pantry that i'm excited about.
...it's the little things in life.

an update on my draft...i did finish it. i'm pretty sure i'm the only person who went to watch the hills after the draft was over.

as far as my painting... i am working on pieces for the three shows coming up. i've finished one oil, and have about 5 more almost done. my mom has been coming over during the days to paint with me. she is doing some awesome pastels of the babies. it's fun having someone to talk to while i paint. i'll try to get some pictures of them when they are done.

and finally an update on the tomatoes... well, i regret to inform y'all that a very, very large green thing attacked them. it looked like a catepillar from a cartoon. i tried to remove it, but it wouldn't budge. it sort of scared me, so i haven't been back out there to check on them.


there's a reason they don't let girls play football...

it's about an hour from my draft. what in the world am i doing having a fantasy football team??
i've asked myself that same question for the past week.
my old boss invites me to have a bracket in march every year. the past two years i've actually done it and done relatively well...for a girl.
this year he said i was ready to join their fantasy football league. i thought...well, i like football better than basketball...why not?
ummm....TOTALLY different.
i pretty much equate it to a 90 year old trying to figure out facebook.

i've been trying to read up on all the rankings and projections, but pretty much stop in amazement that guys just know all this stuff off the top of their head. did you know that there is a guy out there that you can pay $699 to have on the phone with you while you pick your players during your draft. seriously?? maybe i can get really good at all this and take that job.

don't get me wrong...i love football. i've always checked up on all the scores, but don't have the place in my brain where all those other numbers can fit in. i pretty much stop at who won the game, but guys know the rushing/passing/receiving stats easily. i'm pretty sure any guy could ramble off ladainian tomlinson's rushing yards in a heartbeat. i'm doing well knowing which team he plays for and that he's a running back. i think the part of my brain that would hold all this information is occupied with useless song lyrics, and i'm sort of ok with that.

i have some favorite teams, but i'm such a girl about it. i can't make up my mind which one is my favorite.
i love the bears. not really sure why. i love chicago and have always wanted to go to wrigley. i guess i just thought if i went to wrigley i should go to soldier field too.
i also love the saints. they're the closest jackson has to a hometown team. and i would love to see them win a superbowl.
i also love the vikings...b/c thom loves them. every year. even when they aren't so good...he is faithful. once he broke a phone b/c clint and my dad kept calling him mocking the vikings. he doesn't like people making fun of them.
i like the giants. i went to school with eli, so i think it's sort of required. and if you like them you have to root for the colts every now and then.
the falcons, green bay and redskins are a little bit lower, but i still like them.
i took some art classes at ole miss with belton johnson. he played at ole miss then the bengals, but now he plays for the cfl...the canadian football league. i try to keep up with him as well. he plays for the saskatchewan roughriders...let's be honest...that's just fun to say. maybe they will be my favorite team.
even if one of my favorites is on i still feel sorry when they show the losing team. they just look so sad.
i'm pretty sure that any guy would freak out if they read this post and my brothers would probably disown me, but again i think i'm ok with it.

i'll let y'all know how all this goes. i'm predicting that i will not do well, but hey...at least i'll finish. maybe.
i'm off to my draft...


some cute & funny things from texas

- annabel has an imaginary baby that she keeps in the palm of her hand. she feeds the baby and puts diapers on her. she gets upset when sister friend sits on the baby.
- i'm a sucker for my nieces and got them some orange tic-tacs when we were waiting in the check-out line at target. i figured they would be better than real candy. everytime we got in the car annabel would hold out her hand for an orange tic-tac. she and cailin love them!
- we went to la hacienda de los barrios. the home of the puffy taco that was on bobby flay's throwdown. i guess that's not really cute or funny, but i love bobby flay.
- mamaw told annabel and cailin a story about a rabbit, so now annabel has an imaginary bunny rabbit in the other hand.
- cailin is smarter than i am.


the cutest girls in texas

i'm back from texas. my mom and i got in late last night after a very long drive through the horrible rain. our trip was so much fun! the girls have gotten so big! we helped thom and katy pick out some curtains for their new house. the house looks awesome!!
here are some pictures from the trip. they are so precious! annabel loves her sister and calls her "sister friend"... i wanted to put them in my bags and bring them back to mississippi! cailin is doing cheerleading, loves drawing and doesn't start school til sept. 2nd!


what if i want to mess with texas?

