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Monday, October 31, 2016

The patio is painted and after this I will never mention it again.

I know you guys are dying to know about our patio.  Okay, so probably not but that's what I'm going to talk about right now so you've been warned.

On Friday, or Fri-yay as the internet loves to call it, I stopped at Sherwin Williams and got three quart sized containers of paint.  They were $7 each so I felt like that was a bargain as opposed to picking one color, getting a $55 gallon and then hating it.

On Saturday we painted the three sample colors over the fire engine red patio and this was the result:

And oddly, in this picture, the patio looks more orange than red, but trust me, it was red.  In fact, Sarah's friend who was spending the night on Friday opened the back door and I could hear her say, "Wow!  That's red!"  And lots of giggling ensued.

Anyway, the color that we both liked the best was the one on the right.  Although I felt it was looking a little purple (which doesn't show up in this picture).  I was sort of leaning to the one on the top because it looked more clay pottish which was what I was going for but Dan really wanted a more brick color.

So we went back to Sherwin Williams for 2 gallons of the color on the right (which coincidentally was the one that I was going to get in the first place when I opted to take the sample route.  So now I feel like I sort of wasted the $20 on the sample paint. 

We got to work painting the patio and the color was looking good but as we got closer to the sample squares, it was apparent that the color was totally different than the sample. Well, not totally but it looked more brick like and less purple.  Which was actually a very good thing!  However, it made me wonder what the heck happened with the sample color. 

It looks better although I really wish I had stuck to my guns about getting a more clay looking color.  I think a more clay color would look better with the acutal brick on our house.  But then, I  figured I would run the risk of it looking really orange and I didn't want that either.  So I guess we are both  happy with the color of the patio although my brother still says it's too red.  It's definitely still red, but it's brick red now and not fire engine red.  And when we get the table put back and the grill back out there, hopefully it will be a non-issue.

In other weekend news, Peter had his Confirmation Retreat all day Saturday.  He was dreading it but it sounds like it wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be.  They watched videos, had small group discussions, played games, at lunch, and went to confession.  And luckily, two of this friends from school were among the 70 kids there and that made it much more enjoyable for him.

I've got a busy week practice, driving for a field trip to the zoo, going to a Christmas show with some friends, lunch with the Catholic high school admissions counselors, and a weekend full of basketball tournament action.

Friday, October 28, 2016

7QT: It's Fri-yay! And please don't hate me because I said Fri-yay.

It's Friday!  Or Fri-yay!  Whatever you want to call it, it means the weekend has arrived.

So in honor, let's do 7 Quick Takes.

1.  I think I have settled on a color.  I am 100% certain that it will not look good.  In fact, Dan has already suggested that I only pick up one gallon instead of the necessary 2 so that we can abort half way through if it looks terrible.  I think I'm also going to see if Sherwin Williams offers smaller sample sizes.  The paint we have to use for the patio is an epoxy so I'm certain they won't offer smaller sizes in that, but if I can at least get a little regular paint in the sample color then perhaps we can do a small area just to make sure it isn't going to look horrible before buying the epoxy.  And of course, even though Sherwin Williams frequently has 40% off sales, that's only on paint and supplies and doesn't ever include the epoxy.  Wish me luck.

2.  Yesterday Peter and his classmates visited the local Catholic high school.  He came home ready for high school.  He said he's excited to go.  I asked him if there were any good classes they offered that he was excited about and his response was "all the history classes".  He is his father's son.

3.  Mari asked for the Ooey Gooey Butter Bar Recipe so here it is!  As we know, it's quick to whip up and once again this week, every one was sold!  And how do I know?  My kids always want to buy one but they said they are always gone before they get to the cafeteria.  Maybe if I was a good mom, I would make a batch for my own kids! 

4. Sarah's last seasonal swim practice was last night.  She's a little bummed that she won't be in the pool again until the spring but I'm a little relieved.  One less thing for me to drive to and more time for homework and relaxation for Sarah.

5. And with fall swimming winding down, that means basketball season has begun.  Sarah was good about planning ahead and getting work done before it's due date to make sure that she had time for swimming.  My boy is not as good with that.  Although I have been trying to remember to ask him if there are things he can work ahead on so that he has less to do on practice nights and he actually has done that when possible.  There's hope for my last minute boy yet!  (Although, based on the Ooey Gooey Butter Bar incident the other night, I think we all know where he gets it!)

