Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

I love decorating for Halloween. I went all out last year and had big plans for this year, but between traveling the weekend before and moving the weekend after, it just didn't happen. I have three pumpkins...but none of them are carved into jack-o-lanterns. I got lots of "ooohs" and "ahhhhs" from kids and parents last year, and I feel like I'm letting them down this year. Hopefully the For Sale sign in the yard gives me the excuse I need for being such a disappoinment.

Here are pictures from last year. What they don't show is that I also had fog from dry ice on the front porch. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

Do you see the skeleton hand in the flowers? I even had a flashlight shining on that so it was all spooky looking. And please note how the vinca growing in the sidewalk is thriving at the end of October. I can't get my hydrangeas to bloom, but I can grow vinca out of cement. Go figure.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our weekend in Anderson

The McHusband and I went down to Anderson, SC on Saturday to meet Chase for the first time. We wish we could've gotten down there sooner to meet our first nephew, but I think it worked out for the best in the end. Kevin and Jenny had Chase a little more figured out so they weren't stressed even more by us being there, and I felt like I was able to help as much as possible. I was happy to participate in feedings, burping, diaper changes, and holding him just so he'd sleep (that last part was my favorite). I even seemed to have a magic touch Saturday and Sunday nights with putting Chase in his crib and him staying asleep until the next feeding time, which the McHusband and I were lucky enough to sleep through.

Here's the McHusband (wearing Kevin's clothes because they washed cars) with a happy Chase.

Awww, what a sweet picture of Chase and his Uncle McHusband.

And proud Aunt Stephie with Chase in his "Boo" bib. Try saying that out loud over the phone like the McHusband did to his mom Sunday morning. She was understandably confused and we ended up suggesting that the McHusband say "Halloween bib" instead. Much better.

On Sunday, we went to church, to Cracker Barrel for brunch, then home for naps, then to Callaham Orchard for the pumpkin patch and ice cream. While there, we:
  • sacrificed Chase to a witch
  • milked a cow
  • got up close and personal with some deer
First, the sacrifice:

And here I am with my cow. Luckily, she was very cooperative.

It was amazing how close the deer would let us get to them.

Okay, I have a confession. The McHusband took some pictures through the fence so you can't see the wires in some of the pictures. Here's one that shows how things really were:

Let that be an important lesson to all of you - you can't believe everything you see on the internet. Although I won't make it a habit to use trick photography in this blog, I promise. Unless it's used to make me look 5 pounds thinner, then there are no limits to the amount of trick photography I'll employ. Hey, I'm just trying to be honest. And promise to not look too surprised if you see me in real life, and I look a little different than I do in the blog pictures, okay?

And now for the pumpkin we picked to go home with us:

Too cute, right? I made a sign to go in some of the pictures so Kevin and Jenny could look back and know exactly when the picture were taken.

And last but not least, an adorable family picture. Here are all the pictures from our trip.

Friday, October 24, 2008


As if it being Friday isn't enough to celebrate, today's also my half-birthday. Feel free to send gifts. Or cake. Cake's good, too.

The McHusband's deep into the second half of his big test right now. His plan was to get Bojangles for breakfast on the way in. That's brain food, right?

We're heading to Charlotte this evening and spending the night with the McInlaws. Then we'll leave the dogs with them and head to Anderson, SC to meet Chase for the first time and just enjoy visiting with Kevin and Jenny. I've heard that we're going to a pumpkin patch on Sunday so that should be fun and I know there'll be lots of photo ops so watch out cuz I have a feeling that I'll be sharing a lot of those pictures next week.

Speaking of next week... If everything goes as planned, then the big move should happen next weekend. We'll use the weekdays after work to pack boxes and move the little stuff over to the new house, and then we'll be recruiting our able-bodied-if-not-willing friends to assist with the fun stuff - moving the furniture.

I don't like posts without pictures so in honor of my earlier one about Bussey's Chicken and Waffles, here's a comic strip that I came across the day after that post:

Maybe Frank and Bussey need to go into business together...

That's all I've got for now. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Three Years of Wedded Bliss

Yup, the McHusband and I celebrated our three-year anniversary on Tuesday. We've actually been together for about 12 years as of October 27th, but I've only been an honest woman for the past three so that's the anniversary we celebrate now.