laura helen found a shirt a while back that had that phrase on it. i think it's awesome.
tomorrow i am heading to mess with texas. or at least my brother.
my mom and i are driving over in the morning and staying til next monday i think.
no worries...i'll make sure to take lots of pictures of the cute girls!!


all of my friends and family will back me up on this. i love projects...especially when they save money. my roommates in college would often come home to find me doing some sort of project. somtimes they worked out and sometimes they didn't. one time mitchell came home and i had taken off all of our doorknobs and kitchen knobs. they were hideous, so i decided to spray paint them silver. it lasted for about a year until some of the paint would rub off when you went to open anything. when we moved i had to go replace all of them.

i couldn't afford to get a new bed when i graduated college and i knew my mom was about to move...meaning i could get my childhood bed. i needed something to make-do til then, so i made a headboard out of pier one placemats. it ended up costing me $14 and to this day it is my favorite bed.
another time i needed a kitchen table, but i didn't like any of the ones i found...and i didn't want to pay for the ones i did like. i went to big lots and got a farmhouse table. you know the one. light brown top and white legs. the shape is what i needed, but my house is pretty colorful and not so much farmhouse.
so...i painted it red.
there it is in the back.

in my guest room i used old quilts and sort of put them together, but needed something to tie it all together.
so, i went to the fabric store and got some fabric that worked. i framed it in three separate frames and hung them over the bed.

in the room where i'm supposed to be painting...
i wanted it to look nice, but also be functional for me to paint in. when my dad had a bbq restaurant at the beach he had these long tables made. they are HUGE, but they were free! since it didn't have any drawers or shelves i sort of had to make do. they sell galvanized steel shelves at walmart for about $12, but they aren't really sturdy. i drilled them to the wall. probably not the smartest idea, but it works for me. the shelf at the end of the table is a shoe rack from when i was younger.

the other side of the room was bare, so i got an outdoor rug. they are a lot cheaper and i actually like them better because they are thinner. the chairs are from pier one...hey..they were on sale. i have more pictures to hang on that wall, but i just haven't gotten around to doing it.

here is my latest project...
i'm not really sure if it is going to work, but so far so good. i have an old dry erase board from when i worked at the church. the whole erase part doesn't work so well anymore. i can write on it all i want, but it takes a magic eraser to get it off. i was flipping through an old pottery barn and saw a red board. i didn't know if it was chalk or a bulletin board. they don't sell it anymore and if they did i'm sure it was not what i would want to spend. i knew that they sold chalkboard paint and thought it would be cool if i had a fun colored chalkboard. i wondered what a yellow one would look like, but didn't know if you could see the chalk. at lowes they only have the black paint, so i was going to mix the paint myself...i have a recipe for chalkboard paint...just in case anyone is interested. my sister told me to check home depot. they sell tintable chalkboard paint for just a few dollars more than it would take to mix it. it's a whole lot easier to buy it that way than make it. they couldn't mix it yellow, so i chose red. on the right is the dry erase board i started with.
i primed the board white and started painting. it has to dry four days before i can use it as a chalkboard. i'm impatient and had to try out a small part and it worked great. the dry erase board was magnetic, so the magnets still stick to it. i might have to put another coat of paint on and definitely trim up the edges, but here she is in all her beauty...


fantasy league...

this is a really old article, but i think it's amazing. especially since football is about to start up.

this is from "the sports guy," bill simmons. it was his article in the May 22 issue of ESPN the magazine...from a few years ago.

"I need to win my AL-only fantasy league this season. It's one of the most crucial things happening in my life right now -- not top-five, but definitely top-10. I wish I were making this up.

So does my wife. When she hears me discussing trades with my co-owner, Hench, or sees me silently swearing in front of my laptop because Torii Hunter took another 0-for-4, it makes her angry. Like, really angry. Like, we-might-be-getting-divorced-soon angry. She doesn't know (or care) that Hench and I were favored to win this season, or that we're currently floundering in fifth place with a cast of underachievers.

........I will skip ahead to the good stuff......

"You have a problem," she decided.

"You don't understand the fantasy thing," I countered.

"Well, come up with a league I'd enjoy. Then maybe I'll understand."

Now that sounded like a challenge. And I never turn down a challenge. So I racked my brain, contemplating all the dopey things she likes.

And then it hit me.

Us Weekly.