6.  Sarah and I have been loving this salad lately although Dan and Peter won't touch it with a ten foot pole.  They don't know what they are missing!

It's Kale, goat cheese crumbles, cranberries, diced apples, and sunflower seeds mixed with a homemade dressing.  The recipe for the dressing is:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 t. maple syrup
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients, mix well and toss in with salad.  Serve right away.

So yummy and so easy. Whenever I use Kale in a salad, I always buy the pre-chopped in a bag and then I rip it up more before using it.  The smaller the kale pieces, the easier it is to get down.  I like the flavor and the health benefits of Kale, but sometimes chewing a large piece can be a lot of work!

7. We've got a busy weekend.  Sarah's having a sleepover tonight and Peter has an all day conformation retreat on Saturday.  And of course, there will be patio painting!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Paint swatches and baked goods.

Yesterday I stopped by Sherwin Williams to pick up a few paint samples that I thought might look better than Bolero aka Fire Engine Red.  (Although in my defense, when you look at the tiny Bolero sample, it really looks like a nice brownish red. I even laid the sample on the patio because I just KNEW that it wasn't the same as the sample and of course, it was an exact match.)

Here's what I came home with:

Surely one of these will look better than what is currently on the patio.  When Dan got home from work he immediately poo-pooed all of these except five.  We took them out to the patio and laid them on top of the Bolero and I immediately poo-pooed all of them except one. 

However, I still need to think about this a little bit more before I made the purchase of two more gallons of epoxy and Dan invests several hours of his time on a Saturday. 

My Dad actually likes the Bolero aka Fire Engine Red and thinks we should keep it.  I think my Dad must be color blind! 

Sarah had a boatload of homework and swim practice yesterday as well.  She worked diligently until time for swim practice, came home and ate dinner and then worked diligently until well past her bedtime to get everything done.  However, I could tell she was getting frustrated.  Her math wasn't coming easily to her and took way more time than she anticipated which cut into her study time for some of the tests she has today.  But she persevered and I told her what moms throughout the ages have been telling their kids, "Just do your best."

Meanwhile, at 9:30 PM, I bolted up off the couch that I had just happily settled into and yelled, "Peter!  It's your group's time for baked goods tomorrow!!  I totally forgot!!!"

Peter's 8th grade class (as well as I think all of the 8th grades before his) have been doing a weekly bake sale to raise funds to help pay for their trip in the spring to Washington, DC.  The class is split into two groups and each group rotates every other week bringing in baked goods for the sale.

For the first several times, my mom made the baked goods for us since I was without a kitchen.  And she always had them completed and to us in the early afternoon of the day before they were due.

This apple, unfortunately, has fallen far far away from her tree. 

So I raced downstairs at 9:30 to make a batch of Ooey Gooey Butter Bars.  That's what mom has made previously and Peter said they sell out every time.  And what's not to love about them - they are full of butter, powder sugar, and cream cheese.

I do commend myself for actually having purchased the ingredients previously so at least I didn't have to send in items scavanged from the pantry.  Wonder if kids would pay 50 cents for a Little Debbie oatmeal cookie because y'all, that was going to be plan B.  Although, in hind site, I guess Plan B could have been making them this morning and then taking them to school right before lunch when the sell the baked goods.  

This whole school year I feel like I'm just barely getting things done in the knick of time.  And even then it all feels a bit half-assed.  I used to be so on top of things and so together. 

I think I just need to sit down with my calendar and my planner and make sure I get everything written down.  Because life is a lot like my grocery list....if it's not written down, it never makes it into the cart.

And as I read back over that last sentence, I had to laugh...I don't even have a planner! I keep meaning to get one but I never remember put it on my grocery list! 

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The palatal expander and the fiery red patio.

Peter got his braces on yesterday and it went well.  However, in addition to braces, he also got an palatal expander put in on top.  And that's what's causing him heartache and pain.

Here's an example of one....

And it will be causing me heartache and pain as well because every night for the next 4 months I will be inserting that blue tool into a tiny little hole in the expander and cranking it one notch.

And poor Peter.  The expander makes it difficult to eat and to talk.  Food gets caught underneath it and around it and his tongue doesn't know what to do with it's self because that thing is in the way.

My plan was to take him for lunch and then back to school so he could at least make it back to math class where they were finishing up a math test.  However, all plans for heading back to school were derailed when he could barely eat. 