When I got home from work on Tuesday, this is what I found waiting for me:

And here we are on our way out to dinner:

We went to The Big Easy for dinner. We had a coupon and had to spend a certain amount of money in order to use it so we had an appetizer, two entrees, and dessert. Our appetizer was probably the best thing we ate - crab stuffed poppers. Yum!

And, in the spirit of that restaurant, I think this sign-off is more than appropriate:

As they say in New Orleans, bayou!

Come on, say it out loud. Funny, right? :) I wish I could take credit for it, but I heard it on Life on Mars, a new show on ABC that's really good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two things...

The first thing: On my drive in this morning, I was behind one of those new Jeeps and there was an interesting bumper sticker on the back. It said "I am speeding cause I have to poop" and then there was a squiggly pile of poop with little marks above it to indicate that it was stinky. Who puts something like that on the back of their car? Good thing the guy wasn't in Cary. I'm pretty sure he'd get pulled over and ticketed for something so un-Carylike. Sure, the book says everyone poops, but they don't talk about it in Cary.

And # 2 (sorry, I had to) is about a new restaurant here in Raleigh. Have you ever sat in IHOP eating pancakes covered in Boysenberry Syrup or a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whip cream (and unnaturally red Strawberry Syrup, of course) and thought, "What would be really good right now is some fried chicken"?

Yeah, me neither.

But someone has becuase there's a new restaurant called Bussey's Chicken and Waffles opening up. Maybe I shouldn't knock it before I try it. I mean, fried chicken and mashed potatoes might go really well with a side of waffles and syrup. It'd be kinda like having your dinner and dessert all in one meal.

Personally, I prefer to keep my dessert separate.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meeting Baby Owen

I went to Statesville on Sunday and spent the afternoon with Shannon, Owen, my mom, Bri, and Lyla. It was a very nice day and it was wonderful to have my arms full of either Owen or Lyla pretty much the whole time I was there. It's great to be the aunt - everyone just hands the baby over, but I get to give the baby back if he/she gets too fussy. Which of course rarely happens because I'm getting pretty good at this aunt thing. I've had a lot of practice this year, that's for sure.

Shannon and Owen

A close-up

The proud aunts

The proud grandma with both her beautiful grandbabies

Shannon's dog Bailey needed to get in on some of the lovin'

And here's a picture of the three of us with the babies. I think this one might have to go on the fridge.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wal-Mart Meet and Greet

We adopted Morgan from the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League (MAGDRL) in September 2004. She was 15 weeks old.

Since then, we (well, me more than the McHusband) have been volunteers for the rescue. We have fostered three danes who all went on to get adopted by wonderful families, and I try to attend area events as often as possible. This past weekend, I took both Morgan and Tucker up to the new Wal-Mart in Holly Springs for a Meet and Greet. There were 14 danes at the event, which is unheard of, so we had to document the momentous occasion.

That's me in the purple toward the middle. Morgan refused to face the camera and Tucker had his nose attached to hers. I did the home checks for both families to the left of me. They both adopted danes, and one of them became a foster family.

Oh, and I'm glad the picture's so small. Let's just say that Tucker had the wrong idea. He thought he was in the kind of picture that would, well, put him through college. You know, the kind where the photographer says, "Don't worry, honey, I promise that these'll be very tasteful."

I came across a funny picture of Morgan while looking for the one of her as a puppy. She was staying with our friends Leigh and Mickey, who have two Boston Terriers named Duke and Daisy. You'd think the size difference would be an issue, but they are best friends. Actually, there is an issue with their size - their dog beds just aren't big enough.

But don't tell Morgan that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm an aunt...again!

I bet there are people who think, "Geez, not that title again." Yes, for those of you having trouble keeping count, I'm an aunt for the THIRD time in 2008. My youngest sister Shannon had her baby boy, Owen Warren H, via c-section on Sunday. Everyone's doing great and I'm planning a day trip to Statesville to see them on Sunday. My mom and Bri (and hopefully Lyla) will be there as well.

Owen's stats: 6 lbs, 15 oz and 19 3/4 in long. I'm pretty sure the 15 oz are due to all the hair on his head. I've never seen a baby with so much hair!

And now for some pictures since I know that's what people are really interested in.

And Bri, the proud first-time aunt, who's smiling so big because she's ecstatic and drunk on the mere thought that Lyla is 4 months old and not a newborn anymore.

What's that, you'd like to see a new picture of Lyla? Well, I aim to please.

Love, love, LOVE her!