The Sports Gal loves Us Weekly. It's her bible. She devours it religiously each week. She examines every picture, reads every story and mutters stuff like, "My God, she's too skinny!" and "I just don't get why they're together!" If I've begun to thumb through the mail on the day the magazine arrives, she walks over and rips it out of my hands. She likes seeing what everyone is wearing. She likes the gossip. She out-and-out loves the "Fashion Police" and the "Stars--They're Just Like Us" sections (Because, after all, stars are just like us! They go to Starbucks! They take out the trash!) There is nothing about Us Weekly she doesn't appreciate.

So I'm going to create an Us Weekly fantasy league just for her. It's a million-dollar idea that could make me rich, if I weren't too dumb to figure out how to trademark it. More important, it will save my marriage. I can't afford to get divorced, it's way too expensive.

Here's how it works: 10 teams, auction format, $200 cap, five male and five female celebs per roster. Scoring is head-to-head for 22 weeks, playoffs over the last three (so you can have two seasons per year). Ok, let's say you pay $55 for that chain-smoking tramp Lindsay Lohan. If she makes the cover of Us, you get 10 points (three for the inset photo). Every other Lohan picture inside is worth one. If she appears in the "Fashion Police," you're docked three. That's it. Simple. You can add or drop your celebs each Monday. Like maybe you want to dump Jake Gyllenhaal (because the whole "Brokeback" thing has played out) and grab Josh Hartnett (because he's dating Scarlett Johansson). Then again, you might want to hang on to Gyllenhaal. He's single and his number might be up in the Lohan deli line.

Here's the beauty of my new league. Let's say you took a $5 flier on Denise Richards a while back, hoping she and Charlie Sheen would patch things up. But when, out of nowhere, she lands in a love triangle with Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear, she suddenly becomes Chris Shelton or Jonny Gomes, a bona fide sleeper! On the downside, I could easily see someone overpaying for Nicole Richie, thinking she might start to date Diddy or seek help for an eating disorder, and when she doesn't you're playing catch-up for five months. See? The possibilities are endless.

When I described the concept to the Sports Gal, she was confused, then intrigued, then enthralled. "I'd win that league!" she ultimately decided. Now she wants me to organize it. And I just might. I want our whole house to be as crazy as I am. I want her swearing at Mariah Carey like I swear at Rocco Baldelli. I want her to sneak out of bed to change her lineup at 2 on Monday morning, or complain about her team on Friday when the magazine arrives. Then, she'd finally understand the whole fantasy thing, and we'd live happily ever after.

At least until the first time we tried to work out a trade."


a new website to me...

today i discovered a really cool website. you can go on and decline catalogs and junk mail that you get. i'm not sure if it works yet, but hopefully it will! here is the website... www.catalogchoice.org



i didn't think i would get a chance to post today or ever again. the storm that hit gluckstadt today wiped out my power. my sweet sister invited me over for dinner...she's an amazing cook. i got to hear all about alex's first day of first grade. annie and emily start kindergarten tomorrow, so they showed me the hello kitty outfits they have picked out. am i a nerd because i miss first days of school? the new notebooks. new pens.
my sister decorated the kids brown bags for their lunches tomorrow. where she finds the time...i have no clue.

when i came home from her house my power was back, but my computer would not reboot. i gave up. left the room. came back and it worked. i wish that method would work for other things in life. i don't really want to think about not having my computer...i've had it since college. my whole life is on this thing. i guess i need to get something to back things up.
before the storm hit i decided to take pictures of something i'm really proud of. my tomato plants! they are actually my dad's tomato plants, but i adopted them when he started getting really sick. you have to know that i have never kept any form of plant alive. i forget to water them or i water them too much.
but these tomatoes...i have kept them alive! some branches grew too long before i had a chance to tuck them up, so it's not the prettiest tomato plant. i just picked a lot of them yesterday, but came out this morning and there were even more red ones! growing tomatoes are so much more fun than flowers.
btw...they are delicious!



i have decided that this whole blogging thing can really be to my advantage. i'm not really sure who all reads this, but i know that some people do. i am trying to get back into painting, but some days just don't want to do it.