The nurse said it would take several days to get used to eating with the expander and she was right.  We stopped at Bojangles which is one of Peter's favorite fast food restaurants.  He was  only able to eat the mashed potatoes because he didn't have to chew them and they didn't get stuck on the expander.  The chicken, the mac and cheese and the biscuit were giving him problems.  So, it took an hour for him to eat some mashed potatoes and to chew some tiny bits of everything else and he was so upset and frustrated that I didn't even bother taking him back to school.  I took him for a milk shake because he was still hungry and then back home.

He had basketball practice last night and was able to get down some oatmeal before that and Dan took him for another milk shake on the way home for practice because once again he was starving.

He ate oatmeal this morning for breakfast and I sent him to school this morning with a big thermos full of mashed potatoes and some bananas which I hope he is able to eat.

His lower lip had quite a few sores on it where the braces had rubbed against it over night so I showed him how to put some wax on the braces.  I'm hoping that being at school will keep his mind off his teeth and that he really is able to get used to eating with the expander over the next couple of days.

As we were sitting at lunch yesterday, he was Googling "how to eat with an expander" and was only more frustrated when all the search results basically said the same thing - "You'll get used to it and it will be no problem."

Yesterday, I opened up the back door and literally jumped back when I saw the patio.  I guess I had forgotten that it was fire engine red and it was such a shock to see it again.

And just so  you don't think I'm exaggerating, here's a shot of it glowing fiery red in the afternoon sun.

See, how this red is not the color of bricks at all?  I told Dan we needed to go with a terra cota and hope for the best so this morning I'm headed to Sherwin Williams to pick up a million paint swatches in more earth tones.  Wish me luck, my friends.  I'm going to need it!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The weekend.

I had decided last week that I was going to repaint all the trim downstairs this weekend. 
All the trim needs to be repainted after redoing the downstairs because it is nicked and marked up after putting in the hardwoods and there are some new pieces as well that are still unfinished.
We had decided from the beginning that we would save some money by doing all the painting ourselves. 

I was going to tape everything on Friday afternoon (I have to tape because otherwise I get paint everywhere it's not supposed to be) and then get to painting bright and early on Saturday morning.That was my plan until I realized midweek that I would be setting up for the school's Halloween Hullabaloo on Friday afternoon, rushing home from that and then heading back to participate in the festivities. I also had to help clean up so I wasn't home until after 9:00.

Then on Saturday morning I had to take the kids to get their flu shots.  By the time I got back from that it was almost 11:00.  Dan and I looked at all the trim (floorboards and ceiling molding) and looked at all the taping to be done and all the painting and we both just decided...let's get a professional to do this.

I was so relieved! I can paint the walls with minimal heartache but y'all this trim was bringing me down.  It was going to take us forever and I knew that even at the end of it, it still was going to look bad.  Painting  trim is not as easy as painting a big wall.

So, I've got a guy coming on Wednesday evening to give us a quote.

With Dan's Saturday afternoon freed up, he decided to paint the patio.  Yes!  More. Painting.

When we expanding the kitchen, we had to move the back door over and with moving of the back door we had to move the back steps.  That left a big empty square in the patio where the stairs were.  The brick mason re-poured the empty square in the  patio but the old patio had color mixed into the concrete and the new portion was plain concrete.  He couldn't have matched the color anyway because it was 10 years old at this point and faded. 

The brick mason recommended pressure washing the patio and painting a colored epoxy on it to get it all the same color.  Several weeks ago when Dan at I were at Sherwin Williams getting the wall paint, we also picked out a brick colored paint for the epoxy.

Dan power washed the patio and started painting.  And oh my word!!!!

Y'all the brick colored paint we picked out was in reality FIRE ENGINE RED!

So now our whole back patio is bright red and guess what Dan will be doing next weekend?  Yep!  Repainting the patio again.  Fingers crossed we pick something a little more subtle this time.

I am the worst at picking paint colors!

Sarah made a yummy pumpkin roll for Sunday dessert.

Not annoyed at all that Dad is photobombing!

After lunch on Sunday, Sarah had a girl scout outing.  They had a bonfire, made s'mores, caramel apples and used a catapult for pumpkin chunkin!

While she was gone, Dan had a Boy Scout comittee meeting and I did a few things around the house.  When Dan got home, we watched the Patriots game.  He recorded it because it was on right when his meeting was happening.  It's always nice when we get to see the Patriots on tv here.