Bought and sold!

What a week! It started off with a bang on Sunday with Shannon having a c-section, then kept rolling with us closing on our new house on Monday, and seems to have come to a stop today with us accepting an offer on our current house. I need a celebratory drink (or three).

The closing on the new house went pretty smoothly, and we were very excited to get the keys and garage door openers to OUR NEW HOUSE! The McInlaws were up here so they got the first tour and since it was only my third time in the house, it was a bit of a tour for me as well. For instance, something I never noticed before was how there isn't a coat closet. It's not like we're lacking a bathroom or bedroom, but I have a feeling that a coat closet is an amenity I'm going to miss.

And after three days of back-and-forth with some potential buyers, we've finally come to terms and accepted an offer on our current house. The deal isn't as good as we'd hoped for, but we not-by-choice dual homeowners can't be too picky. I hope these people appreciate the good deal they're getting.

The new house:

The happy homeowners:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"The 'pottery barn' look"

We had a showing on Monday, and the feedback from the realtor was generally promising:

This home showed very well. My clients liked the location, the front porch, the fenced back yard and the hardwoods in the foyer. They commented on the "pottery barn" look in the house and liked all the colors except the kitchen. The husband is allergic to cats.

I'm not surprised to read that the kitchen color wasn't a favorite, and I was very flattered by the Pottery Barn comment. I'm sure everyone reading this (Mom, McMom, that's you) has been in a Pottery Barn, gotten the catalog, or just walked by a Pottery Barn in the mall. And I'm also sure that when you were exposed to the PB style, your first thought was, "This looks like the McWife's house," right? Right?

Okay, probably not. But if a potential buyer got that vibe when they were walking through the house, I'm not going to argue with them.

About a month ago, I ordered some paint swatch books from Pottery Barn in preparation for all the painting I'm sure I'll do at our new house. I was flipping through them the afternoon that they arrived, and I was surprised to see a color in the Summer 2008 book that was quite similar to my kitchen wall color. I remembered that swatch last night and pulled it out for comparison. What do you think?

So, potential buyers, take that! You didn't realize it, but that kitchen color you weren't so fond of actually is Pottery Barn style. And I painted it that color back in June of 2004 so I was way ahead of Pottery Barn. Take that, Pottery Barn!

Monday, October 6, 2008

McMom: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

The McMom went down to SC to visit Chase (and his parents) this past weekend, and they all went to a tailgating thing at their church Saturday afternoon. She sent me some pictures and this is how I imagine things played out.

Jenny: "Anyone want to hold Chase?"

McMom: "I do, here I come!"

And, of course, the prize for winning the race:

You know, I think I would've given the McMom a run for her money if I'd been down there. What a precious, precious baby. I can't wait to get my hands on him.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Couch Potatoes

If the McHusband had joined us, we would've had the whole fam damily in the den last night. Morgan and Tucker were on the floor in their spots, and Tori was on the arm of the couch while Emma settled on a pillow on the couch next to me.

Note in the picture above as well as the one below that Tori seems to have dropped her tail. I assure you that she is not part lizard and does in fact still have her tail. I think she was trying out her Halloween costume. She's gonna be a Manx cat.

I haven't Photoshopped the next picture, and I didn't take it at some strange angle that makes Tucker look way bigger than he really is. Apparently, where Morgan's all legs, he's all body because seeing them laying next to each other, it's hard to believe he's only a little more than half Morgan's weight. (He's 60 pounds and she's 100.) I mean, is it just me, or does he look huge?

Zero to Silly in 45 Seconds

Jenny sent me a picture of Chase in an outfit I gave her at her shower. The outfit says "Zero to Silly in 45 Seconds," but Jenny says the reality is more like Zero to Fussy in 2 Seconds.

I think I've figured out a solution to the fussiness. I should've gotten the outfit in a bigger size so then Chase would be about 3 months old when he was wearing it and hopefully less fussy cuz he'd have the whole "living outside the womb" thing under control. Sorry, Jenny, my bad!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No news is...not very interesting

Nothing too exciting going on right now. The house still isn't sold, the McHusband's still studying for his test, and I still haven't started packing for the move to the new house. Oh, I guess there is a bit of new info: we close on the new house on October 13th. Luckily, that's a Monday this year.

I found something online that I'm thinking of copying at the new house. What do you think? I might even go with the letter "B" just to shake things up a little. Nah, probably not.