there is a collective art show in october at hal & mal's that i have agreed to participate in...if i have two paintings that i want to hang by then.
we'll see how this goes. in the beginning of the summer my mom let me take a lesson on oils from bill wilson. he is amazing and i learned so much. here is the piece that i did with him, but is not finished yet. hopefully i will finish it soon and post it for y'all. this is my first oil and first portrait...i'm not sure if i could recreate it without him! it is of one of my precious little girls from peru. the picture doesn't capture just how adorable she is!! so, i have decided that y'all get to be my motivation...aren't you so excited.


everybody loves mamaw...

all of the kids call my mom mamaw. she is universally adored...but especially by her grandbabies. she doesn't meet a stranger and she will tell anyone she meets that she prayed for 7 years (or maybe more) for grandchildren and then had 5 in one year. if you have something you need some prayers for...just tell my mom.

all of the kids love going to mamaw's house b/c she will let them pull out every single toy in the house. you see...my mom saves everything. i think anyone who grew up with me in high school can vouch for me on this. a couple of months ago we found a box of jello in her pantry that was so old FDA hadn't started regulating expiration dates yet. we probably could have sold it on ebay. that box has probably been moved to different houses 5 times. we have always made fun of my mom (in a loving way) for saving everything. one time we were looking for something in the attic and came across a box that said "doll parts." of course we had to pull it out. the box had doll heads, arms, legs, torsos...but none of them were a match. she saved them just in case we came across headless and armless dolls....just in case.

these past few years have been so fun for my mom b/c all of her grandbabies don't know that the toys they are playing with are 36 years old. they love them!! they all work great and they are probably the only kids that have them!

i have been taking care of my dad for a few weekends, this past one included. clint, brooke and jack came over this weekend and stayed at my mom's. after i fixed my dad's dinner last night i went over to my mom's for just a couple of hours to have family fun time. these are some of my favorite times. usually all the kids are playing with all the old toys while we sit at the kitchen table playing some sort of game. last night we played boure. if you've never played it...look up the directions and play...it's so much fun! it's sort of like bridge and poker rolled into one, but you can play with a lot of people. if you "boure" it's not a good thing...i boured so much that they started calling me boure. but i still had fun!! if you don't have family fun nights with board games...start. i guess that's my public service announcement for the week.

i have the greatest mom ever! here she is with all her grandbabies! one of the greatest things i love about her is that she loves everybody the same...not one person gets special treatment...everyone gets special treatment!!


last in line...

the end of the line is my sweet niece, annabel. she is thom & katy's other little girl, or cailin's sister. sweet annabel turns 3 in november. i have a special place in my heart for all of my nieces and nephews...i don't have favorites. i will say that it was hard this past christmas when the gang came over from texas. annabel walked around singing her "aunt emily" song...she basically just says my name over and over. she is such a love! the song reminds me of when alex was a baby and i would come home from college. he would jump up and down and go crazy in his exci-saucer...we called it "the happy dance." all of my babies will run to anyone and give lots and lots of hugs and kisses. they are all loves! hopefully thom & katy will have more!!

sweet annabel is happy to be a big girl and loves doing things with her big sister. they are so sweet together! if thom and katy are reading this i'm just going to warn you that mama and i may be driving to texas soon...we discussed it yesterday...we need to see the sweet little girls!

annabel LOVES animals. anytime an animal comes on tv she is mesmerized. i drew their family for our christmas swap (there are way too many of us to get everyone a present). i got her "milo & otis" (an old classic!) and thom said she absolutely loved it! i think it made the drive back to san antionio a little better.

the picture below on the left is annabel from this past christmas. the one on the right is of me when i was little. crazy huh??



next in line is my sister's youngest, molly. since i can remember we have always called her boo. not really sure where that originated, but maybe my sister can. the cutest is when she refers to herself as boo. molly was born in january and sometimes doesn't understand why ALL of her siblings get presents in july.

boo loves fashion and accessorizing. if something is cute she will let you know. if it's really cute she'll say "cute, cute, cute!" she loves earrings, necklaces and shoes. the girls love when aunt brooke comes to town b/c she lets them try on her heels. i think the purple heels are their favorites!

one of boo's favorite things is her blanket, or "blankie." there used to be only one that fit the role, but it has now expanded to about 5 or 6. she usually only uses it at night or when she's really sleepy. she likes to rub the blanket and make little balls with the fabric....basically until there is no blanket left.

my sister has a blog that has all of the hilarious stories from her kids. one of my favorite boo stories is here. check out all of my sisters stories if you want a great laugh!