And that was it!  And now it's Monday and Peter gets braces on this morning.  He is less than thrilled with the whole prospect so if you can spare a prayer for my boy, I would appreciate it!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Last night for dinner, I tried a new recipe. It was Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken from the Recipe Critic.

And it was quite yummy.  The sauce was rich and fattening but I decided that the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes off set the heavy cream.  It was like getting a double dose of vegetables, right?

It was easy and delicious and I served it with rice and green beans but it would be really good over an angel hair pasta. Sarah and were drinking the sauce by the spoonful after dinner. Which is okay for her since she swims and has the metabolism of a 12-year-old.  Me, not so much.  I'll have to do a few extra laps up and down the steps today to get some of that sauce off before it decides to call my hips and thighs home.

Here's the recipe below but definitely click over to her blog.  She has beautiful pictures of the dish and a nice printable recipe!

Serves: 4-6
  • 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes
  1. In a large skillet add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown on each side and cooked until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
  2. Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese. Whisk over medium high heat until it starts to thicken. Add the spinach and sundried tomatoes and let it simmer until the spinach starts to wilt. Add the chicken back to the pan and serve over pasta if desired.
*If you are serving over pasta and like it saucy, definitely double the sauce.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How many pickled peppers could Peter Piper pick?

I spent most of the morning and early afternoon yesterday tackling these:

And when all was said and done, I had these:

9 quart jars of pickled peppers and 4 pint jars of cowboy candy.

Last year I tried to make pepper jelly with zero success.  I made two different batches.  The first batch was very runny and never got jellified.  Pretty sure that's not a word but you know what I mean.  So on the second batch I added a ton of pectin and it went way past jelly and would have made a good mortar.

I've been seeing several people online talk about cowboy candy and thought I would give it a shot.  It's basically pickled peppers with a ton of sugar in them but no pectin so it's not as thick as a jelly. You are supposed to use it as a relish, as a sandwich spread,over meat, over cream cheese, etc. and I love anything spicy and sweet so I thought I would try it out.

However, the recipe I was following didn't call for very much sugar and it didn't look like it was going to thicken up so I panicked, went online and read her blog post again and it said she had modified other cowboy candy recipes.  But my liquid still didn't look as thick as hers so I went back and cooked up more sugar based on the other recipes I found online and added that back in.  Not sure if I've totally messed them up or not but I guess I will find out in 3 weeks.  Apparently you are supposed to let the cowboy candy sit for that long before you open it in order for the flavors to meld.

In the meantime, we've got more peppers on the vines so if they grow enough before a frost (although it's been in the 80s so a frost seems impossible anytime soon!) I will make another batch using a different recipe.

I still have a ton of tomatoes in the freezer that I need to salsify (also  not a word) but that will be for another day.  I can only do so much old-fashioned domestic work at a time!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up.

That weekend went by way too fast.  But then again, they usually all do. It was just your average weekend around these parts.

Dan and Peter mowed the grass which was about two weeks overdue.  Dan also pulled up all the dead tomato plants from the garden.  All that's left now are the peppers which are still going gang busters.  My plan is to can more of those this week.  I'm even thinking about trying this cowboy candy recipe.  Has anyone ever made this before? It looks really yummy.

Peter is playing basketball again this year and he has outgrown his basketball shoes.  So we headed out to Dick's on Saturday evening after dinner to search for a new pair.  I was a little hesitant heading in there because last year when we were buying his shoes, we waited forever for someone to help literally 20 minutes or more. If you are going to keep your shoes in the back room, then you need to have people working in the shoe area who are able to actually go retrieve the shoes you are trying to sell.

Any who, we proceeded in and Peter found two pairs that he liked and I was excited to be able to find someone in the shoe department.  However, this employee was talking into her earpiece while motioning to me to hand her the shoes.  I told her what sizes I wanted to see in both pairs (12 1/2 and 13) and she said very gruffly, "We probably don't have those sizes." 

She then took out a little device, scanned the bar codes, spoke into her ear piece again and walked away.  Without a word!  Was she going to get the shoes?  Was someone else going to get the shoes? Did they have the shoes?  Who knew.  We were left standing there waiting.  5 or 6 minutes later she came back and said, "We don't have this one at all but  we have this one in a 9." 

Thanks for nothing Dick's Sporting Goods.  I'll be back in to see you hopefully never.

So we did what I didn't want to do and headed to the mall on Saturday night.  It was surprisingly empty.  I took Peter into Foot Locker while Dan took Sarah into Bath and Body Works where they both tried out new scents. Dan came back smelling like vanilla and musk.  Ew.

Peter picked out a couple of different pairs of shoes and we were helped immediately.  They had one of the pairs in size 13 and it fit. However, Peter really liked the other pair better.  The helpful employee told me they could order the shoes and they would be at our house by Wednesday or Thursday and if I signed up for their loyalty rewards program I could get free shipping.

SOLD!  Thank you Foot Locker for having shoes as well as being able to offer alternatives when you don't have exactly what I'm looking for.  Dick's Sporting Goods please take note of Foot Locker's customer service.  You could learn a thing or two.

Sunday was Mass, lunch at my parent's house, and decorating the open shelves in the kitchen.  The pictures of the shelves that I showed in my last post were staged by my designer with her items and since I saw what she did with them, I wanted to give it a shot.

I'm not the Nester so I don't have a barn and house full of items to pull from  when I'm decorating. (I just hate it when I'm reading a decorating blog and they tell me to "shop your house" and  "see what goodies you can find in your other rooms".  Because if I do have a goody in another room, I'm probably pretty happy with it right where it is.  But also, chances are that I don't have any other goodies because I am not a decorator and I don't have a bunch of decorative items just hanging around.

All right...back to my story.  Since I'm not the Nester with a barn and house full of items to pull from when I'm decorating, I did the next best thing!  I went next door to Mom and Dad's house and asked if I could borrow some of their stuff.  My Dad enjoys going to auctions and purchasing old items he thinks he can get at a good price and then reselling them at a better price.  So he has quite a few goodies just hanging out waiting to be sold.  Or in this case...borrowed!

How does it look?

It needs a little tweaking but I think it's a good start! Sarah helped me with this and she's excited to change it out with other items periodically.

Peter had Confirmation class last night and had to turn in his saint name paper.  He has chosen St. Columba to be his confirmation saint. Peter chose St. Columba in part because when we were in Ireland, we saw his grave.  He's buried with St. Patrick and St. Brigid.  He also led some rebellions against the king and Peter thought that was "pretty savage".  So, St. Columba it is! 

And with that, the weekend was over and now it's back to work, school, laundry, groceries, you know - just a regular Monday! 

Have a great week y'all!

Friday, October 14, 2016

My new kitchen!

{{insert trumpet blast}}

The long awaited kitchen reveal is here!

Please note....these are raw pictures.  There has been no decorating, no prettying up of anything....this is just the bare bones of my kitchen.  But it is a blank slate and decorating will commence but I didn't want to wait for it to be all prettied up before I show you my baby!

Here we go....


This was the view of the dining room from the front door.


Andif you will note, there was a wall and a doorway that led into the kitchen.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the view from the dining room into the kitchen, but here is the after:

Here is the before view from the family room.

Here is the after view.

Can you believe it????

And the view looking from the sink back to the dining room.


I don't think these pictures can accurately describe the formation.  Taking down one little wall, moving a hallway door, moving a door to the outside and switching up some windows was all (HA!  ALL!) it took to really open up this space and give me the kitchen of my dreams.

 I've got bar stools ordered to go under the island for extra seating.  And I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but we can actually put both leaves into our dining table and it still fits into the space. It's a little tight but it fits and we would actually be able to seat people around it!

The other night, Peter was working on a project at the island, Dan and I were washing dishes and Sarah was working at the kitchen table and we all fit.  Previously only one person could work in the kitchen.  If two people were in there trying to do anything, it was very tight.  I would actually dismiss everyone so that I could clean the kitchen without tripping over them, the dishwasher and any cabinet door that might have been open.

I am working with my designer to get furniture for the family room ordered so we can actually start using that space again too.  Currently, all our old furniture is still crammed up in the bonus room but hopefully in a couple of weeks we will be able to use the entire downstairs again!  

I know my pictures don't do the new kitchen justice so here are a couple I pulled from my designer's Instagram page.  She actually staged those shelves for some photos for her website.

Happy Weekend y'all!  And if you need me, I'll be out shopping trying to find cute things to fill up my shelves!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Still alive!

In case you all were wondering....

No, I'm not dead!  Just busy.  Very busy.

Dan finally made it home last Friday night and then we got lots of rain due to Hurricane Matthew, went out to eat a few times, went to church and other than that, stayed in the house.

The kitchen is allllllllllllllmost done.  Just a few punch list items to go and lots of trim to paint and it will be complete.  The yard is a hot mess thanks to  all the rain and Dan's inability to mow it last weekend so that will take top priority this weekend...that and the poorly neglected garden.  I'm hoping to get all the trim painted next weekend.  I told him that I felt like I had done enough painting by myself and I wanted him to help with the trim.  Fair is fair, right?

I have put the majority of my kitchen stuff into the new kitchen and have been using it for the last few nights.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly where to put everything and also how to decorate it as it is one big blank slate right now.

I'm also finding that I don't do well with big blank slates.  I guess I just need to purchase one cute thing and go from there but the pressure! 

Also the living room is still furnitureless.  But never fear, my designer is working on it and with her help, I think it will look great!  However, furniture must be ordered and it takes weeks after the order is placed so it could still be a big empty room for the next month.  Which is kind of a bummer to me because that means the upstairs is still a hot mess steps....

The kids have been up to their eyeballs in homework and special projects.  Peter has been working on a Saint Box for his kindergarten buddy and Sarah's been working on building a car for her science class.  Sarah still has a few weeks of swimming left, Peter's basketball practice gears up tonight and they both have been going to Scouts.  So business and busyness as usual for them.

Hopefully I will have pictures and more posts in the very near future.  In the meantime, I am trying to put the house back together after the kitchen reno, take the kids everywhere they need to be taken, keep the laundry clean and the people fed.  And somehow, that is taking up all of my time!

Enjoy your day and chin up - the weekend is almost here!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday night rambling....

It's Saturday night and all the wild party people are writing blog posts!  (Okay, so maybe it's all the boring old people...)

I thought I would do a quick update on things that have been going on around here this past week. 

Dan left on September 20th for a business trip and STILL isn't home.  Hopefully he will be home on October 7th.  I hope!  And then I'm not sure how long he's home (2 nights, maybe 5?) until he has to leave again.  He said he's basically going to be gone until Thanksgiving. 

And remember when we started the reno and he said, "No!  We will do all the painting ourselves and save money!"  And guess who hasn't been here to do any of the painting?  Uh huh.  That's right.  My beloved husband.  But no worries, I've been painting my little hands off and just today finished the last area that needs to be painted.  Although, I still need to touch up most of the trim to freshen it up, but that will come in time.

We are in the home stretch for the kitchen reno.  The appliances are coming this week, the tile guy is coming this week to do the backspash, the electrician is going to install the lights and then it will just be a few things here and there.  I'm hoping that when Dan arrives home next Friday evening that the kitchen will be done.

And while I'm excited (VERY, VERY) all I can think about is all the work that still needs to be done.  Everything needs to be put back into the kitchen, I need to get new family room furniture, everything needs to be put back into the office and guest bedroom, the basement needs to be cleaned out, the guest bedroom furniture needs to be painting, and there are lots of little things that need to be done as well that I won't bore you with.  It's all very overwhelming if I try to think about all the work I'm going to have to do over the next few weeks to get this house back in order so I'm just not thinking about it.  Instead I'm watching a lot of Toddlers and Tiaras. 

And no, I'm not joking.  I have been watching the new season of Toddlers and Tiaras and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm enjoying it much more than I should be.  They've reworked it a little bit and instead of seeing new bratty  kids and crazy mothers every week, they've started following teams.  Apparently just like you have a sports team, there are pageant teams out there.  A pageant team is basically a group of girls that all have the same coach and they travel to the different pageants together.  It brings a whole new level of ridiculousness to the show plus you get to see more of the contestants and their mothers so you get to know them a little better.

Last night the kids and I went out to dinner with Jennifer and her kids.  Her husband happened to be out of town too so that worked out great.  I really wanted a burger but I was a good girl and got a salad. It was yummy but it was no burger.  The only positive about Dan being gone is that I don't cook as much.  And apparently, I don't eat as much either because I've lost a few pounds since the beginning of  August when his travel really ramped up.  Only 12 more pounds to lose until I'm back to what I weighed before I got pregnant with Rebecca. 

Now it's off to find something girly to watch on TV!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.